Feature article on Jeff Ulbrich

HFL = Hollister Free Lance

HFN Note: “In his 10-year professional career, the Live Oak graduate’s approach to each season has been the same – just like the jersey he wears on Sundays. Ulbrich, who has not been traded or cut since signing with San Francisco in 2000, feels there is a correlation.”

About spending his entire 10-year NFL career with the 49ers, Ulbrich said:
“I think it’s in part from being a part of good front offices and head coaches that saw something in me and wanted me around. It’s partly me wanting to be here, not looking for the blockbuster contract. I’ve never wanted to leave. I was a Niner fan growing up, so it’s always been a dream come true for me to play here.” (HFL)

About his first summer practice with the 49ers, which included Jerry Rice, Bryant Young, Ken Norton Jr., and Jeff Garcia, Ulbrich said:
“It was exciting. I was playing with a bunch of guys I grew up watching – it was definitely overwhelming. I didn’t feel necessarily like I was a part of it. I felt kind of like I was a fan. But once you get out there and mix it up, you realize it’s just football no matter what the level is.” (HFL)

About how his goal wasn’t to reach the NFL, but instead to play his best, Ulbrich said:
“It wasn’t like I didn’t dare to dream because I’d get crushed if I didn’t, I just played and progressed. I progressed to junior college and I thought I could play at the next level. I played at Hawaii and I thought I could play pro ball … It was just one thing after another. I was fortunate to be successful at each level.” (HFL)

HFL Note: “Ulbrich is one of the longest-tenured 49ers, and he has not taken a day for granted. Considering the average NFL career lasts roughly two years, Ulbrich, 32, knows each offseason practice could be his last.”

About how he never takes anything for granted, Ulbrich said:
“I always went into the season like I was that guy on the bubble and could be cut anytime. I think that’s what kept me up through these years. I’ve been here long enough to know nobody’s safe.” (HFL)

About having his LB coach (Singletary) promoted to head coach, Ulbrich said:
“I thought there was a lot of things he brought to the linebacker room that I thought the team needed. Now, he’s in that role. He respected a lot of the stuff coach Nolan did and he kept some of those things in place, but he brought his own flavor to it. I always thought he’d be a great coach. He’s, if not the greatest, one of the greatest motivators. He’s a guy that you’ll follow into a burning house.” (HFL)

HFL Note: “In the spirit of Singletary, Ulbrich has set high goals for himself this season. On top of factoring into Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky’s 3-4 front, which features Pro Bowl players Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes at the middle linebacker spots and four-year veterans Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson on the outside, Ulbrich hopes to play on his old stomping ground, Aloha Stadium, as an All-Pro special teams player.”

About working hard to trying to make sure that he makes the cut, Ulbrich said:
“It’s back to step one in the offseason. You have to prepare. OTAs and mini-camp are a grind, but it’s still fun to me.” (HFL)


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