Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

‘He played like a vet’: 49ers rookie Talanoa Hufanga impresses Fred Warner, Josh Norman

Oct 31, 2021 at 2:53 PM--

San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Talanoa Hufanga was excited to start his first NFL game. You could hear it in his voice on Friday when he spoke with reporters.

"Oh man, it's been a blessing," Hufanga told reporters after the team's last practice of the week. "It's been a long time coming. All glory to God, first off. It's a unique experience. I've been here, just trying to enjoy this process, enjoy this role, whether I'm on the field, I'm off the field."

The 49ers leave Chicago with a 33-22 victory, snapping an embarrassing four-game losing streak. Hufanga will continue to get opportunities with Jaquiski Tartt (knee) on injured reserve.

"Oh man, he was great," cornerback Josh Norman said of Hufanga's performance against the Bears. "He was great. He was everything we asked for and some. He wasn't scared of the moment. He actually grabbed that moment by the horns, and he ran with it. He's just going to continue to keep improving, and a guy like that, he only can get better.

"I mean, he's a rookie, for crying out loud. He played like a vet today."

Hufanga is close with another former USC Trojan — NFL great Troy Polamalu.

"If you want to have a big brother, it's Troy Polamalu," Norman added. "That's for sure. He is an awesome talent, and if [Hufanga] can come [close] to [playing like] him one day, that's a big feat. But he's starting off on a good foot."

Another defensive teammate, All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner, was also impressed with the rookie safety's ability to fill in for Tartt, even though he didn't get to see a lot of the rookie's play today.

"I thought he did great," Warner told reporters. "Obviously, you've got to go back and watch. He's playing behind me, so half the time, I don't really know what he's doing, but it seemed like he was around the ball, being disruptive, and doing the right things, being in the right spots. I think he did a good job."

Next up for Hufanga and the 49ers are the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 7.

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

49ers Notebook: Talanoa Hufanga's improvement; Brian Griese's impact; DJ Jones talks 49ers; Why is Jimmy G so loud?

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 22

Today marked another day of media rounds for the San Francisco 49ers, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and run game coordinator/offensive line coach Chris Foerster being among those to speak to reporters in Santa Clara. Among the topics discussed in those media sessions were the improvement of safety Talanoa Hufanga, the impact of new quarterbacks coach Brian Griese, and where Jimmy Garoppolo gets his vocal power from. There were also some quotes of note to come from outside 49ers facilities, including some thoughts from former 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones as he gets set to face his former team when the 49ers face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night. Here's a rundown of those topics and more in this version of 49ers

Baldy praises 49ers' Talanoa Hufanga, makes comparison to Hall of Fame safety

By David Bonilla
Sep 13

Safety Talanoa Hufanga was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded player in Sunday's matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. NFL analyst Brian Baldinger doesn't pay attention to grades from analytics sites. Instead, he relies on his eyes and knowledge of the game to evaluate players. However, it sounds like Baldinger agrees with Pro Football Focus' assessment. It wasn't a perfect game for Hufanga, though. The safety was involved in the scoring touchdown from Bears quarterback Justin Fields to wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Baldinger doesn't feel the play was entirely his fault, though. "Hufanga was really frozen on the touchdown to

Fred Warner: Levi's Stadium fans helped 49ers knock off Seahawks

By David Bonilla
Sep 18

Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium during Sunday's 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Linebacker Fred Warner believes you played a significant role in helping the team overcome the devastating loss of a teammate and earning its first win of the season. The linebacker loved the element that the home crowd brought to the game. "Huge. Huge, huge, huge," Warner said after the game. "I mean, I've been a part of some pretty loud games. That one was super loud from the start to the finish. I was so happy to be back home in front of our fans. "It's The Faithful. They call them The Faithful for a reason, so it was super fun to be back out there." The 49ers welcomed a return to Levi's Stadium after a disappointing and unexpected

'Like riding a bike': 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan discuss unexpected change at quarterback after Trey Lance injury

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 18

It's been a long, strange trip for Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers, and it got even stranger on Sunday when he found himself back under center after what appears to be a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Trey Lance. Garoppolo has been with the 49ers since being traded from the New England Patriots in 2017. He led an unexpected late-season emergence after the trade that saw the 49ers finish with five consecutive wins -- a streak that sparked newfound optimism into a franchise that completely rebooted itself earlier in the year with the hiring of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch after firing head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke following a 2-14 season in 2016. But that optimism vanished quickly in 2018 when


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone