Coming off a solid performance that included a rushing touchdown over the Rams last Sunday, September 17, Samuel joined the “Up & Adams Show” featuring longtime NFL host Kay Adams on Tuesday and discussed a wide array of topics.
With the recent win, Adams asked the 49ers star WR if the Rams are his favorite team to beat.
“I wouldn’t say [the Rams are] my favorite team to beat,” Samuel said. “To me, I feel like we play them four or five times a year. That’s just how many times we play them. It’s crazy. You said we’ve beat them nine times in the regular season — I feel like that’s a lot. They’re really familiar with us; we’re really familiar with them.
“It doesn’t matter what their record says, it doesn’t matter what our record says. It’s always going to be a hard-fought game between the two.”
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Adams continued to push, and Samuel’s response shouldn’t surprise 49ers fans.
“We’ve kind of got this little back-and-forth thing with Seattle, so it’d be good to beat Seattle,” Samuel told Adams. “With the Rams, they know us, we know them, and we get their best and they get our best. Between the two teams, it’s always hard-fought games, and it always comes down to the end.”
His answer makes perfect sense. While the 49ers have dominated the Rams in recent history with nine consecutive wins over their division opponent, the rivalry with Seattle hasn’t been nearly as lopsided. Last season, San Francisco knocked Seattle out of the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs but in 2021, the Seahawks beat the 49ers twice.
Samuel will have to wait a while to face his favorite opponent as the 49ers first matchup against the Seahawks isn’t until Week 12 on the road in Seattle.
Deebo Samuel Impressing Coach After ‘Awful’ 2022
The jack-of-all-trades wide receiver has 11 receptions for 118 yards and is averaging 10.7 yards per catch after two games. He also has 7 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.6 yards per rush.
After a breakout season in 2021 where Samuel had 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and 6 touchdowns while adding another 365 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground, the 49ers’ star called his 2022 performance “awful” in a press conference over the summer.
“Oh, it was awful,” Samuel said to Bay Area reporters on Tuesday, June 6. “Every aspect.”
Although the season is young, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has noticed a significant change in Samuel from this time last year.
“He’s in much better condition. He had a much better training camp,” Shanahan said. “He was able to get through it all and get better throughout it. Last year, he had some setbacks coming in, wasn’t able to go through training camp, and kind of was in and out throughout the whole year.
“And now, it’s just like camp. He’s in the best shape, doesn’t have to come out as much, doesn’t have to take as many plays off, and is playing as good as I’ve seen him play.”