Monday, January 16, 2023

Criticized 49ers DB responds to attachment to popular Seahawks quote

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“The Hyena” Deommodore Lenoir has been on a relentless ramble — from playing the opening game of the Super Wild Card Weekend Opener to responding to critics after the San Francisco 49ers eliminated the Seattle Seahawks 41-23 on Saturday, Jan. 14.

But together with gossip back to his criticsHere’s what a fan attached to Lenoir: The now-famous Seahawks quote, “They wrote me off, I didn’t write back,” made popular by quarterback Geno Smith. To which Lenoir replied to this fan:

blacksmith made this statement popular under the “12. Mann” after leading his Seahawks to a season-opening win over the Denver Broncos, alongside former ‘Hawks franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. But now Lenoir, who have been criticized for his game in recent weeks, his name has been linked to that Smith quote after helping send him and the Seahawks home.

How impressive was the Oregon cornerback as a sophomore? Lenoir was third in tackles but provided the most solo stops in the cornerback group with four. But his biggest play came when he covered a perpetual 1,000-yard receiver and passed Pro Bowler into Tyler Lockett in the fourth quarter to shatter any hope of a Seattle comeback:

Athletic’s 49ers insider David Lombardi was among those who gushed about Lenoir raising his level of play in the most important game of his career to date.

“Excellent play by Deommodore Lenoir. Solid technology across the board. Perhaps the most significant development in the 49ers to come out of this win,” Lombardi shared.

But then came this next statement from Lombardi – which he says completes this 49ers unit.

“If Lenoir plays well, SF doesn’t have a pronounced weakness,” added Lombardi.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder was again ripped up by fans ahead of the playoff opener, largely because he was accused of giving up big games.

According to Pro Football Reference Advanced Stats, in addition to giving up five catches in consecutive competitions, Lenoir had given up his side’s 124 yards against the Las Vegas Raiders and then 96 yards in the Week 18 Finals against the Arizona Cardinals. And of the two, it was the former who gave Lenoir its biggest problems in receiving size. And one of the passes he gave up was this acrobatic grab by Pro Bowler Davante Adams:

Lenoir now went into a rain-soaked Levi’s Stadium with two Pro Bowl wideouts, this time countering against even bigger giants DK Metcalf and his 1,000-yard goal Lockett. Also, Lenoir and the 49ers’ defense had to deal with a rejuvenated Smith, who entered the venue with the best numbers of his career.

But “the hyena” held its own and went into hunter mode. This is where he improved the most:

Limited Goals: Lenoir has been targeted five to nine times in the last six games. But against Seattle? His targets dropped to four.

Lack of explosives: Before the playoff game, Lenoir was the cornerback with the longest reach on AJ Green’s 77-yard drive in Week 18 and Adams’ 45-yarder. But in the 18-point frenzy to open the postseason? Metcalf only managed a 12-yard reception with Lenoir at his side.

Low rating for Smith: Lenoir was thrown with the ball four times that day. But allowed just two catches for 16 yards per Pro Football Focus and delivered the pick. More tellingly, Smith had a low passer rating of 20.8 versus Lenoir for Lombardy.

“The Hyena” was unleashed. And by reminding his critics of who he is, he became the 49ers’ representative who “was written off but didn’t write back.”

“The Hyena” was unleashed. And by reminding his critics of who he is, he became the 49ers’ representative who “was written off but didn’t write back.”

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