Boone leans on 'competition' to help with new role


Boone leans on 'competition' to help with new role

SANTA CLARA -- Alex Boone has found an unlikely resource in his quest to solidify himself as the 49ers' starting right guard.Boone is receiving help from his chief competitor.The front-runner throughout the offseason program to win the starting job at right guard, Boone reported to training camp with a new threat to his potential starting role. The 49ers signed 11-year professional Leonard Davis. And, now, the 49ers have another legitimate option to plug into the starting lineup.It did not take Boone long to becomes acquainted with Davis. And it did not take Davis long to indicate to Boone that he was there to help. On the first day they were together in the 49ers' offensive line meeting room, Boone fired off a question to Davis, who responded with an answer on how he would approach a situation that presented itself on film."Some of the rookie were kind of looking around, 'Isn't he competing against you?'" Boone said Wednesday. "But Leonard's a great guy. I know when we get on the field, there's going to be competition, but if I have a chance to learn from a guy who's been in the league as long as he has and has been to the Pro Bowl and has 155 starts, why wouldn't I do that?"Boone, who has always played tackle, is now tackling the challenge of moving to guard."I knew it was going to be different," Boone said. "I was talking to (defensive line coach) Jim Tomsula about that. It's just less space. The first day, I found myself trying to create some space. But you just have to get into that mindset of being a mauler."And how has that worked out?"I'm the wrong person to ask," Boone said.At that point, teammate NaVorro Bowman was walking past. And Boone called out to the 49ers' All-Pro linebacker for confirmation."Am I a mauler?" Boone asked Bowman."Yeah, you're a mauler," Bowman confirmed.Boone (6-foot-8, 315 pounds) does not have the size of a prototype guard. Davis is at least two inches shorter and 40 pounds heavier. Boone is doing plenty of learning on the job -- especially since the pads went on for the first time Sunday.
He is working constantly with right tackle Anthony Davis on communication against the 49ers' outstanding pass rush that comes from outside linebacker Aldon Smith and left defensive Justin Smith."I'm working on staying low, that's the big thing," Boone said. "It's getting better and better. And I'm feeling more comfortable. There's no doubt in my mind that I'll do this job."

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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