SANTA CLARA — Jim Tomsula spoke in the 49ers’ auditorium Wednesday. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good afternoon. [DL Glenn] Dorsey with a muscle strain, [WR Bruce] Ellington and [LB Philip] Wheeler, that’s all muscles, nothing that’s driving us crazy with that. One that popped up this morning was [TE Derek] Carrier. I don’t want to get explicit but he is not feeling well. I don’t want to get into bodily functions or anything. So, I’m trying to stop any more detailed questions on his illness and if you make me go there I guess I will but I don’t really want to. Anyways, and then we have [OL] Jordan Devey from New England and he’s with us. He’s passed his physical this morning so we will have him out there, offensive lineman, guard, tackle, all that. O-Line is where we’re at there. Anyway, that’s it there. Any questions?”
How about LB Michael Wilhoite? Did he have that MRI?
“Yeah, Michael, we’ve got great news. Again, don’t want to mislead, but really good. He and [LB Nick] Bellore with yesterday’s stuff was really good. So, we’re going to let the doctors do their job and let us know when’s the smart way to do things. What we want to be doing is trending up with guys going into the season rather than trending down and I think you saw a few more guys on the field yesterday. So, as we keep going and getting closer, the goal here as we keep getting closer to the first game you’re seeing people on the field versus, people coming onto the field versus coming off of the field. So, and right now, obviously you can’t always control that, but that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Your new offensive lineman, will you guys play him at tackle or guard? What are you more interested in seeing him at?
“Both. I mean, we are looking at both. You’ve seen the stats on the guy, 6-7. A 6-7 guy, he’s got the length, which obviously helps you at tackle. Which, now you see if he can bend and where he’s at with the way we do things. [G/T Alex] Boone has obviously done a heck-of-a job of that, being a tall, long guy that can bend and you need to be able to do that if you’re going to play the guard. We’re going to go through our own process here with that.”
Wilhoite and Bellore, is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
“Oh, yeah. Yeah.”
Do you expect them to maybe be active sometime soon here?
“Yes, from me. Again, I don’t want to say yes to you. I really don’t push that because we’ve got the doctors in Stanford and the trainers and [vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Fergy and the guys, [assistant athletic trainer Manny Rivera] Manny’s in on it, I listen to what they say. The only thing that I have to say to them on that is I don’t want something, if we can prevent something from being a lingering deal, then let’s, let’s go, let’s take longer now to put a period at the end of that sentence. That’s the only thing I say to it. But, all the rest of it I just listen to what they have to say.”
LB Aaron Lynch was just here.
“Yeah, with the Spiderman shirt.”
Yeah, it was cool. He shared with us he was, he’s on a strict diet and he’s lost at least 10 pounds. Does he, obviously, look better to you and at some point was there a concern like, “Hey buddy, you need to take off some lbs.?”
“Well, and again, something was said to me yesterday about that but I guess it was something talking about Aaron’s weight. I’ve never made any point to Aaron’s weight. And the reason I haven’t is because of, Aaron had an injury. Aaron had to go through the whole process of rehabilitation and then getting back onto the field and doing those things. He’s still in that. The injury is fine, he’s great there. And, the extra time that we are taking right now is to get him back to lifting the weights and the running. In terms of weight on a scale, everybody had a weight, he showed up at weight. But, it’s a different distribution when you’re not allowed to lift. So, I am in no way, shape or form on Aaron Lynch’s tail for any weight issues. I want to clear that up. There is, that’s a work in progress and that’s just the way that has to be and the weight lifting is going great, the conditioning is going great. And you saw him out there on the field yesterday moving around really well. So, I’m really happy that we’ve done it the way we’re doing it. But, it’s still a work in progress. We’ve got to get to the football shape. We all talk about that, you work out like crazy but you’re not in football shape. So, that’s where we’re working there. But, I want to make it clear, I’m not on his tail about a weight problem. I don’t know where that came from but that sure didn’t come from me and it’s not some guy that sat at home and just pigged out is what I’m saying. That’s a guy that’s going through a deal.”
Is the expectation for him, the next step in his progression, to get more time at that base spot at the left outside linebacker?
“Yeah, he needs to get more time everywhere. That’s a guy that came out of last season, you’re excited about who that guy is, the way he was playing, the way he was developing and then we had a little bump in the road. We’ve addressed the bump in the road. We’re in the process of coming back from the bump in the road and really happy about where that is and he just needs to, he’s still a young player. We’re still talking about that development stage and he needs work in everything. So, I mean you’re always fighting that. Yeah, he needs work, let’s get him out there, but do we want to get a set back? It’s what you’re balancing.”
With NBC in Reno, we’re doing something on QB Colin Kaepernick, went to Nevada and everything like that. You’ve been here the entire time that he’s been here. What kind of progression have you seen from the first day you met Colin to today?
“I think Colin showed up here a workaholic. I mean, the guy just works. He brought that here. And just to watch it day-to-day and what he’s done since he’s been here and the way it’s well documented. So, that, I’m real happy seeing Colin enjoy football, seeing the smile on his face at practice. I don’t know that there’s been drastic change in the guy, but I have just enjoyed him since he’s been here.”
