49ers part ways with long-time equipment manager

49ers part ways with long-time equipment manager

Long-time 49ers equipment manager Steve Urbaniak recently completed what he called, “The Cycle.”

Urbaniak, 41, was chosen to work the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, two weeks ago. In his 19 seasons of working in the NFL, including 18 years with the 49ers, he had never worked a Pro Bowl. He worked every other kind of game the NFL has to offer.

This week, Urbaniak was informed he will no longer be a member of the 49ers. New head coach Kyle Shanahan is bringing in his own equipment manager to handle the duties. When reached Friday by CSNBayArea.com, Urbaniak expressed gratitude to the York family and the 49ers for a long run with the organization.

He worked with head coaches Steve Mariucci, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly. He also worked with eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Dan Marino and Jason Taylor from his one season with the Miami Dolphins.

“I had the opportunity to travel the world and make so many friends that will last a lifetime,” Urbaniak said.

During his time with the 49ers, the team played in every NFL city, as well as international games in Mexico City, twice in London, and Osaka, Japan.

Last year, Urbaniak was voted as the winner of the Whitey Zimmerman Memorial NFL Equipment Manager of the Year. One of the rewards was the invitation to put in a 70-hour work week with his assistants Jeff Gilbert and Robert Lloyd at the Pro Bowl.

Although no 49ers made the Pro Bowl, Urbaniak reconnected with Delanie Walker and Alex Smith. Urbaniak retrieved the football that Walker caught for a touchdown pass, making sure the memento went home with the former 49ers tight end.

Smith would always play catch with Urbaniak to remain loose while the 49ers' defense was on the field during his seven seasons with the team. Urbaniak worked on the AFC sideline so he and Smith could continue that tradition.

“All the years we played catch, I only dropped one pass,” Urbaniak said.

49ers sign former first-round pick guard


49ers sign former first-round pick guard

The 49ers added some talent in the trenches on Tuesday.

Guard Jonathan Cooper inked a one-year deal, the team announced.

Cooper was originally drafted No. 7 overall by the Cardinals in 2013. After two seasons in Arizona, he spent time with the Patriots, Browns and Cowboys.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas.

“Having started 27 games in four NFL seasons, Jonathan brings great experience to the interior of our offensive line. We look forward to him competing for a starting job at guard, while also bringing a veteran presence to our locker room. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our team,” GM John Lynch said in a statement.

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.

But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.

“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”

Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.

“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”

There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.

Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.

“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”