49ers RB Raheem Mostert took his breakout 2019 season to another level in Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Packers. Mostert blazed past the Green Bay defense all day en route to 29 carries for 220 yards and a staggering four touchdowns. Now the 28-year-old runner who was cut seven times by six different teams before landing in San Francisco in 2016 will be playing in the Super Bowl.
“You know, I did have a lot of doubters and naysayers, and now I get to actually tell them look at where I’m at now,” Mostert said via Pro Football Talk. “I never gave up on my dream. I never gave up on the opportunities when it presented itself. And I always worked hard no matter what. And it’s crazy that I’ve been on seven different teams. I actually still have the cut dates. And I look at that before every game. I look at the cut dates when I got cut. I’ve been on, like I said, seven different teams. The journey’s been crazy. Not even — not everybody can deal with that type of stress and pain and agony that I went through.”
A year ago, 49ers DE Dee Ford cost his former team, the Chiefs, a berth in the Super Bowl when he lined up in the neutral zone and negated a game-sealing interception in the AFC Championship game with a penalty. Now, Ford has a shot at redemption, as San Francisco is in the Super Bowl playing none other than Kansas City.
“Let’s get this right: There’s no love lost nowhere,” Ford told Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “It’s just me playing my brothers. At the end of the day, we just have to compete. But I’ve got so much love for the people in that building. And likewise, they’ve got love for me.”
- The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes that 49ers OT Joe Staley is unlikely to retire following the season.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford was on pace for a career resurgence in 2019 before a broken back ended his season and sent Detroit spiraling down the drain. While having the No. 3 pick would put the Lions in prime position to draft a quarterback if they wanted to, Lions GM Bob Quinn said the team is completely comfortable with Stafford’s health and status as their franchise quarterback.
“Yeah, I’m totally comfortable and happy that Matthew Stafford’s our quarterback,” Quinn said via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s going to be in full health once the offseason program starts its course. He’s pretty much at full health. Talked to him about 10 days ago. He was in the office, so he’s feeling great, he’s in a good mindset. He’s excited.”
- New Lions DC Corey Undlin says he and HC Matt Patricia have not worked out who will call the plays on defense yet. (Michael Rothstein)
- Despite an announcement he was stepping away, former Lions OL coach Jeff Davidson was coaching for Detroit at the Senior Bowl Tuesday. (Rothstein)
Packers RT Bryan Bulaga is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and told reporters on Monday he plans to take some time before focusing on what’s next for him.
“You think about it before you go out there,” Bulaga said, via Jim Owczarski of Packersnews.com. “There’s always potential this is could be the last one. We were in the playoffs, and now that the season’s over, yeah, we’ll see. But I think at first you reflect on the season and think back on success you had and things we did well. There will be a time for the next phase of this thing.”
Bulaga added that he’s enjoyed his 10 years in Green Bay and appreciated the new coaching staff.
“I mean, it was fun,” Bulaga said. “Definitely appreciate coach [Matt] LaFleur and [offensive line] coach [Adam] Stenavich believing in me, bringing me in and allowing me to stay here and be part of this. It was a lot of fun. it’s been an enjoyable year. I can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future — it’s not really my gig — but all I know is it’s been a good 10 years. It’s been fun. We’ll see what happens.”