Fred Warner believes 'scrappy' 49ers rookie Sam Womack on right path

·2 min read

Key qualities in Womack show Warner rookie's future is bright originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- A focus for the 49ers' defense during the offseason has been takeaways, and Fred Warner believes Sam Womack is on the right path to help the team with its goals.

The All-Pro linebacker sat out of the club’s preseason opener, which gave him a chance to watch his teammates go to work. Three interceptions by the defense in the first half, two by Womack, impressed Warner, who believes the rookie has a bright future ahead.

“He’s been doing a really good job,” Warner said on Friday. “Really like Sammy a lot, even before this game. I’ve seen things that he’s been doing in practice and really like what I see. And then for him to come out and get two interceptions, really good outing.”

Warner noted Womack’s work ethic, humility and constant drive to get better are qualities that will only help the rookie going forward. The fifth-round pick’s determination to rip the ball out of Packers receiver Romeo Doubs' grasp on his first interception also caught Warner’s attention.

“He’s just real scrappy in there,” Warner said. “The way that he covers, he uses his feet really well to cover guys instead of just trying to be too grabby. I think that the length really helps him, being a shorter guy. I love his tenacity, the way he competes. He’s going to be pretty good.”

Kyle Shanahan shared that while there are always improvements to be made, he has liked the coverage skills seen from the Toledo product. The head coach would like to see better run defense from the young defender but thought his first real-game action was a good start.

“We felt him out there with those picks, and I thought he did a real good job in his coverage, too,” Shanahan said on Saturday via conference call. “His pick over the middle I thought was the best, just the coverage that he had on it. He had a good first outing.”

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Womack was on the field for 28 defensive snaps on Friday night, and while he did come down with two interceptions, he did not register any tackles.

Warner believes that Womack, like the other young members of the defense, will only improve as the preseason continues. The club will have more opportunities to get work in during joint practices with the Minnesota Vikings this week, but for now, Warner believes the defense is on schedule with their preparation.

“Everyone looks great,” Warner said. “Obviously, there are always things to clean up, but I think the way the guys flew around on defense, three interceptions in the first half, is incredible. That’s our emphasis. We want to take the ball away because that equals wins for our team.”

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