SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good morning. Injury report; [LB NaVorro] Bowman will be off today. That’s just what we’ve been doing. [RB Reggie] Bush is still working on a calf and he’ll be out there on the side field. [G/T Alex] Boone and [T] Joe [Staley], we’re going to limit them today. I don’t even know if, right now they’ve got them limited. I don’t know if I even want them taking reps. We’ll do the walk-thrus and do all that stuff, but I want to make sure we’re, we came out of that game real good with those two. But, I want to make sure we treat that right. And then, [LB] Ahmad [Brooks], he’s not back yet. They were having services here, so we’ll update you as that goes. And then, the two guys that we added to the practice squad, [C Brian] Folkerts is the offensive center, the offensive lineman who was down in Carolina. And then, [WR Andrew] Turzilli is the wide receiver that was up in Tennessee out of Rutgers. So, those guys were practice squad additions yesterday.”
You didn’t mention TE Vernon Davis and I know he went through limited work last week and kind of unique situation. I’ve never seen a guy go through limited work and then be ruled out on a Friday. Did he experience a setback? What’s his situation?
“No, it just wasn’t there, when he went to explode with the running. [Vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Fergy was doing the testing and it didn’t, it just wasn’t, and I said, ‘Look, we don’t need it lingering.’ Now, yesterday’s walk-thru he looked good. Again, he wasn’t hitting top speed, but he was prancing around. You know how he’s got that bounce in his step and I felt really good about that. He had two good days of rehab. We were able to keep him back here. That was the whole decision on that, because then Friday he got work, Saturday he got work, Sunday he got work. So, we were able to get three good days of treatment and working out there. And, he did do some exploding on Sunday. Not full tilt, but felt good there. He’s in to practice today. We’re going to keep an eye on it, just to make sure. But, I think, we’re well ahead of that one, so feeling good there.”
The right guard situation, why were you rotating those guys?
“Again, we covered that last week, or the other day. Just talking about [G Andrew] Tiller is a guy that I’ve been watching for a while and just watching him go about his business. And, we had a couple of things that we needed him to work on and he had been doing that. Saw the improvement and was able to get him up and get him some reps on the field. So, he did a good a job. He did. And, [OL Jordan] Devey is getting better every week. He continues to get better. So, we’re feeling good with those two guys.”
Is that a situation where you would continue to rotate those guys in games or at some point do you want to say you’re the guy?
“I don’t really want to comment on it. They are both guys that can play.”
How come WR Bruce Ellington didn’t see any more snaps after that first series?
“Well, again coming off the other injury the last time and then getting him into practice we had a couple of select reps for him and some things there. But, then as the game plan went on we just kept moving forward. And, the other guys, just quite simply, practiced those things more and that was just how it went.”
NaVorro Bowman, would he benefit from a rotation at inside linebacker? He’s seemed to look a step slow in pass coverage, especially covering running backs.
“And again, we had other issues. And I know Bo is a guy that we all, his name leaves our lips all the time just because he’s just a terrific football player. But, no, we talked about it last week, two weeks ago and just in terms of the reps. You know I had seen that in the first couple of games. I think we talked about it in here. Those rep counts were getting a little high. So, that is something we’ve been taking a look at. But, Bo by no means was the reason for all of our, I mean, I don’t want that going there. We’ve got to get better, all of us. And we’ve got to get better in our coverage and we’ve got to do those things.”
I’m just asking, do you think he would benefit from a little more of a rotation, so his knee–?
“Yeah, well in the passing downs and things like that, but we don’t want him off the field. But, yeah we’re looking at those things. We’re looking at monitoring reps.”
You guys didn’t have any sacks on New York Giants QB Eli Manning.
“No. He was doing a nice job of getting that ball out on time.”
It seemed like LB Aaron Lynch was supplying some heat. The other guys, not so much. You guys have worked out free agent LB Parys Haralson. Where is that? Is there still any interest in bringing a pass rusher on board here?
“Yeah, I mean, first of all with Lynch, we had Lynch, you saw what we were doing with Lynch game plan wise. And then you saw with the two times we didn’t do it correctly, in terms of getting the, Eli scooted out of that pocket there. He’s not known to run all over the place, but he did make two throws when he was able to step up and slide to the side. And he’s such a good timing passer. So, that was, a lot of that stuff there we were trying to press those insides. But, [LB] Eli Harold, I like him, a young guy. And [LB] Corey Lemonier’s got a lot of talent. We’ve just got to keep growing, keep growing.”
How would, your new linebacker LB Gerald Hodges, how was his week of practice last week?
“Thought it was good. Thought it was good. Bright guy. He’s got some energy to him. Again, we’ve known each other for a week. But, all those, all signs last week, I mean, you like the way a guy handles himself when he comes in and moving around and doing those things. I like the way he was into the linebacker coaches and the defensive stuff. He was into the special teams. And really his first impression here with us was a really good one.”
Could he be active on Sunday?
“Yeah. I don’t want to say that now. We’ve got to go through that through the week.”
What did you like most about what QB Colin Kaepernick did last week? Is there one area or areas in which he made a noticeable improvement in your mind?
“I just liked the way he played. I don’t think anybody saw anything new out of him there. But, just like the way he played. Go get it, man. It’s good. That’s all I’d have to say on that.”
After the game, some guys seemed to be optimistic that there were positive signs coming out of the game. Is that still lingering a few days later or is it now people are realizing, well, we’re still on a four-game losing streak?
“No. I mean, again, the record’s the record. We play this game to win. Are there positives? Yeah. There’s positives in every game that you lose and there’s negatives in every game that you win. And to me, it’s always to address it the way it needs to be addressed. And, you know I want to hurry up and get to addressing negatives after a win. Spend more time there.”
Regarding Bowman and potentially monitoring his reps more. I guess an obvious question, but does Hodges potentially make you guys feel more comfortable about being able to monitor his reps?
“Yeah. Hodges was a guy that was, I went through that. I mean, he was a guy that we identified coming out of the draft. That guy’s been on our board since the draft. We’re happy we got him. We got a football player. We went and got a good football player. So, that’s where that was. In terms of Bowman, I’m a Bo fan. I’m a Bo guy. Bo plays a lot of good football and you know, I’m excited about Bo.”
Is there anything that you can kind of put your finger on? Last year statistically your defense, top handful in the league. Through five games, bottom handful in the league. Obviously, a lot of change, new coordinator, new personnel. But, is there something that you can really put your finger on why this has occurred so rapidly?
“No. We’ve just got to play better. We’ve just got to do a better job in all areas. Starting with me. I mean, I’m the guy that, there’s nothing happening out there that doesn’t, I keep telling you, that doesn’t go across my desk. So, I’ve got to get that better.”
Colin Kaepernick’s college coach, Chris Ault, says that Kaepernick at times has been dropping his elbow when he throws since about the end of last season. Is that something your coaching staff has spotted and is that something you are working to correct or is it not an issue?
“I won’t get into anything that the coaches are coaching up and things like that. And I really, with all due respect to coach Ault, I don’t know him but we’re not really paying attention to other people’s evaluations. We’re watching our film and we’re evaluating and we’re correcting and working on things that we feel like we need to work on.”