What 49ers think about during National Anthem

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What 49ers think about during National Anthem

Sept. 11, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- When recording star Brian McKnight performs "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday before the 49ers-Seahawks game, it is bound to stir up a flurry of emotions throughout the stadium.The ritual playing of the National Anthem means different things to different people. On the 10th anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks, thoughts and memories will swirl like the winds at Candlestick Park.Tough guy Alex Boone, a 6-foot-8, 300-pound backup offensive tackle for the 49ers, freely admits he often gets emotional during the song.
"I had a brother who fought in Iraq, so there's a lot that goes through my mind," Boone said. "I'm thankful for all those guys over there, doing what they do. I'm thankful for my brother and thankful he came home alive. I'm thankful to be doing what I'm doing."Sometimes I get emotional when a plane flies over. At Ohio State, we used to have the F-16s fly over some times and I'd get teary-eyed. It also depends on how good the singer is, too."
Boone referenced Sydney Shalhoob, an 11-year-old from Santa Barbara. She performed a spectacular rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the 49ers' exhibition game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 27."Unbelievable. Tears in my eyes," Boone said. "In times like that, I'm just thankful to be here. And thankful for all those guys over there."Here is what some other 49ers said about what goes through their minds during the playing of the National Anthem:"I look at the flag, making sure the team is looking sharp and standing straight and concentrating on that -- respecting the flag and the National Anthem. That's what's going through my head."
-- Coach Jim Harbaugh"It's right before a game, but I try to put things in perspective about the sacrifices others made so I can get to play football on Sundays. I think about the Stars and Stripes and all the wars that were fought to protect our freedom."
-- Quarterback Alex Smith"You just always have that in the back of your mind about what happened in New York. There are a lot of thoughts running through your mind. I think it'll be really emotional."
-- Fullback Moran Norris"Usually, I'm usually paying attention to who's singing and whether they can sing or not. I've already gone through my thoughts about the game in the locker room and I'm ready to play. Sunday is going to be something new. I'm on a new team with a different coach."
-- Cornerback Carlos Rogers"It's going to be remembrance of what happened in New York. It'll be more emotional than usual. I just think about God giving me the chance to live on."
-- Cornerback Tramaine Brock"I usually think about all the past games we had and things that have happened in the past. It's a calm moment to reflect on different things. I think 911 will be on everybody's mind."
-- Safety Reggie Smith"You can only think about what happened that day, 911, and all the brave men and women who fought for us, and think about the firefighters and police departments who contributed to helping people on that day for this country. On 911, it's a little more special and a little more meaningful. For me, I look at the how the guys across the way (on the opponent's sideline) respect the song. If those guys aren't into it, I know they aren't focused. Their demeanor shows a lot about whether they're ready to play."
-- Receiver Braylon Edwards"I usually try to clear my mind and relax and take in the moment. It's usually a time I try to calm myself for the game. It's a pretty significant day. I played in New York the year after that happened, and we used to stay in a Marriott right next to Ground Zero the night before games. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years, so it'll probably be a emotional time."
-- Center Jonathan Goodwin

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ biggest free-agent acquisition on defense and one of the team’s first-round draft picks play the same position.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he is holding off on thinking about how everything is going to play out this season at the linebacker position.

“I really try not to envision it too hard because I see a lot of good players there,” Shanahan said Tuesday during the 49ers’ first week of organized team activities.

The 49ers awarded weakside linebacker Malcolm Smith guaranteed money as an unrestricted free agent totaling approximately $12 million. Then, on the first day of the draft, the 49ers’ No. 3 rated prospect experienced a free fall, and the club traded into the back end of the first round to select him.

While Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has been sidelined through the offseason program as he recovers from shoulder injury, he figures to compete with Smith for the starting job. Foster will also learn middle linebacker, where NaVorro Bowman has earned first-team All-Pro honors in four seasons.

Bowman looks to be nearly all the way back from a torn Achilles that limited him to just four games last season.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Shanahan said. “Seeing Bow out here and how healthy he’s been, knowing we’ve added some good free agents, and the way the draft worked out, having a linebacker we had ranked very highly fall to us at the end of the first round. We got a lot better pretty fast.

“When you ask me how it’s going to play out, I’m not sure. It’s a good problem to have. It’s something you’d like to have any every position. There’s going to be a very good player who’s not out there all the time. That’s not a bad thing. That makes the two guys who are out there go a lot harder and play better. It makes special teams better and it allowed you to survive injuries, which almost always happen.”

Bowman’s vision for the upcoming season includes him retaining his role in the middle of the 49ers’ defense.

"I won't be on the sideline, I'll tell you that right now,” Bowman said.

Bowman said he was not fazed with the 49ers selected Foster in the first round. Foster is likely considered the heir apparent to Bowman.

Shanahan called Bowman after the selection of Foster was made, but Bowman said he did not need to speak with the coach about why the selection was made.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Bowman said of the phone call, “but it was good to hear from him, to see that he had something to say or an idea of what he wanted to get across to me.

“But we haven’t talked about it. I did that on purpose. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll compete with anyone, whether he’s 21 or 35. It doesn’t matter. I’m a guy who’s going to give my best effort and have full confidence in my abilities to play this game. I know how much I study this game. I know how good I am and that’s what was going to bring back here.

“It’s always a competition. There’s always someone trying to take your spot. As a player, if you keep that in mind, you’ll always put the work in that’s needed.”

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

SANTA CLARA -- For the first time since Bryant Young retired following the 2007 season, the 49ers have placed his old number back into service.

Linebacker Dekoda Watson was issued No. 97 for the team’s organized team activities this week.

Young was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award as the 49ers’ most inspirational and courageous player. No 49ers player has worn No. 97 in the past nine seasons or offseasons.

Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is now wearing No. 94 after being issued No. 96 for the rookie minicamp. Linebacker Reuben Foster is wearing No. 56.

Rookie defensive tackle D.J. Jones now wearing No. 96. Cornerback Rashard Robinson switched back to No. 33 after an earlier change to No. 26. Running back Kapri Bibbs is now 26. Rookie running back Joe Williams is No. 32 after wearing No. 33 at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles over the weekend. Veteran running back Tim Hightower is wearing No. 22.