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. 17, 2013
By Tom Whitestone
Spring is about so many things, including March Madness.
Today, the 49ers men's basketball team earned its spot in the Madness with its first post-season bid since 2008.
Tomorrow, spring takes on another dimension for Niner Nation when the football team officially opens its spring practice.
Head coach Brad Lambert has moved the 49ers through their first fall practice -- concentrating on setting the tone and establishing the foundation for the program. The 49ers have gone through a rigorous winter weight program -- taking greater steps during the off-season to build muscle and mass.
And now the 49ers prepare for spring practice -- like so many other programs around the country.
Practices and workouts of the past did not have a game so directly in sight. In the fall, the team practiced but didn't prepare for a game on the coming Saturday. They practiced with a more vague goal off in the distance -- nearly a year away: Aug. 31, 2013.
Now the 49ers are like every other program. That game off in the distance is everyone's next game.
And it doesn't seem so vague.
They have their team, they have their opponent and now is the time to practice in earnest for that first season. The foundation has been set. The weights have been hit.
Coach Lambert, his staff and his team will be playing on the next Saturday of college football. It's not so vague. It's pretty clear.
So, now is the time to start getting ready for that first fall kickoff. That goal off in the distance is now coming into sight. The focus is getting tighter. The vague edges sharper.
Spring is the season of new beginnings but for the 49ers, that new beginning will come in the fall. For the 49ers, spring is the time to look clearly at what awaits in the distance. It's coming and now is the time to get ready.
Now is the time for spring practice. It's happening around the country. And tomorrow, it happens here.
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