I wonder how happy Javon Hargrave is after joining the San Francisco 49ers a year after beating them with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship. The Niners have a bye week and are the No. 1 seed as the Eagles limp into the playoffs and are on the road.
Hargrave joined Arik Armstead’s weekly podcast, and the two discussed the biggest difference in team culture from the Eagles to the 49ers. Here’s Hargrave’s answer:
“I can say, as far as practices, it’s more demanding. I think it’s more so like, how people call the Golden State culture and the Miami Heat. Over here, it’s the Miami Heat. Over there, it’s Golden State. It’s more chill, more relaxed.
Over here, nah, it’s work—every day. You’re about to get it. I feel like Kyle [Shanahan] is like Pat Riley. You know what you’re getting over here. Everybody can’t make it over here, for sure.”
The 49ers don’t play a game this week, but Shanahan said the team would practice hard for two days. He’s been vocal about the team’s practice habits, and the only way to get better is by playing football.
Armstead believes practices aren’t as difficult as they used to be under Shanahan:
“I can honestly say that he’s calmed down throughout the years, too. Because when I first got here and, we were establishing that culture. Before we had our guys, like our vets, it was even way harder.
OTAs. Training camps. And our schemes. We fly off the ball. They [the 49ers offense] fly off the ball. It just creates like a...whew.”
Hargrave chimed in and finished Armstead’s sentence, saying it creates a war before finishing up with, “You don’t understand until you’re really in it.”
The 49ers’ strenuous practice style isn’t anything new, but it’s a surprise for players on the outside when they’re not used to the grind the Niners go through daily.