Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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

Jan 6, 2022 at 5:31 PM--

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 Thursday if he had met or spoken to Donald. Samuel said the two of them haven't met and gave a quick answer to the question of whether or not they've spoken.

"I'm not pressed for a conversation," Samuel said.

When asked to expand on that stance, Samuel made a reference to what Donald said in 2020, then said that sparking up a conversation with an opponent he's not familiar with isn't exactly his thing.

"I don't know the guy," Samuel said. "Obviously he doesn't know who I am, which he should. But I don't know. I don't just walk up to be people and be like, 'Hey, how you doin'? I'm Deebo,' or nothing like that. I'm not that type of guy or whatever. But he's an opponent, so I don't know why I would want to have a conversation with the guy. It's just not something I do.

Samuel made noise against the Rams again earlier this season, catching five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown on five carries in a 31-10 win on November 15. 49ers tight end George Kittle thins Samuel will be fired up again when the Rams and 49ers face off in Los Angeles this Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT, FOX).

"I love Deebo and his entire mindset every single week," Kittle said Thursday. "I think Deebo is different when he plays the Rams, because there is a little bit of a disrespect there. I think Deebo is a hell of a football player and people should know who he is and what his name is. I don't know if he tries to be a little bit extra on these gamedays versus the Rams or anything like that, but you can definitely feel his intensity. I think Deebo's done a great job being consistent with that energy week in and week out this entire season. But I know he is going to bring it and he is going to do everything in his entire ability to win this game. I'm looking forward to seeing a spicy Deebo."

Whether Donald wants to acknowledge Samuel or not, the Rams will certainly need to find a better way to keep him under wraps on Sunday. Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey spoke to reporters on Thursday about stopping Samuel, giving a much more detailed and complimentary answer than Donald did in 2020.

"It is tough to do at times just because he's moved all over the place, so if you're not in specific, matched-up coverages, they can try to get him in favorable positions, I would say," Ramsey said. "He's dominant at every position that he plays, whether he's at the outside receiver, he's at slot, or running back. So regardless, it's a challenge for whoever's going to be going up against him wherever he's lined up at. (He's a) super-important piece to the puzzle for their team and just a great player, and yeah, we've got to figure out a way to limit his impact this week."

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