Jim Tomsula: “Honestly, I don’t know the first thing about grass.”

SANTA CLARA — Here’s a transcript of head coach Jim Tomsula’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Good afternoon. Injury report; [DL Glenn] Dorsey we are still, we’re staying on that. Looking good though, looking real good. You see him out there running around and pushing and pulling, so feeling good there. [WR Bruce] Ellington in the process, [LB Philip] Wheeler in the process, we’re staying there. [LB Eli] Harold, you saw him out there today moving around. He’s got a little, like a pull or something. It’s not, I don’t want to say, I don’t know the exact, all I know is I sat out there they were pushing on it and here’s where it’s sore. It’s not a rib, he’s just got a muscle. But, he was moving around today and then everything else is pretty much the same. Anything?”


Are there any transactions to report?

“No, not as of right now.”


I wanted to ask you about two former University of Alabama football players. Can you elaborate on the development of DL Quinton Dial and your plans for him this season?

“Well, Quinton Dial has done nothing but, he’s been on that track the entire time he’s been here. An upward track and he is, I would tell you that it sounds like your accent you might be from around there, Alabama and he is making Alabama proud. He’s doing really well. Our plans this year are for him, he’s competing right now and he’s, you’re seeing him play a lot of football.”


And I want you to assess the ability of WR DeAndrew White and what does he have to do to make a roster spot?

“Well, he’s got to keep ascending and when the lights go on in these preseason games, we need to, we need to produce and be consistent. He’s working his tail off. He’s another guy that’s doing, he’s working hard and he’s obviously got a lot of ability.”


Predictably, early in camp there were some rough patches there for QB Colin Kaepernick as he adjusts to the new offense. But, it seemed like this last week things really started clicking for him. What have you seen over these last three weeks in terms of his progression from the start of camp to now?

“Again, at that position, I haven’t seen him in rough patches. We are all watching. But, my opinion of it is that I have not seen rough patches at all. I’ve seen something smoothly operating and growing and getting in tune with the other pieces of the puzzle. That’s what I’ve seen. I’ve seen us as an installation comes in, and we are working something new and we are going through that. The first day of it, getting everybody on the same page, getting the film, getting back into the room, cleaning it up and the next day coming back and hitting those things and them being where they need to be. So, I’ve seen a natural progression in that, but I would not categorize anything as a rough patch. And, where he’s at right now, again this week, but again this week a little bit of the, a majority of the installation is done. So, now we’re wrapping things, we’re putting things together and I know you can see that out there. It’s not as segmented. You’re not seeing one personnel group in a series of plays. You’re seeing personnel groups move. You’re seeing the play calls change and more. So, and yeah it’s, I’ve been really happy with this week’s practices. There’s been a crispness both sides of the ball, a lot of improvements happening. Again, I think that is because of the installation parts and people working together on things.”


I asked the earlier question about transactions. Has there been an agreement to send TE Derek Carrier to Washington for a fifth-round pick?

“I’ll let you know that if I go to a meeting after this and find out. I mean, we have personnel meetings in the afternoon.”


Can you go over the depth you have at that position? Obviously, you came into camp with eight guys. You trade away former 49ers and current New England Patriots TE Asante Cleveland, trade away Derek possibly, just what do you see out of that group with TE Garrett Celek and TE Vance McDonald, TE Blake Bell backing up TE Vernon Davis obviously?

“Obviously, somebody is talking about something. The whole group is doing really well. I mean, we’re really happy with the whole group. That was our intentions last week too with Vernon not being out there. We know who Vernon is. We know what he is and giving the other guys an opportunity to play. So, last week’s wasn’t even as much about resting Vernon as it was about getting other guys on the field and we have a group there that we feel really happy about. I mean, we really do. We feel like it’s a really talented group.”


You had, Vance and Garrett both had to deal with back surgeries last year so was that something you needed to see how well they responded and what have they shown you thus far?

“Yeah, well, again with those, I go to the medical people and those guys went through the protocol and were cleared. Lifted weights and ran and moved and bent and did all of those things that you need to do just like our medical people told me they would. And then they ran around in the offseason and the spring. I can’t tell you it was really a big thought of mine. It’s not anything that we were told we need to monitor or check, so that really hasn’t been a–.”


It doesn’t look like they’ve been hindered at all? It looks like they are–?

“No, no, I mean those, it’s not even a discussion that we have.”


Do you have any sense yet as to who’s going to play and who’s not going to play Sunday night in this exhibition game?

