Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Kyle Shanahan on Deommodore Lenoir: ‘Nothing’s too big for him’

Sep 18, 2021 at 10:57 AM--


San Francisco 49ers rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir has been thrown into the fire early in his NFL career. Veteran defensive back Emmanuel Moseley missed the 49ers first game due to an injury. Lenoir filled in as the starting corner opposite Jason Verrett, and played 90 snaps in the team's opening day win over Detroit. He was very solid.

And now with Verrett out for the season with a torn ACL, the rookie defensive back will be counted on even more. And his coaches are confident he is up to the task.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan, who spoke about Lenoir to the media a couple of times this week, said, "I've loved his mentality," he told Matt Maiocco, of NBC Sports Bay Area. "He doesn't say a lot, he's a pretty quiet guy, but from his first rookie camp, you know, nothing's too big for him."

Lenoir started the preseason on an aggressive note. During a one-on-one session, he jammed a wide receiver a little too hard, something players are not allowed to do at that point in the offseason. Lenoir posted the video online, inadvertently exposing the team (and coach) for breaking the rules.

"He got me in trouble by putting it on the internet, which was a lesson I didn't tell him before that's not allowed...but he's so competitive and so aggressive in everything," said Shanahan. "He got to training camp, and nothing changed. We threw him out there in the preseason game, and he looked how he did in practice."

Shanahan added, "He wasn't expecting to start week one, but he did. And sometimes guys get a little nervous their first NFL game, with the big lights. He went out there and played the same way he did in the first practice."

Lenoir, a fifth-round pick for the 49ers in the 2021 NFL Draft, has shown he is up to the task and ready to take on whatever challenge that comes his way.

49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans met with the media Thursday afternoon and discussed Lenoir's performance in week one.

"Yeah, D-Mo was fine," Ryans said. "He didn't blink. To be a rookie for his first game and to be tasked with that many reps. Of course, we didn't want that many reps, but one thing I liked about D-Mo, he didn't blink. He competed every snap and he was good. He continues to work and get better. So, I'm proud of the way he fought through the game, a lot of reps, but he fought through and it's encouraging to see where he can keep going."

Lenoir has done everything asked of him so far. He has looked aggressive and fearless throughout the spring, training camp, preseason and in his NFL debut.

Said Ryans, "Just the confidence level has really picked up for him. And I know, as a rookie, it's a lot. We're throwing a lot at guys and they're just wide-eyed. It's a lot on their plate, so I'm proud of the way he's been consistent. And he's been consistently getting better and better and better. And the confidence level that he has, has definitely risen over the time when he first started to now."

Lenoir will have an even bigger challenge this Sunday, as the 49ers travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles, and an offense that looked really good in Week One.





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