Junior Bryant- 10/06/2000
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It's amazing. The 49ers win two games and the media goes nuts. Playoffs, wild card, 9-7, are just some of the headlines that are being tossed around. How about a blast of reality though. Junior Bryant, the most versatile defensive lineman on the 49ers went down with an injury two weeks ago. Hardly a peep. Junior Bryant, or JB as he is better known, an undrafted-free-agent, came aboard the 49ers in 1995. Since then, he has made his presence felt finally cracking the starting line-up after Dana Stubblefield departed to the Washington Redskins in 1997. Let's take a moment now to recognize JB, as the player he was, and wish a speedy recovery.

Since joining the 49ers, JB has recorded 13 sacs, averaging 4.5 per season since he became a starter with the club. These stats are far from the best in the league, but what they don't recognize is everything that JB brings to the field. Be it playing inside at defensive tackle or outside at end, JB has something that few players in the NFL do. Passion and he is full of it. JB is not the type of player that is in it for the money. He works his tail off every down, and motivates the team. His on field efforts and versatilities help others on the team make plays. JB draws attention from offenses, and thus teammates gain the opportunity to make plays.

Perhaps even more importantly are JB's off-field accomplishments. Just this past week, JB was named the USA Weekend magazines Eighth Annual Most Caring Athlete Award. The time he spends working with charities, and as a role model for kids is reason enough to take time and recognize him.

Thus, I would like to take this time to express my best wishes for JB. I hope he gets better soon, and I hope he can get back to the game soon, but most of all, I hope that every fan out there will take a moment away from the winning propaganda, and recognize JB for character he is. Get well soon Junior, our hearts go out to you.
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