Leonard Floyd

Shanahan, Lynch believe consistency is Floyd's best trait

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Leonard Floyd’s motor is never in question. 

The 49ers' new pass rusher has a reputation for his relentless effort on the field and coach Kyle Shanahan knew Floyd would be a perfect fit for San Francisco's defense.

“Yeah, he goes all day,” Shanahan said on Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting. “We played against him too much. I’ve never liked playing against him. He’s always been a such a good player.” 

Late in the 2023 season, a few plays made by the 49ers' defense went viral on social media exemplifying a lack of effort. While Shanahan is adamant that those plays were anomalies, having Floyd on the field will only help matters.

“We didn’t really have effort issues,” Shanahan said. “We had a few bad plays that got really pumped up on social media. We don’t ever want to have bad plays, but effort was never an issue on our team.”

While Shanahan has been a fan of Floyd’s for some time, his newly appointed assistant head coach may have tipped the scales even more. Brandon Staley worked with the pass rusher while serving as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator in 2020.

“It’s really cool having Brandon on our staff because he got to coach him when he was in L.A.,” Shanahan said. “Just hearing the type of practice player he is. He goes all day, he loves playing football. He loves being out there and I’m pumped to have him on our team.”

General manager John Lynch is also a believer in what Floyd will be able to add to the 49ers' defensive front. Over the past four seasons the edge rusher has averaged 10 sacks per season which makes him a perfect candidate to play opposite of Nick Bosa on the defensive line.

“Leonard is just an excellent football player who we’ve admired for a long time,” Lynch said. “Loved him when he came out of Georgia. Competes at a really high level, really physical player and good at all facets of the game.

“Gives us a very consistent guy opposite of Bosa that can make people pay when they have to give all the attention to Nick. He’s also very durable, he plays a ton, and love the way he chases. He just plays with great effort." 

San Francisco looking for their defense to return to their dominating ways after a step back in the 2023 season and Floyd could be an impactful part of the equation. Despite turning 3 before the 2024 season kicks off, the former first-round pick (No. 9 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft) has a lot left in the tank and is set to be the starter opposite of wherever Bosa lines up.

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