SANTA CLARA – Tavares Gooden, the newest 49er, introduced himself to the Bay Area reporters today.
Here’s what he said.
Q: Are you going to be an inside linebacker here?
GOODEN: We haven’t really discussed that yet. Any way to help the team out. I played outside and inside at the University of Miami, so obviously I have that in my repertoire.
Q: What did you learn from getting to play alongside Ray Lewis?
GOODEN: What I learned from Ray? The biggest thing is run to the ball, face the football. Also learned a great deal of film study from Ray – how to study film, certain things to look for, different tendencies, things like that. And now, playing with Pat, I’m playing with a younger group. They’re my age group. Ray was a little older than I was. He went to Miami ten years before I got there, so, nah I’m just kidding.
Q: Vic Fangio said you’re also going to play special teams. What are your thoughts on that?
GOODEN: We all know special teams is a big key to football. I try to be a game changer in that aspect. Just take my repertoire that coach John Harbaugh and coach Rosburg taught me, bring it over here and apply it to San Fran.
Q: What are your specific responsibilities on special teams?
GOODEN: Just kick tail, kick butt. That’s my primary deal, just go out there and play like a monster, play like a mad man, and I think that’s what I did the first three years in the NFL and I have that reputation for playing hard and going out there and kicking butt.
Q: Is it nice to not being answering questions about injuries?
GOODEN: It’s a fresh start. I want to go out there and give it my all. The injuries obviously are a big concern to me. I’ve got everything prepared, so I want to go out there, I want to play 16 games, I want to show the NFL, show Coach Harbaugh, show everybody that I can do it. I want to prove that I am healthy this season.
Q: Has yoga made an impact?
GOODEN: Absolutely. Flexibility, range of motion, it also added strength to me.
Q: Who brought yoga up to you in the first place?
GOODEN: Actually, my agent and Baltimore, they wanted me to get stretched out, because they feel like stretching brings speed and flexibility, and also it reduces the injuries. I just wanted to reduce my injuries so I took yoga as something that would help me out.
Q: Is that something you’re still doing?
GOODEN: I did it the whole summer. I’m looking for a place out here where I can find a stretch doctor or instructor to help me out and I think I’ll continue that because it has helped me out.
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