Here is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s post-OTA press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
Was this shocking news that T Anthony Davis decided to retire?
“No, I can’t say it was shocking at all.”
Why is that?
“Well, Anthony’s been working on himself right now, that’s what he’s been doing. Look, Anthony wants to step away and he wants to get his mind and his body right and that’s where he wants to go and he has every right to do that. We wish him the best.”
Did you talk to him at all this offseason?
What’s that? Before practice? On the phone?
“No, it was texting. That’s the way Anthony communicates.”
Did you have, going into free agency, going into the draft, did you have any indication that you guys had to prepare for this possibility?
“Yeah, I wouldn’t say it was a topic of conversation, but yeah absolutely. We’re looking, Anthony wasn’t around, he’s doing his thing. So, yeah. Obviously, you look at the things we’ve done here personnel wise and we’re very prepared for this.”
From the outside it looks like this is a huge blow to the team because of when he wasn’t on the field last year you guys struggled. At his best, he’s a very good right tackle. Is it a huge blow to this team?
“No, I don’t think it’s a huge blow to this team. I wouldn’t categorize it that way. We’ve got some guys doing some really good things right now that we’re really excited about moving into training camp. But, no we’re really excited about the guys that are here. That’s what we’ve said all along. The focus is on the guys that are here and the guys that are doing what they are doing.”
What are your options at right tackle now? What guys are you looking at?
“We drafted a guy.”
T Trent Brown.
“And we have two guys that have played, three guys that have experience playing the right tackle position we feel really good about.”
Is G/T Alex Boone a possibility at right tackle?
“Yeah. Alex has always been a possibility at either tackle. [G Erik] Pears has obviously played more tackle, right tackle, in this league than he’s played guard so we feel really good there.”
Is he with his wife today? Is she giving birth?
“Yes, that is exactly what it is. We’d like to congratulate the Pears family on that, thank you. I had to throw him out of here. He was going to hit practice and then go. I said come on bud, get out of here man. So anyway, it’s a great day for their family.”
Has he been getting reps at right tackle–?
In addition to right guard?
Was it nice to get FB Bruce Miller back out here and moving?
“Yeah. It’s good to see Bruce out here and good to see him running around.”
When you said it wasn’t a surprise about Anthony, I mean, he’s 25 years old. Had you had conversations with him before just regarding the fact–?
“Again, I’m not trying to play a cat and mouse game, but out of decency, going to get into all that stuff. What I’ll tell you is you’re right, he’s 25 years old. And he feels himself that he needs to take a break to get his mind and his body back, as he termed it. I support him, I do. I support him on that.”
I certainly respect what you just said and totally understand it, but I do have to ask, he suffered a concussion last year, he was out for four games, he said he was in a white fog for a long time. Obviously, that’s a huge topic of conversation in the NFL with former 49ers LB Chris Borland has done. Can you say how much that factored into his decision?
“I wouldn’t dare say that. I wouldn’t dare make a comment on that. When it comes to the medical stuff, we’ve got the best medical going. I listen to them. I have always listened to them. With what Fergie [Vice President of Football Operations Jeff Ferguson] does through all our doctors and I know we are very proactive in the way that we handle those things. So, no. He went through all his protocol there and all those things and I wouldn’t have a comment on that.”
With former 49ers DT Justin Smith retiring, former 49ers LB Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and now Anthony, is it a little surreal to see so many guys all of a sudden step away from the game?
“No. The thing, we group all of these guys together, but it’s all individual in my opinion. I’ll speak on Justin because he was in the D-line room for those years. It’s time. The guy was able to have a great career and walk away on his own terms. Everybody has their reasons and situations come up. I’m not going to group all the guys together. What I am really excited about is the team that’s on the field right now. The guys that are here.”
How would you classify what you’ve seen from Trent Brown in his first few weeks here?
“Trent Brown’s got tremendous ability. He does. A lot of development needs to take place, absolutely. Really like the guy, the person. I like the way he’s working. He’s got a lot of work, we’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m not looking at you now telling you Trent Brown is going to start at right tackle, let’s not make any mistakes there. I’m not telling you he won’t, but he’s got a lot of work to do. His potential, his development is really exciting.”
He’s seemed to have made some physical strides even in a month or so–?
“Trent? Yeah, absolutely. You’re seeing it too. That’s what I’m talking about. We’re seeing that much, that fast. You get a little excited here, you do. So, if that continues, then you get a few more months, obviously the summer. All these guys work out all summer. That’s just what they do. Then you’ve got training camp and you’re into the season. We’ve got some time here, it’s a few months. It’s not a year. We’ve got guys in development stages. I refer back again to the D-line, [DT] Tank [Carradine] and [DT Quinton] Dial and those guys. [NT] Ian Williams. There’s a development process that has to take place. I don’t know what the timeline is, but I’m really excited about what he’s doing.”
RB Carlos Hyde was back out there doing some stuff.
“Yeah. You see him running around?”
And next week, do you imagine him being a little more of a participant?
“Yeah, things are going real good right there. And we were able to with Carlos. He’s feeling good. I actually went in and said we don’t need to go today. Carlos hasn’t missed a meeting. He hasn’t missed a practice. I mean, he’s been here every day. It’s just more of let’s just make it perfect. Fergie grabbed me and said ‘it’s perfect, Jim. Let him go out.’ So he went out, and we took that opportunity to pull [RB] Reggie [Bush] off, give him a blow. You’re going to see that. Don’t make much of that, I’ll just tell you now. You guys have been, you ladies, you’ve all been around with me with older players. Our job is to make sure they’re ready to play on game day.”
Just to clarify, did Anthony ever suggest to you up until today’s text messages that he was thinking about retirement?
“Again, I’m not going to get into all of Anthony’s things. Let me talk from my perspective. Did I think that was going on? Absolutely and only my opinion, I thought that Anthony might be reevaluating some things, yes. But, I’m not putting words in his mouth, my opinion, that’s all it is. Nobody else’s opinion. One guy. Jim.”