This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good morning. Injury report; [RB] Reggie [Bush], I just saw Reggie, he’s got a calf strain. I mean, I think they are getting him tested or they are going to send him down to get tested. But, he looked good. I don’t have, I mean, he’s not running yet. But, he looks fine, but they are treating him and they get everything checked. So, that’s where we are with Reggie. And, that’s our injury report.”
When you say he looks fine, he walks fine?
“Yeah, he was, I mean, he walked fine there and then he was on the table. He was walking fine last night, I didn’t see a limp. I mean, you all saw him too, I didn’t see any limping. So, I don’t know, I don’t want to feed you a bunch of bull.”
Are you saying that he’s going to go to Stanford and have an MRI?
“Yeah, I mean, they do that with every, they don’t do the x-rays as much, but the MRIs, I think, is what they do because it’s just a better test or something. So, anyway, what do you all have?”
Do you think that there’s a chance that he plays on a short week like you guys have?
“I don’t know that, but I will give you that answer as soon as we have it. I don’t want to, again, we don’t want something that can be taken care of in four days to end up being six weeks. So, I do want to stay in that approach, but I’m not willing to tell you, I mean, if he can play he’s going to play.”
What kind of soreness did QB Colin Kaepernick have after that hit he took in the first quarter on the sideline?
“Nothing, I mean, never even, to be honest with you, he never even spoke of it.”
With so many different guys getting involved in sacks and pressuring the quarterback, how encouraged were you by the show of that defense and getting to Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater?
“Well, the whole, you know [Associated Press reporter] Janie [McCauley], the biggest thing that I appreciate that is going is the players and coaches and you know those things where you walk into a room and it’s a give-and-take? You know what I mean? When players study the way our guys study and players are as engaged as our guys are, when you sit there and talk about football, it’s not really a lecture. It’s communication. It’s a conversation and that shows when you can do, there was some multiplicity there. And then, there’s an unselfishness with guys and setting things up for other guys. We call it dirty work. That’s what we say in the locker room. So, you’ve got guys doing that. There’s one goal. It’s not to get six sacks. The goal is not to win the stat sheet. The goal is to win the game. And, that’s when I keep talking about the team and the locker room, that’s what I really feel about these guys. Let’s go win the game, let’s do what we need to do to win the game.”
Last week when you were keeping everybody guessing about how you guys were going to run the secondary, you did say that everybody would play. I mean, seven defensive backs saw significant action.
“I really try not to lie. I never lie on purpose.”
But, I mean, is that kind of the thing that you expect to see, just so many different guys with a hand in it as far as situational football goes?
“Yeah, well, I mean and you said it there, situational football. We’re going to play situational football and defensively too, we want to take an offensive approach on defense. We want to be offensive. But, again, what does the team do every week? That’s what I mean about the whole 46, is that will change. That’s going to change. I mean, it is. Week-to-week, you’re going to see variation in that depending on where we are in the schematic, who does what and who we’re looking to matchup with. It’s, I mean, if somebody’s got a, I don’t even want to get into that. But, that’s the way we’re looking at it. In that particular game, that’s the plan that came up defensively and our plan that came up offensively, and then we’ve got to coordinate that through the special teams and make sure that we’ve got our best 46 to attack the opponent.”
Obviously, during training camp tempo was a big emphasis for the offense. How do you think Colin did in that regard last night and by getting to the line early and getting the plays off early, how much better is he able to execute with that tempo?
“Well, and again, it just, it gives the time for the operation. For all the work that he and everybody else does all week. You study tape, you study looks, you study fronts, you study your opponent, and to have the time to be able to use that information, that’s all it is. I know there’s a lot made of it, but we’re just trying to operate in a way that we can use everything that we’re working on. I mean, that we’ve watched and worked hard to do. And, Colin did just a, obviously his position, he’s got to do those things. And, I thought he did, I mean, I know he did, he did a wonderful job yesterday.”
It look liked T Joe Staley also at times was trying to get everybody going. Were there other guys trying to keep that tempo going? I mean, we’ve been hearing you do it on the practice field. Were you doing it during the game? Yelling, tempo?
