Greg Roman: “Don’t buy into the fact that we’re really doing that many more things. We’re probably doing less things.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Good afternoon. First of all, congratulations to the Giants. What a game, huh? Some high drama there at the end. What they’ve done is pretty remarkable. I know the city’s just pretty excited, as well they should be. Here we are facing the Rams again, division opponent, very good team. Come off our game, beat the Seahawks at home. Here we are again. We’ve spent a lot of time on the bye week kind of internalizing what we’ve done. As always trying to improve. Looking at their defense, the guy that’s really, really emerged, pretty much starting in our game, is [DT] Aaron Donald. He’s a really good football player, very active. Can play a lot of different ways. He can penetrate. He can play at the line but has got exceptional quickness, speed and very good strength to get off blocks. He’s been showing up quite a bit. Obviously, [DE] Robert Quinn, we’ve got the utmost respect for him and his game. [DT Michael] Brockers, [DT Kendall] Langford, [DE William] Hayes, and then they roll through [DE Eugene] Sims, [DE Alex] Carrington and [DT Ethan] Westbrooks, so, there’s a lot of guys coming through. [LB Alec] Ogletree, [LB James] Laurinaitis and [LB Jo-Lonn] Dunbar understand that system very well and do a great job. They’ve been banged up a little bit, so, probably won’t know who’s going to be playing until game day, whether it be [CB E.J.] Gaines and [CB Marcus] Roberson, [CB] Trumaine Johnson, [CB Janoris] Jenkins, you’re just not quite sure on the backend. Then they added the safety, [Mark] Barron, who we’ve got some familiarity with. Rams do a great job. Got a lot of respect. Every game against them is a dogfight. It’s a division game, that’s how division games go. Looking forward to the challenge. Any questions?”

 

Are you confident that C Marcus Martin is up for the challenge?

“Oh, yeah. Feel great about Marcus. It’s his first start, so keep that in mind. At the same time, love his approach, love his preparation and like what I see out on the practice field most importantly. He’s got a big, stiff challenge this week with that front of the Rams. We’re very familiar with them. You’re never quite sure what you’re going to get from the Rams, either. They’re very creative and do a great job on defense. There might be some new things he’s got to sort out during the course of the game.”

 

It says Donald is listed at something like 285 pounds. Is that typically something that you guys will encounter at that position or is he unique at that size and gives him that extra quickness?

“He’s unique. He’s got a low center of gravity. That can create a lot of issues form a leverage standpoint relative to what you see at times. And then he’s got great, quick-twitch explosiveness, so he can get off quickly. So now, you’re dealing with somebody who’s gotten off on the snap so quickly and he maybe has a half of step on what somebody else might have with this guy’s center of gravity, is that much lower. That’s hard to contain at times, so you got to get off on the count and really play with good quickness.”

 

Did you see anything during the bye week as far as your own self-scout that kind of popped up when looking at the first seven games?

“I think the big theme we’re trying to grasp and understand is just consistency and playing good football, good team football, being consistent, doing a lot of very good things. A lot of the things we’re setting out to do we’re accomplishing, but we’re looking to do it with a greater consistency. And, really, we’re just always trying to improve. That never stops.”

 

With the lack of consistency, how much can you look at just the lack of continuity, especially on the offensive line, being a reason for that?

“That’s just part of the game in the NFL. When I say more consistency, it’s that close in certain things and very identifiable and correctable. It’s really just a bunch of little things. Guys in-and-out of the lineup, that’s life in the NFL. I’m sure the Rams have those issues. Everybody does. It comes with the territory.”

 

You guys haven’t had to deal with that much, though, these last few years. That offensive line has been stable almost year-in-year-out until this year. Has that been challenging from a play-call perspective on what you know you can do as opposed to just kind of theorizing what you hope might happen?

“I like how you put that. Here’s what I know and here’s what I hope. No, not at all. We’ve been very fortunate to be relatively healthy at that position. We’ve had some issues during the course of games the past couple of years. I remember against the Rams last year, in particular at home. But we’ve been very fortunate, very fortunate. We’re very excited about this group that’s assembled right now. Really excited for Marcus for him to get his chance. I like what I’m seeing in practice.”

