One of the reasons Dan Skuta signed a two-year deal with the 49ers can be found on Weather.com.
The forecast in his hometown of Flint, MI: a high of 38 degrees and an 85 percent chance of snow
The forecast in his soon-to-be new home of Santa Clara: a high of 72 degrees and 0 percent chance of precipitation.
"The scenery on the way in was definitely a good selling point," said Skuta, who spent the last four seasons in Cincinnati (mostly cloudy, high of 55 degrees).
"Being from Michigan, it's covered in snow right now," he continued on this morning's conference call. "Being out here, it's just amazing - coming over the mountains and everything. That was definitely a good selling point."
Skuta's primary role will be to help shore up the 49ers' special teams coverage units, which finished second-to-last in 2012 in kickoff returns. That showing was punctuated by a 108-yard touchdown return by the Ravens in the Super Bowl.
Skuta, listed as a 6-2, 250-pound linebacker, said he's also eager to learn from Pro Bowl inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. There's a good chance he could see some offensive snaps as well. The 49ers love to use defensive players at fullback - linemen Isaac Sopoaga, Justin Smith and Will Tukuafu have played there in recent years - and Skuta has some background as a short-yardage back.
He rushed for 1,092 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior in high school, played a few snaps at running back at Grand Valley State and was the Bengals' short-yardage running back in 2010. Asked if the 49ers have discussed playing him at fullback, Skuta paused four second before replying. (You could picture Trent Baalke frantically giving the 'cut-the-line' signal in the background.)
"That's a conversation that they've had. I'm not really sure," he finally said. "I'm just, once again, going to come in, and if that's something that they have me do, I'll be excited to do it."
- Matt Barrows