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How do San Francisco 49ers defensive ends Arik Armstead and rookie DeForest Buckner look to head coach Chip Kelly? He spoke on the topic prior to the team's practice on Wednesday.
"They've done a really nice job, but it's very difficult to evaluate either lines because we don't have pads on," said Kelly. "There has to be a collaboration between them, because it doesn't help if they are throwing guys into other people. Now there's a pile up or guys are on the ground. We want to stay up."
Kelly continued by saying, "[This part of the offseason is] really assignment alignment. Are they in the right spots? Are they doing the right things?"
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Armstead and Buckner look to be the team's future bookends along the defensive line. Both were drafted out of Oregon, which was Kelly's last college job as a head coach, in consecutive years. The 49ers could use a lift in the pass rush department. Last year, the team managed just 28 sacks ranking 29th in the league.
"I think both DeForest and Arik have done a really nice job. They are obviously very comfortable with [defensive line coach] Jerry [Azzinaro]. Azz has coached them, so they have an understanding of how he works and what he's trying to do. Anything that we have here that was different than when they were in Oregon, and there's a lot, because we've got a lot of other pieces to it, Azz can bridge that gap."
The 49ers close out their mandatory three-day minicamp on Thursday. It will be the final gathering of the players until training camp kicks off in July.