Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

WILL or SAM? Dre Greenlaw preparing for whatever the 49ers ask of him

May 20, 2020 at 11:50 AM--

Dre Greenlaw had an impressive rookie campaign for the San Francisco 49ers, showing that he can be a key contributor on defense. That doesn't mean, however, that the young linebacker has a clear picture yet of what his role will be for the upcoming season.

Greenlaw spoke with reporters on Wednesday via a video conference call and was asked what he's been told about the 49ers' plan for the starting WILL linebacker job. Will it be Kwon Alexander or himself? Will he play at the SAM linebacker spot instead?

"I haven't really been told anything," Greenlaw responded. "Just as a player, I don't really look into where I'm going to be at or expectations for coming in and playing, or anything like that. We're both going to be ready, and I know the coaches, they're going to make the right decisions.

"I'm just ready to play wherever the coaches put me at, and I know I've got to be ready to play both positions."

Greenlaw racked up 92 tackles, a sack, an interception, and two passes defensed through 16 games last season. His tackle total was second on defense, behind only Fred Warner.

Greenlaw feels more prepared entering his second NFL season. He is certainly more comfortable with the defensive scheme the 49ers employ. That took some time as the linebacker worked through his rookie season.

"More in the playoffs is when I really felt like I had knowledge of the scheme," Greenlaw shared. "Green Bay and Minnesota, those last couple of games of the playoffs, I felt really good about it. Versus the Seahawks the last game. ... I'd say towards the end of the season, I really felt a lot more confident and felt like I can kind of really play how I want to play because I'm able to understand the defense a lot better."

Greenlaw isn't too concerned with the expectations others have of him. Instead, he's learned to focus on his own expectations while having a little fun in the process.

"As long as I go out there, and I'm flying around, and I'm having fun, I know I'm going to be able to make plays, and be able to have fun with my teammates, and celebrate with them," Greenlaw added. "... I'm just ready to go play, and have fun, and enjoy the moment. And whatever else comes with it, then it comes."

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