49ers

Richard Sherman's offseason workout routine unaffected by coronavirus

Richard Sherman's offseason workout routine unaffected by coronavirus

Whether it be during a press conference or on Twitter, Richard Sherman makes sure his voice is heard. The 49ers' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee last season has questions like the rest of us during the coronavirus pandemic, and he is responding to those helping with answers. 

As far as his offseason workout routine goes, shelter in place rules haven't affected the star cornerback quite yet.

Sherman doesn't ramp up his workouts this early in the offseason. The 31-year-old (he turns 32 on March 30) told Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer that he's more of a "Peloton guy" right now. Sherman gets his conditioning in on an indoor stationary bike and on the basketball court at this point of the year. 

The Seattle training facility that Sherman works out in still is open and everyone there is wearing gloves and cleaning machines after they’re used. 

"With my routine, I don’t really ramp until we get closer to the season anyway,” Sherman said to Breer. “I wouldn’t need an offseason program, I think most veterans would tell you that." 

Sherman, who was named second-team All-Pro last season, looked at the 2011 NFL lockout, which lasted 132 days from March 11 to July 25, as an example that players can turn to at this moment.

"The lockout year, that was my rookie year, we went straight into the season, and it wasn’t really a concern for us," Sherman explained. "For a lot of us, that stuff’s a waste of time. It’s good for the young guys, but not as much for a guy who’s 10 years into playing in a scheme.”

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Sherman recorded three interceptions over 15 regular-season games for the 49ers last season. In the playoffs, he added two more -- one in each of San Francisco's first two games. 

He is entering the final season of his three-year contract with the 49ers.

49ers safety Jake Thieneman teams with non-profit to produce ventilators

49ers safety Jake Thieneman teams with non-profit to produce ventilators

A year ago, safety Jake Thieneman placed himself on the radars of prospective NFL teams with a strong showing during his pro day at Purdue.

Now, as a member of the 49ers, he is sheltering-in-place and working out in the basement of his parents’ home in Carmel, Indiana. He is also trying to do his part to lend assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shut down the sporting world – not to mention normal life.

Thieneman teamed up with Boston-based The Ventilator Project, a quickly organized non-profit that plans to produce up to 60,000 low-cost ventilators a month while fears continue that there are not enough of the devices to meet the demands.

“There will always be a need for ventilators,” Thieneman told NBC Sports Bay Area. “There’s constantly a need. Globally, there’s an even a bigger need.

“Ventilator shortages are not just a unique problem during this time, during COVID-19. Globally, there’s a need for ventilators in developing countries.”

Thieneman entered the NFL last year as an undrafted rookie. He initially signed with the New York Giants, then spent time with the Indianapolis Colts during training camp. The 49ers signed him to their practice squad in mid-December.

Thieneman remained with the 49ers through their run to the Super Bowl. Then, the club signed him to their 90-man offseason roster immediately following the season.

Thieneman, a mechanical engineering major, is splitting his time between preparing himself for whenever the NFL opens its doors and doing his part to lend assistance during the pandemic.

Alex Frost, founder of FloraBot, and Tyler Mantel, founder of Watertower Robotics, co-founded The Ventilator Project on March 20. Thieneman got involved through Mantel’s brother, a close friend from his time at Purdue.

Thieneman’s role is to provide publicity and help in the fund-raising for the project. Three days after the plan was hatched, the project had 15 engineers helping with the design of the ventilators, he said. Now, there are approximately 200 individuals working on the task.

The goal is for the non-profit organization to deliver ventilators as quickly as possible to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients in the United States and around the world.

A hospital-grade ventilator can cost up to $50,000. The Ventilator Project aims to provide the essentials without the unnecessary accessories and for just a fraction of the cost. The expectation is to provide ventilators that cost no more than $2,000 apiece.

“From the start, it was designed to be entirely sourced with parts that are not currently in the medical supply industry so that we’re not taking away medical supplies that hospitals and other networks need,” Thieneman said.

The Ventilator Project will use materials that are readily available and can go to manufacturing quickly, he said.

“Currently, we have a working prototype that is fully functional,” Thieneman said. “We’re going through the FDA approval process right now.

“We expect, after FDA approval, to be able to produce 1,000 units in the first month, then hopefully scale up to 60,000 a month after that.”

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The initial fundraising goal is $100,000, Thieneman said, which would get the project through FDA approval and the first 1,000 units. Then, as the production increases so will the costs.

“We’ll need additional funds so we can scale up our manufacturing to full scale,” Thieneman said.

For more information on the non-profit organization and to make a donation, visit their website: TheVentilatorProject.org.

NFL Draft 2020: DeForest Buckner trade could have 49ers add D-lineman

NFL Draft 2020: DeForest Buckner trade could have 49ers add D-lineman

NBC Sports Bay Area will preview the NFL Draft with a look at the 49ers’ top needs, profiles of prospects that might fit their needs, along with some hidden gems. In this installment we examine why the 49ers have a need at defensive line.

General manager John Lynch highlighted his plan a year ago to build a dominant defensive line.

The 49ers accomplished that goal with the additions of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford to go along with DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead as the headliners.

The defensive line still is one of the strengths of the 49ers, but it might not be as dominant without Buckner, the team MVP who was shipped to the Indianapolis Colts in a trade for the No. 13 overall draft pick.

The 49ers still have good depth on the defensive line, but they found out a year ago that a team can never have too many big-bodied players across the front line. Injuries took a toll on the 49ers, with Ronald Blair, D.J. Jones, Jullian Taylor, Kentavius Street and Damontre Moore going on injured reserve.

Armstead, Bosa and Jones figure to be on the field for most base downs. Ford will play some early downs, but he is best saved for pass-rush situations.

Solomon Thomas and Blair, who is coming off a torn ACL, should have significant roles, too. Taylor, Street, Kerry Hyder and Kevin Givens will compete for roles in the rotation.

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The 49ers are scheduled to have first-round picks at Nos. 13 and 31 overall. Then, they do not have another selection until the fifth round. The 49ers’ two picks on Day 1 gives Lynch some opportunities to move around.

While most of the attention for the 49ers’ first pick has been on the wide receivers, it is entirely possible a defensive lineman could factor into the 49ers’ thinking on Day 1.

Will Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown still be available at No. 13? That’s probably unlikely. But if he’s there, would he be at the top of the 49ers’ list ahead of the best-available wide receiver?

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Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina) is projected to be selected in the middle of the first round. Or, perhaps, later in the round, the 49ers could go after Ross Blacklock (TCU), K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU) or A.J. Epenesa (Iowa).

The 49ers do not necessarily need a player to step in and replace Buckner, who played more snaps than any other lineman during his four seasons with the club. But the 49ers can use a player who can play a specified role early in his career to enable the club to better move on without Buckner.