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John Lynch says Reuben Foster is working on improving himself

Mar 21, 2018 at 10:57 AM--


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San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested twice in a month's span early in the offseason. In January, he was arrested for second-degree possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of domestic violence, threats, and possession of an assault weapon.

It hasn't been an ideal offseason for the linebacker, who heads into his second NFL season.

Foster has all the potential in the world – assuming he can stay out of trouble and remain healthy. While the latter troubled him during his rookie season last year, it is the former that has the 49ers and their fans concerned.

On Wednesday, general manager John Lynch joined Golic and Wingo on ESPN Radio, discussed the linebacker's offseason troubles, and how the 49ers are addressing it.

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"We're monitoring it closely," Lynch said. "We've had some really frank discussions with Reuben. Unfortunately, a lot of these things happen in the offseason when we aren't allowed to touch these guys. That's not an excuse. It's just a reality. During the season, Reuben was great. His biggest issue during the season was staying healthy, but when he was on the field, he's a difference maker.

"He's put himself in a couple of situations that you can't put yourself in. We're going to hold off judgment and let the legal process kind of work itself out. But Reuben's really working on improving himself such that he's equipped to make these decisions as to who he's surrounding himself with, what kind of situations he's putting himself in.

"We're going to let that play out but we believed in Reuben when we drafted him, and we really want to right now. But he's got to make some strides as well, and I think he's working hard to do that. We'll see where that all ends out.

"That's part of the deal. The draft, all these things aren't an exact science. You do your best to make good decisions and the idea that you're going to have 53 choir boys, it's not a reality. But you do have to have men of character, and it's something we stress. We look for that and we really felt, when we drafted Reuben, yeah, he grew up tough, but when you talk to people at Alabama, he's one of the leaders ... He makes people around him better.

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"But you also have to conduct yourself in a way off the field, and Reuben understands that. Like I said, he's working hard towards that."

Even newly signed cornerback Richard Sherman was asked about Foster's troubles and if his veteran leadership can benefit the young linebacker.

"If I can help him, I'll do my best," Sherman told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area following an introductory press conference on Tuesday.

Foster was the second of two first-round picks (No. 31 overall) by the 49ers in last year's draft and started 10 games while registering 72 combined tackles and a pass defensed. Foster missed six games with a high ankle sprain and a rib injury. During the 2017 season, he was named the Defensive Rookie of the Month for November.

Foster also finished the season with the team's highest player grade (90.7), according to Pro Football Focus.



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