DL DeForest Buckner


DL DeForest Buckner

Press Conference – January 8, 2020

San Francisco 49ers

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What has been the impact of having DL Dee Ford and LB Kwon Alexander back this week?

“Yeah, having their presence out there on the field, the energy. Obviously, Kwon always brings the energy. Having him on the field is a good feeling. Dee and [S] Jaquiski [Tartt], having them out there running around with the team, trying to get back in the flow of things is definitely encouraging.”

How do they look to you?

“They look pretty good. I know they’re all excited. Like I said, having their presence out there is really big, especially for the defense, the morale. Seeing them go through their drills, some of the periods, they look really good.”

DL Nick Bosa talked yesterday about how Dee being back can help the interior guys in the pass-rush. How does he impact you?

“Having him out there with all of us really, really affects blocking schemes. It’s just another really good pass-rusher out there they’ve got to pick and choose on how they want to double. Side of protection, too. Having him and Nick out there, even having Nick on the edge, they can’t really slide one way or another, they have to pick and choose.”

What kind of a challenge does Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and the Vikings run present for you guys?

“They’re a really good run team, especially with Dalvin Cook back there. Coming into this game, throughout the year, obviously against the run, hasn’t been our strong suit throughout the year. I know they’re definitely going to challenge us in the run game early. Especially with Dalvin Cook back there, he’s one of the best in the league. We’ve just got to do a really good job with shutting that down early.”

The games where it seems like you struggled most with the run have come against teams with a quarterback that can run. Not the case this time. Is this more of a direct point of attack, man-to-man challenge than other run teams?

“Definitely. But, they also do a pretty good job with the play-action pass, boot game, getting [Minnesota Vikings QB] Kirk [Cousins] out of the pocket, maxing out protection trying not to get him hit. That’s when he does his best, when he doesn’t have any pressure. Like any other quarterback, but especially when Kirk doesn’t have any pressure in his face or constantly under pressure, he does a really good job getting the ball downfield.”

You’ve been with DL Arik Armstead a long time. What has allowed him to lift his game up?

“Yeah, just his work ethic, you know what I mean? Taking on the challenge of playing a new position obviously this year, playing a wide-nine. Using his size to his advantage, setting the edge especially in the run game. Also taking that next step pass-rushing-wise. Last year he was getting a lot of pressure, he missed a couple sacks. This year he finally finished. Seeing him in his overall game, the past couple of years in knowing him, it’s just been great to see.”

Does this week feel different?

“For me personally, feels like another week to be honest. You know what I mean? I try not to get too high or too low. You can see it around the building, everybody’s pretty even-keeled. We all know what’s at stake. Obviously our first playoff game for a majority of the team, you know what I mean? We’re a really young team. Just being able to approach the week like any other, really focusing on the details. Really getting our bodies right off of that Bye has helped us a lot. Like we talked about earlier, hopefully we can get some other guys back, really get into this game, really get after the Vikings.”

CB Richard Sherman has been through this thing so many times. Do you notice a difference in him this week or is he the same guy?

“He’s the same guy. Sherm has been really doing a good job with emphasizing, making sure everybody knows the details. We’ve got to stay on the details because it’s the little things that will get you beat, especially at this time of the year. He’s a former Super Bowl champ. He’s been really just reiterating all the little things we need to stay up on, really taking care of our bodies.”