49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gave an interesting nod to assistant general manager Adam Peters during his press conference on Monday. Shanahan was asked to reflect on the 2019 Senior Bowl when the 49ers worked closely with Deebo Samuel before selecting him in the second round of this year’s draft.
Shanahan was asked if the Niners plan to deploy Samuel as a running back as he exits South Carolina. Shanahan admitted, “I would like to say we did, but we sure didn’t try to get him back there, and we never really saw him in college.” However, Shanahan noted Peters who seemed to imply that the Deputy GM was high on Deebo from the start: “And for [assistant general manager] Adam [Peters], he was on that [Deebo Samuel’s physicality] from the start and we learned more about him as he went.
Samuel, of course, had a historic 2021 season. After playing 16 games, Samuel racked up 15 touchdowns and nearly 1,800 yards of scrimmage. He was easily the Niners’ most dangerous weapon in the air, but he also emerged as a great option out of the backfield for the running back.
Shanahan’s mention of Peters comes at an interesting time for the front office’s top lieutenant. He has received several interviews for CEO positions in recent years. In fact, the New York Giants have already requested an interview with him this offseason. Samuel’s selection remains one of the best moves of Shanahan’s tenure in San Francisco. By giving Peters some public credit, Shanahan only bolstered his candidacy to become a top decision maker.
Here is the full quote from Shanahan:
“We spent our money in other places and we knew we had to go get a receiver and just looking at the band we had at the time we thought it was so important no matter what type of receiver that we were adding, that we had to add a physical guy. A guy that could kinda intimidate guys with the way he played, with his size, his broken tackles, things like that. And that’s why we have really liked Deebo, whatever his pros and cons we knew he was a physical guy and that’s why we knew we had to add him to our group. [assistant general manager] Adam [Peters], he was on it from the start and we learned more about him as he went. And being able to use his physique as a receiver has been huge, but now that we’ve been able to add the back end it makes it so much easier to put the ball in his hands.