“It certainly resonated with Kittle, who became aware of the Sherman/Wilson interview via his social media feed.
“I got tagged 100 times by people,” the seventh-year tight end explained after the game. “I had never seen that before — until this week.”
Another Niners player, cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, told me he had been alerted to the clip in similar fashion on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t even think that was real,” he said. “I thought that was photoshopped.”
Nonetheless, Lenoir felt emboldened that night to tweet “So” in response to the news that Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, who had injured his throwing elbow the previous Sunday, would play in Thursday night’s game.
“I already knew what we were going to do to them,” Lenoir told me afterward.”
Ward was targeted with seven passes and allowed one catch for 14 yards. Ward had a season-high three pass breakups while Metcalf had a season-low 32 receiving yards — 40 below his 2023 average — on three catches. In winning the matchup, Ward evidently also won Metcalf’s respect.
“I don’t know why, but that was my first time ever shaking his hand after a game,” Ward said. “He came up to me and told me he’s got a lot of respect for me. … He’s a physical specimen and one of the best receivers in the league, so I know I can’t go out there half-stepping. He can intimidate you mentally and physically. I didn’t allow him to do that.”..... On Thursday, however, Ward said Metcalf was “pretty chill” and nearly devoid of trash talk, although he did make it clear he enjoyed run-blocking against Ward.
“DK is much stronger than me,” Ward said. “Every time he was blocking me and would get his hands on me, he just started laughing because I can’t get free most of the time. But in pass coverage, I’m pretty confident against those bigger guys.”
“He said the infractions had him playing cautiously and that he hasn’t always been able to be the aggressive, combative cornerback he wants to be. Before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in fact, he said one of the officials approached him during warmups and cautioned that they were going to be wary of over-physical play.”
“In other words, Purdy’s pass hit different than his across-the-field, into-heavy-traffic, 13-yard touchdown pass to Aiyuk in a 34-3 win at Jacksonville on Nov. 12. After that game, Shanahan termed it one of the worst decisions of Purdy’s NFL career and said it took him a while to get over it.
Shanahan’s point: The young QB had gotten lucky. His feelings Thursday: Damn, the 49ers are lucky to have their young QB.
“He made the throw,” Shanahan said. “I wouldn’t have known (it would have worked) until he threw it. Once he threw it, it was obviously there.”
“Another candidate when it comes to rising to the challenge and shoring up the team’s suddenly leaky coverage units? How about Luter, who ran down Dee Eskridge from behind on a 66-yard kickoff return in the first quarter? Eskridge ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash before the 2021 draft. Luter was faster on Thursday.”
“Ambry Thomas, CB, 90.2, 46 snaps”
“I couldn’t believe he was throwing it,” Shanahan said. “The zone coverage guys were so deep, usually you can check down right underneath them and get about 12. But Brock thought he could drop it in over the guy. It was a clear view for all of us. It was just a hell of a throw. Like perfect touch, got it over (Quandre) Diggs. It was a big play that sealed it.”