49ers: Quinton Dial Anchor At Nose, Mike Purcell Key Cog On Defense

Niners Live is taking an in-depth look at San Francisco 49ers fellow defensive linemen Quinton Dial and Mike Purcell as the anchor and key rotational cog on defense, respectively.


When you play back the tape of Quinton Dial’s 2015 season, you’ll find he accumulated career highs across the board with 59 tackles which rank 13th in the NFL among interior linemen, 2.5 sacks, and two block field goals.

Important to note: In 2015, Quinton Dial started a career-high 15 games, graded 71.3 against the run, 72.5 in pass-rush, per Pro footballfocus.com (subscription required).

Because of Dial’s steady growth as a football player, professionalism, leadership, and high character he earned a contract extension from the 49ers through 2019. Here’s what general manager Trent Baalke had to say about Dial, per the team’s website:

“Throughout his first three seasons in the NFL, Quinton has shown consistent development and has become a key contributor in our defense,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “We have certainly seen his positive impact on the field and in our locker room, but we also recognize the impressive work he does in the community year round. We are pleased to extend the contract of young players like Quinton and are excited to see him continue his career with the 49ers.”

Dial was asked before his extension if he could play the nose tackle position; here was his response:”Yes sir. I played the three, five, zero, six. I played pretty much the whole defensive line,” via the team’s website.

Trent Baalke was thinking of the big picture when he signed Dial to an extension as a much-needed insurance policy, in case fellow defensive linemen Ian Williams couldn’t remain healthy.

Unfortunately, that turned out to be true and hence fostered the selection of Deforest Buckner, only to eventually promote Dial as the future anchor of this defense while his running mates Buckner and Arik Armstead “wreak havoc” on opposing offenses.

Mike Purcell a Key Rotational Cog on Defense:

It’s all about opportunities and seizing the moment in the world of the NFL which is known for it’s alter ego nickname, “Not For Long,” something Mike Purcell doesn’t know anything about up to this point.

Going undrafted three years ago, out of the University ofWyoming, Purcell signed on as a practice squad player where he spent most of his time until the 2015 season.

Statistics recap for 2015: Purcell played in a career-high eight games with 15 tackles and one sack. Purcell flashed some playmaking ability and athleticism; however, he was still inconsistent at the point of attack and his run fits.

Ian Williams had a major setback mentioned earlier: Purcell has had a solid camp up to this point, and now the window of opportunity just opened up cha-ching time to cash in.

Purcell has mentioned this opportunity via the team’s website and fully expects to take advantage of it.

Mike Purcell spoke about wanting to make the team no longer just as in past seasons; now he’s vying for the starting nose position, which ultimately we at Niners Live in overwhelming consensus believe will be Dial who wins that job.

Therefore, setting the tone for Purcell’s improved development on his craft as a football player to become a “key rotational cog on defense.”

All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated.