San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida has been nicknamed Cheetah since his college days. He’s got serious speed (4.39 40 at his college Pro Day), and Cheetah rhymes with the pronunciation of his last name. It’s pretty simple.
Enter Tyreek Hill. The Kansas City Chiefs burner wide receiver is nicknamed Cheetah, and in fact, his Twitter handle is simply @cheetah. He ran a 4.29 40 at his college Pro Day, and regularly shows up on the NFL highlight reels with his big plays — with the peace sign thrown in when he’s really burned a defensive back.
Naturally, with the 49ers traveling to face the Chiefs this weekend, Hill was asked about the 49ers Cheetah. Hill said there’s only one cheetah in the NFL, and “You can’t be a cheetah and run a 4.48, or whatever you run.” He did offer some praise for Breida.
“I mean, he’s a great player,” Hill said. “He’s a good player, though. I’ve been watching him. He’s from Georgia. He went to Georgia Southern. He cold. But there’s only one cheetah. Just know that.”
Breida might be asked about the comments, but he’s a pretty low key guy. I don’t expect much in the way of a response from the 49ers running back when it comes to smack talk.
Fortunately, Marquise Goodwin was willing to offer up some smack talk about his own speed. Goodwin has competed in both track and field events, earning a spot in the Olympics as a long jumper. He’s viewed as the fastest guy on the team, and he had a perfect comment when asked to compare himself with Hill.
49ers’ Marquise Goodwin on who’s faster: Him or KC’s Tyreek Hill. “I don’t compare myself with anybody,” Goodwin said.— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) September 19, 2018
Then he rolled up his sleeve and showed a tattoo of the Olympic rings.
“I’ll let you interpret that however you want,” Goodwin said.
The 49ers offense would love to have Goodwin back on the field for Sunday’s matchup. He is going to be listed as limited for Wednesday’s practice as he continues rehabbing a thigh bruise. He was a DNP all last week, so this is an upgrade.
Given how prolific the Chiefs offense has been through two weeks, the 49ers will need every offensive weapon they can muster. We’ve seen Dante Pettis slowly emerging while Goodwin has been out. Add a deep threat like Goodwin back into the mix, and this offense could take an important step forward.