SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.
Q: Nnamdi Asomugha still is in the blue non-contact jersey. What is his availability for Sunday?
FANGIO: We’re confident he’ll be able to play on Sunday.
Q: Is he the No.3 cornerback?
FANGIO: That’s the way we’re thinking about it right now.
Q: Are you going to go by matchups for the No.3 guy, or is Asomugha pretty clearly ahead of Brock?
FANGIO: We’re not going to go by matchups at this point. He’ll be the No.3 guy starting the game on Sunday unless something happens in between now and then.
Q: Is it fair to say he’ll be matching up with Jordy Nelson a lot?
FANGIO: Yeah, he’ll probably be on him a good bit of the time. We basically are playing left and right with our corners in the sub, but they like to line their receivers up left and right also.
Q: You saw a lot of Aaron Rodgers last year. Does that still seem pretty fresh? Has the scouting report changed?
FANGIO: No. The last scouting report we had on him, the only thing that was added was our game. We don’t add the preseason games to it. They’re fresh in our mind. We’re fresh in their mind. After a long offseason, everyone has a little wrinkle they do. I’m sure we’ll see something that maybe they haven’t done in the past, but they have a great offense. It’s been highly ranked in all offensive statistical categories that count. I don’t see them changing very much.
Q: They didn’t run much on you last season. They drafted two running backs. Does that change the way you approach them?
FANGIO: Not really. It’s really up to them if they want to run it more. And they have drafted two good rookie running backs, I’m sure we’ll see them in there. They may make more of a concerted effort to run it. I really don’t know. You’d have to ask Mike. We’ll be prepared for them to run it more.
Q: Do you expect a different scheme though to protect their rookie left tackle?
FANGIO: I don’t think so. They have a scheme they believe in and they’re going to run it. I’m sure they have ways if they’re struggling that they would give the guy some help, but they have an offense that they believe in and they want to run it.
Q: Do you expect to see fewer four-receiver sets from them?
FANGIO: We were the team that they did it the most against last year in both games, so I don’t know.
ME: What’s your impression of Eddie Lacy?
FANGIO: Big back. Strong back. Got some shiftiness. He’s a spinner. He’s got some good cutting ability. He’s got some size. He’s got some niftiness to him with some size. That makes him a good back.
Q: Does Scott Tolzien’s presence make you do anything different or change things up at all?
Q: You’re going to go up against read-option offenses this season. There’s been a lot of discussion about whether the quarterback is hittable. What’s your stance on that?
FANGIO: I think the league’s been pretty clear on what their stance is. Until the quarterback presents himself as a passer, he’s a runner.
Q: No matter if he’s in the pocket or outside the pocket?
FANGIO: Correct. And really I think where people have misinterpreted the rule a little bit is the quarterback has never gotten any special attention. The passer gets special attention. It just so happens that the quarterback is the passer 99.9 percent of the time. But it’s the passer. If you were to toss the ball to the halfback and was going to throw a halfback pass, once he starts that action of throwing a pass, he gets the protection of a passer. Until the quarterback starts showing that he’s a passer, then he’s just like a running back.
Q: Is it the throwing motion or the stance?
FANGIO: The action first before the actual motion.
Q: Jim Harbaugh said there is some gray area there.
FANGIO: I’m sure there is as there is in all rules.
Q: Have you and him talked about what should be allowed?
FANGIO: Oh yeah, we’ve had discussions about it. And when I look at it, I look at it from a full football perspective. I don’t look at it just from a defensive perspective.
Q: Did you guys not begin implanting your game plan for Green Bay because there was a chance that some of your players could end up on Green Bay’s squad.
FANGIO: That’s part of it. We don’t do it as early as our offense does it. We did do it early, the whole San Diego week we practiced against Green Bay’s stuff defensively.
Q: Does that signal that you knew there was a good chance Tolzien could end up with the Packers?
FANGIO: No. I had no idea we were going to cut him and then I had absolutely no idea where he would end up.
Q: David Bakhtiari is a 21-year-old and a fourth-round pick at left tackle. What’s your impression of him?
FANGIO: We’ve obviously watched all of his plays as a left tackle. He’s a good, solid rookie it looks to me. He’s got some good size. He’s got some athleticism. They wouldn’t put him in there if they didn’t believe he could do the job. So, that’s the guy we’re going against.
Q: How many outside linebackers do you figure to have active on Sunday?
FANGIO: I think there’s a good chance they’ll all be up, but I don’t know that for sure.
Q: When you look back at last year’s playoff game against the Packers, what worked so well against Rodgers in the second half?
FANGIO: I don’t know that there is any one thing. We just played well. And obviously our offense moving the ball helps. There wasn’t one thing. We just played good. It became on basketball-on-grass type game where it’s just spread out and throw it every down. We were able to hold up which is hard against that team. He’s a great quarterback. He throws it just as good as anybody if not better than anybody and he’s got all the elusiveness that goes with it and he’s got good guys to throw it to. They’re a hard operation to stop.
Q: What are your feelings on Eric Reid getting his first start against such an accomplished quarterback and an accomplished offense?
FANGIO: I’m sure there are other teams we would prefer him to start against, but there are no Sacramento States in this league. No matter who he goes against, it’s good stuff. He’s just got to be ready. I don’t think the game will be too big for him. I think he’ll be fine.
Q: With their tackles being somewhat untested, do you anticipate more short passing or quick passing?
FANGIO: They do that anyway. That’s a big part of their passing game anyway. They threw it a bunch against us last year, and a bunch of them were extremely quick passes. That’s just a part of their daily operation.
ME: What’s your impression of Don Barclay, their right tackle?
FANGIO: He’s a good player. He played against us in the playoff game last year. Tough guy. Solid guy in there.