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Tony Jerod-Eddie Becomes ‘Trusted Agent’

Posted Oct 16, 2013

Tony Jerod-Eddie has stepped up to provide depth on the 49ers defensive line.

Tony Jerod-Eddie wasn’t drafted, but that hasn’t held him back in flourishing with the 49ers defense.

Jerod-Eddie signed as undrafted free agent with the 49ers in 2012 and has never dwelled on how he entered the league. San Francisco’s second-year defensive lineman has embraced the challenge of earning a significant role on a talented defense.

Even if he was undrafted, the 49ers have developed Jerod-Eddie into a key contributor on the defensive line. In five games this season, Jerod-Eddie has 14 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.

“It’s not something I really look at,” the 6-foot-5, 301-pound defensive lineman said of being undrafted out of Texas A&M. “Regardless if I was drafted in the first round or not drafted at all, I still have to go out and produce and progressively get better.”

Jerod-Eddie continues to improve and will be counted on this week against the Tennessee Titans. With starting nose tackle Glenn Dorsey nursing a hamstring injury, Jerod-Eddie is in line to start if Dorsey is unable to play.

“I’m going to prepare like I’m going to play, like I’m going to start and we’ll see what happens,” Jerod-Eddie said.

The second-year lineman has been focusing on fine-tuning his techniques at the nose tackle position ever since Ian Williams was placed on Injured Reserve after a Week 2 loss in Seattle. Jerod-Eddie played nose tackle at times in his rookie season and had a few snaps when he was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster before Week 17.

When Dorsey was injured in last week’s win over Arizona, Jerod-Eddie saw his most extensive playing time of his brief NFL career, but didn’t feel the pressure of anchoring San Francisco’s defense.

“I was just out there playing football,” Jerod-Eddie said.

The key to playing nose tackle for a 6-foot-5 player is staying lower to the ground for longer periods of time, Jerod-Eddie said. The double-team blocks are similar to the ones a five-technique, defensive tackle would face.

Thanks to the teachings of his respected position coach, Jim Tomsula, Jerod-Eddie has worked hard to play lower to the ground. It’s helping him become a key contributor on the 49ers defense, or a “Trusted Agent,” as Jim Harbaugh likes to say.

“I’ve come a long way,” Jerod-Eddie said. “I knew that would be the case because I was surrounded by so many great defensive linemen, some of the best dudes at their respective positions, Justin Smith and Ray McDonald.

“I just try to be a sponge and soak up as much as I can from those guys.”

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