49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan look forward to first 49ers home crowd

Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan look forward to first 49ers home crowd

SANTA CLARA — The crowd that comes to Levi’s Stadium on football game days has not been known for offering the 49ers a significant home-field advantage, but both Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo believe that will not be the case in the team’s home opener on Sunday. 

Much has been made of the lightly populated sunny side of the stadium on Sundays in Santa Clara since the 49ers made the move from Candlestick Park. The subject of the relocation alone often raises the blood pressure of the venerable fans who spent time in those orange baseball stadium seats in South San Francisco. 

No one would dare compare the game-day atmosphere of Levi’s with Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, or Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, which are known for being the loudest of the outdoor venues. At least not yet. 

Shanahan understands why the fan base could be considered lackadaisical, but he believes it’s because of the product on the field. He has seen what a good game can do to work fans up into a lather. 

“I don’t think we’ve given our fans a lot to be excited about in the two years I’ve been here at home,” Shanahan said. “Or the few years prior, but when we have, I think the stadium has been loud.” 

After seeing a significant 49ers fan presence in both Tampa and Cincinnati, Garoppolo also has high expectations for the team’s first home game. 

“I think that our home crowd is awesome,” Garoppolo said. “These last two games in Tampa and Cincinnati especially, it turned into a home game with all the red out there. It was fun. I expect a great atmosphere and hope the crowd is rocking.” 

The 49er Faithful have traveled well in the first two weeks but so do Steelers fans. Shanahan recalled one game, in particular, facing Pittsburgh where their fans took away the home-field advantage. 

“Pittsburgh always travels well wherever I’ve been,” Shanahan said. “When I was in Atlanta when we were on our way to the Super Bowl, we still had to use a silent cadence at home even when we were, I think, 11-4 at the time.” 

Even with that past experience, Shanahan predicts a heavily weighted home fan presence facing the Steelers. 

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“I’m expecting it to be a strong 49ers crowd,” Shanahan said. “I always revert back to, I think it was the Christmas Eve game versus Jacksonville. I mean, we were out of it and I thought our fans were as loud as any stadium I’ve been at. I felt it last year versus Oakland. I felt it versus Seattle last year.

“I think our fans come ready, and if we come ready, I think we’ll be very happy about our home-field advantage.”

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

Nick Bosa might have been the best player in last year’s draft, but the top spot went to a quarterback to fill a need for the team with the No. 1 overall pick.

Things could very well go the same way this year, with the Cincinnati Bengals taking quarterback Joe Burrow with the first selection.

That would leave the consensus top player, Chase Young, for Washington at No. 2.

Again, that player is a defensive end. Again, that player is a defensive end from Ohio State.

“Nick, he's always setting the standard,” Young said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “That's just motivation for me to achieve a lot of real good things.

“It's definitely been a blessing to watch him grow into the player that he is. He's definitely helped me along this passage. He hasn't stopped. I'm just grateful to be able to see him grow.”

The 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick last year after the Arizona Cardinals went with quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.

Bosa registered nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He and Young also have been in contact as Young goes through the same process Bosa experienced a year ago.

“He just told me to be myself,” Young said. “That's what I have been trying to do the whole time I've been here.”

Young, like Bosa, declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He enters the draft after compiling a more impressive college career than Bosa, who was hampered by injuries throughout his time at Ohio State.

In 34 college games, Young registered 30.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. Last season, he had 16.5 sacks, all of which came in the first nine games of the season. In 29 games at Ohio State, Bosa had 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

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Bosa’s brother, Joey, went to Ohio State, where he was coached by defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Nick Bosa did not have much of a decision where to attend college because the family was already sold on Johnson’s ability to groom defensive linemen.

“I think the technique that ‘Coach J’ teaches in college works in the NFL as well,” Young said. “I'll continue to perfect my technique. The toolbox that I have now, I know that it'll bring me success in the NFL. That's one thing that I took from Nick and Joey.”

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

The 49ers saw firsthand how a blazing-fast receiver like Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs can change a game when Hill's deep catch on third-and-15 swung the momentum in Super Bowl LIV. Henry Ruggs, believe it or not, might be even faster. 

As San Francisco looks to upgrade its receivers for coach Kyle Shanahan's motion-heavy offense, a speedster like Ruggs could be a game-changer. The Alabama receiver said Thursday that he has met with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

Ruggs put on an absolute show Thursday at the combine. After measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, Ruggs ran a ridiculous 4.27 40-yard dash. That is the fastest among receivers this year, and the best time thus far at the combine. His time also is tied with current 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin, who could be on his way out of San Francisco, as the fourth-fastest at the combine since 2006.

That was just the start of Ruggs' big day, too. He also recorded a 42-inch vertical leap and had a 10'11" broad jump. His athleticism simply is off the charts. 

Ruggs joins a growing list of receivers the 49ers have met with at the combine. But it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the NFC champions. The 49ers own the No. 31 pick in the draft this year, and a handful of teams ahead of them make sense as a landing spot for Ruggs. 

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Before the combine, Ruggs was selected No. 18 overall by the Miami Dolphins in our latest mock draft. It would be a big surprise to see him fall past the New Orleans Saints at No. 24 overall.

It's clear the 49ers are doing their due diligence on a loaded receiver class and could be eyeing a future star at the end of the first round. Adding Ruggs would be gold to Shanahan's offense.