49ers

Roger Goodell addresses unemployment of former 49ers safety Eric Reid

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AP

Roger Goodell addresses unemployment of former 49ers safety Eric Reid

ORLANDO, Fla – Eric Reid remains on the open market a fortnight into NFL’s free-agent signing period. He’s a quality defensive back, someone surely deserving of an NFL job.

The safety doesn’t have one yet, which has raised eyebrows and questions about whether his decision to kneel for the national anthem in protest of social injustice toward minorities plays a role in his unemployment.

Reid, who played his first five seasons with the 49ers, joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling for the national anthem in the 2016 preseason, which started a movement across the league.

Many believe Kaepernick remains unemployed – he was unsigned last year – because he has been outspoken about a push for social change.

Reid has taken a similar stance. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about Reid’s case Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings and the message it could send to players who stand with Kaepernick.

“I’ve said this repeatedly to you. The 32 teams make individual decisions on the players who are going to best help their franchises,” Goodell said. “Those are decisions they have to make. They do that every day in the best interest of winning. Teams make those decisions. I’m not directly involved with that.”

Reid said last week a few teams had contacted his agent but no visits were set up. He also said he would no longer kneel during the anthem, a vow Kaepernick made last year but didn’t change his employment status. He also said he doesn’t regret his decision to protest and speak out on social issues.

“I stand by what I’ve done,” Reid said. “I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident I did what I was called to do. I’m just gong to stay positive and keep trying to stay in shape and wait and see what happens.

"I said at the end of last season I’m OK no matter what happens.”

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was asked about Kaepernick’s inability to find a job on Tuesday, and said he was surprised the quarterback was not in the NFL.

"I think there's a lot of intrigue there," Gruden said Tuesday at the coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. "His performance on the field wasn't very good, on tape. I think, Robert Griffin, a Rookie of the Year, [I'm] surprised he's out there. Tim Tebow takes a team to the playoffs, there's some surprise that he never came back. You know, Johnny Manziel, he's out there."

"Back to Kaepernick, he got beat out by [Blaine] Gabbert to start the [2016] season. I think that says something. [But] I am surprised he's not in camp with somebody. He probably will be soon."

Why Kyle Shanahan had to abort rep with Jimmy Garoppolo at 49ers minicamp

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AP

Why Kyle Shanahan had to abort rep with Jimmy Garoppolo at 49ers minicamp

Jimmy Garoppolo was moving along in his rehab from the torn ACL he suffered in Week 3 of the 2018 season.

So, toward the end of minicamp, head coach Kyle Shanahan wanted to get his quarterback a rep or two in 11-on-11s. Shanahan's instructions to his defensive line were to stand still with their hands up and to not touch the franchise quarterback.

Shanahan's orders were heard, but the instincts of his defense took over and the head coach had to jump in to avoid catastrophe. 

"The animals that they are, why we love them, they couldn't help it," Shanahan told ESPN about his defensive line during the drill. "I saw it, so I stopped it. I wasn't going to mess with it."

After the minor heart attack, Shanahan was able to laugh it off. 

"I liked it, after I got over it," Shanahan said.

Exhale, Niners fans.

[RELATED: These three players are most important to 49ers' success in 2019]

Garoppolo has proclaimed himself "good to go" as training camp approaches, but hopefully, the 49ers' defensive line gets the memo during the next drill.

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo working with 'quarterback whisperer' Tom House

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USATSI

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo working with 'quarterback whisperer' Tom House

The work 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has in front of him won't be as enduring as the rehabilitation process -- that's the good news. But he's not out of the woods yet.

After suffering a torn ACL in his left knee last September, all of his focus can be concentrated on taking himself to the next level to become the best he can be. That means bringing in the talents of Tom House.

House, a "quarterback whisperer," has coached the names of Drew Brees, Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, and Jimmy G's former teammate, Tom Brady. 

"When he shows up, you know what you're going to get," House told ESPN's Nick Wagoner.

Garoppolo was described by House as being "humble and hungry for success," just as the other, star quarterbacks are. That makes House's job much easier.

For the next month or so, Jimmy G will work with the staff at 3DQB, House and CEO Adam Dedeaux, motion mechanics instructor John Beck and motion expert Taylor Kelly on everything -- and I mean everything. The 3DQB plan includes fundamental throwing mechanics, sure, but they also monitor Garoppolo's nutrition and sleep.

He won't be alone in some of the training sessions but didn't name names of teammates that would be joining him.

"During these 40 days, you do so many different things, physical, mental," Garoppolo said. "You're trying to recover at the same time [as] getting ready for training camp. I think just having the timing of the offense down, being in rhythm with the receivers that I'll work with and everything, and just getting comfortable. It's been a little while since I've been in 11-on-11 football, so just getting as comfortable as I can as quickly as I can."

House, aware of Garoppolo's medical rehab, wants to make sure the next steps are the right ones for the two-time Super Bowl champ.

"As the performance part of the rehab, we are working in lockstep with the medical rehab," House said. "We just make sure to coordinate accordingly. You don't want to undo anything the medical has done, and you don't want to overdo anything on the performance side. When you've got a guy like Jimmy -- and I had met him and got to know him a little bit when he was with the Patriots -- and obviously he gets along really well with the young coaches on our staff, so it was a good fit in both directions."   

But there's no rush.

"I think all of that will come with time," Garoppolo said. "I'll try to implement as many drills as I can during these 40 days or so. But, I think once until the bullets start flying and everything, then we'll really see."

House pitched for seven seasons in Major League Baseball across three teams. He earned his Ph.D. in Sports/Performance Psychology while he was becoming a pitching coach. He began working with quarterbacks in 2006 when Brees was rehabbing a dislocated right shoulder. 

[RELATED: Jimmy G on work he did with Mike Shanahan]

Since then, he's worked with just about every notable quarterback you can imagine. Brees himself said House doesn't stop at the physical but works with the individual whole. Brees mentioned in his book, "Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Power of Adversity," coming into training camp for that season, he was a different player than before. "I was coming back stronger and better than ever."

It appears Jimmy G's newest coach and his staff are the perfect guys to have in your corner.