In the past, Alex Boone has been described as “a brawler” on the football field.
He’s a big, physical presence who became an instant hit when he won the spot at right guard in training camp two seasons ago.
Boone, at 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, combined with right tackle Anthony Davis to provide a punishing blocking duo on one side of the line, especially on running plays.
“We are not out there to be your friend,” Boone once said. “We are out there to pound you and beat you up.”
So it’s not really surprising that Boone, now back from a holdout that caused him to miss all of training camp and the exhibition season, says he’s ready to go for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Cowboys. He’s always been a hard-charging, ready-to-rumble player, and he wants to get into the lineup immediately and start pushing people around.
Joe Looney played right guard for the 49ers during Boone’s absence, and he made progress after a rough start. It’s possible that head coach Jim Harbaugh will ease Boone back into the lineup instead of throwing him in immediately. And of course, Harbaugh isn’t saying. But Boone is eager to play and says he can be “very effective” because he’s kept himself in shape and sharp by working out during his holdout at the gym of former NFL lineman LeCharles Bentley in Ohio.
“LeCharles and I did a lot of stuff while we were there,” Boone told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. "Obviously it’s not like hitting, but we covered a lot of things. I think I’ll be prepared.”
Davis – whose status for Sunday is in doubt because of an injury (and may be replaced by Jonathan Martin vs. Dallas) – told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group that he and Boone are excited to get back onto the field and start pushing around defenders.
“We just had lunch together,” Davis told Inman. “I ate a salad. Boone ate a slab of grilled chicken like a Neanderthal.”
Boone has started 32 consecutive regular-season games for the 49ers since earning the starting spot at right guard, and his return should help solidify an offense that had problems in the preseason. If Davis is OK to start Sunday, the offensive line of the past two seasons would be 4/5ths intact, with tackle Joe Staley and guard Mike Iupati on the left side, Boone and Davis on the right side and new starter Daniel Kilgore at center.
But Boone knows the decision to start Sunday isn’t up to him.
“That’s up to the coaches,” said Boone. “Personally, I think I’d be very effective.”
After watching him in practices this week, Kilgore says his teammate is ready.
“I don’t feel like he’s missed a beat,” he told the media. “He’s done a good job of staying in shape. Hopefully if he does go in, he can do his best and pick up where he left off.”