This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“The injury report: [LB NaVorro] Bowman will be off and then [DT Quinton] Dial, [LB Michael] Wilhoite, [RB Shaun] Draughn and [C Marcus] Martin will all be out today. [T Joe] Staley, we just have to keep checking. He was sick. He got that bug yesterday. He’s here. He’s in meetings and everything, but we’ll just see where he’s at. [S Jaquiski] Tartt’s going to be limited. I can’t tell you how much he’s going to do. It’s that knee he’s been managing for a while, so it’s a little sore. We’ll just see where he’s at. That’s it.”
Did Marcus Martin, is this part of a, sort of a bigger change in how concussions are being handled versus the last couple of years? It just seems like a concussion now has become a two or three week injury, whereas last year it was a one week injury.
“Well, I’ve seen it both ways. I’ve seen guys come back in a week. What I know is there’s a protocol and it’s across the board. So, once somebody says you have a concussion or they’re concern about a concussion you go into a protocol and there’s nothing you can do, anybody can do. That protocol is set and until you take all those steps and achieve the levels that you need in all those steps, you don’t play. That’s the protocol, which I know has been, I don’t know the specifics, but I know that the doctors and the league from the league level down, that’s something they’ve been working on over the past few years.”
Is there any sense of giving a younger player like a OL Ian Silberman or a G Brandon Thomas any reps in this final game?
“Yeah, well if they’re ready. You earn those things in practice. You’ve got to show that you’ve got it. And again, those guys are coming along. We feel good about the improvement that’s been made. Right now with where Marcus is and with [G/T Eric] Pears and [OL] Trent Brown, we’ve had some things moving around. We want to go out and compete to win a football game.”
How do you think Brown did upon reviewing the game tape in his first ever start?
“At the beginning he did really well. First half, I thought was really good. Second half, there’s a few things there that we’ve got to get the duration of it just like any young player that would be in that situation. But, overall I thought he represented himself well.”
He thought that he did better in the run-blocking aspect of it than the pass blocking. Is that what the coaches saw as well?
“No. I wouldn’t, personally? No. And from our staff-meetings, in terms of the one-on-one pass protections and things like that, he did very well. But, now things start to move and you’ve got to pick things up and you’re moving with it and things like that. Just natural-progression stuff that I think he’s getting and he’s getting well.”
You mention that when the picture changes. How did he respond? How did he adjust?
“You mean during the game?”
Yeah, during the game.
“There were some things that the picture started changing and he’s getting over there on the sidelines. I know Pears is, we’ve got a vet there that’s trying to help him through it. And again, I don’t want to act like it was catastrophic, it wasn’t. But, there’s just things there that it’s a natural progression that you’ve got to keep going through and the next time you see it, you’ll have it again. In every game there’s going to be stuff that they prepare for you. So, pictures that you haven’t seen yet, they’re going to show up. So, getting through those things. But, overall I thought he did well.”
At this stage in his career, is Pears better suited to play guard?
“I don’t know that. He did a nice job for us the other day. Our intentions when he came here was for him to play guard, think he’d be a good guard. But, we needed him to go out to tackle and I thought he went out there and busted his tail for us. Pears is a guy that has busted his tail for this team. He came in under one idea that we all had and then had to move and never blinked, never said a word, just said, ‘Yeah, got it. That’s where you need me, that’s where I go.’ So, now we’re moving him back to guard and once again, ‘Yeah, sure. Wherever you need me. Whatever we’ve got to do.’ That’s the kind of guy he is.”
On Monday, correct me if I’ve got this wrong, but I think you said in the Browns game you guys really wanted to come out and attack and I think the first four or five plays were passes. You said in retrospect, maybe that wasn’t the way to go, that’s just not kind of where the offense is. If I’ve got that right, what do you mean by that as far as just that wasn’t kind of the offense’s personality?
“Well, no. I guess what I meant by that was that was one where I came in and said, ‘Look, I want to throw the ball down the field. I want to hit those middle range throws.’ I kind of forced that, which in retrospect I shouldn’t have forced it. That’s what I was trying, that’s what I mean. That’s the conversation I had with the offensive staff. That was me in there forcing that, ‘Look, let’s get out here, let’s hit those 14 to 19-yard throws. Let’s go after a couple of those.’”
I think in looking at the offense, people would say, “Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Be a little bit more aggressive.”
“You put a check with me. You put a check with me, if they’re sitting down in there, you don’t force that. You know what I mean? That was what I meant.”
I’ll ask a Jarryd Hayne question. How did he do? And part of that question is, it seemed like you guys had trouble on third down just because you had so many new guys that they didn’t know the pass protections very well. Will that be less of an issue going into this game?
“Well I mean, obviously we’re continuing, working to get better every day, especially in that area there. That’s assignment stuff. But, that’s the nature of it when you’ve got guys, particularly with [running backs coach] Tom [Rathman] and what the offensive coaches, particularly Tom Rathman, have done in those scenarios with guys coming in. And a credit to the guys that have come in. And learning all that in a week, that’s a hefty task. And then pictures start changing in games and people making adjustments at halftime and now the pictures are completely different and you’ve got to pick this up. So, we’ll continue to work on that. In terms of Jarryd, you saw some of the inside zone runs that he ran in that game. You can see what we’re talking about with how he’s gotten better at feeling that and seeing that and the way he’s worked at that. So, he continues to work his tail off and get better.”
How is he in the pass-protection aspect of it?
“Good. Knows the assignments. Knows the assignments. And would I tell you that it’s absolutely natural to him yet? No. But, he knows the assignments and all that stuff is there. It’s just a matter of playing and practice and seeing the different looks. You bring a backer up here and you bring a backer up here. Well, you’re responsible for one of them. Now, if both come, you’ve got one, the quarterback’s got the other and we’ve got a hot. If one comes, you’ve got to feel which one is coming and there’s a feel to that. And then there’s where’s the safety, who are they topping? That kind of stuff. But, he knows it. You put him on a board and put him in a walk-thru, he knows it.”
Is RB Mike Davis going to get more reps with the ones in practice this week?
“Yeah. I mean, yeah he’ll be in there. Mike’s going to be working through, yeah.”
Is the expectation then that he’s going to be available Sunday?
“I’d like him to be. But, we’ll find out exactly where we’re at. But, yeah I’d like him to be.”
I have a job security question. And I know you covered some of this Monday. But, just to be clear, has CEO Jed York said to you you’re coming back next season?
“I mean, I see Jed. I saw him yesterday. I see him every week. We just talk about the week and where we’re going and our conversations haven’t changed a bit.”
So, those conversations are just week-to-week, not 2016?
“Yeah. It’s been the same all year.”