This is the transcript of Curtis Modkins’ Week-13 press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Wow, this is a great setup, isn’t it? It’s unbelievable. I’ve been here before. This is a really great campus. If you guys get a chance, you should walk around and check it out. But, awful kind of them to let us use it. So, you guys got anything?”
What was your reason for being here before?
“When my son was in high school we took a visit here. Just a college visit and looked around and all that.”
Where’d he end up going?
“He’s at Kent State.”
So, he didn’t like it here?
“I think he did like it.”
We’ve seen the offense get better and better. Why do you think things seem to be getting to that stage now where you guys are moving the ball up and down the field?
“Yeah, I think we’re learning them and they’re learning our system. Guys are making some plays and I just think it’s an overall better understanding of what we’re doing and they’re executing it better in a lot of areas. We’re trying to do our best to make sure guys are in the right positions and I think our players have done a good job for the most part. Now, we still have to do enough to win the game and we didn’t do enough to win the game. So, moving the ball up and down the field doesn’t do you a lot of good unless you move it up and down the field and score when you have to. So, we’ve got to improve on that, but I think we’re making good progress.”
QB Colin Kaepernick’s averaging something like eight yards a carry. Have you seen him, is he making all the right decisions in terms of when to take off because a lot of those yards are coming scrambling-wise and are there things you can draw up that can open things up for, ‘Hey, if maybe a guy’s not open, this is a good play for him to do that?’
“Well, I think he’s doing a good job of making that decision. He’s the quarterback. He’s out there, he’s in control and when he sees an opportunity he’s taken advantage of it. So, whether you can draw it up for him to see, I think we don’t have to. I think he’s doing a good job of taking advantage of those opportunities. I think he’s throwing it well, he’s doing some good things and when the opportunity presents itself he uses his legs. So, that helps tremendously and that’s part of the game and that’s part of his game.”
Have you seen defenses react to that at all, playing more zone, in order to kind of take away his running ability at all?
“You know, there’s some teams that will try to take that away and when they’ve done that, I mean he’s done a good job of kind of taking advantage of what presents itself defensively. But, from week-to-week, things will change in that aspect and they’ve also got to have somebody that has the ability to take that away. They’ve got to have a pretty good athlete to take him away if they do decide to do something like that. But, he’s just got to continue to get better, keep doing what he’s doing, keep on the trajectory that he’s on and offensively we’ve got to get better. But, yeah, he’s good with that.”
When you think back to his first start in Buffalo and then to Sunday against the Dolphins, it seems like a pretty stark contrast. What are the biggest differences do you think besides just getting more comfortable?
“Well, he missed a lot of football. Kap missed a lot of ball. He had some injuries that he was dealing with. He missed the offseason. It was his first game back. I think what’s important though is that he’s steadily improved from that point on and I don’t see why that won’t continue the way he works.”
What has TE Vance McDonald meant to the offense? It seems like he offers an element of explosion that maybe you don’t have in a lot of other spots?
“Yeah, I think Vance is a tough matchup athletically for guys that are covering him. I think he’s a tough matchup for zones when they play zones because of his athleticism. But, he can run. For that position, I think Vance can really run and he’s proven that with some of the explosive plays that he’s made. So, we look for that to continue. We need it to.”
I know you can’t really put your finger on what exactly the reason for the fumbles are, but you have 11 of them and 10 different guys have coughed them up. Is there anything that you can say what’s been the issue there?
“Well, you can’t specifically say that, because it has spread itself around. What’s important is that guys have to realize that prevents us from winning. So, whoever it is, we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the football. Whether it’s tipped balls or whether it’s strip fumbles, we’ve got to do a better job of that.”
Will you guys have any sort of team-building exercises, going bowling or are you guys anything like that this week?
“Not to my knowledge. No. That’s probably a better question for somebody else.”