 

Do you have a sense that TE Vernon Davis has benefitted from the bye week? He’s over those nagging injuries and looking to have a bigger second half?

“I do. I think he’s back to form. He’s been playing through some things, which always commands a deep bow from me. Not always going to be 100 percent, but he’s gutted his way through it. I think he’s got a very focused glare when it comes to what he wants to accomplish from here on out.”

 

How was RB Marcus Lattimore’s practice yesterday?

“It was good, very good. It was great to see him out there. He worked with coach [running backs coach Tom] Rathman after practice extra and got with some of the defensive players and got some contact work, which was really good. And I know they looked at that this morning in a pretty early meeting. He’s got his window and there’s a good plan in place to kind of progress him through that window and see where he’s at. Was pretty darned pleased.”

 

What do you need to see from him before you start carving out a role potentially on the active roster?

“You know, that’s a good question. Really, just constant improvement throughout these next three weeks and just how he moves. Really everything about his game, there’s just a way it should look, just seeing that come into focus.”

 

He said yesterday that he didn’t feel very confident last year when he was practicing. Did you notice that last year and have you seen an improvement this year?

“Well, if he said it. If he said it I’d trust him. [49ers head coach] Jim [Harbaugh] and I were talking last night, definitely noticed some improvement.”

 

How do you guys, with pass protection being such a huge part of what he’ll be asked to do eventually, how do you even simulate trying to put a guy on the ground with cut blocks? How do you approach that?

“Well, [CSNBayArea.com reporter] Matt [Maiocco], we’ve got the man for the job, one of the greatest cut-blocker in the history of the National Football League, Tom Rathman. Tom spends a very, very thorough block of time with these guys. Any drill that you can possibly use to simulate it he will use. I think our running backs have a very good understanding of how important that part of the game is. They’ve got a great leader in the room with [RB] Frank Gore, who is second to none when it comes to that. He’s been hearing it and seeing it and now, he’s getting into Tom’s routine of working those drills. And that’s all you can do. We’re not going to sign somebody and use them as a chopping dummy.”

 

What type of things did the defensive players do with him as far as contact today or yesterday, whenever that happened?

“All the different phases of contact that they might encounter as a running back, whether it’d be pass protection, contact on the boundary as a ball carrier, contact up the middle from the right, from the left, being able to move in space with a defender as you block him, adjust to different pass rush moves, a spin move, a push-pull, a swim, all those different types of things. And ball-security work as well. It’s pretty well rounded.”

 

WR Stevie Johnson has had a lot of production in a relatively smaller role. Do you look at in the second half of the season him getting more snaps? I realize it’s a juggling act with all of the guys you have.

“Stevie is doing a really, really good job. It’s hard to keep him off the field. As long as he continues to produce like that, which I’m sure he will, he’s going to continue to see more opportunities. Couldn’t be happier with Stevie, his production, his approach to the game and the standard he carries himself with. He’s a great guy, great team guy.”

 

I don’t know exactly what the numbers are, but it seems like the majority of his catches come on third down. Is that part of the reason you guys brought him in? Did you see this guy could be a third-down target for us?

“Stevie can play at a high level on any down. In known passing situations or gotta-have-it type situations, that’s when the defense probably knows what you’re doing and you probably know what you’re doing, so let’s get those guys out there and get the first down. Let’s not pigeonhole him into that only. I feel good about him on every down, as we do all of our receivers. But to your point on Stevie, couldn’t be happier with him.”

 

Getting back to consistency, is it harder to be consistent this year when you’re doing so many different types of things? Five wide receivers one game, three tight ends the next. When you’re doing more, is it harder to kind of get good at all of those things when you’ve got so many things that you’re trying to do?

“Interesting. No. No, I mean, really, the illusion of doing more things is not, don’t buy into the fact that we’re really doing that many more things. We’re probably doing less things. But that might change this week, you never know.”

 

You’ve never been a four or five-receiver team?

