This is the transcript of Curtis Modkins’ Week 17 press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Well, good to get a win. It was good for the guys. Our guys have been really nose to the ground all year and it was good to see them rewarded with a victory. So, we’ll open it up to questions.”
Can you maybe just take us through your view of that fourth quarter comeback was and how you saw it unfold?
“Well, I just saw guys doing a lot of the little things that we preach. [WR Jeremy] Kerley had a couple catches and what he did after the catch where he knifed up field. We had [QB Colin Kaepernick] Kap making some good decisions. We had our receivers catching the ball. We had a lot of the things that we’ve talked about and we’ve stressed all year and it was good to see those things come to fruition and guys made plays and we put ourselves in position to win the game and made the plays at the end to actually win it. So, we felt like we had a chance to do that and there was never any doubt that we would do that. No matter how the game was going, I think everybody on the sideline, everybody felt like, ‘Hey, we’ve got plenty of time.’ We just needed to go execute and get it done and guys got it done. So, it was good to see that.”
Had you guys run that two-point conversion play before?
“We’ve had versions of those types of plays before. Not specifically maybe that one. But, we’ve had versions of that. We knew what we would be going to in that situation and Kap executed, guys executed it.”
Is that specifically a two-point conversion play or is that play open to you–?
“No, not specifically. We will use things like that, not just specifically two-point.”
But, you go into a game with a list of X number of two-point conversion plays?
“Yeah. We have a good idea of what those are going to be. Yep.”
How did T Trent Brown do at left tackle in that game?
“Trent did OK. He did a good job. It’s not easy to go from the right side to the left side. There’s just some base stuff that you have to adjust, your stance. There’s some things you have to adjust and I thought Trent did a nice job of doing that.”
You guys obviously kept that under wraps during the week. If you hadn’t, do you think that the Rams would have adjusted and done something differently to exploit the other side?
“Well, I don’t know if we kept it under wraps. But, we have to practice the guys in different positions and I think we made a decision at the end that this would be the best way to go is putting him at left. So, it wasn’t anything that we intentionally kept under wraps I don’t think. But, it ended up that we felt like for matchup-wise we needed to have him over there. I don’t think it affected what the Rams were trying to do or what they wanted to do to us. The Rams are really good up front and that’s just where we needed Trent for matchup purposes.”
Had he practiced on the left side up until that week?
“He’s had reps here and there, yeah. He’s moved around just like all of them have. At times, when [T] Joe [Staley] takes a break, Trent may go over and get a couple snaps at left. So, they all move around. But, this was his first significant amount of time over there and he handled it well.”
With as many moving pieces as you’ve had, particularly on the offensive line, how much of a stabilizing force has Trent been this year for you guys?
“Availability is the best ability. Trent’s been there, him and [G Zane] Beadles, and it helps to have that, as many guys as possible. Him being able to kind of play both tackles for us and obviously in this last game him being able to go there and do that it was stabilizing for us. So, he’s a young player that I feel like’s getting better and I think he has a bright future and hopefully he’ll continue along that path. But, yeah, it was good to be able to see him be there for us.”
I realize you’re a little biased, but people not just this year but maybe since head coach Chip Kelly entered the NFL say, ‘Is this an NFL offense? Is this better suited to college?’ What would you say to those that still wonder about his offense? What have you learned this year about it?
“Well, I’m not sure what an NFL offense is. There’s only a certain amount of plays out there and whether you call it west coast offense, east coast offense, purple offense, I mean, we all run a lot of similar plays. We haven’t particular been what Chip’s been in the past as far as the tempo. We’ve slowed things down. So, we do run a traditional NFL offense. We’ve just got to be able to execute on third downs, take care of the ball. Those things are critical. But, the fact of the matter is, nobody was saying that when he was winning 10 games a year in Philly. So, yeah, this offense works. I believe in it and it will work. We’ve got to improve like everybody else. But, I don’t see an issue with that.”
Why in your mind has the pace slowed down from his Eagles days?
“We’ve had some guys in and out, based on how our team is built, our decision was that that was the best way for us to try to win games.”
RB Shaun Draughn began the season as the number two and then he seemed to lose that job midseason and now is back. What happened in the interim? What allowed him to retain that spot?
“I think first and foremost, these things are all fluid. I’m not sure there’s a lot of, I don’t put a lot of stock in who’s the number two, who’s the number three. I think it’s week-to-week and it’s based off your performance the previous week, based off your performance Tuesday in practice, Wednesday in practice and things just change and things fluctuate. Sometimes it’s matchups. Sometimes it’s, ‘Hey, we can use this guy’s skill set again this guy’s skill set and we feel like we have an advantage.’ So, there are a lot of variables involved. But, I do think he’s played really well recently and we’ll need him to do that again on Sunday.”
How is his pass protection? Has that evolved?
“Yeah. I think he’s gotten better at it. I think earlier in the year that was something he needed to work on. He needs to continue to work on it. But, I think he’s done that and I think he’s improving, yes.”