YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s business as usual for the 49ers, entering Week 2 of the season.
But their surroundings are a bit different. The team held practice at the YSU soccer field across from Stambaugh Stadium Wednesday.
Following a 31-17 win over the Buccaneers Sunday, the 49ers play in Cincinnati this Sunday at 1 p.m. So staying on the East Coast has been a huge advantage, considering all that goes into the time change.
“It’s very tough going back and forth, especially when you have an early game. But also just the flying, how long it is,” said Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. “When you play a long game, you can swell up on the plane after and having to come back. So I think it’s a huge advantage.”
“I mean, honestly, practicing on a different field, it’s just football,” said receiver Deebo Samuel. “It doesn’t matter how the grass is, like, where you’re at. You just go out there and do your job.”
“Yeah, it’s been good,” Ahkello Witherspoon said. “We’re thankful for them opening up their facilities to us. It’s a great opportunity. Our owners are from here, so we’re just out here enjoying the entire experience.”
Shanahan is now in his third season as the head man in San Francisco, so he’s very familiar with the travel demands of an NFL season.
He said he doesn’t mind this week’s change of pace in Youngstown.
“I think it’s alright for one week but if I didn’t go home for the entire season, my family would definitely kill me. But I’d also end up probably killing myself, I’d be exhausted. So you can’t do it too long, but it’s nice for just one week. You don’t have to drive home, so you can kind of hang out.”
It’s safe to say the players and coaches are taking full advantage of what Youngstown has to offer.
“Handel’s Ice Cream, yeah, good call,” said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. “It’s close by the hotel, so yeah. But the Italian food, we had some Maso Colli. We went to the York family dinner and everything, so they had it all set up with a great spread. So yeah, Youngstown has been nothing but a great time.”