Fangio on the Texans: “They make their runs and play-action passes look exactly the same.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.

 

When you look at the Texans, what sort of jumps out at you about the challenge that they present to you guys?

“Well, balance number one. These guys are committed to running the ball and they have a play-action passing game that works directly in conjunction with their running game. So, they make their runs and play-action passes look exactly the same. So, they’re a tough offense to defend in that regard. And then they have a really good passing quarterback and really good receivers to throw to, highlighted by [WR] Andre Johnson, who will probably be the Texans first Hall-of-Fame guy once he retires, five years later. He’s still very big, very strong and fast and runs excellent routes and is a really a hard player to play against. They’ve got really good tight ends that they are both very good receiving tight ends that they’re very comfortable throwing the ball to. And they throw the ball deep, short and intermediate. They’ve got really good balance in their offense.”

 

Is it an especially good test for S Eric Reid just in, with the play-action and not biting and not going into one direction, things like that?

“Well, it’s a test for Eric and all of our guys. They have a very tough offense to defend. They marry everything together in the running game and the passing game off their play-action. And they’re one of the few teams, too, that still has a very good drop back passing game on the early downs, too. So, it’s not all play-action.

 

DT Justin Smith had voiced some concern, obviously they block similarly to Seattle and how that can also be dangerous for a defensive lineman’s legs. How do you go up against that? How do you prevent that? Is there anything you can do to counter that?

“They don’t do it to that same extent. And, it’s legal as we stand right now. So, you just got to play.”

 

Do you expect to have LB Patrick Willis for the game?

“I think Pat’s getting a lot better, making great progress. I think the chances are better than 50-50, but we don’t know for sure yet.”

 

Have you decided on a number three cornerback, everything being equal, everybody being healthy?

“Not yet. But, right now I still think it will be [CB Tramaine] Brock this week.”

 

How did he play against St. Louis?

“Good. He did a nice job. He probably had the biggest play of the game in breaking up that pass that [S] Donte [Whitner] intercepted in the end zone. That was a 3rd-and-1, deep into the second quarter. They were in field goal range and I think the score was only 7-3 at the time. So, that was a very critical play at that time and he made that. And he made some other good plays.”

 

What about LB Michael Wilhoite, especially if he has to be covering some of these tight ends on Sunday?

“Well, he’s got a tough assignment. These guys are an excellent passing team and running team. The linebackers, I think, you alluded to testing Eric Reid, it’s the ILBs have a harder test in deciphering run or pass against this play-action game and being sound in their coverage but yet being good playing the run also.”

 

How great of a game did LB NaVorro Bowman have for you guys?

“He played really good. He did a good job pass rushing and blitzing which we’ve been wanting those guys to do better on. And he did well, made some plays in the backfield. He really played a very good game.”

 

You mentioned Brock as the number three as it stands right now. Is that partly a function of CB Nnamdi Asomugha still coming back from his injury?

“Yes. That’s part of it, obviously part of the equation still.”

 

How do you assess how LB Dan Skuta and LB Corey Lemonier did?

“They did fine. They both played, the way the game unfolded, Corey played a little bit more than Dan. But, it’s kind of, we’re kind of treating it like we did in 2011 where Dan is playing the base stuff and Corey is playing the sub stuff. Although they both can be interchangeable because they, like one time during the game when we had to punt twice back-to-back because of a penalty Dan had to cover both those punts. We were in the base defense and Corey wasn’t on that punt team, so he went out and took the base snaps for Dan after doing basically two 50 or 60 yard sprints back-to-back.”

 

Can Corey play both sides or is he more comfortable on the left?

“Yes. He can play both sides as Dan can also.”

 

Does the emergence of the rookie wide receiver kind of make you guys, keep teams honest defensively as far as approaching Andre Johnson?

“Well, yeah they’ve got, their whole receiving corps, when they like to play a lot of two tight ends and two receivers and those two tight ends are good receivers. And then that’s with Andre and [Texans WR DeAndre] Hopkins out there, those are two really good receivers, so they’re still, and they got the really good back, they got two good backs. So, these guys are really good and they’re a tough assignment because they’re balanced. And they’ll stay balanced throughout the game as long as they can.”

