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Sanders on Shanahan: He’s one of the best offensive-minded guys I’ve been around

Matt Breida also believes the 49ers haven’t played their best football yet

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers are making the rounds this week ahead of their showdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Running back Matt Breida joined Ian Rapoport of NFL Network’s podcast, and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was on ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s podcast. Getting a player’s perspective on the team mid-season, especially this team, is worth a listen.

Getting better

Breida told Rapoport that he feels like the 49ers will continue to improve as the season goes along.

Rapoport asked if the 49ers are going to get even better as the season continues, and Cheetah said:

“100 percent,” Breida responded. “I feel like, each game, we’re getting better. We still haven’t played our best game yet, and every game, you can pick little things, little details that we can get better on. We still haven’t played our best ball yet. I think we’ll start playing our best ball toward the end of the year, and hopefully, we can carry that into the postseason.”

As far as the “starter” tag goes, that’s not a concern for the speedy running back:

“I think a lot of guys, especially at this level, they want it to be about themselves. But you see that the teams that are very successful and do great, it’s not about you. It’s about doing whatever role that you want to do, and it’s a team sport. No one guy out there is going to win the game, or no one guy can go out there and win a Super Bowl. So I feel like that’s what our team’s done a great job (at), is buying it as a team. No matter who’s out there, no matter if it’s a backup or starter, we’re all going to play the same way.”

Kyle Shanahan has done a nice job dividing the touches up between the running backs this season. In a way, I feel bad for Raheem Mostert. He’s played well enough to earn more touches in most cases. Mostert is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, while Breida is averaging 5.3. Tevin Coleman is averaging 4.3. Mostert has forced three more missed tackles than Breida and Coleman, with 14, and he has done that on 55 carries, while Coleman has 83, and Breida has 99.

Super Bowl Sanders

On Schefter’s podcast, Sanders talks about being traded to San Francisco. Sanders said he walked into general manager John Elway’s office with his practice gear on after finding out he was traded but didn’t know who the team was. Elway told him, and Sanders still went to practice, but only to shake hands with his teammates. As Sanders was leaving Denver’s facility, he gets a call from 49ers general manager John Lynch who tells him, “it’s time to book a flight.” Three hours later, Sanders is in Santa Clara in his hotel room with assistant coach Wes Welker, and the next morning he’s practicing in Scarlett and Gold.

Surely, we’ve all experienced a 24 hour day like this, right?

Sanders on what he was feeling when he found out he was being traded:

I was excited. I loved the Broncos, but I was excited to go and try and win a Super Bowl and chase a championship. New energy and new environment. That’s something that I needed. I was nervous. I wanted to go out and perform and do well, but at the same time, I was looking forward to the moment.

Schefter asked how Sanders was able to be so productive right away with the 49ers:

Kyle Shanahan, from a play-calling standpoint, is definitely one of the best offensive-minded guys that I’ve been around. Even from the Panthers game to the last game against the Cardinals. Just how he dials it up from predicting the coverage to predicting what the defense is going to do to being able to get guys open.

Sanders talked about moving his family, living in a hotel for a week, and how he didn’t know the cost of living in the Bay Area.

Sanders played in Super Bowl L, which was at Levi Stadium. He had a story for that. The locker that Sanders had during the Super Bowl? It’s Richard Sherman’s current locker.

Finally, Sanders on why he thinks the 49ers are undefeated:

I think they have a great head coach. I enjoy watching and hearing him[Shanahan] talk in front of the entire team. His message is very direct. Even though we’re sitting here at 8-0, he’s not going to allow anything to happen in terms of us losing our focus and us losing our concentration. Not only that, he talks to us like grown men and not like kids. Then, just the energy. There are no clicks on this team. There is no offense, defense, special teams. Everyone fits in. Everyone has a job to do. It’s just positive energy guys all around the board. That was the first thing that caught my eye. It’s a special unit because of the chemistry that’s going on in the locker room.

Sanders said there are a lot of similarities between this roster and the roster he won a Super Bowl within Denver.