How Arik Armstead is paving his own lane in the social media landscape

Oct 4, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after sacking Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle ...

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Arik Armstead has a larger-than-life personality both on and off the gridiron. Now taking a big step into the content creator world, the Sacramento native is looking to give The Faithful a more in-depth look into the minds of the players.

The 49ers defensive tackle has been a busy man since the start of the 2023 NFL season. Not only has he helped San Francisco get off to a 4-0 start, but Arik Armstead also launched his own podcast titled “Third & Long“.

Airing under the Tidal League brand, the big man breaks down the Xs and O’s of the Red & Gold like never before, giving fans an in-depth look into the team’s success.

Armstead has also been upping his social media game the last few years, coming up with fresh ideas that engage across multiple demographics. His latest TikTok video broke down what an NFL game check looks like, and how to decipher the financials.

The Sacramento native has been a regular fixture in promoting community outreach in Northern California.

Through the Arik Armstead Foundation, he tackles the challenge of improving literacy amongst youth, visiting schools to read to various classrooms across the Bay. He also hosted his Stay Hungry Youth Camp at Sacramento State over the summer, with more than 500 student-athletes participating in drills on the field.

Below you will find Sactown Sports’ exclusive interview with the Pleasant Grove high school alum, featuring his thoughts on the 2023 season for the 49ers, his new adventure in podcasting, and his love for the city of Sacramento.

Editor’s note: This interview with Arik Armstead was conducted prior to Week 4 of the 2023 NFL regular season.

The Player

Question: What was your reaction to the [49ers defensive end] Nick Bosa deal getting done? Did it feel like a weight off the team’s shoulders to have him back?

Arik: We definitely were waiting for him to get back and wanted him to figure all that out. Contract-wise, it’s very important for him and our team. So we’re super happy that he got it done. And, we’re definitely looking forward to not having to play without him.

Q: What about this season is different for you guys on the defensive line compared to past seasons?

A: Definitely deep[er]. Super deep talent across the whole D-Line. And we have a lot of depth so that’s extremely helpful to send guys in waves in the game and really have no drop off.

Q: [49ers assistant defensive line coach] Darryl Tapp is so energetic at practice, even more so during games. Do you ever feel like he’s gonna lace up the cleats one more time and get on the field with you guys?

A: He goes through some drills sometimes, and he’s still got a little bit to him. It’s cool to see, he’s a young coach and he played not too long ago. So, he still has to him.

Q: What is it about [49ers defensive line coach] Kris Kocurek that makes him really special as a coach?

A: For me in our relationship, he instilled a lot of confidence into me. He believes in his players and he pours everything, his heart and soul, everything he can into being the best coach possible. So that’s pretty rare to see. He just cares about the line play and helping us get to our full potential.

Q: What have you seen from [49ers defensive lineman] Javon Kinlaw entering Year 4? After all the injuries he’s had, what have you seen him that’s different from years prior to now?

A: Well, yeah, he’s healthy. As a player, I’ve dealt with injuries and I know how tough it is to not be out there getting better. He’s healthy, and when you’re able to be healthy and stack reps, you’re gonna get better. He’s a tremendous player. He really just needed to have some good fortune and some good health to show what he can do.

Q: Switching to [49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave], What is it about him that complements your play style?

A: We have very different body styles, different styles of play. So, I think we complement each other very well because of how we play the same position, but we play it very differently.

Q: How do you see [49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’] veteran leadership helping you guys long-term?

A: That experience you know, he’s been around a lot of great players, been coaching a lot of great defenses. That experience is definitely crucial in these games, and [it’s] going to continue to be crucial in bigger and bigger moments as we continue to go throughout the season.

Q: This team has been built on trying to get over the hump, get Super Bowl No. 6. What is it about this team, this year, compared to past squads that could get the 49ers over that hump?

A: Each year, each team is new. I don’t like to compare to previous years you know, it’s a new team, new journey, some familiar faces but it’s a brand new makeup and you can continue to build off the culture you have established. But, each year is going to bring different diversity and different challenges that you’re going to have to go through and become together as a team. So, I’m just up for the experience and enjoying the season, enjoying being with my teammates.

The Podcaster/Social Media Guy

Q: Tell me more about Third & Long and why you wanted to start a podcast now.

A: I did kind of started like a year ago. I really wanted to give people a different perspective and I feel like a lot of people in the media talk about football and sports, but I think fans deserve to hear it straight from our mouths of what’s going on and breaking it down from a different perspective. Instead, of someone viewing the game and breaking it down to you, someone who actually played in the game.

Q: You’ve been pretty active on social media for a while now. How do you see yourself using that platform in the future, even after playing? Do you see yourself giving back to the community that way?

A: I’m just authentic and myself. I have ideas for content or things I think people would care about and be interested in. I’m a pretty regular person, I like a lot of stuff that other people like, so that’s where a lot of my content comes from that I think other people would enjoy. I just have fun with it.

Q: You posted on your TikTok recently a video of you breaking down and explaining your game check. Who came up with that idea?

A: That was my idea. Just wanted to show people something they probably [have] never seen before. I mean, my salary, you can Google and find out how much [it is], it’s not really a secret. But I don’t think people understand kind of how it works. But I wanted to break it down and show people how it actually works.

Q: I know some athletes have their wives on [podcasts] Would you ever consider having [Arik’s wife] Mindy on the podcast to talk about football from her perspective?

A: No, not really. it’s just football, X’s & O’s. That’s kind of what I wanted it to be. It’s just football.

The Sacramento Kings Fan

Q: What do you think of the King’s offseason acquisitions and the expectations for the 2023-24 season?

A: I think when it goes by, you know, hopefully, they can build off of what they did last year. You know, they really got the city buzzin’ and had a great season, so hopefully they can build off of it and continue to get better and, you know, have another great season. It’s very important for our city

Q: Will we see you at G1C?

A: Yeah, definitely. I’ll be at some games.

Check out more Arik Armstead and his community outreach here.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Sunday, October 8th vs. Dallas Cowboys – 5:20 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 15th @ Cleveland Browns – 10:00 AM PST
  • M0nday, October 23rd @ Minnesota Vikings – 5:15 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 29th vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1:25 PM PST
  • Sunday, November 12th @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 10:00 AM PST

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How Arik Armstead is paving his own lane in the social media landscape