Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Juszczyk discusses ‘slept on’ offseason addition, Tevin Coleman, Jimmy Garoppolo’s confidence, 49ers linebackers

Aug 15, 2019 at 12:30 PM--

San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk joined KNBR on Tuesday and discussed his love for head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, how the game has changed since he started his NFL career in 2013, and the shrinking fraternity of fullbacks in the league.

Juszczyk also discussed some of his teammates and the expectations heading into a new season. The fullback feels one of the most overlooked but most significant offseason additions might be Tevin Coleman, who joined an already crowded running backs room.

Coleman has received a significant workload since joining the 49ers. He got most of the reps during the team's offseason program as Matt Breida recovered from a pectoral injury, Raheem Mostert had a setback from last year's surgery to repair his broken forearm, and Jerick McKinnon continued his rehab from a torn ACL.

Coleman is expected to be the 49ers' Week 1 starter but will likely share a significant amount of snaps with Breida and, once healthy, McKinnon.

"Tevin has been phenomenal," Juszczyk said. "I think it's a pick up that's almost been slept on or forgotten about because we've had so much talent in the running back room. I don't think people realize what a huge addition Tevin's going to be.

"He just has this knack for finishing in the end zone. Every time we watch a clip of Atlanta, you see these safeties think they have a good angle, and all of a sudden, they're chasing Tevin, he's in the end zone. And I think that's where he's going to make a difference for us.

"I think he's a home-run hitter. I think he brings consistency to the room, and that knowledge of the offense, I think, is huge."

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, like McKinnon, is returning from a torn ACL. He is expected to be the team's Week 1 starter and will get his first in-game snaps since last year's injury on Monday night against the Denver Broncos. Although, it is safe to assume that Garoppolo won't receive significant playing time as the 49ers continue to be cautious with their returning franchise quarterback.

Juszczyk was asked if he sees a difference in Garoppolo from last year.

"Definitely a confidence booster," the fullback responded. "He's just more familiar. That's what happens when you're in the offense longer. I think he's making decisions quicker. He's leading the guys. And I think he's done phenomenal this camp, and I'm really excited to see him in a game setting."

Then you have the 49ers linebackers, which have recently undergone a transition from last offseason. Gone is troubled linebacker Reuben Foster, who was replaced with free-agent addition Kwon Alexander. While Alexander is also returning from an ACL injury, he has participated in training camp and is expected to be ready for Week 1 when San Francisco faces his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rookie Dre Greenlaw also joins a group that already includes second-year linebacker Fred Warner and veteran Malcolm Smith.

"Those guys bring it," Juszczyk said. "They come downhill, same foot, same shoulder, they bring the heat. It's been really impressive, that entire group. I think it starts at the top with Fred, Malcolm, and Kwon. I think they've kind of set a standard. They're out there with energy every day, and these rookies have just kind of picked up on it.

"It's been impressive to see them fly around. There's not a lot of hesitation in their games. I'm excited for all of them. I think they're all going to have good NFL careers."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Juszczyk below.

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