Fangio on Trent Richardson: “It would not surprise me to see him play half the game or 90 percent of the game.”

SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript:

Q: When did you find out that the Colts had added a running back (Trent Richardson)?

FANGIO: Yesterday during practice.

Q: What did you guys have to do as far as the preparations for this game?

FANGIO: Obviously we went in and put a tape together of him running the ball for Cleveland for the last year and two games and watched him and got acclimated to him running and his style of running and we showed that to the players today.

Q: Is it a power-style similar to Marshawn Lynch?

FANGIO: In some ways but I wouldn’t say totally.

Q: Is he much different than the other guy, Ballard?

FANGIO: He’s bigger. He’s a bigger version of him and faster probably.

Q: What does that do to their offense. Luck still is at the control of it obviously. How different do you expect it to be?

FANGIO: I don’t think they’ll be different at all they just may hand it off more than they have been. They’ve got a great running back to give it to. It’s even more reason for them to have balance in their offense which I think they’re striving to do anyway. It just gives them an upgrade at running back and we’re going to see him.

ME: How do you describe his running style?

FANGIO: He’s strong. He’s fast. He’s got a good stiff arm. He’s a move-the-pile kind of guy but he’s also got some shiftiness too where he can bounce it outside or inside. He’s comfortable running it inside or outside. They’ve tossed it to him a few times in Cleveland. They have the toss play in Indianapolis. They have a very similar run game at both places. I think it will be a pretty seamless transition, as much as it can be for a guy who just got there today.

Q: Do you try to predict what they can do in just two practices to get ready for this?

FANGIO: Because the guy has been in camp, been playing in an offense that the running game has a lot of carryover. I’m sure they’ll be able to teach him a good bit of the running game and some of their pass protections in regular personnel and have at it.

Q: Because there might be a little bit more complexity in the passing game, is it too simplistic to say when he’s on the field on Sunday it very well might be a running play?

FANGIO: Yeah I think it is because they have protections in their regular personnel group when there are two backs, a tight end and two receivers on the field that are exactly the same for Cleveland and Indianapolis. I think a lot of the protections will be seamless for him. There may be some that they’re comfortable with him yet and they probably wouldn’t call those.

Q: Are you comfortable with that offense knowing Pep Hamilton?

FANGIO: I don’t know what you mean by comfortable.

Q: Is it familiar to you?

FANGIO: It’s got some of the stuff they did at Stanford in it but not a lot. His background has been his last three years at Stanford and prior to that he spent a lot of time with Norv Turner who is the Offensive Coordinator at Cleveland. Again, that’s carryover for Richardson coming in.

Q: Does the addition of Richardson allow them to be more Stanford-like? Richardson as Toby Gerhart or Stepfan Taylor type of every down back?

FANGIO: I’m sure that’s way they visualize him to eventually be the every down back. A lot of times when you get a trade like this during the season it’s a guy who’s holding out or something and he’s really not ready to go. This guy is ready to go. I expect him to play a bunch on Sunday.

Q: Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Eric Reid all are nursing injuries. Do you expect them to play on Sunday?

FANGIO: Yeah, I think we’ll be fine by game time.

Q: Luck has taken a bunch of sacks as a Colt. Is their offensive line still a work in progress?

FANGIO: I think they’ve got a nice line. They’ve got two tackles that have been No.1 draft picks. They did lose their left guard which will hurt them some but they came in last week and operated seamlessly when that left guard went out. I don’t see a major problem with their line. I think they’re making more of an effort to protect this year than maybe they did last year and I say that based off what I read, not my eyes because I didn’t watch them last year.

Q: Does Richardson’s ability to pass protect change your game plan at all?

FANGIO: Well he’s a good pass protector. Whether they are comfortable enough to put him in on third down and pass protect remains to be seen. Again, I think they’re protections are very similar to Cleveland’s. He can be in their most of the time. It would not surprise me to see him play half the game or 90 percent of the game.

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  1. The addition of Richardson is going to be a good litmus test as to where our defense is and what improvements that will need to be done for the team to go all the way.

    1. A good litmus test as to what type of character this team is comprised of given the fact that not only did they lose in yet another embarrassing performance, but they got physically beat up as well. If that were not bad enough, over across the sideline Stinky Pete was grinning like the Cheshire Cat and gloating among his players and staff….

      1. And yet it was the 49ers who self destructed and got a few personal foul penalties that killed the team and the game.
        The team would ultimately be better off if they kept the critiques on themselves and didn’t both looking across the field.

