Player Feature: Marcell Harris
Prior to Week 2's matchup in Cincinnati during the 2019 season, the 49ers spent time in Youngstown, Ohio, where they participated in the Community Blitz. Harris and some of his teammates joined the students at Williamson Elementary School to talk about inclusion and anti-bullying. The players spoke at an assembly before helping the kids write compliment cards and discuss how to be kind to one another.
Harris notes that his mother, Andrea Tate, is the most influential person in his life. He maintains that since an early age, she gave him the best advice he has ever received, which is having the ability to believe in yourself and not quit something that you start. "I've been through a lot of things, but it's about pushing through and facing adversity," Harris said.
On the top of Harris' bucket list is a trip to Dubai. He has an interest in the city, and would like to experience the culture, try new food, travel on a camel's back and ride dune buggies in the desert hills.
Read more about Marcell Harris by clicking his bio below.
Coach's Corner: Chris Kiffin
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from 49ers Pass Rush Specialist, Chris Kiffin.
What does it mean to transfer speed to power, and why is that important?
It's important because you want to get the offensive lineman out of balance and the number one way to do that is to be getting off the football as fast as possible. The faster we're going, the faster they have to move backward. Then when all of a sudden you catch them with power up underneath them, it's very hard for them to handle and it knocks them off balance. Obviously, they are very good at what they do so if you don't generate that and keep them off balance, it's very easy for them to block us.
If you had to pick just one, what would you say is more important, great feet or great hands?
I would say feet because your hands will always be able to keep someone off you. It's very hard to beat somebody if you don't have good feet, especially at this level because the offensive linemen are dancing bears as well. We have to be able to be quicker and faster than they are.
In your opinion, what has made this pass rush group one of the most successful in the NFL?
Having no drop off at any spot. Obviously, to be as talented as we are at all four positions makes it very easy, but for all four of them to have the cohesiveness with the combination of some older guys, a rookie and a free agent in Dee Ford coming from Kansas City. The cohesiveness of all four of them in a short amount of time really surprised all of us, but they're all so talented individually, that putting them together is easy.
What has made Nick Bosa so successful this early in his career?
He is super talented, super athletic, but he's wise beyond his years because he's grown up in the game with his dad, uncle and brother. He's just always been around it. To experience that and watch his brother because he's so close in age, but just far enough apart where he's watched him in college and then the NFL. They are such similar players. He's just always been ahead of the game, but his athleticism is unbelievable.
How important is rotating your defensive line, and in what ways does it help, other than keeping the guys fresh?
I've always thought that it gives them a different perspective being on the sideline seeing what their teammates, the guys in their position, are getting. Just to step back and look at it from that point of view and then to go out there and be able to know exactly what you're getting into. Sometimes that's why it's easier for the guys coming off the bench instead of the guys starting because they get to watch it before they actually get out there. But the main thing is keeping them fresh. Obviously, they exert so much energy not just running, but the physical wear of pressing 300-pound O-linemen off of them. It takes its toll.
What do you believe is more efficient in rattling a quarterback, inside or outside pass rush?
I think it depends on the quarterback. For shorter quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, especially with us and our 6' 7'' guys and moving Arik inside. With DeForest and Arik I think inside pocket presence really disrupts them because it's hard for them to see downfield and create those lanes of vision. I think for all quarterbacks their fear is outside because of how quickly those guys can get beat, especially when you're talking about a quarterback's blindside and not being able to see behind them coming from the right defensive end. I think that would probably strike the most fear in them.
To read more about Coach Kiffin, click his bio below.
WON of Us: Lori Harding
Lori Harding became a 49ers fan after moving to the Bay Area from Vancouver, BC. While she has had multiple favorite teams through the years, since finding her new home, her loyalty is locked with the Red and Gold.
Being originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, I was a big CFL fan and through the 80s often rooted for the 49ers when the games were nationally televised as well as in the Super Bowl games. But I officially became a loyal and true 49ers fan after moving to the Bay Area in 2013. I had just moved from Vancouver which meant I had been rooting for Seattle, but once I moved here I was fully engulfed with the 49ers community and have made the full switch with no intention of going back.
What do you love about WON?
I love that WON gives us so much exposure to different parts of the organization. At so many events, we have had the opportunity to look behind the curtain. For example, during the Women's Football Clinic, we met so many football staff members and got a true understanding of the various roles and who fills them. Another favorite of mine was the event in San Francisco prior to Super Bowl 50. It's so great that the club is able to pull together so many likeminded people into a room, as fans, and as women.
Get to know WON member Lori.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
While I officially became a true 49ers fan in 2013, when Richard Sherman signed with the 49ers I felt like the final deal was sealed. Back in 2009, I was doing some work with Stanford University and became a really big fan of Richard's. When he signed with San Francisco, I knew that one of my favorite players would be with my favorite team and it felt great!
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
I don't have too many traditions or anything like that, but I do have two things that I typically avoid when it comes to 49ers football. First, I rarely ever host or attend watch parties. When I watch a game, I want to be fully focused on what is happening with the players and coaches and typically don't want to socialize with others. I like to watch the games at home, where I know that I can channel my focus on the game. The other thing has to do with predictions. I don't like making predictions. In my mind, as soon as you make a prediction, it just jinxes the team, so I just don't do it.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
The sense of community. Growing up in Canada, you don't see as many fans who are as "all in" as American fans. When you are in the Bay Area or specifically tailgating at Levi's® Stadium, you get the full sense of commitment from the fans that you don't feel in other places. I also love that there are so many women who are embraced and celebrated here. When it comes to the 49ers, there is such a great sense of community.
