Good Morning Faithful,
Here are the top 49ers headlines for Friday, January 29.
New and Notable
Statements on Tom Rathman's Retirement
On Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts announced that former 49ers fullback and running backs coach Tom Rathman is officially hanging up his 31-year NFL career. Here's a statement from the 49ers:
The 49ers family would like to congratulate Tom Rathman on concluding a tremendous, 31-year career as both a player and a coach in the National Football League. During more than two decades as a 49er, he left an indelible mark on our organization, the players he coached and the defenders he battled. Tom coached his players the same way he played the game, with a selfless, hard-nosed dedication to getting the best out of himself and those around him. A member of the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, he is the quintessential 49er in every way. We are so happy for Tom, his wife, Holly, and their family, as he steps away from the game to which he gave so much.
Frank Gore also sent this congratulations to his former coach:
I want to congratulate Tom on a Hall of Fame career – both as a player and a coach. Tom was a father-figure to me. He came into my life and career at the perfect time. He challenged me every day to be better, both on the field and off, and I always wanted to make him proud. Tom helped me see the big picture of football and I wouldn't have had as much success throughout my career without him. I love him. SQUEEZE IT!
Jeff Wilson Jr. Earns Recognition as 49ers Unsung Hero Following 2020 Campaign
In a year that featured a carousel of players in premier roles for the 49ers, Jeff Wilson Jr. earned the appreciation and trust of San Francisco's brass. Wilson Jr. was expected to become a restricted free agent this year, however, the team announced on Tuesday they have re-signed the running back to a one-year deal following his team-leading 2020 campaign.
According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson Jr. owns the seventh-best rushing grade when in scoring distance (40 yard-line and in) among running backs with a minimum of 50 attempts over the last two seasons.
NFL.com's Nick Shook highlighted one player from all 32 teams who flew under the radar in 2020, however, made a significant impact for their respective clubs. For San Francisco, Shook shined a light on the production and efficiency of the 49ers former undrafted back. Read More >>>
PFF Lists Offseason Needs for All 32 NFL Teams
For 30 of the league's clubs, the mindset has shifted from the 2020 season to building back even stronger in 2021. For coaches and executives, that means evaluating their current rosters and preparing for free agency and the NFL Draft. Pro Football Focus looked at all 32 teams and their biggest needs heading into next season. Here's what the analytics site had to say about the 49ers:
"Richard Sherman was great for the 49ers in 2019 and Jason Verrett was excellent in 2020, his first healthy season in several years, but both players are scheduled to be free agents and the 49ers don't have a great group outside of them. Ahkello Witherspoon bounced back this season, but he has been beaten for a passer rating of over 100 for his career, and nobody else on the roster played more than 500 snaps this season. The 49ers need to find a new No. 1 cornerback or make a big push to retain Verrett."
With Madden NFL 21's Free To Play* trial January 28-31, get in the game free, and celebrate the best players in football during the 2021 Pro Bowl. Learn More >>>
49ers running back Raheem Mostert dazzled in the 2019 NFC Championship game with 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns vs. the Green Bay Packers becoming the first player in NFL history with over 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game. Watch Mostert break down the game below. 👇