Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

“I can’t be looking stupid next to them”: Samson Ebukam identifies two motivators on the 49ers roster

Jun 2, 2021 at 7:04 PM--

Kevin Givens was among the San Francisco 49ers players who defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans identified as potential breakout players for the upcoming season. The coach also praised second-year defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and feels big things are in store for the former No. 14 overall draft pick.

Defensive end Samson Ebukam is the newcomer. He's still learning his role with the 49ers but is motivated to prove his worth. Some of that motivation comes from playing alongside Kinlaw and Givens, who the defender was asked about on Wednesday.

"Based on the tape that I've been watching, what I've been seeing from them in practice, yeah, they're really getting better and better every day," Ebukam told reporters. "And it's a motivation for me because I can't be looking stupid next to them. So it's a motivation for me to work even harder because I know I was behind a little bit, but I've got to catch up and get on their level."

Added Ebukam regarding Kinlaw: "He's a monster. But I feel like he's definitely going to have an All-Pro year, the way that he's going right now because I'm seeing him, he's running all the way to the ball, and he looks in phenomenal shape."

Ebukam was also asked about Dee Ford, who has struggled to stay on the field since signing with San Francisco in 2019. The 49ers are hopeful that 2021 will be different, giving the defensive line a lot of pass-rush depth.

Ford hasn't been present for organized team activities. He was at the facility, though, rehabbing for much of the offseason, and plans to return soon.

Ford has been around enough to teach Ebukam a thing or two.

"He's definitely a vet voice in the room," Ebukam said of Ford. "I've talked to him two or three times, and I know he wants to help. He's definitely given me some pointers on how to get off the rock faster, what type of pass-rushing moves I need to be hitting on tackles that will work for my size because we're kind of the same size. He's definitely been helping out a lot."

Ebukam expects to have a role much different than the one he had in four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Things will be simplified, with the focus on using his athleticism to reach opposing quarterbacks.

"The number one thing is, with the Rams, I was kind of reading and things like that," Ebukam shared. "But over here, it's just attack, don't read. So I just have to flip a 180 real quick and just get on that. Attack, and the people behind me will clean it up."

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