49ers

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 claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

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USATSI

49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive line will have a new member coming off of the bye week.

The 49ers claimed defensive lineman Sheldon Day of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday. The Jaguars waived Day on Saturday in order to make room for the return of rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook off of injured reserve. 

Day, a 2016 fourth round pick, posted 11 tackles and two tackles in 22 games over the last two seasons with Jacksonville. He played fewer than 30 snaps in all seven games with the Jaguars this season. 

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, and defensive tackle Chris Jones are all on injured reserve, while defensive lineman Aaron Lynch missed the 49ers' last game in Week 10.

San Francisco ranks 22nd in the league in sacks, 23rd in pass defense, and 31st in rush defense. 

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

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LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns.