Niner Noise Podcast: Kyle Juszczyk stops by to talk all things 49ers
By Peter Panacy
The Niner Noise Podcast welcomed 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, appearing on behalf of Dick’s Sporting Goods, to talk about what’s going on in 2021 and much more.
When things are going south, much like they are for the 3-5 San Francisco 49ers at the halfway point of the 2021 season, a team needs to lean on its veterans for support and guidance.
So it shouldn’t be too surprising to see veteran fullback Kyle Juszczyk, one of the Niners’ most important offensive weapons, take on that kind of leadership role in the wake of his team losing four of its last five games.
Additionally, Juszczyk is doing even more leadership-type work, pairing up with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Sports Matter Giving Truck program, which is helping provide sports equipment all over the country to underserved communities.
The veteran fullback was nice enough to join the Niner Noise Podcast this week to talk about his involvement in the Sports Matter Giving Truck, as well as everything else going on with the Niners this season.
Kyle Juszczyk identifies how 49ers can get out of their funk
It can be difficult for any team with high expectations to turn the tables on what’s been a frustrating season. Fortunately for San Francisco, Juszczyk’s lengthy tenure within the league offers up a perspective many younger players may not have.
And even though he admitted it sounds cliche, it’s the small things that ultimately turn a franchise’s fortunes around:
"Sometimes the answer really is simple. At the end of the day, no matter what happens in the previous game, whether it’s a win or loss, the only option you have is to come back to work and put everything into it. Because there’s no option of coming in and giving a half effort and not doing absolutely everything you can to win in the next week.Why would we be here if that was the case?"
When asked what message he might deliver to some of the younger players who may not have experienced these struggles before, Juszczyk added, “I stress to the young guys a lot what a week-to-week league this is and how quickly things can change.”
Things can change in one play, too, as Juszczyk pointed out.
“As bad as things look right now, they can look just as good tomorrow if we go out and get a win this week,” he added.
Kyle Juszczyk identifies Aaron Donald as the toughest player he’s faced
With Juszczyk and the 49ers hosting the 7-2 Los Angeles Rams in Week 10, turning the tables will have to involve overcoming one of the NFL’s best defensive players, perennial All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
And despite the Niners being 4-0 against Donald’s Rams the last two seasons, each matchup can certainly be influenced by his presence on the field.
So, when asked who is the toughest player he’s gone up against in his career, Juszczyk didn’t hesitate to mention Donald’s name:
"I would give him that title. I think he is the best defensive player I have ever gone against. His accolades definitely speak for that, and I don’t know how many times he’s been the Defensive Player of the Year, but he’s definitely well-deserving."
If San Francisco is able to “slow him down,” as Juszczyk mentioned, there’s a chance of a Week 10 upset.
What does Kyle Juszczyk like doing most with 49ers, and what does he still want to do?
The 49ers use Juszczyk in so many different ways, featuring him as a lead blocker but not hesitating to throw him out there as a wide receiver. In terms of the Niners’ “positionless” offense, he might be the perfect epitome of “offensive weapon.”
Yet the No. 1 thing Juszczyk admitted was cool and he looks forward to doing again is taking a direct snap from under center, creating something of a dive play to gain short yardage.
“It was always a dream of mine to be an NFL quarterback,” he said. “And I’m definitely not one of those. But I can at least say I was for three plays [taking snaps from under center].”
As fun as that is, though, there’s one thing Juszczyk still wants to do at the NFL level, and that’s to actually throw a pass.
“I hope so,” Juszczyk said when asked if he’d ever attempt a pass. “I’ll definitely be in Kyle [Shanahan’s] ear about it.”
Check out the rest of the Niner Noise Podcast on the 49ers
Hosts Robert Morrison and Peter Panacy broke down what they think is going on with San Francisco this deep in the season, but hopefully Juszczyk’s pointers on how the team can improve wind up panning out in Week 10 when the 49ers host the Rams on Monday Night Football.
You can grab the latest Niner Noise Podcast here or on your smart device, and be sure to rate and subscribe for the latest insight and analysis on all things red and gold.
Additionally, be sure to check out Juszczyk’s campaign with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Sports Matter Giving Truck and how you can get involved here.