49ers Warner re: Rams Nacua: "He's gonna earn that....double him, double him."

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers, Puka Nacua
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers, Puka Nacua / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The truth that college football players need to know about the NFL is that playing professional football makes stranges bedfellows. The inverse is equally true, in that the NFL is not going to cut any football players a break because a college teammate or someone from your Alma Mater is playing on the opposing team. The opposite is likely to be the case, as former teammates tend to play harder in head-to-head competition.

One recent event illustrates that tough love between NFL competitors, San Francisco 49ers ILB Fred Warner.

Everyone on planet Earth knew that the LA Rams would play rookie WR Puka Nacua only long enough to allow the young man to break the NFL All-Time Rookie Receiving Records. The thing is, so did the San Francisco 49ers secondary.

That was confirmed at the end of the game when Fred Warner met fellow-BYU alumnae Puka Nacua on the football field and laughingly told Nadua that the 49ers were going to make him earn every yard that he got.

"He's gonna earn that . . . double him. Double him"

Fred Warner re: Puka Nacua

I don't think that anyone was shocked by the 49ers emphatic coverage of Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua. In retrospect, perhaps the 49ers should have allowed Nacua to get his record and get out of the game quickly. Instead, the 49ers did in fact double him the entire game.

It was all for naught. Nacua broke the records, and added a first half touchdown along the way. Despite the attention of the 49ers secondary, Nacua caught four of six passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.

Perhaps that is why this record-breaking season from Puka Nacua is so sweet. He played all 17 games, and caught passes from three different quarterbacks along the way. He did all of this in his first year in the NFL, and if he follows the trajectory of other Rams receivers, he will be even better in 2024. Much better.

So let the 49ers devote double coverage to Rams WR Puka Nacua. In his first two games against the 49ers, Nacua shredded them for 19 catches from 26 targets for 188 yards and a touchdown. I don't think that the LA Rams have anything to worry about with Nacua on the football field. But I think the headaches, and the losses to the LA Rams, are just beginning for the San Francisco 49ers and the 49ers fans.