49ers

Nick Bosa, 49ers focused on fixing zone-read issues vs. Lamar Jackson

Nick Bosa, 49ers focused on fixing zone-read issues vs. Lamar Jackson

Aaron Rodgers is no statue, but he provided a decidedly different challenge to what the 49ers faced the previous three games.

After all, the 49ers faced a young, explosive run-pass threat with Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray in Weeks 9 and 11. Between two doses of Murray, the 49ers went up against Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.

The 49ers’ defensive line teed off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, dropping Rodgers for five sacks in San Francisco’s 37-8 victory at Levi’s Stadium.

“His jersey is nice and saggy, too, so you can grab onto it,” said 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who had one sack and another nullified by penalty. “It’s just completely different. Sometimes it caught me off guard how he was sitting back there. But it’s back to Lamar Jackson this week, though.”

Jackson is having a phenomenal season in his first full year as the Baltimore Ravens’ starter. He has thrown 24 touchdowns with just five interceptions. His passer rating is 111.4. He has been sacked 20 times in 11 games.

He also leads the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack with 876 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. And when he is not keeping the ball himself and averaging 7.1 yards per rushing attempt, he is handing off to Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, who average 5.2 yards apiece.

[RELATED: Why Ravens QB Jackson will be 49ers' toughest test of 2019]

“We definitely went through dealing with the zone read a few times, and it hasn’t gone great for us, so we’ve learned,” Bosa said. “Hopefully we can correct it and be ready this week.”

In two games against the Cardinals, the 49ers surrendered 177 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries to running back Kenyan Drake, while Murray rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts.

The Seahawks beat the 49ers, 27-24, in overtime on Nov. 11, with Wilson gaining 53 yards rushing on six attempts and throwing for 232 yards.

2020 NFL Draft: How 49ers' John Lynch prepares while working from home

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AP

2020 NFL Draft: How 49ers' John Lynch prepares while working from home

The 2020 NFL Draft will be held as scheduled -- albeit remotely -- amid the coronavirus pandemic, keeping 49ers general manager John Lynch plenty busy during California's shelter-in-place order.

In-person visits with prospects at the team's facility or elsewhere are off, but Lynch said he is able to make the most of watching film of potential picks while working from his home office.

“People have a lot bigger problems than we do, I can tell you that,” Lynch told NBC Sports' Peter King for his "Football Morning in America" column. “This year’s a lot different than any year scouts and GMs have had, obviously, with all the challenges. But this time of year, what you really need is time.

"The other day, [coach] Kyle [Shanahan] called and said, ‘This is unbelievable! I’m getting so much done.’ And he’s right. He and I, this time of year, would be watching this tape in our offices, and the difference is our doors aren’t getting knocked on 50 times a day. I’m really getting a lot done.”

Lynch and Shanahan have more prospects to examine than they did a month ago. The 49ers acquired another first-round draft pick -- No. 13 overall -- when they traded dominant defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. San Francisco, before then, was scheduled to make its first pick with the No. 31 overall selection.

[RELATED: 49ers' Jones switches agencies entering final year of deal]

That additional prep very well could've included watching Louisville's Mekhi Becton, whose Cardinals were on-screen in footage Lynch was watching during a video posted to social media last week showing how he was preparing for the draft at home. The offensive lineman is projected to be a top-10 pick next month, and Lynch simply wouldn't have had much reason to watch him with the 49ers' first pick set for the very end of the first round.

We'll know some of the players whom Lynch, Shanahan and the rest of the 49ers closely watched when the NFL draft begins April 23. The 49ers currently have seven picks: Two in the first round, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Colts' DeForest Buckner, Sheldon Day driven by 49ers' Super Bowl loss

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USATSI

Colts' DeForest Buckner, Sheldon Day driven by 49ers' Super Bowl loss

Sheldon Day and DeForest Buckner will be teammates on a new team next season, driven by the last loss with their old one.

The defensive linemen joined the Indianapolis Colts this offseason via free agency and trade, respectively, after playing together for the 49ers since midway through the 2017 season. Day and Buckner's final games with San Francisco were in the 49ers' 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, and Day said the pair has additional motivation after not lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy last season.

"It was right there in our hands, and all we had to do was squeeze it and grab it (in Super Bowl LIV), and we let up," Day told reporters on his introductory conference call last week (via Colts.com). "So ultimately we have a chip on our shoulders and we know how to get there, and now we know what to do to overcome that shortcoming that we had."

Buckner sacked eventual Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes 1.5 times in the game, accounting for three of the 49ers' nine QB hits. Day, meanwhile, played a little over half of San Francisco's 76 defensive snaps and picked up a tackle.

[RELATED: 49ers' Jones switches agencies entering final year of deal]

The Indianapolis native played in a career-high 16 games with the 49ers during the 2019 regular season, and Day started each of San Francisco's playoff games. Day credited his growth to playing with Buckner, and he's going to continue picking his brain while they're still teammates.

"DeForest (has) made me detail my game," Day said. "So we would be working on pass-rush moves, bouncing ideas off of each other, just trying to make sure that our game grew together, and we're always giving each other tips. If I see something on film [I'm reaching] out to him, and vice versa. So, man, what a special guy he is."

All the while, the 49ers' Super Bowl LIV won't be far from either player's mind.