Tank Carradine appears ready to roll

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Vic Fangio is finally seeing the Tank Carradine the San Francisco 49ers drafted and he likes what he sees.

Carradine, a second-round pick in 2013, has been working this offseason after not playing last season as he recovered from a 2012 torn ACL. The former Florida State star defensive lineman (he has been working all at spots with the 49ers) was expected to be a top-20 pick before his injury.

Barring a setback, Carradine is expected to vie for significant playing time this season.

"This is the first time where he is physically ready," said Fangio, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, of Carradine. 'I think he is [recovered]. Last year during the season, I never felt he was there. And then there came a point in the offseason where he got better. He had a little cleanup done there [in January]. And it really, he turned a corner then. And his whole demeanor changed, and I think he's healthy now."

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh likes the progress Carradine is making.

"Excited to see him when he gets the pads on and play football in pads because you see the flashes and the strength and the ability," Harbaugh said. "Very excited for where he’s at right now."

Carradine said he is relieved that he is feeling good again. That wasn't the case last year as he struggled to recover as he watched his new teammates play.

"I was worried last year because I didn't feel like myself," Carradine said. "My knee was strong but I didn't feel like myself. I didn't know if I’d ever be the same again."

Carradine did everything a rookie would do but play. He went to meetings, he studied, he bonded with teammates. He asked veterans for pointers. He mentally prepared for the game. Now, it is time for him to get on the field.