Greg Roman on Peyton Manning: “I think his body of work speaks for itself. I don’t know if I have the verbose to do it justice.”

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

Opening comments:

“Afternoon. Getting ready to play a really good football team, a team that we have a lot of respect for. Looking at their defense, it really starts on both edges with [Broncos LB] Von Miller and [Broncos DE] DeMarcus Ware, do a very good job there, run and pass. [Broncos DT Sylvester] Williams, [Broncos NT Terrance] Knighton and [Broncos DE Derek] Wolfe inside really do a good job. Knighton is about as big and strong a nose guard as you’ll find and Wolfe’s a very active guy. [Broncos LB Brandon] Marshall and [Broncos LB Nate] Irving at the inside-backer position. And then when you’re looking at their secondary with [Broncos CB Chris] Harris [Jr.] and [Broncos CB Aqib] Talib, and then [Broncos S] T.J. Ward and [Broncos S Rahim] Moore at safety, they’ve got a very good defense. They’re very well coached and looking forward to the opportunity. Had a great day yesterday and looking to have one today. Any questions?”


It looked during the Rams game like TE Vernon Davis wasn’t quite 100 percent yet. How does he look this week versus last week?

“I think he looks really good this week.”


He’s more closer to his old self?

“Yeah. I would say so.”


The last two weeks T Joe Staley’s had two pretty tough assignments. How has he lived up to those?

“Done really well. Pitched a shutout last week against a very, very good player. But, Joe’s very consistant.”


Where is T Anthony Davis as far as his return?

“Well, still day-to-day. Really nothing to report.”


What do you think’s helped you improve on third down this year, being in the top-five?

“I think it starts with the players and really the execution. I think [QB] Colin [Kaepernick] has taken another year, another step forward and we’ve got some guys out there that are really getting open, making plays. Our protection was not where we wanted it there here and there. I think it would even be better. I think it’s getting there. But, third and six-plus in the NFL is as much about protection as anything nowadays. Really, all those factors, all those factors. When you look, the ball’s getting spread around pretty evenly there and you try to create that conflict for the defense, you know? They can’t just double these two guys and feel good about it. It’s a great thing.”


Are pass-defenses opening up a little bit more for you guys because of the threat that Colin has to run?

“It depends. Yes and no. Yes and no.”


When you’re calling a designed run play for him, there are so many different scenarios what he will do and take off with it. Are you just kind of as curious as anybody to see what’s going to unfold there?

“On a design run play?”


Yeah. Or you know what’s supposed to happen. OK so an improvised play?

“An improvisation play? Those are great, love those. Yeah, I mean, designed run play is just like any run play. And then there’s times and certain players have had that characteristic throughout the years where you call a pass play and everybody gets covered, it’s man-coverage or whatnot and the quarterback just takes off. I remember when I was in Carolina, [former 49ers QB] Steve Young used to frustrate the heck out of us at times.”


I know that you’re the one that put together the film of WR Brandon Lloyd outside the numbers. But, were even you surprised that he was able to pull away from Rams CB Janoris Jenkins on the sideline on Monday?

“I was not surprised. I was very happy though that he did. It was a great play by him, great route. It was a double-move and it’s something we thought about calling earlier and it’s kind of sitting there and you’re wanting to call it and we called it. All double-moves aren’t the same. I thought it was a really, really good route by him. Great throw, great protection and that was a big tipping point in that game.”


He was the primary receiver on that play?

“I think so. I think so based on what we knew going into the game.”


Were you following him on high at that point and were you anticipating that throw?

“A little bit, just based on the coverage that they were playing in that situation. And, you just hope the corner bites.”


I was going to ask you, it seemed like given the situation, less than 30 seconds before half, the cornerback shouldn’t bite. Did you see something on film that suggested that was a possibility?

“I have no comment on that, but you’re right.”


How about WR Michael Crabtree’s touchdown? What did he do well on that route to get open? It looked like he had a couple moves up at the top.

“It was a great route. It was a great route, really sudden. Really took it to the post and then back to the corner and then really stuck it hard and really, really got that corner spun around. But, it was textbook really. It was a great route. Cover-zero. We talked about that last week, those guys loading up to stop the run.”


