Boone expected to get chance to compete at guard


Boone expected to get chance to compete at guard

When the 49ers' offseason programs begins Monday, offensive lineman Alex Boone is likely to get a chance to show his versatility.Boone, who was the 49ers' primary backup at both offensive tackle positions last season, is expected to get a chance to compete for a starting job at guard, according to multiple individuals close to the team.Coach Jim Harbaugh regularly referred to Boone last season as one of his seven "starting" offensive linemen. Boone spent all of 2009 on the 49ers' practice squad after being an undrafted free agent from Ohio State. He saw action in just one game in 2010.Boone, who is listed at 6-foot-8, 300 pounds, took over for veteran Barry Sims as the 49ers' backup tackle on both sides last season. He played 172 snaps on offense, including 55 at left tackle on Dec. 11 against the Arizona Cardinals when Joe Staley exited in the first quarter with a concussion. Boone also saw limited action at right tackle and was used regularly as an extra blocker, mostly in short-yardage situations.LeCharles Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowl lineman whose career was cut short after six seasons due to a knee injury and complications from surgery, has worked closely with Boone for several years at Bentley's O-Line Academy near Cleveland.
"Alex can play guard if it's the best thing for the team, but physically it's not the ideal position for him," Bentley said. "Good guards are easier to find than good tackles. I believe Alex is a very good tackle in the making."Harbaugh stated during training camp last summer that the team's five best offensive linemen would start. Boone is expected to compete for a full-time job in 2012 -- though it might require a position change.
The 49ers have four obvious starters on the line, but the club is looking to replace right guard Adam Snyder, who started 15 games, including the playoffs.Snyder signed a five-year contract with the Cardinals as a free agent. And the 49ers have not show much interest in re-signing backup Chilo Rachal, whom Harbaugh also considered a starter even after he was benched at halftime of the 49ers' third game of the season.Daniel Kilgore, whom the 49ers traded up to select last year in the fifth round, is expected to compete for the starting job. Kilgore might also see some time at center behind starter Jonathan Goodwin.The 49ers have looked at a handful of veteran guards in free agency. The team visited with Leonard Davis, Jason Brown, Deuce Lutui and Geoff Schwartz but have yet to sign anyone. Lutui (Seattle) and Schwartz (Minnesota) have since signed with other teams."Honestly, in their scheme, guards are a dime a dozen," Bentley said. "A good young offensive tackle is such a premium. It would be a waste of ability. . . . But if he's one of the five best, yeah, get him on the field."Bentley said he believes the 49ers' best option would be to move right tackle Anthony Davis to guard. It's a switch that is not likely to happen after the 49ers traded up to select Davis with the No. 11 pick in the 2010 draft. The 49ers expect Davis, with his first offseason of work with coaches this year, to develop into one of the game's top right tackles."I believe they have to figure out who the best five are first," Bentley said. "Then, figure out the proper configuration. Alex is my guy. He still has to show he's ready to be an NFL starter. Potential is just unproven talent. There are four guys we all know are starters. They need one more. I believe Alex is a starter, but he's going to have to earn it."

Staley sits out 49ers practice with hamstring injury

Staley sits out 49ers practice with hamstring injury

SANTA CLARA – Left tackle Joe Staley, who has not missed a game since 2010, did not practice Thursday due to a hamstring injury.

The 49ers’ five-time Pro Bowl performer has the third-longest active streak among offensive tackles with 92 consecutive starts. Only Cleveland's Joe Thomas (156) and Oakland's Donald Penn (152) have started more consecutive games.

Staley’s availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at Levi’s Stadium is in question after he was held out of practice on Thursday after going through the full workload on Wednesday.

If Staley is unable to play, the 49ers would likely move left guard Zane Beadles to left tackle and insert Andrew Tiller at left guard. Tiller started the first five games of the season at right guard before rookie Joshua Garnett took over.

Did not practice
T Joe Staley (hamstring)
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
RB Shaun Draughn (ribs)
LB Eli Harold (toe)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
Full participation
DT Ronald Blair (hamstring)
C Daniel Kilgore (hamstring)

Did not practice
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
RB Khiry Robinson (lower leg)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
S Calvin Pryor (concussion)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
Full participation
RB Matt Forte (knee, foot)
WR Brandon Marshall (knee, foot)
CB Nick Marshall (ankle)
DE Leonard Williams (illness)
CB Marcus Williams (ankle)

Pearl Harbor speech: Admiral calls out Kaepernick, others for anthem kneeling

Pearl Harbor speech: Admiral calls out Kaepernick, others for anthem kneeling

Wednesday was the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Although he didn't call out Colin Kaepernick by name, Admiral Harry B. Harris gave a speech that included a message intended for a certain group of athletes and/or entertainers.

“You can bet that the men and women we honor today, and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago, never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played."

Many of those in attendance gave the Admiral a standing ovation.

During the preseason, Kaepernick remained seated on the 49ers' team bench during the national anthem.

After sparking a national controversy, Kaepernick began kneeling as opposed to sitting.

After the 49ers' loss to the Bears on Sunday, Kaepernick said he will continue his demonstration moving forward.

"Today we have a precious opportunity to reflect -- to reflect on what it means to be a patriot, to reflect on what it means to be a nation tested by war, and to reflect on both the costs and the blessings of liberty," Admiral Harris added. "To America's World War II patriots here and watching at home -- we will never forget your courage under considerable fire and seemingly insurmountable odds.

"Because of you, our future remains bright. We owe you an immeasurable debt and we can't thank you enough for answering the call of duty when Lady Liberty needed it the most."