There was something about Matt Breida that I saw at Georgia Southern that made me know he would be a great fit with a team. And wouldn’t you know it, that team happens to be my beloved San Francisco 49ers.
And as for that Cheetah nickname, I heard play-by-play man Greg Papa speak it, and he spoke truth.
What got my attention about Mr. Breida? Was it his breakaway speed, was it his power running through the line, how about his hands when he catches the ball out of the backfield. Well, those would be accurate, but I saw something deeper with him.
His nerve. Yes his nerve. He had to earn time wherever he went.
Especially with the 49ers. For you see, he was undrafted. No one wanted to take a chance on him. When he got to the Bay and worked his way onto what was essentially a walk-on position, he got his chance.
Quickly up the chart he rose to the RB2 position. I always thought he should be the bellcow of the offense. Give him the ball at least 25 times and he will produce. And he has. Though it was a Monday night game against the Browns that he really got to showcase what he can do.
One block from his fullback, right through the hole and whoosh! Down the sideline he went for an 83-yard touchdown on the 49ers’ first offensive play from scrimmage.
Reminds me of a play he had at Georgia Southern. In a game at Idaho, late in the first quarter, he took a handoff, burst through the middle and off to the races he went. 83 yards later, the Eagles had a lead and they wouldn’t relinquish it.
Seeing that play against the Browns brought me back to that game in the Kibbie Dome. The moment where he became the feature back in the Georgia Southern running game.
Now granted, the 49ers signed Jerrick McKinnon to be their RB1, but I don’t think they need to look any further than Breida the Cheetah.
Here’s a few other things to consider. Breida reminds me in so many ways of one Roger Craig. Remember him? He wore number 33 for the Niners. He did the same things that Breida can do. Runs great, catches the ball, keeps his feet moving, blocks great, and he’s becoming a leader within that offense.
All a part of his nerve that I spoke of earlier. He was given up for adoption by his birth mother and the folks that took him in, made him more and more determined to prove himself. He’s taken that nerve from his childhood, to college, and right to the heart of the undefeated 49ers.
Not bad for a young man that people gave up on! Keep showing that nerve!
That’s Snowman’s Take – What’s yours?