NaVorro Bowman: 'My Heart Has Been Here'

NaVorro Bowman had quite the off day.

Less than a week into training camp, the San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker inked a four-year extension that will keep him in the Bay Area through the 2022 season.

"My heart has been here since my rookie year," Bowman said moments after putting his signature down with a quill pen. "It just feels great to know that I'm going to be here for a long time. I'll be able to play for these faithful fans, and give all I have to the 49ers."

The linebacker with 733 career tackles, four All-Pro selections and three Pro Bowl appearances wasn't alone in celebrating the momentous occasion. He was joined at the signing table by his wife, Mikale, as well as his twin daughters Stoni and Cali, and his son NaVorro Jr. The family, decked out in 49ers gear, grinned ear-to-ear as they watched their father put his signature on another impressive moment in his remarkable NFL career.

"It's special," Bowman said. "Just to look at them and know that's the reason why I play so hard every single day.

"For them to come here and have a smile on their face and see everyone is excited about what just happened – it's just a blessing."

Bowman previously stated that his successful 2015 season was due in large part to his family's support. He also said he wanted his kids to have a greater understanding of what their father did for a living.

So do the kids have a better feeling for what daddy does?

"They do," Bowman said. "They actually wanted to see me play today, and I was like, 'We still have a couple more weeks before gameday.' But they're definitely paying a lot more attention to what I do. That's really a chip and a motivational aspect in my life that I have to open up. They're learning the game for the first time and seeing it for the first time. I have to keep my game tight, and make sure I make some plays out there."

View behind-the-scenes imagines of the 49ers linebacker during his Pro Bowl and All-Pro campaign in 2015.

So far in camp, Bowman has picked up right where he left off last season. Bowman led the NFL with 154 tackles and started all 16 games after missing the previous year.

Bowman's extension further stamps his role as a leader in the locker room. It also allows him to focus on getting his teammates ready to go for the upcoming year.

"The guys are excited," said Bowman when asked about how training camp has gone thus far. "I think everyone on the defense is starting to understand the scheme and actually enjoying it. You're starting to see the things (defensive coordinator) Jim (O'Neil) is trying to do out there, and you're seeing where your plays are going to come and when there are chances to make a play. It's always good to know what play is your play and guys are figuring that out."

So while Bowman has plenty of camp sessions to go through, he can take pride in knowing his football home will reside in the Bay Area for years to come. The player known as "#MON5T3R" is very much looking forward to it.

"Monster is here for a while now," the linebacker confidently said.

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