4 Player Updates on 49ers Defensive Linemen

View the top images from Friday as the 49ers took the field for the sixth day of organized team activities.

The San Francisco 49ers defensive line will have a new look in Robert Saleh's 4-3 defense. Last week's media availability provided some insight into how players are acclimating to the new scheme.

Here are four updates from Saleh and defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina.1. DL Arik Armstead

The team's 2015 first-round pick is still getting back to football strength after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury. Armstead has 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble through two seasons (24 games played).

According to his coach, Armstead continues to make progress.

"He's learning, and every day he gets better which is encouraging," Zgonina said. "He's feeling more comfortable after he missed some time last year. The more he gets back into football shape and gets a better feel, I think he'll be ok."**

View the top images from Wednesday as the 49ers took the field for the fifth day of organized team activities.

  1. DL Chris Jones**

Zgonina was on Houston's coaching staff when the Texans drafted Jones in 2013. Jones made a positive impression on Zgonina despite not winning a roster spot.

"He's a hard working dude," the coach said. "He's a high-energy guy. He gives you everything he has on every play, and that's all I could ask for.

"He's one of the guys who stood out for me. I like guys who run to the ball, and he runs to the ball. He's not the most gifted person, but he gives you everything he has."

Saleh also had huge praise for Jones last week. Jones was a pleasant surprise in 2016 when he joined the team late in the year and quickly earned a starting job. He recorded 17 tackles in six games.

Jones was one of the few free agents from the 2016 roster to be brought back this season.

"You can never have enough Chris Jones' on your roster – guys who just stand for all the right things, work their tail off and who are actually effective at playing football," Saleh said. "That was a very easy decision (to re-sign) Chris."3. NT Earl Mitchell

Mitchell and Zgonina worked together in Houston in 2013. The defensive lineman then went to the Miami Dolphins for the past three seasons before becoming a free agent this winter. Zgonina immediately started petitioning GM John Lynch when the Dolphins let Mitchell go.

"I stood on the table for him though when Miami released him," the coach said. "I know what he is, and I know what he brings to a team."

Mitchell has been in the league since 2010. In his seven seasons, he's racked up 206 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. His production and veteran leadership will prove invaluable for his counterparts on the defensive line.

"Earl doesn't say much," Zgonina said. "He's kind of a quiet guy. He just goes to work and gives you his all. He's a smart player and helps the young guys out. I'm happy as heck for Earl and to have him here."4. DL Solomon Thomas

Thomas has been absent from OTAs due to NFL rules that force him to wait until Stanford finishes finals. Zgonina remains in touch with the first-round pick to check in and go over notes from practice. Thomas has trained with future Hall of Fame pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware in the meantime.

"I'm not worried about him," Zgonina said. "I'm sure he'll be fine when he gets in here."

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