Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Kyle Shanahan “surprised” by rookie CB Ambry Thomas

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 27, 2022 at 10:45 AM--


San Francisco 49ers rookie Ambry Thomas has been a pleasant revelation, especially over the last weeks of the season, playing as a serviceable complement to veteran Emmanuel Moseley in the secondary.

After the inconsistencies at the position throughout the season, Thomas, and his rapid development, have been a surprise to many, including the likes of head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Ahead of San Francisco's much-awaited third matchup against their division-rival Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game this Sunday, Shanahan spoke to what surprised him about this football team, which included words about Thomas and his improvements late in the year.

"I try to live in the moment and we just go as hard as we can. I can't say I was surprised how we rebounded. You go expecting that and that's why we try to stick the course," Shanahan said. "I think some of how the younger guys, the way they started out, what I've talked about earlier, guys like Ambry and how much they've come up later in the year. He did surprise me with that, so I'd say that was one of the bigger ones, especially how drastic of a jump he made. But yeah, not much else."

In Thomas' first career start against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14—due to Moseley's ankle injury that sidelined him until Week 18—the rookie was outmatched by fellow rookie JaMarr Chase, and there were quick criticisms that followed.

However, throughout the course of the following weeks, Thomas has significantly increased his play, primarily through aggressive plays on the ball, which has increased his confidence heading into the playoffs. Remember, Thomas had the walk-off overtime interception against the Rams in Week 18 that clinched a playoff spot for the 49ers.

The rookie missed San Francisco's divisional-round defeat of the Green Bay Packers with a bone bruise in his knee, but practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday, raising optimism that he'll be in contention to suit up this weekend.



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