SANTA CLARA -- While working out around the 49ers facility over the last year or two, Joe Staley would often see Ray McDonald and Justin Smith throwing punches into training mitts worn by strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama or one of their defensive teammates.It's nothing unusual. All linemen need strong and quick hands, and many have turned to boxing or some form of martial arts training to help foster that.Andre Carter flashed his black belt skills in Tae Kwon Do on the 49ers practice fields a decade ago. Aldon Smith, the Defensive Rookie of the Year, came to the 49ers with both boxing and martial arts training in his background.A five-year veteran of the league, Staley had never opted for a boxing workout. But when he and his offensive linemates noticed a difference in their defensive counterparts during practices last season, they decided it was time to start."We've really seen, especially in Ray McDonald, the carry over in how tight his hands are and how it's really escalated his game," Staley said. "We kind of brought it to (offensive line coach Mike Solari), and he saw Mark working with Ray one day and was like, 'Yes, we need to be doing that.' "With their position coach on board, all of the 49ers offensive linemen started throwing different combinations Uyeyama's way during this year's offseason workouts. Staley admits, it was awkward at first. Like Staley, most of the O-line has never boxed before so it's something they're all getting used to."It's fun though. It's good for keeping the hands up and getting the hands on," is how Alex Boone describes it. "I like it. It's a lot of fun. A workout."After seeing the difference it's made for the 49ers defensive line, it's a workout they're going to stick with."I think it's going to have the same effect on us. We're all about hand punch, hand placement," Staley explained. "Any little thing we can do that can make us better football players we're willing to try it."
The 49ers signed LB Shayne Skov to a one-year deal, the team announced on Thursday.
Skov (6-3, 247) rejoins the 49ers after spending the previous three years (2014-16) with the team. In his career, he has appeared in 24 games and registered two tackles and 12 tackles on special teams. He was waived by the team on May 2, 2017.
A 27-year-old native of San Francisco, CA, Skov attended Stanford University, where he registered 355 tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, five forced fumbles and 13 passes defensed for the Cardinal. He was named a First-Team All-Pac-12 and Second-Team All-American selection in 2013.
Skov will wear number 46.
SANTA CLARA – Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster will be held out of contact drills on Thursday in a joint practice with the Denver Broncos due to a shoulder injury, the 49ers announced.
A team official described Foster’s injury as a “mild AC joint sprain” and unrelated to the surgery he underwent in February on his right shoulder. The 49ers medical staff was seen working on his right shoulder Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
Afterward, 49ers general manager John Lynch said he spoke to Foster and he did not believe there was any significant issue.
Said Lynch, “I talked to him and like Reuben, big smile, said, ‘I’m straight.’ And, so he’s good. He’s straight.”
Foster, who was medically cleared to take part in full contract drills on the eve of training camp, has not missed a practice this summer. He also played 27 snaps in the 49ers’ exhibition opener last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Foster’s right shoulder was reportedly a topic of concern among NFL teams. Foster said he sustained the tear of the labrum in his right shoulder during Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He played in the championship game against Clemson with the injury.
Considered a Top 10 draft pick, Foster was not chosen until the 49ers traded up from the second round, in a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, to select him with the No. 31 overall pick.