Congrats again to Trent Williams, Fred Warner, and Kyle Juszczyk for being selected to the Pro Bowl. Williams didn't play football in 2019 and returned to his elite-level play. He’s the most impressive selection in my mind.
Greene died Monday, the family confirmed, as did the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
No cause of death was given.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Kevin Greene,” Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement Monday. “I regarded him as a personal friend and a true Hall of Famer in every sense. He possessed the most incredible can-do attitude of anyone I ever met. He was a great player, but more than that, he was a great man.”
Known for his long blonde locks, his relentless pursuit of the quarterback and his omnipresent charisma — which helped him in his brief career as a professional wrestler — Greene made the most of his skills.
“I wasn’t the biggest (and) I wasn’t fastest,’’ Greene once said. “But as long as you have a motor, you have heart ... that will overcome any physical limitations.’’
Greene regularly used film study to search for an opponent’s weakness.
“I figured out how to pass rush,’’ Greene said. “I figured out how to put a guy, an offensive tackle three to four inches taller, 80 pounds heavier, put him in a position of failure, and I did that.’’
“It was almost like that fear factor, just a little bit,” Rice explained, “and there was no way you wanted to let that guy down. And I don’t know if the players have gotten really comfortable with Kyle Shanahan. They might not have that fear factor there anymore, but [that’s something] that I think really puts players to always go out and give 100 percent.
“And I’m not saying that’s happening with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers right now, but Bill always kept us on edge. He really wanted to let you know that you’re replaceable, so you were accountable every time you stepped on that football field.”
- Three of San Francisco’s turnovers gave Dallas the ball near the red zone. (49ers 35, 27 and 16 yard lines). The 49ers defense managed to hold the Cowboys to a field goal following the interception, credit to an Ahkello Witherspoon third down pass breakup. San Francisco has now logged at least two giveaways in eight-consecutive games, the longest streak by a 49ers team since 2008.
- With the number of giveaways, it’s obvious Sunday would make for a lopsided outing. San Francisco’s defense provided the offense with opportunities via six punts on the day. The unit limited Dallas to under 300 total yards (204 passing, 87 rushing) and held the team to 6-of-15 on third down and just 51 first downs to San Francisco’s 81.
The 49ers’ defensive line looked very good against a beat up Cowboys offensive front. Arik Armstead had a pair of sacks. Jordan Willis got a good hit on quarterback Andy Dalton. Javon Kinlaw helped set up one of Armstead’s sacks and flashed on a couple other occasions, including one where he chased down Dalton from behind to force a fumble that was ruled not a fumble after a review. Kevin Givens continued to play well, defensive end Dion Jordan flashed in the run game before exiting with a knee injury, and Kerry Hyder Jr. was around the quarterback a couple times and had good coverage on running back Tony Pollard to force an incompletion early in the game.
“Well, he doesn’t have the strength right now,” Baldy stated on The Morning Roast. “I don’t know what’s going on physically. I haven’t talked to Mike at all during the season, but physically, he’s getting beat. Whether it’s Demarcus Lawrence or whatever, he’s getting beat in the pass game. He’s getting beat in the run game.
“So, physically, he’s just not strong right now. He’s got to get stronger if he’s going to stay at that position and have a long career. He’s got to be stronger at the point, and he’s got to stop these bull rushes.
“Look, Demarcus Lawrence made a great play getting the ball out of Nick Mullens’ hands. He has made those types of plays before. It’s right there on the arc where you’re trying to run him nine-and-a-half yards deep. Mike’s not in terrible shape. That wasn’t his worst play, though. There were other plays out there where, physically, he’s struggling out there, at times.”
“He’s the same size as he was coming out of Notre Dame,” Baldy said. “I mean, there’s technique there that’s involved, but I just think it’s core strength — just your natural core strength when your feet are in the ground. Either you’re a fire hydrant, and you can’t be moved, or you’re a pillow, and you’re getting punched.
“It just comes down to core strength and how you anchor it. A lot of it is technique, but some of it is just good old-fashioned squats and deadlifts until the sun goes down each night.”