THE FINAL 49:
During the final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013, we will take a moment each week to look at various aspects of the football program.
Mar. 10, 2013
By Tom Whitestone
There was a calm about the Football Center this past week.
Coaches still bounded around -- talking football with each other or holing up in their offices. Always plenty to do, what with the 49ers first spring practice just a week away.
But with spring break upon us, the football center seemed quiet.
Quite similiar to the office setting a year ago. Last year, at this time, the coaches weren't in the Football Center, which was still under construction, but instead in their offices on the second floor of Halton Arena.
But like last year, when the 49ers only had some names on paper from their first signee class, there wasn't the hustle and bustle of activity that exists when the players are around.
Head coach Brad Lambert gave a tour of the facilities to some local media members during the week. The quiet was useful for the tour -- but so different from the normal daily schedule.
Some meeting rooms sat idle. The weight room was empty, save for a visit from Defensive Coordinator Bruce Tall looking to get a work out in. The training tables and tubs were unoccupied. The academic center still.
The quiet was reminiscent of 2012, but the tour made apparent the differences a year can make. The weight room, meeting rooms, academic center -- like the team roster -- existed only on paper a year ago. In 2013 - even sitting empty - those rooms bring a certain excitement to the program.
Lambert told the media members how recruiting this year was different because the players could see and walk and touch the facilities. Last year, they depended on renderings.
Last year, they looked at pictures. This year they came to practice. Next year they could come to games. The excitement in his voiced picked up steam. The steps were getting smaller and quicker. The season was getting closer.
March Madness buzzed just up the road from the stadium with the men's basketball team claiming its final two games to ready itself for the A-10 Tournament -- the first in OT on the road and the second on Senior Day over the league's preseason favorite.
At the stadium, however, all was quiet. Madness still waits up the road a bit.
The empty rooms waiting fill up. The empty stadium waiting to open its gates. The empty field waiting to accept its players. And, in the quiet, excitement mounts.
This spring break, there was a certain calm about the facility. A familiar calm. But make no mistake -- the storm is fast approaching.
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