On Monday, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle posted a very interesting article about San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. The article uses snippets from what Branch promises was a very long Q&A session with the All-Pro linebacker, and in it Bowman talks about his significant career injuries and the perception of disrespect.
It’s a fascinating read, and before you read on about the quotations I’ve included here, you should absolutely give Branch’s piece a full read. You should also keep an eye out for the whole Q&A transcript, which Branch promises is coming in the next couple days.
Bowman is generally a reserved person, and he hasn’t said a lot about talk of his downfall this offseason. Reuben Foster has been the recipient of a lot of hype, and that’s completely understandable, but coming off his second major career injury, many called for Bowman to lose playing time, be traded or even released.
The quote below is pretty revealing, to me:
“They always want fresh and new. They had a group of linebackers come out” in the recent draft, said Bowman. “Even Reuben, being on our team. It’s still like, ‘He’s this. He’s that. NaVorro Bowman should be traded.’ Why should I be traded? I’ve done my job every year that I’ve been able to do my job.”
In the piece, Bowman also said he feels that he’s the best linebacker in the NFL when he’s healthy. He says he’s the best with or without Patrick Willis next to him, and regardless of who the defensive coordinator or defensive scheme is.
He compared himself to Floyd Mayweather — in the ring, fortunately, and not out of it, where one is a good guy and one is a huge turd — and said that, “You’re still going to know who No. 53 is,” regardless of the circumstances ... outside of major injury, of course.
Bowman talked about Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, and the feeling-out process when the new regime took over. He said he knew that anybody new would look at his injury and his contract and conclude that he’s a candidate for release.
“It would have been their loss,” Bowman told Branch.
Most importantly, in my mind, Bowman said that he wants to continue being with the 49ers. He doesn’t want to move on. He wants to stick with this franchise through the good and the bad and personally, I never want to see him leave. He’s an incredible linebacker and from where I’m sitting, you can underestimate him at your own peril.
Give the full piece a look.