This is the transcript of Curtis Modkins’ Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Well, obviously Sunday wasn’t good enough and there’s a lot to go around for why it wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to work our tails off to get it fixed and that’s what we’re about doing. But, we need to be more consistent on offense and we need to be able to sustain what we’re doing on offense and we need to continue to work towards that. I know you guys have some questions. We’ll get on to them.”
When you look at it, why do you believe that the consistency hasn’t been there in the run game?
“There are probably a number of factors. We’re getting some decent box looks that we’re running against. A run game is successful because a lot of people do the right thing at the same time. Sometimes it’s not successful when a lot of people are doing the right thing, but one person maybe not. He might step the wrong way. The back’s path might not have been exactly what you wanted. So, there are a lot of things. We’ve got a lot to clean up in a lot of areas. That’s definitely one of them.”
How would you assess the way QB Colin Kaepernick played?
“I think Colin did some good things. Colin hadn’t played in probably a year. I thought he did some good things. In the first half he was eight of 11, something like that. He kept some plays alive with his legs. I thought Colin did a good thing. I think he’s got to get better like all of us do, but I thought he did some good things and we’ll work to continue to get better at what he didn’t do right.”
What do you think the difference was in the second half? His numbers didn’t mirror what he did in the first?
“Well, it’s not just him. You say it’s his numbers, but it’s our numbers. Sometimes it’s a drop here or there in critical situations affect those numbers. A penalty here or there and all of a sudden we’re off the field and that affects the numbers. We’ve got to do better around him and that helps his numbers.”
It seems like the third quarter has been particularly bad for this team. Is that, have teams been changing things at half time for you guys? Can you put your finger on why the third quarter has been so slow?
“No, nothing changed as far as what they were doing. We had a good idea of what they were doing. We just didn’t execute. We didn’t sustain what we were doing in the first half. We’ve got to work to solve and find out the reasons and continue to prepare. But, the bottom line is we didn’t sustain in the second half and we’ve got to do a better job of it. Some of it, we had some drops, we had some penalties, a lot of that are factors, but we’ve just got to figure it out and get better at it.”
Was the game plan against Buffalo, obviously we saw it thrown in the direction of WR Torrey Smith more but not as much WR Jeremy Kerley. Was it the way the Bills were defending him or just kind of a different game plan going into Sunday?
“Every game is a little different in terms of what you’re seeing defensively. There are some schemes that don’t allow Kerley to work on a particular guy. Some schemes give you this. Some give you that. I think we’ve done a decent job of exposing what they’re doing. This so happened to be one where we were able to look to Torrey a little bit more.”
How is RB Carlos Hyde doing?
“We’ll see. I don’t know. We’ll see what [49ers vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Ferg says on that and see where that goes.”
The team just sent out a release that WR DeAndre Smelter is back on the practice squad. Did you get a chance, did he come work out? Did you get a chance to see him before he was signed?
“We’re familiar with him. He’s been around. We know him. We’re familiar with him and looking forward to seeing how he looks.”
Why was he away? Was he just not healthy or why bring him back?
“That’s not my department. I don’t make those decisions. I’m just happy to see him back and happy to work with him.”
Was Carlos available throughout the game? The second half was he available?
“When he went out, I’m up in the booth and when he went out I think he came back in a couple of times. But, whatever his issue was he worked on it and [running backs coach Tom Rathman] coach Rath put in who he felt gave us the best chance to win. That might have been based on health or whatever it was based on, but we’ll see where Carlos is at as we move forward.”
How did G Joshua Garnett do in his first start?
“I thought Josh did OK. I thought he did OK. He’s a rookie, so he’s got a lot to learn and a lot to grow on, but I thought he did OK. He’s getting better and better and we’ve got to keep him on that track.”
He mentioned focusing a lot on pass protection. How do you think he did in that regard?
“He had a couple where we’d like him to do a better job. But overall, the kid fought. We’ve got to clean up a lot of stuff with not just him but with me, everybody else and that’s one of the things he’ll work on and he’ll get better at. He had a couple that he’d like to have back I’m sure and so would I.”
ME: What did he do to take the job from G Andrew Tiller?
“He’s done good in practice. He’s worked. I wouldn’t say he’s taken the job from him. I think it’s an evolving deal and as the week goes we’ll kind of see where that fits. But, I wouldn’t categorize it as him taking a job. I just think he worked to earn an opportunity and we gave him an opportunity.”
ME: Was Tiller struggling or did you think he was playing well?
“No, I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say that. I think Josh earned an opportunity.”
Back to Kaepernick real quick, the way he moved around the pocket, he looked a little bit more comfortable than he has in past years. Being able to slide and step into it, being more patient. Did you see similar thoughts?
“Yeah, I thought he did some good things in the pocket. He moved around and when some things weren’t there he gave us a chance with his legs. That’s something that Colin brings to the table and we’re excited about him continuing to do that.”
Do you expect teams to change what they do to prevent him from scrambling early in some of those passing plays?
“They could. They could always do something like that. We’ll adjust. He’ll adjust. We’ll have a plan for it, but yeah they could always do that.”