Alex Boone, the 49ers’ new right guard who had never played guard before Friday night’s exhibition opener, spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. He talked about his transition from tackle to guard, the advantages and disadvantages of being tall and long-armed, and more. Here’s a transcript.
Q: How’s the transition from tackle to guard going for you?
BOONE: A lot easier than I thought it would be. The biggest thing is keeping your hips low and getting ready for a fight right now.
Q: What’s the advantage of being a long-armed guy at guard?
BOONE: Defensive tackles aren’t really used to having (to face) a long-armed guy. In pass protection I want to get my hands on them right now using the single punch, double punch, using both of them at different times – really changing it up.
Q: How do you think you played on Friday?
BOONE: I thought I played OK. There are some things I need to improve on: Continuing to play lower, keep helping out A.D. (Anthony Davis).
Q: Is pulling a new task for you?
BOONE: Completely new, and the first time I pulled I was sweating bullets. It happens so fast, and they tell you, “Hey look, if there are three red jerseys you make a lane change, if there’s nothing there you blow it up,” and I’m just like, “What is going on?” I just figured I’d learn on the run and it’s going pretty well so far.
Q: You and Anthony Davis seem to have a similar disposition on the field.
BOONE: I think that we fit well together. That was one of the things we talked about early on. We have the same mind frame and we think alike. We’re not out there to be your friend – we’re out there to pound you and beat you up. I think together we can do that as long as we focus.
Q: What’s the biggest disadvantage being your size playing guard?
BOONE: If I don’t get low enough, it could be trouble. If I play a guy like Justin Smith or Ray McDonald and they try to bull rush me and I don’t get low, it’s going to be a long day.
Q: How do you make sure you stay low?
BOONE: In my stance I focus on trying to staying coiled, staying tight to myself. I see that on film. If I’m out there loose it’s not very good, but lower I stay, the tighter my hands are.
Q: What was your reaction when the team signed Leonard Davis?
BOONE: When they brought him in I was very happy. I thought I was going to use this to my advantage, and I have. I’ve asked him tons of questions. I think he is a web of knowledge. I try to use as much as I can from him and all he knows. He’s been there to help me every step of the way, and it’s made it fun to compete.