Player Feature: Deommodore Lenoir
- His name is pronounced dee-AH-mo-door, luh-NOOR.
- Nickname is 'Demo.'
- Comes from a large family, as he is the ninth child of 12.
- Grew up in a hard-working family that always stressed education with two working parents. He maintained a 3.5 GPA in high school and is devoted to his religion. He attributes his aspirations to his upbringing and community. "Growing up in South Los Angeles taught me a lot," he said. "It taught me to stay focused in order to be able to go where I want to go, and that's to the NFL. You have to stay in the classroom and do what you're told to do."
- Named Associated Press Second-Team All-Pac-12
- Attended Salesian (Los Angeles, CA) HS where he was named to the Los Angeles Times' all-star team as a senior.
Read more about Deommodore Lenoir by clicking his bio below.
This month's "Coach's Corner" comes from 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan.
What strides has WR Deebo Samuel made in year three in your eyes?
"I thought Deebo, as a rookie, he made a lot of strides halfway through the year. We threw him into the battle very early, even Week 1 versus Tampa. He had a lot to learn on the fly. But he got better throughout the year and was playing at a very-high level when we got to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. His second year was just injury-filled. So, he didn't get an offseason. So, when he came back, he wasn't totally ready to play football and he kept getting re-injured. So, the second year was almost like it didn't even happen. And this year, I think is what you were hoping to see the second year. He came in very prepared from what he learned his rookie year. He came in ready to go, was in much better football shape, much better on his routes. His stamina's better and I think that's why he started off better."
His skillset is kind of unique, in terms of his build and the way that you guys use him. You sometimes see defenses trying to take a receiver out of the mix. Is it harder to take him out of a mix than other people because of the ways you can get him the ball?
"Yeah, you can hand off the ball to a lot of receivers and they've got a chance on good looks, but Deebo is a real good running back too. So, even if it's not a good look he still has a chance to gain a yard or two. He's very natural at it and the way his body is built he can handle it pretty well. So, anytime I think guys can take pass eligibles out of the game fairly easily, if they want to. That's why it's good to always have another club in your bag where you can play a different position."
Are there any parallels to be drawn between, you had New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, first-year defensive coordinator back in 2017. Just how he, at least to the untrained eye, looked like he kind of went through a process of learning how to do his job and get better and learn from your mistakes and all that. Is that something that defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is going through as well?
"That's something we all go through. Even people who have been doing it for a while. You go through different stuff every week. Everything's adjusting and each Sunday is a new Sunday and the league evolves. So that's something everybody goes through. Comparing it to Saleh's start is just completely to me, apples to oranges. We had a totally different team then. It's not that Saleh just learned how to be a good coach and all of a sudden we did well. That took time, putting the team together. It took time working and developing all that stuff and I think we got there. I think we have a head start this year compared to where we did four years ago. We're a better team than when we started here. But that's the cliché thing, anytime the defense struggles with a first-time play caller. I know that's what everyone's going to say. People used to always say it about me, but yeah everyone learns with experience, but it's never just the absolute at all."
What have your conversations been like with DeMeco over the past couple of days, as far as you seeing what he's doing?
"Yeah, they're great. I love working with DeMeco. He's really smart. He's strong-minded. He's not a yes man at all. He's going to listen to you. He's going to tell you what he thinks and he's never going to stop working at it. So, I've been really impressed with DeMeco in these three weeks when it's been good and when it's been bad. How he's handled it during the games, how he's handled it after the games, I thought he made some real good calls on Sunday night. I wish we had got a better execution on that last call on the two-man coverage. But that goes back to what you do throughout the week. It's not all about calling the play. It's about executing the play and that has to do with coaching guys throughout the week."
To learn more about Coach Shanahan, click the bio below.
WON of Us: Lisa
For Lisa, growing up in New Jersey meant rarely seeing her team play but that never slowed down her passion for the team.
*Faithful Since… *
I've loved the 49ers for as long as I can remember. My family is Chiefs and Eagles fans but at a very young age, I remember being drawn to the 49ers, even though they played on the opposite coast than us. In 2006, my fandom jumped when as a family we did a trip to California. We spent some time in San Francisco, I got to see Candlestick Park and I made it my goal to come to a 49ers home game someday. I did make it to a game at Levi's® Stadium in 2019 and it was one of my favorite memories as a fan. It's become a family affair as my six-year-old daughter is becoming a 49ers fan and even my husband who grew up a Panthers fan is letting the 49ers into his heart.
