49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 30, 2010
Boone pushing hard for playing time in 2010

Alex Boone isn't going to win any "Best Body" awards in the 49ers locker room. That honor still belongs to Vernon Davis. (Just ask him). But Boone is the runaway winner of the "Most Improved Body" award. The former Ohio State lineman went undrafted last season and spent his rookie year on the practice squad. Boone said he couldn't stand not playing, and that is what inspired him to become a workout freak this offseason.

Boone said he began working out with former NFL player LeCharles Bentley in Cleveland a week after the season ended. He worked out six days a week and changed his routine. He took shorter breaks between repetitions. He added more cardio and essentially worked a lot harder. As a result, his body fat dropped from 25 percent at this time last year to about 19 percent today. At one point, his weight had ballooned to a sloppy 340 pounds. He concentrated on dropping weight during the season last year and fell to 300. He's now replaced the lost weight with muscle and weighs 325.

The hardest part? "The fact that I'm a fat guy and I love bad food," Boone said. The question, of course, is whether Boone's metamorphosis will allow him to contribute this year. Boone said he certainly feels better, is more confident and doesn't get winded as easily. Last year his issue was footwork - both the speed of his feet and learning how to play on the right side after being a left tackle with the Buckeyes. He backed up Adam Snyder at right tackle during the OTA sessions that ended today.

Speaking of bodily transformations, outside linebacker Diyral Briggs tells me he's up to 248 pounds after dropping to as low as 228 pounds his last year at Bowling Green. Like Boone, Briggs has dedicated himself to the weight room. At this time last year, he could bench 225 pounds about 10 times. Now he's putting up the bar 20 times. Briggs said he wants to get to 255 pounds by training camp. Briggs had plenty of work Monday and Tuesday with Ahmad Brooks and Manny Lawson both missing from OTAs.

Running back Glen Coffee says he weighs 218 pounds and wants to get to 220 pounds by training camp. Coffee weighed about 210 pounds when he was drafted last year. He said he feels comfortable with the new weight.

The 49ers held their second and final OTA session in a pouring rain. Receiver Jason Hill tweaked his ankle while adjusting to a deep throw from Alex Smith but was back on the field a couple of plays later to catch another deep ball, this one from David Carr.

The same players who were absent yesterday were absent today. One of them, Patrick Willis, had surgery earlier this month to remove a bursa sac from his knee. He is still getting around on crutches. The other absentees were Brooks, Nate Clements, Aubrayo Franklin, Lawson, Michael Robinson and Shawntae Spencer.

Keeping in mind that everyone from the absentee list -- with the exception of Robinson -- is a starter, here's how the first- and second-team units were composed:

QB: Alex Smith, David Carr
RB: Frank Gore, Glen Coffee
FB: Moran Norris, Jehuu Caulcrick
WR: Michael Crabtree, Brandon Jones
WR: Josh Morgan, Jason Hill
LT: Joe Staley, Barry Sims
LG: David Baas, Tony Wragge
C: Eric Heitmann, Cody Wallace
RG: Chilo Rachal, Chris Patrick
RT: Adam Snyder, Alex Boone
TE: Vernon Davis, JJ Finley
TE: DElanie Walker, Tony Curtis

LDE: Isaac Sopoaga, Demetric Evans
NT: Ricky Jean-Francois
RDE: Justin Smith, Ray McDonald
MILB: Matt Wilhelm
TILB: Takeo Spikes, Scott McKillop
SOLB: Diyral Briggs
WOLB: Parys Haralson, Martail Burnett
LCB: Tarell Brown, Karl Paymah
RCB: Keith Smith
FS: Dashon Goldson, Reggie Smith
SS: Michael Lewis, Curtis Taylor

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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