49ers

Aaron Rodgers jokes he'll 'definitely' shake Richard Sherman's hand

Aaron Rodgers jokes he'll 'definitely' shake Richard Sherman's hand

Ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn't looking to provide bulletin-board material. 

Comedic material is another matter entirely. 

In a jovial interview with ESPN Radio's "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz" on Tuesday, Rodgers didn't take the bait when Le Batard jokingly asked for some headline-worthy sound. When Le Batard asked Rodgers in faux anger if he was ducking star 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, Rodgers proved he gets the show. 

"No, I'm definitely gonna shake his hand pre-game," Rodgers laughed. "Show him the respect, mutual respect. It's gonna be all love and respect."

Three months and a coaching staff ago, Sherman ripped Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for not shaking his hand during the pre-game coin toss before San Francisco's 31-3 shellacking of Cleveland. The Browns' schadenfreude was just beginning in yet another underwhelming season, but the supposed snub would not be part of it, as Sherman's accusation proved to be a fabrication.

Rodgers joked he will seek out Sherman before the game, but what about during? Le Batard facetiously pressed Rodgers again if he would target the second-team All-Pro corner, fresh off a dominant playoff outing and one hell of a post-game podium press conference. 

"Oh, I don't know," Rodgers quipped. "It depends on who's open."

[RELATED: Mitchell sees stellar growth from 49ers' D-Line in return]

The 49ers had better luck pinning down Rodgers in their dominant Week 12 win over the Packers than Le Batard did Tuesday. Rodgers was sacked five times, managing just 104 passing yards on 33 attempts. 

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan won't let his defense rest on its laurels, though, knowing a repeat of one of the worst performances of the probable Pro Football Hall of Famer's career isn't especially likely

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Javon Kinlaw isn't afraid of a few deadly weapons.

The 49ers rookie showed off a seemingly dangerous drill on social media Friday in a video posted by defensive line trainer Cam Spence.

You're correct, those are in fact a pair of knives being wielded and sent in Kinlaw's direction as he bats them away. We've seen a similar drill from two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

[RELATED: Richard Sherman calls out report on 2020 NFL season negotiations]

Kinlaw was the 49ers' first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, going No. 14 overall. The South Carolina product plugged up the middle for the Gamecocks' defense, picking up six sacks and recovering two fumbles. He likely will have an immediate chance to contribute, as All-Pro DeForest Buckner's departure to Indianapolis leaves a void in the 49ers' defensive line.

The rookie, along with a few returning players looking to earn a contract, will be imperative to make sure that void is filled in order for the 49ers to replicate the dominance the team enjoyed in 2019.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

The Brandon Aiyuk hype among 49ers fans has grown exponentially ever since he was drafted 25th overall in April.

The sixth receiver to come off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, Aiyuk is expected to make an immediate impact with his elite breakaway speed, which he showcased numerous times during his two seasons at Arizona State.

But based on the just-released Madden 21 ratings, Aiyuk isn't even among the fastest wide receivers in his rookie class. In fact, he's just the sixth-best rookie wideout according to the video game's new ratings, checking in at 72 overall.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

The rookie receivers' overall ratings were almost identical to their draft positions, with the Denver Broncos' Jerry Jeudy and the Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb swapping places being the only alteration.

When it comes to speed, however, Aiyuk checks in as the 10th-fastest rookie wide receiver, behind a handful of players drafted well behind him.

[RELATED: George Kittle 'really proud' of team's offseason work, effort]

Aiyuk's 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn't exactly elite (4.54 seconds), but during his senior season, he was tracked with a top in-game speed of 21.97 mph -- a mark bested by just three NFL players in 2019.

Game speed is different than track speed, and Aiyuk brings game speed in spades every time he takes the field.

Guessing those ratings might be adjusted once Aiyuk actually sees some on-field action in a 49ers uniform.