BLACK FRIDAY SALE: 30% off at the official 49ers online store with code 30YARDS →
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Saleh: 49ers ‘at all costs’ trying to keep Solomon Thomas along the interior this season

Aug 24, 2020 at 8:00 AM--

Solomon Thomas is more comfortable playing along the interior of the defensive line, and that's where the San Francisco 49ers hope to keep him this season.

"I prefer playing inside, so I like it," Thomas told reporters on Saturday. "I like playing nose. I like playing 3-tech."

If that's where Thomas is more comfortable and more productive, why isn't he there exclusively?

"For Solly, drafting him when we first got here ... you're trying to get your best players on the football field in any capacity possible," defensive coordinator Robert Saleh explained on Sunday. "So, you have [DeForest Buckner] on the inside, you had Arik (Armstead) moved outside, but got some inside work. You had Earl Mitchell early, so you had inside guys.

"But, just trying to get Solly on the football field, on the outside, was the best place that we could put him in terms of maximizing the men we had in that room. Year two, same thing. Just the evolution and the process of trying to bring in the players to make all this stuff work with everything."

The 49ers tried to make more of an effort to keep Thomas inside as much as possible last season, but injuries changed those plans.

"Then last year, coach (Kyle Shanahan) and (general manager) John (Lynch), just a phenomenal job," Saleh continued. "We get Dee Ford, we get Bosa, and we have a chance to play Solly inside more. So, in the first half of the year, he played a lot on the inside, but then injuries happen. Ronnie Blair III goes down. ... We lose a few more players and so Solly's one of our best players.

"We've got to get him on the football field somehow, and the best spot is outside. So, it's been our intent to try to keep him inside as much as possible, but he's such a talented football player that sometimes it's, 'Well, shoot, we've got to get him on the field.'"

Saleh is confident the 49ers are in a better position to utilize Thomas the way they initially intended.

"With what we have now with being able to bring Kerry Hyder Jr., we have Ronnie coming back from PUP, you've got Dee Ford, you've got Bosa, you have Arik who can play outside, too," Saleh added. "We're doing everything we can to make sure that Solly stays inside at all costs.

"When he is in there, if you look at his tape from a year ago, when he's inside and solely inside, he's a very, very effective football player. Made a lot of plays for us last year inside and so our intent is to try to keep him in there because you're right. That's where he excels the most.

"Hopefully, just by the fact that we have more defensive ends to withstand injury where it takes two, three, four injuries before Solly ever has to step out there. We have a chance to keep him inside for the entire season."

Thomas has endured the criticism that often comes with being a top pick and not boasting gaudy statistics in the years that follow.

"I feel like that will always be on my shoulders, with the label of being the third pick, but I have mentally learned to put that behind me," Thomas said. "That's not what I'm playing for. I'm playing to be the best me, no matter what."

More San Francisco 49ers News

Robert Saleh talks Thanksgiving, Javon Kinlaw, Tarvarius Moore, Jimmie Ward, Marcell Harris ahead of 49ers-Rams

By Site Staff
Nov 25, 2020

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh spoke with reporters before practice on Wednesday, as the team prepares for its game against the Los Angeles Rams. Here is everything he had to say. Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff. CB Jamar Taylor seemed to have a really good game against the Rams the last time you played them. I think Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp finished with 11 receiving yards. What did he, what did you guys as a whole do well in that game to sort of limit that Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff-Kupp connection? "You know, I thought our guys did a really nice job executing, playing within themselves, playing within the scheme and did a really nice job studying and

Read the Full Article

Kyle Shanahan hopes 49ers can find a way to keep Trent Williams

By David Bonilla
Nov 17, 2020

The salary-cap strapped San Francisco 49ers will have some tough decisions to make during the upcoming offseason. The salary cap is expected to drop, and the team has several key players — including many starters — scheduled to hit free agency. One of those players is veteran offensive tackle Trent Williams, whom the 49ers traded for in April. The Green Bay Packers just made left tackle David Bakhtiari the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. He will average $23 million a season over his four-year extension. Williams is earning just over half that amount this season and is playing well. He is currently tied with Garett Bolles of the Denver Broncos as Pro Football Focus' highest-graded tackle. Kyle Shanahan is just trying to get

Read the Full Article

49ers at Saints, Week 10 predictions: Confidence in Niners at a season-low number

By Site Staff
Nov 14, 2020

The New Orleans Saints are set to host the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday, November 15, at 1:25 p.m. PT. Each week, the 49ers Webzone staff predicts the winner within its annual NFL Pick 'em contest. That includes writers and forum moderators. None of the nine participating staff members this week selected the 49ers to beat the Saints. San Francisco is currently a 9.5-point underdog. As for all the fans who are taking part in our NFL Pick 'em contest, 86 percent have the Saints winning the game, as of this

Read the Full Article


More Featured Stories

Trending News

More News
Share 49erswebzone