Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek went around to the players in his 49ers position-room meeting Thursday to prod them on ways each can improve during training camp this summer.
Veteran edge rusher Dee Ford came up with two centers of focus: Remaining healthy throughout the season and reacting quicker at the snap of the ball.
Successes in those two areas should enable Ford to have a more productive season with the 49ers from a year ago.
“You saw glimpses of me, but not to that full throttle,” Ford said Thursday on a video call with Bay Area reporters.
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Ford received full medical clearance at the opening of training camp after undergoing extensive surgery on his left knee in February. He was limited throughout last season with tendinitis.
The 29-year-old appeared in just 11 games, as he also missed time late in the regular season due to a hamstring injury. Ford still managed to register 6.5 sacks in his limited time.
Known for his quickness coming off the edge, Ford said Kocurek has challenged him to be better at beating offensive linemen off the snap.
“Kris always points out that I’m a great closer, but my get-off, my actual get-off, the initial get-off from when the ball is snapped can be a lot better,” he said. “If you are glued into the ball every single play, a lot of defensive linemen, anybody who plays on the front is going to be a whole lot better.”
Ford said his knee is feeling good, and he expects to be out on the field when the 49ers hold two non-padded practices over the weekend before strapping on the pads for the first time on Monday.
“This is a new year. This is a new team,” Ford said. “It’s going to take, if not more, it’s going to take a lot for us to be better than we were last year or to even match that.
“We have a great coach that’s going to keep you honest and remind you that you may be very good, maybe great, but there’s still something you can get better at.”