Bowman looks like another draft gem

NaVorro Bowman got more than five tackles Monday night.

He also got some assurance that his talent should be able to cash that fat check he wrote after getting drafted.

Bowman, a rookie third-round draft pick, didn’t look like a 22-year-old seeing his first significant NFL playing time when he filled in for an injured Takeo Spikes at inside linebacker against the Saints.


Bowman played so well in about two quarters of action, in fact, that his
teammates said he could start breathing easier about a certain luxury
purchase.

“I think I did very well,” Bowman said. “The guys said I did well. I
have a Porsche outside and they said ‘Man, you paid off that Porsche
Monday night.’ So I’ll take that as a good thing and try to keep getting
better.”

Based on the early returns, Bowman looks like another find in the
Niners’ eight-man draft class. Every draftee made the 53-man roster and
Bowman might be one who sticks around for a while.

Earlier this week, it appeared the 6-foot, 242-pound Bowman would be in
line for his first NFL start Sunday in Kansas City with Spikes hobbling
with a knee injury. But defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said today
that he expects Spikes to play.

Regardless, Bowman won’t alter his approach. He said his weekly prep work was a key to his success Monday night.

“It’s all preparation,” Bowman said. “Coming in here Monday of a game
week and just not knowing if you’re going to play, you can kind of go
down or you can go up. I prepare every single week like I’m playing and I
think of myself as a starter. For me to get called upon like the
coaches did, I had to be ready and I was.”

It’s a safe bet that Sean Payton and Drew Brees noticed when Spikes, a 13-year veteran, exited and was replaced by Mr. Zero Career Tackles.

On the fifth play of the third quarter, Brees faked screens to both
sides and fired a 13-yard completion to tight end Jeremy Shockey over
the middle. Bowman made the tackle.

“I’m sure the Saints noticed me being in the game,” Bowman said. “… They
kind of want to expose the rookies in this league and things like that.
I’m a guy that has a lot of confidence and believes I can play with the
best. So if they want to pick on me, they can pick on me. I’m still
going to make plays and do what I have to do. I study like a
professional and I plan on playing like one.”

If he does those things, of course, he can also keep driving like one.