The San Francisco 49ers play the Denver Broncos in their third preseason game today, but I did have one more thing to talk about from their game against the Dallas Cowboys. I've been making a lot of gifs in preparation for the season, and I've already taken a longer look at Marcus Rush, Corey Lemonier and Eli Harold but I did also make quite a few of first-round pick Arik Armstead.
Of course, Fooch was to write that post but he's, as I said previously, very lazy and now I've been forced to write it. I thought Armstead looked a lot better in this game than he did in his first, and doesn't look quite as raw as expected. His playing time is also fairly varied, as he was getting time on the line in the first quarter and also in the fourth quarter.
I like the pressure the 49ers brought on this play in general, as Eric Mangini dialed up a double safety blitz. One of my favorite plays to run in Madden, a totally 100 percent realistic simulation of real football. But the Dallas quarterback does get the ball away and that's unfortunate, but Armstead manages to get a hand up and just bats it down. Might be hard to see in the gif, but Armstead gets his left arm up to bat the pass down and ensure they were unable to take advantage of the fact that both safeties were in the backfield.
Here's Armstead getting a bunch of pressure on the quarterback and forcing him to make a bad pass. That's a bad pass that absolutely should have been intercepted but the 49ers couldn't agree on which player should have had the interception, so the ball fell incomplete. That was pretty dumb, and one of the most infuriating things to see happen on the field, but let's just look at Armstead. It is most definitely his pressure that forces the quarterback out of the pocket and he definitely looked good doing it.
Here's the Mike Purcell touchdown, which was awesome, but it's Armstead who gets the pressure on the play to force the interception. Armstead sheds his man and the running back is already occupied by that point, and he gets the pressure. Then, he secures a block on a guy who was certainly catching up to Purcell who isn't the speediest of the bunch. Good play!
I actually really liked this play at, it's just a shame that Shayne Skov was held and taken to the ground in such a way, because it really should have been stopped for a very short gain. Looking at it more closely though, a lot of things went wrong for the 49ers. Skov may have over-committed on the play, and while I thought Armstead had great burst off the line, he was immediately pushed directly in his back by an offensive lineman and he really had no chance on the play.
Here's his tackle, primarily for completion's sake. It was one of those tackles where the running back goes right past him if he doesn't disengage from his block at the exact right moment. But Armstead does, and he secures the tackle without allowing the first down. I like it when a defensive linemen can both get off a block and make a tackle in the same motion and Armstead did it perfectly here.
Overall, it was a solid game from him. He's quick off the line, which is important, but I did see more than one occasion where he was getting pushed in the back by offensive linemen as he failed to assert himself on directional running plays. He's got a lot of work to do but I do think he looks more complete than initially suggested.