NFL Free Agency

Floyd hopes 49ers D-line coach Kocurek can push him to new heights

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Leonard Floyd is new to the 49ers, but the pass rusher is set to make a seamless transition with the help of defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

Floyd spoke to local Bay Area media on Monday via video conference and shared his excitement about joining the group and, maybe most importantly, playing under his new coach.

“I am familiar with [Kocurek] because I’ve seen some of the players he coached take off to a high level just from being in his room,” Floyd said. “I know he’s a guy who is going to push me to my highest level, a level I haven’t reached yet, and I’m looking forward to that.”

Over Floyd’s eight seasons, he has played for the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills after the Chicago Bears selected him No. 9 overall in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Atlanta native has yet to receive Pro Bowl nod or All-Pro honors, and hopes that Kocurek can tip the scales.

“I’m coming in every day ready to soak up the game from him and just buy in to what he’s teaching,” Floyd said. “Whatever game plan we’ve got, I’m buying into it 100 percent.”

Floyd has played mostly at outside linebacker but was seen more as a pure pass rusher in his stint with the Bills in 2023. The 31-year-old would, by all means, prefer to simply rush the quarterback.

“I believe I got a little taste of it last year with the Bills," Floyd said. “I didn’t really drop that much; I was always rushing. To me, rushing is good thing. I’d rather rush all day than drop anyway. That’s a good thing for me. Send me in as much as you want.” 

In eight NFL seasons, Floyd has racked up 58 quarterback sacks and believes his physical abilities make him a perfect match for any scheme. While he hasn’t played in the 49ers' wide-nine scheme, the pass rusher believes it likely will come naturally, whether he has his hand in the dirt or not. 

“It really doesn’t matter to me, as long as we sack the quarterback,” Floyd said. “It really doesn’t matter standing up or three point. Scheme wise, I’m an athlete so I fit any scheme, to me personally. All I need for my coach to do is teach me what to do and where to go, and I’m going to go, 100 percent.”

Kocurek, whose bellowing voice can be heard from two football fields away, could be someone that a player might not be ready for, but not Floyd. He is excited.

“I believe I’ve had every style of coach,” Floyd said. “I’m always eager to play for a coach who is loud and vocal, when his players got to come out and stand on the words he’s speaking on and I believe I’m going to do that for him."

The 49ers are in need of production on the side opposite of All-Pro pass rusher Nick Bosa and believe Floyd could be the one to step up. 

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