49ers

Kyle Shanahan, NFL greats believe John Lynch should be in Hall of Fame

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Kyle Shanahan, NFL greats believe John Lynch should be in Hall of Fame

When asked for one name that should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that hasn’t already been inducted, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan had a quick response. 

“John Lynch.” Shanahan said in Mobile, Alabama last week. “There you go.” 

However, Shanahan’s current “teammate” could have a bit of a wait ahead of him. As much as Lynch accomplished as a safety and for how much he defined the position, there are other notable safeties that are finalists as well. 

All-Pro safeties Ed Reed and Steve Atwater are also finalists for the 2019 class. Troy Polamalu will be eligible in 2020, Charles Woodson in 2021. 

Lynch does have the statistics to be a Hall of Famer, the question is: when. He earned first team All-Pro honors three times and went to the Pro Bowl nine times. He recorded a whopping 1,054 total tackles over his storied 15-year career, 736 of which were solo. 

The only safety who made it to more Pro Bowls than Lynch is Hall of Famer. Ken Houston, who was voted to the Pro Bowl 10 times during his 14 year career, played for the Houston Oilers and Washington from 1967-1980. 

Lynch was known as one of the hardest hitting safeties during his time in the league. His style was even noticed by Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders. 

"John was as good as any safety I ever played against,” Sanders told Buccaneers.com. ”He reminded me a lot of guys like Ronnie Lott and Steve Atwater. He was a terrific player, a great defender, a fierce defender. He could knock the snot out of you.

“John Lynch didn’t just play the position, he occupied a spot in your mind and you had to be aware at all times where he was on the field.”

Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning also admitted to being completely aware of where Lynch was at all times. 

"John was a safety that you always knew where he was," Manning said. "I think there are only certain guys like that. I can assure you all receivers and tight ends always knew where he was. He was such a physical football player, what I would call an impactful tackler. 

“Any receiver going near or across the middle with No. 47 in the area knew what he was getting into. He was always there. You could see it very often on film, after an early hit how he would affect a receiver, his confidence going across the middle or anywhere near there the rest of the game."

While Lynch doesn’t have the flashy interception totals with 26 over his career, he did break the 100-tackle mark in three of his seasons with the Buccaneers. For perspective, Reed totaled 64 interceptions in his 13 seasons and Woodson racked up 65 over his 18 years. 

What is easy to miss about Lynch’s numbers, are the importance of those interceptions. 14 of his 26 picks were secured in the fourth quarter. To which couch Monte Kiffin nicknamed Lynch “The Closer.” His picks were pivotal with 21 of his 26 picks helping his team secure victories.

Lynch also played a different role upon his arrival in Denver. He not only adapted, he was extremely productive. Seven of his 13 career sacks happened in his final four seasons with the Broncos when he played closer to the line of scrimmage. 

Lynch was so valued by both the Buccaneers and the Broncos that he is in the ring of honor for both teams. 

Lynch, has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist six times. He is the only one of the 17 finalists from 2014 who is on the 2019 ballot, simply because all of the others have since been inducted. 

Shanahan has a very strong case for his general manager.

49ers' Nick Bosa leads Pro Bowl fan voting among defensive ends

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49ers' Nick Bosa leads Pro Bowl fan voting among defensive ends

NFL fans are recognizing the 49ers’ defensive line in fan voting for the Pro Bowl.

Rookie Nick Bosa, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 2 overall draft pick, is the leading vote-getter among NFL defensive ends through Wednesday. His brother, Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers, is second. Nick Bosa ranks second on the 49ers with seven sacks.

Also, 49ers defensive tackles Arik Armstead -- who leads the 49ers with eight sacks -- and DeForest Buckner rank second and third behind Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams in the voting at interior defensive line.

Fan voting comprises one-third of the overall vote, with voting from NFL coaches and players also counting one-third apiece. The Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 5 p.m.

San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk ranks No. 1 in voting among fullbacks.

Other 49ers who are in the top five in fan voting are cornerback Richard Sherman (second), tight end George Kittle (third), special-teamer Raheem Mostert (third) and return specialist Richie James (fourth).

[RELATED: Best friends LaFleur, Saleh will face off in Packers-49ers]

Here is the complete listing of fan voting at every position through Wednesday:

Quarterbacks
1, Jackson, Lamar (Baltimore)
2, Mahomes, Patrick (Kansas City )
3, Wilson, Russell (Seattle )
4, Rodgers, Aaron (Green Bay )
5, Watson, Deshaun (Houston )
6, Prescott, Dak (Dallas )
7, Garoppolo, Jimmy (49ers)
8, Brees, Drew (New Orleans)
9, Brady, Tom (New England)
10, Cousins, Kirk (Minnesota)

Running backs
1, Cook, Dalvin (Minnesota)
2, McCaffrey, Christian (Carolina)
3, Chubb, Nick (Cleveland)
4, Elliott, Ezekiel (Dallas)
5, Jacobs, Josh (Raiders)
6, Jones, Aaron (Green Bay)
7, Barkley, Saquon (N.Y. Giants)
8, Ingram, Mark (Baltimore)
9, Carson, Chris (Seattle)
10, Fournette, Leonard (Jacksonville)

