49ers training camp 2023: What the first 2 days have taught us

Brock Purdy is back on the field again, but his return wasn't exactly smooth
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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49ers defense is ahead of the offense... for now

This honestly shouldn't be too big a surprise, as this is often the case for most teams across the league. Even those with terrible defenses.

But, particularly in the complex offense the 49ers operate under head coach Kyle Shanahan, it's natural to assume the Niners defense is going to be playing better toward the beginning of camp while Shanahan's offense acclimates and gets into rhythm.

Sometimes, we've seen that getting into rhythm stretch into the regular season, too.

At any rate, San Francisco's defense is still stacked with talent at all three levels. Even without Nick Bosa, the 49ers pass rush is potent (without pads), while the 49ers own the best linebacker group in the entire NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

And, if Steve Wilks is bringing out the best within the secondary, there are good reasons why the defense is starting off hotter.