Ryans: 'SWARMing' Warner primed for another monster season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The dog days of training camp have come to an end for the 49ers, and one incentive that defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans used to help get them through was his daily awards for standout players of the practice.
"SWARM" stands for Special Work Ethic and Relentless Mindset, and Ryans shared that there were a few defensive players that repeatedly were recognized for their outstanding performances on the practice field.
“Whoever was attacking the ball, whoever got turnovers or just had made special effort on certain plays,” Ryans said on Monday. “I like to highlight guys playing our style of ball, whether that's effort, whether it's physicality, taking the ball, getting after the quarterback.
“The guys are pretty fired up about it. They like to have those bragging rights of who's the leader in the house, and that was Fred Warner this training camp.”
Warner has come back with a vengeance in 2022 after a slow start to his fourth season. The linebacker admitted to being in his head about living up to expectations after signing a monster extension one year ago. Midway through 2021, Warner reset his intentions and has not looked back.
Not only does Warner motivate his position group, and the defense, he demands the best from his offensive teammates. Receiver Brandon Aiyuk has been a focus of the All-Pro’s attention in practices, and while sometimes it can lead to skirmishes on the field, its all about making the team better in the long run.
“He's always done that and competition brings out the best in everyone,” Ryans said. “When you are in those tough days of camp and Fred is out there chirping. I know the offense doesn't like it, but I like to see that and I like to see how is he going to respond when they do respond.”
Warner’s best year to date was his All-Pro 2020 season when he registered 125 tackles, seven quarterback hits, one sack, six pass breakups and two interceptions. He didn't have a bad 2021 season, but the momentum that Warner had built the year prior did not kick in until midseason.
Using everything as a learning experience, Ryans believes Warner is set to hit Week 1 full steam ahead.
“Fred has done an outstanding job,” Ryans said. “And man, I'm fired up to have him another year, and he's rolling. I think he's going to have a really good year this year.”
Ryans shared that Warner was joined by star pass rusher Nick Bosa and veteran lineman Kerry Hyder in receiving the most "SWARM" awards during camp.