On Tuesday, rookie DE DeForest Buckner was asked if new San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has changed at all. "Not at all. Same guy. The same guy that recruited me to Oregon, who was the reason – one of the main reasons – that I went to Oregon," answered Buckner. "It's always great to have that coach that I wanted to play for three or four years ago and having him here – it's awesome."
Another Oregon defensive lineman was selected by the 49ers last year. Buckner will look to bookend a 49ers defensive line with his former Oregon Ducks teammate, Arik Armstead, and create a desperately needed pass rush in San Francisco. Last season, the 49ers defense got to opposing quarterbacks just 28 times and ranked 29th against the pass according to Football Outsiders.
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According to Buckner, defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro wants his players to learn all three positions to better adapt to in-game situation changes. Organized team activities, which prohibit contact and make pads for players unnecessary, have given Buckner an opportunity to work on fundamentals like footwork and hands.
Buckner is getting some help from his veteran teammates. He credited players like Glenn Dorsey, Quinton Dial, and Tony Jerod-Eddie for helping him out as he adapts to the speed and complexity of the NFL. "They have been helping all of us younger guys out. When we watch film, they'll lean over and tell us what we are doing wrong," said Buckner. "They've been really helping us a lot. They make it a comfortable room to be in."
According to Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group, Buckner lined up with the 49ers third-team defense during practice yesterday. The first-team unit consisted of Armstead, Mike Purcell, and Dial.
During his last two seasons with the Ducks, Buckner had 164 tackles, 30 for a loss, with 14.5 sacks. He had 232 career college tackles and 18 sacks for Oregon, per sports-reference.com.