      2. Ah, the classic rationalization trap. The defense mechanism in which perceived controversy is justified logically and explained in a rational way to avoid the true explanation….

      3. No way in hell. Too early, and key personnel with fresh bodies available after week six. Dial, Carradine, Manningham, Wright, Moody off the top of my head, but right now this team is not as strong or as healthy or as good as the She-Hawks.

        At the end of the season these two teams will be different. When they meet again, a win will be good. A Super Bowl appearance would be fun, and to emerge victorious would be great, but if they can’t repay the embarrassment and then defeat them again in the playoffs to do it…..I would view the Championship through a blue and green lens.

      4. Razor,

        I would love it to go down just the way you laid tit out, but that’s a very high bar to clear. I hope you have something else that makes you happy

    2. You guys are overreacting Richardson has not done anything in the nfl. He played behing a offense line that was the best in college football. Glen coffee, Mark Ingram what have they all done? Alabama backs are overrated. Richardson was a huge BUSTED pick. Kinda like Aj jenkins but he wasn’t top five

  2. Watching the Kansas City game tonight makes me so happy that Alex Smith is not our starting quarterback. It’s the same old Alex Smith show of running away from no pressure, not taking any chances, and settling for field goals.

    The Kansas City defense is carrying him so far in this game.

    1. while i wish Alex well, he still only looks at one-half of the field (at most), even on extended plays.

      course, he must have a new offensive coordinator…so we won’t really be able to evaluate him until the 2015 season

    2. Did you see his attempted first down dive at the end of the first half? He turned his back and flopped forward in a very similar manner to the play against the Rams where he took the nasty head shot. I hope for his sake that he learns to stop doing that, but I have my doubts that he will.

      1. oy, i did not. but that last inaccurate safety valve pass to an rb sent a twinge of remembrance and pain thru my body. oh well…he’s someone else’s problem & opportunity now

  3. just tuned in but Vick continues to be guy with tantalizing observables – rocket arm and rocket legs – but subpar effectiveness: he doesnt see open receivers and he’s only occasionally accurate. he’s a coach killer. you want to stick with him, but he’ll never be more accurate and he’ll never see those open receivers

    1. +1 People need to get over the noise crap. It is what it is. The Hawks have lost lots of games in their home, right now they have a pretty decent team.

    2. If you don’t like the noise then stay home and watch the game on TV.
      Don’t embarrass the more intelligent fans like this. Jeez.

    3. It’s weak that fans wrote a newspaper saying the Seahawk fans should be quieter, but the NFL should look at whether or not mechanically recycled/ redirected noise should be allowed. It’s smart the Seahawks designed their stadium that way, since there was, and is, no rule against it, but it pushes the boundaries. The NFL doesn’t allow crowd noise to be recycled / redirected by a sound system, so why is it legal to have a structure that redirects sound back down onto the field?

      1. Exgolfer if Seattle goes 8-0 in at home in the regular season and then runs the table at home in the playoffs I believe the NFL rules committee will have to look at the situation.

      2. Old Coach,

        I hope so.

        What am I saying, I hope not!

        What I really hope is the Seahawks go 8-0 at home and 3-5 on the road again, lose in the second round to the 49ers at Candlestick by seven TDs, and it’s the disparity in the Seahawks home and road performance that leads the NFL to look at their stadium.

      3. Old Coach,

        That’s exactly what Seattle did in 2005. There is no reason for the NFL to look into it. All this whining about the noise in Seattle is silly.

      4. Jack,

        The NFL doesn’t allow noise makers, so the league clearly wants some limit on the noise produced in stadiums, and they have a noise related delay of game rule on the books already. So, you tell me, is it really a silly notion, or do you just want it be?

      5. Jack i did’nt see your comment untill this morn. In that the NFL does’nt allow “artificial” noise makers and already has a delay of game penalty [caused by noise] in the book, do you believe there is any decibel level that should be penalized? I believe there is a point where a visiting offense is at such a decided disadvantage that it fundamentally changes the game. When you intentionally design a stadium with noise in mind and your fans look to hit specific levels of sound its gone too far.
        I may be wrong but i think Seattle hit 135 decibels sun night it would be very simple to set the decibel level at 120 and any time a crowd goes above that level the play clock is reset if it happens more than 3 times its an unsportsmenlike behavior penalty.
        When technology IE stadium design trumps football ability its time for a change. I might disagree with your opinion at times but i do’nt call you a “whiner” or call your opinions “silly”

    4. >>No wonder other teams fans call us 40 whiners.

