© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Over the last few seasons, the San Francisco 49ers’ defense has had room for improvement. However former NFL All-Pro linebacker Chad Brown believes a promising new era is beginning on the defensive side of the ball for San Francisco, all anchored by the revitalized defensive line.
Brown, who had Pro Bowl years during the 1990s for both the Steelers and Seahawks, stopped by the Papa & Lund show to share his insights from the 49ers’ recent joint-practices with the Denver Broncos in Dove Valley, CO.
“The Broncos showed up pretty flat; the Niners had plenty of energy and really just kind of blew the Broncos off the field, offensively and defensively with their energy,” Brown said. A dynamic pass rusher in his day, he attributes much of this energy to Dee Ford and the defensive line unit.
“It’s an amazing room. Five first-rounders in one room? I don’t think there’s ever been a room like that in NFL history, that I can recall. Tremendous amount of talent.” Brown continues by offering praise for the two newcomers to the 49ers’ D-line, Dee Ford and Nick Bosa. “Dee Ford has such a great first step, but then he follows it up with the rest of the rush. He’s got a number of different moves. He’s a very electric, dynamic pass rusher. We were working on a couple of things, he and I, during the course of the OTAs that I think will really help him take his pass rush game to the next level. When you’ve got that first step, when you’ve got the speed that he has, obviously you get to dictate to offensive tackles on how they’re going to block you.”
When it comes to Nick Bosa, Brown would like to observe a larger sample size, but likes what he sees so far.
“You know he got nicked up during OTAs, so I didn’t get a chance to really see him as much as I did for Dee Ford, but he’s clearly a guy whose got tremendous ability, he’s been super well coached, and he’s got a bit of a motor where he’s going to keep on going. I’d imagine over the course of his career, let’s say he ends up having a tremendous career and he has 100 sacks, a lot of those sacks in his career are going to be just simply because he’s got a relentless nature. He’s not going to give up on a play.”
Additionally, Brown touches on the invaluable benefits that result from being born into a NFL family.
“I think it helps tremendously. You’re instantly comfortable, because here’s a guy you grew up with, probably shared a bedroom with (Joey Bosa), who’s already been there and done that. And I’m sure along the way when they’ve had their brotherly battles, Nick has won a few of those… Going back to that OTAs process, watching him pass rush versus some of the other young guys that the Niners brought in who are certainly talented, but just didn’t have the same type of pedigree and background, it’s clear that Nick is lightyears ahead of those guys from a technique. Fom an understanding of leverage and hand placement, and what move works and what move doesn’t work, he’s way ahead of almost every young guy I’ve ever seen from that perspective.”
For more of Chad Brown’s insights, including his impressions of Coach Shanahan, his experience playing for Bill Belichick and opinions on NFL rule changes you can listen to the rest of his interview with Papa & Lund below.