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Chasing greatness: 49ers’ defensive resilience and pursuit of perfection

Dec 11, 2023 at 7:10 AM--


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The San Francisco 49ers have notched some impressive wins this season but aren't seeking praise. That's because they hold themselves to a high standard. The 49ers' defense believes it has yet to play its best game.

"We just keep chasing greatness," rookie safety Ji'Ayir Brown said after Sunday's 28-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks. "We feel like we haven't had our best game yet. When we got a group of guys like that, that's continuously trying to improve, potentially trying to play perfect, even though perfect is so hard to play, so hard to obtain, it just makes the guys around you a lot better."


The 49ers lost their best cornerback, Charvarius Ward, early in the game. He was tasked with shadowing Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, as he did brilliantly on November 23 in this season's first matchup between the two teams.

The defense overcame the loss of one of its most underrated players but still feels there is room for improvement.

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"I think there were some moments out there where Seattle could have came back into the game at any point," linebacker Fred Warner shared. "They had some things going for them, and we had guys go down in crucial moments of the game. Losing Mooney on that first drive was big, and guys stepping up in times that we need them to."

Brown never doubted his teammates' ability to rally together and step up, even after being shorthanded by the loss of Ward.

"We got great guys in the secondary," Brown said. "[Ambry Thomas], [Deommodore Lenoir], [Samuel Womack], [Tashaun Gipson]. I can go on down the line, so when one guy goes down, it's a next-guy-up mentality. And I have tremendous faith in every last one of those guys that's behind Mooney, so no fall-off there."

When asked about Lenoir's impressive efforts, Brown said, "He's real quiet off the field. But when he puts that helmet on, it's a different switch. I think everybody out there, when they put that helmet on, it's a different switch."

The 49ers are riding a five-game winning streak and have taken the lead in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs. They just need to continue stacking victories.

"We just got to continue to find ways to win no matter what," Warner said. "But we also got to make sure that we're correcting any mistakes that we're making out there so we're able to continue to get better into, obviously, the more important part of the season that we're in."



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