This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.
“Injury report; again, the guys are still coming in and getting through, but what we do know is [LB Aaron] Lynch rolled that ankle pretty good, got it taped, went back in and then he had the finger dislocated, got that back and went back in. So, we don’t see either one of those as long-term. And he’s doing good, I did see him. [CB Marcus] Cromartie has got the face cut. He was bleeding pretty good. They stitched him up. Again, he was back in, so today they are just making sure that doesn’t get infected. And, [DB Jimmie] Ward twisted his ankle pretty good there in the first quarter, again, taped it up and battled through. I was really proud of him too. He’s getting his treatment and he’ll be good. The other players, [CB Kenneth] Acker you know was in the concussion protocol and they decided not to let him go. Err on the side of caution. So, expect him to be back and rolling and fine. [WR Anquan] Boldin, again, that’s Boldin and [RB Carlos] Hyde, those are both going to be day-to-day as we keep getting through those and see where we’re at. And then, [CB Tramaine] Brock and [CB Keith] Reaser, Brock with the leg and then Reaser with the ankle. We’ll keep you updated on those guys, don’t have anything new for them. That’s it for the injuries.”
QB Blaine Gabbert didn’t, he’s fine after the face-to-face hit yesterday?
“Yeah, he was fine. I knew that when he was coming off the field. Yeah, he was fine.”
But, you said yesterday you wanted to look at the film before you made any declarations about his job status going forward, so–.
“Yeah, where I’ll go with that is, obviously the game, watching the game, watching the film last night, this morning, Blaine did a nice job, did some really good things with his feet and his arm and his brain. Really did a nice job. So, congratulations to him. But, I thought across the board offensively, everybody stepped it up and we did a better job and was happy to see that. We’ve still got to keep getting better. We still have a lot of improvement to make.”
Did you in there say whether you believe Gabbert will be the starting–?
“Just to clarify, I’m not going to talk to anybody here before I talk to anybody there. I said last week that the decision was made for Blaine to go into the Atlanta game and then we had an open week and we’d see where things went from there. So, I will talk to those people before I talk to these people.”
I don’t think we understood that last week. So, you’ve made a decision. You just want to inform those?
“Yeah well, and we’ll have more coaching staff meetings today and nothing has been said to anybody. We’ll have those conversations internally first.”
When do you guys break for the Bye Week? When are the players excused?
“Well, it’ll be a little bit tiered. Everybody will be here today and tomorrow. And then, we will have some of the older guys, will get going. Guys that need their bodies back will be in treatment and those kinds of things. Then, the other guys we will utilize Wednesday. CBA rules we have to give them the four consecutive. So, we’ll have some of the younger guys and some of the guys that need some more work, we’ll have those guys out there. We’ll utilize Wednesday for that.”
If they want to be here though, they can be, correct? If they want to stay, go over film, there’s nothing to prevent them from doing that?
“Yeah, they can be here working out, watching their tape. They can do those things and usually guys do. But, from my position, I have to stay away from that.”
What was it about RB Shaun Draughn? He said he found out during pregame warmups that he was going to get the start. When was that decision made and why did he find out right before the game as opposed to maybe Saturday or Friday?
“Because we were going to compete all the way through and that competition went all the way through the meetings Saturday night. As you go through meetings, talk about what you see and you identify fronts and identify checks and go through all those meetings we have on Saturday night.”
Yardage-wise, that was the second most productive game you’ve had on the ground. After watching the tape, what stood out to you about the running game in particular?
“Well, we stuck with it. We wanted to commit to it and we stuck with it. There was obviously some tough treading in there in a couple of spots, but we stayed with it and wanted to play complimentary football. We wanted to be balanced on offense. I mean, everybody tells you that, but that’s what we were trying to do.”
Did that performance by the offensive line help you maybe make a decision about right guard after the Bye Week?
“Yes. I think we have a pretty good handle on who we have. Obviously, everybody saw [OL] Trenton Brown in there and [G/T Erik] Pears down to guard. We looked at that a little bit and we looked at the other two guys at the guard position. [G Andrew] Tiller, obviously, his plays were up last night, or yesterday, and Tiller did a pretty good job, still needs to improve. We need to improve. We’re going to keep working through that.”
So, you haven’t settled on a starter for that Seattle game yet?
Do you allot those snaps before the game or is it based on who’s playing well?
“Well, you go in with a plan and then as guys are rolling, you see who’s getting it, what the matchup is, how that’s working out. And then, we’re going to obviously stick with who we’ve got there to try to win the game.”
Based on that, Tiller was having a good game.
“Yeah, it was suiting him better there.”
Who do you have watching that specifically? Is it offensive coordinator Geep Chryst up in the booth?
“Well, the offensive line coaches, they are all over it. I mean, position by position, people are watching their groups.”
One area that Blaine seemed to do well in was on third downs.
“Yeah, he had a nice day on third down.”
What did you see from him on those? He seemed pretty confident and understanding of what to do.
“Yeah, he did and very confident, knew where he wanted to go, what he wanted to do. We went through it. Obviously, we counted two passes there that you’d like to have back. The one, it was double coverage, he tried to throw it in there. The ball was in a good location, but that’s a tough catch. And then, obviously the other one down the field with the interception there. Those are the two passes that you’d like to have back. But, other than that, putting the ball where it needed to go, finding where it needed to go on the field, the distribution of the ball was good.”
I’m sorry, you’re talking about his first interception?
“No. I’m talking about the one to the tight end.”
There was a point in the game where I think the announcer, FOX broadcaster Ronde Barber, said that he was waiting for a play that Blaine Gabbert got popped really hard and he wanted to see how he reacted to that. How do you think he reacted to that play?
