The San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of training camp, and Monday’s practice featured a pair of franchise legends. Former quarterback Steve Young and former wide receiver Jerry Rice stopped by 49ers headquarters, dropping in with the team and talking to the players.
No matter who you are, it isn’t every day that you come across two Hall-of-Fame players. On Monday, the San Francisco 49ers were treated to just that when Steve Young and Jerry Rice made their way to training camp.
Invited by the franchise, the duo spoke to the team as a whole in which they focused on ‘how to re-establish the winning culture of previous 49ers glory days.’ This was safety Eric Reid on the visit from the two (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner):
"It was really cool because their pictures [are] all over this building, Reid said. They were just talking about that culture, how they did things and how everybody had each other’s back no matter what the situation was. Not like ‘I have got your back because you all can’t handle it and you all are playing terribly today.’ It’s ‘I got your back because we are in this together and we are going to dig each other out of this hole if we have a bad situation or a bad game.’ So it’s pretty cool to see them talking about it."
Later on in the speech, Young mentioned a story in which he detailed visiting the 49ers practice facility a few days after the team’s Super Bowl XXIX win and came upon someone working out on the field. That someone?
That desire to always be the best was on display Monday where Rice — who is 54 years old — lined up with the 49ers wide receivers and participated in workout drills. And he looked just fine out there:
Rice, suited up in athletic gear, was dressed for the occasion while Young took the more casual approach, donning a blue dress shirt and grey slacks.
The meeting as a whole is an extension of putting actions to words. When general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were handed the reins of the 49ers franchise, they both expressed wanting to incorporate the past greatness of the team.
That began earlier in the spring when Young attended practice as a spectator. This next visit was more involved, and shows that the new regime is doing its best to show that it cares about the 49ers and the history of the team. While it may seem superficial, trying to latch on prior success, it is a genuine attempt to create a positive culture in this 49ers rebuild.
We’re only a few months into the tenure of the new 49ers, but move after move shows advancements being made. It’s a long process, but the rebuild is slowly coming along.