“We’ve gotten in empty quite a bit. Just now, we’ve got different guys getting out there on empty. It’s the same plays, same quarterback read. Guys are running the routes they might run out of one-back or two-back. Same thing, just moving the shells around. But no, absolutely not.”

 

Would you say you’re doing less things?

“You could argue that.”

 

How would you argue that?

“I can’t get into that right now. And that might change this week. I don’t think we’re reinventing the wheel right now. Feel good about who we’re putting out there. Game-to-game, situation-to-situation, we’ve just got to strive to get better in each situation. I think guys are out there doing things that we have great confidence in them doing.”

 

What’d you see from G/C Dillon Farrell in the offseason and training camp to come from undrafted status to making this active roster?

“Dillon did a really good job of, with injuries now all of a sudden he’s playing center, bam, jumps in to play center, doesn’t blink. The stuff we do on offense he had no problem internalizing and we saw a combination of athleticism and savvy for a young guy. There’s always things for our young guys to work on, really everybody. We see the potential there to develop into a winning player.”

 

Is he your backup center?

“He might be. That’ll kind of come later in the week.”

 

I know that WR Michael Crabtree’s yards after the catch, run after the catch numbers are way down from a couple of years ago. It used to be more than six and now it’s fewer than four. What are you seeing from him?

“I think the best for Michael is yet to come. I just think there’s been a few plays here and there that he might want to have back. At the same time, he’s doing some really good things, looks really good at practice and I would say the best from him is yet to come.”

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  1. I feel the offense has yet to tap the full potential of what they could do collectively as a unit. If they could just get some continuity on the line, and an interwoven balance between spread and power, sweep and screen from Roman, they could reach prolific status….

    1. You’ve never been a four or five-receiver team?

      “We’ve gotten in empty quite a bit. Just now, we’ve got different guys getting out there on empty. It’s the same plays, same quarterback read. Guys are running the routes they might run out of one-back or two-back. Same thing, just moving the shells around. But no, absolutely not.”

      Razor, sure sounds like they are moving towards the spread according to their offensive coordinator!

      1. Prime, what do you consider to be the definition of spread offense?

        Based on previous comments I think you believe Roman here is supporting your argument the offense isn’t moving to spread. But the spread offense, at its heart, is about spreading the defense out by using multiple receiver formations. Which is exactly what Roman has acknowledged they’ve been doing, and has been plainly obvious for anyone watching the games.

              1. “If I had the time I would. I don’t forget. That’s exactly what you said”
                How convenient for you. If you can’t prove it then shut the hell up about it!

        1. That’s right Scooter. They’re doing a lot of the same things now that they’ve been doing since 2011. Difference now is they have better WR’s and are using them where in the past it was a RB.

        2. Scooter,Razor 3 weeks ago said the 49ers were drafting and using their current personnel to move exclusively to the spread offense.
          I think now after Roman adamantly said “no”, it’s been put to bed.

          Razor post all the you tube videos you can pal, all it shows is sour grapes!

            1. Pretty much he did! What else would constitute a franchise supposedly drafting players to play in the spread? For ten plays a game? Cmon man!

              1. He said we would see them using it more and was correct. They’ve been with 3+ WR’s on about 50% of their plays this season.

              2. “And the part about drafting for the spread offense?”

                Jack has already outlined in another thread how many of the offensive draft picks have come from a primarily spread offense in college.

              3. Thats a coincidence and or a very gutsy presumption that on draft day, two players are up, one has played in the spread, the other has not, so Baalke goes with the spread player.
                In order to know that you would have to be in the war room and I’m pretty certain, neither Razor or Hammer have that intel.
                The point is no one should guess as to what offensive philosophy the 49ers are employing or moving towards.

              4. No, you’re missing the point Mr. Sanders. No one should comment using only half their brain in an attempt to ride someone’s stones like that creepy guy….

              5. The 49ers have significantly increased their use of spread this season. Based on that, I don’t think it is a huge leap to believe the drafting of guys that have experience in spread offenses is a complete coincidence. You build your offense around the players talents, and if many of your players are comfortable running spread formations it makes sense to use those formations.

