Arik Armstead Shares Unique Perspective on Defending Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Leave it to a former basketball player to make a non-football reference when describing this week's matchup against Russell Wilson.

Arik Armstead, a one-time hooper at the University of Oregon who now plays on the defensive line for the San Francisco 49ers, compared pass-rushing against the Seattle Seahawks quarterback to his days trying to defend smaller opponents.

"It's like trying to guard a point guard, and you're a post player," the second-year pro said on Tuesday. "You've got to move your feet and stay in front of him and try to corral him. It's not just you out there, you have everyone working together."

Armstead and the 49ers will look to apply pressure this Sunday when the NFC West foes meet in Week 3 of the regular season.

San Francisco will face a hobbled quarterback, who has been playing with a high-ankle sprain. The injury has limited his mobility and play-making ability. Wilson has been sacked five times and has been hit 17 times in two games. He has one touchdown pass on the year after throwing for a career-high 34 scores last season. The Seahawks quarterback has rushed just nine times for 30 yards and has one lost fumble on the year.

Wilson's scrambling skills have been well-documented against the 49ers and many of his opponents during his five-year NFL career.

Armstead, too, knows this quite well.

"I missed three sacks on him last year," Armstead said. "I have to break down and get ready to react to his movements."

Armstead also had his opportunities to bring down Cam Newton in a Week 2 loss against the Carolina Panthers. After dealing with a shoulder injury which caused him to miss all four preseason games, Armstead's playing time has increased in each game this year. He went from 35 snaps in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 to 41 snaps against the Panthers.

Armstead said his upper-body injury hasn't caused any issues in the regular season.

"I'm out there playing," he said. "I'm out there trying to help my team win games."

The defensive lineman noted that Newton and Wilson are unique talents when it comes to improvisational skills. But body type and tendencies play a big role in how to attack each quarterback when they try to escape the pocket.

"Russell is different," Armstead explained. "He's shorter, so he has a lower center of gravity and shiftier, so you have to bend your knees if you're trying to tackle him."

This scenario is when the 6-foot-7 lineman has to lower his body to grasp the 5-foot-11 passer.

The defender's film study this week will also focus on how Wilson avoids oncoming pass-rushers. Last week against Carolina, Armstead said he failed to attack Newton's throwing shoulder, which would have turned Newton back towards the inside of the field.

"I was supposed to attack his throwing arm and make him spin back, and I wasn't able to do that," Armstead said. "You try to study those things, if it's a roll out, a spin out a step up. You try to take that into a game, but when you get on the field you've got to react and make a play."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising