SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Curtis Modkins’ Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Obviously, coming off of the game Sunday, we were able to kind of get in, digest and learn and kind of figure out what went wrong, what we did well, what we can do better. Our guys have been receptive of that. Now we’re looking forward to moving on to this one. This will be another challenge and that’s the thing about this league is you don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself. You’ve got to move on to the next one. Our guys have done a good job of that and we’re having a good meeting and we’ll go out and have a good training session today. So, you guys have any questions? We’ll go ahead.”
What can you do better? What do you expect to do better?
“Well, it’s hard to beat anybody when you don’t take care of the football. Obviously, you know, we had some turnovers. We gave them points. I thought our offense responded well off of their turnovers, but we have to handle that part of it. We had some mistakes that we’ve got to correct and our guys have, we’re working at that. But, I think if we cannot have the things that we do to ourselves, those self-inflicted wounds that [head] coach [Chip] Kelly talks about, if we can eliminate those then we’ll have a much better chance of winning on Sunday. So, that’s the major thing is the things that we can control we have to control them.”
The Panthers have a very talented defensive front and Chip Kelly spoke yesterday how the defensive tackles really kind of stopped the running game and let the inside linebackers run free for them. What major adjustments do you see that line having to make against Seattle who also has a very talented defensive front?
“Yeah, these guys are talented and the ones we’ll play, the most of the ones we play from here on out are talented also. We’ve just got to do a better job overall. We’ve got to do a better job of taking what’s there. Sometimes in this league, two or three yard runs are good. We’ve got to do a better job of setting blocks up. We’ve got to stay on them longer. So, there’s no one certain area. It’s not all the offensive line. It’s not all the running back. We’ve just all got to do a better job in terms of being able to run the football effectively and I think our M.O. has been since we’ve been here in this offense traditionally, we’re going to be able to run the football. We’ve just kind of got to get back to basics and be able to block, run, set up blocks, you know, take what they give us, that kind of deal. I think we’ll be fine there.”
RB Carlos Hyde was talking about, just kind of lamenting the fact that he wasn’t patient enough in this game. Was he pressing the hole too quick? What were some of the issues you saw there?
“You know, I think every runner, I think one thing a runner does after a game is you can almost remember detail by detail every run that you have. There are some times, yeah, where he could be more patient. There are some times where he knows he just wants to hit it and let’s go get two or three yards because that loosens the defense up and now we can play off of that. So, you know, Carlos is going to be fine. We all have runs that we’d like to get back. So, I don’t anticipate that being an issue, but I think he’ll be fine with that.”
What are the things that you teach in terms of patience on maybe like a basic inside-zone concept? What are you looking for in terms of maybe a mental clock before they hit the hole?
“There’s a feel and timing to the play. There’s also the understanding of what defensive front you’re getting, what look you’re getting and how you have to set up your blocks to help your linemen block that front and their second level. So, as a back, oftentimes you have to put the linebacker where you want him based on where you’re going and then if I want to go here, if I want to go there, I go here first and then go there. So, you’ve got to just kind of set blocks up sometimes. You know, things happen fast out there. It’s easier said than done. It’s easier for me to get up here and tell you that. But, we have to all be according to, playing on the same stream, the runner and the line.”
Is that something naturally that is going to get better in Week 8 than Week 2 because people are just getting used to each other and used to what they’re seeing, that sort of thing?
“Yeah. I think it’ll get better. I think Carlos naturally, and I think all our runners are naturally patient runners. So, I think the more reps you get in this offense and what we’re asking them to do, the better all of them will be. Not only in that part of it, but each part of the game.”
So much was made of Chip Kelly’s pace and how quickly the offense gets the snap off between plays. It seemed like Sunday you guys were working at a little bit slower pace. Was that a product of maybe the heat or was that something where you thought you maybe needed to get your defense a little bit more of a breather? Was that a conscious decision you guys made?
“No, I wouldn’t say it’s heat. You know, the thing about how we operate is, whatever the pace is, we control it. So, if we decide to go really fast, it’s on us. If we decide to slow it down, it’s on us. So, the tempo in this offense, whatever it is, we control it. Now, there’s factors from week to week that we have to decide on. Whether we’re going to really, really go fast or slow it down and those are week-to-week decisions based on our personnel, based on who we’re playing. It has nothing to do with the heat, nothing to do with our defense.”
Along the lines of that question, QB Blaine Gabbert was looking to the sideline a lot too. When you guys plan for that during the week, are you planning on him lining everyone up quickly and looking over there or is that an in-game adjustment you guys make?
“We have a couple deals where we will do that, but it’s week-to-week. It’s not something that it’s, ‘Hey, let’s just decide to do it in the middle of the game.’ We kind of plan those things out. It depends on who we’re playing, what we got going that week. So, that’s all that was.”
What’s the plan this week for G Joshua Garnett? Is he going to continue to practice on both the left and right side or will he stay mostly at one guard?
“I think Josh, for one, is getting more and more comfortable with NFL speed, period, whether he’s left guard or right guard. But, we’ll continue to get him reps and kind of see where it fits. The main thing for him is just to get him reps and get him more and more comfortable with the speed of the game in the NFL. I think he’s doing a good job of that. I think he’s coming. I think he’s close, but we’ve just got to keep working. We’ve got another week, another day of preparation that starts today on the field. We’ve just got to keep working him and see where it falls at the end of the week.”
Are you working OL John Theus at both tackle spots?
Is he close to being somebody that you can look to–?
“Yeah, he’s close. We’ll see. He’s close. We’ll see.”
Did you know much about G Zane Beadles before you got here and what have your impressions been of him?
“Yeah, I didn’t know a lot about him. Obviously, he’s been in this league a while. So, I knew who he was and we’ve played against teams he’s been on. So, I’ve been aware of him. Zane’s done a good job for us. We went on silent count, he kind of handles some of our mechanics in our silent count. He knows what’s going on. He makes very few mistakes. Zane has been solid for us.”
How do you prepare for the noise in Seattle and did Carolina help you at all, did being in Carolina help you at all prepare?
“I think our preparation helps us. We practice with music going. So, we’re used to practicing in an environment where it’s not silent. Our guys handled it well. The noise is not an issue for us wherever we play.”