49ers rookie Fred Warner earns Presidential nickname on first impression


49ers rookie Fred Warner earns Presidential nickname on first impression

SANTA CLARA -- James Onwualu is a newcomer to the 49ers’ linebacker room.

It did not take him long to size up rookie Fred Warner and give him a nickname.

Presidential Fred -- a fitting moniker to compare Warner's comportment with the traditional manner in which the person in the nation’s highest office is expected to carry himself.

“He’s a natural leader, even though he’s younger,” said Onwualu, who signed with the 49ers' practice squad on Nov. 19 and got a promotion to the active roster this week.

“I’ve only been here a week or so, but he has a confidence, he takes charge in that role, and he’s very professional in what he does. He has the media surrounding him like he’s the president. It’s unique to see a guy who can come in and step up like that.”

Warner was the 49ers’ third-round draft pick. He likely was not chosen any higher because he was not considered an elite, explosive athlete. But Warner quickly proved himself worthy of the trust that Reuben Foster never earned with the organization.

[RELATED: Mike McGlinchey, Fred Warner lead way for 49ers' 2018 rookie class]

Although he never played inside linebacker at Brigham Young, Warner was immediately moved to the new position at the beginning of the offseason program and given the responsibility of calling the defensive signals from his spot at middle linebacker. Warner wears a radio transmitter in his helmet with a direct line from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on the sideline.

“I thought it was just cool being able to hear a call in your helmet,” Warner said. “In college, you just get the call from the sideline. Did it take some time to get used to? I wouldn’t say hearing the call in my helmet and relaying it. But just lining up and making sure I’m not only getting the other guys in the right spots, but getting myself in the right position to play football.

“Playing inside linebacker was completely new to me at that point. I feel like I’ve come a long way since then.”

Warner leads the 49ers with 83 tackles and six passes defensed. He has one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He said the time off during the bye week gave him a chance to take a step back and see what he needs to accomplish to finish the season strong.

“Overall consistency,” he said, “and being able to make the big plays we need on game days, creating those turnovers.”

Foster was considered a prototypical mike linebacker, but the 49ers added Warner in the draft at a time when it was unclear whether Foster would ever play again for the 49ers. Foster was facing felony domestic violence charges.

As it turned out, charges against Foster were dismissed. But he would play in only six more games with the 49ers. Foster was released after being arrested at the team hotel in Tampa, Florida, on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence against the same woman who initially accused him during the incident in February in Los Gatos.

Saleh said he knew from the moment he first met Warner that he could handle all of the communication responsibilities and multi-tasking. He compared him to former NFL linebacker Paul Posluszny, whom Saleh coached with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“He’s one of the smartest interviews I’ve ever had,” Saleh said of Warner. “He can take in information better than anyone I’ve been around. He’s up there with Paul Posluszny to me, and Paul Posluszny was darn-near a rocket scientist.

“When you look at Reuben, Reuben’s personality, he wants to run, hit and hurt. That’s his personality, so just let him go do that. Not that he wasn’t capable of playing the mike, because he’s very, very capable. He’s very intelligent, very smart. But, when it came to Fred, just his intelligence and his IQ are off the charts.”

49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky's Madden ratings increased after big hit


49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky's Madden ratings increased after big hit

Ask and you shall receive. 

49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky saw his Madden NFL 20 ratings go up Tuesday, one day after San Francisco's 24-15 preseason win in Denver. But it wasn't for his kicking ability. 

Wishnowsky actually saw his tackling and hit power rating receive big boosts after laying the boom on Broncos rookie return man Devontae Jackson. You now all refer to the 49ers' rookie punter as Big Hit Mitch. 

The 49ers immediately requested EA Sports raises Wishnowsky's tackling rating of 36. The next morning, the team's wish was granted. 

Wishnowsky went from a 36 overall tackler to 41, and his hit power jumped 20 points, from 40 to 60. 

“I just saw it kind of open up and it was more, I thought I’d just plug a hole,” Wishnowsky said about his big hit on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I was almost expecting to get side-stepped, but it didn’t happen.

“I reckon that’s about as good as I’ve got.”

[RELATED: Wishnowsky reacts to huge hit on Broncos return man]

Clearly, it was good enough to catch the eyes of those who really matter in the NFL -- video game creators.

49ers' Raheem Mostert honors agent's father with touchdown celebration


49ers' Raheem Mostert honors agent's father with touchdown celebration

Raheem Mostert is more than a special teams extraordinaire. The 49ers running back proved that Monday night in a 24-15 preseason win over the Broncos. He also showed what kind of person he is.

After Mostert scampered across the field for a 30-yard touchdown in the victory, he threw up a 'T' with two arms as a celebration. The letter meant much more than what meets the eye, too. 

Mostert told his agent Brett Tessler before the game that he would score. What the running back did after crossing the goal line, was simply remarkable for Tessler. 

The fifth-year pro honored Tessler's late father who recently passed away. It was a grand gesture on a great night for Mostert. 

While the story of the night was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's ugly return to the field, Mostert easily was the 49ers' best offensive player. He led San Francisco with 58 yards rushing on six carries and was the team's top receiver, gaining 42 yard on just two receptions.

[RELATED: Mostert proving to be more than just special teams ace]

“I just go out there and try to prove myself and show everyone I can play running back and just give it the best of my ability,” Mostert said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “That’s what I always try to do.”

Mostert always was secure in a making the 49ers' 53-man roster thanks to his ability on special teams. Now, he's putting himself in the mix for carriers, even in a crowded backfield.