49ers' Kendrick Bourne explains what keeps him unfazed in big moments


SANTA CLARA -- Kendrick Bourne caught a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo late in the fourth quarter on Saturday night and lunged forward, keeping the drive alive while converting a third-and-16 situation as a nervous 49ers crowd held its collective breath.  

Making plays with the game on the line has become a habit for the former undrafted free agent who has thrived in high pressure situations. Coach Kyle Shanahan has joked that the young 49ers receiver might not realize how big those moments are, which actually has been a good thing. 

“Probably,” Shanahan said after the 49ers' 34-31 win over the Los Angeles Rams. “That’s how KB rolls. That’s why he usually comes through in those moments.”

Bourne, however, believes practice makes perfect, keeping him relaxed in those high pressure situations. Still, he is not sure how he always ends up being in the mix when the game is on the line. 

“Man, that is a great question,” Bourne said. “I don’t know. Just working hard through the week all the time. It starts on Wednesday and I literally run every play that we all make. We literally run it before we show it so it’s just about making it happen through the week so when it comes it ain’t no pressure, nothing like that.

"It’s just another route that I’m running -- just like practice.” 

With Garoppolo being pressured by the Rams defense, Bourne knew he had to cut his route a little short and make the play after the catch. He knew where the sticks were and Garoppolo trusted him to get there. 

“Those are kind of in-game adjustments, just kind of when you’re feeling the game out, I guess,” Garoppolo said after the game. “Yeah, KB’s real cool with all that stuff. He adjusts well on the fly, he’s willing to do all that stuff. It’s nice to have a guy like that.”

The 49ers' last four games have come down to the wire, being decided by a score in the final moments. While tight games can always cause stress, Bourne says it helps the 49ers be ready for any situation that lies ahead.

“Like Kyle says all the time, we’ve been in every situation.” Bourne said. “So when you guys ask about the pressure and stuff like that, we’ve seen everything so that’s why you see us so unfazed. We got to keep that up.” 

[RELATED: Shanahan confident 49ers can go far, regardless of seeding]

Being able to produce under pressure will be necessary on Sunday night when the 49ers battle the Seahawks for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Gaining a much needed first-round bye and home-field advantage is on the line.

But the previous 16 weeks have given the 49ers plenty of lessons in must-win situations.

Contact Us