Do you put together a script of how many plays to start the game like former NFL head coach Bill Walsh did back in the day?

“Yeah, definitely there’s a script. But, there’s times when we get different responses from the defense. Say we’re playing the Broncos and they play five different teams and we’re looking at that film. First we’ve got to gauge how important, how relevant each film is, what can you take from that film. If they’re playing the Patriots for example, maybe a little bit different style of offense so they’re going to defend them differently. Maybe that film is not quite as relevant as another team might be. So, we tend to get some different responses from teams than we’ve seen previously on film at times. So, you’ve got to be ready to just bounce around a little bit.”


So you don’t have a, it’s based on you have the preparation, the sheet in front of you of what you would call all things being equal, but then make adjustments early on?

“Oh yeah. Very early at times and at times no adjustments. At times, you’re straight through. When you make adjustments, you’ve got to communicate it amongst the coaches to the players so everybody’s on the same page. It’s not just like, ‘Hey, we’re making adjustments, bam.’ There’s some things you can do with that, with things that you do that are so well known to you and your players, but if you have to really flip the script, really like to preview that with the players before you spring it on them.”


And you have a set number of plays that you script?

“Yeah, there’s a good number. A good number.”


Is it the same number every week?

“Not really.”


And then do you script again at halftime?

“There’s a loose script, yeah, but each week it’s a little bit different because some game you go into and you say, ‘Well, they’ve shown this on tape, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did this.’ So, you kind of have that contingency plan going, but you don’t want to muddy your players’ minds with that type of stuff.”


For instance, if you went into that Rams game and thought, ‘We’re going to run the ball, we’re going to run the ball,’ and then you see nine in the box early on–?

“Did you see that too?” [Laughter]


Does it make you go, ‘OK, I guess we’re not going to run the ball.’?

“I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer that without divulging strategic tendencies. You’ve just got to go in and do the best you can, put the players in the best position and respond. When you’re getting extreme type of things from teams, you try to respond accordingly. But, there’s times where you just want to keep setting the hook too, keep setting the bait.”


It seems like Von Miller is an elite talent in the sense that he’s one of the league’s best pass rushers and he’s very good against the run too. When you watch the tape, what stands out to you about Von Miller?

“High motor, number one. Athletic as all get out, really great change of direction. Got a great spin move inside. Can run the rim on the hoop really well. Dip, get low and run and trim the fat, as they say, on the edge. So, he’s a really good player against the run and pass.”


It seems TE Vance McDonald is still kind of finding his way. Is that accurate or how would assess his progress here in his second year?

“He’s doing a good job. He had a play the other night he’d like to take back, but he had a lot of good ones too. Good player and the play the other night, just good play to learn from.”


What happened on that one play when he and Vernon collided? Was there, at some point does someone have to flash up the yield sign and–?

“Yeah, it was two guys trying really hard to help the team win and just got in each other’s way. Easily correctable.”


You’ve got a quarterback who’s good at escaping the pass rush and he’s got a really strong arm. That’s usually been a formula for a lot of deep, downfield passes. You see Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger doing that all the time. That 80-yarder was the longest of his career. You just haven’t seen a lot of that from Kaepernick. Is that a matter of personnel? He just hasn’t had the guys to go downfield for him? Why hasn’t that been a bigger part of his routine?

“He’s won a lot of football games, so that’s what we gauge the quarterback on. We really want to attack the defense short, intermediate and deep. So, I think that’s something to be excited about moving forward.”


Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was saying he’d known Broncos QB Peyton Manning since forever and early on it was obvious because everyone knows how much he loves football, what a junkie he is. When you met with him in 2012, did that come across just in talking with him?

“Oh yeah, without question. Sorry to cut you off there. But, I see where you’re going and yeah, he’s great to talk football with. I think his body of work speaks for itself. I don’t know if I have the verbose to do it justice.”

This article has 31 Comments

  1. “the verbose”

    …The WHAT…???

    that makes about as much sense as
    gobble, gobble, gobble

    which is only funny if it is said by a man
    wearing a khaki tutu.

