SANTA CLARA — Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, Kwon Alexander and Jason Verrett are usually not the one additions designed to improve the 49ers protection this 12 months.

Meet Kris Kocurek and Joe Woods, crucial hires as place coaches for the defensive position and secondary, respectively.

Kocurek’s impassioned directions, full with F-bombs, have gotten customary affair on the apply fields, whereas Woods, previously the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator, is extra subdued but diligent in repairing a sub-par secondary.

All of which ought to poise defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for his unit’s most success in three seasons since coach Kyle Shanahan employed him.

Shanahan’s defensive assistants met with the media after Wednesday’s organized workforce actions, so let’s play 20 questions, with 10 apiece for Kocurek and Woods contained in the Levi’s Stadium auditorium:

First up is Kocurek, a 40-year-old whose ardour for line play resembles that of ex-49ers line czar Jim Tomsula. Kocurek coached the Detroit Lions line for 9 seasons earlier than doing so final 12 months with the Miami Dolphins. He succeeds Jeff Zgonina.

1. By way of your fashion, has it all the time been extraordinarily intense on the sphere and is that the way you need it to hold over with guys taking part in with their hair on hearth?

“That’s simply sort of the way in which I’ve all the time been, going again to after I first laced them up in middle-school soccer. I put my cleats on, walked out on the sphere, my coronary heart began racing, I began sweating and I simply hit it with my hair on hearth, going as quick as I can go, as laborious as I can go.

“I attempt to deliver the power on the market at apply. I don’t essentially assume the gamers all the time want it. Generally throughout the canine days, they may want it and I’ll attempt to deliver it as a lot as I can.”

GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 01: Defensive deal with DeForest Buckner #99 and defensive finish Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers react after a defensive cease throughout the second half of the NFL sport towards the Arizona Cardinals on the College of Phoenix Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Photos) Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Photos

2. What was your preliminary impression of the 49ers linemen?

“I noticed a proficient entrance, lots of versatility that can be utilized in numerous spots in keeping with completely different conditions. I noticed a troublesome group that performed bodily and laborious, it’s one of many causes that introduced me right here.”

3. What do you see with Dee Ford’s addition?

“Properly clearly his skill to hurry the quarterback on third down. His takeoff is likely one of the greatest within the sport. He’s actually fast out of his stance, can get on tackles actually quick and he’s actually beginning to come into his personal right here. Final 12 months was a giant 12 months for him, what he was in a position to do as a go rusher. His physicality on the sting as a run defender, additionally, goes underappreciated, together with lots of go rushers within the NFL. He also can play the run, too. The principle factor is his go rush. That’s the place he butters his bread.”

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Dee Ford poses for {a photograph} on the sphere at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (Randy Vazquez/Bay Space Information Group) 

4. Do you see Ford’s addition liberating up Buckner inside, and what do you wish to see Buckner enhance on this 12 months?

“First, nice rushers complement one another. When you have a number of, three or 4, go rushes get stronger, and the extra sources different groups need to allocate to cease these guys from attending to the quarterback. Second, Buck clearly had a extremely, actually good 12 months final 12 months and it’s only a matter of fine-tuning little particulars with him. Simply attempting to get somewhat bit higher. He’s not going to take enormous bounce, like a man going from his rookie 12 months to the second 12 months. Proper now it’s simply little issues with Buck, simply sharpen that axe somewhat bit extra daily, get somewhat bit sharper together with his method, possibly somewhat tighter together with his arms, somewhat decrease together with his pad stage.”

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