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5 Things We Learned from NaVorro Bowman Before 2016 49ers Training Camp

When NaVorro Bowman speaks, people listen.

So when the All-Pro, Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers offered his takes on several important topics on Saturday, many notable quotes were dropped by the veteran linebacker.

Here's a look at the five most pertinent items from one of the top locker-room leaders on training camp report day.1. Three-way competition at inside linebacker is highly anticipated.

Even Bowman is curious to see who will be the team's Week 1 starter next to him the 49ers defense. San Francisco's nine-week offseason program saw Gerald Hodges, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Michael Wilhoite work with the first-team defense.

"We've communicated for those 50 days that we had off," Bowman said. "All of the guys have been working and just excited to compete. May the best man win and get the job."

Bowman, who led the NFL last season with 154 tackles, emphasized the keys for how the job will be won.

"Obviously, they all can play," he said. "They wouldn't be here (if they couldn't). But it's their job to get the playbook as fast as they can and execute in the situations that (Coach) Chip (Kelly) and the defensive coaches put us in.

"No one really has an edge right now, like I said before without the pads going on, but I think they're all approaching it as if they want to be the starter next to me, and that's they way it should be."


View every player currently on the San Francisco 49ers 2017 90-man roster.

  1. The 49ers are willing to embrace the return of tackle Anthony Davis**

Bowman's fellow 2010 NFL Draft class member was reinstated by the league on Saturday. When asked how the 49ers would welcome the veteran offensive tackle, Bowman offered a positive sentiment.

"I think him leaving the game was him personally making the decision," Bowman said. "But I think for him to come back, it shows that he misses it. This is not an easy game. When you make a decision to come back, it shows that you still love the game. Hopefully he comes back willing to work, just contribute the way that I know he can, and the way that the coaches know he can. I'm excited about it."*

*3. Bowman's wife helps him create a chip on his shoulder

The star linebacker wasn't too thrilled to be ranked No. 61 on NFL Network's Top 100 Players list this offseason. So when asked how he goes about finding his motivation for 2016, Bowman shared that his spouse, Mikale, knows how to do the trick.

"I still look for slights," Bowman began. "Of course my wife does, she reminds me everyday, 'What are they talking about?' That's just something that internally as a player you want the respect from everyone. ... We dedicate everything to this game and when someone says something that you don't approve of, you've got to prove them wrong. I think that's what makes you a great player.*"

  1. Knee concerns are a thing of the past for No. 53*

*Last offseason was all about meticulous stretching and pre-ractice preparations for the 28-year-old, who suffered a devastating knee injury in January of 2014. Bowman said his return to the field last season increased his confidence in his surgically-repaired right knee.

"Guys giving me compliments on how well I'm moving," he said. "That's really encouraging. I'm excited to not have the pain that I did have. Not having to spend as much on the knee to get it ready for practice. Things like that are really encouraging. I'm looking forward to it."*

*Asked if he's back to his 2013-self, Bowman pumped the breaks a little bit.

"I'm not too worried about the knee," he said. "The knee feels great, but I'm still staying on it so that anything that comes will hold me back wont come back. I'm just excited to have another year to go out and improve on the year that I had last year."
5. Super Bowl is in the lexicon for every NFL club come training camp
When a reporter asked Bowman if Super Bowl aspirations were on the minds of members of the 49ers, the linebacker gave an honest reponse.

"That's always the goal I think with all 32 teams," he said. "I think it's realistic. You just put in the work. (You) put in what you want to get out of it."

Bowman emphasized that a positive frame of mind will help the players thrive.

"Chip's going to score points, we all know that," the linebacker said. "We as a defense just have to take that and do our job and not worry about how many possessions we get. Just approach the game and do our job."

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