49ers

49ers' Richard Sherman rips Browns' Baker Mayfield for handshake snub

49ers' Richard Sherman rips Browns' Baker Mayfield for handshake snub

A Bay Area-Cleveland rivalry is nothing new to the sports landscape, but we might have another one on our hands soon, if we don't already.

Granted, the newly-developing rivalry between the 49ers and Browns has been extremely one-sided, after San Francisco embarrassed Cleveland on national television in a 31-3 win Monday night. The 28-point margin of victory -- as impressive as it was -- easily could have been larger.

The 49ers had their way with the Browns throughout the contest, particularly while on defense. San Francisco's defensive line, led by standout rookie edge rusher Nick Bosa, made quarterback Baker Mayfield's life a living hell. Bosa, in particular, was constantly in Mayfield's grill, and made sure to talk some trash after sacking the Browns quarterback at the end of the first half.

Following the blowout win, Bosa explained why the matchup with Mayfield was so personal. It turns out, he wasn't the only one of his teammates who felt that way.

According to NFL.com's Mike Silver, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman -- who intercepted Mayfield on the first play of Cleveland's second drive -- reportedly did not take kindly to Mayfield's refusal to shake hands at the pregame coin toss.

"What's amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning," Sherman told Silver. "That's some college s--t. It's ridiculous. We're all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent -- that's NFL etiquette. And when you pull bush league stuff, that's disrespectful to the game. And believe me, that's gonna get us fired up."

Fired up, indeed.

The 49ers scored an 83-yard touchdown on their first offensive play of the game, which was immediately followed by Sherman's interception. San Francisco then proceeded to force Mayfield into two more turnovers throughout the rest of the first half, which came to a close with the 49ers leading 21-3. They then received the opening kickoff in the second half and went 90 yards in nine plays before George Kittle's touchdown made it 28-3.

The rout was on.

Cleveland never sniffed a comeback from that point on, and afterward, Sherman had some harsh words for Mayfield and what he perceived to be a lack of respect for the game.

"He hasn't earned anything in this league," Sherman said of Mayfield. "How many games has he won? He's acting like he was the MVP last year. If (Chiefs QB Patrick) Mahomes did that, it would be one thing. But he would never do that, because he has too much respect for the game.

"And when you see a guy who doesn't? You humble him every chance you get. Because eventually, he will have respect for the league -- or he'll be out of it."

[RELATED: Watch Bosa troll Mayfield on epic flag-planting celebration]

It wasn't just Mayfield's behavior on Monday night that rubbed Sherman the wrong way. The 49ers cornerback sees it as an ongoing pattern, from Mayfield's insulting of New York's decision to draft quarterback Daniel Jones, to his taunting of his former coach Hue Jackson last year.

"There's no reason for him to say and do those things, especially given how little he's accomplished," Sherman continued. "That's where he's gonna have to grow up. He might get there, but he has a long way to go."

This budding 49ers-Browns rivalry has all the off-field components you look for. On the field, however, Cleveland has a long way to go to make it more competitive.

How adjusting Fred Warner's workload has unleashed his speed for 49ers

How adjusting Fred Warner's workload has unleashed his speed for 49ers

BRADENTON, Fla. — For the second time in as many months, a member of the 49ers has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Linebacker Fred Warner took home the title for November after Nick Bosa had the honor for October. During the month, Warner tallied 44 total tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and two forced fumbles. 

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh believes altering the linebacker’s responsibilities has given Warner an opportunity to play with more speed. 

“We’ve taken a lot off his plate so he can just go line up and play,” Saleh said Thursday. “Putting more of the onus on making sure that guys lineup and go play. We were playing some of those read-option teams, the Arizona teams, we’re asking him to make a lot of checks and see if he can get us in the perfect defense. 

“While he’s busy trying to do that, he’s not able to focus on his job. Even though he was getting everyone lined up and everything was perfect, it’s just not fair for him. So, to take a little bit off his plate so he can go ahead and go play, I think that’s really been the difference.”

Saleh is not alone in praising Warner. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman also has been impressed with the young linebacker's work ethic and growth in his second season. The fact that Warner didn’t play inside until he was with the 49ers makes his accomplishments even more significant. 

“The inside linebacker already has so much on his plate,” Sherman said. “Being able to take some of that off—there was one game I think he had six calls in one play. Where if this guy moves here, he has to readjust the line. He has to tell the DBs this, he has to tell this guy this and sometimes that just doesn’t allow him to play fast.

“He’s getting everybody else lined up to play fast but he can’t play fast. He has to think about all these calls, all these adjustments. Maybe you put a little more strain on the rest of the guys. You spread out the strain and it allows him to play fast and for us to be a better defense.”

[RELATED: 49ers now have logjam at running back with Breida's return]

Now in his second year, Warner sees things developing on the field more quickly. No matter the workload given to him by Saleh, the BYU product has been able to adjust.  

“I think as the year has gone on, he has kind of started to realize what’s too much, what’s too little,” Warner said. “I agree completely. Ever since kind of the midway point of the season, I think he has lined it up for me to just go out and play fast.”  

49ers' Richard Sherman, Dee Ford speak out on Tim Ryan's comments

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AP

49ers' Richard Sherman, Dee Ford speak out on Tim Ryan's comments

BRADENTON , Fla. -- Following radio broadcaster Tim Ryan's one-game suspension for his comments regarding Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, several 49ers players spoke out, believing there was no malicious intent behind what the analyst said. 

Known as being outspoken on most topics, Richard Sherman did not mince words about what Ryan said. He even mentioned that the commentator had personally apologized to several players while at the team hotel after the announcement of his suspension. 

“I know Tim personally, and I listened to the dialogue and saw it, read it,” Sherman said. “Honestly, I wasn’t as outraged as everybody else. I understand how it can be taken in a certain context and be offensive to some. 

“But if you’re saying, ‘Hey, this is a brown ball, they are wearing dark colors, and he has a brown arm,’ honestly sometimes we were having trouble seeing it on film. He’s making a play fake and sometimes he’s swinging his arm really fast and you’re like, does he have the ball? And you look up and [Mark] Ingram is running it.

“So it was technically a valid point but the way he said it, you can always phrase things better. I’ve had a relationship with him since I’ve gotten here and he’s never been anything other than a great guy and a professional and a guy who takes his job seriously.” 

Edge rusher Dee Ford expressed similar sentiments about Ryan’s comments, and confirmed that the two had spoken since the incident. 

“He walked up to me earlier and before he even said anything I told him. ‘I got your back.’” Ford said. “I already knew the story. The words kind of got taken out of context, and of course, now he knows he could have used better judgment with his words. But we got his back. I knew what he was trying to say. 

“This era we live in, it is just what it is, but I know him personally. I speak to him a lot. He loves to watch the D-line and there’s not one -- type of bone -- you know what bone I’m talking about, in his body. So I got his back, so put that to bed really fast.”  

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh also spoke about Ryan’s nature, not believing that there was negative intent behind his comments. 

[RELATED: How Payton, Saints are preparing for imposing 49ers defense]

“I’ve always, as a human being, tried to judge people on how I interact with them,” Saleh said. “And I love the man. He’s a very genuine human being and he knows he made a mistake and he’s just trying to move this on as quickly as possible.” 

Dennis Brown will be on the call with Greg Papa during Ryan’s absence for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints in the Superdome.