The San Francisco 49ers had a talk with their young linebacker, Reuben Foster, and the message was clear: Stay out of trouble from here on out.

"That's the message that came through, and I respect it," Foster said on Saturday regarding the conversation he had with general manager John Lynch and company. "They stood by me, though. A brotherhood."

Foster appears to be on a short leash following a drama-filled offseason that could have quickly ended his NFL career. Instead, he will miss just two games to start the regular season.

"That's painful," Foster said of the suspension. "It's football. It's something I do, something I love. It is what it is. You accept the consequences. You move on. You take, and you move on. You learn from it too, and you grow from it."

Foster was arrested twice this offseason. The first time on January 12 for second-degree possession of marijuana in Alabama and a second time on February 11 for suspected domestic violence.

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The judge in the case stemming from the second arrest later dropped the more serious charges leaving Foster sentenced to probation and community service for a remaining weapons charge. The linebacker completed a diversion course in Alabama, which allowed the first case to be dismissed.

Saturday was the first time Foster spoke with the media since the arrests. He had his typical smile and knew the tough questions would come, but he didn't want to discuss the arrests in too much detail.

One detail Foster was willing to share was his appreciation for teammates like Richard Sherman, who supported him through the process and were there for him in the courtroom.

"I respect Richard Sherman for that," Foster said. "Coming to court, supporting me. Just being there for me. In the hard times, he don't know truth or false but, at the same time, he waited patiently just like me."

Foster knows he will have to work even harder from here on out. He acknowledged that he has to work as hard at life as he does at football.

"It made me appreciate football a lot better," Foster said. "It was crazy knowing that football can be gone. But just being back on this field with my brothers and these coaches is a blessing."

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