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LB De'Vondre Campbell is 'Gravitating' to the 49ers System

The San Francisco 49ers zeroed in on defensive needs in free agency, placing a special emphasis on the defensive line early and then adding at linebacker and to the secondary. One of the more notable signings of the free agency period was former 2021 All-Pro linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, who comes to The Bay via the Green Bay Packers.

Adding depth at the linebacker position was necessary following a season-ending Achilles injury to veteran Dre Greenlaw in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVIII and became even more critical after the departure of Oren Burks to the Philadelphia Eagles in March.

Campbell joins a corps headed up by All-Pro Fred Warner and includes Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Curtis Robinson, Ezekiel Turner, second-years Jalen Graham and Dee Winters and rookie Tatum Bethune.

The veteran linebacker's stint with San Francisco is just starting but both sides are offering rave reviews.

"He's been awesome. I've been watching him play for a long time, from when he was a rookie in 2016 in Atlanta," linebackers coach Johnny Holland said. "It's his ninth year in the league now, and he's gravitating to our system. He has such good awareness and courage (as well as) his ability to still run and play. We're excited about having him, and he will fit well in our system."

"I can't even lie I'm having so much fun playing football again," Campbell wrote on X. "...I love that for myself. Thank you God."

While Campbell's best statistical year came in 2021, he's been productive and available for a large portion of his last two seasons in Green Bay. In 2023, Campbell started in 11 games for the Packers and registered 75 tackles, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery as well as two postseason games (one start) where he added 16 tackles, 1.0 sack and two passes defensed.

The fun that Campbell is experiencing with the 49ers is one component of the organization's culture that Holland also highlighted.

"We try to build culture here that we have fun playing the game," Holland said. "We're detailed in what we do, and we try not to let players play in gray areas and give them exactly what they are supposed to do. As a player, that's what you want, where you can capitalize on your ability and be the best you can be.

"We're seeing that in him, that he's flourishing in his ability. He's long and tall and fits in well with what we do."

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