Fields of Dreams

Mississippi State product Ronald Fields, the 49ers' fifth-round draft pick, talks about joining the 49ers and making an impact on the team's defensive line as a rookie in 2005.

Q: What was your reaction when you were drafted by the 49ers?

Fields: Just excited. When I got that call, a lot of weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was very excited and ready, ready for whichever team wanted me to make my new home. That happened to be San Francisco, so that is my new home and I am ready to get out there and work hard.

Q: We're you expecting to get drafted a little higher than the fifth round?

Fields: I wasn't expected to go in the fifth round; I thought I would go higher than that, like somewhere in the mid- or late-third or as late as the fourth. At least I did get a chance, so I am blessed to have a chance. I am still happy to go where I did.

Q: Did you play much two-gap noseguard at Mississippi State?

Fields: Sometimes I played a lot of two-gap. But it all depends; they moved me around a lot because there were three ends and a nose so I did play both of them.

Q: What are your strengths as a player?

Fields: I am good at double-team blocks, good leverage and picking up blocks. I clogged up the middle and am very quick and explosive off the ball. I can do a lot of disruption in the backfield, a lot of penetration and stopping the run. When I get to San Francisco I will work some more on my pass rushing and be a little more of a threat as a pass rusher.

Q: Do you know much about your competition in San Francisco at the noseguard position?

Fields: I don't know much about the competition, but before getting started at least I am going to be backing someone up, or play some kind of role, whatever it takes.

Q: What do you think you need to do to take your game to the next level to earn that starting role?

Fields: Be more consistent, because sometimes the coaches say that I am inconsistent. Have more repetitions on things that I lack to build that consistency and get better.

Q: What does that mean, more consistent, and do you think that is an accurate criticism?

Fields: Yeah, sometimes. You know, taking a couple of plays off, showing up sometimes and not showing up, doing that in my college career probably hurt, actually hurt me a lot. In college I played defensive lineman, so I usually stayed in the game being tired and taking plays off, not trusting my younger teammates and coming off the field when I needed to. I usually just stayed in the game, which hurt me, that caused me to take some plays off not allowing me to play to my full capability.

Q: What influence or impact did your coach at Mississippi State, Sylvester Croom, have on your senior season?

Fields: He had a tremendous impact. I liked coach Croom a lot. He came and talked to me and helped and talked to me about a lot of things. I didn't have a real good relationship with my head coach before - it wasn't a bad relationship, but I didn't talk to him as much as with coach Croom. He pulled me aside to talk to me all the time. When I made some mistakes he wasn't scared to call me out. He pointed out my mistakes and told me that improving these will help me get to the next level, and I know he is a coach at that next level.

Q: How much weight did you manage to lose between the NFL Combine and your Pro Day workout?

Fields: I dropped 15 pounds. I went back to California prior to my Pro Day to improve my times, run quicker and work out better. I control my weight very well and have never had a problem with my weight.

Q: How did you lose all that weight?

Fields: In California I worked out all the time. My trainer had me working out two times a day; sometimes I would work out a third on my own with a little early-morning cardio. Meeting with my nutritionist and eating the right things. The weight will come right off if you stay disciplined and do what you have to do.

Q: You've slimmed down from the 322 pounds you weighed at the Combine. What do you consider your playing weight?

Fields: I have always played around 310 pounds.

Q: Do you think that 310 will be your most effective playing weight or would you like to play a little heavier?

Fields: It all depends on what my coaches want me to do. Whatever they ask me to do, I will do.

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