“I don’t know what I was yelling. I probably can’t repeat a lot of what I was yelling. But, I mean, the guys, I think they like moving at a pace. They just, they like it. And again, I don’t think it’s anything, I mean, this isn’t rocket science. It’s just a way that we want to be able to, I was as enthused in the middle of the third quarter there when we slowed it down and then sped it up and then slowed it down again in the middle of the fourth. And then, went into the four minute offense and slowed it way down. So, it moved all game. We just want to be able to have the ability to be able to use that clock. I mean, that’s one of the parameters, 53 and a third wide, 100 long, OK? 11 guys on each side and there’s a clock. That’s one of the parameters in football. So, we’re trying to work the parameters to where we feel we are in the game.”
Minnesota Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer said he felt like his team got out-physicaled and he said as far as, in terms of physicality, he would have liked his team to look like your team. Is that part of, I mean, would you like that to be part of your identity? Kind of a this team is going to beat you up type thing?
“Well, first of all to Coach Zimmer, I mean, that’s a wonderful compliment. I sincerely, I mean, I speak for the guys, that’s a compliment to them. In terms of an identity, I just want us to be who we are, and our locker room is, what I believe, is a tough-minded, physically-tough, and mentally-tough group of guys. Let’s play the game. I mean, football’s, it’s a test of wills. So, I just, I think there’s, I hope that, I believe those are the kind of guys that we have.”
When it comes to the play in the trenches with the lines, how much of it in your mind is technique and scheme and how much of it is just a mentality or an act to that you’re going to set the physical tone?
“I don’t know how you separate the two. I could punch that wall and try to get a hole in it all day long. If I get a hammer, it might help me out. You know what I mean? So, I don’t really, to me, I don’t know that we separate it. I think we, I think it’s just the way we do things and then it’s what you do but then how you do it. So, just putting it all together. I hope I’m answering that, I’m not trying to be funny.”
That was a good metaphor. That works.
RB Carlos Hyde said last week that one of the biggest things he learned from former 49ers and current Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore was to take care of his body before and after practice. You touched on it last week on WR Bruce Ellington making those strides. What have you seen from Carlos in that regard and did you ever have to sit him down and talk about that kind of stuff, or did he do that?
“No, I didn’t. I mean, we’ve talked about it, in terms of the whole team, that’s something we’ve talked about. We’ve dedicated an entire room over there that used to be a coach’s lounge. It’s no longer a coach’s lounge. It’s a regeneration room, where the guys are in there and they’ve got their drinks and they’ve got their boots and all the different thigh things for the muscles. And, they use the water in the cold and the hot and all they do all that stuff. To Carlos’s, speaking of Carlos, the last two guys to leave this facility last night were Carlos Hyde and [NT] Ian Williams, because they were doing their contrast after the game and doing some of the regeneration stuff after the game. And that goes along too, I just walked out of the office right there and we’ve got a full weight room. Guys are in there, you get your stretch, you get running, you get that blood moving and then you get your lift. So, I mean, that’s all part of it and they don’t have to be here today. Today’s a day off. That’s on their own.”
How much did you observe, maybe, I mean you were coaching D-Line last year, but anything you saw that Carlos was soaking in everything he could from Frank Gore?
“Janie, I’d be making stories up if I got too deep there. I mean, I’m sure he did. Yeah.”
When you put together the staff did you hire offensive line coach Chris Foerster because you wanted Chris Foerster or because Chris Foerster had the kind of blocking-scheme that you thought would fit what you guys have here?
“I wanted Chris Foerster. Chris Foerster was here the last time, he was a gap-scheme guy, which we still have gap-scheme. You know, all the coaches, my point to all the coaches is, people first, what kind of people they were and thinking about the match of the room and just good guys that care about players and then obviously, how good they are at their jobs. But, the whole coaching staff, Foerster obviously, but the whole coaching staff is, and to watch them communicate. [Offensive coordinator] Geep [Chryst], Geep’s really good. I mean, he’s just a really good person and he’s a really smart man. But, you have a group there, you look at both sides, there’s some people who have done this a long time and people that bring a lot to the table and utilizing it all. No one guy here has all the answers. What we’re trying to do is, I mean we’re learning something from the Silicon Valley, isn’t this the place where they made those rooms and they put bean bags in it and everybody sat around and you brainstorm and you talk about stuff. I mean, we’re trying to utilize, to me, that’s utilizing everything you have. And, that’s what we’re trying to do. Again, we’re talking about all this stuff, it’s been one game. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve got to get a lot better.”
