Sims looks forward to serving as O-line mentor

Free-agent offensive tackle Barry Sims decided yesterday to return to the 49ers on a one-year contract. Today, the signing became official.

He said taking the trip to meet with the Washington Redskins (and former 49ers O-line coach Chris Foerster) made him realize how much he wanted to return to the 49ers, rather than pack up and move across the country.


PosBarrySims.jpg“When you go away, it’s a real eye-opening experience,” Sims said today on a conference call with reporters. “You have to re-establish relationships with everybody. I’d really miss the guys in San Francisco because we have such a great group of guys.”


Will is role with the 49ers be the same as a year when he was a “swing tackle,” able to back up on either side?


“Yeah, I think that would be the case to provide depth and with my experience being able to play both sides and help the younger guys develop a little longer.’


It is a strong possibility the 49ers will select an offensive tackle to start. How does Sims view what the 49ers are likely to do in the draft?


“I’ve always tried to guess in these situations what’s going on,” he said. “And it’s always tough for me. I’m almost never right. But if they do draft an offensive lineman, I’d love to have him and I like working with young guys and try to mentor him – like some of the older guys did for me when I got into the league. It’s a lot different than college. To have someone been there and done that take you and show you how it’s supposed to go, it’s a fun role to have.”


Sims played very well in seven starts after moving into left tackle in place of injured Joe Staley. Did Sims even surprise himself with how well he fared?


“I wasn’t surprised,” said Sims, an 11-year veteran. “I’ve been a starter my whole career. It wasn’t like I got out there and had big eyes. I wasn’t concerned from that standpoint. As a backup you really have to prepare yourself like you’re going to play at any given time. In that case, it just so happened it was the Indianapolis game, the first play of the game. So I was ready to go regardless of what happened. Being a veteran and having that experience really helped me. I didn’t doubt myself at any point.”


Sims said he finally met 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari today. When asked if the 49ers would employ more zone-blocking schemes than in the past, Sims answered, “That remains to be seen. I don’t know to what extent. Today was the first time I met him in person.”


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