“No. I mean, you’ll see some more guys up. We’re going to, again, we’re having a whole, I got the coaching staff here this afternoon and we’re going to go through that and go through our whole personnel thing and look at how we’re going to set some depth charts and things like that. I wanted to wait until now, get guys through practice. We’ve had different combinations working through the week that you’ve seen. So, soon we’re going to start off with it kind of methodically. We’re trying to methodically put that together to see what we need to see.”


Last week, LB NaVorro Bowman didn’t play.



Do you sense that he might see some time this week or is he still–?

“Yeah. I mean, again, and I don’t want to mislead with that. You know, with those guys in coming back after a long way away, you see everything they’re doing on the practice field and you know there’s no reason, but really I’ll reserve the right to look in a guy’s eyes two hours before a game. And I think, you let everybody know right away, last week, we’ll do the same thing. As soon as we’ve got that set, and it might be before the game. This is preseason, we’re not trying to hide anything. So, but it really is that simple. I’m just watching guys and seeing how they are and we’re talking back and forth. I’m not going to put that decision on them. Think about that. I don’t want to say, “Do you want to play or don’t you?’ I mean what kind of a spot, I don’t want to do that. I’ll make that decision. I want to take that off the shoulders. There is enough stresses, I’m not talking about the physical side. I’m talking about the whole physiological side of things.”


S Eric Reid just told us that DB Jimmie Ward showed him some speed that he didn’t even know that this kid had because he didn’t see it last year. Have you seen that in the last day or two?

“Yeah, wasn’t that great to see out there today? And yesterday. Yesterday you really saw it. And that smile, you know, that’s something. That’s been a long road there and Jimmie’s out there running around and he’s a fast, he’s a good football player. He’s got speed. He’s got all the physical tools and the mental side. So, it’s just good to see him right now running around.”


What are you expecting of RB Jarryd Hayne this weekend?

“Well, we’ll see. We’re, I know that last week things got nuts, from what I understand. My biggest thing to all that with Jarryd is, Jarryd has proven himself as a world-class athlete in Australia playing rugby on a field with other professional athletes. So, that part of it I think we all know. I wasn’t surprised at his ability to do things, I guess other people were. I really didn’t, really still can’t understand why that is with the spatial stuff. But, I will say this; I really don’t personally see the need to put anything more on his plate. He just needs to continue doing what he’s doing and learning the game of football and playing and not trying to carry a country on his back and trying to carry the flag for crossover athletes and you know what I mean? All that kind of stuff. I just want him to focus on football and the game and keep it right there and play. You know, it’s the nature of sport. There’s ups and there’s downs. We’ve got to make sure there’s a lot more ups than there are downs. But, he’s still in the early stages of this thing.”


Are you surprised by his belief? His belief, like he genuinely believes he’ll get this done?

“Do I think that he believes in himself?”


Are you surprised by that?

“Oh, heck no. No. He wouldn’t be here. I mean, I fully realize what he left to come here. Jarryd Hayne’s, he doesn’t need any money. He doesn’t need any fame. What does he need? There’s nothing, this is all for the right reasons, in my opinion. He believes in himself and he should. If you don’t believe in yourself walking through these doors, you don’t have a chance. He believes in himself.”


He took most of the reps and carries in the second quarter on Saturday, Jarryd Hayne did. Is that something where you’ll kind of rotate that throughout the preseason? He might not get those same reps?

“Yes. Exactly. We’ve got different guys, we’re working through the different guys and we’ve got some talent in the backfield. We’ve got some guys that we go to sort out. We want them to play. We definitely want to, we want to make sure we spread that around back there.”


Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said they’re going to have a walk-thru tomorrow. He had some concerns about the condition of the field. Have you talked to him about their arrangements and his concerns?

“I haven’t spoke to Jason Garrett since, when were we in Arizona? That’s the last time I spoke to him. Much respect to Jason, but he’s been busy and I’ve been busy, so I haven’t. No, I haven’t. Nothing.”


What do you say about those concerns of the field and whether or not it’s safe to play on and all the turf issues?

“Honestly, I don’t know the first thing about grass. I don’t, and that’s not being flip, that’s just honest. And I happen to know our grounds guys. I’m on the practice field everyday. You’ve been out there to see that practice field. That’s the field that’s provided to us day in and day out and it is immaculate. It is unbelievable. So, when it comes to the fields, I have no reason, everyday I walk on the fields, they are perfect. And I have no reason to question him or anything about the grass. I’m very confident and we’ll be out there playing football. I really don’t put a lot of thought into it.”

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  1. Niners should dry out the field so it is less wet. Big gouges and divots occur with soggy grass. I would hover a helicopter over the field for half an hour, then assess the footing. If too dry, a light sprinkling could rectify the conditions, or more time hovering to draw out the moisture if too wet.
    Just my 2 cents.

