Samson Ebukam is headed in a new direction.
The 49ers' new defensive end has been given a new style in which to play and the ex-Los Angeles Ram is excited to get started. Ebukam is no stranger to getting after opposing quarterbacks, notching 14 sacks and 28 quarterback hits over his four NFL seasons. But now his job has been simplified.
New defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has vowed to make the 49ers' defense faster, and Ebukam is ready to adapt to the new philosophy.
“The number one thing is with the Rams I was kind of reading and things like that,” Ebukam said on Wednesday. “Over here it’s just attack, don’t read. I just have to flip a 180 real quick and just get on attacking, and the people behind me will clean it up.”
With Dee Ford’s availability uncertain due to a lingering back and neck injury, Ebukam is set to step in as needed in the same spot. Ford has been a valuable resource for the newcomer, keeping the lines of communication open.
“He’s definitely a vet for us in the room,” Ebukam said. “I know that he wants to help and he’s definitely given me some pointers on how to get off the rock faster, what type of pass rush moves I need to be in on tackles that will work for my size because we are kind of the same size.”
Ebukam could grow into a valuable part of the 49ers' pass rush along with the players Ryans has on his shortlist of players to watch -- Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens.
Ebukam is motivated by their ability to improve each day. The fifth-year pass rusher has made it a goal to “catch up” to his position mates who have been with the team longer than he has. Kinlaw in particular has impressed Ebukam.
“I feel like he’s going to have an All-Pro year,” Ebukam said. “I’m seeing him and he’s running all the way to the ball and he’s in phenomenal shape. I’m excited to see what he can do. I think he’s going to be great.”
Ebukam knows he and his teammates have their work cut out for them facing the mobile quarterbacks of the NFC West, but he is a believer in the 49ers’ plan. Ebukam believes defensive line coach Kris Kocurek is making sure that everyone is being given the best opportunity to succeed.
“Only thing we can do is attack them and get them on the ground honestly,” Ebukam said. “There’s nothing special about it. You just have to get after them and just wear them out before they wear you out. That’s what we are trying to do.”