LAS VEGAS – When Chris Foerster hit rock bottom, Kyle Shanahan was among the first to offer help. It's no wonder Foerster is willing to tear down walls to lead Shanahan to his first Super Bowl win.
In October 2017, a video of his cocaine use was shared on social media, prompting Foerster to resign as offensive line coach of the Miami Dolphins.
This video could have ruined Foerster's 25-year NFL coaching career. But above all, Foerster was destroying his personal and family life.
Shanahan was Foerster's teammate on the Washington Redskins' coaching staff from 2010 to 2013. The current San Francisco 49ers quarterback saw fit to contact Foerster and offer his support.
The process required, of course, great patience. Foerster has been involved in therapy programs and the Niners have given him a limited role starting in the 2018 season. In fact, his employment has not been made public at this time. The subject was still too delicate.
In 2019 and 2020, Foerster was promoted as Shanahan's game planning advisor. It wasn't until 2021 that he was able to really get back on the field as an offensive line coach, and the 49ers then added the responsibility of running the game to him as coordinator.
Tears fill the eyes of Foerster, such a passionate man, when he recounts his journey, and especially Shanahan's help.
“Kyle has been with me every step of the way on my journey. I think about it almost every day, so I don't want to let it go. I love this job immensely, but my true motivation lies in my goal to help Kyle in return. Sometimes I even get angry when I can't help him anymore,” Foerster told three reporters who sat with him on Wednesday at the club's media site.
“He put up with me so much. In 2010, we met together in Washington and did not know each other. He taught me things and I did the same. What I love about him is that he continues to grow and I want to do the best job possible for Kyle,” Foerster insisted, apologizing for getting emotional.
The coach would therefore like Shanahan to be buried under Gatorade on Sunday so that his legacy is perceived positively.
“That would be very nice, although it's a shame it's necessary.” He is such a good coach. “Current football is a little bit different because of his influence, and that's saying a lot,” Foerster said.
This ball and chain has followed Shanahan since losing Super Bowl LIV to the Chiefs and losing the Falcons' offensive coordinator title after going 28-3 against the Patriots.
A triumph thanks to Warner and Greenlaw?
The 49ers may rely on Christian McCaffrey, Deeb Samuel, George Kittle and Brock Purdy on offense, but it would be surprising if they can win without big contributions from their linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner.
Greenlaw admits that the loss against these Chiefs four years ago only motivates him more.
” Without a doubt! We know how it feels to lose. I only remember one thing, and that's losing. I couldn't watch a game for a long time,” said Greenlaw.
“But I watched the game a few times in the last few days. Actually, so many times. I study the tape and see how they attack the defense now,” Greenlaw added.
You can count on Greenlaw to remind his teammates that we need to play a complete game against the Chiefs, who made an impressive comeback in the final quarter.
For many observers, if the 49ers can slow down Travis Kelce, it will be thanks to Greenlaw and Warner.
“We are described as thunder and lightning. What I like about Dre is that sometimes he crosses the line, but I need that. I'm more of an 'in my head' type, while the opposite is true. That's why we complement each other well and he's the best athlete I've played with. He doesn't deserve enough respect, but he doesn't care,” Warner testifies about their duo.