The internet is a funny place. On Monday, all it took was a picture of Jimmy Garoppolo for fans to speculate about hashtag quarantine Jimmy. That’s when you can tell that we’re in full offseason mode.
“I think for a few years now, we’ve all sensed that it’s coming, so I’ve been expecting it eventually,” Shanahan told Michael Irvin on the Hall of Fame wide receiver’s podcast last week. “And now it’s here, and I’m ready to see how it is.”
“There’s times that I’ve been in Week 13, and I’m just like, ‘How the hell are we going to get through this? We’re dropping like flies,’” Shanahan continued. “And then I’ve also had times [where] you start out at the beginning of the year kind of banged up, going through all that stuff, then you kind of just get that callus. And you get to like Week 12, and now it seems like no one’s getting hurt, and we can kind of play forever.
“And it has to do with how you’re playing. If you’re playing bad and guys are banged up, man, Week 9 is starting to get pretty rough.”
“I actually would watch a lot of games of Quenton and how he played and personally think that he was the best guard in the NFL in the past few years,” Banks said. “I’ve watched a lot of him in the NFL and in college. Certain parts of his game I would try to emulate my game after.”
“We have a pretty big playbook at Notre Dame,” Banks said. “I think they did a great job preparing us for playbooks of this caliber, so I don’t think anything that has been given to me has been anything that I thought, ‘Man that’s too much, I’m going to have a hard time learning that.’”
The 49ers, however, had what was characterized as a “healthy” number of participants on Monday, the opening of Phase 2 of the offseason program and the first on-field sessions of the spring for veterans and rookies.
There were no reporters on site and the precise attendance for the voluntary sessions was not revealed. But according to some on hand, the group of players included starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a pair of team captains from last season, tight end George Kittle and linebacker Fred Warner. The 49ers have 91 players on the offseason roster because they have an exemption for international player Alfredo Gutierrez.
Toomer was part of a small group that watched the draft with Sermon at his apartment in Atlanta. Mitchell, Sermon’s sister and four of his high school teammates were also on hand.
“Trey has always played with a chip on his shoulder,” Toomer said. “There are three things that didn’t happen while he was in high school: He didn’t get invited to the Nike Opening. He didn’t get invited to the Army All-American Game, and he didn’t get invited to the Under Armour All-American Game.
“So when he slipped down to the third round, I said, ‘Trey, you’ve been here before.’ He shook his head, ‘Yes.’ When he gave me that look, I said, ‘OK, he’s going to have a rookie year that people are not going to expect.’”
Perhaps it’s no surprise the three players who did miss games — Ohio State running back Trey Sermon, USC safety Talanoa Hufanga and Louisiana running back Elijah Mitchell — played positions where high-speed collisions were commonplace. None of them had any serious injuries requiring extensive rehabs.
That this year’s class comes with a relatively clean bill of health was not a coincidence. The 49ers seemed to begin putting more emphasis on durability starting with the 2020 class. That five-player group, led by defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and receiver Brandon Aiyuk, played in 216 of a possible 233 games, also 93%.