The newest member of the San Francisco 49ers has sent the message: He’s about to be “locked in.”
Newly added 49ers edge rusher Kemoko Turay spoke to his fans on Instagram Live on the evening of Thursday, April 14 following signing his one-year deal. The former Indianapolis Colts defensive end is expected to add extra length, speed and an extra quarterback attacker for a 49ers trench unit constructed by defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.
The towering 6-foot-5, 248-pound veteran isn’t just looking forward to having a “fresh start” as he told his social media followers, he shared why he’ll thrive in the Bay Area.
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Where Turay is Most Excited
Turay is on a “prove it” deal with S.F. But his reason for his excitement levels starts with the man who will soon coach him up.
“I’m excited man. I’m excited to work alongside a coach, coach Kris, and I know he gets his guys right,” Turay said in his video. “I know the type of dude he is and the guys that come in and work under him. And guys flourish just being with him. So he has a good resume in terms of what he does with his pass rushers and I see that as a great opportunity to use my opportunities like my ability. And alongside his coaching ability, just grind and just work.”
Kocurek’s Coaching & How Turay Can Fit 49ers
Kocurek has established a reputation for taking defenders and turning them into pass rushing machines.
Some either come to the former 2001 seventh rounder with a thin build or needing a pass rush spark — and Kocurek is the man who lights the flame for them.
The 43-year-old has produced two-time Pro Bowler Nick Bosa, guided Arden Key to a career-best season in 2021, coached Kerry Hyder to his best sack output (8.5 in 2020) and has gotten Arik Armstead to see an increase in sacks in his three seasons with Kocurek: 19.5 since 2019 after collecting just nine in his first four seasons in the Bay Area.
In looking at last season, the 49ers collected 48 total sacks…but 43.5 came from the guys who started with their hand in the grass before the ball snapped.
Turay is coming over having produced his best sack output at 5.5 in Indy. But there’s already the belief that with his height and edge speed, he’ll blend right in with ease in the Bay.
Along with the sacks, Turay delivered 13 QB pressures.
Even before his NFL career took off, Turay developed a strong reputation as a pass rusher in Piscataway, New Jersey for Rutgers University in the Big 10.
In 38 total games, Turay has produced either one sack or 5.5 every season he’s played in the league according to Pro Football Reference. He’s also delivered seven tackles for a loss and 29 QB hits.
Fans of the 49ers probably shouldn’t be surprised if Turay gets inserted into the “NASCAR” look the 49ers throw on offenses. Key was a pivotal part of that package.
But it was the defensive front that allowed Key to slide inside with Bosa — both creating mismatches against guards with their snap explosion.
It’s still to be determined what kind of role or how much playing time Turay will receive. But he’s sent this final message to the 49ers faithful: He’s “locked in.”
“I’m going to just lock on in — give it everything I’ve got for you guys. I’m about to be locked in, ASAP,” Turay said.