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Hargrave uses NBA analogy to compare 49ers, Eagles practices

Hargrave uses NBA analogy to compare 49ers, Eagles practices originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Javon Hargrave just finished his first full regular season with the 49ers, and the defensive tackle has noticed some differences between San Francisco and his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, since arriving in the Bay.

Following the 49ers' 21-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, Hargrave joined Arik Armstead's "Third and Long" podcast livestream and shared the major difference he has noticed between San Francisco and Philadelphia by using a very specific NBA comparison.

"[Practices with the 49ers] are very more demanding," Hargrave said, before the basketball fan dove into his analogy. "I think it's more so like how people call the Golden State [Warriors] coaching and Miami Heat. Over here [49ers] it's the Miami Heat; over there is Golden State because it's more chill, more relaxed, you know, you're chilling.

"Over here? Nah, it's work. I feel like [49ers coach] Kyle [Shanahan] is like [Heat president] Pat Riley. You know what you're getting over here. Everyone can't make it over here, for sure."

Hargrave made it clear that 49ers practices are far more intense than those held by the Eagles, using Riley's commitment to a championship culture in Miami as an example of the leadership type Shanahan embodies. In comparison, the Warriors have established a dynasty of their own -- but through a much more laid-back approach where veteran players are relied upon to lead.

The 49ers veterans who have been with Shanahan since he became coach in 2017 lead by example, too, but Armstead explained it hasn't always been that way.

"I can honestly say [Shanahan] has calmed down throughout the years, too, because when he first got here, we were establishing that culture before we had our guys, our vets," Armstead told Hargrave. "Bruh, it was way harder. OTAs [were] training camp."

Hargrave certainly received a culture shock after signing a four-year, $84 million contract with the 49ers in free agency this past offseason, coming from what he described as a laid-back scene in Philadelphia to what seemed like bootcamp in the Bay.

"When I first got here, I was looking at this kind of crazy," Hargrave said. "The stuff we [were] doing, like, 'I can't believe y'all doing all this right now. ...

"A war every day."

After defeating San Francisco in last year's NFC Championship Game with Philadelphia, Hargrave now enters the playoffs with the No. 1-seeded 49ers in hopes of reaching another Super Bowl -- this time, in the Red and Gold. And if Hargrave's time with Shanahan has taught him anything, it's that San Francisco is battle-tested.

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