While he can’t line up in the trenches with his new 49ers teammates, Joe Looney has still been putting in work since being drafted in April.
Selected with the No. 117 pick in the fourth round, the talented guard from Wake Forest is recovering from a foot injury he suffered at the Senior Bowl in January. But you don’t need two good feet to learn the playbook.
Aside from burying his nose in the 49ers playbook, Looney has also been watching the team practice from the sidelines.
“It’s tough not being able to be out there running around with my friends,” Looney said. “But I’m taking it all in, learning and asking guys questions when I don’t understand something. I’m definitely enjoying it.”
Chase Beeler, who spent last season as the practice squad center but is currently sidelined with a hand injury, has been Looney’s biggest sounding board as he gets acclimated to the NFL. The two are easy to spot during practices, as Looney is almost always at Beeler’s side.
“He’s helped me out with the calls and the new terminology,” Looney said. “He has a real great grasp of the offense so it’s nice to have someone by my side to help me out during this time.”
From what he’s seen so far, Looney has enjoyed the activity of the offensive linemen – especially the guards. Looney figures to be a guard once he gets healthy and said he is already enjoying the power running plays featured in coordinator Greg Roman’s offense.
“On any line, you have a lot of responsibility,” Looney said. “The coaches have put a great deal of planning into what plays they want to run so we’re just trying to execute them the best we can.”
Above all, Looney can’t wait to get back on the field to start making pull blocks again.
“Pulling is the time for an offensive lineman to shine,” Looney said.
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