Deebo Samuel is not forgetting how close he was to being a Super Bowl champion.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Samuel explained how the 49ers' losses in Super Bowl LIV and the NFC Championship Game last season against the Los Angeles Rams are his motivation against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
"Not just from last year but I can just go back until my rookie year, making it to the Super Bowl," Samuel said. "You still just have that bad taste in your mouth."
In San Francisco's 31-20 loss in Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs, Samuel rushed twice for 53 yards -- the most by a receiver in Super Bowl history -- and caught five passes for 39 yards.
Against the Rams, the 27-year-old had 26 rushing yards on seven carries along with nabbing four receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown. However, the 49ers lost 20-17 to the eventual Super Bowl champions.
The 49ers star also pondered just how difficult it is for any team, not just the 49ers, to make it to the Super Bowl and actually win and shared that even minute mistakes can end a team's hopes.
"As you go back to last year, we were a couple of plays to making the Super Bowl again and you're just kind of like, 'Dang, what is it really going to take for us to get there?' " Samuel continued. "We just have to minimize the mistakes and everybody has to be on their assignment for us to be where we want to be at the end of the year."
So far, the 49ers have done an excellent job of minimizing mistakes, particularly with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy. After taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, Purdy has only thrown three interceptions compared to his 16 touchdown passes.
Although the 23-year-old was somewhat stifled by the Dallas Cowboys defense in the NFC Divisional Round, Purdy played solidly enough to help the 49ers reach their third NFC title game in four seasons with the 19-12 win at Levi's Stadium.
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With Samuel motivated to do his best against the Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, 49ers fans are hoping that he can help power San Francisco to another Super Bowl appearance.
And for Samuel, that is all he would want.