Player Feature: K'Waun Williams
- His first name is pronounced KAY-wahn.
- Was given the nickname "The Shark" by the 49ers coaching staff.
- Enjoys reading in his free time. His favorite books are the biography of Steve Jobs and The Art of War.
NFL players had the opportunity to participate in the NFL's annual "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign during Week 14 of the 2019 season. Williams and his teammates represented their respective causes with custom-designed cleats to raise awareness and funding. Williams represented the American Cancer Society, saying, "I play for my mom."
Read more about K'Waun Williams by clicking his bio below.
Coach's Corner: Mike LaFleur
This month's "Coach's Corner" is an interview with 49ers Passing Game Coordinator, Mike LaFleur
After a successful season on offense in 2019, where do you think it can get even better in 2020?
Just the whole deal. Yes, we did have a successful year, but we went back after the year and we tried to be hard on ourselves and figure out where to improve and there were a lot of ways we could improve starting with us as coaches. It's our job to put these guys in positions to be successful. Then our players – we've got some cool dudes who are going to be hard on themselves too. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert, guys like that, are going to try and find ways they can improve and take their game to another level.
What is the team's philosophy on complementary football between the run and pass?
It's been Coach Shanahan's philosophy since he started being a coordinator and really got into the league 15 years ago. It all starts with the run game for us which sets up the pass, but the big thing we like to say with our offense is they need to marry up with each other, they need to look the same. The way our offensive line comes off the ball in the run game is really no different than how they come off in the passing game, particularly on first and second downs. That's everything for us and our philosophy in terms of marrying it up and making a defense not really know if it's run or pass.
After completing his first 16-game regular season, what areas of the passing game do you expect Jimmy Garoppolo to take another step forward this season?
Even though he's been in the league six or seven years, he hadn't played much. Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard had played more than him going into last year. I think for him to be able to take a step back and take a breather, will be good. With the 16 games and three in the playoffs, that's 19 games and you really don't get to take a breath during the season. For him going back, even without the offseason this year in terms of actual practice, I think everything will slow down for him. That's the key for a quarterback, they just want everything to be as slow as possible and the only way you can do that is by playing. He had a great year last year, but he's got the talent to be as good as he wants to be.
With the expected competition at WR this year, what are you looking for in order for players to stand out?
There is a lot of competition there and they are all very different guys. From Richie James Jr. to Dante Pettis to Deebo, Brandon Aiyuk who we just brought in and Kendrick Bourne obviously had a real good year, they all bring a little something different to the table. But, there are only so many spots in terms of carrying six guys and a few on the practice squad so someone's not going to make this thing. All we're asking is for these guys to go out during this training camp, bring their best every single day, and because it's so deep they have no choice but to bring their best every single day. It should be a fun battle to watch through training camp. Unfortunately, we're not going to have the preseason to see them totally live, but I think we know these guys well enough that we'll be able to make our decision when it comes down to it and it will sort itself out as training camp goes.
Can you explain the importance of George Kittle in the passing game as a blocker and pass catcher?
The unique thing about Kittle is he probably likes blocking more than he does catching. Actually, he probably doesn't even like catching the ball, he just likes having the ball in his hands and trying to run people over. It's pretty unique that he enjoys the blocking aspect of it, both in the run and pass game, he's fun because of that. He's about as unselfish of a guy as you could ever have.
To read more about Coach LaFleur, click the bio below.
WON of Us: Candy
Candy Finley, the Angeleno, travels to all 16 49ers games every year to support the team that she has loved since discovering them as a teen.
When I was 13 years old, in the '80s, I remember seeing a commercial featuring Joe Montana and instantly I had to know what team he played for. Growing up, I had been raised a Steelers fan by my father but one look at Cool Joe's blue eyes, I switched allegiances and have never looked back. My father was shocked at how I had flipped the switch so quickly but he eventually accepted it. Even though I grew up in Steelers home, win, lose or tie, I'm a Niner 'til I die.
What do you love about WON?
I love everything about WON! The organization as a whole does so many things to advance women in sports. It's inspiring to have Coach Sowers on the staff and I hope that one day we'll see a female NFL Head Coach. As women, we are a huge part of the 49ers fan base and the NFL overall. I live in Los Angeles but have season tickets and am just as passionate as any other fan. I love seeing my team run events for women who love football because I love football and always have. I've even played and was the assistant head coach for a men's tackle football team here in southern California.
