Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Jaguars: Deebo Samuel credits this player for his leap as a receiver, expects to play Sunday

Nov 18, 2021 at 5:02 PM--


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is dealing with a shin contusion and has been limited during practice this week. That probably won't keep him out of Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though.

"I'll be ready for Sunday," Samuel said after practice. "We're just taking our time. Just had a shin contusion, so just taking it slow, but we'll be ready."

That's good news for the Niners. Samuel is the team's leading receiver, and his 979 receiving yards rank second among all NFL receivers this season. After struggling through injuries last season, the wideout has made a significant leap in his third year. Many, including Samuel, credit one player's influence for that leap as an offensive weapon.

Samuel doesn't typically give long answers while speaking with reporters. However, he had a lot to say about his former teammate, Emmanuel Sanders, with whom he still keep in contact.

"[I talk to him] every week," Samuel said. "Once a week. I actually talked to him after the game [against the Rams], and he was just excited. He was like, 'Hey, man, you're becoming the guy that I know you was going to be,' and just congratulated me.

"And we just go back and forth, not just talking about football, just like life, and linking up in the offseason, taking trips, just like regular conversations."

Sanders was only with the 49ers for the second half of their 2019 campaign. Obviously, he made a substantial impact on the then-rookie. What exactly was it about Sanders that influenced Samuel?

"For me, it was just like his work ethic," Samuel shared. "Just coming into meetings, he came in at 6:30 [a.m.] when you're supposed to be here at like 7:30 [a.m.], just getting ahead of the playbook, and the way he carried himself at practice, and just the leader he was, and the energy that he [brought.

"As you can see, as the year went on, he started to act like us as far as dancing, which made it kind of fun. So, it was great playing with him that year."

Even Samuel's teammates noticed the influence Sanders had on Samuel, who looks on pace for his first Pro Bowl selection.

"I think one of the best things for our wide receiver room was Emmanuel Sanders," tight end George Kittle told reporters. "I can't say enough great things about Emmanuel, just the mindset he brought every single day of working. He never got tired. He never took himself out of the game. He would block his tail off every single time.

"That mindset he brought, I think Deebo learned a lot from him. I learned a lot from him. And I think if you didn't learn from him, then you had your head under a rock because he's a hell of a football player who does everything right.

"And so, I think that helped a lot. I think Deebo was dealing with some injuries last year. When you deal with injuries, it's hard just to get in a rhythm. It's hard to get in that mindset all the time. I think Deebo had a great offseason and came back looking great in camp. I think he's just been able to stay on the field repeatedly and just get better."

Some criticized the 49ers for trading for Sanders and then letting him leave in free agency just months later. However, his impact on the younger players, like Samuel, has been evident, even though his time as a Niner was short-lived.

Earlier this week, head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke of Sanders' influence.

"Yeah, I think it helped a ton for him when Emmanuel came here," Shanahan said. "That's when I saw the biggest [leap]. Deebo is one of the guys who we were counting on a lot as a rookie. And I think when Emmanuel got here, he really saw a true pro. And not just how he prepared, but how he attacked practice every day.

"And Emmanuel only knew one way. He went as hard as he could all the time, and if he couldn't, you had to protect him from himself. And I think it was really cool for Deebo to get to see. I think that's why they clicked so much.

"And then coming back into a second year, I know how hard he was preparing to not have a sophomore slump. And then he had those injuries, which kind of made it inevitable. And to watch the frustration he had all year, you could tell he was very hungry coming into this year."

Related News





Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



More than coach and player: 49ers' Kyle Shanahan considers Deebo Samuel a friend

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 12

When thinking about Kyle Shanahan and Deebo Samuel, you normally refer to the creative methods that Kyle Shanahan utilizes his star receiver and the playmaking ability of Samuel to execute those play calls. However, there's much more to the relationship between the two than just the electrifying performances on Sundays, which Kyle Shanahan alluded to in his daily presser Wednesday. Deebo Samuel has always been an animated and vibrant individual, most notably through his energy on the field and leading up to games on Sundays, so it's no surprise that the head coach and receiver are able to easily connect on a daily basis. "[We talk about anything]," Shanahan stated. "Deebo's a real easy guy to talk to. He's not doing much on special teams during



Deebo Samuel appreciates Kyle Shanahan's trust, 49ers' physical play

By David Bonilla
4 hrs

The San Francisco 49ers are just hours away from kicking off against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card round of the playoffs. One player everyone is excited to see is the dynamic Deebo Samuel. He is labeled as a wide receiver. However, the 49ers have utilized him as so much more this season. Samuel racked up 77 receptions for 1,405 yards and six receiving touchdowns this season, all career-highs. He also had 59 carries for 365 yards and a team-leading eight rushing touchdowns. Samuel even threw a touchdown pass in the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams. He can do it all. This week, Samuel was asked how he would respond to someone who did not know him asking what position he



Deebo Samuel doesn't even know how to define his role in 49ers' offense

By Brian Renick
Jan 14

49ers' wide receiver Deebo Samuel was named an AP 1st Team All-Pro for the first time in his young career on Friday. He is the first 49ers wide receiver to earn that honor since Terrell Owens earned his third nod back in 2002. There is no doubt that Deebo deserved the honor as he posted eye-popping stats during his 2021 campaign: 1st in yards per reception (18.2) 3rd in yards from scrimmage (1770) 5th in receiving yards (1405) 3rd amongst wide receivers in total touchdowns (14) Set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a receiver (8) It's hard to argue that Deebo wasn't the most valuable player on the 49ers' offense this season, and his versatility is largely the reason why. Not only was he the team's number one receiving



49ers' Deebo Samuel doesn't seem interested in conversing with Rams' Aaron Donald anytime soon

By Kirk Larrabee
Jan 6

Deebo Samuel hasn't always gotten much respect from Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, so it's not surprising he doesn't seem too eager to get to know Donald in person at some point. Donald was asked how to stop Samuel after a loss to the 49ers in 2020, to which he replied, "Who? Who's that?" Samuel responded on the field last season with 17 catches for 199 receiving yards and a touchdown in two wins over the Rams, then took a shot back at Donald via social media after the second of those two wins. With the Rams on the schedule this weekend, Samuel was asked by reporters after practice


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone