49ers

49ers' Fred Warner helping Dre Greenlaw prepare for first NFL start

49ers' Fred Warner helping Dre Greenlaw prepare for first NFL start

SANTA CLARA — Moving forward without Kwon Alexander on the field will be a challenge for the 49ers' defense, but Fred Warner is ready and willing to help Dre Greenlaw prepare for their biggest game yet. 

The task is large for Warner and the defense facing the NFL's top-rated quarterback in Seahawks star Russell Wilson. They also must stop running back Chris Carson, who boasts four 100-yard games over the first nine weeks of the season.

“We know what type of player we are getting with Russell and their running back, Chris Carson,” Warner said. “We just have to make sure we are executing.”

That wasn’t exactly the case in the 49ers' win in the desert last Thursday night when Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and running back Kenyan Drake made the game a little too close for comfort. Murray completed 17 of his 24 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, and Drake carried the ball 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown. 

Wilson arguably is more mobile than Murray and extremely accurate while passing on the run. 

Greenlaw, who registered his first career NFL sack in Arizona along with three solo tackles, played 27 of the defense’s 56 snaps. He played much more in the second half while filling in for Alexander after the veteran left the game with a torn pectoral muscle.

While Greenlaw was thrust onto the field suddenly to face the Cardinals' unique offense, Warner described the rookie as calm and mature. That same attitude has been apparent in this week’s preparation for his first NFL start with linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans. 

“I think he does a great job every day,” Warner said of Greenlaw. “Just taking it day by day, trying to work on the little things that he might need to work on. He does a great job of listening to DeMeco. He flies around, plays physical.” 

Warner knows that Greenlaw has big shoes to fill and that the rookie’s development will involve a learning curve. Having gone through the same process just one year ago, Warner understands what lies ahead for the Arkansas product. 

“He’s a rookie,” Warner said. “So he’s going to have to try and keep up every single week when there’s more install and there’s more new things the offense is going throw at us. But I think he’s just got to keep playing fast and being himself. Everything else will take care of itself.”  

Last week’s close call facing the Cardinals might have come at a good time for a 49ers defense that had previously been on a roll stopping opposing offenses. They now have had a few extra days to regroup, refocus and improve on their performance from Arizona. 

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“Yeah, no doubt,” Warner said. “We, for sure, could have done things a lot better last week against the Cardinals but looking forward to just building off of that. Every week is important, but this one should be fun.” 

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

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Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.

But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."

Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.

While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.

Why?

Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.

After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.

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And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.

Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.