Kyle Shanahan sees good similarities between Kwon Alexander, Reuben Foster

Kyle Shanahan sees good similarities between Kwon Alexander, Reuben Foster

PHOENIX -- Linebacker Kwon Alexander has been described as a hard hitter who flies around the field. Coach Kyle Shanahan saw the same type of play from ex-49er Reuben Foster. 

“It’s the hard hits,” Shanahan said. “And it’s also the excitement of just truly enjoying football and playing it.”

Foster won over Shanahan and general manager John Lynch prior to the 2016 draft with his exuberant personality and enthusiasm. That attitude and love for the game were felt in the locker room by his teammates as well. 

There were a few red flags in Foster’s past, but what Shanahan and Lynch experienced in person was enough to influence their decision. Foster was released from the team in November of 2016. 

Now, older and wiser with two seasons under their belts, Lynch and Shanahan have brought the same traits to the linebacker position with Alexander. This time without the red flags. 

Shanahan explained the positive similarities he sees between the two linebackers. 

“There’s a personality to their game that you can see on a silent tape, which is kind of neat,” Shanahan said. “You can watch a silent tape, but you can feel the energy they play with. Always, fans like that, but your team feels that too.” 

CEO Jed York has been blown away not only by Alexander’s personality, but also by the fact that he is actually four months younger than Foster while having two more years of NFL experience. 

Lynch offered a similar sentiment during Alexander’s introductory press conference. 

“I believe certain players bring out the best in their teammates with the way they play,” Lynch said. “There’s a certain passion for the game that screams even when you’re watching film that’s silent. 

“You can just see it jump through. And he plays with his hair on fire, and I think that kind of play is contagious.” 

The 49ers staff is looking for Alexander to line up next to Fred Warner, who had the added responsibility of wearing the “green dot” as a rookie. No decision has been made if Warner will again be the “quarterback” of the defense, but it seems likely with the addition of Alexander. 

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The 49ers staff is not only looking for production on the field, but also hoping that Alexander will be a motivational force in the locker room as well. 

“Football can be a grind,” Shanahan said. "Going through those practices all the time, having to go through the physicality of it. When you have guys that have that type of charisma, you can tell by watching that they truly enjoy playing football. It can get very contagious.”

Watch Kyle Shanahan's postgame speech after 49ers' win vs. Washington

Watch Kyle Shanahan's postgame speech after 49ers' win vs. Washington

Kyle Shanahan was quite pleased with his team's effort in San Francisco's 9-0 win over Washington on Sunday.

"We talked about making it our house, man," the 49ers coach said during his postgame speech in the locker room. "That was our house!"

It wasn't pretty, and how could it have been, given the unrelenting downpour and the mud that covered FedEx Field. But a win is a win, and Shanahan was happy to see his players get one last dip in the dirt after achieving victory.

"There was no cooler thing to me than watching 53 guys go sliding, doing angels across the field," he said of San Francisco's Slip-N-Slide procession.

The hard-fought win stood in contrast to previous successes, such as the 49ers' 24-point victory in Cincinnati in Week 2. Shanahan wanted his team to derive confidence from that knowledge, while also not losing sight of the ultimate goal.

"Guys we're just getting started, alright," Shanahan said in closing. "We can win a game in any way. We had seven starters out today. We bonded together, we'll get some back, but it doesn't matter. 

"This room, we've got something special. Let's keep this s--t going."

[RELATED: Panthers to start Allen at QB, not Cam, vs. 49ers in Week 8]

Next up for San Francisco is a home game against Carolina in Week 8. Safe to say, there won't be as much mud in that one.

Why Kyle Shanahan believes 49ers' answers at wide receiver are on team

Why Kyle Shanahan believes 49ers' answers at wide receiver are on team

Eight days before the NFL trade deadline, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that he does not feel as much urgency to add a veteran receiver in the middle of the season than in his previous two. 

“I think less (urgency) than we’ve had in the last couple of years because I do see that there are guys in our building that I do think the answers are here,” Shanahan told reporters Monday in Santa Clara, amid reports that the 49ers are in the market to add a wide receiver.

The 49ers played Sunday without rookie receiver Deebo Samuel, who injured his groin a week earlier against the Los Angeles Rams. Marquise Goodwin played just seven snaps before leaving with an injury Sunday. He was evaluated for a concussion but was cleared. Goodwin is not in the NFL’s concussion protocol, Shanahan said.

San Francisco also hopes to get Trent Taylor and rookie Jalen Hurd back later in the season. Both players are on injured reserve. They are eligible to return after sitting out eight games from the time they went on IR.

“It was tough not having Deebo last week and Marquise being a little bit banged up, we’ll get both of those two back,” Shanahan said. “The guys we have I still think can continue to get better. We’re still holding out hopes, too, for Jalen and Trent Taylor that they can heal up and hopefully return later this year.

“We’re always looking to improve, but I do like the guys we have here.”

[RELATED: 49ers, Raiders stand pat in power rankings following Week 7]

Tight end George Kittle is the 49ers' top pass-catcher with 34 receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Samuel leads the wideouts in receptions with 15 catches for 168 yards, while Goodwin has 11 catches for 181 yards. Samuel and Goodwin have one TD apiece. Kendrick Bourne had his best game of the season on Sunday with three catches for 69 yards in the 49ers' 9-0 victory over Washington.

Dante Pettis, a second-round pick in 2018, has not produced up to expectations. He has nine catches for 83 yards and one touchdown.