SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Jim Tomsula said on Monday about his starting “nose guard,” Isaac Sopoaga.
I also included a Tomsula quote at the bottom on nose guards in general.
Q: Isaac Sopoaga at nose – is that where he’s most comfortable?
TOMSULA: “Yeah. There’s a lot more technique at the nose guard position for us than there is at the end positions. They all have their techniques and things, reading blocks and things like that. He was a nose when I first got here. We moved him – this is his third sport. Isaac didn’t grow up…in the third grade he wasn’t playing Pee Wee. He was running around with a rugby ball. So we moved him – I talked to him then about moving to the end spot. I just wanted to take some of the stuff off him, and let him just play. And now, as he’s been moved back in there, that’s one I guy I tell ya who is just doing a heck of a job, I mean really doing a heck of a job. And I put a lot on those guys, I really do. And he studies. Isaac’s one of those guys, if I ever showed you his notebook, it’s phenomenal. The way he writes and the notes and just how detailed he is in paying attention to things. He’ll come in in the morning and he’s got questions. He’s been writing, he’s been watching film and he works reeeeeally, really hard at it. It’s hard to play that spot. It’s hard to do both.
“The only fat guy in that room needs to be me. I’m not into the fat guys. And I don’t mean that wrong, but you know what I’m saying – the big, heavy, you-need-to-be-350-lbs.-to-play-nose-guard types. No you don’t, you need to be strong and you need to be able to move.”