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Golden Nuggets: 5 sleeps away

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

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49ers to ‘deal with’ soft practice field, won’t alter schedule

“One of the factors in the Niners’ decision to continue at UNLV was a reluctance to change the team’s schedule in order to go elsewhere. Shanahan has been adamant about maintaining a routine as the team installed the game plan last week during the bye and is planning to fine-tune it this week.

“We’re not going to completely change our schedule and do something crazy,” Shanahan said. “We’ll deal with what we got.”

Multiple 49ers players noted Monday night that the playing surface at UNLV felt “a little soft” during the walkthrough.”

49ers ready for Super Bowl rematch vs. Chiefs, four years later

“According to left tackle Trent Williams, the bad taste of those two NFC title game losses hasn’t gone away, but the urgency to break through has ratcheted up.

“You want to get it all back in one day,” Williams said. “You want to win a championship the first day of OTAs. But you’ve got to have patience and understand this is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. You need a little luck but for the most part, it’s all about focus and being able to set a standard and being able to get to that standard every Sunday.”

49ers upset with condition of practice field in Las Vegas [report]

“A 49ers advance group that includes members of the equipment staff and grounds team traveled to Las Vegas last week to check out the facilities at the Fertitta Football Complex. They feel the grass is too soft for the team to practice on, and the team has considered alternatives, sources say.”

The grass field was sodded on top of UNLV’s turf field, but with an unusual timeframe, according to Adam Schefter. Schefter reports that those practice surfaces are typically laid in December. The new UNLV surface started to be laid last week, per Schefter.

Jones’ report states that the condition is “not a health-and-safety issue” and has passed safety tests, but is not as firm as the 49ers would like. A test to determine the firmness of a field — the “Clegg impact tester” — usually yields scores with an average of 78 on NFL fields, per Schefter. A score in the 70s, per Jones and Schefter is preferred by the 49ers. They both report that this field is yielding firmness scores in the 50s.”

How Brock Purdy’s Super Bowl journey was forged by his dad’s minor-league baseball career (paywall)

“In 1992, Perez and Shawn Purdy were roommates in Palm Springs, where the Angels had a team in the Single-A California League. A college friend of Perez’s was visiting and mentioned that his father, a sportswear executive, knew some models who would be in town.

Implausible as it seems, Perez said that his roommate was so focused on baseball that he was reluctant to meet the women. But Purdy’s enthusiasm changed in an instant.

“When he saw Carrie, he looked at me and goes, ‘I’m gonna marry this girl,’” Perez said. “I’m like, ‘Right, brother, whatever you say.’ And he married that girl.”

The next summer, Perez was in the majors and Purdy was back in Palm Springs after straining his ulnar collateral ligament in spring training. He split that season and the next between Single A and Double A, where his progress stalled.

Purdy’s sinker was still keeping the ball in the park, but plenty of hits were dropping in: 86 in 68 Double-A innings across the 1993 and 1994 seasons. His earned run average at that level for the Angels was 7.01, but he fearlessly pounded the zone.

“He had a short, fast arm which gave him good deception, and a very good changeup,” said Todd Greene, who caught Purdy at Single-A Lake Elsinore (Calif.) in 1994 and would play 11 seasons in the majors. “Not overpowering, but he knew how to pitch, he knew who he was and he threw a lot of strikes.”

Kawakami: Nick Bosa Time, when the 49ers’ quiet superstar speaks and everybody leans in (paywall)

“And Bosa knows this. When he first got this assignment as a random choice from Shanahan early in the 2022 season, he half-jokes that it was “traumatic” thinking about the responsibility to make a difference in front of all of his teammates that did not involve chasing a quarterback or wiping out a running play. Maybe that first speech was great, maybe it wasn’t. But Shanahan last week noted that the 49ers won that first game, and it’s been Bosa’s job ever since, all the way up through this momentous weekend and the last speech of the season.

“I’ve got a lot of thinking to do on that,” Bosa said. “But I have started thinking a little bit.”

How does he go about putting these talks together?

