Corey Lemonier has been making strides of improvement throughout the preseason for the 49ers.
In the second preseason game against the Chiefs, Lemonier Beat the this year's No. 1 overall draft pick in Fisher which sacked Alex Smith. Lemonier was able to take advantage of a safety blitz by C.J. Spillman as Smith was trying to escape. The rookie OLB was able to tackle the former 49ers quarterback easily.
Other than being on defense, Lemonier has been contributing on special teams as well. This is a new territory for him as he was a DE in college while at Auburn.
“I’m just learning [special teams] step-by-step," Lemonier said. “Coaches like what I’m doing out there so I’ve just got to keep getting better.”
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound linebacker was playing on all coverage units throughout the last preseason game. Lemonier said special teams are a crucial part of the game as it gives him a significant role on the team. Lemonier's time at OLB will be minimal with Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith being on the edges.
While Lemonier was on the field during the 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Quintin Demps, he was on the opposite side of the field and wasn't the problem on the play. It was the Chiefs' only touchdown of the game.
Lemonier is hoping to take the next step in the third week of the preseason against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. It's unclear how much playing time he'll get, but it is certain he will face the main players on special teams and even offense for a few plays.
The 2012 third-round pick remains self-critical of what he does on the field. He is never satisfied in what he sees in himself.
“I’m always hard on myself [because] I always want to get better,” Lemonier said. “I’m just trying to look at the positives, but also look at the negatives and get better off that.”