As expected, this season, there is a 22-year-old on the 49ers that fans are falling in love with. Unexpectedly, it’s fifth-round draft pick Talanoa Hufanga instead of third-overall pick Trey Lance. Hufanga has been a revelation this season, making game-changing plays in a way that no 49ers safety has in quite some time. However, as with any young player, he has had some missteps, and he talked about those with Richard Sherman on The Richard Sherman Podcast.
Sherman asked Hufanga to explain the long touchdown Tyreek Hill scored in the fourth quarter last week.
“We’re playing quarters coverage so obviously if there’s an over route you know you can take those, you can drop those, everybody plays it completely different. That was kind of a little bit my responsibility. On the back end, rewatching it, why would I not play deep to short? That’s something I get to learn from. Help my teammates out by being in the right spot at the right time and doing my job. That was my job and I gave up a play, but honestly I’ve just got to continue to grow from it and learn from it.
They always say stay off the cheese and I definitely took the cheese. I’ve got to be lactose intolerant now. Any way I can to stay off the cheese so I can stay back. Definitely gotta learn from it for sure.”
That’s the attitude that makes Hufanga such a fan favorite among the Faithful. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done about the play now other than correcting the mistake.
Sherman even explained how the play could ultimately turn into a positive experience in the future.
“Hey, take your lumps now because you’re going to see that play in the playoffs. I guarantee you. You’re gonna get to the playoffs, and they’re going to put that carrot right in front of you and say, ‘Did he learn, or did he not learn?’ And the quarterback might just say, ‘Hey, I don’t think he learned,’ and let it go.”
The entire conversation was excellent and definitely worth your time. Hufanga dove into the origins of his relationship with Troy Polamalu, the growth of Nick Bosa’s leadership, and life under Kyle Shanahan.
Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today so you don’t miss an episode!