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SANTA CLARA — If Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander certainly are coming to the 49ers protection’s rescue, their first efforts Thursday had been a hit in portray an optimistic have a look at their play-making skills.
Coach Kyle Shanahan and basic supervisor John Lynch performed their half in hyping up their protection’s additions with out overselling the 49ers’ stature in Yr Three of their rebuild.
Listed below are the highest 5 issues we discovered from the media session at Levi’s Stadium:
1. Ford’s offside historical past. Ford claimed he hasn’t wrestled the previous two months with how his offside penalty allowed the New England Patriots to rally in opposition to the Chiefs within the AFC Championship Sport.
“Look, it occurs,” Ford mentioned. “Unfortunate play. Would I take it again? After all. Anyone would. It was devastating. I gave myself two days to pout about it and I’m over it.”
Ford didn’t sound upset the Chiefs opted to half with him after designating him their franchise participant. “This can be a enterprise. They needed to do what they wanted to do,” Ford mentioned. “That’s why Andy is nice. He needed to do what’s finest for the crew. As gamers we don’t get caught in that. That is my new problem and I’m excited.”
Ford received penalized 12 occasions over the previous 4 seasons for leaping offside. Such is life as a speed-oriented edge rusher. Beside attending to the quarterback, Ford pressured seven fumbles final season and he credited that extra to his mentality than approach.
“I work three strikes and typically they’re variations of the identical transfer,” Ford mentioned. “It’s all really feel. I don’t do this (start-then-stop) transfer a ton. It’s instinctive, on the finish of the day. I’ve three essential strikes and wherever the deal with is, it’s all the time going to be instinctive.”
Shanahan then interjected: “Don’t give them any greater than that.”
2. Alexander’s ACL prognosis. Not each participant has Adrian Peterson’s 2012 fast-track timeline for a comeback from anterior cruciate ligament surgical procedure. The 49ers certain have discovered that over their failed ACL-rehab initiatives through the years. Now comes Alexander, who’s 5 months into his rehabilitation and exhibits no signal of a limp or concern.
“I’ve been grinding, working onerous, and simply pushing myself to get again,” mentioned the previous Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter. “Simply taking it day-to-day. Let all of it work out for itself, and I’ll be again quickly.”
The 49ers have a current, dismal historical past with ACL comebacks, significantly with eight draft picks since 2013. Basic supervisor John Lynch known as it a “honest query” to ask why make investments a lot in one other ACL restoration, and he famous the 49ers have overhauled their coaching and energy packages this offseason.
“These issues get higher,” Lynch mentioned of ACL accidents. “He’s placing within the work. We had a bodily that was very thorough, and our docs got here out feeling good about it.”
3. Ford’s particular function. The 49ers record Ford as a defensive finish and “he suits the Leo (go rusher) mildew completely,” basic supervisor John Lynch mentioned.
Ford racked up a career-high 13 sacks final season with the Chiefs — and 10 in 2016 — in what he known as a matchup-based assault.
“My function is to go that approach, nothing else,” Ford mentioned.
“And that approach is towards the quarterback,” Shanahan added.
Ford got here in very complimentary of defensive deal with DeForest Buckner, whose career-best 12 sacks final season have him poised to land a profitable deal coming into his fourth 12 months. “I’m in the identical boat. We’re making an attempt to stack these (career-best) years,” Ford mentioned. “He’s going to get his recognition. Everyone knows who he’s as gamers, however the world goes to know.”
In a small-world anecdote, Ford and Alexander are each from Anniston, Alabama. They’d by no means met one another till Thursday, however Ford, 24, admired watching Alexander, 27, at Auburn.
So what’s it about Anniston (inhabitants 22,666) that bred two of the NFL’s finest defenders — in addition to former 49ers cornerback Eric Davis, who neither Alexander nor Ford had heard of till requested Thursday of him? “It’s a fantastic hometown however there’s probably not something to do,” Alexander mentioned. “We’re simply hungry. We don’t have this so we’re making an attempt to get right here.”
4. Tevin Coleman’s standing
Whereas the 49ers look ahead to operating again Tevin Coleman to reach and signal his two-year contract, Alexander supplied up a scouting report from their NFC South battles when Coleman was an Atlanta Falcons twin risk.
“He’s nice, and he can catch the ball, run, and make nice cuts,” Alexander mentioned. “He’s received nice imaginative and prescient, very quick too. He’s going to be a fantastic addition to this crew.”
Coleman’s addition, Shanahan mentioned, doesn’t mirror any concern over Jerick McKinnon’s ACL comeback, and reasonably it merely enhances their corps whereas permitting McKinnon to not be rushed into motion.
“You’ve received to be affected person whatever the state of affairs,” Shanahan mentioned. “Not simply having Tevin, however all the fellows we performed with final 12 months makes us really feel that we could be affected person and be good.”
Coleman’s deal consists of solely $3.6 million this 12 months, and a $2 million assure gained’t kick in till April 1 subsequent 12 months, in accordance with NFL Community, which famous the contract has a $8.5 million base worth with the potential to max out at $10.6 million.
5. Different free-agent strikes.
With solely two interceptions final season, the 49ers protection wanted playmakers up entrance to assist their secondary, a unit that’s including former Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett whereas additionally welcoming again safeties Jimmie Ward and Antone Exum on one-year offers.
Verrett’s tenure with the Chargers was waylaid by shoulder, knee and, simply when he was able to return to type final season, he tore an Achilles in the beginning of coaching camp. “A whole lot of darkish moments coping with numerous the accidents, however I got here out the tunnel and I’m able to get issues rolling,” mentioned Verrett, who nixed visits to the Houston Texans and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs after the 49ers gained him over with a one-year, $3.6 million contract.
Verrett, if wholesome, ought to be a part of Richard Sherman because the 49ers beginning cornerbacks, thus holding sidelined the crew’s 2017 and ’18 third-round picks, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore. Added Verrett: “My physique feels good and I’m on observe with the best way my Achilles is therapeutic.”
One other free-agency addition is linebacker David Mayo, a former Carolina Panthers special-teams participant who has no issues about his January sports-hernia surgical procedure. Mayo signed a two-year deal.
“I simply sat with the coaches about the kind of protection and kind of particular groups they’re operating and I believe I’m going to suit actual effectively,” Mayo mentioned. “They’re aggressive units and in addition good.”
Whether or not the 49ers have a look at broad receiver Odell Beckham Jr. because the one commerce that received away — the New York Giants shipped him to the Cleveland Browns — Lynch kept away from rehashing their cellphone hustle, merely stating: “Free company is all the time loopy.”
And the way does Ford’s addition influence what the 49ers may do with the No. 2 total draft decide, the place they may have their decide of one of the best go rusher?
“Having Dee simply makes us a greater soccer crew, and the draft’s one thing separate,” Lynch added. “Sure, these two do work together sooner or later, however we’ll see. We’re going to go on the market and look. At No. 2, you wish to have a fantastic soccer participant. That’s what we’re searching for and we’ll see the place it finally ends up.”