The boys will be back at it again today, whatever “it” is. A closely guarded state secret, mostly. Then again, what’s there to reveal about practices? They got the blocking sleds, the little pads and cones that guys do the tango with, coaches closely observing, with an occasional barking attack, receivers receiving, passers passing, water boys watering, yada yada yada.
Lots of spitting, lugie hoffing, and nose honkering, probably. By the end of the four weeks of practices, there’ll be somewhere around 100,000 phlegm deposits lurking in the grass of the practice fields. You don’t want to get your face planted, that’s for sure. Dome teams practicing on artificial turf, I don’t even want to think about the globbers of noxious, icky crud lying around in plain sight all gooey and disease bearing. Definitely a fact of football that dads don’t tell moms when they sign the kid up for Pop Warner.
At the end of the practicing period in a couple weeks, the players will basically be free to dick around for a month until Training Camp opens at the end of July — just like us professional blogger types do all year long. Games will be won and lost in this self-policing period. Some guys will slide out of shape, others will tear an ACL at a picnic volleyball game, and many will get their very own mug shots down at the po-leeze station, earning a four week suspension to start the season.
None of this truant behavior will occur with our 49er boys, however, because they are dedicated, teeth flossing dudes. They are going to win the Super Bowl this year. Truancy can wait till next March, when they will be hungover with the greatness of themselves.
A couple of ex-49ers are not attending OTAs this year. Braylon Edwards is still rehabbing his injuries and has not been signed by any team yet. What the heck happened to him last year that he still hasn’t recovered from? There were never any reports of rips, tears, shreddeds, broken, or anything beyond “knee and shoulder” problems. He’s basically been out for nine months. A mystery.
The other unemployed ex-teammate is Abrayo Franklin. In two years, he’s gone from $7 million Franchise Tag guy to part time Saints D-lineman, to eating worms at home. He’s only 32, but he’s wasted two big payday years of his career overpricing himself and playing like the 5th rounder he once was. Maybe he misses Patick Willis more than the other way around. He hasn’t even signed with the Falcons to play for Mike Nolan, the guy who turned him into a somebody. In a league starved for nose tackles, he can’t find a team hungry enough to hire him. Another mystery.
Terrell Owens isn’t employed, either, but that’s no mystery. His Sharpie days are over. Not to be unduly grim or tasteless, but T.O. looks more and more like a guy who’s going to wind up on a couch, with an empty bottle of pills lying next to him, staring blankly into the eternity he’s escaped to. What he won’t have is a football after life anybody gives a shit about. When it comes to burning bridges, Owens has been a serial arsonist. He could go the Jose Canseco route, I suppose, and serve up a tell all book about his life and times inside the NFL locker rooms. It might make the Bounty scandal seem tame in comparison.
We’ll end on an uplifting note. Word out of the Bengals’ camp is that ex-49er Taylor Mays is ready to become their starting strong safety this year. Taylor will be attempting to re-scale the heights from first rounder in his own mind to second rounder in Mike Singletary’s mind to seventh round trade throw in Trent Baalke’s mind to I told you so, doubting world, I’m back! The 49ers don’t play the Bengals this year, so good luck Taylor. Not that I care, really, but I’m trying to be a nice guy in my own mind instead of one of God’s bottom round throw ins, so I can partly relate. Hang in there, old stiff hips!