Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers rookie DT Javon Kinlaw ‘trying to find his way,’ says Robert Saleh

Aug 24, 2020 at 1:20 PM--

You win some, you lose some. That pretty much describes Javon Kinlaw's first NFL training camp. The San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive tackle has big shoes to fill as he seeks to fill the massive void left by the departure of DeForest Buckner.

Kinlaw will have his good moments during practices, beating some of the offensive linemen expected to fall further down in the depth chart. Then he'll have some bad ones, like going against veteran Laken Tomlinson.

Kinlaw's massive presence on the practice field makes it easy to forget that the 310-plus-pound defensive tackle is a rookie. Unlike the 49ers' top pick from a year ago, Kinlaw is unpolished, for now relying on brute strength as he tries to bullrush blockers backward. With time and proper technique, he should make significant strides and prove to be a force against opposing offenses.

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh isn't worried. He knows his young defender will get there. That will only come with experience and in-person coaching, though. The rookie has lacked both this offseason as the coronavirus pandemic forced NFL teams to conduct their offseason programs virtually, leaving players on their own to train and work on their craft.

Kinlaw worked with defensive line trainer Cam Spence this offseason, attempting to sharpen his skills. Yes, sharpen. You know where I am going with this.

Kinlaw went through the same drill that six-time Pro Bowler, five-time first-team All-Pro, and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams utilizes, dodging hard rubber knives to improve hand-speed.

Saleh feels Kinlaw is getting his feet under him, and without a true offseason, that may take some time and patience. Physically, the defensive tackle is very gifted.

"I think he's trying to find his way," Saleh said on Sunday. "I think our offense is an S.O.B. to go against on a day in and day out basis with how fast and how physical they are. I think it is a shock to a rookie defensive lineman when they come in here, and he's going against guys like Laken Tomlinson. And he's got Trent Williams trying to reach him on the backside. He's just got all this stuff happening to him, and (Mike) McGlinchey. Just all of them.

"It's tough, but he's coming along every day. He's made a small improvement every single day, so the focus for him is just continue to get better and hit the ground running come Week 1."

More San Francisco 49ers News

Jets coach Robert Saleh shares what makes 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan so unique

By David Bonilla
Jul 20, 2021

When it came time for the New York Jets head coach to speak to his team following an early offseason practice, Robert Saleh stood there behind his players, waiting to hear what would be said. Then he remembered ... "Oh shoot, that's me," Saleh said to himself. The story is similar to San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan nearly forgetting to name team captains before his first preseason game. "Honestly, if someone hadn't asked me, I probably would have been sitting there looking out at the coin toss and wondering why no one was out there," Shanahan said on

Fred Warner on 49ers rookie Trey Lance: 'I'm very excited about his growth'

By David Bonilla
23 hrs ago

The San Francisco 49ers can see the potential talent in their first-round pick, Trey Lance. It's what led the team to trade up to select the quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick. The rookie's teammates have praised the 21-year-old, who lacks a lot of collegiate experience heading into his first NFL season. Lance started 17 games for North Dakota State but faced lesser competition than some bigger programs and has played in just one game since January of 2020. Jimmy Garoppolo is the frontrunner to be the 49ers' Week 1 starter and could hold onto the job for all of 2021, assuming he can remain healthy. However, Lance is proving to be a hard worker, evident by the several workout videos posted during the team's "time off," and could prove to be a quick

49ers LB Fred Warner says his goals remain set to the 'highest standard'

By David Bonilla
Jul 22, 2021

Fred Warner was overwhelmed by over 200 text messages and calls from friends and colleagues on Wednesday when news broke that the San Francisco 49ers were signing him to a massive five-year extension, making him the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL. The newfound riches won't change his attitude, though. Instead, Warner will continue working to earn the respect of his peers and do whatever he can to contribute to the team goal of winning a championship. "My goals and aspirations are always going to be set to the highest standard, higher than anybody else can put on me," Warner told reporters on Thursday. "And that holds true to the season, even before this contract was set and done. My (personal) goals and my goals for this team, they don't change. So that's what's exciting,

When previous 49ers first-round picks finally signed their rookie contracts

By David Bonilla
Jul 13, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers still have three unsigned draft picks. Among them is the No. 3 overall pick — quarterback Trey Lance. The others are third-round picks Trey Sermon and Ambry Thomas. With players scheduled to report to training camp in a couple of weeks, should fans be concerned that the 49ers' quarterback of the future remains unsigned? Probably not. Lance's contract terms have been predetermined thanks to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. All rookie contracts are for a length of four years, and Lance's will be worth $34.1 million with a signing bonus of $22.2 million and a 2021 salary-cap hit of $6.2 million. San Francisco will also have the option to add a fifth year to the deal down the road. What usually holds up rookie


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone