Sopoaga proved his infatuation once again on Tuesday, as one of the defense’s longest tenured players admitted just how much fun he’s having during offseason practices.
In Sopoaga’s case, the seven-year pro still finds plenty of ways to entertain himself, whether it’s playing catch with the equipment staff before the OTA sessions or conversing with various teammates during special teams periods.
On Tuesday, Sopoaga’s enthusiasm was on full display with the defense working primarily in sub packages.
Sopoaga’s role, mainly as a base down player, made the lineman quite antsy on the sidelines at times. The man known as “Ice” wasn’t cold to the notion of getting the work in however.
“Today was more of a sub practice, but I understand I have a part in it,” Sopoaga admitted. “I’m just used to playing base defense, getting 30-40 snaps a day.”
With only two defensive linemen rotating in on each play, Sopoaga had to do more waiting than playing.
“For some of us it’s good and bad to have a lighter day,” Sopoaga said. “I just don’t like waiting. I love this game and I love this sport. Everything I can do on the football field, I love it.”
Equally important to the amount of reps, is learning the appropriate practice speed, that’s according to fellow veteran defensive lineman
The nine-year pro (second year with San Francisco) values OTA practices not just because of the camaraderie that’s built amongst teammates and coaches, but the lessons you can impart on younger teammates.
“These workouts show the younger guys how to practice. When you get later in the season, guys won’t be able to just run into each other, because guys will be banged up,” Evans explained. “But you still have to get in good work. Coaches want to see that you’re able to practice at that tempo now, so when it gets to that time of the year, they know you can get the work done.”
With two OTA sessions, and a three-day minicamp on the horizon, the veterans anticipate a strong final week of practice before the players head their separate ways prior to training camp.
“It’s good to end everything on a good note. It’s the last couple of days of practice and that’s what the coaches will remember you by,” Evans said. “You want to show them that your mind isn’t on that plane already and that you’re ready to work. We have plenty of time off, so I think it’s good to leave a good impression in these last days of practice.”
Sopoaga will miss chasing down teammates like
But it’s not like Sopoaga will be far from team headquarters. He plans to work out frequently in the facility, watch film and spend time with head coach Mike Singletary over the break.
“I’ll be close to our facility,” Sopoaga said. “I don’t want to miss our 49ers atmosphere.”
Notes and Quotes
Smith opened up the team period with a laser of a pass on a quick slant to wide receiver
Like Morgan, tight end
Smith was picked off later in practice, when his deep ball over the middle intended for Crabtree got hung up in a big gust of wind. Safety
TV49 caught up with some of the new faces on the 49ers defense, and some players playing in new places. One of the new faces, outside linebacker