Tartt ready for his second shot as 49ers starter

Tartt ready for his second shot as 49ers starter

Safety Jaquiski Tartt started eight games as a rookie, but returned to a backup and specialty role in the 49ers’ sub packages this season.

But Eric Reid’s season-ending torn biceps has once again opened the door for Tartt, a second-round pick from Samford in 2015, to finish the season as an every-down player. Tartt became a starter last year when Antoine Bethea sustained a season-ending injury.

“Last year I got to play with E-Reid and that was a good opportunity to pick his brain a little bit,” Tartt said. “This year, I have AB, so I get to pick his brain.”

Tartt’s first start as a 49ers base safety will take place Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, as he will be entrusted to limit running back Jay Ajayi and defend against quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The 49ers' two safety positions are interchangeable, so Tartt said there will be no transition to learning a new position.

“He’s got great range and ball skills,” 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said. “He’s got a knack for reading the quarterback. He’s played a lot of football for us this year and he filled in and did a great job last year when Antoine Bethea went out.”

Tartt had a strong game last week against the New England Patriots. His main assignment was to cover tight end Martellus Bennett, who ended up with one catch for 14 yards.

“How many ever snaps we played, I was usually on him,” Tartt said. “I think he caught one ball, but that was on E-Reid.”

Said O’Neil, “He’s obviously a physical guy that you can get down in the run game and make plays in the box. He’s had some really nice blitzes for us this year. . . He’s got a great NFL skillset.”

Tartt has seen significant action in every game in which he has played this season. He missed the 49ers’ game at Buffalo in Week 5 due to a quadriceps strain.

“He’s played a ton of football for us,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said. “So, yeah, he’s ready to go.”

And Tartt said he feels a lot more comfortable in his second season than when a year ago when his number was called.

“Going through last year, my rookie season, it kind of prepared me for this year,” Tartt said. “I always have that mindset of just preparing as if starting. I’ve been doing that since Week 1, since the season started, so it’s no big deal.”

When asked where he expected to be better, Tartt answered, “In every phase of the game, just my overall awareness and seeing plays better, reacting faster to the ball.”

Richard Sherman has message for Antonio Brown in his bid to join 49ers


Richard Sherman has message for Antonio Brown in his bid to join 49ers

Richard Sherman knows what it's like to leave the only franchise he's ever known to join the 49ers.

So, what does he think about Antonio Brown's desire to play in San Francisco?

"Good luck to him," Sherman told TMZ on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

The All-Pro receiver wants out of Pittsburgh and to come to the 49ers "really badly," according to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II has said the team won't release Brown but will explore all other options, including a trade. Rooney also said he expects discussions regarding Brown's future to heat up in mid-March when the new league year begins.

Sherman, who signed a three-year, $27.15 million contract with the 49ers last March, was asked about his time in the Bay Area.

"So far, so good," Sherman told TMZ.

Before Sherman could get away, he was asked if he had a message for Brown.

"Go wherever it makes him happy," Sherman said.

49ers' George Kittle voted 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year by PFWA


49ers' George Kittle voted 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year by PFWA

George Kittle had an impressive 2018 season for the 49ers to the say the least.

Kittle was named the top tight end in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, and PFF even told NBC Sports Bay Area his season could be considered one of the all-time greats if data was around years ago to back it up.

Regardless, he will be known for breaking the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end, finishing his 2018 campaign with 1,377 yards.

Kittle can now add "Most Improved Player of the Year" to his list of accomplishments, as voted by the Pro Football Writers of America.

This is on top of being voted by the PFWA's All-NFC Team Tuesday and just about every other prestigious football honor one can receive.

[RELATED: Kittle asked media to hurry up to attend WWE event]

The best part is knowing Kittle is only 25 years old, and can surely still get better.

But for now, we should all relish in his growing list of impressive resume accomplishments.