Newly signed defensive back Isaiah Oliver is ready to test his versatility with the 49ers in 2023.
The former Atlanta Falcon spoke to local Bay Area media on Thursday after officially signing a two-year contract, noting that although his role has not yet been decided by the 49ers’ coaching staff, he has been successful while playing mostly. in the slot.
“As I understand it, I’m here to be versatile and help in any way I can,” Oliver said Thursday. “Really, I think I have to take the time to figure out where I am and what it looks like going forward with OTAs and boot camp. But my goal is to come And help the team in any way.
Oliver returned to the mix late in the 2022 NFL season after suffering an ACL injury in Week 4 of 2021. The Colorado product was so physically involved, he didn’t feel himself on the field until around December.
In five seasons, Oliver made 203 tackles – 153 solo, seven for loss – and two interceptions over 62 games. The full-back believes his nose for contact with bigger players on the field comes not only from his physical stature but because of his “desire”.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound defender isn’t shy about touchdowns, likening himself to former 49ers cornerback Kewen Williams who signed with the Denver Broncos this past March after four seasons with the 49ers.
“I definitely felt more comfortable there,” Oliver said. “I felt like I was able to play to my strengths a little more. Once I was around the ball, being in good shape, I felt really comfortable and I like doing it so much.
“K’Waun Williams has been here for a long time and he was one of the most confident tacklers in the league, and he wasn’t afraid to go out there and hit something.”
Oliver will join Carvarius “Money” Ward, Diodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas and Sam Womack on the field. With the departure of Jimmy Ward to the Houston Texans, the 49ers have a void to fill in the nickels and Oliver is the perfect candidate.
“I feel like my strengths are just being able to get around the ball, to be a solid striker and to be able to play on the ball that way,” Oliver said. “It’s something I’ve been good at for the last two years and I’m still getting better at it.”
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Oliver is looking forward to finding his role while working with new defensive coordinator Steve Wilkes, who has risen through the ranks as defensive backs coach. Oliver sees this as an opportunity that he must take advantage of.
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