This may be hard to believe, but there are other positions on the 49ers than quarterback. Lost in the back up quarterback shuffle this week was left guard Aaron Banks missing practice. Fret not, as Banks didn’t miss due to an injury. Banks missed due to cramps, according to Foerster:
“Cramped up. Yeah, I think he lost, the day before he lost 14 pounds. And that was the day it was kind of like rainy and misty a little bit, whatever we were getting the remnants of the hurricane or something, whatever we were getting up here.
Definitely though, yeah, he lost a lot of weight. So it doesn’t surprise me. It’s really hard to replenish all that weight and then the next day he cramped up mid-practice so wasn’t able to. Which for Aaron, man, to make it all the way through camp. We always joke if he’d got drafted someplace where it was hot, I don’t know how he’d have made it. The guy definitely sweats a lot.”
It’s common for offensive lineman to shed their playing weight with ease once they retire. But we’re talking about a 25-year-old kid. If we assume it’s all water weight, 14 is a surprisingly high figure, even for a player weighing around 325 pounds.
Regardless of how much Banks weighs, Foerster is pleased with how he’s performed leading up to the regular season. And even went as far to say that Banks is a better player on game day than during practice:
“Aaron’s done a really nice job. Played well in the game on Saturday. He gave up a little bit of pressure on one. I think that the quarterback scrambled to his right on. But Aaron has had a really good camp. Aaron, surprisingly, it’s hard to say, but he’s a little bit better game day player than a practice player. I think some of the sweating, he’s in great shape.
His weight’s been consistent now for gosh, over about a year and a half. The guys in the weight room and the nutrition department has kept him in great shape. But yet, sometimes in practice he does get a little worn down and sometimes in practice it isn’t always as clean. But in the games, he’s always fresh, ready to go and has had some really good game reps put in there. And so I’m really happy with his performance this camp and in the preseason so far.”
In most cases, coaches won’t play a player they can’t trust in practice in game situations.
Former 49ers wideout Richie James is a perfect example. Fans always wondered why we never saw more of James, but, if you saw him in practice, Richie was consistently inconsistent. Obviously, it’s worked out for James elsewhere.
Foerster echoed that sentiment, saying it’s uncommon for players to perform better during the games than in practice:
“Not really. I mean, Aaron kind of jumped off the screen at us when we got to opening day, and he’s downfield celebrating in the end zone. He’s cleaning the pile off. He’s leading screens downfield. We saw the other day he was out in front of Deebo’s screen, and it was an almost block, but he was down there hustling his butt off to make a play.
And it’s not often with offensive lineman that you see that drastic. It’s a big difference for Aaron. I mean, he’s a good practice player, but it’s a grind and I can’t explain it other than I think the sweat. I hate saying that. I mean, it sounds weird, but it’s something about it. But on game day, he does actually perform quite a bit better than practice, and it’s cool to watch.”
We need to get to the bottom of SweatGate with Banks.