Amid a number of returning 49ers veterans, the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Alex Boone stood larger than ever in front of his locker at Levi’s Stadium for this week’s minicamp.
Boone’s presence was in contrast to his 2014 offseason holdout, and signified the return of a much-needed big body for an 49ers offensive line in a state of flux.
Boone was in a jovial mood Tuesday afternoon, showing his eagerness and excitement at returning to the football field:
“This is a whole new team, it feels good though. It always feels good to be back. I’m just happy to be around the guys. Been going a little stir crazy around the home watching two kids all day.”
After a four-year tenure at right guard, Boone may look to wear a different hat in the upcoming season. Boone remains a strong candidate to take over Anthony Davis‘ position at right tackle after the 25-year old retired last week amidst concerns about brain trauma.
Boone, who has had years of experience at tackle prior to switching to guard, was undeterred by the prospect of his possible role change:
“I think there’s going to be an opportunity for me to play football. After that it’s up to the coaches and I leave the decision up to them. I’m just here to play football and have fun, I don’t really worry too much.”
While Boone may get more time at the tackle position as camp goes on, it was veteran Erik Pears who took first-team snaps at right tackle on Tuesday.
Tomsula, who has spoken highly of the nine-year veteran Pears over the past few weeks, continued to support him as the starting tackle moving forward:
“Right now we have Pears at right tackle … We’ve been playing guys at different spots and you’ll see that over the course of the next three days, but we’ve been doing that all offseason. But Pears will be out there right now. I really like Pears as a right tackle.”
Tomsula went on to praise Pears’ work ethic over the offseason, claiming that he has never been in more of a peak physical form throughout his nine-year career:
“I liked the way he was moving. But the biggest thing with Pears since he’s gotten here is with his weight room, he’s bigger and stronger than he’s ever been. He’s moving really well.”
Boone said that his desire for a new contract was not an issue prior to the start of Tuesday’s minicamp, but the veteran is expected to seek an extension to his two-year, $6 million deal that ends after this season.