49ers

Fouts: Owens received fair evaluation of his career with HOF voting

Fouts: Owens received fair evaluation of his career with HOF voting

Programming note: Watch the John Lynch-Kyle Shanahan introductory press conference on Thursday at 1pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts was a Hall of Fame voter for the first time on Saturday in Houston.

Fouts said on a radio interview on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone that he presented the room with the results of a poll in which he sought input from Hall of Famers.

“The feedback I got was strong, it was passionate and it was interesting,” said Fouts, who now works in the media for CBS Sports.

Fouts was asked about the discussion of wide receiver Terrell Owens, who was a finalist in his second year of eligibility and was not elected into the Hall of Fame.

“I think he did receive a fair evaluation of his career, both pros and cons,” Fouts said. “But, obviously, ripping the Hall of Fame and the process, what good is that going to do? I just don’t understand that. But I didn’t understand a lot of things he did in his career.”

Shortly after he received word from a Hall of Fame representative that he did not receive the necessary votes to be part of the Class of 2017, Owens tweeted, “HOF is a total joke. Honestly, doesn’t mean anything to me to get in beyond this point.”

When asked what his stance was on Owens, Fouts spoke about the dilemma he faced as a voter.

“I think his numbers are very worthy,” Fouts answered. “But, again, on the other side of it, I think his actions on and off the field, on the sideline, in the locker room, and the fact that he played for so many teams. He was such a great player, the question always comes back to, if he was so great, why would those teams get rid of him? And I think we all know the answers.”

Fouts and Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton of Westwood One were added this season to the 48-member Board of Selectors.

Richard Sherman explains why players should always worry about their jobs

sherman49ersap.jpg
AP

Richard Sherman explains why players should always worry about their jobs

SANTA CLARA — 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gave the team a message before the bye week for players to use the time off for self-evaluation. He emphasized that they should be focused on what they want to prove in the final six games, especially in regards to their future with the team. 

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes that playing for your future spot should really be a focus no matter what the team’s record is. He believes that’s the mark of a professional. 

“That’s how it always should be,” Sherman said, “no matter what time of the season, and no matter what the record is.”

“When you’re on a good team and things are going well, you’re still playing for your job, it’s just a little bit more secure, guys feel more secure. But either way, when it’s going good, you shouldn’t feel secure either." 

Sherman practices what he preaches and does not rest on his laurels. The last game before the bye was one of his best since coming to Santa Clara, allowing two completions on four targets for 10 yards. In his eight games as a Niner he has only allowed 11 receptions on 24 targets for 153 yards. 

“Kyle and those guys are obviously evaluating who is going to be here and who’s not,” Sherman said. “Myself included, we have to play great football, and as always do my job at a high level and help my team win.” 

Arriving at Week 12 with only two wins has been frustrating but Sherman sees growth and potential in the young secondary. 

“It’s frustrating but it’s one of those things that comes over time,” Sherman said. “I’ve been through it multiple times, especially with young guys playing substantial minutes, you’re going to have that. They learn from their mistakes and move forward.” 


[RELATED: 49ers 'definitely' want Sherman back]

“I think that’s what we have. We’ve had guys improve throughout the season.”

The goal is not to play a perfect game but to play mistake free, sound football. Sherman sees the team getting closer to it, but recognizes the mistakes that have happened in crucial moments of games. 

The secondary has had the additional challenge of players changing positions throughout the first 10 games. Jimmie Ward moved from cornerback back to safety during the offseason, and rookie D.J. Reed has played corner, slot and safety. 

Sherman believes that staying at one position helps a player master his craft, but also sees the drive in his young teammates adapting to new roles. 

“It’s tough enough in your rookie year, going through the transition of getting into the NFL," Sherman said. "It’s tough for even a veteran to do. But I think everybody has worked very hard to give it their best shot.”

49ers GM John Lynch won't label Solomon Thomas a bust, still a 'big believer'

solomonthomasusatsi.jpg
USATSI

49ers GM John Lynch won't label Solomon Thomas a bust, still a 'big believer'

The 49ers have received little return on the investment of their 2017 No. 3 overall draft pick.

General manager John Lynch acknowledges defensive lineman Solomon Thomas has not produced to the level expected of a player selected so early in the draft. But Lynch said he has not given up on Thomas, who ranks 17th on the team in tackles and has one sack as a part-time player through 10 games.

“A lot of people use the word ‘bust’ or whatever,” Lynch said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “He’s not that. He’s a good football player for us.

“I think a lot of people struggle when you have the No. 3 pick. ‘Why isn’t he in there more?’ And that’s something we have to answer. But you have to earn those opportunities. That’s something Kyle (Shanahan) has always been clear on. Solly needs to continue to earn those. And we need to continue to put him in position to thrive.”

Thomas appeared in 14 games with 12 starts as a rookie. With 41 tackles and three sacks, Thomas showed signs he could take his game to a higher level. But Thomas’ production has regressed in his second season.

Thomas, 23, faced tragedy in the offseason when his older sister, Ella, died from suicide on January 23. Thomas has used his platform as an NFL player to bring awareness to mental health issues. It is only reasonable to assume his real-life anguish has impacted his on-field production.

[RELATED: Whitner: Thomas not a fit]

“It’s been tough on Solomon,” Lynch said. “I can’t even imagine. I often try to put myself in his position, and I know the struggle that he’s going through. Solomon is very aware that the struggle is real, that it’s something he deals with every day.

“But, also, he needs to find a way to come and be the best he can be at his job.”

Thomas has two years remaining on his rookie contract after this season, and Lynch said he expects the former Stanford star to come back from the bye week and make an impact as the 49ers close out the season.

“I’m still a big believer in Solomon Thomas,” Lynch said. “A lot of people say, ‘Why?’ You go back and study the history of defensive linemen in this league. A lot of them don’t figure it out in Year 1. They don’t figure it out in Year 2.”

Lynch added, “In this second half of this Year 2 for him, he’s got to really start being the player we all know he can be. Some of that is opportunity, and putting him in situations where we think he can thrive. And I think we’ll see that in the second half of this year.”