Player Feature: Ambry Thomas
- After dreaming of playing together in high school, cousin Jaylen Kelly Powell joined Thomas at Michigan to be teammates on the Wolverines squad. "We've been playing with each other all our life," Thomas said of Powell. "In Little League, we played Detroit Dolphins together. We were supposed to play at the same high school together, which was (Martin Luther) King, but he went to Cass (Technical). Every time I play him I act like I don't know him."
- Won two state championships at Martin Luther King (Detroit, MI) HS, which he and his teammates cite as honoring his late high school coach, Dale Harvel.
- Appeared in 39 (13 starts) games in four years (2017-20) at Michigan and recorded 54 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 9 PDs, 5 FRs, 4 INTs and 1 FF.
Read more about Ambry Thomas by clicking his bio below.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from the 49ers coaching staff
RB Elijah Mitchell set a record today for rookie rushing yards. What difference does he make to your offense?
"It's huge. I love all our backs, but Elijah has played at another level this year. When he is in there, we're very efficient. We always get at least what it's blocked for and you guys see how good he reads those gaps. When it seems crowded, he seems to find a way to get through there. And it was a hell of an accomplishment today. They just told me right before we broke the team down that he set that record. I messed with him that it would've been a lot easier if he was here the last month. He's battled through some tough injuries this year and for a rookie and the spots he's in. In play three of this year he had to replace our [starting back], his first run for us was I think, like play 30 versus the Raiders in the last preseason game, and by play three versus Detroit, he had to replace our captain and our starting running back. He's done a hell of a job throughout the whole year of that."
- Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
What is your evaluation of how CB Ambry Thomas played against the Titans and how are you seeing him grow from week-to-week right now?
"Yeah, Ambry, he's getting those quality reps. What young guys need. With young guys, you have to get thrown in a fire and you learn all on the job. It's one thing to just practice all the time, but you have to get out there against live competition. Ambry has been matched up with some of the top receivers in the NFL and he's gotten better and better each week. I see the confidence building in him. He was able to make some plays against some of the top guys and his confidence is still building. He's still learning. He's still growing, but I think he's progressing in the right direction."
- Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans
LB Patrick Willis was just named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I don't know how much you've crossed paths during your career or after, but as a lot of people say, you just kind of know a hall of Famer when you see him. Does he qualify as that in your estimation?
"I think it's a no-brainer that Patrick is a Hall of Famer. I remember Patrick from when he was back at Ole Miss, just making every tackle. Even when he had the big club on his fist, he was still out there making plays. He's always been a dominant player from college all the way through his time in the NFL. Patrick is one of the best linebackers to play the game. You talk about speed, you talk about physicality, you talk about smarts, he's everything you want in an inside linebacker. And he set the tone for the defense here, for the eight, nine years that he was here. He was that guy. He was the leader of this defense. And it was just always fun to watch him every time. Even when I was playing, [linebackers] coach Johnny Holland would give me, I was struggling at time with open field tackling, and he makes a DVD for me and it's of Patrick Willis. And just studying Patrick and how he tackled, so it's definitely a guy I respect. I have the utmost respect for Patrick and I can't say enough good things about him. I know he's a great man just off the field, but he's always been a tremendous teammate and one of the premier linebackers in the league."
- Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans
WON of Us: Jennifer
Jennifer, a lifetime 49ers fan continues to create new traditions and finds ways to do so via social media and the online community that she connects with.
I was born a 49ers fam. My dad loves football and the Niners! He has been teaching me the game through his eyes since 1978. When it comes to football, I'm so drawn to the emotion of the game, and I love to see the passion expressed by both the players and the fans. Whether the team is losing or winning, my dad always would put forward so much energy into his game watching, and I'd like to think it has rubbed off on me through the years.
What do you love about WON?
I love that we get to get together and it's a group of fanatical women who love football and their 49ers. It's also so cool to see the diversity of the women and the events. We could be gathering for paint night, yoga, happy hour or in the museum and this group will always show their support for the team. Just in the short time that I've been in the club, I've already met so many people and made friends. It feels like a sisterhood.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
I don't recall specifically watching the 1981 NFC Championship but when you think of inspiring moments, it would have to be The Catch. The towards put together create such an intense feeling when you mention them around 49ers fans and that alone is so powerful. Everyone knows who, what, when, where, and how when you bring up The Catch. It's so inspiring when you think about what it meant at the time, what that single moment symbolizes now, and how much it still matters to this day.
Get to know WON member Jennifer.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
Lately, on social media, I've created sort of a new tradition. Whenever the team is playing, I must let my followers know that "It's Gameday!" with a dedicated post that honestly just starts the day off with great energy for me. In addition to that, I must have my Niners gear on to help spark the team to a win!
One thing that I do and have read a few others in WON do as well is monitor how the team performs based on the room I'm in while watching from home. If the team is performing better while I cannot see the TV, I'll selflessly stay in the other room to give the team the best chance to win.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
No matter where you go domestic or internationally you will always find 49ers fans. There is an appeal, and it makes you feel like you're part of a community and that is a powerful feeling. Knowing that you can go to away games and know that you won't be alone is so cool! It's a connected feeling that goes with you everywhere.
The 49ers hosted Hope for the Holidays presented by U.S. Bank to fulfill holiday wish lists for 149 Bill Wilson Center clients. Families of players, coaches and 49ers staff shopped for gifts and players made special deliveries to three BWC programs. DL Kentavius Street, WR Trent Sherfeild, RB Raheem Mostert, QB Trey Lance, TE Jordan Matthews, LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and S Talanoa Hufanga were among the players participating in the holiday deliveries.
The 49ers hosted Hope for the Holidays presented by U.S. Bank to fulfill holiday wish lists for 149 Bill Wilson Center clients. Families of players, coaches and 49ers staff shopped for gifts and players made special deliveries to three BWC programs.
Women of the 49ers Front Office: Stacy McCorkle
This Month in 49ers History
Jan. 3, 2010
Tight end Vernon Davis slipped behind the St. Louis Rams secondary to haul in a 73-yard bomb from Alex Smith putting the 49ers ahead 14-6 midway through the fourth quarter. Frank Gore then finished off the Rams by plowing into the end zone twice in the game's final four minutes and the 49ers left the Edward Jones Dome with a 28-6 win. Gore posted 107 yards rushing on 23 carries. The Rams were held to 109 yards of total offense, including only 22 yards in the second half. Defensive end Justin Smith contributed 3.5 sacks and eight solo tackles. Davis tied the NFL record for single-season touchdown catches by a tight end with 13.