Kyle Juszczyk

49ers' Kyle Juszczyk will add more 'unusual training' to offseason work

49ers' Kyle Juszczyk will add more 'unusual training' to offseason work

Folks have been forced to think outside the box to stay in shape during this era spent maintaining social distance amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. That includes the average and the super athletic, even pros who don’t have ideal access to workout space.

That’s why we saw 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk pulling a sled with his wife on it through the snow. Uphill both ways, as they used to say.

He also used a heavy tree branch for leg day and caught passes on the run with what looks like a sled, some rope and an associate weighing him down.

While “Rocky” workouts were fun, they were also necessary in the begging throes of this pandemic.

“Early in the offseason I moved into a new house in New York, so I was still getting my bearings in terms of where I would be training,” Juszczyk said. “I was fortunate that my wife’s family has a cabin in Upstate New York and while I was trying to figure things out and just get away from everything, I thought it was a great time to take advantage of some unusual training. That worked out perfectly.”

[RELATED: 49ers' Kittle uses old Jimmy G photos as Zoom background]

Juszczyk normally does some odd stuff during offseason training, and he might incorporate more of it after we all get back to normal.

“I like to do that type of stuff anyway in the offseason but not as much as I have this year,” Juszczyk said. “I’ve incorporated it just a bit more because it is harder to get into a gym or a standard facility. It is something I would do a little bit, I enjoyed it and I think it will help with my game. It’s always good to step out of box and do something you’re uncomfortable with that’s outside your typical routine. I think it’s really just going to help me out.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Just in case you missed here is Juszczyk braving the elements while getting some creative work in.

49ers' George Kittle uses old Jimmy Garoppolo photos as Zoom background

49ers' George Kittle uses old Jimmy Garoppolo photos as Zoom background

Hey George Kittle, what was Jimmy Garoppolo's chin line like back in middle school? Asking for a friend.

Why are we talking about Jimmy G, the middle school student?

Because, according to 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, the All-Pro tight end has been busting out old images of his quarterback during team Zoom meetings.

"Recently, we've been doing offensive skill meetings together where [49ers coach] Kyle [Shanahan] has been running the meetings himself," Juszczyk said Tuesday during a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "And we usually start the day with some banter. Jimmy, he's always involved. We have a very close-knit group and we can all poke fun at each other. People love throwing up old pictures as their background. Kittle is the king of it, as you would imagine, of always keeping things light and putting up pictures of Jimmy from middle school or high school prom or whoever it is. So, we have a good time with it, but then we always buckle down and we get a lot of really good work in."

That's amazing. We want to know where Kittle got the images. And we need screenshots from these Zoom meetings.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Aside from Kittle embarrassing Garoppolo, Juszczyk went into great detail about the 49ers' Zoom meeting during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"We've done a number of different things," Juszczyk said. "We've had position meetings where I've been with the running backs and it's just us. Kyle loves to come in and interrupt and crack some jokes and just kind of keep things loose, and really just check in with us on a personal level, just see how everyone's doing, what's going on at home, kind of get away from the football for a second. Other than that, we're football all the way in our running back meetings."

Zoom meetings can never replace on-field work, but Juszczyk is enjoying the change of pace.

"It's been super refreshing, to be totally honest with you, how much work we have been getting done in these Zoom meetings and how much I've been able to learn going into my eighth year and playing in this offense for quite a while now," Juszczyk said. "We've really been able to dive into the nitty gritty and the details of this offense because we don't have anything that we're really preparing for that ... we don't have practice where we have to get ready for a certain script and we have to run these plays this week, so we have to install them quickly and we can't really go over them to thoroughly.

"That's not the case right now. We can really go through everything thoroughly and learn as an entire group, where wide receivers are learning exactly what the tight ends are being coached when we're in these offensive skill meetings with Kyle. And across the board, everybody is learning what everyone else is learning. So it has been refreshing and I think it has been really productive."

[RELATED: Juszczyk expects Garoppolo to be better]

No one knows when the 49ers players will be able to return to the training facility in Santa Clara, but for the time being, they are still learning the playbook and getting to look at embarrassing photos of Jimmy G.

So, at least the quarantine hasn't been boring for the 49ers.

49ers' Kyle Juszczyk shares cool story on Joe Staley's competitiveness

49ers' Kyle Juszczyk shares cool story on Joe Staley's competitiveness

The 49ers have arranged a few video conferences with their players each week since the NFL draft ended, and everyone talking to local reporters gets asked for a favorite Joe Staley memory.

The fun part about how the recently retired All-Decade left tackle has been recalled: Every story is different. Every story is lighthearted and fun, with a prime example of how much Staley loved the game. The variety also speaks to the individual impacts he had on so many. 

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk had a good one Tuesday, recalling a bus ride back to the airport the Monday after losing Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It was understood Staley was contemplating retirement after an arduous postseason run he played through despite significant neck issues that ultimately led him to walk away from the game.

Staley said early in that ride to the airport that he was done. Juszczyk provided some push back.

“I’m like, ‘Come on, Joe,” Juszczyk said. “We still need you, man. At least give it another year.’”

Staley pondered the alternative and quickly softened his stance.

“Then 10 minutes go by and he was 50-50 and he had to think about it,” Juszczyk said. “Then another 10 minutes go by and he says he thinks he might come back, that he should give [the decision] some more time. Then, by the time we get to the airplane, he's saying that he’s coming back and that he’s got to play.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

These Staley anecdotes always speak to his competitiveness and desire to keep playing.

“Things obviously didn’t turn out that way but you could just see the wheels turning in his head as he was thinking about it,” Juszczyk said. “You could see the type of competitor he was and how much he really loved the game. Under perfect conditions I’m sure he would love to be out there with us [next season], but Joe will have a lasting impression on me.”

[RELATED: Why 49ers' Williams trade is top-10 move of NFL offseason]

The fullback went a step further, saying Staley’s one of his favorite teammates. Like, ever. That’s a sentiment echoed time and again as featured 49ers say how great he was in the locker room and on the field over a storied career.

“He kept things light but was also a consummate professional,” Juszczyk said. “He was always willing to put his body on the line out there. I’ve seen him battle through so many injuries and be happy to do it.

"He had an unbelievable career and he has been a phenomenal teammate.”