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Reuben Foster is excited to get to thumping in pads

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The 49ers rookie linebacker spoke to the media for the first time in camp. We’ve got a transcript, and you can watch video here.

San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster has three practices under his belt, and it would seem he is a pick machine. Foster has two interceptions in three practices, which is particularly interesting considering he never had one in college (h/t Joe Fann). I’m guessing Foster had some practice interceptions at Alabama, so we can’t get too crazy about his practice picks, but for the time being, it’s a step in the right direction.

Foster was a big question mark following the draft due to his shoulder injury. He had surgery before the NFL Combine, and there was speculation he might need another surgery. He was cleared this past week after an ultrasound on his shoulder, and things seem to be progressing well. He spent the entire offseason in Santa Clara, rehabbing his shoulder and getting ready for training camp.

All seems well at this point as he prepares for his first preseason game in two weeks against the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll be keeping an eye on how much he plays and how the shoulder holds up, but Foster is plenty psyched. You can view his latest interception above, and below are the comments he had following practice.

How it felt having pads on:

“It felt great, just to know you’re putting pads on with a group of players that you’re working with right now. It was just a thrill. Finally putting some pads on! Finally!”

On his interception (second in three days):

“I guess the ball got a thing for me. I don’t got a thing for the ball.”

On if it’s positive he’s making plays:

“I just gotta slow my roll. It’s a great thing, but at the same time, keep learning, and just get more picks, probably.”

On if the shoulder is on his mind:

“Shoulder’s a shoulder, I’m doing great. It’s awesome, like, no problem.”

On position difference compared to Alabama:

“It’s pretty the same, really. Just thumping, move, shuffle lateral. But it’s linebacker, what can get better, really?”

On if he’s tentative in first practices trying to get into right spot:

“I’m focused on trying to get to the right spot. I get kinda worried that I’m not, you second guess yourself sometimes, but at the same time, you got your players behind you and a lot of people communicate. So, if you communicate, it’ll all go well.”

On how the interception happened:

“Just reading, just doing your job, and not falling into anybody else’s lane. And basically just doing what you’re supposed, told to do.”

On difficult in the spring not being able to play:

“I was itching. The coaches, the trainer, they knew I was inching. They was watching me 24/7, and that’s what they do have a good program of. The trainers, because sometimes I wanted to sneak out there, do a little warm-up, a little drill, but at the same time, I gotta do what’s best for me, and they knew that as well.”

On staying mentally focused in spring:

“Just getting with coach Holland and DeMeco. And just learning from them. They teaching me the in and out of everything in the book, and how different players and different men have their different skills. And just dial in and focused on how others play.”

On if he stuck around Santa Clara the whole time after minicamp:

“Yea, I was.”

On if other players were here working out with him:

“It was a group of guys coming in, working out, trying to get better. As for me, I had to get my shoulder stronger, built great relationships with a couple of people. Great staff, and just staying here was the best decision really. Just to learn how the program works, just building relationships, and getting a feel of the 49er way.”

On any players he saw repeatedly during his time before training camp:

“Most of them was rookies. Like Col, our running back, some other players, like a tight end, Kittle, whatever. Mostly rookies.”

On if NaVorro Bowman is taking Foster under his wing:

“He been taking me under his wing. He been telling the rights and the wrongs. How to keep my foot, don’t be head heavy. I’m normally known for being head heavy … just going head first. He’s teaching me a lot about what to look for in the quarterback and offensive linemen.”

On playing in first full contact practice with Bowman:

“I was worried at first. I was worried because you look at Bo, and you look at me, you’re like, he’s a man, that’s a man. Like you see his arms? And it’s NFL, there’s a lot of grown men. It’s not college. At first I was worried and anxious and nervous, but at the same time, him just talking to me, it’s the same thing as college. And I felt that. A lot of guys do a good job just to keep the players calm, like the rookies. They do a good job of keeping us calm and ready to go play.”

On biggest different between playing college vs. NFL:

“Really just the speed. But as far as program wise, I went to Bama. Saban is like an NFL program, and great structure. Just like the 49ers, great structure. What program don’t you want to come to that has great structure.”