The newest member of the San Francisco 49ers is already buying into Jim Harbaugh’s team-first philosophy.
Clark Haggans, the veteran outside linebacker signed to fill Parys Haralson’s roster spot, expressed just how much he would be willing to do to help his new team when speaking with the media for the first time since signing with the 49ers on Monday.
“If they need me to long snap, kick or fill up the water bottles I will do it,” Haggans said.
The 13-year veteran’s willingness to contribute at multiple positions is commendable, but he is expected to spend the majority of his time at outside linebacker after Haralson was placed on Injured Reserve.
After arriving in the Bay Area on Sunday, Haggans wasted little time getting into his new playbook.
“I am happy to be here,” the 35-year-old said. “Right now I am just getting in the playbook, getting to know my teammates and my coaches. I am getting used to the workout and the routine.”
Haggans is already acquainted with most of his new teammates because as a member of the Arizona Cardinals he faced the 49ers twice in each of the last four seasons. He spent much of Tuesday Morning shaking hands and catching up with his fellow 49ers in the locker room.
Soon after, Haggans joined teammates for the 49ers team photo wearing his red No. 51 jersey.
“They are a very physical team, blue-collar and hard-working,” Haggans said. “All the success they had last year was obviously earned. I am just happy to be a part of it.”
Haggans brings a wealth of experience to the 49ers, which includes one ring to show for his two Super Bowl appearances. The 35-year-old helped lead the Steelers to a victory in Super Bowl XL with five tackles and one sack.
For his career, Haggans has totaled 502 tackles, 46.5 sacks, one interception, 16 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 24 pass breakups in 163 games.
That winning pedigree can only help Haggans as he gets acclimated with the defending NFC West Champions.
“It will obviously be a challenge (to pick up the playbook by week one),” Haggans said. “The terminology is different, but a lot of the techniques are the same. Having been here since Sunday in the classroom with my coaches I am just trying to absorb as much as I can.”
The fact that Haggans has spent his entire NFL career working within the same 3-4 defensive system can only help as he gets to know Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme.
“Early in my career I was on the right and I moved to left,” Haggans said. “I have been in the 3-4 defense a long time. A lot of the techniques are the same it’s just getting used to the terminology with my eyes and footwork.”
“I was fortunate to have a training camp so as far as being in game shape I am still working toward that.”
The linebacker’s ability to play on both the left and right sides of the defense is the type of versatility coaches look for in an outside linebacker.
Still, arriving at a new team in September presents a player, no matter how experienced, with a unique set of difficulties.
Haggans is approaching that challenge with a positive attitude.
“I am trying to stay as spongy as possible,” Haggans said.
Tags: Clark Haggans, Jim Harbaugh, Parys Haralson, Vic Fangio
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