Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers told the media they ended their offseason program early voluntarily. As it turns out, the NFL Management Council was the reason the 49ers called it quits early after violating the CBA’s rules.
“Well, I strapped him up the first day of practice, I think,” Warner told Greg Papa during the 49ers 2021 State of the Franchise event. ”He came off the line, I put my hands on him, he tried wiggling.”
Kittle remembers it differently.
“Yeah, yeah. I can pull up the tape, man,” Kittle responded.
The problem with including Gore among a group of all-time greats, as pointed out by skeptics whenever his candidacy is brought up either on Twitter or our comment threads, is that he was never truly great.
Not only has Gore never led the NFL in any major rushing statistic, but he only cracked the top five in rushing yards once, finishing third with 1,695 yards in 2006. That was the only year he ever finished in the top five in scrimmage yards too. He never reached the top five in rushing touchdowns or offensive touchdowns.
That said, it’s easy to name two fairly recent inductees who are similar to Gore in Martin and Bettis, but impossible to list players similar to Gore who are NOT in the Hall of Fame unless you dig down to guys such as Taylor and Corey Dillon, who again finished their careers thousands of yards behind him. That alone is a pretty ringing endorsement of Gore’s candidacy. But it’s unlikely to convince a Gore skeptic.
Shanahan spoke next and immediately undercut Lynch’s optimism. “I do believe we have the chance to be better, but that’s just how it starts. You have to earn that. And to be better, you have to go through some stuff. That means a lot of guys who haven’t done it before, some rookies, some second-year players, some third-year players, guys who haven’t totally done it before, but they have the ability to do it, they need to step it up and do it.”
My interpretation: Lynch is under more pressure to win than Shanahan.
3. What’s his connection to DeMeco Ryans?
Foot issues kept Willis from entering the NFL Draft after his junior year at Ole Miss, a draft in which the Alabama-product Ryans went No. 33 overall to the Houston Texans. Ryans won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, and Willis won it the next year after the 49ers drafted him 11th overall.
“I was a big fan of what he was doing in Houston,” Willis said. “e always reminded me from afar as a guy who’d be an amazing coach the way he commanded the field and his teammates. Those guys are really going to buy into what he has. He’ll bring a little of his own touch, which I’m excited to see.”
The 49ers completed only seven of a possible 10 organized team activity practices, calling an early end to their offseason program. Everyone thought at the time that it was because of season-ending injuries to Justin Skule and Tarvarius Moore.
Instead, we find out today it was part of NFL Management Council discipline imposed on the team for violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s rules governing offseason work.