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Golden Nuggets: game day

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Sunday, December 17th, 2023

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Barrows: Hard hats and pancakes: How 49ers’ receivers became such vicious blockers (paywall)

“Does that mean Foerster and the other coaches have done a lot of yelling and ripping during the Friday meetings? Well, no.

Back in Washington, Foerster settled on the quasi-critical approach he uses today with the 49ers. He points out that a receiver can do better by showing him a previous example of him blocking well.

“What I would do when Santana missed his block is I started going back and finding other film clips of game tape where Santana did well,” he said. “‘Hey, Santana, hey man, look at this. Great job, great job.’ And then this: ‘Hey, ‘Tana, we know you can do better than that in this place.’”

Receivers coach Leonard Hankerson has taken the positive-enforcement strategy a step further, introducing something he calls the “knockdown hat” to meetings. It’s a yellow hard hat Hankerson keeps in the offensive meeting room. The receivers have the honor of signing it whenever they deliver as blockers. But it can’t be a merely good block. As Willie Snead IV explained it, it has to be a pancake — a block that puts a defender on his back as flat as a pancake.”

Why Shanahan likes Deebo on 49ers’ kick-return duties

“We have the last couple of weeks. I don’t know if it’s going to always stay; I think it will be kind of impulsive decisions,” Shanahan told Papa. “But Deebo is so good with the ball. He knows how to run it. He is a threat to run it. I think he is special at it. When you do have a special guy at it, it’s hard not to give him more opportunities. I love putting him back randomly in a playoff game or something. But if you only get an opportunity here or there, you’re not going to really be able to do what your talent is.”

While Shanahan is aware of the injury risk that comes with subjecting Samuel to additional danger on special teams duty, the 49ers coach explained why that doesn’t deter him from rolling Samuel out to run back kicks.

“I would hate to get him hurt on a kickoff, just like I’d hate to get him hurt on a run play that’s not to him, with him blocking or anything,” Shanahan explained. “But you’ve got to weigh that risk sometimes because he is that special of a player. I know how bad he wants to do it, and it’s something we’ll always be thinking about here, especially throughout the rest of this year.”

49ers promote two players for Week 15 game vs. Cardinals

“While both Oren Burks (knee) and Ross Dwelley (ankle) have been ruled out, 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks shared Thursday that Dre Greenlaw (hip) is expected to play.

General manager John Lynch shared during his weekly KNBR appearance on Friday that Charvarius Ward also has a chance to return to the field after only playing four snaps against Seattle in Week 14 due to a groin injury.”

Why Brock Purdy and these 49ers give Matt Ryan flashbacks to MVP season (paywall)

“To me, I think it’s timing,” Ryan said. “Particularly in what they want to do in the play-action pass game — so much of it requires trust and timing and getting the ball out early. I think that’s one of things you see with Brock. He’s been excellent in that area, letting the ball go in the timing of the play.

“It’s something Kyle stresses all the time. Receivers are on steps on certain routes. And it’s about the footwork and timing as a quarterback. You have to let the ball go with a great level of trust, not only in your receivers, but in the scheme.”