Fans can say what they want about Kendrick Bourne (KB) not being dependable because he’s had a few drops (newsflash, ALL THE RECEIVERS HAVE DROPPED MULTIPLE PASSES), but that’s what (most) fans do, they say stuff. As I’ve said before, “fans lie, analysts lie, and numbers don’t” In his third year, KB has the potential to break his career-high in receptions (42) and yards (487).
He’s already set a career-best in touchdown (TD) receptions this year (5) and also leads the team in touchdown receptions. If KB can manage to snag another 15 receptions for 169 yards, he’ll break his career-best totals there as well. Oh, and fun fact, 25 of his 27 receptions have gone for either 1st downs or touchdowns. Again, say what you want, but the guy makes plays and moves the chains in the process.
The 49ers put on an offensive show Sunday in New Orleans, totaling 516 yards (354 passing, 162 rushing), and Jimmy Garoppolo threw four TD passes, two were to KB. This was also KB’s first career multi-TD game. Good work, KB! While KB isn’t the fastest receiver (4.68 40 time at NFL combine), his game speed seems much faster than his 40 time.
Funny how many always speak on what he can’t do, I’d much rather discuss what he can do. You know, like, run great routes, makes tough (contested) catches, he blocks well and comes through in the clutch. He also has a diligent work ethic, and is a DAWG and possesses that DAWG mentality that is so important and that General Manager John Lynch covets. That reminds me, I want to make sure you and anyone else truly understands this term “dawg” in dawg mentality.
Allow me to explain. Being a dawg and having that dawg mentality, is having that relentless, fearless, never quit or back down, regardless of the circumstances or how the game is going mentality. That it’s you and me, somebody has to lose, and it’s not going to be me, mentality. Straight dawg! And he has fun playing the game. His celebrations after a catch are definitely more appreciated when he doesn’t drop passes, but you have to admit, the young man has moves and he takes pride in what he does. Moving right along, take a look at his three receptions from the Saints game.
Kendrick Bourne has 27 catches on the season, 24 of them have gone for a first down or touchdown for the #49ers— ourSF49ers (@OSf49ers) December 9, 2019
Bourne has stepped up admirably over the last few weeks and continues to show strides as a receiver. pic.twitter.com/qQjWC5GQYk
His first catch showed his patience, awareness, and his determination as he made a move to create space then lunged forward to ensure he got the 1st down.
On his first TD, he showed great technique as he got into the defender, used his body to create some (just enough) separation, then boxed him out, then secured the catch.
On his second TD, he shows a diligent work as he initially ran a great route to get open. He did so, but Jimmy was flushed out of the pocket. Clearly, the defender thought it was over, and it was. He kept working to find space and lane for Jimmy to get the ball to him. He did so and was rewarded with his second TD. And get this, both TD’s were in the red zone. Yes, that place the 49ers had trouble scoring for seasons on end. Can you say red zone threat?
Now, this is going to show my age, but oh well. When he caught his second TD, as he made his secondary move, I could hear KB quote the character Darnell Jefferson from the movie “The Program” when he says, “See ya, closing time baby!” right before he catches the TD pass. ROLL TAPE.
I can really see KB saying something like that too. Okay now look, I know I’m talking KB up, but don’t take what I’m saying out of context or put words in my mouth, talking about, “Well, Kev said KB is a wide receiver one, Kev said KB is a future Hall of Famer.” Nope, don’t tell people that at all, because that’s not what I’m saying at all. But what you can tell them I said, is he’s a threat, has gotten better each year, and has played well enough to earn more burn (playing time) and targets.
I’m also making the argument he opens up the offense that much more. Think about it; the more effective KB is, the more attention he’ll draw, which essentially forces defenses to account for him. More viable threats, means less double teams elsewhere, especially in the red zone. George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuels, and KB all on the field in the red zone, pick your poison.
As the postseason approaches, the offense will need as many viable threats as possible, and KB has shown (through his play) he’s one of them. I truly believe neither KB or this offense has played their best football yet. I also believe we’ll see their best as the season progresses. So yes, as the offense continues to gel, I hope that gelling includes more burn and targets for KB. This offense is going to be even more fun to watch as the games get bigger. Let’s go, Niners!