AUDIO San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman is entering his second year with the team. The 2010 third round draft pick out of Penn State, also known as Linebacker U, played in all 16 games in his rookie year, and got significant playing time stepping in for Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes.
On ProPlayerRadio, former NBA star Laron Profit, filling in for host Dave Zirin, speaks with Bowman about his time at Penn State, making the transition from college to the NFL, and looking ahead to the 2011 season with the San Francisco 49ers.
Bowman talks about making the adjustment from college to the NFL, he says, “In college, some guys don’t take it as seriously. Once I got to the NFL level, I realized that these guys are out here trying to provide for their family and give their family the best life possible. The way that they can do that is to perform on the football field. Those guys really take seriously their jobs and their playbooks. If you make a mistake and you leave them hanging out to dry, they let you know that.”
He also talks about joining the 49ers as a rookie last season, and the opportunity he had to learn from the veterans ahead of him. “I had two great linebackers that played in front of me last season – Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis. Those are two guys that are well known around the league and I was thankful to have those two guys to learn from.”
With the departure of Spikes to San Diego, Bowman is expected to get additional playing time this year. In addition, last year’s defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has been replaced by Vic Fangio, so there will be even more changes for Bowman this year.
At Stanford last year, Fangio liked to blitz the quarterback from the linebacker position. The speed that both Bowman and Willis have in that position make the linebacker blitzes an attractive option for San Francisco.
Watch Bowman and Willis to both be turned loose to go after the quarterback this year.
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