Boone leans on 'competition' to help with new role

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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."

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.

Conflicting reports over Tomsula to Washington

Conflicting reports over Tomsula to Washington

Former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula reportedly might be back in the NFL after a one-year hiatus.

Tomsula, who spent his first eight NFL seasons as a defensive line coach, could be returning to that job with Washington, Carol Maloney of NBC4 reported on Sunday. But according to the Washington Post, a deal is not done between the two sides.

If the deal were to happen Tomsula would be rejoining Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and general manager Scot McCloughan, both of whom he worked with while members of the 49ers organization.

Tomsula was promoted to the head-coaching job over finalist Adam Gase two years ago after the 49ers' “mututal parting” with coach Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula was fired after the 49ers went 5-11 in 2015. Chip Kelly was hired to replace Tomsula. Kelly was fired after the 49ers went 2-14, including a franchise-worst 13-game losing streak.