If you were to ask San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch or head coach Kyle Shanahan the foundation of their defense, it's likely both would single out the defensive line. Each level of the defensive unit plays an important role, but it all starts with a dominant pass rush literally putting the pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That's why it's no surprise one of the top priorities of the 49ers brass this offseason was to further bolster the defensive front, and they delivered on that, signing free agent defensive linemen Javon Hargrave from the Philadelphia Eagles and Clelin Ferrell from the Las Vegas Raiders.
The duo will join AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Kevin Givens and Drake Jackson in the trenches for the 2023 season. Along with being physical players up front, Hargrave and Ferrell possess another thing that should help them fit right in with the crew - both have noteworthy sack celebrations to share with the Faithful.
Here are four sack celebrations to look out for next season courtesy of the San Francisco's D-line:
Armstead: Belly Rub
This is a celebration the Faithful know all too well thanks to Armstead's ability to wreck opposing offensive lines. The veteran defensive lineman rubs his belly each time he notches a sack. A lingering foot injury limited Armstead's playing time in 2022, but keep an eye out for him and the belly rub next season. Armstead has come up big in the sack count over the course of the last four seasons, and he feasted in 2019, racking up 10.0 total sacks.
Bosa: Shoulder Shrug
The Bosa shoulder shrug is a celebration that is shared amongst brothers. Per the SF Chronicle, Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa started this sack celebration during his Ohio State football days, making its debut in 2014 during a Cincinnati versus Ohio State game. Nick Bosa adopted it during his sophomore season with the Buckeyes, and it's become a fan favorite.
Ferrell: Fishing Pole
Ferrell shared that he actually has two sack celebrations, but the most popular has to do with fishing and is a shoutout to childhood pastime.
"I grew up fishing, ever since I was a little kid," Ferrell said. "Brian Robinson, who was a defensive lineman for the (Minnesota) Vikings, I remember as a little kid I watched him. He had the long, flowy hair. He had some lettuce and a blacked out visor. The first time I saw him get a sack, he took out the fishing rod out, threw it and reeled it in, picked it up... I'm not going to lie, I stole that from him and added my own little twist to it."
Hargrave: Kick Down the Door
"I draw the door up and then I kick it down," Hargrave said. "Everybody started getting involved, so every time I draw the door, everybody comes in and runs in to kick it down."
The defensive lineman says the origin of his sack celly comes from a former teammate and has been refreshed over the years. As Hargrave mentioned, it's not a celebration that he typically does alone. There's tons of footage from his time with the Eagles of this celebration being carried out with one or two additional teammates kicking down the door with Hargrave following a quarterback takedown. During the 2022 regular season, Hargrave got to put this one on display 11 times.