SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Injuries; [C] Marcus Martin left the game with a concussion, so that’s still there. That’ll be the protocol. And, [RB Shaun] Draughn left with the knee and he’s getting an MRI, so we’ll find out exactly what that is. Those are the two.”
WR Jerome Simpson?
“Draughn, with that knee he got popped in. I think he’s down there right now. If he’s not there right now, he’s on his way.”
Right before the end of the first half, it looked like QB Blaine Gabbert may have gotten shaken up on the sack and I saw QB Dylan Thompson throw his helmet on. Did he check in with any pain or anything?
“I think there was somebody, I don’t know exactly what happened right there, but we were just getting ready on the sidelines because he had gotten hit there. But, there was nothing to it.”
It seemed like OL Trent Brown had a nice outing. Limited number of snaps, but played well. Any sense that he’s going to–?
“Yeah, Trent, there were some things that he did that were really good. We’ve still got to keep cleaning up when things change in front of us. There’s some, when the games and the blitzes and things like that, we’re still in that process of getting that cleaned up. But, he is progressing really well and I thought he did a nice job.”
With two games to go, any sense that he’s going to, he and maybe some other younger guys that you would like to get a longer look at before the season ends?
“Well, Trent will probably be in the mix there. He’s gotten himself some reps. He did a pretty good job. We’ve got to keep growing. He’s got to make sure, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got everything clean in practice. And then with where Marcus is right now, we’ll have to see exactly how much that is.”
What was the plan at right cornerback going into this game?
“Well, we’ve been looking to get more guys on the field. I’ve been looking to get more guys on the field. I think we’ve got a couple of guys there that I like, that I personally want to see on the field and I want to see them competing and see how they are playing. I thought [CB] Dontae [Johnson] stepped in there, you’re talking about when Dontae got in there, I thought he did a heck-of-a job. I think Dontae is a really good football player. So, to see him in there, and we want to get [CB Marcus] Cromartie in there a little bit more and get some work there. And then, you saw [CB Keith] Reaser in there. So, I think those guys are all very talented, so I want to make sure we get them in there. I think they’ve earned the right to get some reps. They’ve played before.”
Has CB Kenneth Acker’s play, has it kind of opened the door for you to take a look at what the other guys can do?
“Well I mean, Kenneth to me this year is, you’ve seen development in Kenneth and you’ve seen Kenneth get better. He works at it. But, it’s more about those other guys than it is Kenneth.”
Do you just shake your head? I mean, all these running backs you’ve lost. It just seems–?
“It’s part of it. Let’s go. We’ve got to go. That’s not an excuse. And we’ll see where Draughn is. He was running the ball pretty well the other day and he does a nice job for us in protection.”
You have the ability to get RB Mike Davis back on the 53-man roster I think this week?
“We have to see how that goes. He’s on the IR to return, so we’ll see where that is.”
Do you know where his health is right now?
“That’s what I’m saying. That’s day-to-day, week-to-week. So, we’ve just got to keep watching that. I mean, you’ve got a running back with a hand, so I don’t want to–.”
To his point, if you wanted to, if he was healthy enough, you can bring him back now?
“Yes. He’s on the IR to return. So, he can do that, but we’re not going to put him in any danger.”
Speaking on that subject of an injured player, what’s your, and I’m asking about QB Colin Kaepernick, what’s your process or what’s your feeling on having injured players on the sideline at the stadium?
“That’s completely up to the medical staff. What we do, my policy with injured players is we don’t bring them on the road. If you’re an IR guy, we’re not bringing you on the road. You get way more done here. Getting on airplanes, going to hotels, trying to find places to get rehab, then you’re down in a makeshift training room and I just don’t think it’s helping you get better because when you’re on the IR, your injured, now your fulltime job is to get better. So, we don’t travel. Now, when it comes to the sideline on home games, if anybody’s going to be in a position where they can’t get out of the way, they are going to be in danger, I don’t want them around. But, [vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Fergy makes those calls and the medical staff with doctors. They make those calls on who’s going to be on the sideline and who’s not, but it’s all safety related.”
And so, you don’t have a set policy, its case-by-case?
“Yeah. If you are injured like [DL] Glenn Dorsey, he’s not on the sidelines. I know firmly from the medical staff, Glenn Dorsey is not going to be on the sideline. He’s got that leg. They don’t want him messing around there, getting bump, banged. You know what I mean? Something comes off the sideline.”
