Player Feature: D.J. Jones
Jones transferred to Ole Miss following two seasons (2013- 14) at East Mississippi Community College (Scooba, MS), the school that was featured in the 2016 Netflix documentary “Last Chance U”. D.J.’s father, “Big Dave,” owns a BBQ and catering business which is based around his two sauces, Big Dave’s Texas Red and Big Dave’s All-American Hawaiian Bold Gold. Big Dave cooked for over 200 members of the 49ers family, from players to coaches and staff along with their significant others as the team finished 2019 minicamp.
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. Jones and some of his teammates visited the Akron Children’s hospital as players went from room to room to visit and meet some of the young patients.
Read more about D.J. Jones by clicking his bio below.
Coach's Corner: Daniel Bullocks
This month’s “Coach’s Corner” comes from 49ers Safeties Coach, Daniel Bullocks.
What is your favorite coverage for a safety?
“Depends on the situation. For a safety of course you like man coverage as a defensive back. You like it covered, to lock guys up, play tight coverage and if the quarterback can hold the ball, that pass rush is going to get home.”
What’s the safety’s most important job on the field?
“You never want explosive plays, run or pass. You’re an eraser back there. When guys make mistakes you’ve got to clean it up, that can be the difference between points.”
What do you look for when scouting a safety?
“Of course you want to look at speed, size, play making ability. Can he make plays on the ball? Can he tackle? Does he play physical and violent? All gas mentality to represent our defense.”
What are the best traits that each of the safeties on our roster possess?
“Speed, toughness, violence, smart, disciplined, play-making ability. All four of the guys on our roster right now have a combination of all those traits whether they’re a strong safety or a free safety. Looking at the strong safety you have Marcell Harris and Jaquiski Tartt. Those guys are physical. They have size, they play fast, they’re smart, they can take on blocks and use their hands. They have good instincts and awareness in the box. When looking at the free safety, with Jimmie Ward and Tarvarius Moore, they have a different skill set. Those guys can tackle, they are better in space. They have range, but looking at all the safeties, all of them have everything that we are looking for to play the safety position.”
How would you describe the differences in roles from the strong and free safety?
“Right now it would depend on the scheme. They are both interchangeable now. Last year, and really the last two years, the strong safety position was more predominately about being in a box. Now he’s more involved in the run game, more involved in coverage. The free safety in the past was mostly in the post erasing mistakes, they had to make a lot of tackles in space. Going on year three for us, we made both of those positions interchangeable. Both positions, when you’re looking at the free safety, they have to be able to do what the strong safety does when it comes to the box and then when you’re looking at the strong safety they are more in coverage this year as well. Plus with us going to new coverages, both safeties have to be able to play in deep zone. That’s the biggest difference from last year to this year.”
To read more about Coach Bullocks, click his bio below.
WON of Us: Jessica Sweeney
Jessica Sweeney, a Redwood City native considers herself a fan for life. She can recall countless memories from her childhood. From regularly watching practice at the team’s previous team headquarters to becoming a Season Ticket Member with her brother at Levi’s® Stadium, Sweeney has been a fan for as long as she can remember.
I was raised in a Niner house, so I couldn’t imagine being a fan of any other team. Watching the games on TV or going to Candlestick Park was bonding time with my parents, grandparents, uncle and brother. I grew up in the 80s in Redwood City, which is where the 49ers practice facility was at the time. Looking back, it was amazing to have the 49ers always present in my community, which, at the time, I thought was normal for every kid.
What do you love about WON?
There are a couple of things that I love about WON. WON aligns with my personal values; it has created a supportive and diverse community of women who network through a variety of events. I’ve created bonds with these women that reach far beyond football, we are family now. WON also has a tremendous impact on the community at large which is in the DNA of the 49ers organization as a whole.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
I am and have always been a fan of the defense. I have watched Bowman’s “Pick at the Stick” so many times, I’ve lost count. Without fail, every time I watch it, I get goosebumps. It’s such a great representation of why we all love 49ers football. This moment stands out to me since it put the fan base at ease during a changing of an era for the fans and the organization. Most fans had built so many memories at Candlestick Park, this was the perfect ending to an amazing building.
Get to know WON member Jessica Sweeney.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
Although I love the team and want to show my support for the players, I don’t buy jerseys for myself anymore because those players seem to always end up leaving the team the following year. I’ll buy them for others, and others have given them to me as gifts, which seems to be safe. The last four jerseys I purchased for myself were for players who left the team the following year, so it’s a superstition with evidence. I don’t want to jinx this great team, so I avoid the temptation and risk.
One tradition that I have for every home game that I attend is meeting with the Tailgating Family at Pole 3 of Green Lot. The group is organized by some great friends who, on gamedays, go by the names Chef Hubby, Shot Princess, Queen and the Silver Fox. The group are two couples that are longtime tailgaters from Candlestick Park, that have brought the traditions to Levi’s® Stadium. In addition to fantastic nicknames, the group also does an excellent job of creating a welcoming and family-friendly environment for 49ers fans and away team fans.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
It was 2014. I saw a news segment about a fan dressed head-to-toe in 49ers gear at Seattle’s victory parade. He was named “Niner Waldo”. The segment included an interview with Cat Tate. She started a GoFundMe to bring Niner Waldo to Levi’s® Stadium to see the 49ers play the Seahawks. The story took a turn when it was revealed that Niner Waldo was a 15-year-old, living in a group home. The GoFundMe ultimately raised over $30K from both 49ers and Seahawks fans from around the world. They ended up connecting him and other kids with permanent homes in Seattle and as a result the non-profit, Ladies of the Empire was created. I knew from the moment I heard this story that I wanted to be a part of it. I reached out to Cat and Ladies of the Empire to support however I could – I’m now the Vice President of the Board. I have met so many incredible people, had the opportunity to improve the lives of others, and support organizations who are driving sustainable changes in the community all because of the 49ers for which I am forever thankful and faithful.