    1. Not sure if you are talking about JH or not.

      I’ll never get why weirdo’s take their time reading about other teams. Do you have some curtains to sew?

    1. Great vid, MD ..

      thanx for finding it …

      ya kno .. seeing Justin Smith laugh appears
      strange to me … only because, every other time I see him
      he’s so darn serious

    1. Check out KC wins 4 in a row over the Giants. Goodbye World Series parade. KC has to win this because I don’t want another bad experience going to work the last 2 times the wingdings of San Francisco held the dumb parade on a Tuesday. Can’t do it on Saturday, oh no, got to do it to keep the kids from going to school and adults from going to work and collapsing our economy.

  2. Note to Kaepernick; (Colin Sack n Pick)
    Tom Brady tonight: 3 TDs and no interceptions.
    Think back to your first throw from scrimmage
    against the Rams; for all practical purposes
    it was an interception… deep in your own territory.
    Except the St. Louis player dropped it.

    Note to Jim Harbaw; if you ask Belichick whether
    he is happy the Jets had possession & one more drive
    when the Patriots were only leading by two points,
    the answer is no. Why? because the destiny/the outcome
    of the game was in the hands of the opponent.

    Jim, please teach the Niners how to put the game on ice….
    and win early. This last minute stuff will backfire in the postseason.

    1. I especially liked what Brady said after the game abt coming back after all the gloom & doom abt he & Belichick being finished: You come back w/a btr team and you think you will pick up right where you left off after winning your division — but you don’t. “You have to “grind it out.” Words to live by.

    1. Jack that was’nt the only article of that kind regarding the Giants, Grant also wrote one comparing the A’s to the Giants in which he said the Giants did’nt have a chance compared to the A’s. The fool I am I agreed with him to a point. So now i want Grant to repeat after me, boy was I wrong maybe I do’nt know as much about professional sports as I think I do. Come on Grant you we feel better by unburdening yourself. I know I do

      1. I know Coach but this was too good to pass up:

        “The A’s carry themselves like they still don’t believe they’re that good.

        The Giants carry themselves like they know they’re the best. No, it’s more than that. They carry themselves like they’re a dynasty.”

        1. I love it when any of the Bay Area teams reach
          the championships .. (Ray-Duhs notwithstanding, of course)
          but when both the Giants and the A’s are lookin’
          good .. I’m concerned over the possibility of another
          Bay Bridge World Series …

          I was there the last time it happened (’89) ..
          and the memory is still fresh in my mind ..

          Go SF Giants ! …

          (Bring your brooms, fellas)

      2. I was right with you there, Coach, and in all fairness, that’s sure the way things looked at that point in the season. A lot changed since then.

  3. And I want the St. Louis franchises to fire their baseball and their football clown of a manager. I hope they don’t use the injured player excuse.

    1. Is York’s comment a slight against Harbaugh? Sure seems so. More and
      more, it seems, the Yorks and the rest of the front office do want Harbaugh

        1. Jed York ✔ @JedYork
          Does Bochy make mistakes in the playoffs? #GiantsWinDaPennant

          8:48 PM – 16 Oct 2014

          119 Retweets 211 favorites

  4. I posted the note below in an earlier blog by mistake. So I am re-posting it here:

    An old article from PA newspaper quoting Manusky’s approach to stopping Manning
    ” The best way to attack Manning is to not change coverages until the play clock is winding down. Do it too early and Manning will have the time to change the play at the line of scrimmage. Wait just long enough and maybe you have a chance.
    “Manning is an offensive coordinator playing quarterback,” Manusky said. “He has seen all the looks and all the pictures. You are playing against one of the best offensive coordinators in the league. The play a basic 11 personnel. They give you three wide receives, one tight end and one running back. What we tried to do is disguise coverage and hold it as long as you can. You have to mix it up and do a good job up front.””

    In that game on Nov 1 of 2009, Manning did not score a TD (Addai threw one to Wayne). Niners defense moved around constantly before the snap. I recall that in some cases, none of the linemen had their hands on the ground. Peyton was discombobulated and very frustrated.

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