Santa Clara – Tim Tebow doesn’t survive the first cut as the converted tight end with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jordan Matthews did this week with the 49ers.
“What better tight end room to come to?” Matthews said of the 49ers, not because of a potential opening, but because of the opportunity to learn from George Kittel and many others.
“You have the best double-threat end in the league,” Matthews said. “You can just watch George in the run game and pass game, you’ll get an A-plus example of what’s asked in the tight end position. And I see the No. 1 tight end caliber in Ross Dweley. ”
There is still a possibility of the 29-year-old building a 53-man roster in two weeks against Matthews and joining a tight end unit that backs Charlie Warner.
Matthews is vying for a potential No. 4 spot, as is veteran Mycol Pruitt, who missed the majority of camp due to a calf injury. When it came time to cut the tight end from Tuesday’s 85-man limit, it was Joshua Perkins, not Matthews.
Most likely, Mathews has been invited to fill one of the six veteran spots in this season’s 16-man practice team.
Matthews’ switch from wide receiver was something he considered back to the Philadelphia Eagles, who drafted him in the second round in 2014 and closed him through 2019; Matthews spent 2018 with the Bills.
His career began rapidly as a wide receiver, averaging 900 yards and eight touchdowns per year in 2014 and ’15. But in recent years, Mathews has bounced on the Eagles and 49ers. This offseason, he said he had the respect of potential suitors, just no serious interest.
Then word came through the 49ers, that Trey Lance needed a wide receiver to target his second pro day before the draft. Matthews went to Fargo, North Dakota for his – his – April audition.
“I hadn’t decided to switch to the tight end at the time,” Matthews recalled. “Shortly after, I did.”
To do this, Matthews worked with athletes from the University of Louisville and packed on 20 pounds by eating six meals a day: 5:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. , another breakfast at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm
Matthews then adjusts to the “mindset” of a tight end and is learning about footwork, leverage, and a play-to-play focus.
“J-Mac can be a functional blocker in the run game,” said 49ers tight end coach John Embry. “We are clearing some things with his feet and technical things. He has the will, and he’s a hard worker if he keeps pushing, he can be a tight end. ”
Matthews joined the 49ers after working out with the New York Jets. Indeed, it came after persuading Kittel to crash at June’s Tight End University summit in Nashville.
In Saturday’s preseason debut as a tight end, Matthews had a catch (16 yards), a tackle (Josh Rosen on interception), a penalty (holding), and a special-team tackle in which he made his NFL-making rookie. Like praised. First entry.
Speaking of, what did Matthews see in Lance during that April workout in North Dakota State?
“I saw a young, talented player,” Matthews replied. “I saw a man who was ready to listen, ready to ask questions. He asked me about recovery and longevity in the NFL.
“All I needed to know was, if a guy was willing to come in and say, ‘Hey, I want to learn.’ He has talent, so what kind of person is he? He’s a stand-up guy and everyone will be able to see that throughout his career.”
As Matthews seeks to prolong or rebuild his career, he is determined to do so as a role model for his two young sons, show them work ethic, values, and sacrifice.
For him every minute, every play is considered “precious”.
Converting to the tight end – whether from a receiver like him, or an outfielder like quarterback/Tebow – isn’t easy.
Matthews said: “You hear about, ‘When you’re in those trenches, it’s very different.’ Then when you actually watch the movie and get down there, you realize how much it’s all about footwork and leverage and just technique and how you can accomplish a 30 pound loss if you’re doing the right thing. .
Mathews is no longer a stubborn receiver. He’s ready to be versatile, can help out in any way he can, and Shanahan’s offense certainly positions players in multiple roles.
“If you look at the game of basketball, it’s getting positioned, and football, I think, it’s moving in a similar way in some aspects,” Mathews said. “If you’re a soccer player there’s going to be a spot. That’s where you get the most bang for your buck: as many things as you can.”