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