                I am not suggesting the team has actively sought out guys with spread experience over other players, but they certainly aren’t avoiding them, and they haven’t been afraid to make use of those formations this year.

                If it looks like a horse, walks like a horse and sounds like a horse, it’s probably not a zebra.

              6. Scooter great speculation. With regards to using the spread this year it could be any one of injuries at the TE position, being down in games and using the strengths of the personnel. However, the last answer Roman gave to the question trumps all that. Why can’t you guys see that? Are you seeing horses and Zebras somewhere I’m not?

              7. Prime, if the 49ers didn’t have the players suited to running the spread formations, they wouldn’t use them.

                Are they using it more than they may have if TEs and OL hadn’t been getting injured? Maybe. Heck, I’ll go so far as to say probably. But in previous seasons the backup TEs were better than the #3 and #4 WRs, so even when they had injuries they didn’t use spread often.

                They didn’t sign Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd as the #3 and #4 WRs to keep them on the bench.

              8. Scooter,

                I would argue that they’ve been using variations of the spread all along, but due to personnel constraints were using an extra tight end (Walker) or running back (Miller last season) as the 3rd or 4th receiver. The difference is now that they have a good receiving corps they can mix and match more.

              9. That is true Jack, though even if you ignore the personnel they appear to be using spread considerably more than previous seasons.

  2. I wished all of my answers we from Roman and Harbaugh.

    Coach …… Ninermd’s gas was shut off because he couldn’t make the payment. What are your thoughts.

    Well. I still see a lot of good things, he’s grinding, hustling, and doing everything the world asks of him.
    He’s good at paying bills usually, you haven’t seen the best of him yet. Good good guy. Lol

      1. The point is… No matter how bad things are for a player, you always hear… He’s good, doing good, playing hard, working through….. Yada yada yada… Must be great to have someone always sayin good things about you even if you’re failing at something at times.

        1. Oregon…. You say that like its a bad thing. Hillbillys are not funny. Stick to tree trimming. And take care of those three teeth you have left

    1. I find it funny how Roman and Harbaugh praise all the players right up to the point where they cut them. And the sum of the offense never matches the talent of the individual parts.
      Conversely, Fangio barely ever praises a player, even Justin Smith gets a “yeah, he’s a good player”, but his defense always seems to play better than the tallent of the roster should allow.

  3. “,,,“It was good, very good. It was great to see him out there. He worked with coach [running backs coach Tom] Rathman …”

    I’m confident Lattimore will turn out just fine …
    (he’s working with the best !)

  4. I wonder if those who thought that Ray McDonald should’ve been suspended with pay pending the investigation for DV think he should still be suspended. Here we are, all these weeks down the road and there’s still no announcement from the SJDA whether or not there will be charges filed against RMcD.

    If you thought he should’ve been suspended without pay pending the investigation originally, you should think he should remain suspended with pay going forward, up until such time that the SJDA officially announces that they won’t be filing charges for DV against RMcD (BTW, don’t hold your breath for an announcement from the SJDA). Unless, of course, you’re willing to admit that you were completely wrong…

    If you are sticking to your guns on RMcD being suspended with pay, what happens if the SJDA never says there won’t be any charges against RMcD in this case? I guess RMcD should be suspended for his career. But, hey, he and the locker room won’t mind, he’s getting paid after all. What a ridiculous notion.

    1. MD ..
      I gotcha now .. thanx for clearing that up ..

      Golfer ..
      Couldn’t have said it better, myself …after all
      we’re not talkin’ about Ray Rice !

      1. Innocent until proven guilty. Said it when this began and you questioned why the 49ers didn’t suspend him. Would be nice if the media left law enforement up to the ones who do it for a living.

    2. Like Steve young… Tim (idiot) kawakwami…. The host of this failing blog, and last but not least… Mary the troll from up north. Btw you’re welcome folks. ;-)
      I still wonder if it had happened to Steve young in his career, would he like being suspended before even getting charged. His opinion changed my outlook on him as a person. Although when they use to practice in rocklin he was a jerk then. After Montana left of course.

