SANTA CLARA – With Malcolm Smith out for the foreseeable future with a torn pectoral, rookie linebacker Reuben Foster was thrown into the fire a bit quicker originally planned. Monday at practice Foster stepped in for Smith and played on the first team defense for the first time in his short San Francisco tenure.
Reuben Foster got every first-team rep at linebacker next to NaVorro Bowman. Foster had tight coverage on TEs. He did not look out of place
— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) August 7, 2017
“It’s meaningful,” Foster said of his first-team snaps. “But in this league you got a lot of great players behind you also.”
A reporter asked Reuben Foster if he remembered his first day taking reps with the first team when he played for Nick Saban at the University of Alabama, and the linebacker was quick to answer.
“We ain’t have no pads on but I messed up on a play,” said Foster. “Coach Saban chewed me out.” When asked to elaborate on what Saban said to him, Foster put his hands up and laughed. “Just know he got my tail in line and made me focus.”
Foster’s pedigree at Alabama is already doing wonders for the the Rookie’s ability to learn the 49ers’ defensive playbook. Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh spoke to reporter after practice Monday, and said Foster has impressed him in the film room.
“He’s much better in the film room, much better in the playbook than I had anticipated,” said Saleh. “He’s actually really really, really smart.”