SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in tneeded is tent Friday morning. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.
How do you feel about the depth at cornerback with CB Chris Culliver being out for the season?
“Obviously, we took a shot there yesterday and it puts a stress on everybody else in that group. We’ve got the guys that were here last year. We’ve brought in [CB] Nnamdi [Asomugha] to try and help sure up that group. Right now, we’re just going to have to see how it sorts itself out here in the preseason games and through the rest of the practices.”
Will you have a rotation like you do at safety to kind of rotate guys into that number three spot?
CB Tramaine Brock got that yesterday?
“He got some of it yesterday.”
What do you like about Tramaine?
“He’s got good quickness. He’s got good speed. He’s got good ball skills. He just hasn’t played a whole lot prior to us getting here. He hasn’t played a whole lot since we’ve gotten here. Now may be an opportunity for him to go out there and show what he’s got and take this job. If you remember the start of the 2011 season, he did start the season playing some in our sub package. Then, I believe he got dinged a little bit, and that’s when Cully took over.”
If he hadn’t have gotten that hand injury, do you think things would have been different for him? It seems like he kind of sunk to the bottom because he had to deal with the hand and other people kind of–?
“Right, it gave Cully an opportunity and Cully went out there and did a great job and ceased it and took it and kept it. Now it’s an opportunity for Brock.”
How are their skill-sets different if at all?
“Cully’s bigger, obviously, number one. Probably the most glaring difference.”
Do all of those guys have to be able to play both sides?
“Pretty much. There are some times where guys get grooved into one side and their uncomfortable going back to the other side. Brock is not that case. Cully liked the right side more so, I mean liked the left more so than the right. It’s different for everybody. For some players it’s no big deal, for other players it is.”
Is it a big deal for CB Nnamdi Asomugha?
“I don’t think so. We’ve had him at both.”
You don’t see any difference when he’s out there?
“I don’t think so.”
What about CB Tarell Brown? He played mostly left corner before you guys got here so the last two and a half years he’s been at right. Is there any thoughts at just seeing how he does back at left is that possible?
“That’s a possibility in our nickel package. It would be. And, we’ll take a look at him as he’s going to have to learn the nickel position also as a potential player in there.”
What have you been seeing from Nnamdi? Is the fact that you have him here does that kind of lessen the blow of losing Culliver?
“Well we didn’t really know what we were getting when we got Nnamdi. He’s had some good days out here and some days where you weren’t sure if he was going to still have it. I think we’re kind of in between with him right now. Hopefully he’ll be able to still have some gas left in his tank to go out there and play like he did prior to going to Philadelphia. So, I think the jury is still out there.”
Is some of that how a player’s used? Is there any part of that to it or do you just either have it or you don’t?
“I think there’s some of that. But, Nnamdi is at this stage too in his career where some guys start losing, their physical skills start to diminish. We just have to see if that’s entering into his picture too or not.”
Have you done any homework on CB Eric Wright? You had him for a weekend a couple of weeks ago.
“I never met him. I found out, they came in and told me we traded for him, and the next thing I know, they came in and told me he failed the physical. I never met him even though he was here for a day. He came in at a night and had the physical that next day. I never met him and have not heard anything since.”
If you think you were going to add somebody, what qualities would you be looking for at a cornerback?
“Just any. At this stage in the game when most teams have 90 players in camp, there are 32 teams, there’s not a lot to look for out there. And, this isn’t like free agency in March or the draft where you can be specific. We’re just looking generally.”
Do you know how LB Patrick Willis hurt his hand?
“It was when he was rushing the passer. Contacting between himself and the running back.”
What does that, do you feel confident with September 8th that he’ll be at full strength, Patrick?
“I think so. That’s my impression that I have right now.”
What do you like about what LB Nick Moody has been showing in camp the last week or so?
“He’s got good ability. I think he’s got a lot of good tools in his toolbox. He just isn’t a union carpenter yet. He’s just got to keep playing, keep getting better. But, I do think he has physical ability that I think if he can figure out the game, figure out how to play the game, just all of the normal things that every rookie goes through. But, in his case it’s even more because he was a safety most of his college career. Eventually, he might get his union card.”
One of the things though, he doesn’t use gloves he says and some of the defense players are telling him to put gloves on. Is that something that makes you more comfortable to or do you prefer to have his gloves on?
“To be honest with you I haven’t even noticed until you just said that.”
Are you going to notice now?
“I don’t know.”
He was a safety in college, LB Michael Wilhoite was a safety in college. What does it say about that position these days that safety is what is kind of feeding that position?
“Both of those guys obviously have outgrown that position. They’re both 240 or above, so I don’t know. I don’t have a good answer for you.”
I was wondering if, obviously pass coverage skills have to be pretty good?
“Yeah, well pass coverage skills is big, but these guys are, when I think of safety in college and linebacker, I’m not thinking of guys that, these guys are six-foot 240 pound guys. I don’t see them at safety in college. I’d like to see that tape. I just don’t see them as being safeties in college. But, guys change between they’re 18 years old 19, 19 to 20, they probably had different body type.”
Have you ever sat down with QB Colin Kaepernick to kind of go over how to read defenses?
“No. Him and I had never have. Occasionally I would walk by their meeting room and say a thing or two and they’d ask. That’s why [Senior Offensive Consultant] Eric’s [Mangini] here now.”
With this rash of defensive injuries of the top line defensive players, does it kind of change the way your work is cut out for you the res of the summer and the preseason and training camp as far as you approach?
“As far as the preseason and training camp? No. I mean, the good side of it is a lot of these younger guys will get a lot more reps and will be more prepared if they’re called on. If it stretches into the season, obviously Cully’s will, then it’s not preseason anymore. I could ask you guys what our record was the last couple of years in the preseason and you might not remember. I don’t, but you remember what our regular season record was. So, hopefully it won’t press on too deep into the season. But, if it does these guys are at least getting prepared.”
Do you have a better sense now what DT Tank Carradine’s timeline is for getting back?
“I don’t. I don’t know anything about Tank or [DT] Quinton [Dial]. Any question there should go to [Head Strength & Condition Coach Mark] Uye or [Vice President of Football Operations Jeff Ferguson] Ferg in the training room. I’m sure I’ll be alerted when he’s close to coming back and I haven’t been alerted yet.”
Do you start to reach a point of no return as far as how helpful those guys can be during the regular season?
“Point of no return might be a little bit too strong. But, they’re young players that need reps, need to learn how to play, need to learn our system, need to learn NFL playing, need to play in preseason games. To just think you’re going to take them off in their first total action is going to be Week 8, yeah they might be physically cleared to do that and physically abled. But, to think they’re going to be as good as they were had they had all of this work, I think is pretty naïve. So, I wouldn’t say point of no return, but they won’t be where they should be.”