49ers Veteran Jimmie Ward Teases New Motto: ‘I’m Calling it Out’

Jimmie Ward

Getty Jimmie Ward after his interception during the NFC title game played on January 30, 2022.

Has San Francisco 49ers safety and captain Jimmie Ward found a side hustle?

Well, the verbose defender who has been with the franchise since being taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, which makes him the longest-tenured member of the 49ers, came up with a unique idea involving designing some new outfits.

He also explained where he drew the inspiration for his idea from during his Tuesday, August 9 interview on the Papa and Lund Show on KNBR in the Bay Area.

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Idea Stems From Excitement He’s Witnessed at 49ers Camp

Ward, always one to speak his mind and exhibit his enthusiasm, has been in awe over the play of the defensive back unit during 49ers camp practices.

So much so, that he came up with this idea to the radio show hosts: A shirt that has “Pick City” emblazoned.

“I see Pick City,” Ward said. “I’m calling it out, man. I’m going to have some T-shirts made. Pick City.”

This unit was once 28th overall in the league last season with snatching takeaways, which includes coming away with just nine interceptions total during the 2021 regular season. And Ward was the one leading the way…getting his team-best two interceptions in one game — November 15, 2021 versus the Los Angeles Rams.

But now? Ward is witnessing new energy from the DB unit in Santa Clara by watching the interception tally go up against Trey Lance, Deebo Samuel and the rest of the 49ers offense.

The Takeaway Pileup

Last season, the 49ers had eight defenders collect a pass from opposing quarterbacks.

Now, in a tally comprised by 49ers insider for The Athletic David Lombardi, this secondary officially has more players on the interception stat sheet with 13 total. Ward and fellow veteran safety Tarvarius Moore are the DB leaders with two picks:

It’s not just familiar faces getting the pigskin from the 49ers’ secondary either. Undrafted rookie Marcelino McCrary-Ball and free agent addition Ka’Dar Hollman, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, have collected the ball.

Lombardi added how the 49ers grabbed 11 interceptions during last season’s training camp. Ward was enthusiastic in describing the 2022 group comprising the newly-revamped 49ers secondary — including newcomer Charvarius Ward from the Kansas City Chiefs and Emmanuel Moseley.

“Guys looking good, especially on the outside,” Ward told the radio hosts. “Mooney and E-Man, oh my god.” Ward also praised the development of second-year cornerbacks Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas, who are also among the 13 grabbing the ball from the offense. Per Lombardi, the 2021 draft picks from Oregon and Michigan, respectively, took over the first team cornerback duties with Ward and Moseley not practicing (the latter stained his hamstring per Lombardi and sat out of Tuesday’s session).

Overall, Ward revealed what part of the secondary he likes the most.

“I like the corners that we have right now, man,” Ward said.

But now, along with the new designer shirt idea, Ward threw in this hope: The 49ers secondary won’t see an injury pileup and instead continue their interception pileup.

“You know the name of the game. It’s all about staying healthy,” Ward said. “That was my problem early in my career, trying to fight the injury bug. But if we can stay healthy, we’ll be locked in.”

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