Connect with us

San Francisco 49ers

49ers Finding Leadership In Unlikely Places

Jesse Oehler

Published

on

© Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers released this video of the team’s post-game celebration following the team’s week 13 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears. It’s always fun to be able to catch a glimpse of what takes place behind the scenes, especially in a sport that is in many ways inaccessible to the everyday fan.

What I found particularly intriguing comes after Kyle Shanahan’s speech, at roughly the 1:20 mark, when kicker Robbie Gould takes center stage. He references a speech he apparently delivered to the team the night before the game, when he asked the players on the team to “find your why.” Now, I obviously have no context with which to dissect the meaning of this statement. Perhaps Gould is imploring the players to find or remember reasons to play for each other, or to define what it is within each of them that compels them come to work on Sundays and give the game, and each other, everything they have. Only the players in that room know to what exactly Gould is referring. He goes on to talk about what he perceives to be the high ceiling the 49ers have, and how the team is only just beginning to realize the extent of what they can accomplish.

It is important that this type of speech is coming from a kicker. Kickers are players that many fans, including myself, do not usually associate with having a meaningful impact on the camaraderie of a team. Yet here is a kicker that seems to have addressed his team the night before a game, in a leadership capacity. And if you observe the players as they listen to Gould, it is plain that they are interested in what he has to say – they respect him.

Granted, all we see here is a small snapshot, after a game during which this kicker scored all the points, after his triumphant return to a city and team that unceremoniously dumped him last year. This is an important moment for him, and it’s evident that Gould has not quite gotten over it. For all I know, this is the first and last time he has ever inspired the team by speaking.

Then again, perhaps it’s not. Often times we have heard Kyle Shanahan discuss leadership at the press conference podium. He has made a point of saying that leadership on a football team can come in a variety of ways, and not just from flashy playmakers, or those players that we see yelling at the troops every time they are on the sidelines. In this article, for example, in his response to a question about vocal leaders, Shanahan notes:

…to me, the leaders out there are the guys who have a standard with how they practice, what they do every single day. They don’t need to tell you anything. They just show you and you know who’s going to be there day in and day out. You know exactly what you’re dealing with and those to me are the real leaders.”

The qualities mentioned in this quote certainly seem consistent with someone like Robbie Gould. And given Shanahan’s emphasis on leadership and the variety of characteristics that define a leader, and given what I have seen and heard from John Lynch, I can only imagine that there are already quite a few of these unconventional leaders on the Niners’ roster.

Any 49ers fan can easily rattle off the obvious leaders on this team – Eric Reid and Joe Staley jump immediately to mind. I look forward to see what other leaders emerge on this football team, particularly as this group continues to gel. I can only expect more of these unique and diverse leaders to be added to the roster throughout the offseason. These 49ers are becoming a high character football team full of men that hold themselves – and each other – accountable. It’s gonna be fun to watch.

Writer for Locked On 49ers, father and lifetime 49ers fan. Former football player, house builder and server of coffee. A globetrotting wannabe musician, Jesse has tuned in to 49ers games from Mexico, Germany, Belize and many places in-between.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

San Francisco 49ers

PODCAST: Weekly Wink, Saints, Seahawks, Tiebreakers

Brian Peacock

Published

on

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Guest: Nick Winkler
  • Mailbag
  • How to avoid spoilers
  • Previewing Week 14 at New Orleans
  • NFC playoff tiebreakers

Continue Reading

San Francisco 49ers

PODCAST: San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints Week 14 Crossover

Brian Peacock

Published

on

© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
  • Guest: Ross Jackson, host of Locked On Saints
  • Key Matchups
  • It will be a group effort for 49ers secondary vs WR Michael Thomas
  • With Saints left tackle Terron Armstead ailing, Nick Bosa could feast on Drew Brees
  • Fred Warner vs Alvin Kamara
  • Predictions

Continue Reading

San Francisco 49ers

PODCAST: Tuesday Mailbag, RB Depth Chart, Sacking the Saints

Brian Peacock

Published

on

© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
  • Listener mailbag
  • Kyle Shanahan’s clock management and 4th down playcalling
  • Why Tevin Coleman probably shouldn’t be starting at running back
  • 49ers should get after Drew Brees in Week 14
  • Seahaks win Monday night pushes 49ers from to 5-seed

Continue Reading

Trending