Get to know WON member Candy.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
I have moments on the field and off from the 49ers that have inspired me. The top play for me has and always will be The Catch. That was such an amazing moment so it has to be The Catch. A non-football play moment has to be when the 2016 49ers rallied as a team to support their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick as he kneeled in response to the unequal treatment of people of color in the United States of America. As a Black woman, I supported his decision to use his platform to start a conversation about racial injustice and that has been the most inspiring thing to witness.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
As I mentioned, I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to every game, home and away, so that is my biggest tradition. But, I also have specific bracelets and necklaces that I have to wear on gamedays. Beyond that, I don't have anything too superstitious, just wearing my favorite gear every week.What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
Fall is my favorite time of year because of football! I love being around the people that I get to connect with and there is nothing like out 49ers family. We all come together for the games and the camaraderie, but we are a family on non-gamedays as well. We support each other through the good and the bad on the field and in our personal lives. I've had milestone events in my life that I invite my 49ers family too, from out of town and even out of state and they always show up to support me. Football brought us together and it's a beautiful thing. The 49ers are an extension of myself and they make me the best version of myself.
Amid a global pandemic, the 49ers were creative in continuing their annual Community Day tradition of hosting volunteer opportunities for front office staff. This year, the Community Relations team organized three opportunities to better the local and global community as a whole.
Social Justice: Education to Action: On Juneteenth over 150 staff participated in a social justice learning session with Kevin Richardson of the Exonerated Five and Reverend Ben McBride, leader and activist for peace and justice. The conversation highlighted Kevin's experience being wrongfully incarcerated, what it means to be Black in America, and how to motivate society to not only speak out but act to bring change and equality. The hour and a half learning sessions were followed by breakout groups for staff to discuss two important films highlighting institutional racism, Just Mercy and 13th.
AFSP Virtual Walk: On June 20th, 81 staff across 9 different states walked to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Virtual Walk. The program featured a staff discussion, and a heartfelt conversation led by Solomon Thomas and his family.
Food Distribution: Over 35 49ers staff volunteered to distribute food to families affected by COVID-19's economic impact at Cathedral of Faith, a partner organization of Second Harvest Food Bank. 903 families (approx. 3,612 individuals) were served during the final 2020 Community Days activity.
As part of the 49ers 2020 Community Days, a series of opportunities for the organization's front office to give back, 37 staff members volunteered their time with Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley at one of their largest distribution sites, Cathedral of Faith Church in San Jose.
Save the Dates:
FREE ticket to the 49ers Foundation's Kickoff: Players for a Purpose event presented by SAP
The 49ers Foundation's annual kickoff to the season is going virtual! Players for a Purpose presented by SAP will take place on Tuesday, Sept 1st and Wednesday, Sept 2nd. Fan club members receive free access to the Main Program of the event with the access code FREEFANCLUB and can get $5 off all other event tickets here. From a live auction where you can bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences to playing a game of Pictionary with your favorite players, this virtual event will be one you won't want to miss! All proceeds from the event will go towards the 49ers Foundation and their mission to educate and empower Bay Area youth. To learn more, visit 49ers.com/kickoff.
Dig For Gold Training Camp Edition
The 49ers Foundation's Dig For Gold Training Camp Edition is live! For the next three weeks, fans have the opportunity to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind items that come straight from the team's locker room. This year's sale includes a 49ers NFC Champion locker room hat, signed footballs, team-issued 49ers gear, Jimmy Garoppolo game-worn pants and much more! Visit 49ers.com/DigForGold to bid on these items and make sure to check back every week for new memorabilia. All proceeds go to supporting the 49ers Foundation and its direct programs 49ers EDU and 49ers PREP.
This Month in 49ers History
Aug. 8, 1971
The 49ers hosted their very first football game at Candlestick Park after calling Kezar Stadium their home field for 25 years. San Francisco beat the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game at Candlestick, 38-24. From 1971 through 2013 the 49ers won more games at Candlestick Park than any other NFL team on its home field. Candlestick also was the site of a league-record 36 Monday Night Football games and eight NFC Championship contests.