Jerry Rice doesn't want to see Deebo Samuel in 49ers backfield


So, what was in Jerry Rice’s cup when he was celebrating Deebo Samuel’s touchdown on “Monday Night Football”?

The 49ers legend joined 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” Tuesday to discuss Deebo’s amazing 57-yard touchdown and the 24-9 win over the Rams. TV cameras caught Rice celebrating with a wine glass near the end zone and it quickly became a meme.

“That was GOAT fuel,” Rice joked, in a reference to the energy drink he co-founded.

Before the game, Rice even ran down the sideline after catching a pass from Steve Young.

Once the game started, Deebo lined up in the backfield as a running back but only carried the ball twice on Monday night. He set season highs with six receptions and 115 yards after a slow start to the season as a pass-catcher. Rice said he wants to see Samuel used out wide.

“Here’s the thing with me – the run-pass option, everything is so condensed,” Rice told hosts Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky. “You can open field up a little bit more by spreading these guys out just a little bit more, getting Deebo on the outside. I’m not big fan of him being back in that backfield, because it’s almost like the second he’s back in the backfield, the opponent knows that Deebo is gonna get the ball. It’s gonna be up to Kyle Shanahan to be a little bit more creative. Maybe spread him out just a little bit more.”

In general, Rice thinks the Niners should air it out more. Perhaps that’s to be expected from the greatest wide receiver in the game.

“We gotta start throwing the ball on the outside,”. Because defensive coordinators, they’re gonna figure that out. You know there’s a lot of bubble screens, a lot of throws over the middle, but we really didn’t attack the outside. I really wanted them to throw the ball deep, spread ‘em out a little bit and throw it deep. Just to let the opponents know that, hey look, they could throw it deep. Make it a threat. If you don’t do that, then the opponent is gonna squeeze down on everything.”

Despite injuries to mobile quarterback Trey Lance, starting running back Elijah Mitchell and All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams, the Niners enter Week 5, the Niners rank ninth in the league in rushing (135.3 yards per game) and 26th in the league in passing (189.3 yards per game).

Still, Rice loved seeing Deebo do his thing on Monday night.

“That’s one of those heartbeat things, players just working together and getting in position to get their teammate into the end zone,” Rice said. “First of all, that defensive back, he took a very bad angle, because he tried to undercut that pass. For Deebo to make that catch the way he did, then have the vision to take it to the end zone, it brought back a lot of memories. I’m saying to myself, he made some cuts that reminded me of someone else back in the day. To have that vision and really get into paydirt, where you drop six on ‘em? That was a fantastic play.

“Anytime he can cut that money and be himself, be creative on the football field, you know something spectacular is gonna happen.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports