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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers impressed with Isaiah Oliver vs. Rams: “He was a stud today”

Sep 17, 2023 at 7:19 PM--

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Some wondered what the San Francisco 49ers saw in Isaiah Oliver, signing the cornerback to a two-year deal in free agency with the hope that he could take over the vacant nickel spot. Oliver didn't look overly impressive in training camp or the preseason.

On Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, Oliver may have proved his critics wrong. The veteran cornerback was everywhere on the football field, making game-changing plays and helping the 49ers to a 30-23 win.

Oliver finished with three tackles, four assists, a pass defensed, and an interception.

"Just kind of go get the ball in the air," Oliver said of the interception while speaking with team reporter Lindsey Pallares after the game. "I just saw it pop up and just reacted to it, tried to grab it as fast as I could."

Oliver also had this impressive run stop behind the line of scrimmage.

And let's not forget this stop on 3rd-and-5.

Oliver certainly had himself a fantastic game. It will be interesting to see how Pro Football Focus grades his overall performance in the contest.

"The biggest thing was just keep on fighting," Oliver said of the defense's outing and early struggles. "Obviously, the first half, those first few possessions didn't really go how we wanted. We felt like we'd given them too much, given them too many points. But just kind of keep on fighting, make the right adjustments, get out there, and just keep on ballin'."

Oliver's head coach probably envisioned this type of performance upon adding the cornerback to the 49ers roster.

"I thought he was a stud today," Kyle Shanahan said. "I got to watch the whole tape to get through all of it, but I know he made some huge plays. He drove them on an out-of-bounds route when we were in quarters, which was good. The 4th-and-1 was huge because that's a Tampa 2 look, which he's walked on the slot, and that's far away from the B gap, and he didn't hesitate, had a big-time tackle, and then him getting the pick.

"So especially with some of our DBs getting banged up throughout the game, those guys had to step it up because they were kind of all over the place, and he did a great job at that."

One of Oliver's teammates also praised the cornerback's efforts on the field against the Rams.

"Yeah, Isaiah, he had a huge game today," linebacker Fred Warner told reporters. "I think this was great for him and his confidence in this scheme. Isaiah, he's a great player. We signed him for a reason. Obviously, I guess you could talk about an adjustment [to learning a new scheme], but he's gotten better and better as his time has gone here. So I'm really happy for him and the performance that he had."
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