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Tank Carradine Sees Playing Time Increase

Posted Nov 20, 2014

In the past two weeks, road wins against the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, the second-year defensive tackle has recorded all three of his career tackles.

Tank Carradine has been on the San Francisco 49ers active gameday roster three times this season.

In the past two weeks, road wins against the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, the second-year defensive tackle has recorded all three of his career tackles.

Carradine, the 40th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has progressed as a member of San Francisco’s defensive line. Following the release of veteran defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs, coupled with a season-ending injury to nose tackle Ian Williams, Carradine has now found himself as one of the team’s six active defensive linemen on gameday.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound lineman earned praise following his two-tackle outing against the Giants, a performance that saw him take the field for a career-high 12 defensive snaps.

“Tank Carradine got in and made a real good play,” Jim Harbaugh said on Monday.

The comments were made nearly two months after the 49ers head coach told Bay Area reporters that Carradine was coming along and that San Francisco’s coaching staff was “excited about his development and his future.”

Carradine described the second-down play that Harbaugh highlighted.

“I took on a double (-team block),” the defensive lineman said. “I posted, came off the block and made the tackle.”

Carradine stopped Giants running back Rashad Jennings for a 2-yard gain in the fourth quarter.

It might not seem like much in a box score, but for Carradine’s, it was a good sign of his progress. It also demonstrated how San Francisco utilized Carradine in the fourth quarter of a 16-10 game.

Despite his lack of consistent playing time, Carradine hasn’t been bitter about his role. He simply continued to work while being inactive seven times this season, including a six-game streak between Weeks 3 through 9.

Carradine, a former first-team All-ACC performer at Florida State, knew this season would be another learning experience. Carradine did not play in 2013. It was a year after he tore the ACL in his right knee against the University of Florida in late November. Carradine was allowed to practice for three weeks, but he was ultimately kept off of the active roster.

This year is a different story. He’s nearly two years removed from his major injury.

Carradine is practicing what he’s learning from 49ers veterans like Justin Smith and Ray McDonald.

“I’m still growing,” Carradine said. “I’m still learning. I’m still watching Justin and Ray.”

With nose tackle Glenn Dorsey (biceps, forearm) still not guaranteed to play this week against Washington, Carradine will likely find himself in San Francisco’s defensive line rotation.

Every repetition counts for a young player like Carradine.

“I have to continue getting comfortable in the system,” he said. “The more I get comfortable, the more I’m able to get out there and get experience, and the better it’s going to be for me helping the team by making plays.”

Carradine is taking a one-day-at-a-time approach to his craft. He also noted it’s been an enjoyable process this season, one that’ll make him better in future years.

“It’ll be even better next year after playing in the system for a year,” Carradine said. “I’ll be able to move all over (the defensive) line and things like that.

“For now, it’s about me getting better every day.”

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