The 49ers have almost 40 players that aren’t under contract beyond this season. Two of those players currently play the same position in Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair. So the 49ers will likely have to choose which one of those players to pay this offseason. On today’s Oh, Hey There! podcast, Jason Aponte knows which way he’d go.
“When you say things critical of players, it comes off as hating, but I have not nearly been as high on Dre Greenlaw as I have Azeez Al-Shaair... You can’t bring both back next year unless Azeez wants to take a small deal.
You have a decision to make. 49ers fans love to tell me that Dre Greenlaw is a tackling machine and never misses tackles. Absolutely false. He does miss tackles. Also, I don’t know what games people are watching but you can’t miss tackles if you’re out of position.
Dre Greenlaw is a converted safety, and everybody loves his coverage skills because of that interception he made in that overtime game in 2019 against Seattle, which they lost. He looks lost! He’s got guys running right behind him, so he’s not even doing that!
Why is it that the narrative around Dre Greenlaw has become mostly populated because of the 2019 stop against Seattle? All of these narratives have popped up that are completely false. The tackling machine idea is wrong. The coverage skills thing is wrong. I had to get that off my chest. I take a lot of slack for being an Azeez guy. I do believe that Azeez Al-Shaair is the better football player, I’m sorry.”
There’s no question about it, Sunday was a terrible day for number 57. In addition to multiple back-breaking penalties, he also performed his regular duties poorly. Of course, these aren’t the end-all-be-all, but for context, PFF had Greenlaw as one of the 49ers’ second worst defensive players at 44.9 in 58 snaps. Al-Shaair, by contrast, was in the top five for defensive players at 70.4 in 30 snaps.
Aponte continued, “I believe that 49ers fans have jumped in front of him to take any sort of darts that anyone throws because he stopped somebody in 2019 in Seattle. They just forget the rest of the stuff. Come on, man. There were games after that...Dre Greenlaw is a microcosm for the undisciplined play that we saw in this game.”
Jason did admit that one of the penalties on Greenlaw was a ticky-tack unnecessary roughness flag, but that doesn’t absolve the rest of what we saw in Chicago. With contracts looming for both he and Azeez after the season, it will be interesting to see how the 49ers divide the snaps between those two players going forward.
Other topics in today’s show
- The 49ers dominated everywhere but the scoreboard (1:53)
- Everything fell apart in the second half (4:25)
- Penalties are a trend for Kyle Shanahan’s teams (7:19)
- Dre Greenlaw was horrible (10:53)
- Talanoa Hufanga is that dude (18:42)
- Don’t take anything definitive away from this game for Trey Lance (21:09)
- We saw the growing pains everyone said we’d see (29:52)
- The offensive line’s problems were on the edges (30:39)
- Trent Williams has a tell? (34:48)
- Elijah Mitchell is out...now what? (37:25)
- Is it panic time for the 49ers? (45:56)