      Thats not the only reason. Complaining about *how* they win and *with who* they win with while racking up 12 and 11 win seasons – that’s Webster’s definition of whining.

  4. Chiefs 23 and Eagles 9
    So the running game and the defense kept the team in it, huh?
    An ugly win is still a win.
    3 and oh.

    1. 23-16 now. Alex don’t make mistakes. Grant did KC’s defense win this game too? I think Jamal Charles is most underrated back.

  5. note to oldcoach:

    you’re thinking about next year’s draft….?

    Every other Niner fan on the planet is focused on the 2014 Super Bowl
    (update: Chiefs 26 …. Eagles 16 )

  6. here’s a new betting line:
    how deep in the season does Alex Smith take the Chiefs with
    a larger winning percentage that Kaep/the Niners…?

    six games… seven games….?

      1. Fraud Balls,

        A lawyer would know a thing or two about BS.

        Did you watch the game?

        +5 turnover ratio
        +19 minute time of position
        Pick 6 by the D

        Yet, what does the KC offense produce? 4 field goals and a TD generated by the running game.

        Here’s a quote from

        “Smith often looked tentative and too content to flee the pocket in the name of a 3-yard run. “

      2. But somehow, some way he wins again. If the NFL is so good at exposing weaknesses, why does he simply keep winning?
        Even on a less talented team, he does enough. Again it’s not big numbers but managing games in the NFL produces wins. You haters dont like it cause it does not jive with your fantasy football thinking. Sad!

      3. You’re right, Claude; lots of one trick ponies around here who can’t seem to learn a new tune. But I will say, while watching, it was VERY reminiscent of a lot of Niner games in the past…no third down conversions to speak of (at least thru the first 3 quarters), and a lot of dumped passes. And with four or five turnovers, the Chiefs left a LOT of points on the field. But, the good guys won, so all’s well that ends well.

      4. @Nick:

        Yes, I watched the game. Did you read the entire article you selectively quoted, or did you stop after seeing something you think supports your position?

        But who can argue with results? A byproduct of the Chiefs’ conservative offense is zero turnovers through three games.

        It’s interesting that you trumpet the turnover differential and time of possession advantage, but don’t seem to comprehend the offense’s contribution to both of those factors.

        And Jack is right – that 8+ minute drive in the 4th quarter, the one that started on the KC 5, was impressive.

        It’s especially impressive when you consider that it was led by a guy who isn’t a “legit QB”. Smh.*

        * Sorry, Grant, but I think it’s appropriate to shake my head at nonsense like that.

      5. Nick,

        He also could have played like Vick and cost them the game. There is a reason why the Chiefs defense is in position to help win these games; the offense is playing mistake free football and not putting them in bad positions while also keeping the football for long periods of time.

    1. How about the game from Justin Houston?
      Easily the defensive player of the game.

      Right now, the Chiefs have the look of the 2011 49ers.
      Efficient offense and very good defense.

      1. Until they play a team that can tackle. Two huge missed tackles on 3rd and long. KC doesn’t impress me yet. Good to see Michael Vick throwing those picks though. Lol

    2. Yes, the nearly 9 minute drive was a thing of pure beauty. Let’s hope the Niners can pull off something similar when whey need to this year.

  7. Man that 2011 draft was loaded with top notch pass rushers. Aldon, Von Miller and JJ Watt have torn it up the past two years, and now Justin Houston, Robert Quinn and Ryan Kerrigan are getting in on the action this year.

    1. OK, Scoot. But doesn’t Kerrigen flash early and then fade away? That’s my impression; not film scouting or numbers crunching.

      1. Not sure what your point is there Brotha? Kerrigan has averaged 8 sacks a year in his first 2 seasons and has 3 already this year. And he is the 6th most prolific pass rusher from the 2011 draft – that is one heck of a draft for pass rushers.

        And you’ve then got some other talented pass rushers in their own right in Jabaal Sheard, Cameron Jordan, Corey Liuget, Muhammad Wilkerson, Adrian Clayborn, Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley – not in the same league as the guys above, but still good. That is some serious talent from that draft.

  8. Hello Grant is there any RB the NINERS should look at I mean any FA or undrafted players? I think they need one and if the Colts got one why can the NINERS do the same………..everybody is saying that Frank Gore is done and obviously Lamichael James is out and Hunter is not the answer just sayin……..

