49ers

49ers' Nick Bosa excited for challenge of facing Trent Williams in camp

49ers' Nick Bosa excited for challenge of facing Trent Williams in camp

Nick Bosa and Joe Staley were at opposite ends of their NFL careers.

It became a regular post-practice scene during 49ers training camp last summer when the player in his first NFL season would walk off the field and compare notes with the player taking part in the final training camp of his 13-year career.

Staley, an NFL All-Decade left tackle, certainly made Bosa better. Bosa likely did the same for Staley.

Staley no longer is with the 49ers after announcing his retirement in April. Now, Bosa should have a chance to advance his game even further with daily practices against another top-flight offensive tackle -- assuming camp takes place as scheduled during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The 49ers acquired Trent Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowl performer, in a trade with Washington in April. Williams takes over at left tackle, where he and Bosa will go up against each other plenty during practice sessions.

“My impressions are, the tape I’ve watched of him, it’s pretty impressive,” Bosa said last week during the 49ers’ State of the Franchise virtual event. “I’m just excited we have a player like that on our team.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Williams rejoins Kyle Shanahan, for whom he played his first four NFL seasons. In the first year of Mike Shanahan's tenure as Washington’s head coach -- and with Kyle as offensive coordinator -- Williams was the team’s 2010 first-round draft pick at No. 4 overall.

“I’m excited that he’s familiar with Kyle’s offense, so (he's) just a great replacement for Joe and I’m going to have a really good challenge all training camp,” Bosa said. “It’ll be interesting.”

[RELATEDHow Nick Bosa's D-line knowledge impressed 49ers legend Bryant Young]

Bosa registered nine sacks during the regular season and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He collected four more sacks in three postseason games.

Williams did not play last season. He held out through the first eight weeks of the season after alleging that Washington team doctors misdiagnosed a cancerous growth on his head. After reporting to the club, he ended up going on the non-football injury list.

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.

The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, Armstead doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.

 

“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays. Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”

Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of Minnesota man George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.

"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on  "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."

 

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.

“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”

[RELATED: Colin Kaepernick, Nate Boyer helped enact real change with discussion]

The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.

Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays. 

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

Joe Staley long has been a model of consistency for the 49ers, spending the past 12 seasons protecting a myriad of 49ers quarterbacks as San Francisco's starting left tackle.

Staley's younger teammates held so much respect for him, as you could see from the many who spoke publicly in the wake of Staley's retirement back in April.

It appears even in retirement Staley continues to inspire his former teammates, as 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne shared an Instagram direct message from Staley on Sunday morning.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"Never lose sight of the goal. The ring," Staley wrote to Bourne. "That's all that matters in what we do. I never got it. You. Mr KB!! Go get it!! F-----g GET IT!! Make me proud bro. I love watching your hustle. All love."

Staley was responding to a video Bourne had posted of some of the hardware he's earned over his football career, including one of the game balls from the 49ers' blowout Week 8 win over the Carolina Panthers.

[RELATED: Why 49ers should explore David Njoku trade with Browns after demand]

Bourne and the 49ers came so close to helping Staley capture that elusive championship ring, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun San Francisco at Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers won the offseason in the eyes of some pundits around the league, and appear primed for another deep postseason run. It'll be up to Bourne, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the rest of the 49ers' talented roster to finish the job if they can get back to the Super Bowl.