Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh provided a number of interesting roster updates on Monday during his first press conference since joining the San Francisco 49ers. As the team opened its offseason program, Saleh shed some light on where a few players could be lining up in 2017.
Here are the five most notable personnel updates.
1. Looking for a “LEO”
“He is your premier pass-rusher,” Saleh explained. “We do everything we can to get him to the open side (the side without a tight end). His hair is on fire, just get after the quarterback.”
So, what options does Saleh currently have at his disposal?
Lynch has 14 sacks through his first three seasons.
“We’re going to try to keep his hand in the ground at all times,” Saleh said. “A couple years ago, when he came out of the draft, we were looking at him as a possible LEO. So, he has all the traits that you would like. Now it’s a matter of us trying to work with him to best utilize what he’s, in my mind, designed to do and that’s get after the passer.”
3. Former First Rounders
“When you look at Armstead and Buckner, they are very, very unique in the sense that they can play up and down the line however you need them to work,” Saleh said. “We’ll find what’s best for them. There is no limitation to what they are capable of. It’s just us trying to piece together the right combination and right position for each of them so they can best be utilized.”
4. Safety Valve
That experience will serve him well in 2017. Saleh confirmed that Reid will spend most of his time playing down in the box pre-snap. If we’re playing the comparison game, Kam Chancellor has a similar role in Seattle.
“Yeah, Eric is going to be more of a box safety for sure,” Saleh said.
5. To Be Determined
The one big question mark remains where
But now with Tramaine Brock off of the roster, it’s still unknown where Ward will be needed most.
“We’re going to see how everyone moves,” Saleh said. “Like I said, we haven’t been able to go on the field with them and once we start getting a chance to get out there, we’re going to see what everyone is capable of doing. And, Jimmie is a very, very versatile athlete. He can play corner, he can play safety and whatever is best for the organization is exactly what we’re going to do with Jimmie.”