San Francisco 49ers DE DeForest Buckner joined the Damon Bruce Show on 95.7 The Game tonight to discuss the team's season. Below is what Buckner had to say.
The questions have been paraphrased.
What did you do to improve during the bye week?
"It was definitely great to have the bye week this past week. A lot of guys were pretty banged up. We could rest up and kind of decompress as a whole team. Really just look at the things that we really got to fix as a whole and try to execute it this coming Sunday."
What has been the biggest challenge transitioning from college to the NFL?
"Pretty much the game speed. At first, when you get thrown in there, you got to get used to the game speed for sure. But I think I'm adjusting pretty well. At times, what I really struggle with is my pad level. I do really great when I have great pad level so I just got to get working on that."
Are there any players in the NFL that you want to emulate?
"Even before the draft and everything, Calais Campbell. We have the same body type and everything. Just watching what he does and how he tries to keep his pad level low and the way he works, I try to emulate that."
What's it like to play with college teammate Arik Armstead?
"It's awesome to play with my former teammate and my good friend. We talked about it a little bit during the offseason when I was training at EXOS and he was back there training and then talking about it like, 'Oh, it would be crazy if I got drafted by the 49ers and we get to play together again.' And it ended up happening and it was just crazy how it all came full circle."
What is one thing you really like about your play and one thing you are working on?
"I do a really good job, at times, when I do have my pad level low and everything and playing with leverage. Just stopping the run when the run comes to my side. There are times, like I said, when my pad level is too high and I'm being pretty inconsistent with that. I need to be more consistent with that. What I'm really working on is my pass rush."
Who is the first offensive lineman that you played against that made you think, "Uh oh?"
"So far, I would say, [Ronald] Leary from the Cowboys."
How long did it take for that feeling from being a top pick change to needing to get to work?
"From day one really. I didn't really think about myself as a first pick and all this stuff. I really tried to keep my head down and start working. You're not going to gain any of the veteran's respect if you come in thinking, 'Oh, I'm the number one pick. I can do this. I can do that.' You got to gain their trust and respect. Really from the start, just putting my head down and just learning from all of the veteran guys and the coaches and just going to work. That's how I really got their respect and trust."
How much do the limited reps hurt your development?
"Practice, yeah. As a rookie, especially like you're saying, you definitely want to use those reps to develop and get better every day. With limited reps, you just really got to – even if you're not in – you still got to pay attention. Look at the blocking schemes and how those guys are blocking whoever is in there and really just – you got to stay dialed in."
You have been in a Chip Kelly system for a long time. Are you a believer in a Kelly offense even when it isn't clicking?
"Since my days at Oregon, everybody trusts in Chip's system, believes in the system. It works. I'm a believer in the system. If you get all 11 guys on the offense believing in that system, we're going to get a lot of yards and score a lot of touchdowns. It's a work in progress. It's a new system for a lot of the guys so they're still getting used to it. I'm sticking by Chip."
What's it like going from a loud college stadium to a quiet Levi's Stadium?
"Even in Autzen [Stadium], when it got really loud, for me personally, after my first couple of plays, I forget that I'm playing in front of an audience. It kind of tunes out for me. It's the same old thing. As long as I'm on the field, I'm happy I'm on the field. The crowd and everything – how loud it is, how quiet it is, it doesn't really affect me."
You guys cannot allow another 100-yard rusher this week. You know that, right?
"Oh yeah, definately know that."
You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.