How did your thud-ball session go yesterday?
“Good. Lively, hard-hitting, aggressive, but I thought we worked well together and got a lot out of that first day in pads.”
There was one incident on the field where it appeared as if you sent off WR Brian Tyms. Can you explain what happened out there?
“Yeah, it was an incident that, just the way we do things, how we do them, just didn’t meet that standard. It was well below it and we addressed it. I think we’ll handle it better going forward.”
You had the chance to see some of the lineman for the first time, putting on pads, how’d you feel about the overall physicality in the trenches?
“I thought it was good. I thought that stood out as a positive, (on) both sides of the ball.”
How is OL Leonard Davis looking. It seems like he’s in good shape. Can you tell yet how he’s moving around, how he’s kind of throwing that weight around?
“Good. Good to real good right now. Especially in certain phases, certain areas of what we ask our linemen to do. Technique looks outstanding and fundamentals look real sharp. Doesn’t look like there’s any rust there. I think that he’s been working really hard with [offensive line coach] Tim Drevno. The two of them are meeting extensively and Leonard’s coming along real fast, getting up to speed with the system. We’re sitting next to him in the meeting this morning and said, “You haven’t even been here a week yet.” It’ll be I think a week on Wednesday. It speaks volumes for him, his ability to be able to come in and get up to speed this fast. That’s really encouraging. Coach Drevno, I think, has made it his mission, to make sure that Leonard does that. ”
What have you seen out of RB Frank Gore? He was here this offseason, which is something different for him. Now he’s into training camp. What do you see out of Frank and how’s he just coming along?
“I’ve seen a laser-like focus from Frank. Wasn’t with him in the offseason last year. As far as on the practice field, same Frank, same demanding, intense, enthusiastic guy on the field. Wants to play, wants to work, wants to continually get better.”
You’ve complimented the additions of RB LaMichael James and RB Brandon Jacobs, but at the same time knowing Frank, he wants to probably be a ballhog and get that rhythm like a running back sometimes does. Is that going to be, I don’t know, something that you’re going to have to watch how you balance that?
“It’s not a matter of being a ballhog. Frank likes to work. He likes as much work as he can get. In fact, he is back on his routine of being here at 6:15 am, on the elliptical getting his sweat just like he does in the regular season. So, it’s not just how many reps he gets or how many times he gets the ball He is creative in finding ways to work during the day.”
Do you still consider him the one constant in that backfield even though you’ve added a lot of new faces?
“I don’t even know what that means. What do you mean by one constant?”
The one guy that you know what you’ve got. You know what you’re going to get from him, you know you can count on him, you know what he’s done, you know what he can do.
“I would say there are others. [RB] Kendall Hunter for sure. We have a pretty good feel right now for the kind of back that Brandon Jacobs is. We did when he got here, and he’s one of us all the way, in every way that you could describe. LaMichael has done a fantastic job. [RB] Rock Cartwright is a 49er. [RB] Anthony Dixon is really doing everything that he can do to contribute to the football team – special teams, running back. He has asked to be given an opportunity to compete at the fullback position, which we have done and been very pleased with. It was a great idea by him. We’ll take the best idea on the table. He’s responding with a great focus. I’ve seen it all throughout the offseason and he continues to elevate that. [FB] Bruce Miller has done a great job, a remarkable job, in his rookie season, and certainly don’t think of him as a defensive end. How far we’ve come in a year with Bruce. I think he’s one of the finer fullbacks in this league. Did I leave anybody out?”
RB Jewel Hampton was placed on a list (non-football injury list). Did he have a procedure in the offseason? I haven’t seen him around?
“He did. He had a procedure, a surgical procedure to remove a bone-spur. That went very well.”
Is that an ankle or foot?
“Yeah, lower extremity.”
What’s his timetable?
“It’ll be the six week variety, the six games, pretty sure of that.”
So he’ll start the season on reserve, PUP?
“Yes, well, is that the (list)?”
“He was on NFI (non-football injury list).” [Bob Lange, PR Director]
“He counts on our 90, and most likely he’ll be inactive for the first six games of the year on PUP.”
RB Brandon Jacobs was talking about wanting to lose weight and he’s sort of transforming his body, or at least
Yeah, different than what he was like in New York. Can you see that yet in terms of his bursts, his explosion? Can you see a different Brandon Jacobs?
“Well, I just see a good football player, with a great attitude, a team attitude. And, yeah I see burst, see the possibilities.”
He seemed to indicate that when he was coming here you guys, the 49ers said, ‘This is what we want you to do to change yourself a little bit.’ Was that coming from the coaching staff or was it the training staff that wanted him to get a little wider and improve his burst?
“That would have come from [head strength and conditioning coach] Mark Uyeyama if it did. I’m not familiar with that conversation.”
Jim, I realize it’s early in camp, but what stood out about Nathan Palmer at wide receiver that prompted you to sign him in the first place and what’s maybe stood out in the offseason workouts that makes you think he can contribute?
“We saw a good football player. He’s done a good job here learning the system. Had an excellent day yesterday. That really stood out to all of us.”