Eric Heitmann
FameRank: 6

"Eric Wade Heitmann" is a former Center (American football)/center. He was drafted by the 49ers in the 7th round (239th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft.

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(We need to) have more downs to keep running the ball.

He was always a real healthy kid out there. He never missed a snap, never missed a play. I don't remember him ever complaining about fatigue.

He passed all the tests at the beginning of the year.

I don't ever remember Thomas complaining about fatigue. He was always out there doing 100 percent on every play. You never would have expected this.

I hope a lot of good will come out of it, but it's hard to see that now. We're all going to be thinking about Thomas when we're here in the locker room or when we go out to practice. He'll be with us.

If something turns up (on the basic physical), like elevated blood pressure or an irregular heart beat, then they'll test us on the treadmill. I haven't heard of that happening to anyone on this squad, and I'd have been surprised if I'd heard it about Thomas because he seemed to be in very good shape.

A lot of good things have come out of this season. We've grown a lot, guys have matured. There's definitely a positive outlook for next season. This game is very important. Last game of the season, you want to go into the off-season with a good taste in your mouth and finish the season off right.

I'm excited for the guy. We knew he was due. He is a very talented athlete, and a very good quarterback. He is going to be an extraordinary quarterback for us in the future.

We know it's coming together. You could see the progress from week to week in practices, even when it wasn't obvious in games.