Here is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Saturday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Injuries, the only guy we have to talk about is [CB] Tramaine Brock. He’s been limited. We’ve limited him the last couple of days. I feel really good about him. We’re just trying to be smart and make sure we’re ready to go.”
Would you list him as probable or questionable?
“No. When you get into, that comes from [vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Fergie. I don’t, they were trying to explain that to me the other day. However he lists, I mean, he’s done the individual, he’s done the, I can tell you what he’s done. He’s done the group stuff. They just didn’t want him in opened up team periods. So, I’m expecting more of that today.”
How’s he looked in your eyes during practice?
“I haven’t seen a thing.”
You haven’t seen a–?
“I haven’t seen anything that tells me negative. But, they haven’t opened him all the way up, you know what I mean?”
“That’s why I stay out of it. I’m not going to get myself in trouble there, you know, with the trainer. That’s it.”
Did you want to divulge who is going to start at the other cornerback spot?
“No. We’ve got the whole group working there.”
And same with return specialist?
“Yeah, we’ve got them working. They’re doing a nice job.”
Let me ask you this, understanding that you’re not going to say who it is–?
“And you understand why. I’m not trying to be coy. I’m not trying to make anything. We don’t need to give bulletin boards where people can study everybody’s every movement.”
Then let me ask you this, how long ago did you tell these guys though when they’re starting so that they can prepare for that role?
“Oh yeah, they’ve known. And everybody knows that they’ll play. We expect our secondary to, all of them to play.”
You said early in the offseason that you wanted to get your team better acquainted, more comfortable with Levi’s® Stadium and that wasn’t as possible as you had hoped. Where are you on that and do you feel good about the comfort level, the home-field advantage you’re going to have?
“Yes. I mean, yes I feel like, you know, we’re in this building, we’ve been in this building locker room-wise and everything we’re doing that way. So, all that is extremely comfortable. Our training room is in here. So, we’ve got all that going on day-to-day. We did get a nice amount of work in that stadium in the spring and in the fall. We got time. So, yeah, I feel great about that.”
You’re a guy who wears black a lot and it looks like–?
And it looks like they’re going to be giving out black t-shirts and the black uniforms. Do you think that will help with having the crowd all being the same color and the new uniforms?
“I think so. And I know the guys make fun of me. I mean, obviously it’s neat, it’s cool. The guys like it. I’m trying to keep my connection to the younger generation. But, for me, I mean, it’s 53 and 1/3 wide, 100 long with two 10-yard end zones and an opponent. That’s kind of where I stay. But, I think the guys really, I mean I think they really like it. There’s no denying, OK, that it’s Monday night. I got reminded today about that. It’s game day. But, Monday night is obviously a thrill for the guys, all players.”
Would Australians have any particular reason to want to tune in on Monday Night?
“Well, I’ll tell you what, if I was in Australia, I’d have the NFL package. I’d be watching every football game I could watch because I just love football and it’s a great game.”
Any particular reason though?
“It’s a phenomenal game.”
Back to the stadium real quick. Have you gone out and checked the field conditions in terms of–?
Not at all.
“Not yet. Usually I do that on Saturday, check things out.”
Which would be tomorrow?
“Yeah. Well, yeah, I should say Day 4. That what we refer to it as.”
Your kickers have been practicing there throughout the week?
“Yeah. Yeah, they do that.”
How would you assess the week of preparation, the practice, what you saw from the guys on the field?
“The last two days have been really good. It’s been a really good week of practice. I’m excited about the energy level, the attention to detail. The practices have been crisp and sharp. Today, we’d like to really get it. It won’t be as long today, but it’ll be the team emphasis and stuff like that. So, excited about today’s practice. Seems like a nice energy level around here right now and the guys seem to be in a good spot.”
With former 49ers and current Oakland Raiders LB Aldon Smith signing yesterday with the Raiders a month after you guys dismissed him and you had a really compassionate plead for people to seek help. What are your thoughts about him getting back into this?
“Listen, all I or anybody here want for Aldon is a great life. That’s just as, again, everything there doesn’t have to do anything with football. I don’t want to speak for other people, but I would feel confident saying that about this whole organization, everybody in that locker room. All we want is what’s best for him. We want him to have a great life.”
I know you offered him help when you released him. Did he follow up on any of that?
“I don’t, I’m not going to go, that’s his business and I’m not going to get into any of that. Out of respect.”
You’re going to have one guy on your injury report which is a very low number comparatively. Do you interpret that as a success towards your approach to injuries this year? You’ve done the thing where you wouldn’t let a guy come back until he was 100-percent, that sort of thing.
“Well, there’s a couple reasons for that too. First of all, in the context of that question, not my approach. This whole, it’s the village. It’s the training room. It’s the strength and conditioning. It’s the players themselves. It’s every, it’s the food. It’s the hydration. To me, it’s everything. It’s not one thing here or there. Everybody has a hand in that. And the biggest hand in that is the players. Now, obviously, the expenses that have been, to purchase the equipment for regeneration and to take of your body have obviously been funded here in a big way. So, we have a lot of that and the guys talking about those things. The guys doing those things. There’s, again, there’s been talk all along about some of the things are shorter and there’s not this and there’s not that. The day is still the day. It’s just been distributed a little different. So, a guy sitting in boots. A guy’s in a hot tub. Guy’s getting a massage. Those things are happening during the day. That’s what I attribute all that to and we feel like we’ve worked real hard in the process. So, we don’t think the hard work, I mean, you’ve been to practices. These guys bust their tails and we’ve had collisions. We’ve put the pads on and we’ve gotten collisions. So, we feel like we’ve balanced all that out. We do check it every day. But, then again, when you talk about the practice itself, somebody not going full speed hinders a drill. So, it’s not only getting that guy right, it’s also being able to have everybody else get the work done that they need to get because we want to practice at that speed.”
I’m going to ask a Hayne-related question that’s not necessarily him. With all that’s gone on, has anybody sent you request for you to look at them? Like maybe other sports stars or any of your ex-NFL Europe products sent you? Any fan mail about what’s going on? Any cross-sport guys?
“Yeah. I mean, those things happen. But, again, anything having to do with personnel we do funnel to the personnel department.”
But, have you gotten people that have reached out to you?
“Well, yeah that was before anybody ever heard of Jarryd Hayne in America. Yeah, that’s just constant. That’s always happened. So, DVDs, you get sent a lot of stuff, you do.”
Have you heard from any of your old NFL Europe cross-sport guys?
“I’m not going to tell you that I have. But, again, I don’t check the mail as much. Just honestly I don’t. [49ers employee] Vilma sorts it and gets it. Anything personnel related she sends it to the personnel guys. So, there could have been, but I don’t know about it.”
LB NaVorro Bowman mentioned yesterday, potentially his first game back, obviously Monday potentially being jacked up and he’s going to have to deal with maybe trying to harness his emotions. What’s your sense been of him this week when you’ve checked in and what message is he giving off to you in terms of how he’s preparing forMonday?
“Focus. That’s the word. Extreme focus. I might say that’s the one thing that stood out to me this week, really good focus. We want to have as much fun as the next guy and we’ve got the table tennis going on at the end of the day, things like that. But, from the time we start to the time we end practice it’s a very focused setting. And he’s obviously a major part of that.”