When 49ers General Manager John Lynch addressed linebacker Reuben Foster‘s two offseason arrests on Wednesday, he said that the team wants to build a “great structure” around the 2017 first-round pick while adding that it’s harder to do at the professional level than it might be in college.
Coach Kyle Shanahan covered some of the same ground when Foster’s name came up for discussion on Thursday, but he also highlighted the player’s role in avoiding off-field issues that can impact on-field availability. Foster was arrested for marijuana possession last month and again on charges of domestic violence and possession of an assault weapon this month.
“Reuben was great for us when he was around and things have happened since he’s been gone, and those are things we have to address and things we need to make sure he learns how to do things the right way,” Shanahan said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I want to help Reuben out, just like I want to help any of our players out. But it’s a two-way street, and they have to meet us there. And there comes a lot of responsibility with that.”
Losing Foster for a portion of the season would be a blow to the 49ers defense in the short term and further problems away from the game will make it difficult for the 49ers to count on him as the building block they hoped he’d be when they drafted him.