49ers

Richard Sherman believes 49ers have chance 'to be really special' in 2019

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AP

Richard Sherman believes 49ers have chance 'to be really special' in 2019

SANTA CLARA — Richard Sherman is very excited to head into the offseason healthy, rather than worrying about rehabbing his Achilles like he was at this time last year. The 49ers cornerback is also a believer in the team's future, thinking that the front office will be smart during free agency and in the draft.

It took Sherman a little longer than expected to play without the pain and limitations of his repaired Achilles. Ending the season healthy comes as a welcome relief.

“I’m so excited,” Sherman said. “I think that’s going to be the biggest thing for me. To just have an offseason to work hard and to push my body and to let my muscles and tendons and ligaments recover like they should and then strengthen like they should.

“It will give myself a chance to do the drills. To pull the sled like I normally would and get my body back to where it normally is.”

Sherman finally started to feel closer to his old self in the last few weeks of the season. At that same time, there was personnel consistency on the defense and that led to them playing sound football.

Younger players on the 49ers had the chance to get valuable playing time under their belts, and Sherman believes that will help the unit be successful in 2019. He was just as positive heading into his first year with the team, but then 17 players went on injured reserve -- including stars Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon.

"I saw ’18 as the year we could play,” Sherman said. “But, I obviously didn’t foresee Jimmy being out for the season, Jet being out for the season, us losing three safeties, a starting corner, two linebackers.

“I definitely think that 2019 is a chance. Another year of experience for all those guys. I think it’s going to give us a chance to be really special.”

With over $62 million dollars in cap space, San Francisco could be very aggressive in free agency but Sherman believes that that general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan won’t make any rash decisions.

“I’d like them to be smart and get us better,” Sherman said. “Obviously, I don’t make any decisions or call any shots, but I’m sure that Kyle and John are going to do their due diligence on everybody and put us in a better position than we have been this year.”

Sherman believes that the team already has important pieces in place for its success. He explained that standouts like defensive lineman DeForest Buckner and All-Pro tight end George Kittle have become important leaders in the locker room.

[RELATED: DeForest Buckner knows he can be even better in 2019]

“I think that’s essential to winning programs and championships,” Sherman said. “To be a winning organization, those have to be foundational pieces. Those guys set the standards and the precedent for other guys to follow.”

As long as players heed Shanahan’s message of not being complacent during the offseason, Sherman believes that the 49ers could have a very good defense.

“When we get back to 100%, we will be very stingy."

49ers' Deebo Samuel praised by 'Friday' character he shares name with

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AP/USATSI

49ers' Deebo Samuel praised by 'Friday' character he shares name with

It must be an honor to have someone name their child after you.

Deebo Samuel's dad nicknamed his son after a character from "Friday," and the actor who portrays "Deebo" likes what he's seeing from the young 49ers wide receiver.

"I'm a big fan of what they're doing up there man," Tom Lister said in an interview with TMZ Sports. "And Deebo, yeah I heard ESPN is trying to set something up with me and Deebo."

Lister said he's very open to collaborating with Samuel. Perhaps a movie with "Little Deebo and Big Deebo."

This movie could be the latest "Friday" installment that will be starting soon. Lister said he's hearing around December.

Oh, and a message to the 49ers, Lister wants to come to a game and hang out on the sidelines. 

Somewhere, Samuel is probably pretty excited about the shoutout from Lister.

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49ers have NFL's second-best defense, NBC analyst Josh Norris believes

49ers have NFL's second-best defense, NBC analyst Josh Norris believes

The 49ers defense has made a name for itself through the first five games of the season, and people around the country are taking notice.

"I only care about two to three to four defenses in the NFL," NBC Sports fantasy analyst Josh Norris said. "Those are the ones that really matter when you're playing offensive players on your roster and I think this 49ers' defense is the second-best in the NFL, just behind the New England Patriots."

The Week 7 fantasy football rankings on ESPN have San Francisco's defense ranked in the third spot in their matchup against Washington on Sunday. 

"It makes sense, right, and this is kind of predictable heading into the season because of how many first-round picks the 49ers have spent along that front, with how talented they are at linebacker, and then the veteran presence they have in the back half," Norris said. "This week, the player I would play against them most likely would be Terry McLaurin. But the 49ers have allowed opposing teams to convert just one of 21 third downs in the past two weeks."

McLaurin is second only to former 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss for the most fantasy points in the first five games of his career. He would be the only guy the 49ers' defense has to worry about. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the 49ers remain just as successful -- even without a true No. 1 receiver.

"It's huge," Norris explained. "I really think it makes Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida both startable in fantasy football. Tevin Coleman is like a Running Back 2, Matt Breida is your Running Back 3 in the flex spot."

[RELATED: Kittle highlights 49ers to watch in Week 7]

Norris details more about the offense in the video above.

Oh ... and he says it's not too early to consider the 49ers as Super Bowl contenders.