There were a lot of penalties that this team was able to overcome last night, some on special teams as well as on the offense. When you looked at the film, what was more systematic about the penalties?
“Well, you know, again, there’s, we have to clean that up. I mean, we have to. And, I feel like anything I say about that is like opening the door that it’s OK. It’s not OK. But, we’ve got some young guys, our special teams, we’ve got a lot of young guys that are making aggressive mistakes and we’ve got to clean it up. It’s guys really, that extra effort is there and they’re trying to go that extra mile and that happened offensive line-wise at the beginning. It’s, no penalties are good, but we just have to clean up as we’re going that extra mile, as we’re going that, taking that extra step and trying to make that extra umph for the play. Keeping our hands inside or staying in front of the guy on a block, things like that. We’ve got to, there’s no doubt, we’ve got to get cleaned up. I was, the good that came from that to me was that there wasn’t any blinking. When I looked in people’s eyes, we were on to the next. Let’s go. Ok, that happened, deal with it, let’s go. Let’s keep moving forward, so there was a positive there.”
Speaking of aggressive mistakes, what do you do with RB Jarryd Hayne when he makes an aggressive mistake on that punt? But, you don’t, you probably don’t want to take away, curb his aggression, that’s what makes him who he is.
“We put him out there for the next two punts. He would have stayed out there all day. I mean, the next punt that came, went out of bounds. He didn’t have a chance to return it. And, the punt after that he did catch, he got 12-yards on it I believe. So, he got us a first down. He’s right back out there. So, I mean, there’s a belief and a faith there. Play football, OK? And, we have learning moments and we’ll learn from those learning moments, but we’re not, that’s it. OK. Next play, alright? Now let’s go back, own it, fix it and move on.”
Why did, you didn’t have the return and then they had a re-kick and Ellington went in, why did–?
“Usually, what we’ll try to do there is we will try to sub. Whenever somebody re-kicks, we are going to try to get some fresh, I mean, that’s a normal deal. If we were punting and we had to re-punt, we’ll try to get new gunners out there. You just went on a 40-yard sprint, the guy just fielded the ball and he took off sprinting. So, if we have somebody else that we can get in there in those kind of spots, we will.”
I think a lot of people would look at the schedule, you guys played the late, late game on a Monday Night, you’re facing a team that basically has 10 days rest, you’re flying across country. Did, when the schedule came out did you look at that and want to make a phone call to New York City?
“No sir. We looked at that and planned accordingly. That’s just the facts of it. That’s where it is. That’s where we go. We’ve got a gameSunday in Pittsburgh. And, we’re going to get on an airplane, we’re going to prepare this week and we’re going to go play. Not a minute to, all we want to know is what the parameters are. Give us the parameters, give us the facts and then let’s put a plan together to attack it and go at it. That’s it, that’s as deep as it gets with me. There’s where it is. OK, here we go. This is what we’ve got guys. That’s, and I mean, I think we’ve got a whole group here that’s the same way. That’s where it is.”
You’ve known about this sequence since April. You knew you were going to have a short week here. Any advanced work on Pittsburgh?
“Yeah, we did advanced work on everybody on the schedule. So, I mean, there was advanced, a normal, I mean, I’m not giving anybody any secrets. You look at your division, you make sure, you can start on that right away. You know you’re playing them twice. So, you start on that right away. Obviously, it was a little more unique for us this year because we were putting things together for ourselves. But, we were on the division real quick and then as soon as the schedule comes out we start systematically doing our work in the offseason, getting into this, getting into the season. And you sprinkle those things through training camp. You sprinkle those things through the offseason. As you’re installing your stuff, you can call an over an under or a different defense, because our defense knows how to do that. So, we can choreograph through calls and things as you’re installing what fronts you want to block and all those kind of things. So, that’s just the normal progression of it.”
With the short week and the travel, will you alter the practice schedule a little? I mean, just get the guys off the field a little more than usual or no?
“No, we’ve got, today’s off. Tomorrow’s ‘C and I’ day and then we’ve got Thursday and Friday and we get on a plane Friday afternoon.”
What’s ‘C and I day’?
“Clean up and installation, that’s all.”