  2. Anyone watching the Seahawks-Chiefs game can tell that Andy Reid is MUCH more a QB-whisperer than the schmuck from Bo’s offense ever was.

      1. Wish him well? That’s rich. His arcane coaching style doesn’t win championships, never will, because he is predictable and conservative. Good riddance! Nothing but a glorified cheerleader blended with Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. Just a total a-hole, from head to toes. What a fraud!!!

        1. He did take the Niners to 3 NFCCG and a SB. He deserves some credit to bringing the Niners back to respectability.
          For that, I will stay classy and refrain from insulting him in such a crass manner.

        2. Love Harbaugh! Love what he did to a sad-sack football team and organization. Love that he took us to the playoffs and a Superbowl. Love that he put this team on the football landscape again and kept us in the Superbowl discussion for the part of 3 years.
          Not too shabby for a fraud.

  3. Must admit, I’m a little dizzy after a Tomsula presser but he’s starting to grow on me. I’ve been on board the JT wagon since his presser following Aldon’ dismissal. Tomsula is all heart – and the players seem to really like that.

    It’s been a while since that last time I watched the 49ers on their practice field, is it natural or synthetic turf?

    If the 49ers continue to have issues with the grass on their new field could we see a change to synthetic turf? If the team is on a synthetic field during practice (don’t know) why not just go with the same turf in the new stadium?

    1. Practice fields are grass.

      And for the record, the 49ers hang Super Bowl banners, which is why Harbaugh was a goner. He’ll never be a champion.

      1. Then why not use the same field compose on the new stadium field? If the grass on the practice field can hold up with 2 practices a day, there should be no reason why it couldn’t hold up after a Taylor Swift concert.

        Oh, and I’ll take a fraud Harbaugh any day all day over the likes of Ericsson, Nolan, and Singletary who managed to take the 49ers further into the depths of obscurity.
        Sure, we have Superbowl banners but lets face it, you can’t bring back Walsh, Montana, Rice, Lott, and Steve Young.
        Harbaugh may be a fraud in your eyes but he gave me faith in my team again, and that ain’t bad in my book.

        1. Yeah, I liked him when he came in first too, truth be told, but his schtick was to be ruthless and inhuman, and half the team gave up on him. Add to that the fact that he had unfettered access to Walsh’s videos and notes, yet clung inexplicably to Schembechler’s arcane schemes, and I am ecstatic that he’s gone.

          1. Well, I prefer to believe that Harbaugh was more of a Bill Parcells’ type offensive and defensive mindset. And in hindsight, Parcells did pretty good against Bill Walsh’ 49ers teams during their heyday.

            Harbaugh’ archaic style was only one play away from winning a Superbowl which as we all know, starts half the teams in the NFL to migrate toward that style of play.
            Like you, I believe that JH wore out his welcome as a 49ers headcoach, but in no way did that make his tenure here fraudulent imo.

      2. Dissing him has gotten old. I even have refrained from attacking Roman with a frenzy unknown to mankind since he has left. OK, I still give him some digs, but I have not called him an ignoramus for over half a year, and do not plan to in the future.
        He’s gone…He’s gone…And nothings gunna bring him back.. He is gone.

      3. As long as Tomsula us coaching the 9ers that won’t be spending any money on new banners. But the important thing is that Baalke got his “yes” man.

        1. Rick

          While you’re likely right about Tomsula, it’s impossible to know. Harbaugh will never win a Super Bowl tho, so good thing he’s gone.

      4. Walsh and Seifert hoisted Superbowl banners. Harbaugh planted Levi’s Stadium.
        No way young Jedie gets his new stadium without Harbaugh taking his red & gold toy for a SB ride.

      5. The 49er top brass should have had the foresight to work out an agreement with the city of San Francisco to play all their preseason games at the Stick in order to give the new sod at Levi’s ample time to take root.

        But then again, that would have been an admission of faulty planning on Jedie’ part.
        Harbaugh took his players off the Levi’s field during one practice last year and the Org decided to cancel a practice on the new stadium field a couple of weeks ago because it was a mess.

        Maybe the team could work something out with San Jose St. next year to have their preseason games on their field giving Levi’s Stadium turf ample time to strengthen itself for the regular season.

    2. They are forecasting an El Nino winter, so there might be a lot of rain. In fact, they are using words like torrential, deluge, Godzilla, historic and cataclysmic. Therefore, the sod at Levis might be turned to mud, so a synthetic turf may make sense.

      1. Well, if the rains are cataclysmic the players may have to wear a life-preserver as part of their equipment.
        Also, the big wigs in their high rise NFL offices may not take too kindly for a possible cancellation of a SB because of inclement weather.
        But if the weather forecasters are right, it will make for interesting football season for the 49ers and the Superbowl.

