49ers’ free safety Craig Dahl spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call Saturday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.
Q: Have the 49ers told you what position you’ll be playing, whether you’ll be competing for a starting job, that kind of thing?
DAHL: They told me that there was an opportunity to play in the voided safety position in the secondary. I’m hoping to come in here and mesh well with the secondary and fill that void.
Q: How familiar are you with Russell Wilson and these young quarterbacks?
DAHL: It helps me out that I was able to play against most of what we have in the NFC West last year. The emergence of Russell Wilson poses a big threat up in Seattle. Obviously with Kaepernick leading the reigns down here, he’ll do good things for our offense in the future.
Q: What do you think you do best as a safety?
DAHL: I think I can definitely get everyone on the same page. I’ll pick up this defense really quick. I’ve already had discussions with my position coaches and we’ve gone over a few things with the roles of each safety position on this defense. I don’t think I’ll have a problem getting to know the guys and working hard and them seeing me put the work in that I do, gaining their trust and confidence in my ability. Just keeping the unit meshed together is a big thing.
Q: Trent Baalke coached at North Dakota St. Did you know that?
DAHL: I did not. I had heard of him, but I had never met him before.
Q: Did you meet with Trent this week?
DAHL: Yes, Trent and I had some talks, discussed different things about North Dakota St. and that community. We had a lot more talks about what this program is doing and where his direction was with this program and how he saw the fit with me involved in it.
Q: Did you like what you saw from Ed Donatell?
DAHL: Yeah, definitely. We watched film together. We talked about different things. He told me what his coaching style is and how he helps out the players through their learning process. It was kind of a mutual discussion. We were both learning from each other.
Q: Did the 49ers mention to you signing Charles Woodson or another safety to compete with you?
DAHL: I had asked them that question and what other safeties they had brought in. I was doing my due diligence as well. They said they had brought in some other guys, but they were very select in what they had envisioned fitting their mold here in San Francisco.
Q: Were you told they wouldn’t be signing anyone else at the position?
DAHL: I’m always open for competition. I know how the game progresses. The team that’s always progressing is the team that’s bringing is guys to compete for positions. Whether I’m lined up out there from Day 1, it’s always going to be a competition to keep you job once you’re the starter. I’m grateful of the opportunity I was given and hope to be that guy.
Q: What role did you play on the Rams’ Special Teams the last few years?
DAHL: I played primarily on the punt team. It’s the same position Dashon did while he was in San Francisco – the personal protector on the punt team.