The San Francisco 49ers return to the practice field today. The Everson Griffen pipe dream is over as he was acquired by the Lions for a conditional sixth-round pick. The rumors are flying all over about who the Niners could land, but I’ll believe them once it happens.
He revealed that one of the biggest influences on his mindset has been Pierre Garcon, who was on the 49ers in 2017 and 2018, Kittle’s first two seasons in the league.
“The first person who I ever saw go to a dark place was Pierre Garcon,” Kittle said. “His mindset when he goes into a game, it was incredible. He’d punch himself in the head after first downs and that was the first look I really got of it. The longer I’ve been here, the more Kyle talks about it.”
That aggressive mentality is one of the primary reasons Shanahan wanted to bring Garcon to Santa Clara back in 2017. Shanahan hoped that the receiver’s toughness would rub off on his young roster.
“Pierre was one of my favorite people I’ve ever coached in terms of what we’re talking about right now,” Shanahan said. “People didn’t want to mess with him. They could feel it from him, the anger he played with and the energy he played with.
“That’s something that is hard to get to rub off on people. That’s why Pierre always had a close spot to me and why I wanted him here.”
“Once all the running backs are healthy” — I like your boyish optimism, Steve B.! (Sweet kid, that Steve B.) I liken it to painting the Bay Bridge. Once the painting crew reaches the end of the bridge, it’s time to start painting the beginning again. The job never ends. Which is to say, it’s very possible that once the 49ers’ current group of injured runners is healthy, another one or two will go down with an ankle or knee sprain.
If everyone were healthy today? I’d say they’d have to release Jerick McKinnon and put him on the practice squad. I realize his dead-legs issue might be temporary, but given his injury history and recent performance, he’d be the least likely to get snapped up. (Right?) He looked good to start the season but has been moving in mud since his 67-snap game against the Eagles.
CB Jamar Taylor, 49ers
Promoted from the practice squad just two weeks ago after cycling on and off the roster all offseason, Jamar Taylor was probably the least likely candidate for a pair of breakout games. This week, he even played well enough to earn placement as a player of the week. Active in the run game as well as a cover player, Taylor came away from the New England game with two picks — one a pass that bounced off of Julian Edelman’s hands and the other self-created after closing down on an out route, also to Edelman. Taylor intercepted both Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham and only gave up one first down, closing down on all of his other targets to only give up to prevent big plays. One shaky rep off of Edelman’s release and a missed tackle against Ryan Izzo demonstrate significant room for improvement, but Taylor passes the first test.
In this challenging segment, we’ll lead off with a player who has been hot and cold in 2020, after scoring a monster contract over the offseason which forced the team to deal stud defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday was a cold day for Armstead, who has taken a step back in 2020, while Buckner has continued to progress. Given the plethora of injuries on the outside of San Francisco’s defensive line, Armstead has not stepped up as needed. Failing to convert quarterback pressures into sacks has always been an issue for the former first-rounder; On Sunday, and for much of the 2020 season, Armstead struggled with pressures as well.
This season can’t get much worse for the Texans, and they very well could be in sell mode. They badly need draft picks and will have to dangle players, likely multiple receivers. It all starts with Fuller.
The former first-rounder is extremely hot and cold. He has three games over 100 yards this season, but also one without a single reception and only 35 receiving yards last week. There’s no doubt the speedster is a game-changer when healthy, but that’s a big if. Fuller is a free agent after this season.
The San Francisco 49ers didn’t want to wait too long to wear their all-white throwback uniforms again. According to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, the team plans to do so on Sunday for its road matchup at CenturyLink Field against the Seattle Seahawks. That will be just two weeks after the 49ers wore the throwbacks against the Los Angeles Rams — a game they won 24-16.
San Francisco wore the same uniforms for last season’s Week 17 matchup in Seattle. Kyle Shanahan’s squad won the game 26-21, clinching the NFC West crown on the final play of the regular season.