Merton Hanks was an NFL defensive back before he became the guy in charge of issuing fines to NFL defensive backs. And he says theres no doubt in his mind that those fines have changed the way defensive backs do their jobs.
Hanks, whose title in the league office is Vice President for Football Operations, told the New York Times that there was a player in this seasons Jaguars-Titans game who had a clear shot at a tackle but let the receiver go by and get to the end zone for a touchdown - which was presumably a result of feeling uncertain about whether he had a proper angle to hit the receiver without drawing a flag.
As a former defensive player, I cant tell you Im happy about this, Hanks said. The fact of the matter is guys, when they are unsure, they are turning down hits. Thats a paradigm shift in our league. Usually, you make the hit and well figure it out later.
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On April 27, the 49ers selected Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
As of Thursday afternoon, he remains unsigned.
49ers general manager John Lynch addressed the media on Thursday and was asked about the defensive lineman's status.
Thomas missed most of the 49ers' offseason program because NFL rules stipulate that rookies who have not completed their undergraduate degrees are ineligible to join on a full-time basis until after their schools' final classes of the spring semester.
Stanford's late schedule put Thomas a little behind schedule.
“We have our iPads, so I’ll be able to watch film from that,” Thomas said in mid-May. “I talk to Josh (Garnett) quite a bit, and he’ll give me advice on how to go through this process – how to stay in touch, just keep learning along the way and keep progressing along the way.”
UPDATE (12:40pm on Thursday) -- The 49ers posted the following video to Twitter:
Reuben Foster is ready to rock and roll.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan provided an update on the rookie linebacker on Thursday:
According to Shanahan, no players will be on the PUP or NFI when camp opens.
As NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco wrote in mid-June:
Foster, the No. 31 overall pick in the draft, was the subject of national reports that he would require another surgery and could miss his entire rookie season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, citing a “well-placed source,” that Foster’s surgery “didn’t take.”
After the 49ers drafted him, Foster disputed the reports.
“That’s not accurate at all,” Foster said in April. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
Foster 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.
He underwent surgery on his rotator cuff that forced him to sit out drills at the NFL scouting combine in February. Foster was sent home from Indianapolis after an argument with a hospital worker while he was waiting to undergo a physical.
The 49ers' first preseason game is in Kansas City on Friday, Aug. 11.