Fred Warner is arguably coming off of the best game of his young NFL career. San Francisco's second year linebacker registered 11 solo tackles, one of which went for a loss, a sack, two hurries, nine total stops and a forced fumble that set the tone early in San Francisco's 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers. His nine stops were the most of any defensive player in the NFL in Week 12.
Warner's performance earned him his first-career NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor.
"That's what you expect out of a guy in his second year, especially with how much he played his first year," Shanahan said of Warner's performance against the Packers. "But, it doesn't always go that way. Sometimes, guys have a real good first year and they relax a little bit thinking they figured it out and then you get extremely humbled the second year. Fred got to play a ton and exceeded expectations, I think, with everyone his first year. Then he was just even more hungry, came back like a 10-year vet and came back better mentally, better physically and I think it's shown to everyone in every game."
Through 11 games, Warner has registered a team-high 81 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, four quarterback hits and four passes defended.
Warner was also named to ESPN's Bill Barnwell's "All-Underrated Team" that features 24 players who have been more impressive than public perception this season. Here's what Barnwell had to say about San Francisco's linebacker:
"One of the many 49ers who excelled during Sunday's blowout victory over the Packers, Warner has been forced to assume a bigger role in the defense with Kwon Alexander done for the season. His ascension into one of the league's rangiest, smartest coverage linebackers in Year 2 has been extremely fun to watch; few linebackers fly to the flats to make plays as fast as Warner.
He unsurprisingly led the 49ers with 11 tackles during Sunday night's win, filling up the stat sheet with a tackle for loss and the strip sack of Rodgers on the opening drive that set the tone for the romp to come. Teammates DeForest Buckner and Jaquiski Tartt just narrowly missed this list, but Warner is the next great 49ers inside linebacker."