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49ers Kick Off Mini-Camp
April 27 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers first three day mini-camp began on Friday. Nearly the entire eighty man roster was in attendance. The few exceptions included the players participating in NFL Europe, and Ray Brown who is no longer in the teams future plans. The camp began with orientation, and will culminate in the annual "beep drill" that Jeff Garcia has won twice over two years.

It is hard to look at the 49ers and not see Ray Brown as part of the team. An truly kind person, Brown is a player the 49ers will miss despite him being 40 years old. Brown is expected to be released after June first the fiscal end of the NFL year. Brown, who made the Pro Bowl last season opted not to retire, choosing to return to football for at least one more season.

While filling Brown's place is not going to happen easily, the 49ers brought in free agent Ron Stone who should be up to the task. Stone along with fellow free agents Tony Parrish and Sean Moran had their first practices with their new team during this mini-camp.

Dana Stubblefield has continued to be a leader for the defensive unit. He has insisted that the defensive squad all participate in the 49ers off-season conditioning program, and nearly everyone has. Stubblefield continued his role during the camp, leading stretches and other short activities.

The infamous "beep drill" is a cardiovascular workout if there ever was one. Players line up be hind a line, and have to race to a parallel spot opposite them whenever a beep from a loud speaker is played. There is rest time between each beep, but it continues to get shorter. Each position is given a minimum number of beeps that it must achieve before members from the squad can step out of the drill. The idea is to see who can last longest -and Jeff Garcia is not planning on relinquishing his title any time soon.

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