49ers Eli Harold expects to have stronger season in 2017

27 DECEMBER 2015: San Francisco 49ers linebacker Eli Harold (58) waits for the snap of the ball during game action between the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions during a regular season game played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Eli Harold is looking forward to this NFL season and feels he is improving, he said during an interview with High School Sports Talk on Soundcloud.

Harold said that while he did everything his coaches asked of him, one of his biggest issues over his first two years in the league was his weight, pointing out that he had difficulty handling the fluctuations.

“The biggest difference was learning the game, getting used to the guys in the locker room, knowing your role. Rookie year obviously I didn’t play that much, but I did all I needed to do, I did all the coach asked me to do,” Harold said.

Harold played in all 16 games during his rookie campaign in 2015, but was only used sparingly, recording eight tackles and one fumble recovery.

“And going into my second year, our general manager at the time wanted me to pack on some muscle. I had got up to 270, believe it or not, the year before,” he said. “Previously I was like 245. It was hard holding all that weight, and I lost a step. I really didn’t feel like myself, and I dropped back down and played at 265 last year. I wouldn’t say I had the season that I wanted to have, but I definitely showed signs of improvement, which helped me to make a few plays, and do a little bit to help our team. Year 2 is year 2, and I’m just looking forward to this year. I can’t wait.”

Harold registered 37 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble during his second season. He started 13 games last year and figures to play an even more prominent role in the 49ers’ defense this coming season.

San Francisco selected the University of Virginia product in the third round (79th pick overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.

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