49ers

Why Trent Taylor believes third season with 49ers is his breakout year

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AP

Why Trent Taylor believes third season with 49ers is his breakout year

It was a challenging sophomore season for receiver Trent Taylor. He seemed primed for a breakout season in 2018 but was held back by a surgical procedure on his back that ended up having more of an impact on his play than predicted by the 49ers staff, or even Taylor himself. 
 
Taylor played in 15 games in his rookie campaign and recorded 43 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. But Year 2 did not go as planned, as he played in 14 games with 26 catches for 216 yards. 
 
Taylor spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area and believes 2019 is going to be different. He plans on taking advantage of his new resource: Wes Welker. He is also looking towards an off season where there are less elements going against him. 

Richard Sherman noted at the end of the season that not having the worry about rehabbing makes an offseason much more enjoyable and productive. Taylor agrees whole-heartedly. 
 
“I think that’s just such an advantage,” Taylor said, “to be able to only think about building your body up with no limitations going on. I think whenever you have to worry about an injury throughout the offseason there’s so much you have to hold back from. 
 
“I feel like everybody in the country is working, so if you’re not working your body, in the best way that you possibly can, then you’re slowly getting behind every day. I think once you know that you’re behind, then you feel like you’re playing catch up. It just messes with your mind.” 
 
Taylor has already started his offseason training program, working in San Jose. He says he is finally back to normal, not needing to compensate for his injury. 
 
“I feel like my back is back to normal now,” Taylor said. “I just knew that I needed a little more time than I was able to get throughout the season. That’s why I’ve been really looking forward to this offseason. 
 
“Getting back to building my body up the right way. I’m feeling great right now. We’re going to continue working on that and building myself up so I can be ready to have a great season next year.” 
 
Taylor repeatedly mentioned having a “dog mentality” while looking forward to his third year in the NFL. It’s something he admired about Welker’s game and it’s how he is going to approach next season. Being healthy at the beginning of the offseason is how he says it started. 
 
“To be able to have a fresh mind and a fresh body getting ready for next season feels great,” Taylor said. “I’ll be keeping that dog mentality about myself.” 

Last season’s disappointment is not lost on Taylor. He wants to get that taste out of his mouth as soon as possible. 

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“Just reminiscing on last year, all of the failed expectations that happened,” Taylor said, "I just like to soak in those feelings, remember them and use those as a little motivation to make sure that never happens again.

"So it’s something I’m going to be working at every day and it will take a lot of work, but I’m ready for it.” 

Panthers to start Kyle Allen at QB, not Cam Newton, vs. 49ers in Week 8

Panthers to start Kyle Allen at QB, not Cam Newton, vs. 49ers in Week 8

The 6-0 49ers have had the NFL's easiest schedule to date, with their six opponents combining for an 11-28 record.

Among those six teams that have fallen on the sword of Kyle Shanahan's club, the 49ers have faced quarterbacks Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Mason Rudolph, Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff and Case Keenum. Of those six quarterbacks, only Mayfield and Goff have long-term futures in the NFL. Winston is on the fast track out of Tampa Bay, Dalton is on his last leg in Cincinnati, Rudolph is an unproven commodity and Keenum is ... well, Keenum.

The 49ers' opposing quarterback gauntlet won't get much tougher in Week 8 when the Carolina Panthers come to Levi's Stadium.

Cam Newton has been out since Week 2 with a foot injury. Kyle Allen has led the Panthers to four straight wins, and even though Newton has been on the mend, head coach Ron Rivera announced Monday that Allen will start Sunday against the Niners while Newton "works with the trainers."

The Texas A&M product has thrown for 901 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, leading the Panthers to wins over the Texans, Jaguars, Buccaneers and Cardinals in that span. Allen has played well in Newton's absence, not turning the ball over and letting Carolina's run game, spearheaded by Christian McCaffrey, inflict damage on their opponents.

[RELATED: 49ers, Raiders stand pat in NFL power rankings]

The 49ers' defensive line has terrorized the opposition so far this season. Through six games, the 49ers are holding opponents to 10.7 points and 223.5 yards per game, and it's unlikely they'll allow McCaffrey to beat them. 

