After signing a one-year deal on Tuesday, veteran tackle Barry Sims has returned to the 49ers for a third season. Sims was a hot commodity this offseason as reports had him being targeted by several NFL teams. But in the end, Sims felt home was where his heart was, and that’s with his teammates in San Francisco.
Following a nine-year stint with the Oakland Raiders, Sims crossed the Bay Area and found a home with the 49ers in 2008. The relationships built along the way were too hard for Sims to ignore. In the end, the chance for more playing time elsewhere couldn’t compete with the developing relationship Sims has in the Bay Area with his teammates.
“When you go away, it was a real eye-opening experience just to see that you have to re-establish relationships with everybody and I would really miss the guys here in San Francisco,” Sims said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “We have such a great group of guys, especially on the offensive line. I really look forward to working with those guys.”
Below you can read the highlights of Sims’ conference call with Bay Area reporters. You can also listen to the interview here.
On whether he sees himself in the swing tackle role that he had last season:
“Yes, I assume that would be the case, to provide depth and with my experience, be able to play both sides and really help the younger guys develop a little quicker.”
On the 49ers possibly using a first round pick on an offensive lineman:
“Well, I’ve always tried my best to guess in these situations of what’s going on, but I’m usually never right. If they do draft an offensive lineman, we would love to have him and I like working with the young guys and just try to mentor them a little bit like some of the older guys did for me when I first got into the league because it’s a lot different from college. To have someone who’s been there and done that to really take you in and show you how things work and how it’s supposed to go, it’s a fun role to have.”
On whether he was pleasantly surprised with his play after T Joe Staley went down with an injury:
“I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been a starter my whole career, so I didn’t have the big eyes. It wasn’t a concern from that standpoint, and as a backup, you really have to prepare yourself like you are going to play at any given time. In that case it just so happened, in the Indianapolis game, on the first play of the game. I was ready to go regardless of what happened. I think being a veteran and having that experience really helped me. I didn’t ever doubt myself at any point.”
On whether he’s gotten a feel for offensive line coach Mike Solari and how things might change from the past two seasons:
“I’ve talked to him a number of times on the phone and I met with him today. I really like the guy. I like his approach, working in the room with us as a line. I’m excited for where that goes. He’s got a great track record as an offensive line coach and has coached many good players. So, I’m excited to see that. Playing a new offensive line coach is not always easy, but sometimes when you play for guys that have been around a lot of great players, they bring a lot to the table just because of what they’ve seen. Maybe what they’ve taught or seen from somebody else that they can teach you that can take you to the next level. So I’m real excited about that.”
On whether they will be doing more zone blocking than they did under former offensive line coach Chris Foerster:
“That remains to be seen. I really don’t know to that extent. Today was the first time I met him in person. We still have a ways to go before training camp and before we get all our systems in place. You know never what’s going to happen as the offense goes, working with the guys to see what works best. It’s hard to say at this point.”
On whether it was a group meeting with the entire offensive line:
“Yes, I met with the whole offensive line. It’s great to be back in the room with those guys. It’s been a couple months since we’ve all been together so it’s always fun to get back into a routine working out and spending time with those guys.”
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