    1. Niners do not need a back. They need their entire offense to start executing. They need to start handling their assignments. Each man has to do his job on every snap. Frank hasnt seen a hole this year. At least he is not pointing fingers. Hes frustrated though. This will be a breakout game for him.

    2. I’m not a member of the “everybody” contingent. The running has suffered for a number of reasons and the blame does not fall solely on FG’ shoulders.

  9. making Coach Harbaw look good…. or not:

    if the Niners lose to the Colts on Sunday,
    then their winning percentage will not
    equal/surpass that of the Kansas City Chiefs
    until at least the middle of the season.
    Wow. Talk about game management;
    two consecutive early losses will put us in the hurt locker, hmm?

    1. My thoughts exactly. Except for their pass protection KC looks solid. Where will the magic 5 come from?

      September 29 New York Giants
      October 6 at Tennessee Titans
      October 13 Oakland Raiders
      October 20 Houston Texans
      October 27 Cleveland Browns
      November 3 at Buffalo Bills
      November 17 at Denver Broncos
      November 24 San Diego Chargers
      December 1 Denver Broncos
      December 8 at Washington Redskins
      December 15 at Oakland Raiders
      December 22 Indianapolis Colts
      December 29 at San Diego Chargers

      With an extra 3-days rest can they steal one from the Giants?

      1. Oak twice
        SD home
        Cle home
        that leaves only one win out of @wash, @buff, @ten, IND home and NYG home

        I think its very doable…of course once they hit 8 its time to lose so the pick stays towards the middle 2nd round.

      2. B2W,

        The only games on their schedule that look like sure losses, are the games against Denver. A second round pick looks like a lock, at this point.

        I just hope they don’t get too far above 8-8, peferably, not at all.

  10. Why not give up a conditional 5th or 6th for Kenny Britt. Its obvious that we need a receiver with experience to compete and contribute. Yeah he’s had his share of problems but winning cures a lot of those issues. I say we strike while he’s in the dog house in tennessee.

    1. Im wit u there jordan..But i think it’s roman schemes that hold back the wr’s in this offense..It’s running back and tight end friendly..Crabtree went off last yr cause he knew how to get open..But crab is really a number two..not a one..Now i think Crabtree would be more lethal with a guy like Britt on the other side..But until roman is outta here..the rice/taylor combo like days are of the past..the philosophy is let a te block/wr block,lets run and throw to the open man,dont force it,run between the tackles,pitch outs,no screens..We’re so worried bout protection schemes..Were slowing the offense down.This is a complex offense..That has to be learned to truly be effective in it.Thus we keep players that have learned it since day one.or are quick learners..Can britt learn this quick? Baldwin and Harper are on the bench still?Patton is limited.The niners want reliable veterans on offense..Moss,Manningham last yr..Boldin this yr..Idk its week three and it’s gonna be a long season..I think we can get the superbowl this yr..but it may be a harder path

    1. Good write-up Jack but I think that it is more that the Niners offense needs Kaep to be able to manage the game like Smith did against a defense like Seattle’s.

    2. It’s sad but it’s true. It may not be flashy but it gets the job done. I think Smith has alway been about playing smart football, he’s not a gunslinger. 3-0 with a team that went 2-14 the year before is not too shabby. He’s clearly an upgrade and doesn’t put his defense in a bad situation.
      Colin has enormous upside talent wise. A lot of QBs’s have come in with the same potential but never quite get there. I’m glad we hae CK for 2013 but it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    3. Not saying Alex would have made the 49ers win Sunday, but watching Alex Smith + Good Defense + Special Teams + Smart Coaching is like seeing a boa constrictor methodically suffocate its prey.

      The boa constrictor chews clock, keeping the defenses snap (pitch) count low in games and seasons. A front 7′s with fresh legs in the 4th qtr or post season is a dangerous animal.

      1. No one is saying that we should replace Smith with Kaep; however, Kaep does need to learn to manage the game like Smith does. Sometimes flashy big play capability is the best option, so you have to have a backup game plan or you will end up with a result like the Seahawks game.

