SANTA CLARA — Signage around Levi’s Stadium is celebrating Bryant Young’s induction later Saturday afternoon into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Inside the stadium’s auditorium, coach Kyle Shanahan gave his own tribute in a pre-practice press conference.
“I love B.Y. and I was a ballboy when he got drafted,” Shanahan began. “Talk about a rookie who comes in and doesn’t act as a rookie. That guy was a man from Day 1.”
Young spent his entire 14-year career as a 49ers defensive lineman and remains the franchise’s all-time sack leader. He won a Super Bowl as a rookie, and Shanahan fondly recalled the star-studded roster from that 1994 camp, adding: “That was as cool a thing to be around as I can remember.”
Assuming the 49ers will be practicing during Young’s enshrinement speech in Canton, Ohio, Shanahan said he’d replay it for his team in tribute to the eight-time winner of the 49ers’ most prestigious honor, the Len Eshmont Award. Shanahan noted he tried to hire Young onto his staff a few years ago “and the situation wasn’t right at the time.”
“B.Y. is deserving as a player and one of the most impressive people, too,” Shanahan said.
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) August 6, 2022
Asked what other player he’s come across has been “a man from Day 1,” Shanahan didn’t hesitate to say Nick Bosa, the 49ers’ fourth-year defensive end who happens to wear No. 97, Young’s former number. “Bosa’s been a professional since 3 years old,” Shanahan quipped.
As he strolled down memory lane, Shanahan shared a funny tale about that 1994 camp in Rocklin, when he was a 14-year-old ballboy and his dad, Mike, was the offensive coordinator.
Shanahan’s tale: “Richard Dent gave one of the rookie receivers a golf club for some fishing derby, he dropped the golf club, it went in the lake, and he offered someone $200 if they’d go find it. So the next day I went over with goggles and shoes, went swimming in a nasty lake, got that golf club and that $200. It was awesome.”
JASON VERRETT UPDATE
Cornerback Jason Verrett has been spotted running extremely well in his comeback from last season’s knee injury. How much longer might he remain on the physically unable to perform list?
“I would love to get him into camp. We’d love to get him ready for Week 1,” Shanahan said. “I think that’s his mindset, so I’ll never go against him on that. I’m ready if he’s not ready for Week 1 to get him ready for Week 1, Week 4, Week 8, end of the year. Everyone knows how talented he is but he’s one of the best leaders on the team, too.”
Shanahan said the 49ers brought Verrett “back a hair too early” in 2019 from his previous season’s Achilles tear. “We definitely don’t want to do anything too soon and we want to give him time to get back to being Jason,” Shanahan said.
Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley seem entrenched as the 49ers’ starting cornerbacks, though if Verrett is healthy, he’d likely be eased into the rotation with Moseley, who could perhaps shift into the slot, though he hasn’t experimented with that in camp, yet.
DEEBO’S LATE START
Shanahan was glad to hear Deebo Samuel spent some time after Friday’s practice catching deep passes from Trey Lance, after they’ve failed to hook up on such throws upon Samuel’s entry into practices Monday with his new contract. “It’s about getting Deebo back to practice consistently,” Shanahan said. “It’ll come.”
GET BACK ON TRACK
Friday’s practice opened with multiple penalty flags thrown on the offense — on purpose. Shanahan deployed a “Get Back On Track” period to simulate first-and-20 and situational plays. In the process, he enjoyed calling fake penalties on people who “don’t hold and get very sensitive about it.” Friday’s so-called violators: McGlinchey, George Kittle and quarterback Nate Sudfeld, the latter of whom went on to have what Shanahan called his best practice of camp (11-of-11 before finishing 12-of-15).
“When everything goes right, it’s kind of a fake deal, because it’s not going to go right. You have to put them through everything you can,” Shanahan added.
CHANGES WITH LANCE?
Shanahan impressively did not smirk when he asked how his offense changes with the dual-threat Lance at quarterback. “Not really at all. You do the same stuff and you’ve just got a couple more elements. When you have the threat of a running quarterback, it can change defenses, and you adjust. We had stuff in last year and worked on stuff. … If they don’t account for him, he gets to run.”
— Wide receiver Willie Snead IV and offensive lineman Jordan Mills were signed to one-year deals before Saturday’s practice.
— Right tackle Mike McGlinchey may talk about being pain-free from his quadriceps repair but Shanahan said his reps still will be monitored out of precaution, along with other players coming off significant injuries, including defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair.
— Shanahan also was asked to dig into his memory banks to name the most decisive runner he’s coached (Houston’s Arian Foster) and the best route runners (Julio Jones, Andre Johnson, David Anderson).
Contributed by local news sources