This is the transcript of Geep Chryst’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“It was a good win against Baltimore. Had to work a little harder than we had to at the end, but short week so we’re moving on to Seattle.”
What does working under center more allow the offense to do that maybe–?
“Yeah. We don’t really have a pitch count one way or the other. It’s obviously something that is part of the National Football League, at least since [former 49ers head coach] Bill Walsh was here. Specific to [QB Colin Kaepernick] Kap, which is probably what you want to apply it to, he’s such a good athlete with his feet and he’s improved so much. When we came here in 2011, he had done nothing but be in the pistol and there was that infamous game in 2012 up in New England where he must have fumbled a half a dozen snaps in the wet rain, which is where he ended up wearing the glove on his left hand, which he still wears today. So, there’s such a great learning curve there, but it puts any quarterback under rhythm, has a chance to look at the defense for the entire time instead of briefly looking down to catch the ball and he’s comfortable playing either way.”
In any way does that help the offensive line too, with the center snapping it that way instead of having to–?
“Yeah. Again, people talk about the influx of the spread in college. I think there’s a dearth of really good snappers coming out of college, centers that are good at the old hike of the ball. So, it gets everyone in sync. The great thing about the pistol is you can run the entire running game from there but you are separated from it. But, Kap’s been such a good athlete and he’s made so much strides that it’s just a natural part of our offense.”
Seattle is one team that Colin has struggled against repeatedly. How has that defense attacked him so successfully?
“They have great players and that’s really what they do. They don’t have a lot of variations to their scheme. They can get pressure without bringing a fifth or a sixth or a seventh rusher. When they do bring a fifth or a sixth or a seventh rusher, the element of surprise is there too. So, they’re a well-coached team with a lot of confidence and I’m sure they’re going to bring all that they have in an important game to try to win on Thursday night.”
How much instillation went in before this week just because you have such a short week?
“Really, we talked about it in the offseason, but our base offense should be set up to beat your three division opponents and at least attack their schemes. So, we felt like it was a chance to get back to maybe some of the basic things we did. That way, you’re not trying to install a new offense in such a limited amount of time. You try to carry over things that you’ve been successful with, so that there’s retention but it’s really not a whole lot of ‘new stuff,’ from the game plan because you should have it set up. And I think the NFL has tried to do it where most of these Thursday night games are going to be divisional opponents, where you know each other and it’s not quite as much of a liability on a short week.”
Were you watching Seahawks film last week?
“I wasn’t. I’d watched, actually, when we played on Sunday night in New York, I watched their television broadcast of their game. But, there’s plenty of Seattle tape that’s out there and we’re watching a lot of Seattle tape this week. I know other coaches got a jump-start on it. I just didn’t want to go down that path before we played the Ravens.”
What’s WR Jerome Simpson going to be able to bring to the offense?
“You know, that’s a good question. He had a really good spring and training camp and I think he’s anxious to be with his teammates. He’s handled himself in a classy manner in the meetings. That’s hard to do, you know? It’s kind of like being injured without being injured. And, it’s hard that this is the short week because you don’t have normal practice timeframes. So, we’ll just see where it goes. But, it’s good that, I know he’s out there bouncing around with the team and he’s feeling that he’s a part of it.”
Is WR Anquan Boldin going to be able to practice today?
“Seems like he was fine too. Again, I didn’t ask him medically. But, it was a hard-fought game. He put a lot of effort and energy into it. Took a pop there on the long pass completion, but he’s bouncing around and knowing Anquan, as tough as he is, tough minded as he is, I think he’s looking forward to the game on Thursday just like any game even though it’s a short week.”
Are you worried about the running back depth right now with everybody being injured?
“The thing that’s concerning is that [RB] Carlos [Hyde] is a great runner and our struggles in the red zone, quite honestly, we were giving the ball to Carlos and the runs weren’t as effective as they were against the Giants the previous week and in other games past. So, he wanted to be out there and we could block it a little bit better, finish a little bit better on some of the blocks and I know it was important for Carlos to be out there, but the concern would be production, not effort.”
When you watched that Seattle broadcast on Sunday, what did you think, from an offensive coordinator’s perspective, of that fourth quarter and how Carolina was able to be so successful late?
