At least, that’s according to Ward himself.
The free safety shared this with Grant Cohn of Sports Illustrated on Friday. Ward can’t seem to comprehend why the Rams head coach likes to pick on him the most. Ward also fired some shots at the NFC West rival.
“Yeah. What’s with their coach? Does he have the big head? I don’t want to say he has the big head, because I think he’s a hell of a coach. But what does he have against me to make him go at me every game and lose?” Ward asked Cohn.
2019 Game Sticks to Ward
Ward vividly remembers one particular outing with the Rams that still resonates with him.
It was week six in 2019. And the 49ers rolled into the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and stunned the then-NFC defending champion Rams 20-7 in front of the “Rams House.” Ward doesn’t just recall the score, but how he saw the football come his way multiple times.
The now 29-year-old Ward led the 49ers with five tackles that afternoon. But more astounding? The 49ers defense, with Ward in the backend, bottled the Rams to just 78 total aerial yards. Ward’s coverage and tackling ability keyed three third down stops against the Rams.
He also locked in on Cooper Kupp on this play which forced the turnover on downs.
Ward insists that he did nothing to provoke the Rams into attacking him, sharing that with Cohn.
“I don’t even talk s*** when we play the Rams. I don’t remember me talking s***,” Ward explained. “But I’ve had some good games against them. I don’t understand why he tries to go at me. I think I would try to go at somebody else.
“If you look at my track record, you’d be like, ‘Damn, this mother f***** dominated against the Rams.’ I even blocked a punt against them. Why even go at me? I don’t know, maybe there’s film. I wish I knew what offensive coordinators think of me. Do they say, ‘We’re going to go at this guy, he doesn’t cover as well, doesn’t tackle well.?’ I don’t think they say that. I just would like to know.”
In the second meeting, the Rams redeemed themselves on offense by producing two 100-yard receivers in Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee, plus put up 31 points against the 49ers. But S.F. still pulled the sweep by beating them 34-31.
How will Future Battles Against Ward Shake Out?
Ward has totaled 23 tackles in five meetings versus the Rams. By the way, his 49ers have won the last four meetings. Ward, though, tells Cohn he believes McVay won’t shy away from attacking him.
“I know (McVay) is going to try to (get) at me this year. I’ve been talking a lot of s***,” Ward said. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to get to him, so we’ll see. I’ll get more balls thrown to me, so I’ll get more action, and if I can back up what I’m talking about now and this whole offseason, hopefully I’ll get paid more money.”
Ward has fired his mouth on the Rams’ head coach. Got to wonder if McVay will respond this week on the one show where he’s shown his most honesty: The “Flying Coach” podcast that he co-hosts. If not, then Ward has to await potential flying footballs come his way on November 15 when the Rams come to town on Monday Night Football.