49ers' Jeff Wilson Jr. Gives Insight on Selflessness in Running Back Room
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman. The three running backs that made the San Francisco 49ers a stellar running attack in 2019. All three players showed tremendous talent in their ability to run the ball as each of them tallied over 500 rushing yards on the season.
Their talent is undeniable, but what doesn't get brought to light enough is the selflessness of the trio and the entire running back room. At various points in the season, the 49ers had a different featured running back. Even though they were a run by committee offense, one player would receive more carries and lead the way on the ground.
It truly was a revolving door of who would receive the most carries. Despite the playing time being divided, not a single player had any complaints about it.
Running back Jeff Wilson Jr hopped on NFL Total Access with Steve Wyche as a guest for an interview spotlight. One of the questions that was posed to Wilson regarded how the running backs handled the divided snaps.
"In our room, if you check, all of us have a similar background." Said Wilson. "We all come from the undrafted path or the path where we had to take the back road and all that helps us because we all know what each other's going through because one person has been through it, one person is going through it and like me, I'm just now entering into it. All those guys have been through the same similar situations. So we feed off each other you know and I feel like that alone has helped us help our bond become stronger."
The group of running backs for the 49ers clearly were able to connect on an interpersonal level. That similarity of what each and every player "has been through" or "going through" clicked with everyone. Matt Breida is a perfect example of this. He was surging for a good portion of the regular season until a handful of fumbles knocked him out of favor.
Rather than feel slighted that the snaps were going to Mostert and Coleman, Breida supported his teammates in the background. Even Wilson had his moments in 2019 where he started the season filling in for the injured Coleman. He wasn't just a typical filler player for depth. Wilson iced the win over the Arizona Cardinals in week 11 and had a 20-yard catch in the Super Bowl.
He would be used primarily as a goal line running back as he reeled in four touchdowns in the first few games of the season. Those touchdowns he tallied could have easily struck a nerve with either Breida or Mostert at the time since they were the ones who were carrying the load. However, they were just as ecstatic as Wilson was when he scored.
This selflessness isn't exclusive to the running backs. Every position group and coach puts their ego aside for the greater good of the team. It's one of the factors as to why the 49ers were able to make an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Now the Niners will need to maintain that selflessness going into 2020, not just the running backs. Returning to the Super Bowl will be another long journey for this team. It just makes playing for one another that much more of a key factor to being able to propel themselves forward.