Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Harold and Blair will join Buckner and Armstead to train in Hawaii with Michael Bennett

Jun 28, 2017 at 9:22 AM--


NFL players are currently enjoying the time off that they have between their offseason program and the start of minicamp. However, that doesn't mean that they will use the approximately six weeks to just relax at home. Many will take part in outside training programs, workouts, and other activities to keep in shape and better prepare their minds and bodies for training camp and the regular season.

One such player who has taken the initiative during players' time off is Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who leads what has been described as a "gruesome" workout in the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The player-led program also includes workouts at the Hawaii Optimum Performance gym in Honolulu as well as other locations on the island. This year's training program will kick off next week.

In 2015, Bennett worked out side-by-side with just teammate Cliff Avril. Last year, the group expanded to include about a dozen NFL players, including San Francisco 49ers defensive linemen Arik Armstead and then-rookie DeForest Buckner.

"I didn't even know Mike and he just texted me out of the blue," Buckner said last year. "Just learning from him, I am very grateful."

The 10-day program includes running and agility drills and, this year, Armstead and Buckner won't be the only 49ers taking part. Linebacker Eli Harold, who was on the Taylor Price Talk podcast this week, said that he and Ronald Blair would be joining Armstead and Buckner in Hawaii to train with Bennett and numerous other NFL players.

Together, the group will work on cardio and pass-rushing techniques in order to improve their overall game and lengthen their careers. It's interesting because the 49ers and Seahawks are in the same division. So a highly respected defensive end like Bennett working with players from a division rival to help improve their game is admirable and it is something that the participants have come to appreciate.

Last year, Buckner said that he picked up some of Bennett's pass-rush moves during the training program. Buckner went on to play in 1,007 regular season snaps and compiled 73 tackles and six sacks. The veterans within the group of participants – like then-Detroit Lions defensive end Wallace Gilberry (now with the Cincinnati Bengals) – also helped Buckner with his footwork.

"Just a whole bunch of different moves," Buckner said. "Just working on our hands and making it more natural so when we get into situations in the game, we know what to do."

What does Bennett hope to accomplish with his training program?

"I just want to show people that Hawaii is just as good as Arizona or Florida or California to train," Bennett said last year. "I want athletes from around the world to know that there's a place that they can come to in Hawaii and also have an atmosphere where they can have fun with their family. You know, all the other places you go to, LA, it's not fun for your kids. Hawaii is fun for your kids, snorkeling, and everything. So why not come here and train with us at our gym?"

Armstead was the 49ers' second-highest graded pass rusher last season behind just Buckner, according to Pro Football Focus. However, a shoulder injury that had plagued him since training camp ended his season early.

"A lot of people don't see the hard work that we put in on the offseason," Armstead said last year prior to his second trip to Bennett's training program. "I think they think everyone is just relaxing and chilling, but we're preparing for the year. We're training hard and I think it will pay off in the year."

Harold, a newcomer to the training program, said on the Taylor Price Talk podcast that he gained 23 pounds last offseason at the request of the 49ers' previous regime.

"I just want to get back to my old ways, man," Harold said. "I feel like I have yet to really do that because rookie year, I was very uncomfortable being a rookie and just learning the ropes. And then last year, I blew up like a freaking balloon and I've never been as big. I feel like that played a part in my toe injury being that heavy when I've never been that big. Gaining 23 pounds in the offseason is just unheard of in the NFL.

"Being at the weight I am now, I feel very comfortable, very explosive. I feel like I got a little more pep in my step. I got my step back so all that is going to help me going into year three. I'm excited. It's a real big year for me. I feel like I have a lot to prove not only to fans but to the rest of the NFL. I can't wait, man. I'm definitely going to play with a big chip on my shoulder this year."

Harold spoke about his first trip to Bennett's training program.

"Being with a guy like Michael, first and foremost, he's in the top 100 each and every year," Harold said. "That's a place where I want to be in the near future so picking his brain is first and foremost what I'm going to do and the main reason why I wanted to go to Hawaii with those guys."

Harold also said that another important aspect of the trip is bonding with his teammates and absorbing as much knowledge from the numerous players that will be participating.

"What I learn there, we'll be able to bring that back," Harold added.

* Some quotes from last year courtesy of KHON2 in Hawaii





More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers check on Ronald Blair, visit with D-lineman

By David Bonilla
Apr 7, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers recently hosted defensive end Ronald Blair for a visit. The team released him on March 12. The 28-year-old defensive lineman has spent each of his five NFL seasons with the Niners. Although, he did not play in 2020. Ronald Blair visited 49ers— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 7, 2021 The 49ers made Blair a fifth-round selection out of Appalachian State in 2016. He last



'Many' 49ers players join those choosing to skip voluntary in-person workouts

By David Bonilla
Apr 17, 2021

The NFL recently announced a restructured offseason schedule that won't see players take part in in-person team activities until after May 17. Even after that, any on-field work will be restricted to no-contact drills. Everything until then will be conducted virtually. Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Las Vegas Raiders players have banded together and announced via NFL Players Association (NFLPA) statements that they will forgo



Falcons, Patriots, Broncos to join 49ers at Trey Lance's second pro day

By David Bonilla
9 hrs ago

The San Francisco 49ers are practically running Trey Lance's second pro day, per a report on Sunday night from ESPN's Dan Graziano. Private quarterback coach John Beck, who remains close with Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan, has been working with the young quarterback for weeks at the request of San Francisco. Beck worked with Shanahan for two seasons (2010-2011) when Beck was a quarterback with the Washington Football Team and Shanahan was the offensive coordinator there. That gives him great insight into what the Niners coach is looking for in a quarterback. "I know how he's going to coach quarterbacks,"



Rapoport confirms 49ers' Shanahan and Lynch will attend 2nd pro days of Justin Fields and Trey Lance

By David Bonilla
Apr 12, 2021

Peter King of NBC Sports was the first to report that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch would be in attendance for the second pro days of both Justin Fields of Ohio State and Trey Lance of North Dakota State. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media confirmed that report this morning. #OSU QB Justin Fields has his second Pro Day on Wednesday and


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone