placeholder image

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers DT Solomon Thomas deserves praise for camp performance, Kyle Shanahan says

Aug 28, 2020 at 1:49 PM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
If his training camp performances are any indication, perhaps this could finally be the year defensive lineman Solomon Thomas breaks through and puts together the type of performance the 49ers have been waiting for since making him the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Thomas enters the season with 93 career tackles and six sacks, which aren't the type of numbers one would expect from a top-three pick. Thomas has seen time at defensive end and on the inside throughout his first three NFL seasons, producing mixed results in particular when placed on the outside. But this year, the 49ers seem completely focused on playing Thomas on the interior, which would put him in a more natural position for his skillset. Thomas's camp showing suggests he could be in for the best season of his 49ers career, and after adding two sacks against the first-team offense on Friday (per Matt Maiocco/NBC Sports Bay Area), he earned praise from head coach Kyle Shanahan, who says the improvement his former first-round pick has made this summer has been quite noticeable.

"Definitely. Solly, he got more reps inside last year," said Shanahan. "He's getting all reps inside this year except when we have emergencies and he's just got to fill in to help guys get through practice. And he had a heck of an offseason, put on some real good weight and it showed in the run and pass game throughout this whole camp. What people have been saying about him's true. I'm real happy for him because he's earning it and deserves it."

The 49ers have known for some time that Thomas may be best suited for play on the inside, but injuries to other linemen have continued to push him into occasional action at defensive end. The hope is there won't be a need to do that this season, given the depth the team currently has at the position.

"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,'" 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said after an August 23 practice. "But, with what we have now with being able to bring Kerry Hyder Jr., we have Ronnie [DE Ronald Blair] coming back from PUP, you've got Dee Ford, you've got [Nick] Bosa, you have Arik [Armstead] who can play outside, too. 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."

Staying on the inside would suit Thomas just fine, especially considering he's in the final year of his rookie contract. Sticking at defensive tackle would give him the best opportunity to maximize his impact on the defense, while also putting him in a position to solidify his future beyond the 2020 season.

"This year is huge for me," Thomas said on August 22. "Obviously, it's a contract year, but that's not what's important to you. That's not what is in the back of my mind. I take it as a year to come into myself. I'm back in the interior, where I played in college, where I got drafted for in college. So, I'm back in the spot where I can go wreak havoc, where I can go play."


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

Florio offers high praise for 49ers' Kyle Shanahan, responds to being labeled a 'hater'

By David Bonilla
Sep 27

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio often has to deal with accusations from fans of being a San Francisco 49ers or Kyle Shanahan "hater." However, the writer didn't sound like a hater when asked a simple question during a radio interview on Wednesday morning. If Florio were starting a team from scratch, how many head coaches would he take before Kyle Shanahan? "[Dolphins head coach] Mike McDaniel," Florio responded on 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" show. "That's it." One coach. Why does Florio regard McDaniel and Shanahan so highly? RELATED: Florio explains 'Turdy' comment, why Purdy could earn MVP

placeholder image

49ers' Kyle Shanahan, Fred Warner praise Deion Sanders for start at Colorado

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 20

The San Francisco 49ers have been a frontline story in the NFL two weeks in, starting off the season 2-0, showcasing their top units on both sides of the ball. But, they're not the only ones showing out, and the NFL isn't the only football league in the spotlight right now. Instead, you could argue that the most popular football team in the country isn't even in the NFL... That moniker goes to the University of Colorado Buffaloes and new head coach Deion Sanders, who have flourished early in Year 1 of the new regime, finding themselves within the AP Top 25 for the third consecutive week. Despite the difference in league, the 49ers are definitely paying attention to what Sanders is building at Colorado, so much so that the entire team was

placeholder image

49ers vs. Giants: Brandon Aiyuk, Ambry Thomas will be limited at practice

By David Bonilla
Sep 19

The San Francisco 49ers are holding two walkthroughs today, lighter work than a typical practice. The team did not practice on Monday, a day off for players, but estimated that wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk would not have participated had there been any on-field work. Aiyuk and cornerback Ambry Thomas will be limited in today's sessions. The team is preparing for Thursday night's game against the New York Giants at Levi's Stadium. On Sunday, Aiyuk was in and out of the lineup against the Los Angeles Rams. He suffered a shoulder injury on his first catch, a 13-yard reception during the 49ers' opening drive. Aiyuk finished the game with three catches for 43 yards on six targets. The coach added that the receiver's status for Thursday will depend on the

placeholder image

49ers vs. Giants Injury Report: Brandon Aiyuk, Ambry Thomas limited in light Tuesday practices

By David Bonilla
Sep 19

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for their Week 3 contest against the New York Giants on Thursday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The team did not hold a full practice, instead opting to have players participate in two walkthroughs due to the short week. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is still dealing with the shoulder injury sustained on his first catch against the Los Angeles Rams this past weekend. Cornerback Ambry Thomas is working through a knee injury. Both players were listed as limited participants on Tuesday. Will the receiver be a game-time decision? What does the 49ers head coach need to know before deciding whether Aiyuk plays against the Giants? "Just that the trainers and him himself tell me he can go," Kyle


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone