The San Francisco 49ers are still trying to find some pass rush to make a push forward this season after finishing 26th in the league in sacks last year.
“The challenge for us is how to get Buck 1-on-1s as many times as possible,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “Testing him out there at that end spot to see what he looks like. I mean, he’s unbelievable. He is a special talent.
“It’s on us to make sure that we put him in position, however we need to. Now his best is when he is inside rushing the passer, but as a changeup, it could happen, for sure.”
Saleh had downplayed the idea of using Buckner at end last December. However, an offseason of evaluation and reassessment may have changed the thought process and the priorities for Buckner. The former first-round pick has become a strong force on the defensive interior for the 49ers. Now he’ll get a chance to show if he can have a similar impact rushing from the edge.
“I think it’s pretty cool the coaches are experimenting with me on the edge. It changes the game up a little bit and shows my versatility. I’m just trying to affect the game.”