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Why the Jacksonville Jaguars show weekly film of the 49ers’ defense

SANTA CLARA– On losing teams, coaches always say the same thing. They will tell you that the players are still playing hard, and that they are still “buying in” to the coaches’ systems and techniques. But how is anyone really to know?

New 49ers’ defensive lineman Sheldon Day provided some proof after he was claimed on Monday off waivers from Jacksonville. That’s where 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan hired his current, Robert Saleh, who was coaching linebackers with the Jags.

Surprisingly, when Jacksonville played a team the 49ers had also faced, Jaguars’ coaches would show film of the 49ers. It was partly because the Jags and 49ers play similar defensive systems, but it was also to see the 49ers’ aggressive nature.

“These guys get after it,” Day said of the team he just joined. “We love the way these guys play defense. It’s fun to watch them fly around.”

It’s highly unusual to see a team that’s ranked first in overall defense and first in pass defense to watch a team that’s ranked 27th in defense and next to last against the run.

It’s surprising proof that despite the stats, the 49ers’ effort is unusually high.

As for Day, he’ll provide backup for DeForest Buckner at the three technique. Day knows Buckner from high school. He also said he hung out with Buckner during the draft process. The three technique typically lines up in the gap between the guard and tackle.

Day said that in Jacksonville, the three technique player held back the offensive linemen, so the linebackers behind them could run free and make tackles. The 49ers ask their linemen to be more proactive in getting into gaps and rushing upfield as forcefully as possible. That’s something Day did at Notre Dame.

“I did (aggressive play) in college, so I had to transition when I got to Jacksonville,” Day said. “It’s back there, I just have to dig for it.”


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