SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the 49ers media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the Rams offense.
Them having WR Danny Amendola back, how does that kind of change what they do?
“I don’t think it changes what they’re going to do schematically because they had a good guy to replace him with in [WR] Steve Smith, the guy that was with the Giants and the Eagles in his past. And he was a good slot receiver, too. But, what it does do is it improves the quality of their receivers. Amendola is by far one of his favorite guys to throw to. He’s their slot receiver when they go to three wide receivers. He’s a really good slot receiver, very similar to [Patriots WR] Wes Welker. Real quick, real shifty, tough and runs good. So, it just puts another good receiver out there, but I don’t think it changes their scheme.”
He drew some Giants WR Victor Cruz comparisons from CB Carlos Rogers yesterday. Do you see that in Amendola?
“I do. I think Carlos is just kind of referring to this guy’s a damn good slot. And I think that’s what he meant generally. And this guy is. He’s one of the top slots in the league.”
What makes a good slot?
“Quickness, toughness, good feel for running routes, where the defenders are. There are a lot of option routes for a slot. Where to end up for the quarterback so the quarterback has confidence in you. And he’s got all of that.”
Can you dictate the option routes and can you try to force them to do one thing more often?
“You can at times. Obviously you can double the option route and try and take it away. But, there’s always a cost that goes with that and that you’re singling up other guys to stop one guy.”
Do you feel more secure doing that with the way that CB Chris Culliver’s playing?
“Well, Chris has done a good job for us since the day he’s got here. He’s made progress and he’s improved from last year to this year and he keeps improving. And we have high hopes for him and expect him to continue playing well.”
You guys didn’t play QB Sam Bradford last year at all last year.
What do you see from him? And what kind of makes him stand apart from the other quarterbacks in the league?
“Well, he’s got a good throwing arm. Throws the deep and intermediate balls very well. I think he’s got pretty good command of their offense for it being his first year in it. He’s got deceiving speed. When he does decide to pull it down and run, he can run. I just think he’s a pretty polished quarterback. Although he’s been hurt and been through a couple systems there, I think he’s doing well for where he’s at in his development.”
You pointed out that he did switch offenses from his first season where he was pretty effective. What are things that you’re seeing from him now that show development as a quarterback beside from that?
“Where his second and third options are and making a quick decision in reading a coverage and throwing it to where the coverage dictates it should be thrown. I see his decision making being good.”
Would you say it’s where a guy with his development level, technically his third season, should be? Or maybe more advanced than that?
“I think he’s probably where he probably should be in light of this isn’t his third year in that system. It’s his first year. But, this is his third year of NFL football. Played at a high level of football at Oklahoma in a passing offense. I think he’s probably where he should be, except that he’s not been in this offense for three years.”
What characterizes that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer system as opposed to what you saw from the Rams last year? How is it different?
“I think it’s roots stem from the Ernie Zampese, Don Coryell offense from years ago that guys like [Chargers head coach] Norv Turner still run it. And I think those are the roots of this offense.”
We’re all familiar with RB Steven Jackson of course for the running back. But, the real addition that’s gotten attention is RB Daryl Richardson. What have you seen from him?
“Well, what I see first and foremost was I asked after watching some film is, ‘when was this, how did they get this guy?’ And when I found out he was a seventh-round pick that told me that 32 teams, including the Rams, missed on him because he’s definitely more talented than a seventh-round pick. So, I don’t know what his college background was or why he lasted that long, but this guy’s a talented back. He’s not on the big side with his size. But, he runs well. He’s quick. He’s fast. And on contact he brings a little bit of a good pop to him that you wouldn’t think for a guy that’s under 200 pounds. So, I’ve been very impressed with him and they have been too because he’s been getting more and more playing time.”