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Fred Warner steps up as chief of 49ers protection

Picture: Getty Photos

Fred Warner’s function because the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive quarterback is to exist as harmful offensive antimatter. Each sort of matter within the universe has an antimatter equal. As soon as they make contact, annihilation ensues. Related physics applies to the gridiron. Warner is a defensive particle that has the alternative impact as his extra prolific offensive counterparts. Quite than having the ball in his palms, Warner needs it on the turf.

Warner’s inexperienced dot tasks designate him the sign caller of the league’s most formidable protection and for the previous 5 years, he’s been as prolific at his duties negating offenses as any offensive counterpart not named Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady.

Warner is the Ray Lewis of this technology. In a mirror universe with extra defensive-oriented priorities, Warner, 26, can be celebrated with the identical acclaim as his peer Joey B. This author can be discovering the phrases to bathe Warner together with his correct recognition as he prepares to shepherd the 49ers to a second Tremendous Bowl look in 4 years.

Throughout Sunday’s Divisional Spherical 49ers win, Warner’s contributions had been important to the Cowboys’ postseason ejection. Warner’s protection abilities within the intermediate passing zones can go unnoticed due to the character of his job, however he’s one of many high protection linebackers within the league. The absence of optimistic offensive performs renders him invisible to the bare eye, however his affect on the second layer of the protection is the gear that retains San Francisco’s protection perpetually troublemaking.

Nick Bosa will get glory by his bodily proximity to quarterbacks, however center linebackers don’t generate the tributes that cross rushers flying off the sting and pressuring valuable passers do.

Tackles for loss and zone coverage deflections aren’t as sexy as sack artists, interceptions, and one-on-one man-to-man defense on the outside. San Francisco will make Bosa the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player this offseason. Warner currently ranks 20th behind a dozen other pass rushers and shutdown corners.

Niners still face uphill battle

All that said, the 49ers are at a significant disadvantage to the three prominent quarterbacks remaining in the postseason. Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, and Patrick Mahomes have attained collective glory in the form of Heismans, NFL MVPs, Super Bowl MVPs, and national championships. Brock Purdy is an outlier in their inverted structure. Kyle Shanahan’s quarterbacks have always been on the bottom of the totem pole. Just as his father, Mike, could swap out Hall of Fame running backs in his zone running scheme with undrafted free agents without missing a beat, San Francisco’s defensive quarterback has been more valuable than their offense’s.

But it was less than a year ago that Aaron Donald’s game-saving brutishness earned the Los Angeles Rams their first Tremendous Bowl. Of the remaining groups left for the Convention Championship weekend, San Francisco is the one one with an Aron Donald-caliber expertise. Their trifecta of All-Execs consists of Warner, Bosa, and security Talanoa Hufanga. Warner is the skeleton key although. His sideline-to-sideline agility is essential to the league’s high run protection and his vertical protection abilities when he drops again have unlocked an elite cross protection regardless of San Fran’s deficiencies on the place.

Warner’s affect

Warner’s the best hybrid Mike linebacker within the trendy age of unfold passing assaults, tasked with racing down the seam with No. 1 receivers or blowing up crossing routes. He did loads of that in opposition to the Cowboys.

Wherever Warner roamed, damaging performs developed. Warner’s presence erased Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ high-octane offense. His Elmer’s glue interception of a ball supposed for CeeDee Lamb within the purple zone took not less than three Cowboys factors off the board.

Warner’s interception was the start of a disastrous sequence earlier than halftime that triggered the tip of the Cowboys’ season. Purdy calmly dotted the Cowboys’ protection up, led the 49ers down the sphere, and swung the rating by six factors.

Warner’s stride-for-stride coverage of Lamb halfway by the third quarter after feigning a blitz on the line of scrimmage after which racing 30 yards upfield was San Francisco’s runner-up momentum-shifting defensive play. As soon as once more, Warner stopped Dallas’ momentum in its tracks in an unbelievable show of athleticism for a brolic 6-3 linebacker. Warner registered a team-high 9 tackles, one deal with for loss, an interception, and disrupted a number of different performs.

The Eagles’ offensive line has handled the likes of Micah Parsons twice this season. Nonetheless, San Francisco has their very own pass-rushing phenom and Warner supplies equal worth on the subsequent stage, making them probably the most foreboding defensive tag workforce in soccer. Hurts’ Eagles have run pretzels across the NFL en path to the league’s greatest document, however Warner’s protection might be their hardest crucible but.

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