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49ers DB coach praises Deommodore Lenoir’s big mental leap

May 28, 2024 at 11:21 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers hold defensive back Deommodore Lenoir in high regard. The team values versatility, and Lenoir has demonstrated to his coaches that he can be relied upon in various roles throughout the secondary. Whether lining up inside or outside, Lenoir's adaptability and consistent performance have made him an invaluable asset to the defense.

49ers defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks believes Lenoir made a significant mental jump as a player last season, and the analytics back that up. Lenoir's 75.8 overall grade and 74.3 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus were career highs. Opposing quarterbacks had an 86.9 passer rating when throwing his way.

"I say, mentally, he made his biggest jump [last year]," Bullocks told reporters last week. "I think the game slowed down for him. He played outside and inside. Most of his snaps was outside. He played at a high level. The game slowed down for him. He did a hell of a job inside at nickel and did an unbelievable job outside.

"The thing that jumps off that tape was just his playmaking ability on the ball. I think he had 10 [pass breakups] and three [interceptions], so he got his hands on a lot of balls last year. Give him credit. He's been putting in the work every day, so I look for him to take another step forward this year."

When asked about Lenoir's role within the 49ers defense during the 2024 season, Bullocks wanted to avoid committing his talented cornerback to just one spot.

"As long as he's on the field, I'm good," Bullocks said with a smile. "It gives us a weapon. We know we can put him inside and match up against good receivers in the slot, and also, we know he can play outside. And then, also what that means, if he's outside, we can bring somebody else in, like Renardo Green, Sammy Womack, Chase Lucas, Kemon Hall, all the guys that we've been repping at nickel.

"So he gives us that versatility and gives our defense more flexibility to do what we need to do on the personnel backend, depending on the matchups that we see in that week."

Lenoir is a player the 49ers likely hope to keep around for a while. A fifth-round draft pick in 2021, the cornerback is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.
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