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Morning Report: PFF End of Season Player Grades, Coach Tony Oden Talks Richard Sherman, Jimmie Ward and What Makes DB the Hardest Position on the Field

Good Morning Faithful,

Here are your top 49ers storylines for Wednesday, January 6.

New and Notable

Despite Early Finish, 49ers Still Hosted a Number of Top Performers in 2020

The San Francisco 49ers may not have had the season they envisioned coming off of their NFC Championship run, but the performance of several players should offer some encouragement as the team heads into the offseason. Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus provided notes on several members of the 49ers who graded near the top of their respective positions in 2020. Here's a few notes on seven of San Francisco's top performers. Read More >>>

49ers GM John Lynch Named Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Finalist

The 15 Modern-Era Player Finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021 was revealed on Tuesday with the San Francisco 49ers general manager earning a spot on the list.

This year marks the eighth time that Lynch has been named a finalist. San Francisco's general manager constructed one of the all-time great NFL careers while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-2003) and the Denver Broncos (2004-07). A four-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Lynch played in 224 games (191 starts) and registered 1,054 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 26 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and 100 passes defended. Read More >>>

49ers Defensive Backs Coach, Tony Oden Gives an Exclusive Interview for the WON Digital Magazine

People often say that defensive back is the toughest position in the NFL, do you agree with that?

"Yeah, I would agree. I think all of the positions are tough and pose their unique challenges. I'm a little biased, but I do think it's pretty hard because the guys have to be very athletic and cover fast guys in a lot of space. That's tough to do especially with the rules, the way they are with contact down the field. So you have to be a very crafty person to get that done. The other thing I think DBs have to do is tackle. A lot of times offenses will force corners or defensive backs to tackle more and in space, which is challenging as well. So you have to cover guys at a high level and you have to be a great tackler as well. That's what makes it tough."

Can you speak to what it has been like to have Richard Sherman in the meeting room and on the field?

"It's been great. When you have someone who has done as much as he has, in my opinion, he's a future Hall of Famer, no doubt about it. To have him in the room, his presence alone makes a difference. There's a type of confidence that the room has when he's in there, as opposed to when he's not in there. When he's not in the room, we still have a great group of guys, but it's just a different presence. The way he sees things, the way he communicates to me and the other players in the room is great. A lot of times he is like a coach on the field. He is that problem solver without question. He is a person that can take the message from the meeting room with us into the locker room and communicate it back to the players. He connects all the dots because he sees the big picture. I would say his presence is priceless. I don't think you can ever put words to it or do it justice to have a player like that. I think he's unique in that regard because I think there's a lot of great players, but great players don't always necessarily bring that presence. He's a giver of information. He leads people, he draws them together and those things matched with his athletic ability and his talent make him unique to people of that caliber. He's willing to share, teach, motivate, but he knows that he still might not have all the answers. He's still extremely coachable which is very refreshing."

What makes a player like Jimmie Ward so versatile?

"I think he's the best, if not one of the best, safeties in the league. I saw him and knew him coming out of college. I knew the kind of player he was or at least I thought I did, but after being in the room and intimately knowing him from a coaching perspective and watching him play, he is priceless because he does so much. I think he is very underrated. He can cover, he's an excellent tackler, he is a phenomenal teammate, he's passionate, he loves football and he studies the game. All those boxes that I checked for the corner are the boxes I would check with Jimmie, plus the other intangibles like his work ethic. To me, he's the prototype safety because he can do it all. He allows our defense to be able to do so much. His attitude is great in the room. He is an underrated safety as far as the league goes, but definitely not underrated in our organization or our meeting room. We all see what he does and how much he means to our defense. He can truly do it all. I can't say enough good things about him."

Quick Hits

In the eighth episode of "Inside the Oval" presented by Dignity Health, 49ers senior manager of social media Johnny Volk discussed the social strategy for a typical NFL gameday and shared his social media pet peeves, most memorable moments and tips for people who aspire to work in social media.

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Despite having 77 players suit up on offense and defense for the 49ers this season, the team still ranked 11th in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus' overall team grades. That's better than four playoff teams and the 10-6 Miami Dolphins.

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Último episodio de los 49ers de la Temporada 2020, Jesús Zárate y Carlos Ramírez analizan el juego contra los Seahawks y todo lo que va a pasar en la temporada baja.

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