If the Panthers plan to leave the Bay Area with a win, it'll be up to Allen's right shoulder and his line's ability to keep Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Co. off his back. 

Easier said than done.

49ers snap count: Jullian Taylor makes most of his limited role in win

49ers snap count: Jullian Taylor makes most of his limited role in win

49ers defensive tackle Jullian Taylor suited up for the first two games of the season but found himself on the inactive list when the club decided to go with eight defensive linemen the next three games.

Taylor, the ninth lineman on the team, got his chance Sunday in the 49ers’ 9-0 victory over Washington due to starting nose tackle D.J. Jones’ inability to play due to a hamstring injury.

Taylor played only six snaps in the game, but he made the most of them. He got through the Washington line to wrap up running back Adrian Peterson and, along with Ronald Blair, stopped him for a 1-yard loss on a crucial fourth-down play in the first half.

Then, Taylor recovered a Peterson fumble forced by linebacker Kwon Alexander in the third quarter when Washington was driving, trailingly only 3-0.

“He never knows each week whether he’s going to be up or not based off usually other positions and how we’re going to play that game,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “But it was a huge turning point getting that turnover.”

With Jones out of the lineup, Solomon Thomas made his first start of the season and played 21 snaps. Thomas made two tackles and was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty against Washington quarterback Case Keenum.

DeForest Buckner, Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead led the way on the defensive line, as they played 43, 41 and 40 snaps, respectively.

Although Taylor saw the least action of any of the 49ers’ defensive linemen, he made his presence felt.

“Things like that just boosts the confidence of the defense,” Buckner said. “It also makes you very happy for a guy to get his opportunity again and for him to make big-time plays in a game like this.”

The biggest adjustment the 49ers made on offense was at wide receiver, where Deebo Samuel did not suit up due to a groin injury.

Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin started, but Goodwin played only seven snaps after taking a shot early in the game while going across the middle. Jordan Matthews was active for the first time as a member of the 49ers and played three snaps.

Pettis played 59 of the team’s offensive snaps, but did not catch any passes. Kendrick Bourne saw a significant increase in playing time. He played 57 snaps, and caught three passes for a team-best 69 yards.

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Here is a look at how much everyone on the 49ers played Sunday on offense, defense and special teams:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 64
Quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo 64
Running back – Tevin Coleman 42, Matt Breida 17, Jeff Wilson 8
Wide receiver – Dante Pettis 59, Kendrick Bourne 57, Richie James 32, Marquise Goodwin 7, Jordan Matthews 3
Tight end – George Kittle 61 Ross Dwelley 24, Levine Toilolo 10
Offensive line – Weston Richburg 64, Laken Tomlinson 64, Mike Person 64, Justin Skule 64, Daniel Brunskill 64
Did not play – Nick Mullens, Ben Garland

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 48
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 43, Nick Bosa 41, Arik Armstead 40, Solomon Thomas 21, Dee Ford 15, Sheldon Day 15, Ronald Blair 12, Jullian Taylor 6
Linebacker – Kwon Alexander 48, Fred Warner 48, Dre Greenlaw 14
Defensive back – Jaquiski Tartt 48, Jimmie Ward 48, Emmanuel Moseley 48, Richard Sherman 48, K’Waun Williams 33

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 26
Dontae Johnson 12, Tarvarius Moore 12, Mark Nzeocha 12, Marcell Harris 11, Raheem Mostert 11, Mitch Wishnowsky 10, Azeez Al-Shaair 10, Greenlaw 9, Wilson 9, D.J. Reed 8, Bourne 8, Garrison Sanborn 6, James 5, Armstead 5, Buckner 5, Ward 5, Sam Young 4, Robbie Gould 4, Person 4, Skule 4, Brunskill 4, Tomlinson 4, Richburg 4, Tartt 3, Toilolo 3, Dwelley 2, Day 1, Thomas 1

Not active

QB C.J. Beathard
FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee)
WR Deebo Samuel (groin)
LT Joe Staley (leg)
RT Mike McGlinchey (knee)
NT D.J. Jones (hamstring)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot)