Kyle Shanahan details effort 49ers put into helping Reuben Foster

Kyle Shanahan details effort 49ers put into helping Reuben Foster

SANTA CLARA — 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, his staff and several of his players hoped they could help troubled Reuben Foster down the right path. 

Ultimately, they were unsuccessful. 

“I had a number of players, when I told them yesterday [that the 49ers were releasing Foster], they apologized,” Shanahan said Monday, two days after his now-former-linebacker’s arrest on a domestic violence charge. “They were like, ‘Sorry Kyle, we wish we could have done more. We really wanted to help.’ That’s kind of how we all felt.” 

[RELATED: Richard Sherman 'disappointed' in Reuben Foster's bad end with 49ers]

Shanahan reiterated that a string of bad decisions by Foster led to his release. There was hope, and a structure in place, to help the second-year pro stay on the straight and narrow after his arrest on a previous domestic violence charge earlier this year.

Austin Moss, the 49ers’ director of player engagement, spoke to Foster daily, either in person or on the phone. Shanahan described it as “putting a lot of work" into Foster. Shanahan added that the 49ers supported Foster not only through his earlier domestic violence case, but also since his arrival in Santa Clara, all while knowing of his numerous past transgressions. 

Shanahan said he personally checked in with Foster. The coach admitted he did know that Foster still spoke to his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, at times, but he did not know if they were living together. 

To know that, Shanahan explained, someone would’ve had to been living with Foster. In his opinion, Shanahan would rather the player expose themselves at that point so the team would be able to move on.

Shanahan also was adamant that neither he, nor anyone with the 49ers, knew about the most recently unearthed incident between Foster and Ennis, which happened in early October, Santa Clara police said.

If Shanahan or the team had found out about that incident, Foster’s 49ers end might have come one month earlier. Instead, Foster’s arrest Saturday in Tampa, Fla., was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I thought rock bottom was last time,” Shanahan said. “And I thought it would be very simple that that would be his wake-up call. And I think it was, in a lot of areas. 

“But to put yourself in the situation that he put himself in, whether it happened or not, if it happened, it’s so easy, but if it didn’t, that still was too bad of a decision to make us comfortable with keeping that person in our organization."

[RELATED: Reuben Foster, the 49ers and the failed talent/tolerance strategy]

While Shanahan and the organization were swift in their decision to release the linebacker, the coach still feels compassion for Foster, and he tried to call him a couple of times after his release.

"I’m very disappointed in him,” Shanahan said. “That doesn’t mean I don’t care about him. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a relationship with him. He’s not dead to me because this happened."

Shanahan explains that some of his compassion for Foster comes from knowing about the linebacker’s difficult childhood. 

“I’ve heard some really bad situations of kids growing up,” Shanahan said. “And Reuben grew up in as bad of one as I’ve ever heard. That’s where I feel it’s been hard for him to be the same way as everyone else. 

“I do believe in his heart. I have hope I’m not wrong in that. Shame on me if I am, but I also know that he’s shown that we can’t trust his decision-making.”

Dante Pettis leads 49ers receivers in snaps vs. Broncos, shows promise


Dante Pettis leads 49ers receivers in snaps vs. Broncos, shows promise

SANTA CLARA -- Marquise Goodwin’s low snap count in the 49ers' 20-14 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday wasn’t just because the receiver had been absent for two games.

It was more about getting rookie Dante Pettis additional playing experience. And he got just that, with a team-leading 61 snaps at receiver.

Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff have regularly eased players back into the mix if they've been out for injuries or otherwise. It seemed to be the case for Goodwin’s return to the field after he missed two games while dealing with personal issues.

Shanahan explained that it was for a different reason this time, though. As he did with many positions, the 49ers coach wanted to see what some of the younger players could prove on the field. As a result, Pettis and second-year pro Kendrick Bourne, who was on 43 snaps, had the lion’s share of reps against the Broncos.

“We were going to feel it out as the week went,” Shanahan said of working Goodwin back into the lineup, as he had 24 snaps. “I thought he had a very good week of practice and got better, especially as the week went. He didn’t work at Z all week, but he was comfortable with it.

“Quise understands our offense pretty well. Just talking to him Saturday night and seeing where he was at, we told him if he felt good with it, we were going to throw him in at Z a little bit more so we could leave Dante on the field a little bit longer. He was up for the challenge and did a real good job in there.”

[RELATED: 49ers snap count report from win over Broncos]

Pettis had successes and challenges on the field. While he made some key plays, he also had a gut-wrenching drop. He finished the day catching three of his seven targets for 49 yards and one touchdown.

Shanahan explained Pettis' increased snap count hopefully will help the second-round draft pick be more consistent in the future.

“Yeah, that’s definitely the plan right now,” Shanahan said. “It started in Tampa [two weeks ago]. But that's something just realizing as coaches, Dante, we haven’t been ready to throw him out there a ton because he’s shown he’s not 100 percent fully ready to handle that.

“But what has been neat to watch him is, when we didn’t have a choice and had to throw him out there, he did some things that he wasn’t ready for that we anticipated. But, by going through it, he got better as the game went with it.

“He made some mistakes in Tampa in the first quarter that he was better in the second quarter and got him some experience that he needs. I thought he was better in Seattle after that. Just being out there playing more, he is a very smart guy who listens and understands what you’re saying. But you’ve always got to put athletes kind of through those situations so they can feel it themselves. He has, and he’s gotten better from it.”

Pettis has played in 10 games and caught 19 passes on 35 targets. He's currently second on the 49ers in receiving yards with 363, behind tight end George Kittle's 1,103. Goodwin is third with 359 yards.

49ers sign rookie safety Tyree Robinson off Cowboys' practice squad


49ers sign rookie safety Tyree Robinson off Cowboys' practice squad

The 49ers  signed rookie safety Tyree Robinson off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad on Tuesday in order to fill the roster spot that opened with wide receiver Pierre Garçon going on injured reserve.

Garçon underwent season-ending surgery on his knee Tuesday after missing the past four games with the condition. Garçon appeared in 16 games for the 49ers over the past two seasons. He caught 64 passes for 786 yards and one touchdown.

Robinson (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) originally signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie from Oregon. He was active for the Cowboys’ first two games of the season before he was waived and signed to the team’s practice squad.

The 49ers signed Robinson through the 2019 season. He will wear No. 49.

Robinson started 23 of the 52 games in which he appeared at Oregon. As a senior in 2017, he started 12 games and recorded 48 tackles, five passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

[RELATED: The 49ers Insider Podcast with undrafted RB Jeff Wilson Jr.]

The 49ers also made a move on their practice squad, signing tight end Marcus Lucas, who has previously been on six different practice practice squads: the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders. Lucas caught 130 passes for 1,638 yards in his four-year career at Missouri (2010-'13).

The 49ers signed Lucas after the Tennessee Titans signed tight end Cole Wick off the 49ers’ practice squad. Wick made the 49ers’ roster at the beginning of the regular season. He appeared in five games, but did not catch a pass.