Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



On Friday morning, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined the "Murph & Mac" show on KNBR and shared his thoughts on second-year defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who is having an outstanding season. While Buckner finally got the quarterback for the first time on Sunday when he brought down Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter, he leads all interior defensive lineman in pressures with 23, according to Pro Football Focus.

Not only that, but prior to Thursday night's game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buckner had more quarterback pressures than every edge defender in the league except for one – Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who has 30. Despite only having one full year of experience under his belt, Buckner is becoming a leader on the 49ers defense.

"The guy works every day," Shanahan said of Buckner. "To me, leading starts with that. You know -- how consistent are you going to be? What do you bring to the table every day? Not just on Sunday but in the building each day we see him. I believe that's why he gets better. We all know he's very talented but going against him each day at practice, he's a load to handle. He goes hard every single play. He's really into it both mentally and physically. I know the game's important to him and performing at a high level is important to him and he's a guy we've been able to count on week in, week out, so far."

You can listen to the entire 13-minute interview with Shanahan below.


49ers general manager John Lynch shared his opinion of Buckner on Thursday night, also on KNBR.

"We do have some players playing incredibly well and incredibly hard up there led by DeForest Buckner," Lynch said. "He's been really playing at a high level and I think he's on the verge. I've played with guys that have played at Hall of Fame levels – Warren Sapp comes to mind – that were just dominant. DeFo's played really well. I think he can be dominant and I'm looking forward to him getting even better."