  5. Poll question:

    Do you feel like Vernon Davis has been a Warrior this season?

    No, he’s not playing for Golden State.

    I’ll be here all week … bada bing bada boom.

    1. Vernon working through something and Vernon dropping multiple balls and having multipe false starts are two different things.

      He’s had a huge lack of concentration and lack of fire. And the coaching staff either needs to admit that VMac is a bust, or they need to utilize him more. Not utilizing VMac more stinks of pure laziness.

      1. Wow now you’re piling onto VMac too. I think you hate every player on this team. Not wait, I think I know one tattooed fella that has the Bay Troll seal of approval.

        1. Yep. But they are still 7 games in. He’s been less than impressive. Last year people remember him for a big drop. He catches that ball we win the division.
          This year he’s had a couple of drops and a big fumble in limited opportunity.
          I’m not going all fan troll77 on him yet. He needs more opportunities. And he needs to do more when he gets them.

          1. He almost had a TD but Vernon got in the way. He had a great catch in the Rams game, but got stripped.
            They might have drafted him more for his blocking.
            He hasn’t done anything special, but at the same time he seems more like a complimentary player on offense.
            The person that I’m waiting to see have a breakout game is Carlos Hyde.

            Did you notice how I didn’t mention all the times Colin could have thrown it to VMAc, but didn’t because he was the 3rd read and Colin doesn’t go past 2?

            Happy Birthday Bay Troll Lunatic! Enjoy!

            1. “Did you notice how I didn’t mention all the times Colin could have thrown it to VMAc, but didn’t because he was the 3rd read and Colin doesn’t go past 2?”

              Is that because you have absolutely no idea how many times, if any, that has been?

              1. Scooter Mcg:
                You’re right, I don’t have a clue. I was guess more than once, but less then 1,000.

              2. “Is that because you have absolutely no idea how many times, if any, that has been?”

                “You’re right, I don’t have a clue.”

                Unless somebody is in team meetings and knows the playbook, why even make mention of who would be the 3rd read? SMH And no agenda? Yeah, right.

              3. “Did you notice how I didn’t mention all the times Colin could have thrown it to VMAc, but didn’t because he was the 3rd read and Colin doesn’t go past 2?”

                See? I didn’t mention it, what’s the problem here? SMH. So…. so sensitive.

            2. Could have thrown to McDonald???
              Ck spreads the ball around pretty well. If he isn’t getting targeted that probably means
              A….. He’s not getting open.
              B…. He isn’t trusted!
              Either way. He sucks.

      2. Bay,
        I expect VD to really step it up in the second half of the season. I have a sense that VD along with the rest of the team is going to catch fire and carry it all the way through the Superbowl.

        Bay, I’m not so sure that any team admits that a player is a bust especially while the player is still on the roster.
        I don’t even recall the Org ever saying that about Rashaun Woods, and I believe that the whole room can agree that he was a total and complete BUST!

      1. Haha!

        As I’ve said before, Benjamin is having an excellent rookie season and looks a real prospect. But having nobody else for Cam Newton to throw to is definitely having a positive impact on Benjamin’s stats. I wonder how some of the other rookie WRs would look in the same situation?

  6. The Panthers are 3-5-1 and looking weaker every game. They may have gotten lucky on Benjamin but their GM gutted the team last year and didn’t bring in much to beef it up except for that guy.

