According Steve Young, Jerry Rice was pretty fed up with what he’d seen from the 49ers before last Monday’s win.
“I go, ‘What do you what do you think?,” Young said on KNBR last week. “He goes, ‘There’s no dogs.’ And I got to interpret that. There’s no dogs on there. You watch the team go on, go off, everyone’s like, ‘okay.’…
“I’m talking about a leadership committee that happens naturally, it’s organic. And there are certain personalities that it’s made up of, ‘over my dead’ body kind of guys, the guys that have the grit, that have the moral authority to turn, at anytime as a group or individually, to the rest of the 50 guys and declare the truth.”
Those are quite the accusations from two Hall of Famers and 49ers legends. Though their position was understandable following the embarrassing loss to the Cardinals, San Francisco sure looked like they were made up of dogs in their 31-10 blowout of the Rams on Monday.
In that game, safety Jimmy Ward played a crucial role, grabbing two interceptions and returning one for a touchdown. On Wednesday he hopped on with Murph & Mac, and was asked how he feels about Rice and Young’s comments.
“I respect their game when they played, but at the same time they’re not playing anymore,” Ward said on KNBR. “So they’re doing what they need to do. They need to talk and they need to grab the headlines and that’s kind of how it goes when you hang up the cleats.
“If I’m not mistaken, they said there’s not enough dogs, I don’t think they said there’s no dogs, cause if there was no dogs we’d lose a lot more games. It’s hard to win games when there’s no dogs on the field. I’m pretty sure they watch the film and know who the dogs are and who they are not.”
Rice actually apparently did say ‘no dogs’, but that’s neither here nor there at this point. The 49ers are back in the win column and looking to turn their season around. Ward realizes that that’s all the former 49ers wanted to see, and he respects their love for their former team.
“They’re just trying to pull the headlines and they’re former 49ers players so they really rooting for us, man. So that’s like a message to other guys to say ‘step it up.’ I think that’s why they throwing their shots. Because I’m pretty sure when they were playing, there were guys who used to play or media, who really cared for the 49ers and were just trying to push them. They were probably saying the same thing.
“So I don’t really look at it as disrespect, I don’t really look at it as motivation. At the end of the day I’m passionate enough about this game, I don’t need nobody telling me what I need to do or what I don’t need to do unless you’re in this building grinding with me. Then I’ll listen to you.
“If you’re going through what I’m going through right now, then I’ll listen to you.”
Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Catch Murph & Mac weekdays from 6 – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.