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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel talks expectations after McCaffrey trade, unselfish 49ers offense, odd Jimmy G stat, Lance update

Nov 16, 2022 at 11:52 AM--

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Wide receiver Deebo Samuel carried the football a career-high 59 times for 365 rushing yards last season on his way to a breakout 1,770-all-purpose-yard campaign with the San Francisco 49ers. Last month, the Niners traded for Christian McCaffrey, a running back with the same versatility as Samuel. Both are dangerous running the football and hauling in passes out of the air.

Samuel had four carries for 27 yards to go along with his two receptions for 24 yards during Sunday night's 22-16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. So what did Samuel think when the 49ers acquired McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers? Did the receiver believe the move would take some of the rushing burdens off his shoulders?

"Nah, I didn't think nothing along those lines," Samuel said this week on CBS Radio's Maggie and Perloff show. "I was just thinking how much firepower we have on this offense, and really, once we get everything moving the way we want to, it's going to get real crazy because you're not gonna know who to guard [or] where the ball is going because all 11 guys out there ... are able to take a slant to the house."

Samuel noted that obviously doesn't include the offensive linemen. Although, he feels left tackle Trent Williams could be dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Unselfish offense

The 49ers offense doesn't typically focus on one weapon. Instead, it is designed to distribute the ball based on the game plan against an opponent. Some players around the league might complain about not getting their touches, but that isn't the mentality in Santa Clara.

"From my rookie year to now, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] has been consistent throughout my four years here as far as spreading the ball around with all the guys he has," Samuel shared. "He don't ever go into a game, be like, 'Yo, this guy's going to do this. This guy's going to do this.' Whoever's hot, Kyle's gonna do a good job of continu[ing] to keep getting him going, and once he cools down, you got everybody else out there you can get the ball to."

Jimmy G's odd stat

On Sunday night, ESPN shared a bizarre stat. Jimmy Garoppolo is 10-2 in starts where he doesn't throw a touchdown pass. The quarterback failed to toss one against the Chargers.

What does Samuel make of odd stats like that?

"It kind of shows what kind of team we have, the kind of physicality we have, and how we run the ball, and how we approach the game," Samuel said. "You don't have to go out there and throw the ball 50 times to win a game. It's about clock management. It's about the great defense that we have."

Garoppolo's play not a surprise

Garoppolo has been the 49ers' starting quarterback since Trey Lance went down with a season-ending injury in Week 2. The 49ers restructured Garoppolo's one-year deal just before the start of the season, but the quarterback didn't get any work with the team before that. After all, he and the 49ers expected the quarterback to be traded.

Garoppolo has not thrown an interception in his last two games. His interception percentage of 1.7 percent this season is the quarterback's lowest since joining the 49ers in 2017. Garoppolo has four games this season with a passer rating over 100.0.

"I wasn't surprised at all," Samuel said of Garoppolo's play despite the quarterback not having a real offseason with the team. "I've been with Jimmy for the past four years here, and everybody around here know what Jimmy is capable of. Nobody wanted to see Trey go down. It kind of took the life out of us for a minute, but in this league, it's kind of next man up.

"And with the next man being up, Jimmy's been here for a while, so we knew what we was getting. I feel like Jimmy did it the right way. He approached it the right way and continued to be the same guy throughout the whole process."

Trey being Trey

Samuel added that Lance is with the team daily and doing well in his recovery from a fibula fracture and ligament disruption in his ankle.

"He's never been a negative guy," Samuel said of Lance. "I love the way he's attacking his rehab process. He's becoming a pro on that end. Just in high spirits, lifting all the guys up. He's just Trey being Trey."

NFL's 3 toughest wideouts

After sharing that he feels he has yet to receive a punishing blow by a defender, Samuel was asked to name the three toughest NFL wide receivers, not including himself. He started by naming a couple of his teammates.

"Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings," Samuel said before pausing to give his final response some thought.

"[Buccaneers WR] Mike Evans," he finally said.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Samuel below.

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