Throughout the offseason, it was assumed that Alex Boone would be the 49ers' starting RG. A former offensive tackle, Boone drew rave reviews from coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman during his transition to the inside.
That assumption changed on July 26, the day veterans reported for training camp, when the 49ers signed former all-pro guard Leonard Davis to compete at the position. Boone wouldn't have been handed the job without Davis on the roster, but with him around, he knows it'll be that much harder to win.
Even so, Boone has embraced Davis' arrival.
“Besides being a large, massive human being, he is the nicest guy and a great teammate,” Boone said. “We're all competing, but at the same time, he's been there if I have any questions for him. He's answered my questions and helped me out.”
Having never played guard before, Boone's questions figure to be plentiful.
“Who better to go to than Leonard Davis?” Boone said. “He's an All-Pro, legendary guard and you can't pass that up. I told him right away, ‘Listen, I'm going to pick your brain as much as I can. If you don't feel comfortable, you let me know.'”
The first advice Boone got about becoming an interior lineman came from former Saints and Browns center LeCharles Bentley, who told Boone it'd be like fighting in a phone booth.
After three practices in pads, Boone is on board with Bentley's comparison.
“It's more physical and a lot more fun [than offensive tackle],” Boone said. “You're the guy that kind of has to create holes. You get a lot of free shots on guys.”
In all likelihood, it'll be Boone or Davis who end up as the starter at right guard, but fourth-round pick Joe Looney figures to get a look from the coaching staff too. Looney started training camp on the Non-Football Injury list due to a Lisfranc (foot) injury he suffered in the Senior Bowl, but was cleared medically on Tuesday. Looney observed practice Wednesday, but was not wearing pads.
“We're excited for Joe. Great kid, very funny,” Boone said. “He's got those fresh legs, so were excited to see what he can do.”
Daniel Kilgore, Jason Slowey and Mike Person seem destined for backup roles, if they make the 53-man roster.
Follow 49ers reporter Kyle Bonagura on Twitter: @CBSSportsNFLSF and @KyleBonagura