quarterback and Gilroy native Jeff Garcia
’s closest friends. Former Stanford guard Greg Schindler was
recently signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent to a
two-year contract. He just finished his first two mini camps with
A Live Oak graduate may have the chance to become one of 49er quarterback and Gilroy native Jeff Garcia’s closest friends.
Former Stanford guard Greg Schindler was recently signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent to a two-year contract. He just finished his first two mini camps with the team.
Both Schindler and Garcia played in the Monterey Bay League for South County’s two rival high schools, but they never have played against each other.
“I think his versatility to play both sides at guard is helping him out,” said 49er offensive line coach Pat Morris after the team’s second mini camp. “He had a little setback with his back. We’re going to work him at both guards and center. From what I’ve seen at the first camp, he works hard. He’s caught on to the offense because it’s somewhat similar to what he had at Stanford.”
Schindler suffered a minor setback in camp with a irritated nerve in his back. It is nothing more than a normal pain of playing football, Schindler said.
“Anyone that has played football for any amount of time especially on the offensive line has had some type of back pain,” Schindler said. “It is not a career-threatening type of situation. I am doing all I can to make sure I miss as little time as possible especially as a rookie.”
Late in his college career, Schindler started thinking about playing in the National Football League.
“I knew there was no reason I couldn’t potentially play in the NFL,” Schindler said. “When my career ended at Stanford, I started training for the NFL combines, which I got invited to and participated in in Indianapolis. There are 32 teams that will all tell you different things about what they think about you. But what they say doesn’t really matter until it comes down to draft day and free agent signings. I knew I would at least sign with someone.”
Schindler said the 49ers gave him the best chance to prove himself.
“I didn’t want to go into camp and be an extra body and hold bags, but I wanted to realistically compete for a roster spot,” Schindler said. “I felt they had a genuine need for offensive line man and I had a reasonable shot of being competitive in camp.”
“They were one of the few teams that expressed interest at the end of the draft so I decided to sign with them,” Schindler added. “I had a variety of options, but I felt this was the best way to stay in the area and continue on playing.”
Schindler grew up watching the 49ers play but he never expected to have the chance to make the team.
“I was kind of a casual fan as a kid,” Schindler said. “I was never one who grew up dreaming I could play for the 49ers or in the NFL.”
Schindler just finished his second mini camp with the team. He said he is going to put the work in, but is not going to worry about things not in his control.
“I am only a few weeks into the process,” Schindler said. “All I know is I am signed as of now. All I can do is hang around day by day and see if months or years down the road I am still around. That is the only way to look at it.”
Schindler, who graduated with an English Major and a Political Science minor, had a frustrating senior year at Stanford after undergoing a ankle surgery in the fall.
“In some ways it went better than I thought, and in some ways it was disappointing,” said Schindler about his college career. “It was up and down. One year we would have a great year – then we would have a losing season. The last year was kind of frustrating with injuries and coaching changes. But overall I can’t complain.”
Schindler is concentrating all his efforts on football right now as a full time job.
“We practiced twice a day,” Schindler said. “You are just in shorts, jersies and helmets, but the tempo is still pretty high. You go as fast as you can except without some of the violent collisions. In college guys on scholarships are competing for playing time, but in the NFL you have guys that aren’t guaranteed anything who are fighting for their jobs and careers.”
Schindler concentrated his efforts the last few years on right guard but is also practicing at left guard in camp.
He also hopes to play some center even though he hasn’t played it in a game situation since he was in Live Oak. That was also the last time he played on the defensive line.
“One advantage I do have is that I played guard and tackle in college,” Schindler said. “Hopefully they see me as a guard who could play center. The person who wears the most hats will get the spot.”
Playing center is more challenging mentally than physically,” Schindler said.
“It is not like it is easy physically either,” Schindler said. “It is hard because you are basically playing one handed, and the defender can use two to get through. The bigger adjustment is mentally. You are the brain and the central computer of the whole operation. You are the one that will dictate calls. It is amazing how much information a center has to process. The ones that do it for a long time are good athletes and smart as well.”
The 49ers, who moved their training camp from Stockton to the training complex in Santa Clara, will be having two practices open to the public this season.
One will be at Aug. 2 at a San Jose State and the other will be Aug. 25 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.