SANTA CLARA – Bruce Miller spoke second this morning, just after Frank Gore.
Here’s what Miller said.
Q: How much has Frank Gore helped you?
MILLER: I had very little knowledge of what to do and where to go. So especially early on he’s helped out a lot with different tips, reminders, alerts here and there.
MILLER: That’s a big part – him alerting me of different things. It helps me be able to get my eyes in the right spot. To be able to recognize defenses and things earlier so that I can make a block or get the protection right. So those are some of the things he does.
Q: How is your thumb?
MILLER: The thumb is great. A little bit sore, but if the thumb is the biggest problem we have then we’re in good shape.
Q: Were you surprised you had a pass thrown to you right after you came back from the injury?
MILLER: It was OK. They wanted to get a picture of it. So I felt fine and taped it up and that goes along with it. I got out into the flat and he threw me the ball. I should have caught it.
Q: Could you give another example of how Frank Gore is intelligent on the football field?
MILLER: Well, just when the ball is snapped. We come out of the huddle and get to the line of scrimmage and before the ball is snapped we’ve already had a full conversation on what’s going on, what they’re doing. So just his recognition and, like you said, his intelligence of the game. I guess seven years in the league, he’s seen it all. So he can recognize it pretty fast.
Q: What’s Rathman’s influence on you been?
MILLER: He has pretty much taught me everything since I came in. I had really no clue what it took to be a fullback or what came along with that. So everything I’ve learned up until this point has been him and Moran and Frank.
Q: Did you see old tape of Rathman?
MILLER: I did. I actually looked them up and started watching film of him right after draft day to see what I was getting into.
Q: He hasn’t put any tapes in for you since?
MILLER: No, he doesn’t do that. He knows how good he was so he doesn’t need to show us. I went and looked him up.
Q: How do you sharpen your pass-catching skills coming from playing defense in college?
MILLER: Just practice. We do a lot of reps and seven on seven and things like that that the backs are involved in. So I get to catch quite a few balls during the week and I feel prepared and ready to do that on Sundays.
Q: What makes Frank so effective?
MILLER: Just being in the film room and watching the games. And going over film with him and coach, I think his patience and things like that that go along with being a running back. Most guys want to just hit it and run the ball as fast as they can. Frank, he’s more patient. He lets the play develop and he sees things that a lot of guys don’t see. I think that’s what makes him such a great back.
Q: Why did the run struggle in the second half?
MILLER: I’m not exactly sure. I know they came in and probably made some good adjustments and came out and were able to stop the run. So I think we need to continue to get better at what we’re doing and hopefully that won’t happen again.
Q: There’s already talk of when you can clinch the division. Is that stuff you guys can’t think about?
MILLER: No, we don’t think about that. I really like what coach Harbaugh said yesterday about treating every game like it’s a Super Bowl. We’re going to treat every game like it’s a Super Bowl and go into the game like that importance is there. No matter what game it is. A division game, out-of-conference game. We want to win them all. So that’s how we’re going to treat them.
Q: At the same time, is it nice to have a 4-game lead.
MILLER: I think that’s huge. Especially if we keep preparing and playing the way we’ve been playing. I think that will be huge come to the end of the season.