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Balmer's Rookie Diary, Napa


Rookie Kentwan Balmer is back in action from his ankle sprain, and back for his second entry to his Rookie Diary. Catch up with the 49ers first-round draft pick...

My ankle didn't keep me out for too long, and it definitely felt good to get back out there with the guys and to continue my growth as a player. It's just fun going out there learning and competing.

The last few days of camp we've had some different events in our schedule.

We had Pasta Bowl on Saturday night and that was definitely fun. I met a lot of great people, signed a bunch of autographs, and ate some good food. It was a warm experience. I'd never served as a waiter before but Isaac Sopoaga put me to work quickly. I was pouring drinks constantly, trying to keep all of the glasses refilled. I also kept the salad and bread going. I think I can be a waiter when I'm done with football because I got a lot of practice the other night. Isaac didn't do anything. He just sat there, pulled rank, and put me to work. But that's okay. We still had a ball.

On Sunday night we headed up to Napa to practice the Raiders twice on Monday. It was a long ride but it was definitely worth it. We had some great work against the Raiders. It was very competitive. I think any time you are able to go against some new people and you are able to get a live look, it's definitely good. It was a learning experience and I'm looking forward to seeing them again Friday.

Some of the old veterans talked about the Battle of the Bay and gave me an understanding of how competitive and physical it is against the Raiders, and it was for sure that way on Monday. There were a few fights that broke out, and Chilo Rachal was in there scrapping and that's my guy. I can understand where he was coming from, and had I been over on the field when it happened, I would have had his back!

Josh Morgan and myself were supposed to do a video diary on the way up to Napa, and I'm blaming the lack of one on Josh. He didn't do his job! No, really, it was a poor effort on both of our parts. We got up there and were thinking about practicing well and we just forgot. So sorry fans, but I think you can understand!

Since you didn't get to see it on camera, the hotel where we stayed was first-class, which is what I've come to expect here from the 49ers. Obviously we didn't try any wine up there, but I did sample some cheese. It was sitting out and everyone talks about wine and cheese, so I thought I'd at least check out the cheese. It wasn't too pleasant though, not at all.

We got back very late Monday night, and then Coach threw us a bone when we got back on Tuesday. We had a special teams practice in the morning, but he let us know first thing in team meeting that we were going to see Dark Knight and that he was cancelling the afternoon practice. It was good to get off our feet and have some fun bonding together as a team. A lot of guys did fall asleep in the movie just because guys were so tired. It was my second time seeing it, but it's a great movie, and I was definitely willing to see it
again. So, good choice Coach Nolan.

Outside of that, it's just camp and the same old. My body feels good. It's gotten used to the pounding now. Mentally, it's slowing down for me, but I'm definitely not there yet. I've got a long way to go.

In between practices every day I go to the hotel for a quick bite to eat and then I usually come back and start watching the film from the morning and try to learn from my mistakes.

One thing I am paranoid about is not waking up on the morning and being late so Louis Holmes and I set a bunch of alarms. He sets two alarms on his phone, I set one on my phone and then we set the alarm clock in the room – all for around 6:40 – 6:45 in the morning. We don't do the wake up call because I don't like hearing a phone ring.

I had to get Popeye's one night for the defensive line as part of my rookie duties. They decided they didn't want the dinner at the hotel and so I had to go. That's about the only time I've done anything outside of football practice or meetings since camp began. It's been all football, which is what camp is for – to build yourself for the season.

I haven't thought too much about Friday night against the Raiders. I am kind of nervous, and also kind of excited though I'm looking forward to it, but I know I have to get these next few practices first up under me so I'll be prepared to play.

I'll be back next week to talk about how my first ever NFL preseason game went, and maybe Josh and I will do some work on our Camp Video Diary.

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