Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Training Camp Day 12 Breakdown: Defense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 11, 2022 at 3:45 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers had their longest practice of training camp on Wednesday, with the session lasting nearly two hours, as the team went through 11-on-11s, situational drills, and multiple move-the-ball sessions.

RELATED 49ers Training Camp Day 12 Breakdown: Offense
RELATED 49ers Training Camp Day 12 Breakdown: 11-on-11s


Defensive Line

The defensive line had a field day on Wednesday, sacking the quarterbacks on several occasions, halting the offensive flow at times, despite the lack of the 49ers' top two cornerbacks in Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley.

Backup edge rusher Kemoko Turay was the standout of the day, recording five sacks on the day, while Charles Omenihu recorded two sacks, and Nick Bosa and Samson Ebukam recorded a sack a piece.

Turay's spin move to the inside from the edge has been a lethal move all training camp, while he's also demonstrated the ability to fake inside and win off the edge in pass-rushing reps as well.

Ebukam had himself a day as well, recording a sack on Trey Lance, a pass breakup, and a tackle for loss, showcasing his multi-faceted game as a strong run-defender, but also a capable pass-rusher. He continues to start opposite Nick Bosa at the edge position.

Jordan Willis continued to be a factor in the run game, recording a tackle-for-loss, while also stopping Trey Sermon for a two-yard gain and Tyrion Davis-Price for a one-yard gain. If he makes the roster, he could be a solid player on early downs as an athletic run-defender on the edge.

Not only did Omenihu get two sacks, but the versatile pass-rusher forced Nate Sudfeld out of bounds on a bootleg for a short gain.

The depth on this defensive line, especially at the edge position has positioned this group to be amongst the top, if not the best, units in the NFL.


Fred Warner had another strong day on Wednesday, breaking up a pass that he nearly intercepted, while also filling in on several plays in the run game, stopping them for short gains.

Warner's abilities as a run-defender and in coverage make him such a special player to build around in that second unit, as he was a prominent player during training camp for the 49ers.

Overall, the linebackers continued to have a good day, as they consistently got to the edge on outside-zone plays, limiting the damage. despite the running backs having a good day.

For example, Jordan Mason tried reaching the edge on a left-end, but was met by Curtis Robinson after a yard. Tyrion Davis-Price also tried hitting the edge on a couple of plays, but to no avail.

Marcelino McCrary-Ball had another solid day, showcasing his quickness on a third-down play during the move-the-ball session, as he got to the receiver on a 5-yard pass from Nate Sudfeld immediately to stop the first-down conversion from happening.

Segun Olubi also showed out on a running play, getting to Jordan Mason for a 0-yard gain on a run.


The cornerback group was without their top two corners for the second straight day, as Charvarius Ward is nursing a muscle strain injury, which will require him to miss a few weeks, while Emmanuel Moseley continues to recover from a hamstring injury, and is expected back next week.

As a result, Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir started once again, and had a little better day than on Tuesday, when the starters were consistently beaten by Trey Lance and the 49ers' offense.

However, there were certainly struggles as Deommodore Lenoir recorded a pass-interference penalty on a 40-yard deep incompletion from Trey Lance as he didn't turn his head around, while backup Ka'Darr Hollman should've been called for the penalty on a different deep incompletion from Trey Lance.

Additionally, Ambry Thomas was beaten deep on the very first play of scrimmage by receiver Deebo Samuel, however; the pass was incomplete. Thomas was also in close coverage on a 17-yard out to Brandon Aiyuk on a dime from Trey Lance.

Thomas and Lenoir did each have a good rep, with the former sticking close to Aiyuk on a slant route that Talanoa Hufanga broke up, while the latter was in close coverage on a Deebo Samuel incompletion.

Rookie Samuel Womack had another good performance, getting all of the first-team snaps in the slot for the first time, as he broke up a pass in the redzone intended for Jauan Jennings. Womack's stock continues to trend up heading into the preseason, and he could be the starter at the position come Week 1.

Darqueze Dennard, playing with the second-team defense in the slot, gave up a 6-yard touchdown to Marcus Johnson on a fade-route in the redzone.

Qwuantrezz Knight gave up a 30-yard touchdown to Brandon Aiyuk in the slot on a 1-on-1 fade route where the receiver beat him from the start. Earlier this week, I mentioned the possibility of Knight being a potential safety in the NFL due to coverage concerns to begin training camp, and that still remains as of now.

In other cornerback news, veteran Ken Crawley, who's spent most of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, was on the field Wednesday after the 49ers signed him to a one-year deal.


Talanoa Hufanga made another nice play during Wednesday's practice, reading Trey Lance's eyes on a nicely-thrown slant to Brandon Aiyuk and sprinting to break up the pass, showcasing his good range in shorter distances.

In other safety news, to make space for Ken Crawley on the 90-man roster, the 49ers cut Leon O'Neal Jr., who was reverted to their Injured Reserve after going unclaimed on waivers. O'Neal suffered a groin injury during practice on Wednesday and had announced that he would not play against the Green Bay Packers during San Francisco's first preseason game on Friday.

Thank you for following through with the training camp coverage! Stay tuned for the breakdown of Friday's game.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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