As the holdout of 49ers guard Alex Boone lingers, the team’s resolve or lack thereof will hinge on the performance of his replacement, Joe Looney.
So far, so good. So the 49ers say.
Coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters on Sunday that Looney has had “some ‘wow’ moments” in practice.
“One in particular, I was like, ‘Wow.’ He pulled, he was on a track, he was square, he delivered a blow,” Harbaugh said. “Good things.”
Boone’s ongoing no-show isn’t a good thing, but there’s no obvious middle ground for player and team. The team wants Boone to show up before they’ll talk to him about a new contract. He doesn’t want to show up until he gets the new contract.
A fourth-round pick in 2012, Looney is perhaps best known for a low hit in a preseason game last year on former Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Looney claimed in the aftermath of the incident that he’s not a dirty player.
Now the 49ers need him to be a good player, clean or dirty or otherwise.