Greenlaw details how he could've changed 49ers' Super Bowl outcome

Greenlaw details how he could've changed 49ers' Super Bowl outcome originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SANTA CLARA — Linebacker Dre Greenlaw does not believe he could have shut down Kansas City star tight end Travis Kelce in the Super Bowl.

But he can guarantee he was ready to provide his best effort from start to finish — for as long as it took.

“I think it was just the energy that I was bringing,” Greenlaw told NBC Sports Bay Area in his first public comments since sustaining a torn Achilles in the second quarter of the Super Bowl.

“I wouldn't necessarily say I would've stopped Travis Kelce. He would have made some good plays and good catches and did some good things. But I know I would have made some plays out there.”

Greenlaw, who recorded two interceptions in the 49ers’ NFL divisional-round playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers, played just 12 snaps in the Super Bowl before his freak injury.

“I know I would have made the plays to help my team,” he said. “I would’ve brought the energy to help my team. I would have played hard as hell out there.

“I hope that -- I know that and I felt like that would have gotten us the victory. I do. But at the same time, I don't know. I just know I would have given all I got.”

Greenlaw had three tackles and was flying to the football early in the Super Bowl. Kansas City had three first downs and no points in their first three possessions of the game.

Kelce had one catch for 1 yard in the first half. He finished with nine receptions for 93 yards in Kansas City’s 25-22 overtime victory in Super Bowl LVIII.

There is no denying Greenlaw brings an inspirational element to the team. That much is evident with his selection as the Dwight Clark Award winner. The honor goes to the 49ers player who best exemplifies the spirit of Clark through teamwork and camaraderie.

Greenlaw will be honored Thursday, May 16, at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series at the California Theatre in San Jose.

And even while is unable to participate in any on-field work with his teammates for several months, he realizes he can continue to set a good example.

“The key is just to have a positive approach to it, because at the end of the day, you got to get back up and get to work,” he said. “Nobody's going to put the work in for me and nobody's going to do it for me. They may feel sorry for me, but that’s not going to get you far."

Greenlaw underwent surgery to repair his Achilles on Feb. 15. The typical period for physical therapy is nine months, which could make him available to return to action in mid-October.

“I love being in a position where I’m knocked down," Greenlaw said. "I’m not where I want to be, but I’ll get to where I want to be because that's just the mindset that I have. So hopefully they see that and pick right up on that."

For more information about the Dwight Clark Legacy Series, which benefits the Golden Heart Fund, please visit

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