When you hear the name DB Jimmie Ward the first thing that comes to most Forever Faithful’s minds is the week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears at Levi’s Stadium.
A game in which Ward was thrown into the fire while getting shredded by WR Brandon Marshall as he finished the game with five catches for 48 yards and three touchdowns, it was Ward who was on the losing end of those battles.
Ward was asked back in December who gave him the hardest time as a rookie and he didn’t hesitate to point out Marshall. “Brandon Marshall,” said Ward. “That’s all I gotta say. I’m going to leave it at his name. That’s all I’m going to say.”
However, this is a different year and it will be up to Ward to redeem himself in 2015. Last year Ward’s rookie season was cut short due to a nagging right foot injury (jones fracture). An injury that forced the 49ers medical staff to insert a larger screw in his foot, Ward did not get the full 16-game regular season under his belt as he only participated in eight of those games.
Now, as Ward recovers from his foot injury, the verdict is out if he can become the defensive back the 49ers had hoped for when they selected the ballhawking safety in the tail end of the first-round.
A player that I was very high on as Ward has elite ball skills, I believe he will bounce back and make some nice plays in 2015. He’s a vicious hitter with some serious ball skills so don’t be surprised if he turns some heads this upcoming season if he can stay healthy. A big if, I know.
Ward himself believes he will bounce back in his sophomore season. “I felt like I was learning the league,” he said. “I know what to do, basically. I know the competition, who the best guys are out there. So next year throughout the training and getting my foot well, I think I’ll be ready to go.”
In 2014, Ward finished his rookie campaign with 20 tackles and two pass break-ups.
With the 49ers trying to field the best team possible it would be nice to see Ward work himself into the rotation as he would provide a huge lift at the slot position.