“You know, it’s just the nature of these games. It was a tight game that they played on the Monday night against Detroit. Here’s a Detroit team that had yet to win and yet they were in a position, except for kind of a unique play at the end there, to win it. So, that’s the razor thin competitive edge that you’re trying to find every Sunday. So, whether it’s the Carolina game, the Cincinnati game or the Detroit game, it just seems like it’s been a 60-minute game, like most NFL games are.”
What do you take from that though, knowing what your offense can do?
“Yeah. You try to talk to people about it being a 60-minute game and that anything could happen at the beginning of the game, anything could happen in the middle of the game and then you’ve got to keep playing and fighting because things can happen late in the game and the tone can change with just one or two plays. So, it’s a 60-minute game. That’s the bottom line.”
You alluded to the fact that Carlos didn’t have his same type of production. Could you tell he was dealing with an injury?
“You know, the one I think that everyone saw was the one carry where he went down without getting hit and you have to rely on game day about what’s the feedback from the coach. I’m up in the box so what’s the feedback from the sidelines. And we trust Carlos and he’s a competitor all the way. And, he’s gotten a lot of yards for us in general and he’s gotten yards for us specifically in the red zone so when he says he’s good to go, he’s good to go. But, that was the one play that probably stuck out of all the carries, whether it was a big gain or not so big a gain because he went down kind of dramatically and that raises a concern. But, he popped back up and continued to finish the game.”
Can you notice any different in Seattle Seahawks S Kam Chancellor’s play after missing those first two games?
“No. He’s a veteran and he knows what he wants to do out there and he’s anxious to be in the moment. I think that he’s chomping at the bit to be out there and make a difference and he does make a difference.”
I don’t think their secondary is playing up to the standard that they’ve set over the last couple years.
“You know, it’s just every game provides its own challenges. The other teams that they’ve been playing have been very good teams. Their confidence is just as high and their energy is just as high as what we see on tape. I’m sure we’re going to get their best shot.”
They have traditionally been good against tight ends and this season that’s kind of the one area that’s been exposed.
“Sure. You go back and watch the tape over the years of how they’ve maybe played a [TE] Vernon Davis, how they’ve played other quality tight ends and you know, they’re just a play or two that there’s the difference, but there’s other people making plays on the line. But, specifically, [Cincinnati Bengals TE] Tyler Eifert had a nice game against them and then of course, you’ve got to give [Carolina Panthers TE Greg] Olsen credit too. With game on the line, he made some clutch plays and we’ve got to try to take advantage of wherever that opportunity is. If it’s within the tight end group, I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit. Our receivers did a nice job of stepping up against the Ravens, but so did [FB] Bruce Miller. I didn’t think that it would be a fullback-centric passing game for Bruce, but he did a great job when the opportunity came.”
I know Vernon was only back for the one game after his injury, but what are you getting from him right now?
“First off, I think [tight ends coach] Tony’s [Sparano] done a nice job of setting the expectation. We really didn’t want him to play every snap. So, we gave him a pitch count, if you will. And I think that number going in was right around 30 and I think that’s what he played, right around 30. And so, that’s tough for a guy that’s always been in there, to work your way back from the injury. You know, you watch the tape briefly on Monday, and there were opportunities for him to get the ball but the ball went to someone else who was also open. You just can’t worry about that. It’s just the nature of a game. The ball will be distributed. Kap did a nice job of distributing the ball and when we’re operating efficiently offensively, the ball will go to a lot of different people. But, he seems to be healthier this week which means that I think he can play a little bit more.”
Do you remember a time in your career where a defense is in a player’s head? And I only ask that because the Seattle defense has had tremendous success against Kaepernick.
“No, not in the NFL. I think the NFL’s about execution. I cannot think of a specific example. For years, they felt like this defense can shut down this quarterback or anything like that. But, it’s just every game is great because it’s its own opportunity to have a beginning and a middle and an end to the game and it should be exciting. I didn’t think that either team would be where they are record-wise, but I think that puts a little bit more chips on the table because a win will be awful hard to come by Thursday night and really important to the team that does win.”