How ridiculously Shanahan used Deebo McCloud to set up the TD

How ridiculously Shanahan used Deebo McCloud to set up the TD

Kyle Shanahan asked Ray-Ray McCloud to do his best Deebo Samuel impression on Saturday — and he delivered.

As Samuel recovers from a sprained knee and ankle, Shanahan called a game for Samuel for McCloud and the 26-year-old led the 49ers to a 37-20 win over the Washington Commanders at Levi’s Stadium.

McCloud took advantage of a great block and went untouched for a 71-yard touchdown in the first quarter. After the game, McCloud explained what Shanahan said that ignited the fuel behind the impressive play.

“Kyle said, ‘You’ve got to do better than Deebo.’ Me and Deebo, that’s like my brother, so it’s always a competitive thing,” McCloud told reporters after the game. “My number was called, and I wanted to make the play. It’s not me making a play, actually, it was the line.

“The front, Christian [McCaffrey] doing his block and Mikel [McGlinchey] pancakeing his buddy, Willie Snead sealing the rim, and I think anybody in that position to get that ball would have made the same play.”

As McCloud mentioned, it’s all about the love between Samuel and him. But Shanahan wanted to enter the contest with humor and had too much fun playing the role of pusher.

“It was fun to set up because I could mess with Deebo last night,” Shanahan told reporters. “He was in the opener when I installed him, so I said, knowing Deebo was in the back, ‘This run has looked bad all year, but now we’ve got the right guy, so I feel like this one’s going to score.’ I was definitely being sarcastic, but it was so much fun looking for Deebo when he played like that.”

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The touchdown was McCloud’s first career score and the longest in five NFL seasons.

Since Samuel’s injury, McCloud has tried to get Shanahan to use him more in the running game.

And after San Francisco extended its winning streak to eight games, the 49ers coach might consider it if he can continue to tease Samuel.

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