 

Are they unique in that it seems like some teams against you guys, they can’t run and they say, “Well, screw it. Let’s just pass.” Are they somewhat unique in the NFL in that they really are committed to the run game?

“Well, they really are. They’ve won a lot of games there over the last few years and have scored a lot of points and gotten a lot of yards on a lot of people. And I think it’s because they have a commitment to a balanced offense. They try hard not to become one dimensional. And with their defense playing the way it is, they can do that for a long time.”

 

With the increased emphasis on protecting defenseless receivers, do you think that can change the ways offenses attack you or attack anybody in terms of taking more chances over the middle, sending guys up in the air, that kind of thing?

“Well, I’ve always said, when they’re fining these people for these hits, they should be fining the quarterback for throwing these guys into those big hits. But, we just got to learn and we have to hit correctly. Don’t lead with the helmet. Stay off their head. The part that’s hard about it all is the league has instructed the officials to err on the side of caution, so they’re going to throw the flag no matter what. So, ultimately what is a great play by the defender, but it looks so, because it’s such a great hit, but it’s a clean hit a lot of times, the flags are being thrown because it just looks that way. And I would wish they would do a better job on that.”

 

Do you think a booth review, make that a reviewable play would be one step in the right direction?

“I don’t know if you have to review it. I don’t know that the officials need to err, they need to err on the correct side, not on the safe side. Because, if it is an illegal hit, the guy will get fined on Monday or Tuesday. So, it’s not, if you miss it as an official, that doesn’t mean it’s over and done with.”

 

Where did you fall on Donte’s hit on Rams WR Chris Givens?

“The angles I’ve seen so far it looked like a good play. He did not lead with his head. It looked to me like he jolted the guy pretty good in the shoulder with his shoulder and the guy’s head snapped because of the impact of the hit which made it look like an illegal hit and so they threw the flag.”

 

What was the call on that? I forgot, they said unnecessary roughness, but what did they say? Was the receiver defenseless or was it to the head?

“All of that. I don’t know exactly what they called. If they, unnecessary roughness or, I don’t know.”

 

Do you have a take on the change of his name from Whitner to Hitner?

“He did not consult me before he made that decision.”

 

What would your advice have been?

“I’d tell him to rethink it because I do know if you change your name, correct me if I’m wrong [49ers director of public relations] Bob [Lange], you got some funds you have to come up with for jerseys is one thing. And, whatever.”

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  1. “…we’re kind of treating it like we did in 2011 where Dan is playing the base stuff and Corey is playing the sub stuff. ”
    ——
    But Dan Skuta wasn’t on the team in 2011.

      1. Wow, great perception. Alex taught CK how to throw a sideline out on the line and especially how to use his break-a-way running speed.
        Yup no name, you got it right as always (lol).

        Then again, with your credibility, it makes sense to stay incognito.

      2. AES – If Chiefs hang on for victory, watch how many Alex trolls will be in here…Lol…Grant should rename blog Inside tbe 49ers/Alex

      3. Alex Smith and the Chiefs looked pathetic against a QB-less Titans team. I had high hopes that NY would get their first win against Philly. Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve found a way to keep loosing. Ugh.

      4. I don’t want to take anything away from an undefeated team. They’ve done just enough to win 5 games. I just don’t see anything to get excited about when the team has to face any of the layoff teams in January.

      5. >>I don’t want to take anything away from an undefeated team.

        Nothing except call them pathetic looking.

        3 more, baby!

      6. Matt it’s definately ugly football as to what the Chiefs are putting together but at the end of the night, if you see another “W” in the column, who cares?

      7. I just said I thought they looked pathetic on offense. Perhaps I have the Titan’s defense extremely underrated.
        They found a way to win. At the end of the day you’re absolutely right, all that matters is that they won.
        Like Prime said, it’s been ugly. As long as it is a win, it helps SF.

