49ers travel heavy, prepare for New England elements

49ers travel heavy, prepare for New England elements
December 14, 2012, 12:15 pm
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The 49ers will travel to Foxboro with 3,000 more pounds of equipment than the typical 18,000 pounds they bring on the road.

SANTA CLARA -- Steve Urbaniak, the 49ers' equipment manager, has been checking the weather reports every day.

Ultimately, Urbaniak's job is to make sure the 49ers are ready for all the elements they could face Sunday night against the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Mass.

Currently, the Weather.com forecast -- the only Urbaniak relies upon -- calls for 37 degrees and a 60-percent chance of rain.

"That's the worst forecast ever," Urbaniak said. "It's right in the mix between rain and snow. A wet (cold) rain is horrible. A cold snow is better. Snow is a lot easier to deal with than the rain."

The 49ers, who are scheduled to depart the Bay Area after their Friday afternoon practice, will be packing 3,000 extra pounds of equipment to help players, coaches and staff deal with the conditions. Typically, the team travels with 18,000 pounds of equipment.

They packed an assortment of thermal tops and bottoms, thermal socks, boots for the coaches and staff on the sideline, winter caps, ski gloves, ski pants for the kickers, extra jackets and sideline capes, Urbaniak said.

Urbaniak and his staff will head to Gillette Stadium on Sunday and unpack everything well in advance of the 8:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff.

"We'll have it lined up and ready to go so if somebody wants something," Urbaniak said. "If somebody wants sacks or a thermal, it'll all be right there."

Assistant equipment managers Doc Dressler and Scott Rotier have their own personal responsibilities. Dressler is in charge of all the gloves and shoes for anything the weather has to offer. Rotier is taking care of the coaches and staff to make sure everyone has rain gear, cold gear and the proper socks and boots.

"Hopefully, we're doing a lot of work for nothing," Urbaniak said. "That's what we're hoping for. And then we turn around and do it all again next week for Seattle."

The 49ers have experienced very few "weather" games through the years. Urbaniak is in his 10th season in charge of the 49ers' equipment room. He said his worst experiences have been in Seattle, especially a windy and rainy Thursday night in 2006.

"That was the worst one," he said. "The field flooded, and they delayed the game. It was wet and cold and we blew every circuit in the locker room because we had guys come in from pregame and we had an hour delay. So we were taking guys' jerseys off and putting hair dryers on them."

"We have to make sure we're ready for everything."