Fullbacks
1, Juszczyk, Kyle (49ers)
2, Vitale, Dan (Green Bay)
3, Ham, C.J. (Minnesota)
4, Ricard, Patrick (Baltimore)
5, Watt, Derek (L.A. Chargers)
6, Sherman, Anthony (Kansas City)
7, Ingold, Alec (Raiders)
8, Line, Zach (New Orleans)
9, DiMarco, Patrick (Buffalo)
10, Bellore, Nick (Seattle)

Wide receivers
1, Cooper, Amari (Dallas)
2, Thomas, Michael (New Orleans)
3, Evans, Mike (Tampa Bay)
4, Jones, Julio (Atlanta)
5, Hopkins, DeAndre (Houston)
6, Diggs, Stefon (Minnesota)
7, Lockett, Tyler (Seattle)
8, Hill, Tyreek (Kansas City)
9, Kupp, Cooper (L.A. Rams)
10, Godwin, Chris (Tampa Bay)

Tight ends
1, Kelce, Travis (Kansas City)
2, Andrews, Mark (Baltimore)
3, Kittle, George (49ers)
4, Ertz, Zach (Philadelphia)
5, Hooper, Austin (Atlanta)
6, Waller, Darren (Raiders)
7, Rudolph, Kyle (Minnesota)
8, Graham, Jimmy (Green Bay)
9, Engram, Evan (N.Y. Giants)
10, Cook, Jared (New Orleans)

Guards
1, Yanda, Marshal (Baltimore)
2, Martin, Zack (Dallas)
3, DeCastro, David (Pittsburgh)
4, Nelson, Quenton (Indianapolis)
5, Bozeman, Bradley (Baltimore)
6, Incognito, Richie (Raiders)
7, Brooks, Brandon (Philadelphia)
8, Bitonio, Joel (Cleveland)
9, Jenkins, Elgton (Green Bay)
10, Person, Mike (49ers)

Tackles
1, Bakhtiari, David (Green Bay)
2, Armstead, Terron (New Orleans)
3, Brown, Orlando (Baltimore)
4, Smith, Tyron (Dallas)
5, Bulaga, Bryan (Green Bay)
6, Staley, Joe (49ers)
7, Villanueva, Alejandro (Pittsburgh)
8, McGlinchey, Mike (49ers)
9, Collins, La'el (Dallas)
10, Ramczyk, Ryan (New Orleans)

Centers
1, Frederick, Travis (Dallas)
2, Pouncey, Maurkice (Pittsburgh)
3, Kelce, Jason (Philadelphia)
4, Skura, Matt (Baltimore)
5, Bradbury, Garrett (Minnesota)
6, Hudson, Rodney (Raiders)
7, Linsley, Corey (Green Bay)
8, Richburg, Weston (49ers)
9, McCoy, Erik (New Orleans)
10, Mack, Alex (Atlanta)

Defensive ends
1, Bosa, Nick (49ers)
2, Bosa, Joey (L.A. Chargers)
3, Jordan, Cameron (New Orleans)
4, Hunter, Danielle (Minnesota)
5, Clowney, Jadeveon (Seattle)
6, Allen, Joshua (Jacksonville)
7, Garrett, Myles (Cleveland)
8, Lawrence, Demarcus (Dallas)
9, Griffen, Everson (Minnesota)
10, Ford, Dee (49ers)

Defensive tackles
1, Donald, Aaron (L.A. Rams)
2, Armstead, Arik (49ers)
3, Buckner, DeForest (49ers)
4, Heyward, Cameron (Pittsburgh)
5, Jarrett, Grady (Atlanta)
6, Phillips, Jordan (Buffalo)
7, Cox, Fletcher (Philadelphia)
8, Jones, Chris (Kansas City)
9, Clark, Kenny (Green Bay)
10, Atkins, Geno (Cincinnati)

Inside linebackers
1, Wagner, Bobby (Seattle)
2, Kuechly, Luke (Carolina)
3, Bush, Devin (Pittsburgh)
4, Martinez, Blake (Green Bay)
5, Hicks, Jordan (Arizona)
6, Smith, Jaylon (Dallas)
7, Hightower, Dont'a (New England)
8, Kendricks, Eric (Minnesota)
9, Alonso, Kiko (New Orleans)
10, Warner, Fred (49ers)

Outside linebackers
1, Watt, T.J. (Pittsburgh)
2, Smith, Preston (Green Bay)
3, Barrett, Shaquil (Tampa Bay)
4, Jones, Chandler (Arizona)
5, Mack, Khalil (Chicago)
6, Smith, Za'Darius (Green Bay)
7, Collins, Jamie (New England)
8, Vander Esch, Leighton (Dallas)
9, Miller, Von (Denver)
10, Barr, Anthony (Minnesota)

Cornerbacks
1, Peters, Marcus (Baltimore)
2, Sherman, Richard (49ers)
3, Gilmore, Stephon (New England)
4, White, Tre'Davious (Buffalo)
5, Fuller, Kyle (Chicago)
6, Ramsey, Jalen (L.A. Rams)
7, Humphrey, Marlon (Baltimore)
8, Alexander, Jaire (Green Bay)
9, King, Kevin (Green Bay)
10, Lattimore, Marshon (New Orleans)

