Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at training camp
The star tight end joined the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday after sitting out the offseason program and mandatory minicamp hoping for a new contract.
"It feels great!" Davis said in a text message. "I miss these guys."
Teammate C.J. Spillman first posted video of Davis' arrival in the locker room.
"Always great to have Vernon on the field. He looks good, excited to have him back out here," Kaepernick said. "Vernon's a Pro Bowl tight end. He's one of the best in the league. There's not going to be too much of a fall off for him. I don't think anyone's concerned about that. We're just happy he's here."
Right guard Alex Boone was still a no-show as expected while he also seeks a deal with two years remaining on his contract, just like Davis. The 49ers, who lost in the NFC championship game to Seattle, hold their first full practice Thursday.
The 30-year-old Davis, who had 52 catches last season and matched his career high with 13 touchdowns, typically takes about a month off following the season before he starts training again full time. He said he worked out on his own, running hills in the area.
Kaepernick figured Davis would arrive on time because "Vernon is not the type of person that is going to walk out on his team like that."
Boone's arrival, however, could take longer. That could provide more reps on the offensive line for newcomer Jonathan Martin, who might see more time at the guard spot as he transitions in his first year with the Niners.
Martin was acquired in a mid-March trade from Miami, providing him with a fresh start after his departure last October following a scandal in which he accused teammate Richie Incognito of bullying.
Martin, fellow offensive lineman Adam Snyder and several others were among the first in the ice baths following their workouts Wednesday.
Boone has played a key part in a vastly improved, close-knit offensive line.
"Love to have him here but not going to speak on another man's business," Kaepernick said. "That's his personal decision."
As the 49ers begin another season after coming so close, defensive lineman Justin Smith acknowledged the motivation of chasing another championship in a division featuring two meetings with the Seahawks -- including on Thanksgiving night in new Levi's Stadium.
"You know what they do, you know the team they are," Smith said. "They're good, they're the defending champs."
Smith revealed he played all of last year with a shoulder injury sustained in training camp that eventually needed a clean-up procedure in the offseason. He will evaluate after the season how many years he might keep playing.
"I'm playing this year, that's all I'm focused on," he said. "I feel healthy compared to last year. This is it. This is the one I'm thinking about. This is the one our team's thinking about."
Now, everybody is ready to begin again and do big things.
"It's always motivation when you don't finish the season the way you want to," Kaepernick said. "I think this team has the talent, we have the coaching staff to win a Super Bowl, and now it's just time to go out and do it."
NOTES: In a procedural move, San Francisco placed LB NaVorro Bowman on the active/physically unable to perform list as he works back from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee and underwent surgery. He is expected to be out at least half the season. ... RB Frank Gore said isn't thinking of his 10th year in the NFL as a farewell season at age 31. "No, I'm coming in to get ready to try to have a great year, try to do whatever it takes to help my team get to the Super Bowl and win a trophy," said Gore, coming off his seventh 1,000-yard season and third straight. "That's how I approach it every year."
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