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Johnny Holland, DeMeco Ryans voice their support on Reuben Foster’s development

The 49ers linebacker has had issues offseason, but his coaches have his back.

Reuben Foster returned to the team following the conclusion of his domestic violence legal dispute, joining the team for OTAs. It marked the first offseason team activity he was able to take part in whether fully or partially due to being sidelined with his shoulder injury in 2017.

Foster needs a support network in place, and both his linebacker coaches have expressed what it’s like to have his and their linebackers’ back. Last week the offensive coaches were at OTAs, but two weeks ago we got the defensive coaches and both inside linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans and outside linebackers coach Johnny Holland spoke highly of Foster:

DeMeco Ryans

For Reuben it’s just being there, being a soldier for him to lean on. Any way I can help. Not only Reuben but all the guys in my room. Tell them, “Open door.” I’ve been through what htey are going through right now. So it’s easy for me to relate and help those guys. For Reuben, we have a good relationship and I’m here to help him on and off the field whereverI can.

Johnny Holland

Yeah, I stayed in touch with him. Reuben, he’s in a good spot right now. He’s been through a lot for this offseason, and going through the court cases, you never know what’s going to happen and he still has a long road to go, but he’s excited by being back out here. You know he’s family, we want to keep him encouraged, while he was away and we welcome him back and we’re glad for him to be back.

The 49ers hold three days of minicamp, but then have over a month off before they return for training camp.

Both coaches had some good things to say about their group of linebackers and I’ve time stamped both interviews below:


00:00 - How can he help Foster
00:37 What does Foster need to do to take that next step and be a better player?
01:22 - One thing to take from Foster’s game to make him a better player
01:44 - Foster injuries and alleviating concerns
02:48 - Having Foster handle communications for the defense


00:05 - How his role as a coach is different this year
00:30 - How he’s working with Solomon Thomas
01:00 - Fred Warner and his adjustments
01:47 - Communication with Reuben Foster in offseason
02:15 - How to characterize Foster’s rookie season