At the request of San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, former linebacker Keena Turner spoke to the entire team before Tuesday's practice about the impact Dwight Clark had on the franchise. Turner currently serves as the team's Vice President and Special Advisor to the General Manager and is a former teammate of Clark, who passed away on Monday after a battle with ALS.

"(Dwight was) such a good person, so special to this place," Shanahan told reporters after Tuesday's practice. "We had Keena talk to the team a little bit about him today to tell them what type of guy he was. Just to hear how he was in the locker room, it wasn't a coincidence that team was so tight. To hear the type of teammate he was, the type of friend he was to people like Keena and the rest of the team, that's what we're trying to build here.

"That's why they had a great culture then. It started out with great people, starting with Dwight, and that's what we're trying to emulate. I've got a lot of respect for that guy, and he's going to be greatly missed."


During Tuesday's practice, 49ers coaches and team employees wore the shirts handed out to fans at Levi's Stadium on October 22, 2017, for "Dwight Clark Day."

"I didn't get to see him at the halftime ceremony just because of obvious things with game day," Shanahan said. "I saw him about a month before then, and he came up and spent some time with us the weekend before that draft where John (Lynch) and I got to hang out with him in the draft room and just talk ball for about an hour or so.

"I got to see him a little bit, obviously not enough, but it was good when I did."

Shanahan moved to the Bay Area with his parents when he was in sixth grade. His father, Mike Shanahan, served as the 49ers' offensive coordinator from 1992 until 1994 and was part of the team which won Super Bowl XXIX.

"Within a week of being here, I knew all about [The Catch]," Shanahan said. "I spent sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade as a ball boy up there. I got to spend a lot of time with Dwight ... I just know how great of a person he was where everyone else knows the player he was.

"Over the last year, just being here, being able to see him a number of times up in the building, got to talk to him last on draft day last year, and he hasn't changed a bit."

The younger generation may have no idea what Clark meant to the 49ers organization, Bay Area, and the NFL world, but Shanahan makes sure his kids at least know. Shanahan wore No. 87 as a receiver in college. His kids thought the No. 87 jerseys around Levi's Stadium were in honor of their father.

"My kids see 87 jerseys walking around this place, and they're like, 'Dad, I can't believe they're wearing your jersey.'" Shanahan said. "(I) tell them, 'That's Dwight. That was the man, so don't get that mistaken.'"

One thing Turner told the players before Tuesday's practice, "It's not about how you died, but it's about how you lived."

"I think anyone who knows (Clark), who's has been around him, he lived a great life and left a huge imprint," Shanahan said.