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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Kwon Alexander on his late brother: ‘I wish he was right here with me’

Feb 2, 2020 at 10:35 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have dealt with a lot of adversity this season and in previous years. And while a good chunk of that adversity has been displayed on the field, it pales in comparison to some of the tragedies many within the franchise have faced off of it.

CEO Jed York's brother, Tony York, passed away on Dec. 7, 2018. In November of 2017, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin suffered the loss of his newborn son, then had even more family setbacks the following year. Quarterback C.J. Beathard lost his brother, Clay, in December of 2019.

Among those tragedies is another. Linebacker Kwon Alexander, who signed with the 49ers as a high-profile free agent last offseason, lost his brother, Broderick Taylor II, during Alexander's rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2015. Now, with the Niners preparing to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, Alexander isn't shy about playing the biggest game of his career thus far in memory of his late brother.

"We're going to the Super Bowl," Alexander, speaking of him and his brother, told Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop. "I mean, 'we.'"

Alexander was a major reason why San Francisco's defense experienced a resurgence in 2019. A year ago, the Niners ranked 28th in points allowed, also forcing a league-worst seven defensive takeaways. Bringing Alexander aboard, along with an offseason trade for EDGE Dee Ford and the team using the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa, helped transform what was an underperforming 49ers defense into the No. 8 scoring defense in the league and the NFL's best pass defense during the regular season.

Yet Alexander had to go through some of his own major setbacks, the largest of which was a torn pectoral suffered against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 31.

That injury was expected to be of the season-ending variety. Thanks to some excellent work from the medical professionals involved, along with Alexander's own rehabilitation efforts, the 25-year-old linebacker was able to make it back for the postseason, providing that same "legendary" thump and energy he displayed prior to his injury.

Now, those traits will be back on display in Super Bowl LIV. And Alexander hasn't forgot his brother will be watching him.

"He's going to be right there with me every step," Alexander continued about his brother. "It's crazy. I wish he was right here with me, and he could really live it out. But I know he's up there living with me.

"Everybody here loves the game, so I know that moment's coming where we're going to finish it. That's when I'll be able to say that's one of the most legendary things I've ever done."
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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