San Francisco 49ers fans have been waiting for 2.5 seasons now to see a consistent Tank Carradine unleashed on opposing quarterbacks. We've seen him in fits and starts, but there has been no consistency, and his snap count has diminished in recent weeks.
Tank came out of college as a fantastic 4-3 edge rusher. The 49ers then bulked him up and turned him into a 3-4 defensive tackle. It seemed entirely counter-productive, and he has struggled mightily to figure out his role. Last week, Tomsula talked about adjusting his role to better suit his strengths. Tomsula did not go into details, but given his skillset coming out of college, one would think that would involve more of an edge role. The 49ers run a 3-4 defense, but go into their nickel and dime packages pretty frequently. There are opportunities to potentially put Tank on the edge in the defensive end role for passing downs.
It would be kind of fitting if that happened this week. The 49ers face a Seattle Seahawks team that is struggling in pass protection. Football Outsiders ranks the Seahawks offensive line dead last in adjusted sack rate. No quarterback has been sacked more than Russell Wilson, and his 33 sacks put him on pace to easily surpass his previous career high of 44 sacks in 2013.
Last year, the 49ers went into Seattle and were beat 17-7. It was not a pretty defeat, but there was one positive to come out of it. Tank Carradine had the first two sacks of his career in that game. I'm not necessarily expecting the same thing this Sunday, but given Tomsula's comments about Tank's role, maybe we see the 49ers do more to play to his strengths.