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.”