49ers

What Steve Young did late in 49ers career that shocked Steve Mariucci

What Steve Young did late in 49ers career that shocked Steve Mariucci

When Steve Mariucci took over as the 49ers' next head coach ahead of the 1997 season, Steve Young already was established as a star quarterback in the NFL. 

By that point, Young had 12 years in the league under his belt. He had two MVP trophies to his name and multiple Super Bowl rings. When Mariucci arrived for training camp in '97, though, Young still found a way to surprise his new coach

"When we came into training camp, most teams will test their athletes to see if they're in shape and high schools and colleges will do the same thing ... Steve Young would really be the best guy as far as our test was concerned," Mariucci said Monday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" show. "He was right up there and would pass most of the time all the receivers and running backs and corners.

"This guy was a great athlete. Forget about being 36, 37 and 38 years old, he was really a top-shelf, well-trained athlete."

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Young was turning 36 in just three months during Mariucci's first training camp with the 49ers. It was well established that he was one of the best dual-threat QBs ever, a player well ahead of his time.

Before Mariucci arrived on the scene, Young had accumulated over 25,000 passing yards and more than 3,500 rushing yards. He already had 124 passing touchdowns and 34 rushing TDs. And then Young led the NFL in completion percentage (67.7) for the fourth straight year in his first season under Mariucci. Young had 3,029 passing yards, 199 rushing yards and 22 total TDs in '97.

Young was again great in '98 with 4,170 passing yards, 36 touchdowns through the air, 454 rushing yards and six more TDs on the ground. But he played just three games in '99, ending his career with a bevy of concussions.

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"It's a shame, I really do believe I had him in his prime," Mariucci said. "Had he not gotten a couple of concussions, I think he could have played into his 40s just like we saw Brett Favre and Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Steve Young was still throwing the ball very, very well late in his 30s."

While it's no secret Young is one of the greatest athletes football fans have ever seen, even a Hall of Famer can surprise his coach here and there with his ridiculous talent.

NFL rumors: Seahawks 'talking to both' Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews

NFL rumors: Seahawks 'talking to both' Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews

Jadeveon Clowney no longer fits into the Seattle Seahawks' plans -- nor is he a consideration for the 49ers -- due to the free agent's salary demands. It's difficult to see a path in which he would return for a second season with the Seahawks -- that is, unless he significantly lowered those demands.

Nobody, including the Seahawks, is counting on that. Consequently, they reportedly have turned their attention to two other free agent pass-rushers: Everson Griffen and Clay Matthews.

NFL Media's Mike Silver reported Thursday that Seattle could soon come to an agreement with one or both of the veteran free agents.

"The Seahawks' price has come way down," Silver said. "Clowney's price, if anything, is above their original $15 million-plus offer. So, maybe the (Tennessee) Titans, but we'll see on Clowney. But yeah, Everson Griffen -- long career with the (Minnesota) Vikings -- and then Clay Matthews, who had I thought a pretty good year with the (Los Angeles) Rams after he was healthy after his long run in Green Bay. Two former (USC) Trojans who can get after the passer. They are talking to both and I think a move could come pretty quickly, at least with one of them."

Griffen was drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round in 2010 and has spent his entire career with the franchise up to this point, amassing 74.5 career sacks over that span. Matthews, meanwhile, spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Packers before joining the Rams for this past season. He has totaled 91.5 sacks over 11 seasons, including 8.0 in 2019.

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Both Griffen and Matthews would present a significant upgrade for Seattle's pass rush, particularly considering Clowney is unlikely to be a part of it. The Seahawks' 28 sacks last season tied for the second-fewest in the NFL. Their adjusted sack rate also ranked 30th in the league, and that was with Clowney.

While Griffen and Matthews have both been productive, neither is the potential game-wrecker that Clowney is. Nonetheless, should Seattle add one or both of them, it should only make the Seahawks more competitive within the NFC West.

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49ers' Nick Bosa expects Javon Kinlaw to 'kill it' in rookie season

49ers' Nick Bosa expects Javon Kinlaw to 'kill it' in rookie season

Nick Bosa already had no doubts 49ers rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw would be able to immediately compete in the NFL due to his strength.

And after taking part in an offseason of video meetings and seeing him for a short period of time on the 49ers’ practice field, Bosa is confident Kinlaw will not be overwhelmed mentally, either.

“Javon is a really good kid,” said Bosa, 22, who also happens to be 20 days younger than Kinlaw.

The 49ers selected Kinlaw with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to, in effect, take the spot of DeForest Buckner, whom San Francisco traded to the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason for a first-round pick.

“He’s really hard-working in the meeting room,” Bosa said of Kinlaw. “He knows all his stuff really well. He doesn’t seem like a rookie out there. We’ve only been out to a couple of walk-throughs so far and he knows his stuff. He doesn’t look like a rookie.”

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When Bosa said Kinlaw doesn't look like a rookie, he also means that his body type is impressive. Kinlaw is listed at 6-foot-5, 319 pounds.

“He’s one of the biggest humans I’ve ever seen in person," Bosa added. "That says a lot when you’ve had Arik (Armstead) and Buck on your team. I’m just excited for him to have this opportunity, and I think he’s going to kill it.”

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