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Mini-camp Around The Corner
April 23 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The draft is over. Many of us are already exhibiting NFL withdrawal symptoms. Have no worry though, the 49ers first mini-camp is just around the corner. The camp will begin April 26th, and will give us all our first glimpse of the 49ers draft picks in 49ers colors. The first mini-camp also gives us our first look at what players are in shape and have improved their physical abilities over the off-season.

An interesting change to the 49ers this off-season was headed up by defensive tackle and two time 49er, Dana Stubblefield. Stubblefield convinced nearly all of the defensive players to take part in the 49ers off-season conditioning program. The program involved the players training together. Although there were still some players who trained away from the 49ers facilities, for the most part, the time conditioning together should improve relations between the players and thus improve the chemistry on the defensive side of the ball.

The mini-camp will give us and the 49ers staff an opportunity to see how this type of off-season commitment has paid off. And if it's successful, it may carry over to the offense as well. Imagine the benefits of Jeff Garcia throwing Stokes and Owens passes instead of a trainer. Imagine the benefit of the running backs working out together learning how each other move etc. It's something the team works on all season, but if it could carry over to the the off-season on a voluntary basis, the team could be that much more potent.

This weekend's mini-camp will be more than just an introduction for the new players on the team. It will be the first step to a successful 2002-3 season, and may change the tradition of how the 49ers players handle their off-season workout regimens in the future.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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