This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Everybody will be on the field today for practice. [LB NaVorro] Bowman will be normal Wednesday. We’re just going to stay on that deal leading into the game. As far as [WR Anquan] Boldin, [RB Carlos] Hyde, [CB Tramaine] Brock, they will be out there, they will be going and we will just see where they are at. So, that’s it for that.”
Has Hyde had an MRI or anything, or X-Ray, to see where that stress fracture is?
“They had him checked. He was here Monday doing something. I know the docs were with him and all that stuff and we are staying on our protocol with him. Seeing where he is at this week.”
Is it your understanding that he’s healed, obviously, sufficiently enough to get on the field today?
“Yeah, he’ll be out on the field today.”
Will this be the first time he’s really run on that foot since October 22?
“No, I think they’ve had him doing, I mean, he’s been out on the field doing the drill work there. I know he’s done stuff on the treadmill, the bikes. I know he’s done stuff with the trainers on the turf. He’s done some things. I haven’t watched everything that he’s done, but I know he’s been doing some stuff. I mean, obviously not at game speed, but he’s been doing things.”
Has the possibility of surgery been raised to him and is he the one that’s saying, “I’d rather not have it now?”
“Yeah, I’m not going to get into that whole part right there because that’s getting into private conversations. So, he’s where he’s at and we’re going.”
Just for clarification, was WR DeAndre Smelter’s window open Monday?
“Yes. And then, Monday, you’re probably not aware, but Monday we did our thing with the whole team. We did it last week, we did it again Monday, the three year and less guys staying out and getting some work. Not all of them, but most of the three year and less guys. And, Smelter was out there and that got a little, we went a little harder and he looked good. And, [G Daniel] Kilgore was out there going. So, that looked good.”
When you say the thing with the team, you’re talking about a walk-thru practice?
“Well, we did a walk-thru, it was a little faster than a walk-thru and we got some work there. But, we got more competitive with the younger guys.”
Is that similar to what you did in training camp when young guys would stay after?
“Yes, exactly that type of drill. That’s where we went with it.”
How do you work Carlos back in? I mean, does he just start with the ones right away? Do you ease him in? How do you get him back in?
“Well he still will be, they’ll warm him up more. It’s my understanding that they’ll warm him up more and he’ll do some individual and then he’ll come off. I think you see people do that. You’re out there enough to see that, aren’t you? When the guys warm up, then they come over to the field, work with the trainers, get warmed and then get back into the team periods.”
Will RB Shaun Draughn get most of the carries if you do team drills later?
“There will be a distribution with the running backs throughout. They’re all going to get their work.”
Considering everything with the running backs, would you guys have been interested in bringing back former 49ers RB Kendall Hunter? I mean I see where he’s worked out with some teams the past couple of weeks. Would that have been something that you would have considered or wanted to bring him back?
“I mean, obviously we know how we feel about Kendall. We love Kendall. But, the other thing we are trying to do is we have a couple of nicks and bruises right there. So, getting guys in that don’t have anything, not coming back from something right now.”
Meaning, Draughn and RB Travaris Cadet have no injury issues?
When you talked about DT Tank Carradine the other day, you said that you’re looking to get him involved and sort of tweaking his role a little bit. Are you talking about moving him to outside linebacker or more rushing in the third down packages?
“Well, just more rushing overall, playing more edges basically. I don’t think I have any secrets here. Looking to get him playing on edges more, playing some outside edge. Whether you want to call it a D-End then we’re going to get caught up in, we all know that, I don’t want to get into that conversation. But, where he just plays out on the edge. He rushes and plays the game from outside and then he has the ability to come in and play off the three technique working edges. It’s just his skill set. And again, I’ve gotten more involved in that conversation just because I’ve been with Tank for two years and I see where he’s at. It’s just something I feel. So, that’s where we’re going with it and talked to Tank about it and feel good about where that is. He’s doing a lot more explosive work, getting back with get-offs and doing those things has changed up a little bit of his weight training. Those kind of things.”
You list him as 295. I mean, that’s a heavy weight.
“Yeah. He’s in the 280’s right now and you’ll see that move. We have a plan together with all that with him.”
So the plan is for him to drop a little bit of weight, make him a little bit quicker so that he can be on the edge?
What’s your reaction to the Oakland Raiders LB Aldon Smith suspension? As someone who knows him, are you fairly confident that he can use this time to get his life back in order and have a productive life and career?
“And again, obviously, because of where it’s at, he’s with the Oakland Raiders. On a personal note, I wish all the best for Aldon. We don’t wish anything but the best for Aldon. So, we want good for him. We want him to be able to have a good life.”
When you were watching the Seattle film, specifically against Arizona the last game, what did you see from their team overall? Is that defense, I mean, they have most of the same guys on defense, so even though they’re giving up a lot more yards on passes, why is that?
“I mean that was, when you’re referencing the other night, that was two really good football teams playing a football game. That was, there was a lot of good football played. Hard football. Hard fought. That was two teams battling. So, respect to both teams. And Seattle is a really good football team with a lot of really good players and a lot of really good coaches.”
Does their record maybe speak to, and you guys have been in kind of a similar situation where you’re contending for those three years and it seems like it’s really hard to keep up that level of contention over a long period of time. Is that difficult to do, to be at the top for three, four seasons in a row?
“Well, I think I’m going to separate your question. First off, to answer that question would be that I had a view that Seattle was on the decline, which I do not. I think Seattle is really good. The second part of that is in terms of it hard to stay consistently winning in the NFL, yeah. I think we all know that. Winning a game in the NFL is extremely hard, let alone multiple, let alone for years. It’s a tough business.”
How much of that do you think is just the physical grind? I mean, you guys played three seasons of three extra games, probably higher intensity level, more strain and wear and tear on the bodies. Is that the main part of it you think?
“I don’t know. I wasn’t expecting that question today, but yeah. It gets longer, it gets this and that. It’s why you respect the people that stay at that place a whole lot and what they accomplish and the way they consistently accomplish it. And obviously, that’s our goal so that’s where we want to grow to and be there. But this is, the National Football League’s a tough business.”
With Seattle’s atmosphere up there, obviously well documented. QB Blaine Gabbert’s going into his second start. It’s his first road start. How do you get him prepared for that environment not only controlling the line of scrimmage with the silent count, but just being able to embrace the chaos that’s going to be around him?
“Once you get into the field, once you’re between the white lines, really all that chaos that everybody talks about is the noise. Really I mean there’s no fans that can put their hands on you or none of that. It’s within the context of a football game in a very loud environment. We’ve been having a lot of loud music here since the spring. Obviously, I know some of you have made comment about it, but we’ve practiced with a lot of really, really loud music from the sidelines since the spring. There’s been a few of you that have made note to me on that. Yeah, this is part of that, yes. But, it’s loud. Everybody plays there.”
When you talk about the silent count, it seems like sometimes maybe you guys have been predictable a little bit. Do you guys need to vary that up, the silent count, and when the ball is snapped and not just get to the point where they know as soon as G/T Alex Boone taps they’re coming?
“Yes, very much so. We started off going on two on hard counts at the beginning again eight months ago. So, we need to make sure that we continue that with our silent counts. There’s still a cadence.”
But, you’ve also rotated players on the right side. When you go into an atmosphere like that and depend more on the silent count, do you feel you can rotate as effectively?
“Yeah. We’ll rotate as effectively as we need to. If we don’t need to rotate we’re not going to rotate. Let’s get out there and get them blocked up and get going and we won’t rotate. We rotate to get the best combinations.”