Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Recipe for Success in 2021 Includes Taybor Pepper

Jan 4, 2021 at 12:31 PM0


The 2020 season has tormented 49ers fans with an unprecedented and shocking number of roster moves and free-agent signings due to injuries, COVID, and poor performance. When the season began, there were dreams of pursuing a sixth Lombardi Trophy, and now, after a Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that dropped their record to 6-10, the 49ers and their fanbase have shifted their focus to the offseason and the 2021 NFL Draft. With 38 scheduled free agents on the roster, there is one player who John Lynch shouldn't question re-signing: Taybor Pepper.

Early on in the season, the 49ers had a crisis at the long-snapper position. Kyle Nelson, the longest-tenured member on the roster after Joe Staley retired, was having trouble with his snap accuracy, at some points even bouncing balls off the turf. In the Week Three game against the Giants, Nelson mishandled a total of five snaps and was replaced late in the game by backup offensive tackle Justin Skule. The 49ers released Nelson three days after that game and promptly signed a third-year long-snapper out of Michigan State with a unique name.

Taybor Pepper was lights out after signing with the 49ers, appearing in a total of 12 games during the 2020 season after being placed on the COVID list and missing the final game against the Seahawks. Since taking over the position in the Week Four matchup against the Eagles, Pepper and the 49ers didn't have a bad snap for any punt or kicking opportunity. This stability anchored a reliable battery of holder and kicker, and Pepper was also responsible for a couple tackles and a downed punt inside the five-yard line. He provides enthusiasm, consistency, and energy on the field, but his contributions to the Faithful go beyond that.

Pepper is a fixture on Twitter, engaging with fans and followers after each game. In fact, this author has had multiple positive and fun interactions with him on the social media site. Immediately following the Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, fans took to Twitter to react to this tweet posted by Taybor: "What a year. Thankful I was able to land on a team this season and have such a fun time! Here's to hopefully coming back to The Bay in 2021! #FTTB." This tweet prompted thousands of likes and comments, most of them urging him to re-sign, with replies like "hope to have you back," and "pay that man!" It's clear members of the Faithful are big fans of Taybor Pepper, and it's clear that he enjoyed his time in Santa Clara/Glendale.

When has a long snapper ever been one of the most beloved figures by a fan base? Taybor Pepper has become a bright spot in an unusually dim year for the 49ers, and the Niners should make the smart decision to re-sign him. He embodies consistency on the field in a position that rarely gets noticed unless mistakes are made, and he engages with fans on a level that most players don't.

When John Lynch is planning for success in 2021, the recipe calls for more Pepper.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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