Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers players focused on protecting the team, overcoming challenges amid pandemic, says Fred Warner

Aug 5, 2020 at 2:46 PM--

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman spoke with reporters on Tuesday and shared his thoughts on how NFL teams are navigating through these uncharted waters. The league is preparing to play the 2020 season amid a pandemic. It is going to great lengths to ensure the safety of players, staff, and their loved ones.

"Obviously, it's an adjustment, and winning teams find a way to adjust the best in these situations," Sherman said. "So, I think the team that will adapt the best will be the one holding the trophy at the end."

It was linebacker Fred Warner's turn to speak with reporters on Wednesday, and he was asked about Sherman's comments, agreeing with the conclusion by the veteran cornerback.

"I think we have one of the best locker rooms, one of the best groups of men in the whole NFL in our building," Warner said. "I feel like everybody understands the situation and is willing to make the sacrifices needed.

"Like Sherm said, you've got to adapt. Things are going to change. Things are much different, right now, than they have been in the past. I guarantee that things are going to continue to change as the season goes on.

"The NFL learns new things, so you have to adapt to the situation. Possibly not having fans, and all these other things come into account. You've got to adapt. I think we're ready for the challenge, and we're going to do whatever we need to do."

Of course, that doesn't mean the veterans, like Warner and Sherman, have to babysit the younger players on the roster. Warner believes the mindset in the locker room is strong enough that everyone knows what needs to be done.

"I think everybody is on the same page when it comes to being responsible once we do leave this bubble that we're in at the practice facility," Warner said. "But everybody's a grown man here. I can't babysit anyone. Richard Sherman, or anybody else who is a leader on this team, they can't babysit guys once they get out of here.

"Everybody has their own families and lives to go back to, but everybody understands that what you go home to, you're going to bring back into this bubble once you come to work."

The 49ers, like all NFL teams, are working with an abbreviated timeline. There were no offseason programs or minicamps. At least, not typical ones. Everything this offseason was conducted virtually. Players had to work out and train on their own, more so than usual, as opposed to relying on any team-organized activities.

February's Super Bowl defeat left a bad taste in the mouths of 49ers players, and the team has diligently worked this offseason, even with its limitations, to ensure an opportunity to return.

"Everybody, like I said before, has that personal responsibility, knowing that you can't miss a day," Warner added. "We are very limited on time right now to get ready for the season, and every day matters. So making sure that not only yourself is available but protecting the rest of the team."

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