SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - In unison, offensive linemen Alex Boone, Joe Staley and Adam Snyder stood up from their post-practice ice baths and headed for the locker room to prepare for afternoon meetings.
Seeing them together in a line of individual ice tubs was hardly surprising considering the San Francisco 49ers' tight-knit O-line and its cast of characters. The Niners return a group that started every game together during last season's run to the Super Bowl, and they're determined to take that success even further.
San Francisco's offensive line made major strides last year, and now there is an even bigger task ahead: protecting Colin Kaepernick from Day 1 in the quarterback's first full season as the starter under center.
Boone insists the line - and Kaepernick - will draw far more attention now.