Greg Roman Q&A

Greg Roman spoke to the media at the podium after practice today. It was the first time he spoke at the podium this training camp.

He spoke at length on the progression of the offense, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore. He had the highest praise for Davis and Gore.

Here’s the transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.

On how he is doing:

“Feeling great, it’s great to be back in football. The guys are out here working hard. I think we’re learning a lot about our offense. Obviously we didn’t have any time in the off season to do that, so we’re really getting a feel for them and building the relationships part. Part of a football team is a coach-player relationship and learning about them as people and every little thing, how they learn, how they communicate, what they’re good at, what they’re not good at, what makes them tick. That’s one of the most interesting things about being a coach, is just the relationship with people you work with. So, we’re getting to know each other and the guys are working hard and I’ll throw it out to you guys.”

On whether he wants to evaluate and watch players before incorporating them into the specifics of the offensive scheme:

“Without question, I think when I first got here, nothing’s really changed much in the sense that you’re going to lay a broad foundation down and that’s the only way you get to find out who you really are, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re throwing a lot at these guys and they’re taking it all in and they’re doing a great job. Totally committed and fully invested in the process, taking a lot of notes, taking a lot of notes. I grabbed Vernon Davis’ notebook the other day and it looked like War and Peace, he had so much written down. Guys are really dialed in and that’s what we need.”

On whether he feels he has an understanding of the talent of the players and an idea of what he wants to do with the offense:

“I think it’s a great question. I think when you watch what they’ve done in the past, you have a general idea. But I don’t think you really fully understand it until you try to apply them in the different things in our system, and that’s what we’re doing right now and it’s a process. Every day we take another step forward and I think we’ve gotten better every day. We’re learning a lot about them and as a coach you try to project how that’s going to manifest itself during the season. So that’s an ongoing process.”

On whether he feels there will be a competition for the starting quarterback role:

“There’s always competition. The best player is going to play, who’s playing the best, who’s practicing the best. Colin’s been doing a great job thus far at putting things behind him and moving on. He comes in every day and gets better and we’re thrilled with how he’s progressing.”

On what he is most curious to see from Alex Smith when he returns to practice:

“I think it’s like any player really. You want to see everything, how they set the huddle, how they take the snap, their three-step drop, their five-step drop. We’re looking forward to seeing it all because we really haven’t had time to spend with him at all until now. It’s great that he’s been able to come out and been part of the team, but we can’t wait to get him back on the field, just like all the rest of our players.”

On his plans for piecing Alex Smith and C Jonathon Goodwin into the offense:

“They’re going to have to jump in right away and compete. We’re thrilled to have Jonathon Goodwin, I know Jim is very happy to have another Michigan man onboard. Jonathon is an experienced guy. I’ve got to spend some time with him, a very sharp guy. We’re looking forward to getting him in the mix. Our guys up front are working really hard. We’re getting better every day so it’s going to be great competition, great competition.”

On how having Goodwin will change Adam Snyder’s role:

“I don’t think it changes it at all. He is competing for a starting position and the best five will play come opening day. I really don’t think it changes at all. All it is, is making our team stronger and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

On whether Snyder will compete at another position as well:

“I think the best five will play and I think that’s the bottom line, really.”

On whether Snyder will be getting reps at guard:

“That’s a good question. We will have to see. Right now he is taking reps at center with the first team and that’s where it stands right now.”

On implementing complex plays and whether it is difficult to do in such a short amount of time:

“I think the abbreviated time is going to affect us as well as everybody. Whoever keeps it the best, whoever gets a feel for what their team can do is going to have an advantage. The more time you have the better. That’s a fact to take the next logical step. We’re throwing a lot at our guys and they’re doing a great job. They’re working really, really hard and they’re really embracing it.”

On whether he’s personally excited to have Alex Smith back in camp tomorrow:

“Oh, without question. We’re chomping at the bit. Tony Wragge as well and Jonathan Goodwin, really everybody, but yeah, we’re fired up to get Alex out there and see how he does and I’m sure there will be a little rust, but from what I know of him, he’ll get better every day.”

On whether he’s OK having Alex Smith and a couple of rookies at quarterback or do you expect the team bringing in a veteran at some point.

“We’ll have to see how that goes. We’ll have to see how that all plays out. I mean, that’s hard to say right now, that’s really hard to say. I think that’s pretty fluid and we’ll have to see how the guys that are on our team right now progress, but that’s definitely something that we’ll keep an eye on just like we will really at every position.”

On what his impression has been with the wide receivers and whether he thinks bringing in a veteran wide receiver would benefit the team.

“Well, we’re always trying to make our team as strong as possible. There’s a big sign inside that says, ‘The team, the team, the team.’ So every decision that’s made will be in the best interest of the team. The receivers are really, really working hard. Our assistant coaches are doing a phenomenal job. [Wide Receivers Coach] John Morton, [Offensive Line Coach] Mike Solari, [Tight Ends Coach] Reggie Davis, [Running Backs Coach] Tom Rathman, [Offensive Line Coach] Tim Drevno, [Quarterbacks Coach] Geep Chryst, working with their positions, and the receivers have done as good a job at learning what we’re doing as any group I’ve ever been around. That’s a real credit to them.”

On why he spends a lot of one-on-one time with Vernon Davis at the beginning of practice:

“Tight ends are something I hold near and dear to my heart and I just love giving them tips, and we talk through things and Vernon is a very, very professionally minded guy, very impressive work ethic and loves to pick up little tid-bits. It’s just something else he can add to his game, so we throw things back and forth and work on drills and we just spend a little extra time refining things. He’s a real pleasure to work with, real pleasure to work with.”

On whether he sees a nice combination forming with Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis:

“Well I hope so, at some point. I like Vernon with anybody to tell you the truth. Vernon’s very, very talented. He’s very talented and we look forward to seeing what he can do to help the 49ers win. He’s been great. He’s got a phenomenal attitude, phenomenal work ethic and is picking this stuff up like the back of his hand, he really is, doing a wonderful job.

On what kind of impression Frank Gore has made on him these past couple of days:

Oh, Frank’s a phenomenal running back. Frank is one of the best in the game. Frank is good at everything. Frank is very good at everything, let me restate that. He can pass block well, he understands the game well, he has great vision, inside and out, and he transitions so smoothly and then re-accelerates. He’s just one of the best guys in the game and he’s such a pure football guy. He loves the game, loves his teammates, wants to win, so having Frank makes us all better coaches, I’ll tell you that much.”

On whether Michael Crabtree’s injury affects his interaction in the classroom part of it or is he fully engaged in that aspect of the team:

“Michael is fully engaged in what’s going on with the team. Michael is doing a wonderful job. We’re thrilled with how engaged he is and he’s just doing a great job. He’s doing all he can do at this point to get himself ready both physically, mentally and emotionally, and we look forward for him to heal up and I really believe that he’s going to be on top of things because he’s on top of them right now. He’s on top of it.”

On whether these practices are very similar to what they were doing at Stanford:

“There’s some subtle differences and one thing with Coach Harbaugh is he likes to change up the practice schedule and keep things mixed up, mixed in a sense that people are forced to react and adapt. I think that aspect of it is very similar. Practices have been great and very productive, very well organized. I think we can honestly say every day we are getting a little bit better in some area.”

On whether Jim Harbaugh is utilizing his whistle as much as he did at Stanford:

“Oh yeah. Yes. Every play.”



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