Arden Key is part of a dominant rotation of 49ers defensive linemen, and he could not be more thrilled to be in that position.
“Man, I love it here,” said Key, who appeared in 37 games over his first NFL seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders and was eager for a fresh start.
When the Raiders released him in the offseason, he signed a one-year, prove-it contract with the 49ers a week later.
He has proved himself, all right.
Key ranked second on the 49ers with 6.5 sacks during the regular season, getting most of his pass-rush snaps from defensive tackle.
He registered just three sacks in three seasons with the Raiders after being selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Now, he has set himself up nicely to land a contract with more security. But, right now, he's focused on doing everything he can in his power to help the 49ers extend their season.
“I’m not thinking about contract talk,” Key said. “I’m not having any contract talks. Everything will (happen) after the season.
“We’re just enjoying every moment right now. This is really a brotherhood over here.”
Key said he is impressed with the authenticity of the members of the 49ers’ defensive line under enthusiastic position coach Kris Kocurek and assistant, Darryl Tapp.
“No cap in our rap,” Key said. “That’s what they say, 'No cap in our rap.' ”
“A lot of teams tell one another, ‘Oh, yeah, we want to see everybody successful’ and everything like that, but we really mean it over here,” Key said. “It’s really a brotherhood, and I don’t want it to end.
"We don’t want it to end. So we’re taking it day-by-day, bringing it all in, and let the chips fall wherever they may.”