49ers Defensive Coordinator Excited To See Defense In the Preseason Action

Aug 10, 2022, 2:55 PM | Updated: Aug 11, 2022, 3:01 pm
Charles Omenihu #94 of the San Francisco 49ers during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility...
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 1: Charles Omenihu #94 of the San Francisco 49ers during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility on August 1, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their final training camp practice Wednesday before they take on the Green Bay Packers in their first preseason game Friday. The Bay Area team hit the final practice, which was their longest session of training camp so far, pretty hard.

Among the standouts on the field was the collective unit of the 49ers’ first-team defense, pestering the quarterbacks all day long. Trey Lance struggled early on, finishing the day with a near 50% completion percentage as the defensive lineman were in the backfield constantly. One play in particular, DT Akeem Spence broke through the trenches so fast, Lance couldn’t even hand off the ball.

Then in the red zone period, the stout Red & Gold D held Lance to no passing touchdowns, only allowing a rushing TD by Trey Sermon. Nick Bosa was the catalyst for much of the disruption, coming up with a huge pass breakup when he chased the young QB down and batted the ball away to end the session.

49ers Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans spoke to the media after practice Wednesday, stating that a win for him this week is just seeing his younger players go out and perform at a high level.

“The win for me in preseason games, it’s really [to] see those guys, who are young guys right, to see those guys when the lights come on, just to see them go out and perform,” Ryans said. “They went out in games and played well. High school, college and now I’m happy for guys to get to showcase that on an NFL level. So a win for me is just to see our guys go out and compete at a high level, playing great technique and make plays, that will be a win for me.”

The Bay Area team have had to shuffle the deck a bit since the start of training camp as both starting cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward are out due to injuries. Moseley has a hamstring strain and will be sidelined until next week, according to team sources. While Ward’s status was given a bit more clarity by head coach Kyle Shanahan Wednesday morning, speaking on KNBR 680’s Murph & Mac Show.

“He had a little setback here with a muscle strain, so he’ll be out here for the next probably two weeks or so,” Shanahan said about Ward’s status. “But he’s gotten enough baseline into where his camp has been perfect. At least now I know he’s not going to get a serious injury here in the next two weeks, and he’ll be ready to go here Week 1.”

Obviously not a good thing for a 49ers squad looking to make another deep postseason run. Nevertheless, the starters being out gives the younger guys more of an opportunity in camp, something Ryans is looking forward to.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Ryans stated. “When you do have injuries it sucks…when you have guys who are out, guys missed some time but it’s also for guys who are behind them, right? This is your opportunity. Step up, showcase what you can do. Showcase what can you add to our team? What type of value are you adding to our team? So these guys will get to showcase that. And the depth at the corner position a lot of guys competing, a lot of guys battling for spots on our team. So what an opportunity for guys to step up and own it and take it.”

One of those corners is rookie Samuel Womack III, getting a lot of run with the first-team at practice. His best play of the day came on a pass breakup between Lance and wideout Jaquan Jennings, standing tall in the red zone session to prevent the score.

Ryans is a former pro-bowl linebacker in the NFL, playing 10 years with the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans. A player turned coach, he reflected on his first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs Wednesday with a smile, taking those life lessons into his coaching strategy.

“Kansas City was my first preseason game. Probably didn’t know the defense, didn’t know what I was doing, but I just knew to fly around and make plays. Ended up with like 10 tackles in the first half,” Ryans said with a big smile. “It’s about having fun out there. You may not know everything going on, but are you playing with intensity, effort, physicality. You do those three things, you’ll be around the ball and making plays.”

The 49ers’ first preseason game is Friday night against the Green Bay Packers at 5:30 p.m. PST.

For all things 49ers and NFL, stay locked in here on Sactown Sports.

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