Happy Women's History Month!
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Player Feature: Bryant Young
Congratulations to Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 inductee, Bryant Young!
San Francisco selected Young out of Notre Dame in the first round (seventh-overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. He started all 16 games his rookie season, recording 49 tackles and six sacks, and aided a defense that surged San Francisco to its fifth Super Bowl title. In the team's decisive victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX, Young posted three tackles.
The defensive lineman spent all 14 of his NFL seasons (1994 to 2007) with San Francisco. He started 208 games during his tenure with the 49ers, the most by any defensive lineman in franchise history. In just his third season, he received league-wide recognition, being named First-Team All-Pro after posting 11.5 sacks. He went on to be named among the league's elite four times throughout his career (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001).
Young retired in 2007 as the 49ers all-time sack leader with 89.5. He also totaled 774 tackles and six fumble recoveries. He also started 11 postseason contests where he totaled 37 additional tackles and three sacks.
The former defensive lineman was also named into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame in 2020.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch
I know that Deebo Samuel's role this year was a bit born out of necessity, but as you go into this offseason, do you see his role in 2022 being what it was at the end of 2021? That's my main question and Kyle, I was just hoping that you could elaborate on how you were messing with DeMeco on the bus and the PA system?
Shanahan: "I was just trying to loosen people up. It was a pretty down crew, so I always like to embarrass people who've got some big things ahead of him. So I kept messing with him for resting that he's got interviews coming, so he's focused. But quickly, he didn't mess with me back out loud, I just got a text that he declined it. So it was just real cool of him. And what was the other question?"
Lynch: "Deebo's role, will it be similar to what it was."
Shanahan: "Oh, yeah, very similar. We have to be careful with that. Running back is different, but he's also built like a running back and runs like a running back. And he just happens to do stuff at receiver also that is really good. If you look at his body, he looks more like a running back. But man, we never want to stop using him at receiver and just the threat that he can be a running back at any time is a huge advantage for your team. And it's a huge advantage for Deebo too. It's a way you can make sure that he gets touches and you can do that at receiver, but not like when you just hand the ball to a guy. So we always have to keep that threat, that's what separates him. And Deebo knows that too. But these last few weeks, you don't take anything to account. It's one game or you go home. So Deebo knows that, I know that, so we're doing what we can to win. And I also think we get some more backs too, you can balance that all out, but we all know how good Deebo is at it and the defense does too. And so knowing that he can be there at any time, just like knowing when a quarterback can be a threat to run at any time. All that stuff is unusual in how to treat personnel groupings and things like that. And that's why that's something I don't see going away for him."
Describing the Faithful During the 2021 NFL Postseason:
Shanahan: "I did want to say one thing because I forgot after the game, and it's not just kissing up to them. What our fans did in L.A. was not just the coolest thing for the head coach of the Niners, it was one of the coolest things I've seen in sports. To watch the commitment of a fan base try to go take over another stadium and to watch how hard they were trying not to. And for me to sit there on Saturday night and my wife to show me videos of the airport. For my friends to send me videos of the coffee shops and the streets. And then for me to go in there and see the stadium, it gave me, it gave our players, it gave us chills. It was not just cool because I'm the coach. I haven't ever seen that. And I've been around sports a long time and I've been a lot of different places. And I can't tell you guys how cool that was and how much we appreciated that. That's not normal."
Lynch: "Yeah. well said. It was in LA, it was in Dallas, it was in Green Bay. It's everywhere we go. And the Faithful is such an appropriate name for what our fan base is all about. The passion. They stuck with us when things were going rough and Kyle said it really well. We're very appreciative and look forward to seeing that only grow stronger moving forward."
WON of Us: Ankita
Ankita, the 49ers Fan of the Year presented by Levi's® winner found her fandom alongside her family after moving to the U.S. from India.
I have been apart of the 49ers Faithful since I was four years old. We came from India in 1992 and originally moved to Boston, MA but after my dad decided that it was way too cold, we all made the move to San Francisco. From the moment that we arrived, my dad become a 49ers fan and loved football. Between him and my two older brothers all falling in love with the sport, it was destiny for me to become a big fan. My dad saved for a few years and was able to take us all to a game when I was about 7 years old. I was in awe of the giant stadium and how cold it was at Candlestick Park and the Niners have been apart of my life ever since. Even when I met my husband, I think the second question I asked him was who his favorite football team is. We both paused, took a breath, and said, "49ers!" Had he said anything else, I'm not sure that it would have worked out they way that it has and now our three-year-old son wakes up every Sunday ready to watch football…even in the offseason.
'The Joe's' are my favorite players. Montana because he is obviously the greatest player of all time and my all-time favorite player. But as a San Jose State Spartan, I am also a fan of Kicker, Joe Nedney.
What do you love about WON?
I just recently discovered WON and love the idea of brining people together around the game of football, especially women. I was fortunate enough to go to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles a few weeks ago as the 49ers Fan of the Year representative and while I met so many amazing people, there were still a few fans that couldn't believe that I was in fact the fan of the year and not just my husband's plus one. I think it great that the 49ers are putting in the effort to normalize female football fans. We are just as knowledgeable and passionate about the game as men.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
It would have to be the Divisional Round game from the 2011 playoffs against the Saints. When the game ended in a victory, the pure motions took over and tears were streaming down my face. I've never hugged as many strangers in my life! That was the moment that I went from a 49ers fans to a super fan. It's my all-time favorite moment and game. Candlestick Park was pure magic that day.
Get to know WON member Ankita.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
I must wear my 49ers PJs the night before every game to wake up fully ready for gameday. Whenever we go to home games or travel, I also will not post anything about the game before kickoff or before the final zeros on the clock. I'm such a nervous wreck, I don't want anyone commenting or spending any of my energy not focused on the game itself.
The other funny superstition that my family used to have, was telling my brother that he wasn't allowed to travel to away games. There was a stretch of time that every time he would travel to watch a road game in person, the team would lose. Luckily, we went with him to some playoff games this past season and ruled out that he was bad luck.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
To be the representative for the 49ers as one of the 32 fans of the year and to be able to share that with my family for generations will be one of my favorite honors. But I love that the 49ers keep our family together. From my dad discovering the game after moving here from India to something that allows me to remain close with my brothers, the team has such an impact on my life. Even in daily life, it's another topic for me and my husband to discuss and banter about as well. I just feel so fortunate to be a fan of this organization and then be so close to see the team as often as we can because it is just pure joy watching this team go out and play.
Women of the 49ers Front Office: Beth Atlas
This Month in 49ers History
March 31, 1962
John Taylor, a dangerous receiver and punt returner for the 49ers from 1987-1995, was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Taylor cemented his name in NFL history when he snagged the game-winning touchdown pass at Super Bowl XXIII with 34 seconds remaining to lift the 49ers to a 20-16 victory over Cincinnati. The 49ers selected Taylor out of Delaware State in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft. In nine seasons with the 49ers, he hauled in 347 regular season receptions for 5,598 yards and 43 touchdowns. Taylor earned two Pro Bowl berths.