SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Alex Boone‘s relentless offseason work is translating onto the field. His improved strength and conditioning have allowed him to work exclusively at left tackle and hold his own against a highly aggressive front — particularly DE Justin Smith.

Boone is rotating between the second and third units behind starter Joe Staley and 12-year vet Barry Sims. Sims is being allowed to take some practices off and that’s opened up a window for Boone.

The coaching staff, especially head coach Mike Singletary, is very high on Boone and he could end up pushing Sims off the roster. Boone said that he is still reacclimating to playing on the left side (as he did in college at Ohio State) after spending most of last season at right tackle on the practice squad.

Boone seems headed in the right direction, but nothing is certain.

Steve Wyche