“Fine. Wonderful. I think he acted like we thought he would react. I know Blaine Gabbert from when he got to the 49ers to now. All the evaluation on Blaine Gabbert happened before he became part of the 49ers. And then when he became part of the 49ers, we evaluate him on his day-to-day. We evaluate him on who is here and what he’s doing. Any evaluations going on before that, before he got here, we obviously have our notes and we obviously have our, the work was done before Blaine got here, but since Blaine Gabbert has gotten here, he’s done a wonderful job. He has been a true professional. He has worked extremely hard. He’s taken the coaching to heart and I don’t have anything but high marks in all those areas.”
DT Tank Carradine didn’t play. What does he have to do to get more playing time?
“Well, Tank has to keep working and keep going. With some of the pass rush stuff and things like that, that’s where we’re looking to get Tank more involved. So, we’re in the process of, he’s doing a good job of working hard at it and we’re in the process. Tank can work some of that three stuff for us, he can work across the line. So, we are trying to build in that area right now. So, that wasn’t a knock on Tank not playing last night. It’s just kind of where we are coaching-wise now. You know, trying to switch gears a little bit with Tank and utilizing him to his strengths. So, and that’s me.”
Does he need kind of a greater sense of urgency to kind of grasp onto that stuff?
“No, he’s got it. He’s got it. Tank works hard. Tank does good in terms of his work ethic and how important it is to him. But, I want to utilize Tank in some different situations in football, in the game. Looking at where he’s at and what he can do for us, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I brought that up to the defense and that is an area that I got involved in, just in terms of Tank because I coached him. So, and excited about it.”
How far has Aaron Lynch come just in the year and a half he’s been with this team?
“Aaron’s come a long way and he’s got a long way to go.”
What do you need to see more of?
“He’s ascending and I think his ceiling is high. But, you know the old saying with potential; you’ve got to reach it. And he is working towards it right now.”
Back to Tank, I know general manager Trent Baalke talked about the four technique in the spring when you guys took DL Arik Armstead and Tank was a 4-3 end at Florida State. Is that transition something that he’s struggled with early in his career?
“Everybody has got to go through it. Tank’s had a lot of things to overcome. There were a lot of things. Tank works really hard and Tank, I just, as I’m looking at it, stepping back and looking at it, I want to utilize Tank in some areas. Those edge three rushes and moving him around on that front and getting him rolling that way. He’s got a really good skillset and just to maximize the skillset. And I think we can do that without interrupting everybody around him. So, anyway, that’s just where that is.”
I’m sorry, I may be the only idiot here, but you obviously referred to Gabbert’s two bad passes. His second interception–?
“I didn’t say bad.”
“I said two that he’d like to have back.”
Gotcha. Thank you for that.
But, what was the other pass he’d like to have back?
“It was the one that he was double covered.”
To WR Jerome Simpson?
“No. It was underneath. I believe it was [WR Quinton] Patton. No, the one to Simpson, that’s a tipped ball. That was a drop. We should have caught that football. There’s nothing there. Blaine Gabbert put that ball in a good location.”
Again, to build off with San Francisco Chronicle writer Eric Branch, I might be going dumb guy in the room type of question. It seems like anybody who watched the game saw Blaine Gabbert really comfortable out there and do really well and you guys got a win. I think there’s a lot of question out there as to why it’s a question who’s going to start this next game?
“It’s a question to you.”
Well, I think it’s a question to a lot of people.
“Yeah, it’s a question to people outside the building. I’m going to talk to, last week when I, let me just clarify this; last week when I came up here and let you know that I was going with Blaine for the week, I think I was completely transparent when I said Blaine would be our quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons game and then we would get into the Bye Week and we will go from there. I believe that was straight up. So, from that conversation to where I’m at right now, I will have conversations with my players and then after I have those conversations I will have conversations with you all. That’s all I’m simply saying.”
What did you like best about what you saw out of your young DBs in yesterday’s game? I mean, you had a couple, CB Marcus Cromartie making his first start, CB Dontae Johnson filling in, S Jaquiski Tartt his second start. What do you like about how they played most?
“Well, they’re just so competitive. They’re tough-minded guys and they’re competitive. And they’re excited. You know that youthfulness, but they’re good players. Tartt, you see Tartt. There was a couple of MA’s in there, and we’ve got to clean those up, but you see the guy explode, you see the guy hit, you see the guy cover. He’s got all that ability. But, then the way they’re all playing together and you know, Jimmie Ward yesterday, playing the nickel position as much as we had to play the nickel yesterday and he’s got that ankle taped up like that from the first quarter on. That was gutty. That was a gutty, gutty performance.”
When will you have these conversations with your players?
“I have meeting today and tomorrow.”
So, you’ll let the team know today and tomorrow?
“Oh yeah. I’ll talk to those guys today and tomorrow and we’ll have all that done.”
When you watched film last night and today, what did you see from LB NaVorro Bowman? Did he look like pre-injury NaVorro, or as close to pre-injury NaVorro as you’ve seen?
“Yeah, I mean, again, pre-injury, what I saw was a guy, I mean, NaVorro was running around well and obviously made some nice plays in the game. But, that whole, that defense I thought yesterday with the way the guys were covering for each other and really playing tight in there in the box and then in the secondary, obviously, we had some young people on the field and Cromartie getting out there. Just the way those guys had worked all week and then to see them perform at a good level, that made me feel real good.”
Given the way he’s looked, are the limiting his snap count conversations over?
“No. I mean, yesterday we had a rotation going. You saw him come out there on some situations. We’re looking to monitor that all the way. We’re going to stay on top of that. I can’t tell you each week what that’s going to be and things like that, but we definitely want to pay attention to it.”