The San Francisco 49ers will have the same coaching staff in two consecutive years for the first time since 2013 and 2014. Arik Armstead is very appreciate of that fact. The front office showed their appreciation for Armstead by picking up his fifth year option during the offseason. During OTA availability to the media Armstead discussed his new role, his new weight and how nice it is to feel wanted.
Armstead’s time with the team has not been without challenges. He has been injured the past two seasons but he remarked that part of football is being injured. He added that those things are out of his control, he knows what he’s capable of and is looking forward to playing through the entire season.
If you’re watching the video thinking that Armstead is looking a little different, it’s partially because of his shorter haircut but also because he’s put on a few pounds. He is currently about 290 pounds where as last season he flunctuated between 275 and 280. This season his job description has changed to the “big end” role which likely suits him better than the “leo” position where he was lined up last year. Armstead explained the big end spot is on the strong side and faces more double teams so he felt the need to be stronger, and hence a little bigger.
While the defense got much better against the run under Robert Saleh, they did not get much pressure on the quarterback. This off season they brought in “pass rush specialist” coach Chris Kiffin who along with Jeff Zgonina has the goal of getting the group to “rush as a unit.” Armstead explains that includes learning what each person is going to do on the line and working better together.
Rushing together, learning each other. Certain guys like to do certain moves and the more your rush together the more you get a feel for the guy you rush next to.
When asked about his future with the team being solidified for his fifth year he smiled and said that it feels good to be wanted and feel like the team has faith in him. He went further by explaining how he loves being a Niners especially growing up in Northern California. Funniest part about his extension? He found out like we all did: on the internet.
On what DeForest Buckner could achieve:
He’s been an awesome player since I’ve known him, He’s consistent and does his job and makes plays
On how Mike McGlinchey looks so far:
He’s going to be good. Going against him has been good. He’s Talented.
On Solomon Thomas coming into his own:
Rookies are taught not to have a personality. Solly has been awesome. It’s been fun growing together on and off field.