Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward compared to movie characters and two bickering old ladies

Oct 25, 2019 at 11:19 AM--

San Francisco 49ers safeties Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward communicate well in the defensive backfield. The two have known each other for a while. They were teammates at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama.

Tartt and Ward separated during their college careers, reunited in the NFL, and have remained close friends through it all.

This week, Richard Sherman compared the two to the characters portrayed by Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence in the 1999 film, "Life."

"They've known each other way too long, and they're hilarious to hear," Sherman told reporters on Thursday. "But they have a great chemistry and a great feel for one another. They communicate without words sometimes.

"They play fast. They trust each other. It's really cool to see, but they're like an old married couple back there. You'll go into the huddle sometimes, and they'll be arguing about something. You're like, 'Are you guys even in the same game as me right now? What are you all talking about?'"

It's like Tartt and Ward are in their own little world back there bickering with one another about things their teammates can't even figure out. But when the ball is snapped, they are all business and ready to give the offense fits.

Added Sherman: "It makes for a great safety tandem and a great connection."

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has also noticed the two safeties' unique way of communicating with one another.

"Obviously, I know they were high school teammates," Saleh said, "they're very close, funny way of communicating with one another, but when it comes to the defense and all that, they do a really good job playing off of one another. They can speak to each other without speaking."

Added Saleh: "Those two are very, very smart, and they both understand football. It doesn't hurt that they're also very athletic and fast."

General manager John Lynch wasn't with the 49ers when the team drafted either defensive back, but he's been impressed enough with them to make sure they remain with his squad.

Ward could have hit free agency this year, but San Francisco brought him back on a one-year deal. Tartt signed a two-year extension last year, keeping him with the 49ers through the 2020 season.

Lynch sounded a bit envious of Tartt's and Ward's athleticism during a Friday-morning KNBR interview.

"We're really proud of the way those guys are playing," Lynch said on the "Murph and Mac" show. "I'll tell you what they have that I didn't have. Both those guys can flat-out run. I mean, they are incredibly gifted athletes, and they both do a little bit of that dog, and they're playing at a really high level."

Lynch has also noticed the way his two defensive backs communicate with one another when they are on the field together.

"It's a cool story; they were high school teammates, and the fact that they're still playing together today, I don't know how often that happens," Lynch continued. "Our guys joke about their non-verbal communication. Sherm talking about, yesterday, they're like two old ladies back there bickering because they've known each other for so long.

"But both guys playing at a high level."

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