49ers

49ers say Reuben Foster will not participate in offseason program

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AP

49ers say Reuben Foster will not participate in offseason program

Linebacker Reuben Foster, who faces three felony charges including domestic violence, will not take part in the 49ers’ offseason conditioning program, the club announced Sunday evening.

The 49ers open their offseason program on Monday at the club's training facility in Santa Clara. A joint statement from CEO Jed York, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan read:

"Reuben Foster will not participate in team activities as he is tending to his legal matters. As previously stated, his future with the team will be determined by the information revealed during the legal process."

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office on Thursday announced its charges against Foster, stemming from a Feb. 11 incident involving a woman described as his live-in girlfriend:

The DA’s office announced three felony charges:
--Domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury;
--Forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime;
--Possession of an assault weapon (a Sig Sauer 516).

Foster is also charged with one misdemeanor:
--Possession of large capacity weapon magazine.

If convicted of those crimes, Foster faces more than 11 years in prison, according to the DA’s office.

According to the DA’s office, the alleged victim flagged down a stranger’s car driving on Shannon Road in Los Gatos to call police. She told responding officers that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times. She was bruised and sustained a ruptured ear drum, according to the DA’s office.

York said recently at the NFL owners meetings he would make the ultimate decision when it comes to whether a player is released due to off-field or legal issues. He spoke of the difficulty of finding out information about a pending legal case. He said the club must find ways to help individuals to avoid situations such as the one in which Foster is alleged to have been involved.

"It’s difficult when you have the league doing investigations. It’s hard for teams to do investigations, but you want to try to find out as much detail and as much information as you can," York said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area and The Athletic. "But when you’re dealing with legal issues, it’s just a very, very gray area. So you want to try to get as much information as you can.

"But, I think ultimately, you want to take a step back and say, ‘How do you help 53 guys? How do you make sure that (there are) life skills training? Just the experience we’ve seen, and we’ve certainly seen a lot at the 49ers and you see it across the league, how do you help these guys not make the same mistakes that other people have made?"

Foster has visited the 49ers' workout facility for most of the offseason for his personal workouts. The organization could still allowed to provide him with support and assistance, but he will not take part in meetings or organized workouts at the beginning of the offseason program. The official offseason program runs through a three-day minicamp scheduled for June 12-14.

Rookie LB Fred Warner is setting the tone for 49ers, but he might be a little too loud

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AP

Rookie LB Fred Warner is setting the tone for 49ers, but he might be a little too loud

When the 49ers selected inside linebacker Fred Warner of BYU in the third round of the draft, it was easy to see how he fit into the team's plan with the degree of uncertainty surrounding Reuben Foster.

While Foster remained away from the team’s offseason program for five weeks, Warner felt a need to get up to speed quickly if he was needed to be a starter for Week 1 of the regular season. Warner said he was determined to learn as quickly as possible at whatever position he lined up.

“They want consistency over a guy who can make a play here and there,” Warner said on The 49ers insider Podcast. “Because if you’re a liability and you’re out there missing assignments, stuff like that, that’s going to get you cut. You have to be able to retain this information very quickly and be able to produce on the field and put a good product out there. That’s the biggest thing.”

The 49ers consider the middle linebacker (mike) and weakside linebacker (will) positions as nearly interchangeable. The major difference is the mike position is the player who communicates in the huddle. Malcolm Smith is lining up with the first team at mike, while Foster is at will. Warner is leading the second team at mike.

Foster joined the 49ers’ offseason for the final four weeks after a judge dismissed two felony charges of domestic violence. Warner knew all about Foster, the player, before meeting him as a teammate.

“He’s a very physical player, and something I didn’t know about him that I know now, he’s probably the smartest guy in the room,” Warner said. “This dude has the memory of an elephant. He doesn’t have to write notes down. He just retains things very quickly. And I think that’s what allowed him to play at such a high level as a rookie last year, aside from his physical talent.”

Warner has also learned a lot from Smith, who played six NFL seasons before sitting out last year with a torn pectoral.

“We’ve worked after practice on man coverage on tight ends and running backs.,” Warner said. “Even though that might not be something we touch on in practice or a meeting, he just wants to touch on that with me because he said, ‘If you can do this, you can play on any team in the NFL.’ “

One of the few critiques of the rookie during the offseason program is that Warner, who said he was a quiet kid as a youngster, has been a little too loud.

“He’s very smart and he plays like it on the field,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said during the first week of OTAs. “He doesn’t hesitate. He’s a rookie out there, but he’s calling the plays maybe even too loud because I can hear him from the offensive side. But, he doesn’t mind speaking up. He’s confident in what he’s doing.”

Warner said he wanted to win the confidence of his teammates, so that might have contributed to his increased decibel level.

“I want to make sure that when I get in that huddle and I’m talking to these guys, that they know that I know what I’m doing and I’m ready to go,” Warner said. “I’m the one who’s going to set the tone in the huddle before the play even happens.”

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

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AP

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

Keith Fahnhorst, who played 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and started on two Super Bowl-winning teams, died on Tuesday. He was 66.

Fahnhorst was among a large group of players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl championship team that gathered at Levi’s Stadium in October in a celebration of Dwight Clark. Fahnhorst and Clark were teammates for the 49ers’ Super Bowl-titlle teams of 1981 and 1984. Clark passed away on June 6 from ALS.

Fahnhorst, who was in a wheelchair during his trip to the Bay Area last season, battled many physical ailments since his career ended in 1987. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and underwent a kidney transplant in 2002. Fahnhorst was also later diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

A second-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, Fahnhorst was a mainstay at right tackle as the organization struggled in the mid-to-late 1970s, then found success in the 1980s under coach Bill Walsh.

“Everybody knew they could count on Keith,” Walsh said in the 2005 book, “San Francisco 49ers: Where Have Gone?”

Fahnhorst appeared in 193 regular-season games, ranking behind only Len Rohde among offensive linemen in 49ers history. He started 170 games, including all 10 postseason games in which he appeared. He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was selected as a first-team All-Pro after the 1984 season. He was a two-time winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award for best representing the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime 49ers offensive line coach.

Keith Fahnhorst and his younger brother, Jim, were 49ers teammates for the final four years of Keith’s career. Jim Fahnhorst, a linebacker, played for the 49ers from 1984 to 1990. Neither Keith nor Jim Fahnhorst played for any NFL team other than the 49ers.