Here is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good morning. The injury report here; [LB Aaron] Lynch, [CB Marcus] Cromartie, [DB Jimmie] Ward, [CB Keith] Reaser, they’ll all be full go. We’re in great shape there. [CB Kenneth] Acker will be go. He’s finished up and finishing up, but we expect him to be on this week. As far as [WR Anquan] Boldin, [RB Carlos] Hyde and [CB Tramaine] Brock, we’re still working that. None of those guys have gone full speed. Nobody’s done anything at full tilt yet. So, we’ll see where that is. We’ll keep you updated on that. We’re going to open up [G/C Daniel] Kilgore and [WR DeAndre] Smelter today, or this week. So, they’ll be practicing. In terms of the bye week and our health, it was a good time for us. The training room went all the way through Saturday and actually had a couple of guys in here yesterday. So, that was, we took full advantage of that and feel really good about where that is. Questions?”
What about your health? How did the bye week help you at all?
“Well, the bye week was great for us in terms of us having a week to look at us. We spent the first part of the week, obviously with the guys and then we had some of the younger guys here a little longer. But, the self-scout and going through all the stuff coaching-wise, staff-wise on what we’re doing schematically and who we’re using where and what and all those things. So, it was good. It was good. It was needed.”
You don’t take that time to breathe or you just headfirst in, going harder because of the week off?
“No, I mean, coaching-wise, we took Saturday. Made sure the guys got out of here Saturday. So, a little bit of breathing there but we’ll breathe when the season’s over.”
You look at the standings in the NFC and it seems like there are a few teams that are ahead of everybody, but then there’s a bunch that are kind of together as far as their records. Do you kind of communicate that, still a lot of the season to go for your team and for all those other teams?
“Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot to go, for everybody. Again, our approach here is us and this week with the players. Coaching-wise, we look at things a little bit lengthier on the open week, but with our players it’s us and it’s this week.”
Is the expectation for Smelter to just get him a taste in these three weeks?
“I don’t know what the, you know, the full expectation, let’s get him out, let’s get him running around and let’s see where we’re at. So, in terms of a definite expectation right now, I don’t want to give you one because we just want to get it open. He’s cleared through everything. We’re going to get it open and get him out there and see where we’re at.”
With Carlos Hyde dealing with that foot, he’s been out for almost, what, four weeks now. Is that the optimistic time scenario that you figured that he needed to rest that foot?
“Yeah. Well, that was just the plan that was put in place through our medical staff and obviously with Carlos. So, we’re going to see where he’s at and see how it’s going. He’s obviously been doing things for conditioning. He’s not running a ton, but we’ll see where he’s at this week.”
Do you know whether the pain has diminished over that month period and is he feeling better as far as putting weight on–?
“Yeah, he’s feeling better with all those things. But again, he’s not, you don’t know until you play. You know, you’ve got to make some cuts and get moving on it.”
You talked about evaluating everybody and what you do. Do you anticipate some changes and also, we haven’t spoken to you since you decided to go with QB Blaine Gabbert again this week, could you address those two?
“Yeah. Changes, we’ve got some guys that we feel like have earned, we’ve got some secondary guys we feel like have earned some opportunity. We’ve got offensive line, I mean, there’s no doubt that we’re tinkering right there. As far as Blaine, I like what Blaine did, I like where he’s at and we’re going to continue with Blaine.”
When you talked about secondary guys, do you anticipate the guys who started that game against the Falcons to remain in those roles?
“No, I mean, they’ve earned more opportunity. So, we’ll look and find ways to get them on the field and as long as they continue to practice and the way they’re working and things like that.”
With Blaine Gabbert, I know you said it’s a one-week thing, you only made a commitment for him starting. So, is this something that you’re prepared now just every week to have that same conversation with the quarterbacks and let them know who’s going to be the quarterback for the following game?
“Yeah. Well, yes. I mean, yes and no. Blaine did a nice job and I liked where he was. I liked the way he handled the game. I liked the way he played the game and I want to move forward with Blaine and we’ll go from there. That’s all I have for you going into this game.”
Are you looking to do, at right tackle with T Trent Brown and G/T Erik Pears, what you did at right guard as far as alternating series and giving Brown some additional reps?
“No. Well, no. We were looking there and obviously that was part of, I wanted to get Pears down to guard too. We’re looking at combinations, the combinations of the guys. I mean, I’ve said it with the offensive line; it’s the sum of the parts. We’re getting the guys together and working together to see where we can get the best results.”
How much more time did Blaine stick around during the bye week or what extra work did he do since he’s now the starter?
“He was here. I mean, some of that stuff, again, it’s CBA stuff. So, you know, if he wanted to stick around, he could.”
So, did he?
“I don’t have any comments other than that. He’s doing all the things that we’ve asked him to do, and more.”
With the way you guys have played against Seattle in recent games, what kind of different look can Blaine present just to mix things up a little bit?
“I’m not sure exactly what you said there [Associated Press writer] Janie [McCauley] or how you meant that.”
What does Blaine, what can he do against Seattle just to kind of give them a different look than what they’ve seen? You know, they’ve had QB Colin Kaepernick’s number in the last stretch.
“Oh, OK. Blaine’s, and again, the San Francisco 49ers have not played up to their potential or capabilities in playing the Seattle Seahawks. So, I’d like to say it wasn’t one guy. It was a team effort. But, Blaine’s a different guy. He’s his own player and he’s going to go out and play football the way he plays football within the structure of our offense.”
What can you pinpoint as far as what’s different about your team on the road this year as opposed to the way it’s played at home?
“You know, that is something that we talked about this week and you know, we started talking about when we leave, you know, you talk about all the different things. But, we just haven’t, whether it’s been, and I don’t put it on crowd noise, I don’t put it on those things, but just coming out rolling. Just go. And that’s our focus this week. Just, let’s go. We’re leaving on Saturday. Let’s just full-steam ahead. We don’t need to sit back and pause and this and that. Let’s just go. Let’s start this week and take it all the way through the game.”
I get the sense you don’t love all of the quarterback questions. But obviously, as CSN Bay Area reporter Matt Maiocco alluded to, it could be a weekly kind of discussion. Does Blaine have to string together a couple of good games for you to say, “You’re our guy,” and just have some more clarity?
“Yeah, Blaine just needs to play football. He just needs to continue playing football.”
The Boldin injury, you guys have described it as a hamstring. He said it wasn’t an alignment issue. What do you know about what’s been keeping him out?
“I’ve been told it was a hamstring and it was low. So, you know, the first one was up higher and now it’s down lower. And I know that our training staff doesn’t like when those move around. So, they don’t want to mess around with something like that. That’s all I know about that.”
What was the decision to release RB Pierre Thomas and bring RB Travaris Cadet in? I guess, what was behind that?
“Well, they’re different backs. Cadet’s shiftier. It’s just the style of play, kind of having a one-two type of thing. We’ve got some bigger guys and we’ve got some guys that, he just brought an element that I like.”
If that’s the case, why bring in Thomas in the first place?
“Well, we wanted, where we were at the time, he’s obviously a good running back. He’s obviously played a lot in the NFL and wanted to make sure that we had ourselves in a position there.”
Is Cadet going to be an option to return kicks?
“He may be.”
Just to clarify on Matt’s question, you said yes it’s still a weekly assessment on the quarterback but you also said we’ll move forward with Blaine. I just want to make sure–?
“Yeah. We’re moving forward with Blaine. We’re going to practice today. Blaine’s the starting quarterback and we’re going into Seattle, Blaine’s the starting quarterback.”