SANTA CLARA — To an observer, Fred Warner appears to sit in silence every afternoon while he faces his locker and wears tiny headphones and studies game film on an iPad.
To Warner, the 49ers’ terrific rookie middle linebacker, he’s somewhere else. Not in the locker room. He’s in the iPad, standing on the virtual field, smelling the grass. Hearing the crowd. Doing his job. Identifying the opponent’s formations, then making the necessary calls and adjustments before each play. Warner does this all week. He lives in a simulated world.
This is the life of an NFL middle linebacker.