Player Feature: Jordan Matthews
When Jordan Matthews signed as a free agent with the 49ers, he continued a family legacy that began over 30 years ago. Matthews' mother is a first cousin of 49ers great Jerry Rice, who Matthews lists as his favorite player. Before getting drafted by the Eagles in 2014, Matthews reached out to Rice and asked for advice. "He said 'everywhere you go, tell yourself you're the best person there and that you're supposed to be there,' said Jordan. "And that's what I did. I can (still) use that advice."
Matthews established Matthews Mission in 2016 in order to give back and contribute to the different communities that affected him in life. The mission of the foundation is to FEED - feed the hungry, educate the children, empower the family and donate to those in need. Since its inception, the foundation has donated or raised more than $200,000 for different charities, ranging from Boys & Girls Clubs to the Vanderbilt Annual Fund. This past summer, Matthews teamed up with former Vanderbilt teammates and alumni to put on a charity baseball game, benefitting charities that spread awareness and aid the end of domestic abuse in Nashville.
His wife, Cheyna Matthews, currently plays for Racing Louisville in the National Women's Soccer League and was a member of Jamaica's Women's Soccer team during the 2019 World Cup.
Read more about Jordan Matthews by clicking his bio below.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from the 49ers Defensive Coordinator, DeMeco Ryans.
What's been your assessment of having DL Nick Bosa back in here the last couple days, just how he looks? Does he look leaner? What's his mindset?
"Nick is looking great, just like he left here. It's great to have him here just around the guys. That's the biggest thing for Nick being around the guys, building that camaraderie during this time here in the offseason. It's about those guys just working together, being out there, going to dinner together, whatever. As much time they can spend together to become as tight as possible as a defensive unit and as a team. That's what matters most and Nick is looking great. I'm excited to have him back in the building."
You obviously have talked about linebackers coach Johnny Holland in the past and your relationship with him. Just from your perspective, how has he handled his health battles and have there been times during his journey where you've been really concerned for his wellbeing?
"Johnny throughout the entire process, he's just been unwavering in his faith and how strong he is. As a man, he's been very steady throughout the process, which it's encouraging for me and for everyone else around the building, just to see him and the way he's handled himself through it all. If he was having a bad day, it'd be hard to tell if he is having a bad day, but he's handled himself very well, just truly been a professional through it all. I'm just proud of what he was able to do. The people he's able to encourage with the things that he's going through. Johnny never has a bad day. Always has a smile. Never has a bad day, always in great spirit, always great energy, so he's been great throughout this entire process and I've learned a lot. How do you handle difficult situations? You keep going, no matter what, you keep going. You stay positive through it all and it's just great to see where he is now."
DB Jimmie Ward talked a couple weeks ago about some plays he left on the field last year that were maybe the difference between being an all-pro and being the player he was last year. What does he need to do to sort of make those plays that sort of take him to that next level?
"I think Jimmie is an all-pro player. Sometimes those accolades they can't come to everybody. Jimmie just has to remain the course and go play football. Jimmie is one of the best football players I've ever been around. Just his instincts, his feel, playing that safety position. He is a really great football player. Sometimes the accolades, they don't show up. He just has to keep doing what he's doing. He's continuing to get better and [S Talanoa Hufanga] Huf out there with him. They're both, I feel like both of those guys are working well together and Jimmie will, if it's meant for him to be all-pro, he'll just keep playing ball. He doesn't have to worry about that status. That'll come. You just play ball, have fun, do what you're supposed to do and those accolades and things will come."
What are your initial impressions of DL Drake Jackson?
"With Drake, first off, just getting Drake, I'm just happy to have him because I didn't think he would be there in that spot. Getting Drake was an awesome pick for us there. He has really great ability and he just has to keep working. He has the ability to get to the quarterback. And if he keeps working, keeps getting in there with [defensive line coach Kris] Kocurek, and learning from Bosa, learning from [DL] Arik [Armstead], learning from Samson, just diving in and really detailing out his job, Drake has a chance to be a really good player for us. The sky is the limit for him, he just has to keep working, keep improving daily."
WON of Us: Angela
For Angela, being a 49ers fan is a way of life that she grew up with and is passing onto her own children.
I have always been a 49ers fan; I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Vallejo. I was an 80's kid and Joe Montana was the man; it was honestly hard not to be a fan. For my family, growing up, it was a Sunday tradition to go to church, buy bread for the week, and watch the game all as a family. From living in The City for those years, my older brother tells stories about the parades from each championship. At the time, my family lived in the Mission and tell amazing stories about those celebrations. I don't have parade memories, but I was just as a big of a fan, in fact growing up there were no boy band posters on the walls in my room, just of Jerry Rice.
What do you love about WON?
I think it is awesome! My entire family are all 49ers fans, including all the women. I never understand why people think that ladies don't know the game or are not as passionate. From family to classmates to co-workers, I've always bonded with other women that are part of The Faithful. It shouldn't be a novelty that women are hard core 49ers fans. My mom is probably the biggest 49ers fan that I know. She immigrated here in the 1970's and living in the mission district of San Francisco, she learned the game of football on her own and was a huge part of her transition into American culture.
Get to know WON member Angela.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
Two moments stand out to me. They were both amazing post season games. First would be the 2011 NFC Divisional round against the New Orleans Saints. I was there sitting at the top of Candlestick and had used all the money that I had as a student to be there. The last few minutes were so intense. The pass from Alex Smith to Vernon Davis was amazing and it was the first moment crying so happily for the victory at Candlestick. This past season, my husband and I decided to go to the Divisional Round game against the Packers. It was a bucket list moment for both of us. A great defensive game. The stadium was full of Packers fans but we came out victorious. We prepared as much as we could for the weather, cardboard to stand on, blankets, handwarmers, etc. The fans are so funny out there; talking about how we flew all the way out to lose in the cold, but we won with snow falling at the end. It was a core memory moment for us.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
Football always means family to me. Sunday football has always been sacred. That means even more now that I have my own family. It makes sense that I married someone who has had season tickets for years. When the Niners have a good or bad week, we all have a good or bad week. As far as superstitions, we have a theory that my dad is bad luck so every week we in good fun rally around making sure he doesn't bring bad luck to the team.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
I am a faithful through and through. We watch the team, no matter how the season goes. We always carry the hope that the next year will be the one that bring the Lombardi back home. It is important that we carry the torch of hard work leads to success and success with the right attitude can lead to a championship mindset. I hope that my sons take that forward as well.
The 49ers Foundation and our partners at Chevron are excited to open the nomination process for the 2022 Teacher of the Game program! Winning educators will receive two tickets to a 2022 49ers home game, on-field recognition during the game, and digital recognition on 49ers.com and 49ers Foundation social channels. If you would like to nominate yourself or an educator who has made an impact inside or outside the classroom, complete a nomination form today! Submissions close this Friday. For more information and criteria for selection, visit www.49ers.com/teacher.
Women of the 49ers Front Office: Sarina Soriano, 49ers Bilingual Senior Producer
This Month in 49ers History
July 27, 1991
Quarterback Steve Young guided the 49ers to touchdowns on the three series he played as the 49ers beat the Los Angeles Raiders 24-17 in their first preseason game. Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig suited up with the Raiders and played against their former teammates for the first time. Craig and Lott signed with the Raiders as Plan B free agents during the offseason. Joe Montana started at quarterback for the 49ers. He completed five of six passes in the first quarter before being relieved by Young who completed eight of 10 for 86 yards. Steve Bono took over at quarterback in the second half.