Fred Warner became the NFL’s highest-paid linebacker this week, and he believes he can do even more to help the 49ers win football games.
“It’s all little things that I’m continuing to work on because at the end of the day, I do want to have that game-changing ability,” Warner said.
Warner, coming off his first All-Pro season, believes he will be deployed more as a pass-rusher under first-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.
Warner expects to be afforded a greater opportunity to make more big plays and earn his five-year, $95 million contract extension.
In 51 career games, including three playoff games, Warner registered four sacks. Things could be changing, as the 49ers will look for more ways to generate a pass rush this season.
“That is for sure a point of emphasis going into this season, the blitzing,” Warner said. “I know I’ll have more opportunities in the pass-rushing game and forcing fumbles.”
Warner has five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He said he continues to work on stripping the ball while also making sure to secure the tackle.
“That is something I take great pride in,” Warner said. “(It’s) something I kind of started to develop after my first year and have continued to work on.
“(I try) to implement different drills and stuff to just to keep it on my mind and keep that muscle memory when I’m out there but still maintaining proper tackling technique.”
Warner was the 49ers’ leading tackler in each of his first three seasons with 367 tackles, including 253 solo stops. He is also known as one of the best linebackers in the league in pass coverage.