Community Connection: High School Coach of the Year
Over the course of the regular season of high school football, each week 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank selected a head coach to be named the Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week. At the end of the regular season, the NFL grants the San Francisco 49ers the opportunity to select one of these coaches as the San Francisco 49ers High School Coach of the Year.
This year's High School Football Coach of the Year presented by U.S. Bank goes to Mike Machado, Head Coach for Valley Christian High School in San Jose, CA. Coach Machado and the Valley Christian Warriors finished the 2019 season off strong competing in the CCS playoffs. Marking his 23rd year of coaching football, Coach Machado continues to build a strong football program that is respected throughout the Bay Area.
In addition to teaching young athletes to compete in football, Coach Machado uses the game to pursue one of his greatest passions, Football Camp for the Stars. This is a two-day camp that inspires athletes with Down syndrome to learn about football in a safe and authentic environment.
For being selected as the 49ers PREP Coach of the Year, Coach Machado and the Valley Christian High School football program will receive a grant from the 49ers Foundation!
Coach Machado will also represent the San Francisco 49ers in Orlando, FL during Pro Bowl week as the team's Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year. This award is presented annually to a high school football coach in the United States that displays the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.
We are excited to recognize Coach Machado as our 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank Coach of the Year and look forward to him representing the San Francisco 49ers in Orlando!
Congratulations, Coach Machado!
Through the Lens
Meg Williams, a team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers, shares her favorite moments covering the 49ers 2019 season.
This Deebo Samuel touchdown grab is one of my favorite catches I've photographed this season. Besides the way the ball is floating into Samuel's hands and the way he was able to lose his defender, what stands out to me about this photo is that you can see his eyes through his face mask, which is always hard to capture because players are looking back at the ball (or blinking). I love photographing in the rain because it reminds me of growing up in Portland, Oregon. Rain can bring its own challenges, like having to put waterproof covers on all the cameras and lenses, but I personally love the challenge and think that the rain texture adds more to the images.
Postgame following a win is always hectic. Players are running to do jersey swaps, talk with friends and former teammates, and some run straight for the locker room. I ran ahead of the team as they were running back into the locker room to try and see if I could get fan interactions and a last glimpse of celebrations before the players headed into the tunnel. Kittle was cheering with the crowd and at the last second put his head down and shook out his hair while still smiling. My favorite detail is the beads of sweat coming off his head and the fans cheering him on.
Fred Warner stepped up under the lights of "Saturday Night Football" and came down with the first interception (and pick-six) of his career. As a photographer, you are tasked with trying to follow the ball through your lens as the play progresses. I was honed in on Jared Goff's pass when Warner cut the route for the pick and you can see his eyes looking all the way down the field to the end zone.
Baltimore rain again because, as I said, I love the rain. The white breath coming out of Elijah Lee's mouth is a good visual of just how cold the game really was and adds an air of mystery and determination for the game to come. The raindrops really pop in front of a darker background which really frames Lee as the focal point in the frame.
Kyle Juszczyk has been the "Offensive Weapon" and leader of this team for three seasons and had, until this moment, not made it into the end zone at Levi's® Stadium. I was positioned at the left corner of the end zone and watched the progression of the play head my direction. This shot came together around an amazing first for Juszczyk. I love that I also captured not only Jimmy's face watching his fullback catch the touchdown pass but also the defender's look of disbelief.
I try and challenge myself each game to take a strong frame away from game action photos. During the Rams game, there was a beautiful sunset during the middle of pregame, so I knew a beautiful flyover sunset shot wasn't in the cards. I wanted to find a way to still capture the sunset and headed to the Bud Light Patio. A plane flew over at exactly the right time, so it kind of felt like I made my own personal flyover.
WON Remembers 87 Event Recap
This December, WON Members and guests attended a special evening at Levi's® Stadium to remember the life and legacy of the late Dwight Clark. Upon arrival at the 49ers Museum presented by Fii, guests were treated to beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres in the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Hall of Fame. Attendees could purchase copies of Letters to 87 and NBC Sports Bay Area Insider Matt Maiocco met fans and signed copies of the book. 100-percent of the book royalties are donated to the Golden Heart Fund.
All attendees were escorted to the Fii Club where Senior Team Reporter, Keiana Martin led a discussion with 49ers alumni Keena Turner and Eric Wright. They shared their favorite stories, memories and had many laughs talking about the 49ers legend. Following the conversation, there was a special showing of the Letters to 87 documentary from NBC Sports Bay Area.
To conclude the final WON event of 2019, raffle winners took home Dwight Clark themed prize bags and one lucky fan won an autographed Jimmy Garoppolo helmet!
Friends interested in WON? They can join and receive email invitations to every event!
WON members and guests enjoyed an evening at Levi's® Stadium sharing and hearing stories about 49ers legend, Dwight Clark. Among those who shared laughs and tears were Matt Maiocco, former linebacker Keena Turner and former defensive back Eric Wright.
This Month in 49ers History
A look at marquee moments throughout the team's rich history pulled from the 49ers Archives.
Jan 10, 1982
With 58 seconds remaining in the 1981 NFC Championship game, Joe Montana found Dwight Clark in the back of the Candlestick Park end zone for the winning score in a 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. "The Catch" is remembered as the signature play in 49ers history. It sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl, and transformed the franchise, as San Francisco went on to win four Super Bowl titles in the 1980s.
"I figured 'the Catch' would be a big deal because it got us to the Super Bowl," Clark said. "But I didn't understand the big picture and how important it was to the franchise and to the San Francisco Bay Area until much later."