The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their rookie minicamp Saturday morning, but Friday they introduced the rookies to the media. Arik Armstead was the only one absent as he was signing his contract, and of course had been previously introduced in a May 1 press conference. The other nine rookies met answered questions from the media, and started to give us some insight into their first days as members of the 49ers. You can watch the whole press conference HERE.
They were introduced in groups of three, so I am breaking this down into transcripts for each group. We start with outside linebacker Eli Harold, safety Jaquiski Tartt and punter Bradley Pinion.
On what they're doing since they got here:
Harold: Personally, I'm just trying to learn as much as I can from the older guys, get into the playbook as much as possible, getting my body right. Meeting everyone, getting to know everyone's name, learning from the veterans. Basically what I've personally been doing.
Tartt: To me, it's been pretty laid back, we haven't been doing too much. But far as learning the playbook, and trying to learning plays.
Pinion: They pretty much said it all, just repeat what they said.
To Harold, on seeing Charles Haley working with players:
Harold: You know, he's a Hall of Famer, and I feel Aldon has all the intangibles to be a future Hall of Famer. So I'm just trying to learn everything I can from him, just picking up little key words that Charles was saying. I can't really remember a lot, but just seeing what they were doing, I could repeat that, but I don't remember the exact words.
On whether it was "graduate level" instruction, pretty technical:
Harold: Oh yea, it was things I've never seen or heard before. I feel like it will definitely help me out a lot in the future. It was definitely advanced things.
Weight and balance type things?
Harold: Yea, he was talking about balance and target, where to keep your eyes and head level. Things like that.
To Pinion, on the Bay breeze and his punts:
Pinion: Yea, wind's something all specialists gotta get used to it. It's something that pretty much anywhere you play, the fact that I have to deal with it every day in practice is just going to make me better. It's something I knew coming out here, and it's something I'm just going to have to work on, and continue to work with throughout my whole career.
On any contact with Andy Lee:
No sir, I have not. I only heard great things about him though, and I'm actually looking forward to learning from him because he's been here ten years and is a heck of a punter.
On later minicamp and how their bodies feel:
Tartt: I feel somewhat refreshed, and I think they did a pretty good job keeping our bodies fresh for camp.
Harold: I agree with what Quasi just said. I feel they've done a great job with the strength and conditioning staff, and the trainers standing out here, letting us know if we need any treatment. And all three of us has taken advantage of that. Just being over-prepared is the best thing to do.
On staying in shape during draft process with visits and whatnot:
Tartt: It really depends on how many visits you have. I only had four visits and I was able to work out a lot more than other players. So, it depends on how many visits you have during the month of April.
Harold: Well, I had eight, it was tough. I had nine private workouts, and it was back-to-back-to-back, so my body...I wasn't used to that, coming from out of season, you know, your body gets used to not being banged all the time, ran up on. But it was something to get used to. I really didn't have the chance to work out like I wanted to. I'm in good shape now so that's all that matters.
On how Bowman looked:
Harold: To be honest with you, I didn't know that he had an injury. But he looks great. Looking at him, he looks like a bowling ball. That's a guy, he's so passionate, and I can't wait to learn from him.
To Tartt, is there safety he emulates, or similar to:
Tartt: Not really...not really.
To Harold, what did Baalke have to say on the field:
Harold: You know, just saying hello, giving his two cents. He really didn't say much.
On mock media session they held:
Tartt: We got to question Mike (Davis) yesterday, and it was pretty fun. I didn't ask any questions. I was just enjoying everybody questioning him.
Pinion: All of us guys have gotten really close, we were having fun with it, for sure.
On learning from Eric Reid, Antoine Bethea:
Tartt: They're phenomenal guys, and they're extremely smart. I thought I was smart coming out of college, but it's a different level of smart, to me, just watching those guys in the meeting room. And translating things from the meeting room to the field.
On going to small school but being coached by someone with NFL experience:
Tartt: It most definitely helped. You just get the knowledge from him, I mean he played eight years in the league. Just talking to him every day, trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can from him.
On players confusing Samford and Stanford:
Tartt: it was a few, but most of them, when I told them Samford, they was like OK. But I was pretty sure they didn't know where it was.