The San Francisco 49ers introduced two of its additions during a press conference Thursday afternoon. Both Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford were present to field questions, as were General Manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Since he was acquired in a trade on Tuesday many have wondered what position Ford would play in the 49ers system. Ford played a lot of linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs as they utilized the 3-4 defensive scheme. Ford was the wide 9-technique speed pass rusher for them which meant standing up as a linebacker but having a role similar to that of a defensive end.

It was a role that served him well. He had 13 sacks last season and Shanahan said Ford really stands out when you watch film of him rushing from the outside.

"You can turn on the tape and he scares you as a coach because you can see how fast he gets off the ball," Shanahan said during the introductory press conference.

The 49ers plan to utilize Ford in a similar manner but not necessarily as a linebacker. The team designated him as a defensive end when he was acquired and Lynch confirmed that will be his position.

"That's what we see him as," Lynch said simply when asked if Ford was a defensive end.

In the 49ers scheme that would make him the LEO defensive end. While Ford could play that position for the 49ers, Shanahan indicated the team may make some changes to accommodate Ford's ability too.

"A 3-4 linebacker, as he played in his old scheme is a 9-technique," Shanahan said. "I see us using it a bit more this year."

The 49ers may become even more of a hybrid next season but the 4-3 scheme will still be the technical base defense. None of that will change what Ford will be asked to do though. No matter what scheme the 49ers utilize Ford said the coaches have told him he has one task.

"My role is to go that way," he said, insinuating getting to the quarterback. "Nothing else. Very simple."
  • Levin T. Black
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    A graduate of Ball State University in 2009, Levin was a full-time sports journalist for a few years until he transitioned into a more lucrative career. He began writing for Webzone in 2018 in order to scratch his journalist itch.

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