“I hear a nugget from a coach or from Fred or whoever,” Bosa said. “A conversation I have with Christian at lunch or whatever it may be. Something I see online or wherever. And sometimes I’ll think of something before the week starts and then Kyle’ll say something similar in his meetings. And then I’ll be, like, all right, I have to talk about the correlation there.”

49ers QB Brock Purdy was among the last to know he’d get the gig (paywall)

“When the season sort of came around and I found out I made the team, I was like, ‘Oh, OK, I think he respects the way I play and how I handle things,’ ” Purdy said. “And that was really about it. And then I got my opportunity against Miami (in Week 13) and we sort of talked after that. And that’s sort of when he started telling me like, ‘Hey, since you’ve been here, you’ve been doing everything right.’ ”

Warner inspired by Willis, who ‘deserves’ Pro Football Hall nod

“We started connecting and talking back and forth,” Warner said. “He’s shown nothing but love to me. And, obviously, that’s one of my role models for excellence at the linebacker position — or forget the position, you talk about playing football the right way.”

Greenlaw said he is also in regular contact with Willis. They bonded during training camp when they had time to share experiences from their past. Willis and Greenlaw both had difficult childhoods and spent considerable time in foster care.

“I was able to talk to him a little more on a personal level rather than just football,” Greenlaw said. “I was pleased with the kind of guy he is. I know he had a hard upbringing, too.

“There are different things that I know I battle with. It’s nice to talk to somebody that’s been through that same thing or been through it and now they’re on the other side of it. He’s been one of those guys any time, anything you need to talk to about him, he’s more than willing and open to talk about.”

How 49ers’ Charvarius Ward was transformed through his daughter’s love (paywall)

Ward said he used to be “one of the most stubborn people in the world.” But he found his habit of tuning people out when they were angry or disagreed with him wasn’t conducive to connecting with a daughter who often screamed and cried in his presence.

As a father, he could no longer retreat when he was hurt. He was forced to plow through his pain.

“When I tried to pick her up a little bit or tried to play with her, she didn’t like that,” Ward said. “And if certain people, if they didn’t want to talk with me or be around me, I was like, ‘I don’t care.’ But with my daughter, I can say I don’t really care, but, man, it hurt me deep down: ‘I’m your daddy.’ It affected me mentally. … But I had to keep trying to give her what she needs.

“So that’s how I know, ‘Damn, I love this child.’ She made me not stubborn. I just loved her and it kind of changed me.”

Amani’s disability softened Ward in other ways. Doctors have noted she is ahead of schedule in certain areas — she’s feeding herself, for example — and that provides optimism that she could grow up to have a job and live independently.

However, Amani’s parents both worry about the possibility she will be teased and bullied at school. It has made Ward more patient and empathetic. The thought that an act of kindness could one day be reciprocated to Amani motivates him.

“It’s made my heart bigger,” Ward said. “I was never mean to my mom as a kid. But I’m nicer to my mom. I’m nicer to all the women around me. I try to treat people a little bit better. Because, obviously, she has Down syndrome. And she’s probably going to have a little mistreatment going through life with a disability. People might try to bully her a little bit. So I just want to treat people well and, hopefully, people will treat her good.”

Mahomes, Kelce to face 49ers’ own dominant duo in Super Bowl LVIII

““When you got great chemistry with somebody, you know where they’re at all the time,” Greenlaw said of Mahomes and Kelce.

Greenlaw said there is virtually no way for the 49ers to shut down Kelce, a nine-time Pro Bowl player. But he believes he can work with Warner to narrow those windows in the middle of the field.

“The fact that we understand each other and understand the defense, understand what we’re supposed to do, and we’ve played a lot of ball,” Greenlaw said. “We understand where the offense is trying to attack and howthey’re trying to attack us.

“Us having that good relationship of, ‘Hey, this is what they’re trying to do or this is where he’s going to be.’ We have a good feel for it and help each other.”

Sando: Why the Chiefs are the NFL’s blueprint and the 49ers are an outlier (paywall)

“While his organization is also a success story, the 49ers have gotten to this point while concentrating resources in premium players at non-premium positions, and after striking out twice with top-five draft choices, including spectacularly at quarterback three years ago.

For San Francisco to trail only Kansas City in total victories over the past three seasons (including playoffs) is incredible, but not very replicable.”