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New 49ers edge rusher Ebukam expects to blossom in major role

NBC Sports

Edge rusher Samson Ebukam, upon his official signing of a two-year, $12 million contract Friday with the 49ers, said he has a simple expectation.

“I’m going to be rollin’, he said in a video conference call with Bay Area reporters.

Ebukam (pronounced EH-boo-kahm) spent the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where he started 35 of the 64 games in which he appeared. He registered 14 sacks, relying mostly on raw talent and effort.

“(I’m) definitely not a technician because I’ve seen film,” Ebukam said. “I know I’m not a technician. It’s just the effort and being relentless and always finding a way to always get to the quarterback.

“That’s what I really enjoy is getting to the quarterback and taking him down. It stops the whole momentum for everything the offense is doing. So I think that’s the No. 1 thing, a high motor.”

Ebukam, a 2017 fourth-round draft pick from Eastern Washington, has shown flashes in the NFL. He scored two touchdowns — one on an interception and one on a fumble return — in the Rams' memorable 54-51 victory in 2018 over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Ebukam seemingly has a lot of room to grow with the 49ers under defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. He believes he can also learn from Nick Bosa, who is considered a next-level technician for such a young player.

“To have those type of people around me, like him (Kocurek) and Bosa, I’m just like, yeah, I’m going to watch and learn and adapt and overcome everything and get to that quarterback faster,” he said.


Ebukam appears to be a willing student to learn from Kocurek, considered one of the top defensive line coaches in the NFL.

“I’ve already started talking to Coach K, and he’s just trying to make sure that I got my first step down,” Ebukam said. “He knows I’m fast, and he’s like, 'When you get that first step down, you’re going to be skyrocketing and shooting out of your stance just getting to the quarterback that much faster.' ”

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With Dee Ford’s future in question, the 49ers appear to be counting on Ebukam to see considerably more playing time than he did with the Rams. He played 36 percent of the Rams’ defensive snaps last season.

“From what I’ve been told, I’m expected to be on that field and, yeah, I’m excited to hear that because it’s just more of an opportunity for me to showcase what I can do.”

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