Kyle Shanahan 'a little surprised' Reuben Foster was claimed; players were not

Kyle Shanahan 'a little surprised' Reuben Foster was claimed; players were not

SANTA CLARA — The day after former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was claimed by Washington, coach Kyle Shanahan said it was a little unexpected. 

“I was a little surprised,” Shanahan said. “I mean, not the team in particular, but that someone did. But someone did, and I saw it just like you guys did.” 

Shanahan has ties with Foster’s new home having been the offensive coordinator for the organization from 2010-2013. 

The 49ers took a chance on drafting Foster but ultimately it didn’t work out after several bad decisions by the linebacker forced the team’s hand. 

While the situation was challenging for the team, Shanahan doesn’t believe that it was detrimental to the locker room. 

“You could ask them,” Shanahan said. “I think that some, the team is made up of a bunch of people, so it’s got to be a lot of people feeling that way for me to personally feel it. I’m sure it’s affecting a few guys like that but I haven’t felt a difference in our team meetings being around the guys. 

“I know it was tough for the guys and I know I’m disappointed in it but we will see how this plays out. But no, I haven’t felt that.”

[RATTO: This is football being football]

Several players mentioned that they were not surprised that Foster was claimed quickly, citing that he is a great teammate and player. They expressed that they were disappointed by his departure from the team but also understood why the decision was made. 

Rookie linebacker Fred Warner was happy that Foster was claimed. 

"I'm super happy for him,” Warner said. “Obviously, I love Reuben the person. A lot of people talk about him as a player. I'm one of those guys who got to be with him in the room and off the field a lot. I know what he was accused of is very serious. At this point, he's not here any more, but I'm happy for him.”

[WILHOITE: Reuben Foster was undisciplined]

Safety Jaquiski Tartt was not surprised that Foster was claimed quickly. 

“Not at all,” Tartt said. “He’s a great football player. He’s my brother. I love him. Wish him the best. I feel like any person, anybody, deserves a second chance in life if they mess up.” 

Tartt also understands why the team had to act swiftly. 

“They set out team rules,” Tartt said, “and he violated team rules so there was nothing anyone could do. He shouldn’t have broken them.” 

The 49ers will move forward with Malcolm Smith, Elijah Lee and Mark Nzeocha rotating next to Warner as they prepare for Sunday’s matchup with the Seahawks.

How Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne enhanced 49ers' offense last season

How Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne enhanced 49ers' offense last season

No stat is perfect, and that includes passer rating. One thing needs to be clear: It's not just a quarterback stat. 

Instead, passer rating showcases the passing offense as a whole and heavily weighs big plays. Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne clearly strengthened the 49ers' passing offense. All you have to do is look at Jimmy Garoppolo's passer rating when targeting the two receivers. 

Pro Football Focus published an article Thursday that proved just how much the two enhanced San Francisco's passing offense. Garoppolo had a 121.1 passer rating when targeting Bourne, good for the ninth-best among receivers. Samuel was right behind as a rookie with a 120.2 passer rating.

Samuel's 74 percent catch rate also was the seventh-best among receivers in the entire NFL last season. 

Garoppolo targeted Samuel 81 times last season, according to Pro-Football Reference, and had a 70.4 completion percentage when throwing it the rookie's way, and a 109.2 QB rating. He targeted Bourne 46 times and had a 67.4 completion percentage with a 109.0 QB rating.

[RELATED: 49ers believe Aiyuk can fill void left by Sanders' departure]

Samuel is expected to be the 49ers' No. 1 receiver in his second professional season this year. He perfectly fits Kyle Shanahan's scheme of deception. Bourne, on the other hand, was relied upon in the red zone and led all 49ers receivers with five touchdowns in 2019. 

The 49ers might not have a superstar receiver yet, but it's clear this group is full of talent.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Richard Sherman explains importance of white QBs speaking up

49ers' Richard Sherman explains importance of white QBs speaking up

As the world protests police brutality from the aftermath of George Floyd's brutal murder in Minneapolis, athletes in all sports have joined the fight. 

Former Warriors forward Stephen Jackson called Floyd his "twin" and became extremely emotional on social media upon learning of his death and held a press conference asking America to finally get real about race. Steve Kerr, Steph Curry and many others have voiced their thoughts and anger as well. On Sunday morning, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman expressed his thoughts on Twitter. 

As he saw his tweets, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reached out to Sherman. Unprompted, Sherman spoke on the importance of white quarterbacks like Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Clemson star Trevor Lawrence all speaking up following Floyd, an African-American man, being murdered in broad daylight by four cops.

“I’m impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people,” Sherman said to Breer. “Which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete’s perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently. So it’s awesome that more people are speaking out, because in sports, you really have a love and appreciation for your fellow man, regardless of race.

“And I think that’s what makes sports and teams so special, because a lot of the stereotypes are torn down. You really get to know one another, not judge based off nonsense.”

Breer initially asked Sherman if he believes it's a responsibility of himself or other athletes to speak up right now. The veteran cornerbacks feels it's more a case-by-case basis and nobody should be forced to, though it's clear he sees the impact on doing so.

“It’s always based on the individual,” Sherman said. “Because not everyone has something to say and not everyone who’s an athlete should be forced to. There are many successful people in this world with platforms, but not everyone should speak.”

[RELATED: Why 49ers are No. 4 in King's latest NFL Power Rankings]

In a time like this, Sherman's words on white QBs speaking up is extremely important. Kerr said Friday that Floyd's death led to a lot of soul-searching for himself and that white people as a whole haven't done enough. He's right, as is Sherman. 

This is a time for white athletes, and white people in general, to listen and to speak up. We (as in white people) can't pretend we know what people of color go through every single day. We can't act like we do and can't tell minorities how they should feel or react right now. Instead, as Sherman highlighted, we must listen and be a voice for the unheard.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]