    Guys getting on Baalke need to see the whole picture. Another thing, why the personal attacks? I’ve never understood the vitriol from a few of you.I highly doubt you would act that way face to face. It’s lame and doesn’t add much to the conversation…

    1. The Blame Game is big in our culture these days, not just in sports. Every news event there’s a brief bit of reporting/speculating and reporting others’ speculations, then a deep breath and launch into finger pointing for who’s at fault. Over time, some on this blog have called for the sacking of John York, Jed York, Trent Baalke, Jim Harbaugh, Greg Roman, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Vance McDonald, Ray McDonald, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Chris Culliver, Chris Cook, Perrish Cox, Dan Skuta and Ahmed Brooks.
      Razor has a default cut in Mr. Dahl
      Fan77 has a default cut in CK
      There are a lot of turtles who need to be cut:
      the aforementioned Mr Gore plus J.Johnson, A.Boldin, and M.Crabtree.
      Trolls # 99 and #100 want Harbaugh arrested, the team disbanded and all unies and colors and logos burned and buried in a nuclear waste facility, toxic landfill, or other dangerous repository like the Frito-Lay factory.
      So yeah, we know who to blame for this hot mess of being contenders. Let’s clear that lot out of there and then….uh……..then uh, …we’ll, uh, we’ll……..
      Oh never mind. It’s that darned Putin!LOL!

      1. Bro Tee, I used to make some corn back in Ohio. Might you have a pot still or did that just come nachurlly? Very well put… ;- )

        I’m old enough that I like to watch the game. I’m a fan first, a critic second. I grew up with Rocky Colovito and Jim Brown as my heroes, so I know what it’s like to watch teams floundering.

        But coming to Frisco (yeah, yeah, I know) in 1968 it was a breath of fresh air — minus the smell of weed — to sneak in and watch the Niners play next to Hippie Hill in the park. Far better than braving the bus ride through the East Cleveland ghetto to the Met Stadium on Lake Erie in either feezing rain or summer humidity and thunderstorms…

        1. (snicker) Just a run-of-the-mill morning rant. Now to go get some exercise before it starts raining. I wouldn’t want to be stuck inside full of all that bologna.

          1. LOL! Boy did I time that wrong. Tuna got soaked! Jogging up the hill into the rain & wind I felt like a Chinook going upstream. Its a good rain though , glad for it.

              1. Bay,

                So, you’re saying that you’re on here when you’re driving? That’s not a good idea. Especially, since you were posting about alcohol.

                Also, “Auto spell”, as you call it, is available where the “Auto spell” changes incorrectly spelled words to correctly spelled words, instead of correctly spelled words into incorrectly spelled words, as your’s apparently does. I’m sure it’s available for your phone.

  7. I forgot the still stuff in 1970 when I moved to Mendocino. By ’71 I was growing what was called sensimilla. We used to give it away, grow it out with the tomatoes and stuff. But in ’72 I took a pound down to SF and was amazed that I could sell it for $600. Next year it doubled in price and I was off to the races. I was one of the first in Mendoland to grow. Left it for good in ’81 and haven’t touched the stuff since. A good Lodi Zin is my druthers these days (Campus Oaks at Costco is a killer bottle for less than nine bucks)

    1. I like those Zins from Dry Creek Valley, but I was paying about 4 times as much. Keepers though.
      Lots of smiles on Market Street right now.

  8. I don’t know about you guys, but this bye seemed like eternity. I can’t wait to get back to 49er football. Here is a list of injured players for the Rams ..

    33-13 Niners

    William Hayes DE
    Rodger Saffold G
    Janoris Jenkins CB
    Aaron Donald DT
    Rodney McLeod S
    Jo-Lonn Dunbar LB
    Scott Wells C
    Cody Davis S
    Trumaine Johnson CB
    Tim Barnes C
    Kenny Britt WR
    Marcus Roberson CB
    Lamarcus Joyner DB

      1. it’a their job .. to stay in shape .. KY ..
        thats what they get paid the big bucks for .. ;-}

        Jack …

        I agree with your prediction

  9. I decided to see how many different QBs that have started at least one game for the Niners since inception. I came up with 38. Out of that 38, only seven of them have started in the playoffs. And out of that seven only 3 have been to the Super Bowl and of those 3 there are two that won the Super Bowl.

    The Seven

    1. Y.A. Tittle
    2. John Brodie
    3. Joe Montana *
    4. Steve Young *
    5. Jeff Garcia
    6. Alex Smith
    7. Colin Kaepernick **

    * Wins SB
    ** Loses SB

    Not a bad group of QBs, not bad at all.

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