SANTA CLARA -- NaVorro Bowman not only made an impact on the 49ers fan base, but Trent Taylor and George Kittle shared their first impressions of the All-Pro linebacker.
“Yeah, I was terrified,” Kittle said. “He’s a monster, are you kidding me? I was a rookie coming from Iowa. I didn’t run a lot of routes so going against a guy like that was awesome. I’m pretty sure my entire OTAs he would just do curls down the entree rack before practice so he’d look even bigger for practice. Terrifying."
“Absolutely, yeah,” Taylor confirmed. “Me and Kittle were rookies at the time and I knew I wasn’t trying to get anywhere close to him. He was a scary looking dude.”
Both Kittle and Taylor, while being wary of the veteran linebacker, spoke about the example Bowman set at the facility.
“He and Joe [Staley] have done a really good job of setting the standard of how you practice,” Kittle said. “NaVorro has always done a great job of high intensity every play, didn’t take plays off, ran to the ball, great vocal leader, everything you want in a guy.”
“Bowman was a great teammate,” Taylor said. “I enjoyed every second I played with him. I was just a rookie at the time but every now and then, we would have some conversations on the side. He would help me out with little stuff here and there, like what he thought of my game.
“He was one of the coolest dudes to be around. Just the fact that he was so good for so long and I was just a young rookie coming in there and he treated me with respect and he was a hard worker even in his later years so that was really cool to play with him for that short amount of time.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan brought Bowman into the final huddle of practice to break it down one last time. He spoke about having each other's backs and playing hard this coming season.
“He was a four-time All-Pro,” Kittle said. “That’s not bad. Just a guy like that. He did it for so long here and he did it right. He played in big games, He won big games.
[RELATED: Bowman announces NFL retirement]
“He was the reason, didn’t he have a pick-six at Candlestick the last game ever? He’s just a guy who was born to make big plays. So having a guy come back and finish his career here and retire, it’s an honor to be able to be a part of the team when he does it.”
“That was really cool,” Taylor said. “He deserves all of the respect in the world. All the respect from the organization. He did a lot in his career and just like the fire and passion that he played with. He was a really motivating guy for me and that’s the type of passion and fire that I want to play with myself, so a lot of respect for that guy.”