49ers

Titans' Kevin Byard channels Terrell Owens with star celebration vs. Cowboys

Titans' Kevin Byard channels Terrell Owens with star celebration vs. Cowboys

Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard paid tribute to Terrell Owens' most iconic moment Monday night in Dallas.

After picking off Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Byard headed straight for the star at the 50-yard line, spread his arms, and did his best T.O. impression. 

Of course, Byard has one more celebration to go to match Owens. The Hall of Fame wide receiver celebrated at midfield after his second touchdown, only to be leveled by Cowboys safety George Teague. Still, Owens admired the effort nonetheless.

Owens told Matt Maiocco on the 49ers Insider Podcast last week that his celebration in 2000 caused irreperable damage to his relationship with then-49ers coach Steve Mariucci.

“With me going to the star, I think my relationship with Coach Mariucci, it fractured at that time, as well,” Owens said.

Owens is clearly on better terms with the organization now, as he received his Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence at halftime of the 49ers' 34-3 win over the Raiders on Thursday. 

[RELATED: How 'star' celebration fractured Terrell Owens' relationship with 49ers]

But this begs the question: Is the NFL out of celebration ideas? One day after Michael Thomas paid homage to Joe Horn with a cell-phone clebration, Byard emulated Owens.

Apparently, the "N" in NFL stands for "Nostalgia."

Why this Jimmy Garoppolo play from 49ers' win made Kyle Shanahan proud

Why this Jimmy Garoppolo play from 49ers' win made Kyle Shanahan proud

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made leaps and bounds with his play in Sunday's 41-17 win over the Bengals

Garoppolo completed 17 of 25 passes for 297 with three touchdowns and one interception. Aside from his poor decision that resulted in the INT, he played a nearly flawless QB. 

NBC Sports' Peter King asked coach Kyle Shanahan which of Garoppolo's plays was he the most proud of, and the answer could come as a surprise. 

“When he didn’t throw it and he ran for the first down,” Shanahan told King

The play came on the 49ers' second drive, which resulted in a 39-yard touchdown pass to running back Raheem Mostert. Before that, though, Garoppolo scrambled nine yards for a first down on third-and-six earlier in the drive. 

“He’s never scrambled a ton, but you want him to be comfortable enough to do when he has to," Shanahan said. "And coming off the ACL, it’s good to see him have the confidence to make a play like that.”

[RELATED: Why Jimmy G getting into early rhythm was key to 49ers' win]

Garoppolo rushed for eight yards on four carries in the win. He'll never be a threat on the ground, but the ability to keep drives alive with his legs is a huge benefit to the 49ers offense. 

And like Shanahan said, it has to be a positive sight to see Garoppolo trust his knee and believe he can stay safe on the field.

Kyle Shanahan's football mind at root of 49ers' dominant win vs. Bengals

Kyle Shanahan's football mind at root of 49ers' dominant win vs. Bengals

CINCINNATI -- As the jubilant 49ers squad returned the locker room, excited to return home after a 10-day stint on the road, on the opposite side of the stadium, a stunned Bengals team wondered what exactly had hit them. 

The 49ers offense got into a rhythm and there was no stopping them. They put 41 points up on the board and racked up 572 yards of offense. The defense sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton four times and intercepted him once. That’s not to say the 49ers were perfect, because they weren’t. 

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw three touchdown passes, but still notched an interception on an obvious bad decision. There were blown coverages made by San Francisco's defense, but all-in-all it was a dominant performance on the field. 

What might have been the most crucial piece to the 49ers’ dominance of the Bengals was the football mind of Kyle Shanahan. The offense pulled out all the stops, using misdirection and even a trick play to throw Cincinnati off, and created mismatches that they were able to take advantage of. 

Shanahan and the offense left the Bengals defense dazed and confused. The evidence is in their postgame quotes. 

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor 

“We just need to be better with our eyes. They do a really good job with the play-actions off the run game. When they’re running the ball so successfully and you’re hell-bent on stopping the run, that’s when they pop one on you over the top. That’s where you saw that come from.”

“They can be sound in what they’re doing defensively by keeping everything in front of them. Offensively, they have all facets of their game open.” 

Cornerback William Jackson 

“They came out with a lot of gadget plays. They used every trick in the book.”

“It’s about having the right eyes and being in the right spot. They clearly play some Madden.” 

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap 

“They out-executed us with their game plan.”

“They challenged our eyes and leverage. All day.”

“It was everything. Pre-snap, post-snap, changing gaps and challenging us on the edge. They challenged us on the edge trying to bounce the ball. They were making more plays than us. I missed some plays early. We have to make plays.” 

Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick 

“They got us a little off. They got us rattled today. We definitely could have communicated better, and executed the plays better. For the most part, they played hard-nosed football and took it right to us today.”

“They ran a lot of trick plays -- a lot of misdirection plays. There are some things we have to work on, obviously. For the most part, to me personally, they just brought it to us. They outplayed us. They just shoved it down us. We couldn’t get it going today.” 

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo 

Jimmy G even recognized the rhythm that Shanahan was in calling plays in Cincinnati. He explained how it makes his job easier and keeps the momentum going.

“His mind is incredible,” Garoppolo said of his head coach. “Just how he’s two plays ahead while we’re running the current play. It makes everything so easy. When he gets in a rhythm like that, it puts everyone in a good position.”

[RELATED: Jimmy G tops fantasy QBs to add with Big Ben, Brees out]

Shanahan spoke earlier in the week about the staff working longer hours because they were on the road and away from their families. It paid dividends in Cincinnati, but hopefully they won’t have to sacrifice their personal lives for another strong performance in Week 3.