      2. Midwest last yr or the yr before i heard Steve Young say that Game management skill were the most important skill for a QB to have. Before you worry about any other skill sets a NFL QB has to be a great game manager. Young said this at a time when the label game manager was being used as a criticism for Alex Smith. Young also said its not as easy a skill to master as some would think, there were many NFL QB’s who never got there so its not a skill that just comes naturally with time.
        Now i’ve been a CK supporter since his Jr yr in college, i had the 9ers taking him in the 2nd rd of my mock draft, i predicted he would take the job from AS at the begining of the 2013 season but his lack of progress in his game management is begining to worry me. You can throw out the last 2 games at Seattle but even the GB game at home was poorly managed. Now i’m not calling for AS i beileve CK has a much much higher ceiling but a Little of AS’s game management skills sure would help his development.

    4. CK is not reason we lost the game in Seattle. Replacing him with a game manager would not have corrected the missed assignments, poor execution, penalties, and bad coaching.

      1. Ask any former NFL QB, the overwhelming majority will say game managing is the MOST important skill to have as a NFL QB, followed closely by accuracy.

      2. Often times, the gap between winning and losing comes down to TO’s. It is one of the highest percentages that decide a game and if you have a QB who doesn’t turn it over, you will win more than you lose.

    5. Great post Jack. For all the stick he gets, Alex has turned into a very competent player that a team can win games with.

      The best QBs know there is a time to be daring, and a time to be conservative. Alex’s main weakness is not knowing when to press. Kaep on the other hand is still learning the decision-making side of the game, so I still have hope he will learn the right balance.

    6. Hammer,
      Why continue the comparisons bud?
      When Alex last beat the c-hawks we had ‘shut-down’ defense. That’s no slight against Alex, but honestly, our defense has not been the same since the game in New England.

      If we grade the theory that any win is credited to Alex even when the defense plays a huge part, we must use the same theory in giving Alex credit for a loss even when he plays/played a good game such as the loss in the championship against the Giants a couple of years ago. The theory you use can also apply when pitting Alex against the Giants.

      I like your take, but it’s built on hypotheticals. But not a bad read for a Friday morning.

  11. What some of yall are gushing about Kc dont realize is…They played three teams in a row..That have changes in the coaching staff..Jax is terrible and Seattle’s old def coordinator is their new head coach..Dallas has Callahan calling the plays and kiffin is new def coordinator..Eagles have a new coaching staff..Chip kelly is gettin his feet wet..So slow down people..Its week 3..well week 4 now..

    1. I watched all 3 games. They look EXACTLY like the niners in 2011. That’s what’s so exciting for me to see – as a person who appreciated Smith’s role in the Niner’s success.

    2. >>They played three teams in a row..That have changes in the coaching staff.

      Yes, those 3 games did include a team with a big change in coaching staff – Kansas City.

      1. Yeah, they ran it at least 3 or 4 times last night.


        I am a believer in Kaepernick. I just think he needs to develop his game management skills, something that I think is huge if you want to have a chance to win a game in Seattle.

        As I said in the piece, Smith is what everyone says he is, but he just keeps winning.

      2. Game managing is fine when your defense can carry u. create short fields.Pick six’s..Case in point 2011 niners. And Kc the past three weeks…U can play keep is what a game manager is.. playin keep away..Not losing a game..But not winning it either. Eagles had 5 turnovers and was still in it..When the game was 23-16.Alex and Andy are playin non playoff teams from last yr..we got a harder schedule and playoff teams with good defenses 3 weeks straight..

      3. yeah i did jack..u said in so many words..that kap needs to play like alex to win certain games …especially in seattle.Like I said..alex has benefitted from the him short fields and turnovers..which 2011 and his team after 3 weeks now has shaped up to be.Game managing doesnt win my point..Unless u got a lead..and sometimes that can bite u in the a$$..

      1. Jack,

        Kaepernick is a very talented athlete, no doubt. My position is and has been that the move was premature. There is no such thing as time to develope in the race to the SB. Do it now or wait for next year. As we know, the difference between lifting the SB trophy and going home is just one moment of hesitation.

  12. I became a fan of Alex Smith during the 2010 season as I watched him survive the Nolantary regime. But comparing Kaep who has started just over a dozen games to a vet like Smith is grossly unfair — pretty ridiculous, actually. Kaep is still learning how to read defenses, and is already showing improvement to my eyes. Reading defenses accurately is a big part of game management as the QB keeps the chains moving on third downs. Alex learned it over a period of 3-4 years as he ran for his life, or watched injured from the sidelines. I have no doubt that the Kaep’s effectiveness will increase as the season progresses. I think both Gore and his limited participation in the pre-season games has contributed to their slow starts.

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