Critics will be quick to point out that San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas had a tough year on the football field in 2018. He had an even tougher year off the field, which probably impacted his on-field play.

Thomas had to deal with the death of his sister in January of 2018. The loss resonated with the defensive lineman but he told reporters on Tuesday that he is in a much better place now that he has had time to deal with the anger, depression, and grief that accompany losing someone close to you.

"Physically, you can be the best you can ever be, but if you're not healthy mentally, your body's not going to work," Thomas said. "Your mind can take over your body. Your mind controls everything. That's what I've been working on for me, and I feel mentally healthier than ever, and that's why I feel this is the best I've ever felt in my life right now."

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who joined 95.7 The Game on Thursday, has noticed that Thomas seems different this offseason.

"Solomon, he's a different person the past couple of months," Juszczyk said on the "Joe, Lo and Dibs" show. "You just see it in his eyes. The guy is always smiling. He just gives off a different energy now, and you can tell he's in a really good place.

"I think he's in a good place to succeed as well. There's some serious talent on that defensive line, and I think that's only going to bring the best out of each and every one of them."

The mentally and physically healthier Thomas is certainly a candidate to be a breakout player this year. He has just four sacks in his first two NFL seasons but is surrounded by a lot more talent now. He also has a new defensive line coach in Kris Kocurek, who brings with him a different scheme up front and has a reputation of getting the best out of his players.

"I probably had my worst season in my life last year, and I'm the most confident I've ever been in my career right now," Thomas added. "That says a lot. I'm just ready to move forward and show everyone who Solomon Thomas is and what I'm about to bring to the table for this team."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Juszczyk below.


You can watch Tuesday's presser with Thomas below, courtesy of Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.