Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Grateful Fred Warner credits 49ers for his growth, All-Pro status, feels there is room to improve

Jan 25, 2021 at 2:36 PM--

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner earned his first Pro Bowl selection and first All-Pro honor for his impressive play during the 2020 season. He isn't content with his most recent accolades, though. Warner knows the work to be great never stops. Those who pause to enjoy their success often find themselves surpassed.

While the Pro Bowl selection is satisfying, being named a first-team All-Pro is the more prestigious of the two honors. After all, that is one roster's worth of players versus one from each conference for the Pro Bowl.

Warner recently joined NBC Sports Bay Area's 49ers Talk Podcast and shared what it means to be named a first-team All-Pro following his third NFL season.

"It was surreal. It really was," Warner told Matt Maiocco. "It's something that I did want for a really long time because everybody has their individual goals, right? I've talked about it before. When I came into the league, all I wanted was respect amongst my peers, and you're told what you can do for so long, and having that belief in myself from the very beginning.

"But it took a village for sure, being a part of such an amazing organization in the 49ers and having John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan believe in me to draft me to this team, and having the coaches around me, the players around me to help elevate my game, and learning from them. I'm so grateful. I can't say enough good things about the culture that's been built here. It's allowed me to thrive and continue to grow as a player."

Warner has quickly become one of San Francisco's best players and one of the NFL's most promising young defenders. He has led the team in tackles during each of his three seasons. Warner compiled a career-high 125 tackles (per Pro Football Reference), five tackles for a loss, seven quarterback hits, a sack, two interceptions, six passes defensed, and a forced fumble during 16 games in 2020.

Warner has also been one of the team's most available players, starting all 48 games over the past three seasons. While many of his teammates feel Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors are long overdue, the linebacker remains humble and grateful.

"It's kind of crazy to think about just because I was only in my third year, and I have so much room to improve," Warner continued. "I have so much growth that still needs to happen, and that's the great part about this game — is you've never got it. The moment you say that you've got something, that's when you lose it, and I think I'm just going to continue to get better because ultimately, I'm trying to get that ring on my finger at the end of this.

"I think that's what the entire team mindset is going into 2021, is we're going to work our tails off this offseason and put ourselves right back in that position to win that thing."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Warner below. It begins at about the 14-minute mark.

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