Hungry Bowman ready to have fun in 49ers' new defense

Hungry Bowman ready to have fun in 49ers' new defense

SANTA CLARA – Linebacker NaVorro Bowman expressed to his teammates on Monday, the first day of the 49ers’ offseason program, that he is especially eager for his eighth NFL season.

Bowman, who sustained a season-ending torn Achilles tendon on Oct. 2, took part in the running conditioning test. He said he felt good -- and the regular season is still five months away.

“I mentioned to the guys today, I’m hungry,” said Bowman, a four-time first-team All-Pro. “I’ve been out of the game since Week 4. So any accomplishments I’ve had before, none of that matters.

“I’m back to proving myself and getting back to that level and guys were saying, ‘What are you on? How are you moving like this so early?’ I’ve put the work in, and I think God will bless me with a great season this year.”

Bowman said he hopes to be cleared to participate in the 49ers’ three-day pre-draft minicamp, which begins on April 25.

“In the last month, we started to ramp it up and doing a little more things, jumping around,” Bowman said of his rehabilitation. “The process has been great. There have been no setbacks. Just looking forward to getting back out there and showing what I have.”

Bowman said he is looking forward to playing in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4-3 scheme, which is patterned after the Seattle Seahawks. Bowman said his coaches have already told him that they will tailor the defense toward him.

“Coaches understand what I can do and they’re kind of making it likable for me,” Bowman said. “That’s always exciting, knowing that I’m going to be play my best and have a great scheme to play in.

“It’s always good to go less. It was two gaps for seven years. This is my eighth year now, going to one gap and being able to check that off and go wherever the ball is, is a great thing. The coaches have done a great job of expressing I’m going to have a lot of fun in this defense.”

49ers sign former first-round pick guard


49ers sign former first-round pick guard

The 49ers added some talent in the trenches on Tuesday.

Guard Jonathan Cooper inked a one-year deal, the team announced.

Cooper was originally drafted No. 7 overall by the Cardinals in 2013. After two seasons in Arizona, he spent time with the Patriots, Browns and Cowboys.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas.

“Having started 27 games in four NFL seasons, Jonathan brings great experience to the interior of our offensive line. We look forward to him competing for a starting job at guard, while also bringing a veteran presence to our locker room. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our team,” GM John Lynch said in a statement.

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.

But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.

“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”

Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.

“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”

There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.

Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.

“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”