What do you love about WON?
I absolutely love that the group is something for women! In our family, I love football more than my husband but there are fewer opportunities for female fans to share their passion. I'm so appreciative that the 49ers recognize who their fan base comprises of and that's not just men. The women of the Faithful want to be involved and WON allows that opportunity to be fulfilled.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
There wasn't one on-field moment that stands out to me that confirmed my fandom. I was put in a difficult scenario living so far away from the team, so my passion for the team was not always driven by wins or losses. I do follow several player's social media accounts and it has drawn me even closer to the team than ever before. It's so cool to see how the relationships that they have with each other off of the field. Not only are they brothers on the field and in the locker room but in their personal lives as well.
If I had to choose a favorite game. I got to finally visit for a 49ers home game in 2019 when the 49ers hosted the Panthers. If you don't remember, the home team put 50 points on the board in the victory. While they made tremendous plays on the field, I think my favorite part was watching Kwon Alexander. He was injured at the time but spent all of his time hyping up his teammates and making sure he could support them in any way possible. It was also just so nice to finally be in the home stadium and feel like I belonged. Every other time I had seen the team play was during a road game, but I had finally come home.
Get to know WON member Lisa.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
So far in 2021, I actually have been preventing myself from watching the games live. For some reason when I seem to be focused on the team, they don't perform as well but when I walk out of the room for a brief minute they get a big play or score. So until the juju changes, I'll do what I need to for the team and watch it on replay.
One other "tradition" that I have is repping my 49ers gear. Anytime that I can, I'm wearing something 49ers. It's my way of letting people know that while I live on the East Coast, I rep 49ers.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
The 49ers made me fall in love with football. It's a great way for the family to come together. Whether we are for the same team or the opposite one, the family always celebrates the game of football. For the Niners, it also presents us with motivation to travel. We try to pick one game a year to travel to. We love coming to California and when we do, I of course need to get my 49ers fix. Even when we travel and it's not football season, if we're in the Bay Area, I make it an effort to see Levi's® Stadium as many times as I can.
2021 Crucial Catch Community Tuesday
The San Francisco 49ers hosted eight cancer warriors and their loved ones for a special event at Topgolf to kick off Crucial Catch presented by Dignity health. The guests were invited to an afternoon of Topgolf games alongside 15 49ers players through the team's partnership with American Cancer Society and Okizu. During the event, each cancer warrior shared a card with a player that included an inspiring statement that got them through treatment and in return, the players shared a football featuring a quote that they lean on for motivation.
Tenured Women of the 49ers Front Office: Nikki Hawkins
In August of 1992, Nikki Hawkins was a recent college graduate in need of employment. Little did she know that her introduction to the 49ers was a cartwheel away in the San Jose State University gymnasium.
"I was a gymnast at San Jose State, and my coach's husband (Jerry Walker) was the PR director at the time for the 49ers," Nikki said. "I got a call out of the blue asking if I was still looking for a job and if I'd be interested in doing some keying and filing in the business office during the season."
It proved to be a perfect fit for both Nikki and the 49ers. Two short months later, the team's then-CFO Keith Simon asked if she would be interested in staying on full-time, and she accepted.
Nikki's role in the business office expanded to accounting-related work. She handled accounts receivables, reconciled hotel and shipping bills and helped with the annual audit. She even kept the books for the 49ers Foundation, the team's community-oriented non-profit organization. Like the 49ers Foundation, Nikki will also be celebrating her 30th year with the team in 2021.
This Month in 49ers History
Oct 14, 2002
Wide receiver Terrell Owens celebrated a 37-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jeff Garcia by pulling a Sharpie marker out of his sock to sign the football. He then handed the ball to a spectator in a field-level seat who turned out to be Owens' financial consultant. The 49ers trailed the Seattle Seahawks 21-20 midway through the fourth quarter when Garcia connected with Owens. They went on to win, 28-21. Owens registered six catches for 84 yards and two scores. Running back Kevan Barlow added a six-yard rushing touchdown.