      8. That SEA/INDY game was a great game. It’s like the SEA offense is like the SF offense, where they just let him around around until the play breaks down.

        KC is 5-0.
        NO is 5-0.

        Let’s see what Manning does against the Cowboys.

        It is tough slogging for the KC offense, until the 4th quarter. There was another long drive to seal the game.

        Dude just wins.

        Niners have a chance to make up a game.

        I’ll take an ugly win.

      9. Alex Smith and the Chiefs are 5-0.

        The overrated kap and 49ers 2-3.

        Oops ! My bad , the 49ers game still need to be played tonight, but i’ll give the Texans the Win anyway..

      10. Andrew Luck is way better then Alex Smith, Luck can pull the trigger and hit his receivers on long plays,hard for AS to throw the ball more then a few yards.

    1. The Niners would be 5-0 if they had the same lame weak schedule, that KC has, meanwhile. AS would of been buried alive if he play against the Sea Frauds and would lose against the Colts too.

  2. From yesterday’s presser:
    “It seemed like we got our identity back a little bit,” Justin Smith said when discussing the 49ers’ 35-11 win over the Rams. “The last couple years that’s what this team has been built on, is stopping the run and running the football. Keeping the time of possession down for the other team, controlling the clock, both sides working together and it just seems like, that St. Louis game, that’s our calling card, that’s our identity.”

    I’m not going argue with the Cowboy.

  3. Grant, and others,
    Quick question for people with know-how about candlestick Park:
    I am a long time Niner fan, but will be attending my first home Niner game this Sunday. My 9-year-old daughter really wants to hold a small sign up to see if she can get on TV. I noticed on the 49er website that signs and banners are not allowed, yet when watching games on TV I see a lot of people in the stands with them. Does anybody know the policy on this? I understand large signs are annoying and obtrusive. Thanks for your input.

    1. The website states it cause they have to but Ive brought signs in and no one says anything..Just be aware and dont blo k peoples views for long

      1. Thanks NorCal. I appreciate the input. No worries about blocking views. We are talking about a 9 year old girl with a sign the size of a large cookie sheet.

  4. What is at stake for the 2-2 Niners and the 2-2 Texans? Little factoid from the NFL Network – Since 1990, chance of team making the playoffs:
    3-2 record: 51.1%
    2-3 record: 21.5%

    How about them Browns, by the way. Ownership throwing in the towel with the Trent Richardson’s trade seems to have brought new life into the team. Much like the other Cleveland team in “Major League”…

    1. The Browns are a very dangerous team right now. How many had this team pegged as a potential sleeper before this run?

      1. I did week 1 and week 2 when I picked them to win on their defense. Unfortunately, they didn’t pan out until I picked them to lose.

    2. Rav,

      One thing to consider:

      On average, teams that start 3-2 are better than teams that start 2-3.

      Keep in mind, that’s on average. I don’t think the 49ers will lose tot he Texans, but if they do, I think their chances of making the playoffs will be better than 21.5%. In other words, I believe they would be on the upper end of the 2-3 team scale.

      1. Cushings is playing Sunday night. That will do a lot to stop the run game. It isn’t an easy win by any means. I expect Schaub to let loose and throw the ball all over this defense. We’re going to need a performance like the one last year in New Orleans. This will be a high scoring game by the Texans. It will be up to SF to match them offensively.

      1. May be JH did Alex Smith a favor for ditching him last year. One more year, and.there would have been so many rookie QB options for teams to consider.

      2. If Pittsburgh completely implodes do they pull the trigger on a high round QB?

        No. The Steelers have bigger concerns on the OL and an aging defense. It doesn’t matter who the QB is if they can’t protect him on offense and provide a defense that keeps him from having to be a constant miracle worker.

      3. I see a team that is on the verge of a rebuild and it’s not completely out of the realm of possibilities that there could be a new coach there as well if it goes really ugly this season, like it looks like it might. I know the Roonies dont generally suffer from knee jerk reactions but I’m just saying if they only win a couple games this year Tomlin will be on a seriously hot seat. But I digress.

