49ers DC Unveils Plan of Attack for Arik Armstead Moving Forward

Arik Armstead

Getty Arik Armstead wraps up Chris Carson of the Seahawks in the Sunday, October 3, home game for the 49ers.

With Javon Kinlaw out, the San Francisco 49ers replaced him with a starting defensive end versus the Chicago Bears: Arik Armstead.

And Armstead lining up across guards and tackles won’t be a one game only occurrence.

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Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans rolled out his plan for the 6-foot-7, 285-pounder moving forward on Thursday, November 4. Not only is the interior officially Armstead’s permanent trench home because of Kinlaw going on injured reserve, but also because of the newest free agent pickup on NFL trade deadline day helping make some tweaks to Ryans’ line of scrimmage plans.

“Yeah, Armstead has moved inside,” Ryans confirmed to the Bay Area media. “He started last week, moving inside, that’s still fluid. We’ll see, what do we need for each particular week. We’ll see in what area Arik can help us.”

Armstead Still Controlled His Spot

According to Pro Football Focus, Armstead lined up in the “B” gap at a season-high of 18 plays.

While the 49ers surrendered 176 yards on the ground, Armstead and company didn’t allow a rushing touchdown in nearly 55 minutes until the Justin Fields touchdown run below.

But in the end, Armstead finished with four tackles including three solo in the 33-22 road win.

Of the 176 ground-based yards from Chicago, the Bears only gained 11 between the center and right side tight end. Armstead was plugged to the right.

While Armstead has been at his attacking best as a “wide 9″ edge defender (either lining up well outside the offensive tackle or tight end), Ryans wasn’t surprised by how well Armstead controlled his gap.

“Moving Armstead inside, the thing about him is he’s done it before and he’s very good inside as well,” Ryans said. “And we know his dominance on the edge. Nobody really wants to run the ball to Arik’s side when he’s on the edge and now putting him inside, I think Arik was able to make a lot more plays inside this past week. So, he can be a productive playmaker for us inside.

“And with Kinlaw, I think not having Kinlaw does attribute to that,” Ryans said. “But Arik has done fantastic. He did a good job last week and he’ll continue to get better the more reps he gets inside.”

It’s not the first time Armstead has wrecked havoc in an inside gap. The Philadelphia game shines a light on how he’s fared from an interior standpoint.

Addition of Houston Texan Additionally Changes Trench Ideas

Here’s another reason behind Armstead’s move to the “B” gap: Charles Omenihu arriving to the Bay.

“Yeah, Charles, we’re excited to have him. Excited to add a guy with his talent,” Ryans said. “I think it’s a great player to add to our room. Very long player, instinctive guy who can make plays for us. So, Charles has been coming along, learning the scheme, picking up on everything pretty well. We’ll see how much he advances, but I’m really happy and excited to be able to add a player of his quality at this point in the season.”

Though shorter than Armstead by two inches, the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder brings added length and versatility to the front four.

“He’s played on the edge. He’s played inside,” Ryans said. “We’ll see where he thrives best for us and where he fits the best for us and wherever he can excel the most and showcase his talent, that’s where we’ll put him.”

Why the 49ers traded for Charles OmenihuFollow @LombardiHimself on Twitter2021-11-02T18:32:04Z
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