The veteran pass-rusher dominated first-team reps as the SAM linebacker on Tuesday. Shanahan said Brooks has earned every bit of the opportunity. "He's getting them because he deserves them. Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they're going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do, and Ahmad's been here every day. He's worked at everything. He's in good shape. He's done what we've asked in the weight room with Ray and he's done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he's learning it and he should because he's putting the work in."
After an Achilles tear cost Bowman the majority of his 2016 campaign, the linebacker is already back to full-speed during the team's offseason program. But don't color any of his teammates surprised. It's just, "'Bow' being 'Bow'," as many of them put it this week. "I'm a man of challenges," Bowman said. "I overcome whatever comes on my plate. When I go down, it's up to me whether or not I get back up. NaVorro Bowman: 'I'm Ready to Compete' "Injuries are part of the game, but I've done everything I've needed to do to get back to where I am today. I'm ahead of schedule. I don't feel anything in my Achilles or my knee. Guys can see that out there on the field." Kyle Shanahan also reiterated that Bowman looks like the linebacker he's seen on tape. However, a clean bill of health was just the first hurdle for Bowman to clear in 2017. In addition to his rigorous physical rehab, he's being challenged with mastering a new defensive system. Bowman has thrived as an inside linebacker in San Francisco's 3-4 defense since 2010. This season will be his first in a 4-3 scheme. Unsurprisingly, the linebacker says he's enjoying his new role in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's one-gap scheme. "I like it, I like it a lot," Bowman said. "I'm able to fly around to the ball and make the plays that I know I will." But Bowman will have to earn his keep, just like every other player on the roster. Shanahan made it clear that, "Nobody is locked in at anything." Granted, established NFL veterans like Bowman and Joe Staleywill have a clearer path to earning a starting job, they'll still have to prove it on the practice field all the same. "I won't be on the sideline, let me tell you that right now," Bowman said. "I'm committed to being the best linebacker I can be." Shanahan called Bowman out of respect after the 49ers selected Foster. "It was good to hear from him, to see that he had something to say and an idea of what he wanted to get across from me," Bowman said, adding that he's
Hoyer, who’s now playing for Shanahan again in San Francisco, was a starter in Cleveland with Shanahan in 2014 when he built a 7-6 record as a starter. This January, Hoyer told a reporter that his time with Shanahan reminded him of his three years in New England with Bill Belichick. “For me, you just know those two, when you see them in the building, they’re constantly thinking about football,” Hoyer said. “That’s the one thing I really admired about Kyle. You knew when he was there, he was putting the work in, that’s all he was focused on. He might walk by you in the hallway and you’d say, ‘Hey, what’s up, Kyle?’ and he’d keep walking.” In other words, Shanahan was like Belichick, with X’s and O’s constantly swirling through his mind, lost in his own football world. Now Hoyer is billed as the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2017, and he’s reunited with Shanahan this week in the team’s organized team activities (OTAs). Hoyer is back on the field, working out of Shanahan’s playbook again, and it’s something that feels very familiar. All that work together in Cleveland is making Hoyer feel at home as a 49er. “It’s easier to call the plays this time around,”Hoyer told reporters Wednesday. “I remember the last time kind of having to think about it. Whereas now, when I hear Kyle start to call a play, I can put it together. It’s something I don’t really think about anymore. It comes naturally to me.” (Mercury News)