        Rebuild, possible new coach and a 31 going on 32 year old QB says that if the right guy slides to them in the second round I wouldn’t rule out them pulling the trigger.

      4. Grant Cohn says:
        October 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm
        Texans won’t get a chance to take Hundley.
        —————————–
        WalterFootball has him as the third QB taken, do you agree or expect that to change by draft time?

    1. Speaking of predictions I’m breaking out the pat myself on the back machine for starting the Browns defense tonight.

      1. Unless Wilson has a DeLorean and a Flux Capacitor to take him back to 2007 I don’t see that coming true.

  5. I’m guessing the Bengals draft Aaron Murray
    The Texans draft A.J. McCarron
    The Browns draft Zach Mettenberger
    The Cardinals draft Derek Carr
    The Vikings draft Tajh Boyd.
    The Eagles draft Marcus Mariota.
    The Buccaneers draft Brett Hundley.
    The Jaguars draft Teddy Bridgewater.

    Which team will draft Johnny Manziel?

    1. Jags have a history of odd first round selections, I can see them doing something screwy and take Manziel. I definitely wouldn’t make it a forgone conclusion that they’ll take Bridgewater.

  6. I have a problem with the poll question. Are the niners one of the six best teams in the NFC. Are you Freakin serious??!??! And how did morons answer no? Only teams in NFC anyone can claim are the Seahawks Saints Bears and Lions, please no one try and say cowboys. Say that would AT WORST put them at 5. I believe Niners are currently 3rd best in NFC. They would handle both the lions and bears. Only two you can put ahead are Aints and Seahawks. Gosh people are dumb.

      1. Niners can go anywhere from 1 -6. It all depends on how the D and Gore hold up, and whether Colin continues to improve as a pocket passer where he can go through more reads than one.

    1. QBs are getting hurt at a high rate this year. Both Hoyer and Manuel went down last night. I can understand why JH is concerned about the backup position.

      On a side note, this may be the real reason why we’ve seen less read option plays league wide this year. Teams don’t want to lose their QB.

  7. Come on Indy, Don’t get any stupid flags. Seattle has an uncanny ability to be gifted games by the refs. Let’s end that streak today.

      1. I don’t think they can beat a team in Jan. They have great upside in their run game and their QB is above average, but like AES said, they don’t have receivers. I sure appreciate their win today though.

      2. This young Indy team is going to be a very tough team to beat, the 49ers and the seahawks found it out already. Indy’s offense is only going to get better with Andrew Luck and the defense is already very good.

  8. Matt says:
    October 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    “I don’t think they can beat a team in Jan. They have great upside in their run game and their QB is above average, but like AES said, they don’t have receivers. I sure appreciate their win today though.”

    Actually Matt, I never said that the Colts didn’t have any receivers.
    I said that they have a young talented team offensively with Reggie Wayne (still productive) being the old vet.
    T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, and the injured TE Dwayne Allen give them a formidable group of young receivers.

    In any case, nice win today by the Colts.

  9. capeman says:

    October 6, 2013 at 11:59 am

    The reason why kap is not the same qb that he was from last season,because of Alex Smith. Smith was his qb coach in the side line and his mentors

    Reply

    Crab15 says:

    October 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Hey DS and you other Alex trolls, clean up the Cheetos crumb pile under your chairs.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/93852/the-hard-knock-life-of-an-internet-troll-fun-graphic/

    AES says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Wow, great perception. Alex taught CK how to throw a sideline out on the line and especially how to use his break-a-way running speed.
    Yup no name, you got it right as always (lol).

    Then again, with your credibility, it makes sense to stay incognito.

    Crab15 says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    AES – Lol

    Crab15 says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    AES – If Chiefs hang on for victory, watch how many Alex trolls will be in here…Lol…Grant should rename blog Inside tbe 49ers/Alex

    Prime Time says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Crabs you have to admit, the guy wins games.

    Matt says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Alex Smith and the Chiefs looked pathetic against a QB-less Titans team. I had high hopes that NY would get their first win against Philly. Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve found a way to keep loosing. Ugh.

    ribico says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Matt, you mean pathetic as in still undefeated?

