San Francisco 49ers

Patrick Willis Wants NaVorro Bowman to ‘Take His Time’ Returning to San Francisco 49ers

Patrick Willis doesn’t want NaVorro Bowman to rush.

“I know that he wants to be out there more than anything,” said Willis on the first day the San Francisco 49ers training camp.

“To go without him the first half of the season, he’s truly going to be missed.”

Still, Willis thinks Bowman’s full focus should be on getting his knee back to 100 percent.

“I just want him to take his time. Most of all, I just want him to make sure that when he comes back that he’s ready to go and that he don’t have any setbacks. Because he’s a great athlete and still has a lot of football ahead.”

It doesn’t hurt that Willis has plenty of confidence in the linebackers who will be taking Bowman’s place.

“[Michael] Wilhoite and a lot of the other guys, I look forward to them to step up and do what needs to be done.”

The team announced that Bowman has been placed on the PUP list.

Colin Kaepernick has big plans for 2014.

“I think this team has the talent, we have the coaching staff to win a Super Bowl,” said the quarterback. “And now it’s just time to go out and do it.”

Speaking of Super Bowls, the signal caller also provided his take on the team’s rivalry with the reigning champs, the Seattle Seahawks.

“I think this team and all of us don’t take the approach of talking about it. We want to go out on the field and be—handle our business that way. Go about it that way, and we get to see them twice this year.”

Kapernick wasn’t surprised that Vernon Davis, his favorite target, showed up for camp.

“Vernon’s not the type of person that’s going to walk out on his team like that.”

And what about offensive guard Alex Boone, who remains AWOL?

“Love to have him here, but not going to speak on another man’s business. That’s his personal decision.”

Veteran running back Frank Gore didn’t offer much when asked about his future with the team.

“I just take it one year at a time.”

However, the 31-year-old did explain that he doesn’t view the upcoming campaign as a farewell season.

Bay Area native and new 49er Stevie Johnson is bummed that he won’t get the chance to play a season at Candlestick Park.

“That’s right there where home is. Being able to play there for a season would be sweet.”

Of course, it could be worse than playing at Levi’s Stadium.

“But you know, look at that thing over there…”

“And we’re opening it up, so that’s cool.”

Justin Smith took a more pragmatic approach to the Field of Jeans.

“You know, we’re on the field, so a field’s a field. As long as the grass is good. The grass looks good.”

Smith also provided a brief health report.

“I feel healthy compared to last year,” said Smith of his shoulder. “I feel a lot better than I did last year.”

Vernon Davis is scheduled to speak tomorrow. Head coach Jim Harbaugh will talk, as well.

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