NaVorro Bowman provided a comprehensive progress report of the San Francisco 49ers offseason program on Wednesday. The team's star linebacker came in studio to talk shop on the "49ers Live" set.
Here are the biggest takeaways, boiled down from 19 minutes of the must-see interview above.He's excited about DeForest Buckner
Bowman admitted that he really only paid attention to the first round of the NFL Draft last week, but he did say that he was very aware of who the 49ers took with the seventh overall selection. Buckner, a 6-foot-7 mammoth of a defensive lineman, should be able to eat up blocks at the point of attack and allow Bowman to make plays.
"I felt like that was a great pick," Bowman said. "He looks like a big guy that's going to keep the big guys off of me. I'm glad to have him."He has confidence in the team's inside linebackers
One position the 49ers didn't address in the draft was inside linebacker. That decision to spend the team's 11 draft choices elsewhere showed a vote of confidence in Michael Wilhoite and Gerald Hodges, two of the top candidates to start next to Bowman in 2016.
"It's a group of smart guys, and that's what you want," Bowman said of his fellow inside linebackers. "You want guys who can think fast in adverse times. I feel like this group is the perfect group for it. We have guys who are always willing to learn new things, no matter who the guy is. I learn new things from those guys still to this day. I'm never thinking I'm the best at anything, I just always want to continue to get better, and I think everyone's attitude is that way."Garrett Celek has impressed thus far
The question, "What player has caught your eye?" elicited one of Bowman's most interesting responses. The linebacker's answer was Carradine, who has four sacks in his NFL career since being selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
"I can say he's definitely progressed from his first year to now," Bowman said. "He knows that he has to play this year. He has to contribute in a big way. The way he came back, in shape, moving fast and embracing the move to outside linebacker has been a real eye-opener for me."The new coaching staff is already gaining respect of the players
Bowman made it clear how he feels about the staff, noting the accountability and expectations that they bring to the table.
"I love them," he started. "They're a great group of guys, and they're willing to coach every single person on the team, no matter who the guy is. That's what I want. I don't want to be singled out. We all get coached up, and we want to get better." For Bowman, it all starts with defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil, who came to San Francisco after spending two seasons with the Cleveland Browns in the same role.
"He's going to play the best 11 guys," Bowman said. "He said that the first day, and I think that's an eye-opener for the whole defense to come in, work and present what you have and give it your best shot. Training camp should be interesting."