49ers film room: Why Fred Warner is already a top 3 linebacker

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Fred Warner, 49ers
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

No. 4: Fred Warner is a perfect fit to play in the 49ers defensive scheme with his ability to take away more than one route at a time

The Rams love to call some sort of mesh play or any passing play that includes crossers. The main idea behind running mesh and using crossing routes is to stretch a defender horizontally or vertically. This should give the quarterback a clear read with the ball going to the receiver whom the defender has let go or hasn’t gained enough depth or isn’t shallow enough to cover that receiver.

Fred Warner, in the Week 6 game against the Rams in which the 49ers held Los Angeles to only 48 passing yards, was elite at taking away multiple routes at once.

That is not a mistake, the Niners defense held the Rams offense to 48 passing yards.

Warner was able to do that by placing himself in excellent positions and using zone eyes to stare at Rams quarterback Jared Goff therefore making Warner’s job easier to see where Goff was looking and where Warner needed to be. Warner has an amazing range, allowing him to be between routes, knowing he can either drive or get depth quickly enough to make a play on the ball.

It was 1st-and-10 on the 49ers 10-yard line. The Rams lined up quickly and snapped the ball before you could blink. Robert Saleh called for man coverage with Warner playing zone coverage as the low hole defender. Warner identifies that wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, running free on a shallow crossing route with cornerback Emmanuel Moseley playing off-man coverage and was therefore left behind by Kupp. However, Warner identified this and ran with Kupp, tackling him out of bounds for a gain of 5 yards, but most importantly, Warner prevented a walk-in touchdown.

Elite play and route recognition from Warner.