SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Monday morning. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.
“Good morning. First game week of the season. Very exciting, it’s a chance to get with our young players and start to prepare for a game. As we all well know, there are 16 regular season games and every week is really a season onto itself. The routine we go through is something that the young players coming into our system need to get an understanding of. It’s very important to the success of any player, is eliminating distractions and being able to get into a routine during the week that allows them to prepare week in and week out. So, the guys are working hard, real excited. Any questions?
Is G/C Daniel Kilgore going to start at center at Thursday night’s game?
“We’re going to have to see. I’m not sure. But, he’s taken a ton of reps and really coming a long way in the system. So, Dan’s a guy that’s been pretty multi-dimensional guy for us. We’ve used him as an extra tight end and what not in the past. But, he’s coming along and I’m sure he’ll get a bunch of playing time.”
Has he had any bad snaps this camp?
“Any bad snaps. I don’t want to let him completely off the hook here, so I’ll say probably. But, none come to mind.”
Do you consider that competition for that starting center job?
“Everything is really a competition. Everything is a meritocracy. Whoever competes and gets the job done at a high level is going to play or at least have a significant role. So, that’s just how we look at it.”
Which of these young running backs are you eager to watch in a game situation?
“All of them, really. I think [RB] LaMichael [James] has come a long, long way in the offseason. We get a chance to watch [RB] Jewel Hampton out there in a real game. And, all of those guys. They’re all doing a really good job up until now. But, we’re playing Denver, obviously a very good team, a very good organization, playoff caliber team. So, now when we get to see them go out and hit somebody for real. So, looking forward to it.”
RB D.J. Harper earned some praise, I forget from who, I think it was FB Bruce Miller, and the way he pass protects is some stout blocking from him. What have you see from him in that phase of the game and all around?
“Just diligence, toughness. I really think he’s afforded himself really well. Our first day of one-on-one pass pro against the linebackers, he really jumped off the screen and got a lot of oohs and ahs. And he’s on the details of things, a very impressive young man.”
You have so many wide receivers now healthy, how do you divvy up the playing time so that everybody gets a shot Thursday night?
“Boy it’s exciting to have some guys out there healthy, running around, a little bit of depth there. It’s just something we meet on and we’ll come up with a plan. Really haven’t nailed that down just yet, but everybody’s going to have an opportunity.”
What’s the status of WR Kyle Williams and along that line is he going to be healthy enough to play?
“That’s going to be a decision we’ll make later on in the week. He’s doing well, he’s back to practice, he’s coming along. But, as far as playing him in the game, that’s something we’ll have to make a decision on later.”
Could you speak to, at this point I’m sure it’s a little obvious, what a luxury it is to have an offensive line largely intact with a quarterback that is a star in the making?
“It’s great to have continuity. Really, when you look at the five offensive lineman plus the three or four more that you have, you can’t really do anything on offense if your offensive line can’t function. Really, if they function at a high level it gives you a chance to function as an offense at a high level. You start getting a weak link here or a weak link there, and then there’s a trickle-down effect on the rest of your offense. What you can do, what we try to do and what you could execute at the level you want. So, having those guys with all of the adjustments they have to make, with some continuity and working together, it’s something we feel very fortunate about.”
Any offseason bonding that you know of between your offensive linemen? Do the guys hang out at all?
“Oh yeah, oh yeah big time. They have a great relationship. Each one kind of has his own personality. It’s something that we’re trying to get better and they’re trying to get better. But, I think we have the right kind of guys there. I can’t give you any specific stories from the offseason or what not, but they’ve been known to go out and throw down a lot of beef together.”
You guys did a lot of scout team stuff at the end of practice yesterday, what’s the reasoning behind that?
“As you go against your own defense, they go against our offense, you’re seeing some very specific things. We might want to see some different styles of defense that we can at least show our players and familiarize ourselves with, and same on defense. So, it allows us to show some different styles, maybe look a little bit ahead to the future, but at least get that teaching process started. If you just focus on our defense, our defense, our defense, our defense and then all of a sudden you’re playing another team, you don’t want that to be just like a whole new world. You want to try to give them all of the different looks and perspectives on what they might face and you’d like to actually work against them.”
Was that the first time you’ve done that this camp?
“Yeah, pretty much, pretty much.”
How has T Anthony Davis improved and is LB Ahmad Brooks that matchup going against him every day really bringing the best out of him?
“Yeah, I really think Anthony is coming into his own as a professional. He really took big strides last year and continues to do so. Really like his attitude and approach and his consistency. And when you’re going against guys, it’s iron sharpening iron. When you’re going against an Ahmad Brooks, [LB] Aldon [Smith], [DT] Justin [Smith] that just makes you better as an offensive lineman. I can’t emphasize that enough how important that is, and I think our guys understand that and they really compete to help make each other better.”
One of the wide receivers, WR Charly Martin has made some tough catches the last week or so. Has he popped out to you?
“He made an incredible catch on the sideline yesterday that we all marveled at after practice. Yeah, Charly has made a couple of them. And, he’s a very diligent guy that in our mind is always doing his job the right way. So, the fact that he steps up and makes those kind of plays, you can’t help but notice.”
WR Austin Collie said the other day that you guys were going to take him along slowly for a week because of his knee. Is that the plan and will he start to get regular reps beyond that week in these practices?
“Yeah, I think there’s good plan in place to incrementally advance him. And it all comes down to what’s medically appropriate. And, Austin’s a guy that since he’s gotten here is trying to get caught up, doing a good job with it. But, we’ll move him forward really as the situation allows.”
Any reps in Thursday’s game for him and WR Lavelle Hawkins?
“Really haven’t decided that yet.”