Ian Williams is no stranger to the San Francisco 49ers. The former defensive linemen spent six years with the Niners before a career-ending ankle injury. Williams is now an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area and joined the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco to talk about the 49ers defensive line and what he’s seen from Kris Kocurek.
Williams final year happened to be the rookie season for Deforest Buckner. He believes the less is more approach will work for Buckner:
“I hope they cut down on his reps this season because it starts to show later on in a game and later on in the season. He can take some of these reps off.”
Buckner didn’t come off the field last year because the team couldn’t afford to have him off the field. Buckner played 79% of the snaps last year, which is unheard of for an interior lineman. For the 49ers, only Fred Warner played more snaps on defense in 2018.
Last year Buckner would play a few series in a row, come off the field for two snaps, and go back in without another break for a few series. That’s not fair to him. Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas can help Buckner in a big way this upcoming season. Both can play inside. If Buckner needs a blow, Armstead and Thomas should have a seamless transition to “3-tech.” Williams said Armstead and Thomas are in prime position to showcase their talents.
Williams also mentioned how Kocurek is vocal:
“He’s yelling at them so that in the moment in the game when it’s third down, fourth down, and toward the end of the game, you got his voice in the back of your head literally every rep. He’s yelling at them to, ‘Get off the ball; get off the ball,’ at the top of his lungs. I don’t know if he’s going to have a voice in 10 years, but he’s going to be a hell of a coach for these boys for the next few years.”
That’s an interesting point when referring to “his voice in the back of your head.” Check out the rest of the podcast for more insight on the 49ers defensive line and Kocurek.