  4. So here it is people. This is the absolute truth that is solid Niner gold. Harbaugh and staff were brought here for one reason, one contract only. That was to win the Bowl in the years allotted. They couldn’t do it. They were close, but close doesn’t make you elite. They were given bonus time because they did produce on paper. But they are history because they couldn’t win the one that counts. This organization wants status. The only way to gain status is to win the bowl and be the undisputed champion. If Harbaugh won the Bowl, none could criticize. But he didn’t and the players recognized that. If his unorthodox ways lead to SUPERBOWL victories, no one would question. But he fell short. And when he did, we all felt the pain. Getting bit*hslapped by Seattle was unbearable and, frankly, puzzling, to the point of embarrassment. We were not the team we put on the field. We were complacent, tentative, and in the state of reaction, rather than the team that forced the issue. When we dictate the flow of the game, we are elite, we are different, we are in control. When we don’t, we second guess, we act out of character, we regress to what has resulted in success that is acceptable to the majority. But a happy majority is just that, the majority. 31 other teams are the majority, and I wont be compared. We need to believe we are the best. When that is achieved, we will be unstoppable. This is a glorious time to represent the red and gold, both player and faithful. We will make and witness history, this is the 49ers way. Set the tone, set the precedent. You will prevail.

  5. Listening to a Tomsula presser doesnt inspire confidence. When we finally hear one coherent, complete sentence we will know the 49ers are on the right track. The problem is that I just don’t see that happening. Let’s hope that intelligence is not a prerequisite for being a good football coach because if it is the team will finish 1-15.

    1. You think a guy who is universally loved by all his players isn’t intelligent? Unless he’s really cute, like BMD-puppy cute, he’s probably got +++ people skills, which is vital for coaching in today’s NFL.

    2. 1-15? Sounds ugly Rick, you probably won’t want to watch, so check back after the regular season to see how wrong you were. There’s a lot of you “Tomsula’s-a-fool” guys out there, especially in Seattle. Stay tuned Mr.1-15, we’ll reconcile numbers later. You would’ve been one of those guys dissing Madden when he was first hired back in the day too I bet.

    3. I consider Bill Walsh to be a genius, but the first year, he went 2-14. Sometimes you need players, too.
      The Niners have players. Kaep has skills people drool over. The TE position was so deep, they traded away 2 players and kept the best.
      This team is dripping with talent, and with the play calling and game management problems solved ( Or at least I hope so), this team s poised for 10-6, even with the Aldon fiasco.

    4. Rick,
      Well, Tomsula has come a long way since his very first presser where he sounded like a grunting caveman. Local and national media had a field day as they replayed Tomsula’ stuttering attempt to formulate his words and thoughts during a one on one interview.
      Yup, it wasn’t pretty.

      But as time has past since that interview I have found that Tomsula is a passionate and competitive individual that has a genuine concern for his team as shown in the Aldon Smith situation.
      And more importantly, his players seem to really like him.

      Now I’ve been around long enough to know that players that like their headcoach is not a recipe for a coach to have a long tenure with the team as evidence with Rex Ryan’ eventual exit in New York. Ryan was known as a “players coach” as was Steve Mariucci when he coached the 49ers and Detroit.
      In the final analysis, WINNING is what gives a head coach longevity on a team.

      I’ve come to like Tomsula and really don’t care how he sounds in front of the media. He’s becoming my modern day version of Yogi Berra – and now he’s the coach of my favorite team.
      For me, formulating wins better than words is really all that matters.
      I’ll without any judgment on Tomsula based on his win/loss record at the end of the season rather than how he sounds in his pressers.

      1. You have to take into consideration that before that presser, Coach Tomsula did not sleep for 36 hours. Any person who stays up all night trying to start assembling a coaching staff will not be bright eyed and bushy tailed. I cut him a ton of slack for that reason.

        1. Seb,
          Yes, I’ve heard that JT was up for about 36 hrs before that interview but let’s face it, Tomsula will never win any linguistic awards.
          And as I commented to Rick; I will ultimately judge Tomsula on his win/loss record not his verbal acumen.

          Headcoach’s that last in the league are those that win consistently, not those that can spin and formulate beautiful sentences.
          Bill Belichick is not a media darling, who cares as long as he can consistently
          provide winning seasons in New England.

          Actually it wouldn’t bother me one bit if Tomsula sounded like a stuttering caveman during his pressers as long as he becomes a winner and puts us back in the Superbowl conversation like Harbaugh did for a few years.

          1. They did not hire him to be an elocution specialist. They hired him to be HC of the 49ers. Listen to his locker room speeches. Coach Tomsula speaks the lingo.

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