Don’t waste your time searching for Jim Tomsula’s Twitter account or Facebook page.
“I don’t get it, personally,” the 49ers coach said of social media. “Talking purely personal here, OK? It just so happens every time I hear about it, it’s not in a good way.”
A case in point occurred last month when quarterback Colin Kaepernick inadvertently made light of flooding in Texas that killed more than 20 people across the state. Kaepernick quickly apologized and made a donation to help victims of the flooding. But the slip-up was cited by numerous national outlets and did not help the quarterback’s image in a season in which the 49ers are counting on his leadership.
“All that stuff, that was a mistake,” Tomsula said. “He didn’t have all the facts. Wasn’t sure where it was. Saw a picture and apologized. Owned it. Our big deal is, ‘Own it and fix it.’”
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Tomsula said that when people are speaking to each other, there are myriad ways to show intent or quickly clear up miscommunication.
“To me, that’s what you can’t do on social media,” he said. “If you misspeak – and God knows as much as I misspeak, I’d be a disaster on that stuff.”
A more positive example of Twitter came recently, perhaps counterintuitively, from Darnell Dockett. The veteran defensive lineman is outspoken, controversial and is a prolific – and sometimes profane – Twitter user.
But last week, Dockett acted as the team spokesman when, following Anthony Davis’ unexpected retirement, he wrote on Twitter: “Don’t ask me about who’s retired and what’s going on with football this and that . ... We will still WIN! Just watch!”
He expanded on those thoughts Tuesday. Asked if he still would have joined the 49ers in early March if he had known about all the bad-news events – retirements, free-agent losses, etc. – Dockett said he would. He cited his relationship with Tomsula and with 49ers veterans such as NaVorro Bowman, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.
“When you look at guys like that, you know guys are committed to winning,” he said. “My decision was easy, and I wouldn’t change it.”
As for Tomsula and social media, he said he’s had discussions with the team and will have more of them to clarify what is, and what is not, appropriate.
But he won’t be setting up an account any time soon.
“I don’t like it at all,” he said. “I don’t know anything about it. I don’t do it; I don’t use it. I really don’t want anybody to know where I’m at all the time or what I’m eating.”
Pears at right tackle – Alex Boone was on the field for Tuesday’s minicamp practice, but veteran Erik Pears, not Boone, got the first crack at playing right tackle. Boone lined up at left guard with the second-team offensive line.
“Alex can play right tackle – he played it in college,” Tomsula said. “Right now we’ve got Pears at right tackle. And Alex I’m sure at some point will get some work at tackle.”
The 49ers must reshuffle the position after longtime starter Davis retired last week. Pears, a nine-year veteran acquired in free agency, had been rotating between right guard and right tackle to this point in the offseason.
Pears, who is listed at 6-foot-8 and 316 pounds, has played for Denver, the Raiders, Jacksonville and most recently Buffalo. He also played in NFL Europe in 2006, the season Tomsula was a head coach there. Last year, the Bills played Pears at guard instead of tackle.
Tomsula and the 49ers seem to be leaning in the opposite direction.
“That’s what we’ve evaluated him most at,” Tomsula said of Pears at right tackle. “I liked the way he was moving. The biggest thing with Pears is since he’s gotten here, with his weight room, he’s bigger and stronger than he’s ever been. He’s moving really well.”
Boone had been working out in Arizona until this week. He’s been the starter at right guard since the 2012 season. Asked if he think he’ll get a chance to play tackle, he said it was up to the coaches.
“The coaches haven’t really talked about it,” he said. “It’s about getting the offense down.”
Aside from first-round draft pick Arik Armstead, the 49ers have a full house at minicamp. Per league rules, the former Oregon star can’t join the team until the school’s final exam schedule is complete Friday.
Et cetera – Outside linebacker Aldon Smith injured his right foot early in the session – a teammate stepped on his toe – and sat out the rest of practice. He had a slight limp, but the injury did not appear to be serious. Corey Lemonier filled in on the right side.
▪ Dockett, who is recovering from an ACL injury suffered in August, won’t take part in the minicamp. But he vowed to be ready for the 49ers’ opener against Minnesota on Sept. 14. “I’m way ahead of schedule for where I’m supposed to be,” he said. “I could go out and practice now if I wanted to. But what’s the point, you know?”
▪ The 49ers will hold their minicamp practices at Levi’s Stadium instead of their adjacent practice fields. The objective, Tomsula said, is to become as familiar as possible with the home field. The 49ers were 4-4 in Levi Stadium’s inaugural season last year.
“We’d like the stadium to feel like something old to us,” Tomsula said.