Can you just talk about your taking over? We haven’t had a chance to ask you this, but just kind of being where you’re at in training camp and how do you feel being head coach and how do you feel things are going overall?
“I think, I feel really good about where we are. But again, there’s where we are and where we have to get. We’re not where we need to be. But, where we are and the approach that we’re taking to get there and the way the guys are working and people doing the things together and the team, really happy with that. But, also have to finish that sentence with we’re not where we need to be. So, really happy with that and Colin’s a big part of that.”
You referenced his enjoyment and his smile, did he ever lose that for a time period or has that been a constant with him?
“No, I think all of us, he’s always been a guy, I mean when you see him in the weight room and he’s working, he’s a guy who enjoys working. No, I don’t mean that it’s just right now, just as he’s gone, I think that’s what they were getting at. Maybe I answered wrong. But, the four years that he’s been here, when you see the guy working, when you see the guy in there with the football, there’s a smile, there’s a true happiness when the guy’s in the weight room, when the guy’s out on the field throwing balls and they’re playing football together. You just see a, you see like a really good smile. I mean, you just know the guy who loves what he’s doing, he loves the game, he loves the team thing. So, that’s what I was referring to.”
You mentioned a week or so ago that you sometimes have to be the traffic cop. Did you have to be the traffic cop yesterday over there on the sideline with DT Tank Carradine?
“I thought I was going to be a tow truck. Yeah, we handed out a couple citations yesterday. No, it was, no, it’s the dog days of camp and it gets heated here and there. That’s, you know, I mean, they’re in the hotel together, they’re everywhere together. That’s why a lot of people break camp right about now. I’m trying to extend it a little bit further. It’s just what I believe. I wouldn’t make much of any of that.”
What do you mean, break camp?
“Oh, you know, you’ll start seeing teams here, I mean, I don’t know this right now this year, but I’ve seen it in the past where right after that first preseason game, people move out of the hotel and go back to living. You know, we’re keeping that going a little longer so the guys are around. I just like the idea they’re up in the hotel together, they’re just around each other, getting to know each other, talking about football all day and then having an hour or two in the evening to talk about something else and all of a sudden somebody likes a car or somebody likes, you know, just human stuff.”
So that’ll, camp basically goes through the Denver game now?
Is there any second thoughts now about having those joint practices?
“No, not at all. I can’t tell you that I know [Denver Broncos head coach] coach [Gary] Kubiak like life-long buddies, but I’ve been around coach Kubiak enough to know the kind of person he is and I’m really excited about it. That whole thing I think that you’re referring to, you know, I don’t, I’m not concerned about that.”
When you coached in Europe, players lived in the same hotel during the whole season. Did you feel there was a benefit to that?
“Yeah, well, that’s part of where I, you’re right on it. That’s why I wanted to keep this a little bit longer just to see because you got to go through the, there’s got to be a few arguments. There’s got to be a few this and that. We’ve got to work it out, then we’ve got to get to the other side of it. And to me that pulls it together and that’s my reference to traffic cop and things, I mean, mediator, I don’t know what you, but hey, here you go, you’re two grown men, sit down. Come on in, sit down, figure it out, let’s go and get to the other side of that. And once you’re on the other side of that, half of this thing is being able to disagree and still be able to walk out of a room. So, we’ve got to go through those exercises, in my opinion.”
Speaking of Europe, you got to know Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett when you were in Europe fairly well.
Is he one of the head coaches in the NFL that you know the best and are you going to communicate before Sunday’s game?
“Know the best? Yes, I’ve probably have spoken to more, but I’ve spoken to you a lot more than I’ve ever spoke to Jason Garrett. He’s just a nice man. He’s gone out of his way to come over and say hello. I met him over there. He was working on the broadcasting career and he was a guy that I, I just watched how he was working. He was in there watching a lot of film. That’s where I got to know him, meet him and say hello. But, just a guy that I’ve just respected from afar the way he does things and the bit that I’ve met him, the kind of person that he seems to be to me, that’s where I’m at there. I will obviously say hello and you know, [Houston Texans head coach Bill] O’Brien, coach O’Brien, same way. They’re guys that I’ve seen and been followed and you hear about in the business and you just respect what they do and what they stand for.”
What’s been your evaluation of DB Jimmie Ward and Jimmie Ward’s mindset and how you guys are balancing keeping him healthy and also possibly competing for that nickel role?
“Yeah, well, I’ll tell you what. It was nice to see him yesterday, wasn’t it? And that was a, what you saw in practice yesterday, those actions can tell you where his mindset is. Jimmie had a nice practice yesterday. He’s running around, again, a lot of that stuff was just getting used to that shoe. Jimmie worked some at the start, he’s working at the safety right now and we’ll get him in that way. That’s our plan.”
You made it clear that you’re a fan of QB Colin Kaepernick, but can you tell the disbelievers why you do believe in him?
“I just believe in the person. Believe in the person. I believe in the guy that shows up every day that works. I’ve been around him for four years. See the same guy every day for four years, guy busts his tail. I think he’s extremely talented. I’m a big believer. As far as disbelievers, I don’t really, I don’t have anything to say there. I don’t defend that. I don’t get into those conversations. I state how I feel about the guy and stand by it.”