Free safeties
1, Fitzpatrick, Minkah (Pittsburgh)
2, McCourty, Devin (New England)
3, Thomas, Earl (Baltimore)
4, Baker, Budda (Arizona)
5, Williams, Marcus (New Orleans)
6, Savage, Darnell (Green Bay)
7, Woods, Xavier (Dallas)
8, Ward, Jimmie (49ers)
9, Harris, Anthony (Minnesota)
10, Hyde, Micah (Buffalo)

Strong safeties
1, Adams, Jamal (N.Y. Jets)
2, Amos, Adrian (Green Bay)
3, Smith, Harrison (Minnesota)
4, Harris, Erik (Raiders)
5, Bell, Vonn (New Orleans)
6, Peppers, Jabrill (N.Y. Giants)
7, Mathieu, Tyrann (Kansas City)
8, Tartt, Jaquiski (49ers)
9, Collins, Landon (Washington)
10, Clark, Chuck (Baltimore)

Kickers
1, Tucker, Justin (Baltimore)
2, Butker, Harrison (Kansas City)
3, Crosby, Mason (Green Bay)
4, Lutz, Wil (New Orleans)
5, Gonzalez, Zane (Arizona)
6, Boswell, Chris (Pittsburgh)
7, Maher, Brett (Dallas)
8, Lambo, Josh (Jacksonville)
9, Bailey, Dan (Minnesota)
10, Gould, Robbie (49ers)

Punters
1, Bailey, Jake (New England)
2, Scott, J.K. (Green Bay)
3, Koch, Sam (Baltimore)
4, Kern, Brett (Tennessee)
5, Hekker, Johnny (L.A. Rams)
6, Morstead, Thomas (New Orleans)
7, Wishnowsky, Mitch (49ers)
8, Dickson, Michael (Seattle)
9, Colquitt, Britton (Minnesota)
10, Berry, Jordan (Pittsburgh)

Return specialists
1, Hardman, Mecole (Kansas City)
2, Lockett, Tyler (Seattle)
3, Harris, Deonte (New Orleans)
4, James, Richie (49ers)
5, Agnew, Jamal (Detroit)
6, Austin, Tavon (Dallas)
7, Cohen, Tarik (Chicago)
8, Roberts, Andre (Buffalo)
9, Smith, Tremon (Green Bay)
10, Barner, Kenjon (Atlanta)

Special teams
1, Slater, Matt (New England)
2, Abdullah, Ameer (Minnesota)
3, Mostert, Raheem (49ers)
4, Patterson, Cordarrelle (Chicago)
5, Levine, Anthony (Baltimore)
6, Summers, Ty (Green Bay)
7, Matakevich, Tyler (Pittsburgh)
8, Goodwin, C.J. (Dallas)
9, Watts, Armani (Kansas City)
10, Robertson, Craig (New Orleans)

Why later kickoff could prove beneficial to 49ers' health vs. Packers

Why later kickoff could prove beneficial to 49ers' health vs. Packers

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers might need every extra hour they are getting this week for some players to be available for kickoff on Sunday.

The 49ers' game against the Green Bay Packers was flexed from a scheduled 1:25 p.m. PT start to "Sunday Night Football" at 5:20.

That was a significant development for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan when it comes to helping such players as tight end George Kittle (ankle, knee) and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder) get ready to play. The 49ers (9-1) face the Packers (8-2) in a key NFC game this week at Levi's Stadium.

“I’m just glad we’ve got four more hours for Kittle and Deebo and Emmanuel to rest and recover,” Shanahan said.

Kittle, the 49ers top pass-catcher, has missed the past two games due to injuries he sustained on Oct. 31. He did not practice on Wednesday, though he was on the practice field with his helmet in hand.

Shanahan said Kittle is doing better this week but still not well enough to practice.

“It’s going to come down to the wire again and hopefully it will work out,” Shanahan said.

Sanders and Samuel did not practice, but both were on the practice field to watch and are expected to be available to play Sunday night against the Packers.

Defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring) and left tackle Joe Staley (finger) have been ruled out due to injuries.

Running back Matt Breida and kicker Robbie Gould did not practice. Running back Raheem Mostert, nose tackle D.J. Jones and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair were limited.

Shanahan said he truly believes the later start time on Sunday will be beneficial to his team.

[RELATED: Witherspoon expected back as starter for 49ers vs. Packers]

“When you have a lot of guys that are banged up, the later it can be better,” Shanahan said. “I think it’s a little harder to get going early in the morning. If it was an East Coast Monday night game, that’d probably be the best, except I wouldn’t want to travel and be on the road.

“But the longer our guys can have the better. Our guys need it right now.”

49ers practice participation

No practice
TE George Kittle (ankle, knee)
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)
WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
K Robbie Gould (right quadriceps
DE Dee Ford (hamstring)

Limited
LT Joe Staley (finger)
NT D.J. Jones (groin)
LB Azeez Al-Shaair (concussion)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)