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49ers’ Raheem Mostert on social justice issues, his wife expecting to give birth during the season, and more

The running back could put up big numbers for the Niners this season.

Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers’ running back Raheem Mostert burst onto the scene during the 2019 season. At last year’s training camp, the 28-year-old looked to be a depth player, who will contribute on special teams.

Mostert turned heads within the organization with a strong Week 2 performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, finishing with 13 rushes for 83 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with a 79-yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3.

The running back became a regular in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, stamping his arrival with a monstrous game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. Although the Niners came up just short in the contest, Mostert flashed his quickness, finishing with 146 rushing yards and a score.

Shanahan gave Mostert 10-plus carries for San Francisco’s final seven games, including three postseason contests. Mostert —who led all NFL running backs with 5.6 yards per attempt— felt he was being underpaid going into the 2020 season. General manager John Lynch obliged by restructuring Mostert’s deal, which can now see him earn up to $5.6 million with incentives this year, almost double the amount he was initially slated to make.

Mostert should see an increased workload this season. He beat teammate Tevin Coleman in nearly every statistical category, including rushing yards, yards per carry, touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage. Coleman did have seven more receptions, but he and Mostert were equal on total receiving yards at 180.

The running back talked to the media about his thoughts on the sports world protesting social justice issues, his pregnant wife being due during the season, lineman Trent Williams’ presence, and how he feels about artificial crowd noise.

On the mood in the 49ers’ locker room with everything going on across the country:

“The mood has been very stagnant, it’s not really too high or too low, everybody understands what’s going on. It’s nice that we have an organization, with the niners, and even guys like Jed and John, and Kyle, who have those open discussions to let guys talk and be free and express themselves. Kyle brought it up after a very tough practice, and it was by far one of our best practices, but he let us know that ‘hey, look, you know, despite what’s going on outside of what we’re doing, there’s still things that we need to talk about and I’m going leave it up to you guys, and see if you guys want to talk about it. My door’s always open, John’s door and even Jed’s door is always open to talk about different types of justice issues and stuff like that.’ So, it was nice to have them you know, have Kyle say those things. I mean, he’s already he’s been saying that even with the the George Floyd deal (earlier in the) offseason. Throughout zoom and all those meetings he let everyone know that we’re all on the same page, and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to hit him up or talk with your teammates, we’re all We’re all family and that’s that’s what they try to implement here.”

On staying focused on football while still being mindful of social just issues, and racial inequality?

“That’s a great question. I mean, if you just look at what’s going on with the NBA, and now the NHL, they postponed their playoff games so that way, they can get a grasp on understanding the different issues that come outside of the sport. That’s the same thing that we’re thinking about, we’re talking about, it may not be now, but there could be a plan. I’m not promising anything, but there could be a plan as far as you know, just standing up and doing what’s right because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Human life is is the most important thing, and we have to value that. Like I said, sports is a key aspect in life for a lot of people. But, at the same time, life is more important than just a sport. So, to see team do this type of stuff, the bucks and stuff like that come out and do those things is really inspiring, not only for the organization, for the league, but in general for the people. That’s what you want.”

On his wife expecting to deliver their second child during the season:

“That’s still ongoing. I have to make sure my wife is more comfortable with any decision moving forward, because ultimately, it’s up to her. It’s her call. I told her, I’m gonna be there. I’ll try my best, but if she doesn’t want me to be there for the sake of our, our newborn and to stay healthy, that’s a sacrifice I have to make We all make sacrifices in life and some are bigger than others. But, that’s something I’m gonna have to deal with when the time comes. Will it be unfortunate to miss my child’s birth? Yes, it’s gonna be unfortunate, but I also got to look at it as it’s gonna be a gain as well because there’s a new life coming in and I’m going to be the best that I possibly can be just because that’s something I really didn’t have when I was growing up. I just want to be a role model and you know, you have to make sacrifices in life and that’s what I try to do.”

On how Trent Williams has looked during practices:

“Trent is definitely like one of the most athletic O-lineman I’ve ever seen. Just just the way he moves out there, he gets to his blocks quick and he makes our decisions, cutting and stuff like that a lot easier. Like I said, it’s truly a blessing having him out there. He’s definitely a guy that you know, comes in and he knows his role, and he’s trying to just perfect his craft and that’s what you need, when it comes to this offense, and in general in football. Like I said, I love seeing him go out there and move the way he does, because you don’t really see that too, from other like O-lineman in the league, so he’s definitely one of a kind.”

On the NFL contemplating using artificial crowd noise during games:

“Honestly, I think it’ll be very beneficial to have the artificial crowd noise, just because you’ll be in that state. I tell everyone that’s not really on the field, ‘hey look, you got to look at it like this, when the defense is on the field, and it’s a home game for us, you hear those, third-down chants, that gives you more pumped up because, you know the offense is about to go out and the defense, hopefully shuts them down three-and-out. So, you need the actual noise to boost yourself up and to get ready to partake in plays and stuff like that. It’ll be nice to have the crowd noise, but then again sometimes when you’re on that field in between those white lines you really don’t hear the crowd. Somebody could be screaming your mom’s name or saying anything to try to distract you, but you’re not really listening to that you know you’re just so honed in on on the moment and trying to be the best person you could be, the best player you can be on that field. It’ll be it’ll be tricky man to have that crowd noise, but at the same time, do zone out when I’m on the field.”

Mostert finished the 2019 season with 772 rushing yards. Do you think he can surpass 1,100 in 2020?