49ers Buckner gets special request to sack Seahawks Wilson


SANTA CLARA – As the practice-field speakers cranked up to mimic Seattle’s deafening stadium, here are the top three things we learned Thursday as the 49ers prepared for their upcoming visit to the Seahawks:

Arik Armstead (91), left, and DeForest Buckner (99) participate in the San Francisco 49ers first team practice at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group) 

1. Pass rush plans. The 49ers aren’t the only ones hoping to see defensive lineman DeForest Buckner record his first sack this season. So is Seahawks counterpart Michael Bennett, who’s helped train Buckner the past two summers in Hawaii.

“Mike’s a good guy. I was just talking to him last night and he was telling me I better get a sack this week,” Buckner said Thursday. “So there’s a little pressure from him, but it’s all good.”

Wait, Bennett actually wants the 49ers to sack the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson? That must simply be out of respect for Buckner’s progress rather than any anti-Seahawks sentiment, right?

“Of course,” replied Buckner.

Buckner noted that he didn’t win his one-on-one matchups in Sunday’s opener against the Carolina Panthers, who did not allow Cam Newton to get sacked in the 23-3 victory.

“They did a great job protecting Cam,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “I mean he’s got one of the deeper set points in the league at eight or nine yards. Their offensive line does a great job and he’s got a big enough body to stand in there and take a pounding.”

Elvis Dumervil twice had Newton escape from his clutches for what would have been Dumervil’s 100th career sack. Dumervil posted a picture of one such near-miss on his Instagram account and captioned it: “Almost doesn’t count. We will be better. #QuestFor100.”

Arik Armstead only has 4 1/2 career sacks as the team’s 2015 top draft pick. His plan of attack on Wilson: “You want to be aggressive and go after him, but be mindful of his scrambling ability.”

“We’re going to approach this week different than we did with Cam, just from a D-line standpoint,” Saleh said. “I don’t if I can say it’s much different because (Newton and Wilson) are both running quarterbacks.”

One potential change is activating Aaron Lynch, who did not suit up for the opener as Saleh instead opted for interior depth with Xavier Cooper and D.J. Jones. “There’s no question it’s got to be better,” Saleh said of the pass rush.

Added Dumervil: “There’s no secret to it. It’s about everybody just going harder, playing a better effort.”

Detroit Lions offensive guard Laken Tomlinson watches during NFL football training camp in Allen Park, Mich., Monday, July 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The Detroit Lions traded 2015 first-round pick Laken Tomlinson two weeks ago to the 49ers, who might be ready to insert him at left guard. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) 

2. The Great Laken?: Two weeks after being traded from the Detroit Lions, Laken Tomlinson lined up at left guard on the first-string unit, at least in the warmup session during the media’s viewing window at practice. Coach Kyle Shanahan wants to see how well Tomlinson has learned the outside-zone blocking scheme before making any lineup changes, which would likely mean benching left guard Zane Beadles.

Tomlinson has made a positive first impression on left tackle Joe Staley, who said: “He’s very eager to learn. He’s a great guy in our offensive line room. You see on the field he’s really stoutly, powerly built. He reminds me a little bit of Mike (Iupati). His feet are very quick, so you can see why he was a top pick (in the 2015 first round by the Lions) and why we tried to get him here.”

As for last Sunday’s woes, Staley said the offensive line’s film review held up as “disappointing” but that there were “no glaring, huge flaws that aren’t fixable.” Instead, Staley said communications and technique issues hurt them most against a powerful Panthers front.

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