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Kyle Shanahan Heaps Praise on Arik Armstead

Armstead saved the 49ers season.

The 49ers wouldn't be alive without Arik Armstead.

They wouldn't have beaten the Rams in the final week of the regular season without his 2.5 sacks in that game. And they wouldn't have beaten the Packers without his 1.5 sacks in Green Bay.

Here's what head coach Kyle Shanahan said about Armstead's importance to the 49ers.

SHANAHAN: "I think Arik is never fully appreciated enough. I'm just glad he has numbers. He's gotten some numbers, which helps him get appreciated a little bit more, but I don't think people realize how important Arik is to our D-line. The physicality that he plays with, the fact that we can gameplan him and move him to different positions to stop certain run plays. I know how much I hate dealing with him in camp, running the ball at him when he is on our tight ends and then trying to have a pocket when he is pushing inside and just how tall he is with his length. So I think Arik, even when he's not big on the stats sheet, like just watching the film and just how he affects a game to me is so huge. 

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"And that's why I think he kind of is a little underappreciated. He doesn't always get the huge numbers, but when we're rushing as a group well and you have the presence of him, he ends up getting those numbers eventually, because he is always a problem. And if they're worried about other people, he can get those. But what he does for us, even when the numbers aren't there, offenses have to-- you can't just not worry about Arik Armstead. You have to have a plan on how you're running the ball verse him and you definitely have to have a plan how you're throwing the ball.”