There are truths getting spilled out about the San Francisco 49ers during this red-hot postseason run.
Two truths involving the 49ers, that is.
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In a new segment called “Two Truths and a Worry” on Heavy’s I’m Just Saying, the trio of Brian Mazique (Heavy on Patriots/Bulls), Paul “Boy Green” Esden (Heavy on Jets) and yours truly, the Heavy on 49ers representative, dove into what two things have been truthful about the ‘Niners during this time they’ve won nine of their last 12. Here’s what our truths about the ‘Niners are:
Seems like you can use a litany of analogies to describe the impact of the third-year All-Pro Deebo Samuel.
But I’ll start with this description: He’s the the match that starts that fire.
Samuel is the one the 49ers simply turn to if they want the following: A big play to start the game, a momentum-shifting play to spark a comeback or, in the case of this electric run from the playoff win at Dallas, the dagger that sticks the sword in:
Esden went further by saying “I have to piggy back off of Reyna and say Deebo Samuel is that dude. I mean running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield, I’m surprised he didn’t start throwing the football out there. Samuel was doing a little bit of everything for the 49ers out there. He is so dynamic and you have to credit the creativity of the offensive coaching staff as well. The first truth is Deebo is that dude and he is arguably the most dynamic/versatile weapon in the NFL.”
Meanwhile, Mazique made this declaration for the 49ers: Samuel has taken over as the 49ers’ No. 1 weapon and has replaced George Kittle as the one S.F. wants to feed the ball to.
“That is a truth,” Mazique said. “While people were high on Samuel heading into the year, I think most people would have pointed to Kittle and would’ve said he is the No. 1 option on this offense. That is no longer the case.”
Samuel was a clear sweep for one truth involving the 49ers. But what else qualified as a truth?
Position Coach Deserves More Praise
A week ago, Mazique praised the coaching — and redemption — of Chris Foerster, offensive line coach of the 49ers who had to prepare his unit against the likes of Aaron Donald, Von Miller, Leonard Floyd and company without his two original starting tackles.
I decided to follow suit but gave praise to the other trench coach who I believe deserves more credit than what he’s getting: Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach.
Against Dallas, plus facing a team that hadn’t allowed five sacks in a game since the Kansas City Chiefs loss, and to further boot not having his best pass rusher Nick Bosa on the field for nearly the entire game, Kocurek’s front line pressure still produced the following in Arlington:
- 14 quarterback hits of Dak Prescott.
- 5 sacks of Prescott.
- Helped hold the ground attack to 3.7 yards per carry and held Ezekiel Elliot to 31 yards.
- Lastly, got four sacks from the defensive linemen not named Bosa.
Here’s one who wrecked the trenches through Kocurek’s coaching: D.J. Jones, who drew this solo battle with Connor Williams and beat him with an old school pass rush move.
Another who raised his level of play under Kocurek? The newcomer Charles Omenihu, who wrapped up his first sack and forced fumble as a 49er.
Other Truths, Plus a ‘Truth & Worry’
Esden did bring up this combination of truth and worry that involves the 49ers offense.
“George Kittle was a non-factor in this game and they won. So on one hand you could say ‘Wow look what they did without Kittle, that is great.’ Although, on the other hand, I’m saying how in the hell do you not get Kittle the football?” Esden asked. “You should be orchestrating offensive plays that are designed to get him the football just like you do with Deebo Samuel.”
Kittle was limited to one catch for 18 yards in the playoff win, as he was utilized more as a blocker.
Lastly, Mazique’s other 49ers truth? It involves the future of the franchise.
“My second truth is the 49ers future is pretty bright,” Mazique said, citing the team having Samuel, a first round quarterback for the future in Trey Lance and also discovering a sixth round gem in running back Elijah Mitchell.