No Huddle: The 49ers’ Biggest Challengers In The NFC →
placeholder image

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

49ers could use rookie Ji’Ayir Brown in three-safety sets

Jun 2, 2023 at 12:53 PM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The San Francisco 49ers know who their starting safeties will be in 2023. They are All-Pro Talanoa Hufanga and 12th-year veteran Tashaun Gipson. Gipson, who is 32 years old, reportedly flirted with the idea of retiring this offseason before returning to the Niners on a one-year deal.

The always forward-thinking 49ers used their first pick in April's draft, a third-rounder, to add a player they hope can be Gipson's eventual replacement—Ji'Ayir Brown out of Penn State.

Don't expect Brown to simply be an observer on the sidelines during his rookie season while Hufanga and Gipson do all the work. The 49ers plan to find ways to get him onto the football field and gain valuable experience. According to The Athletic, the coaches plan to utilize some three-safety sets in 2023 to get Brown into games.

The rookie is just too versatile of a defender to keep sidelined.

"He has our DNA that we're looking for on defense," defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks said of Brown on Thursday, per The Athletic. "We're looking for a guy that's physical, that's smart, that can finish. When you look at Ji'Ayir, he's versatile. He can line up on all three levels of the defense. He can line up on the line of scrimmage. He can rush off the edge. He can drop back a level and play man coverage. He can play zone as well. And he can also drop back into the post and show that range and go get the football."

Brown has been impressive so far during organized team activities. The safety is finding ways to the football and already has multiple interceptions.

"He's done a great job," wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, Brown's locker neighbor, said this week. "He's got like three or four picks already through these first couple of days. And he just comes in, wants to work when the work comes in, doesn't say too much, just work. So I like him. I like him a lot."

Brown finished his collegiate career with 10 interceptions, all coming in the last two seasons. The 49ers hope that big-time playmaking ability continues in the NFL.

"When you look at a guy who has 10 career interceptions in college — usually, the guys who are always around the football are going to get the football," Bullocks said. "And it really doesn't stop when they get to the NFL. They're usually around the ball as well."

It looks like that has carried over into the NFL, at least during practices so far. That made Brown's locker neighbor smile because he knows what that could mean for the 49ers' season.

"He had a couple of tip balls. I'm not sure," Aiyuk said when asked how those interceptions were achieved. "I was in one of the plays. I was in a few plays, actually, where he had a pick, so I don't remember what exactly it looked like. But a pick is a pick, so we want that regardless. I know a lot of people who leave picks out there, and he actually left one out there, so he might have even had five. But he's getting to the ball as a safety, so you love to see it."

Related News


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

49ers roster moves: CB Anthony Brown re-signed, CB Tre Swilling waived

By David Bonilla
Sep 22

The San Francisco 49ers announced they have re-signed cornerback Anthony Brown to a one-year deal. To make room on the roster, the team waived cornerback Tre Swilling. The Niners released Brown on Thursday, just hours ahead of their game against the New York Giants. That move came just days after initially signing Brown to the 53-man roster. The 49ers will likely try to re-sign Swilling to the practice squad. On Thursday, the cornerback was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. He played 19 snaps on special teams against the

placeholder image

49ers sign CB Anthony Brown to 53-man roster

By David Bonilla
Sep 19

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers are signing cornerback Anthony Brown to a one-year deal, adding him to the 53-man roster. Former Cowboys' CB Anthony Brown, who tore his Achilles while with Dallas last season and was on Pittsburgh's practice squad until this week, signed today with the 49ers' 53-man roster, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 19, 2023 On

placeholder image

Anthony Brown eager to help new 49ers teammates beat Giants

By David Bonilla
Sep 20

The San Francisco 49ers signed Anthony Brown this week, and the cornerback is ready to help his new teammates defeat the New York Giants. However, that help may not come from Brown taking the field on Thursday night. Brown spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, so he is familiar with the Niners' upcoming opponent, having played in the NFC East for many years. Brown was a starter for Dallas until suffering a torn Achilles in December. "Just getting here, so I'm just trying to basically tell the guys as much as I can, and if they have any questions on little tips and little pointers," Brown told Larry Krueger this week. "The Giants pretty much show up every week in their game plan, and trying to help the corners and DBs as much as I

placeholder image

49ers DL experiment reaping rewards through three games

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 24

The San Francisco 49ers have started off strong to begin the 2023 season, winning of each their first three games while scoring at least 30 points a game and allowing under 15 points per game on average. Defensively, the 49ers came into the season with a strong roster, but a couple of questions, as they had lost key depth pieces while entering the season with a new defensive coordinator. While the majority of the defensive alignments have been similar, the 49ers have increased the usage of five-man fronts, experimenting with the implementation of Javon Kinlaw alongside Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave on the interior. Thus far, the early rewards have been plentiful. Through three games, the trio has combined for 32 of San Francisco's 79


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone