Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

49ers LB Dre Greenlaw: ‘No doubt we’re the best defense on the planet’

Jan 27, 2022 at 8:39 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers underwent an impressive turnaround this season. Many left them for dead, especially following an embarrassing November 7, 2021 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who were missing several starters. Some joked that the Cardinals' practice squad had knocked off the Niners, and just like that, San Francisco was 3-5.

After that, the 49ers went 7-2, clinching a playoff berth in the final regular-season game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers probably regret the Rams not being able to eliminate the 49ers. Both were knocked out of the postseason by Kyle Shanahan's squad.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw was part of that last matchup against the Rams. Before that, he had to watch much of the season from the outside, unable to get onto the field because of a lingering groin injury. It's an injury he still feels today, even though he's played in the last three games.

"Shoot, I still feel it," Greenlaw told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto on Wednesday. "Everybody's got injuries, but I still feel it now."

Greenlaw added that he would have good days where he felt like he was on track to return to the field and help his teammates. Then he would have bad days where he could not move.

"It was hard to get consistent back-to-back days," Greenlaw shared. "But once we finally got a couple of days consistently, and I was feeling good enough to go, it was just time to go."

Even though he couldn't help his teammates on the field, he never doubted they could turn the season around, even at their lowest—the 31-17 Week 9 loss to the Cardinals. The 49ers seemed sparked by their next matchup, a 31-10 win against the Rams. That continued through this past weekend against the Packers.

"Honestly, just looking at it from not being able to be in [the game], and just [as] an outsider, this team never really gave up at all throughout the whole season," Greenlaw said. "Every game that we played, we fought in. Defensively, offensively, it don't matter. It was a tight game regardless. I think people don't look at that, look at how many guys we had injured and the players that was out.

"We've had a lot of guys battling throughout this whole season, just trying to get back. I never really saw the team just lose faith. That just kept fighting and kept fighting. Coach said it; there was going to be a breakthrough of when we're clicking, and we're on, and they're going to have to deal with us. So yeah, I feel like we're just on the move right now."

The 49ers defense has surrendered just 27 total points over their two playoff wins, holding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense to 10 points at Lambeau Field on Saturday night.

"No doubt we're the best defense on the planet," Greenlaw said. "Those guys up front, they prove it. They're the reason why we're the best defense just because of how fast, how hard, how violent they [are]. As linebackers, we run, and we scrape, and we just go off those guys.

"They give us the energy, and we know the type of night, the type of day it's going to be out there, watching those guys go out there and do what they do. It's been fun to be a part of it. I'm excited to see how dominant they can be this week."

The 49ers are preparing to head to Southern California to play the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Greenlaw below.

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