Was G/T Alex Boone on the sideline?
“Boone I think was out there. He was out there in pregame and then he went in. So, he was out walking around, but he wasn’t out there for the game because with that brace they don’t think he can get out of the way. We’re more than happy to have him on the sideline. As long as the medical staff tells me he’s not going to get hurt or he can protect himself, then we don’t have any problems. I’d welcome Boone out there. And as far as Kap, again, whatever, we’re not going to get that banged. I guess that’s where they are at with that.”
How do you think LB Eli Harold did yesterday?
“You know, there were some really good plays with Eli. The one pass, you saw, he slipped in coverage. He was turning there, but the feet got a little bit wide on him. But, Eli had a couple of really good plays there. He had some really good effort plays chasing the ball down. He had some really nice plays with the collision on the tight end and crushing the edge in the run game. I really like where he’s heading. That’s another one of our young guys that we’re really excited about. He’s a little small right now and not as strong as we want him to be, but he works at it. When he strikes you, he strikes you with everything he’s got. So, we figure we pack on a little bit more muscle and a little bit more weight, he’s going to be striking with everything that he puts on. We’re excited about him and I thought yesterday he represented himself well.”
Are you aware of what CBS sideline reporter Jay Feely said based on a conversation with COO Al Guido? Were you made aware of those comments?
Yeah, the former kicker.
“The kicker, the guy that I had to talk to on the–.”
“He was talking to Al Guido?”
So, no. OK. Anyway, it was his perception that, Jay Feely said on the broadcast that one thing that maybe this organization didn’t account for was just the lack of, with all the veterans that left in the offseason, that there was kind of a leadership void. Obviously, there are some still leaders here, but that was tough to account for. How would you assess, with guys like Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore and former DT Justin Smith and former LB Patrick Willis and others that have gone, has that been a challenge for you just as a head coach, getting guys to step into those positions?
“As you stated that, we knew there was a core group that was not here. There was a core group here with Justin and Frank. I was with all those guys the whole time. There was a core group here that built up through some tough times and got into some really good times and did a heck-of-a job leading and just the tightness, you know what I mean? I don’t think we’ve hidden from that. That core is gone. We’re developing another core. We’ve got to develop a core. I think there’s a lot of pieces to that core here. A lot of them are young, but I keep talking about the [DB] Jimmie Wards and the [TE] Blake Bells and the Eli Harolds and the [S Jaquiski] Tartts. We’ve got some guys there that I’m really excited about. And you match that with an [NT] Ian Williams. You know, you’ve got [LB] NaVorro [Bowman] here, you know what I mean? But that young crew I’m really excited about. Now, is it a welded together core? No, not yet. But, are they working towards it? Do they have the intangibles? I believe they do. So, I’m really excited about them. But, I don’t think we’ve, I’m not sure where you were going with that, but I don’t think we were hiding behind, I mean, they left, other guys are here and we’re building that.”
Has it been a challenge as a head coach to make sure that type of leadership has been replaced in the locker room or at least try to develop it?
“Yeah. It’s being developed. We had, with Dorsey and [S Antoine] Bethea, those two guys, felt real good about them. And obviously, Dorsey’s not back in yet, but Bethea is, you know, his workouts so he’s more around the guys. But, yeah that’s what we have to do. That’s what we’re doing.”
Is Al Guido in a position to make a statement about players who are leaders or lack of leadership on the team? Is he in the locker room with you, in coaches meetings with you? Is he the one who would make that statement?
“I don’t know who made that. I don’t know that that was who made the statement.”
It was Jay Feely’s interpretation of a conversation he had with him.
“OK. Yeah, I don’t know anything about that, but no I’m not in any staff meetings or coaches meetings or anything with Al Guido. I think Al Guido, I’ve got a lot of respect for Al Guido. He’s a great guy, he really is. But in terms of that, I meet with [general manager] Trent [Baalke] and I meet with the owners.”
You mentioned Ian Williams as part of that young core. He’s not signed for next season. Is that something that you think will happen or you want to have happen?
“Again, I’m not going to get into, I don’t know where that is on the business side. I’m a big Ian guy, you know that. [DT] Quinton Dial is also in that. I’d throw a few names there, but there’s a core group of guys there.”