First things first. The correct pronunciation of the San Francisco 49ers new edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu’s last name is: ah-TAU’-choo. He met with media after signing his one year contract and we learned a few things about the former Charger.
While things didn’t really go as planned for the linebacker in Los Angeles, he explained that he did a lot of growing up in 2017 when he practiced much more than he played. He felt like he had a good thing going with defensive end Melvin Ingram in 2015, when he said the sacks started “rolling in.” Attaochu was limited in 2016 as a result of a hamstring injury. When he was healthy in 2017, Joey Bosa arrived, making him a healthy scratch and limiting him to playing only 12 games over the past two seasons.
The 49ers are still trying to define their LEO position and Attaochu says that’s exactly what he is. He defines his skill set as being able to “rush the passer and get sacks” and describes himself as “relentless with great speed off the edge.” He is excited to work with Robert Saleh and his defensive scheme who comes from the same coaching tree as Gus Bradley.
The relentlessness is going to help us a lot with what the interior guys are already doing like [DeForest] Buckner. I watched a lot of film on him. I was excited, I actually wanted him to come to San Diego when I was in my second year. I thought it would have helped me out so, now we’re together and that’s going to be exciting.
Attaochu is also familiar with Jimmy Garoppolo who also made the 49ers an attractive landing spot.
I was at the Senior Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo. At the time he wasn’t the highest rated guy at the senior bowl. I just remember the type of leadership that he presented himself with, how guys gravitated to him. His team had energy. I wanted to be on his team. Just the way the guys practiced with him and played with him was amazing. It was almost like a Drew Brees kind of feel.
Richard Sherman is also someone Attaochu has kept his eye on.
I’m excited about that. I’m excited about the leadership that he's going to bring to the locker room. I’m excited about what he’s going to teach the younger guys in the locker room. Being in Seattle I always admired the Seattle energy and the way the played on defense. That’s the way I saw myself as a player coming out of college. Most of my time in San Diego I always had my eye on the way the played as a unit. I think he’s definitely going to bring that fire into the locker room. The latent is all there - the fire and the leadership and the energy. I think that’s something that he knows first hand. Anybody can’t just walk in here and try to bring that in her but him as a player I definitely think he brings that to the Niners.
As with all other players that have joined the 49ers, the positive locker room and general good vibe that comes from the building made Santa Clara a destination for Attaochu. While their 2017 record was only 6-10, it seems like San Francisco won much more than that in the past year.