The San Francisco 49ers first padded practice brought out some fans for the first time. Jennifer Chan noted that approximately 150 family members and fans were invited out to the team’s practice on Sunday. The 49ers have multiple fields at their practice facility, and they rotate between them for different drills and workouts. At one point, the team had moved to a practice field that was furthest from the stands, making it difficult for the fans to see anything.
At that point, general manager John Lynch invited the fans to move closer to where the practice session was happening. Lynch later tweeted that head coach Kyle Shanahan had been the one to suggest moving the fans closer to the action.
This offseason has seen some changes in the approach the 49ers front office and coaching staff take with the public and media. Moving fans closer is something we would not have seen over much of the past decade under the regime of Trent Baalke and head coaches Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula, and Chip Kelly.
This example is just one instance, but you can couple that with John Lynch’s numerous media appearances. You can also look at the injury report the 49ers released Monday morning before practice. I don’t think the team ever released a formal injury report during training camp. Teams don’t have to release reports until Week 1 of the regular season, so to see them do that voluntarily is actually kind of a big deal.
It remains to be seen how the new regime will translate into wins and losses, but for the time being, they are doing all the right things from a PR perspective.