The San Francisco 49ers kick off their rookie minicamp on Saturday, marking the first significant training for the 49ers rookies since they were preparing for their Pro Days. The 49ers join the Kansas City Chiefs as the last two teams to get their minicamps going, with 26 teams doing it last week and four teams starting on Friday. General manager Trent Baalke addressed the late start during SiriusXM NFL Radio interview, and Matt Barrows had some quotations from that portion of the interview.
The team brought in nine of the ten rookies to sign their contracts on Monday (reason why Armstead is not in attendance yet), and the team has had them beginning the process of doing football work with the team. The 49ers are wrapping up phase two of the offseason workout program, with OTAs set to start next week. According to Baalke, the nine rookies have been on the field for these workouts. The team plans on having them get into more significant work this weekend as they work in an "acclimation period":
"What we try to do is minimize the exposure to heavy training early on, try to get them into an acclimation period because we understand that a lot of them haven't been doing a lot for the last month, month and a half ... "We're trying to get them accustomed to how the day goes," Baalke said. "We're not going to put anything strenuous in front of them until the weekend. Trying to give them a four- to five-day window just to acclimate them to how we do things."
As Barrows noted, there have been times in the past where rookies have not been in the best of shape heading into minicamp. Baalke talked about the inability of rookies to do a lot of preparation leading up to the minicamp because of the time commitments. They are traveling throughout April for official visits, and then they have the draft and activities surrounding that. Baalke said it is hard to expect them to be in top physical shape for the minicamp.
The 49ers will likely have some media availability this weekend with head coach Jim Tomsula. I imagine something will come up about the players' conditioning for the minicamp. We should not take a whole lot from it. Last weekend, there were reports of rookies dealing with issues in minicamp. For example, Randy Gregory and other Cowboys rookies came off the field due to what was described as heat exhaustion. Gregory acknowledged the tempo was different and he had to get used to it. That's just going to come with the territory.