49ers CB Charvarius Ward sets All-Pro goal for 2023 season

Aug 4, 2023, 7:30 AM

Charvarius Ward #7 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Seat...

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Charvarius Ward #7 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter of the game at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Signing a long-term extension with San Francisco in 2022 free agency, cornerback Charvarius Ward came to The Bay to be the team’s No.1 option in the secondary. Fast forward a year, Ward is now eyeing an even bigger individual prize this season.

Nicknamed “Mooney”, Ward spoke to the media for the first time all training camp, excited for what’s in dote for the 49ers. But on a more personal note, the Mississippi native is looking to be labeled as an elite corner by the time the calendar flips to 2024, hoping to see his name up there with the very best at the position.

“For me?” Ward said when asked about his goals for the year Thursday. “All-Pro. Yes sir.”

Coming off a career-best 87 combined tackles, Mooney is wants to be known for his coverage skills moving forward. And he believes Steve Wilks is the man to help him with that. In only a few months, Wilks & Ward have formed a formidable coach-player relationship. Th defensive coordinator is regularly seen working with Mooney individually, wanted to help him take his game to the next level.

In turn, Ward is happy with any help he can get from the “DB God”, exciting to learn from him this season.

“Coach Wilks is an OG, he’s real smart, got a lot of knowledge in the game,” Ward said about his new coach. “I like his scheme, he kinda adding his own wrinkle to things, but it’s still mainly the same defense. I feel like he got a lot of knowledge amongst the [defensive backs], I get a lot of 1-on-1 work with him. And hopefully, he’ll take me to the next level and all the other DBs as well.”

Only with the Red & Gold for a year now, Ward also credits his success to other stars on the team, like Brandon Aiyuk. The shifty wideout has been the talk of the town all training camp, dominating at every turn. That’s partial because Ward has been in & out of the lineup with a groin injury. But also because of Aiyuk’s talent, giving him his flowers on the podium Thursday.

Mooney is also inspired by his counterparts in the secondary, including CB Deommodore Lenoir.

Lenoir, a third-year player from Oregon, was thrust into a starting role last season when Emmanuel Moseley went down. Struggling at first, “DMo” has started to show the fruits of his labor on the field, apparently to everyone around him.

“DMo, he been ballin most days,” Ward stated. “He has made a lot of plays on the ball. It’s a lot of good coverage…he’s a hyena.”

Charvarius Ward is also taking on more of a leadership role in Year 2, regularly speaking with the young DBs on the roster. He has come away both impressed and encouraged by what the rookies are showing him, especially Ji’Ayir Brown.

The 49ers third-round pick in April has had a steep learning curve since joining the team. In turn, he hasn’t seen many snaps with the first team as of late.

But that could all change once the games begin, according to Ward, only showing us the surface of his potential.

“I think he’s a grown man… I think in the preseason, he’s gonna be smacking people around. He a dawg,” Charvarius Ward said about the rookie.

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