    Matt says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t want to take anything away from an undefeated team. They’ve done just enough to win 5 games. I just don’t see anything to get excited about when the team has to face any of the layoff teams in January.

    ribico says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    >>I don’t want to take anything away from an undefeated team.

    Nothing except call them pathetic looking.

    3 more, baby!

    Prime Time says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Matt it’s definately ugly football as to what the Chiefs are putting together but at the end of the night, if you see another “W” in the column, who cares?

    Matt says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I just said I thought they looked pathetic on offense. Perhaps I have the Titan’s defense extremely underrated.
    They found a way to win. At the end of the day you’re absolutely right, all that matters is that they won.
    Like Prime said, it’s been ugly. As long as it is a win, it helps SF.

    Fansince 77 says:

    October 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    That SEA/INDY game was a great game. It’s like the SEA offense is like the SF offense, where they just let him around around until the play breaks down.

    KC is 5-0.
    NO is 5-0.

    Let’s see what Manning does against the Cowboys.

    It is tough slogging for the KC offense, until the 4th quarter. There was another long drive to seal the game.

    Dude just wins.

    Niners have a chance to make up a game.

    I’ll take an ugly win.

    capeman says:
    October 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    “Andrew Luck is way better Qb then the overrated Kap. Crab15, AES and Matt you guys are Pathetic 49ers fans. haha..”

    And yet, we stay faithful to a 49er blog rather than troll around like you do taking cheap shots on a blog site that does not represent your true team.
    Instead of stalking 49ers fans because you still can’t process the loss of Alex Smith, take some healthy advise: Just move on!
    Ha, ha, and you call us pathetic?
    Your credibility is taking some big hits today bud (lol).

    1. AES, are you kidding? What credibility are you talking about? You and your apostles are the one thats taking cheap shots of others. They have all the rights to give their own opinions. You should be a comedian, you sound like a true comic.

      1. Actually ribico I didn’t catalog that long thread. Like I said, I don’t know how that was added to my post which was a reply to capeman.

        But since you bring it up, show me where I have had trouble moving on from the AS.

      2. @AES, who do you think you’re fooling? You’re the only one that can make comments on your thread. And yet you’re putting the blame to others to your stupidity?

  10. AES – If Chiefs hang on for victory, watch how many Alex trolls will be in here…Lol…Grant should rename blog Inside tbe 49ers/Alex

    Actually I (AES) never made that comment. But I can understand your being a bit punch-drunk after all the hits on your credibility today (lol).

      1. 23J, BigP, Bay or Neal – I’ve been on Alex “troll patrol” all day. Somebody take over so I can focus on Niners.

      2. I have hit a couple of trolls this morning and last night they are just lost souls. I am not much of a boozer, but I had 3 sips of India Pale Ale, damn got a little buzz already, real light weight. haha

      3. Well, I’m sure that I don’t need a shrink, but you could certainly use a pair of new reading glasses.

        AES – “If Chiefs hang on for victory, watch how many Alex trolls will be in here…Lol…Grant should rename blog Inside tbe 49ers/Alex.”

        Ah, I never said that. Go and slowly read that post again and than come back and tell me who actually posted that.

      4. Neal (real deal) I always can count on you pal!
        Look for VD to have big game tonight and enjoy the IPA’s….my favorite beer! Go Niners….Quest for 6!!!!

      5. PP time. Did your mommy breast feed you on Mooseheads? Perhaps that is why you have had slow development, and only charge clients $100.00 a hour in your small yellow school bus.

    1. I do expect that Roman will have a good game plan. . Need another monster game from Gore. Does he have the tread for 2 weeks in a row? We will see, hope VD is at full speed, and count on a few long balls. I expect a close game in the first 1/2, Niners bring it home in the third and fourth 1/4. Oh yea !!!

      1. Kap did pretty good for 2 quarters 45 yds, Gore 45 yds. 49ers defense looks awesome, 21 points scored by the defense. Wow ! without the 9ers defense niners sucks, 49ers offense sucks. haha..

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