If you know a WON Member that you think should be featured, you can let us know HERE.
49ers host third annual Crucial Catch Fashion Show at Levi's® Stadium
The 49ers hosted a fashion show featuring apparel donated by Levi’s® modeled by guests who have had or are currently battling cancer alongside 49ers players.
To kick off the NFL’s cancer awareness campaign, the 49ers hosted the third annual Crucial Catch Fashion Show presented by Dignity Health on October 2. The show featured 19 cancer warriors (who represented all cancers) as they modeled apparel donated by Levi's®. Each model was paired with a 49ers player on the catwalk. In addition, each person’s story of strength and courage was shared with the audience. A highlight of the show was when Amy Kocurek, breast cancer survivor and wife of 49ers Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek, was escorted down the runway by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner as Coach Kocurek cheered them on.
Monday night’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns on October 7, was the team’s Crucial Catch presented by Dignity Health game. That evening over 150 cancer warriors and their supporters were honored by saluting their strength during a pregame ceremony on the field. Participants also met lifetime 49ers fan, WWE superstar and leukemia survivor Roman Reigns, who was in attendance to share his support and pull the Levi’s® Stadium Foghorn Energizer before kickoff on "Monday Night Football."
To raise awareness and showcase the many faces of cancer and how it affects us all, the 49ers also launched a social media campaign sharing stories throughout October of those affected by cancer, including those directly affected and their loved ones. Understanding that early detection is key, the team is directing fans to Dignity Health and the American Cancer Society to learn more about cancer resources in their area. Visit https://www.49ers.com/community/crucial-catch to learn more.
Through the Lens
Meg Williams, a team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers, shares her favorite moments covering the 49ers 8-0 start to the 2019 season.
This was one of those pictures that I knew I captured perfectly as I was pressing the shutter. I could see that I had all three key players in the frame and that you could tell the story being told. DeForest Buckner (#99) forced Baker Mayfield (#6) to fumble the ball and then Nick Bosa (#97) jumps on it. Mayfield’s stare at Bosa is just the cherry on top.
Every time that I enter the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it gives me chills. So much history and great football has been played on that field. I had visualized this image the past couple of years but the timing just didn’t work out. I wanted a player looking up at the end of the National Anthem, with pyro going off in addition to seeing the stadium in the background. This year Emmanuel Moseley (#41) walked into my frame at just the right time and looked over his shoulder at the flyover. It was everything I had envisioned and more.
In this moment, Marcell Harris (#36) forces Odell Beckham Jr. (#13) to fumble on a punt that cemented the win for the 49ers. My favorite part of the image is that you can see the ball just as it squeaks out of his hands. It was a great tackle by Harris that I was lucky enough to capture at just the right moment.
The 2019 49ers defense has been fun to watch, their overall vibe can be seen in this photo. You have Fred Warner (#54), Richard Sherman (#25), Jaquiski Tartt (#29) and Kwon Alexander (#56) all swarming the ball carrier and making sure our opponent doesn’t have a chance to advance. The whole team is working together with synergy to execute the team’s goal. All Gas. No Brake.
Home night games are so fun because it typically means a beautiful sunset at Levi’s® Stadium. For the Browns game, we didn’t quite get the colorful sunset I was looking for. However, we had this beautiful golden hour light. The warm light and lens flair really makes me feel like we’re watching fall football in California. Home games have been so loud this season, I can’t wait for the Faithful to continue to bring this energy into our remaining home schedule and prove to the football watching world that we have a true home field advantage.
WON Event Recap
In October, WON opened up the west side of Levi’s® Stadium for its second annual Health & Wellness Fair. Members invited their friends to join in on an evening of health education, exercise, and fun! Upon entering the BNY West Club, those in attendance were treated to their choice of complimentary massages courtesy of Whole Body Chiropractic, express facials via Labarre Studios, and even an acupuncture treatment from Raven Acupuncture Clinic.
Outside the club, along the playing surface, attendees had the option of joining in on three different fitness classes. The classes began with 49ers team yogi, Monique Wright-Gory leading a 30-minute yoga class. As the evening drew on, the classes picked up the intensity with a World of Dance U-Jam class and a Boot Camp Training Session both led by coaches from 49ersFit.
In between classes, guests had the opportunity to explore the club learning from various vendors in the health and wellness space. As a tie with the NFL’s Crucial Catch Campaign, attendees learned signs of early cancer detection from the American Cancer Society.
Finally, no WON event would be complete without some prizes. Several members won raffles for Swedish massages, gym memberships, facials, treatments, 49ers prize bags, and more!
Friends interested in WON? They can join and receive email invitations to every event!
Women of the Niners members were invited to Levi's Stadium for an evening filled with free massages, acupuncture, express facials and three different fitness classes along the football field. Classes included; Yoga, World of Dance U-Jam, and 49ers Fit Boot Camp.
This Month in 49ers History
A look at marquee moments throughout the team’s rich history pulled from the 49ers Archives.
Nov. 4, 1990
Joe Montana threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers 24-20 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Brent Jones, Jerry Rice and John Taylor were on the receiving end of Montana's scoring throws. Rice nabbed six passes for 187 yards. Packers’ quarterback Don Majkowski was under heavy pressure from the 49ers’ front seven. Dennis Brown, Bill Romanowski, Charles Haley, and Larry Roberts all recorded sacks. The 49ers improved their record to 8-0 under Coach George Seifert.
Edited by // Beth Atlas, Manager & Curator, 49ers Museum