Jim Tomsula on naming a starting quarterback: “We’ll have those conversations internally first.”


This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“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’m sorry.

“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.”

  1. Tank is done with the team. 2nd round pick that’s a healthy scratch on game day and is in his third season = bust.

    Baalke keeps hitting them out of the park. We’ve completely moved on from the 2012 draft lets start clearing out the 13’s.

    1. Nah, coach just wants to utilise him in different situations. Like when they are up or down by 4 scores and the game is over. Then he’s perfect to throw in there. :-P

      1. I listened to the press conference live, and it was clear that Tomsula wanted to say something encouraging about Tank, but every time he started, he realized it was not going to work, so he just kind of “paltituded” his way out of a sticky situation. ;)

        1. Heh, lets face it, its a hard sell talking up a guy when you’ve had the guy replaced from his previous role and made him spend the entire game on the bench.

          1. Yep. But he did try, at first.

            He is similar to his predecessor in not wanting to ever say anything bad about a player. The difference is that his predecessor would not have stumbled about and finished lamely – he would have used platitudes earlier, would have talked about plowed ground, and/or would have stared until everyone else felt uncomfortable and decided to move on.

        2. i think this is bad cause just because he was good for his first game that doesnt mean hes going to be good the next and the next and the next and the next game

  2. Jeff Deeney is reporting that Bowman blitzed 18 times yesterday (previous high was 13 times). Unsurprisingly, when asked to play coverage less often Bowman looked much better. He’s still a very good run defender and pass rusher.

    1. Utilize your assets. Put guys in a position to succeed.
      I also wonder if the guys aren’t starting to get more comfortable in Mangini’s scheme.

      1. I do think that we are seeing acceptance by the coaching staff of the apparent reality that Bowman is a liability in coverage.

        I also think that the players are getting more comfortable with the scheme, and that Mangini is getting more comfortable with the players.

    2. I liked Bow’s play. He was a big reason Freeman got 12 yards on 12 carries.
      They just should not ask him to cover 50 yards down field…

    3. Bowman looked quicker to me in this game. It could be a case of starting to trust his knee to hold up and playing without worrying about it. He had a huge mental hurdle to overcome.

  3. After Jimmy T gets approval from Jed Dork and Baalke to start Gabbert, they can continue on their quest for 4-6 wins. The real questions is whether Jed can actually land a personnel guy to consult and help Baalke with the draft and the roster. I would imagine that after the Harbaugh, Fangio & Co. exodus, that most well-regarded and respected peers in the pro football business would not be interested in going to work for the Dork family and Paraag. You reap what you sow (including a half-filled stadium to watch the product).

  4. What it feels like during a Tomsula interview:


    1. Mid,

      I think that may be the longest URL I have ever seen posted. At first, I thought you meant that the link itself was representative of what it feels like to listen to Tomsula.

      1. “At first, I thought you meant that the link itself was representative of what it feels like to listen to Tomsula.”

        That made me laugh because it’s so true.

      1. And to think that some of us wanted the team to draft the idiot. (raises hands)
        Baalke 1
        Us 0

      2. Hold on guys. PFT wants to make him sound stupid and maybe he is. But isn’t there the possibility that he’s been informed that a team is imminently looking to sign him to their 53. Perhaps they’re leading him on, but there could be more going on than what PFT is reporting. He does have an agent after all. Of course, he could just be stupid as you’ve pointed out.

        1. Well, my understanding is he could sign to a PS and still then sign on to another teams 53 man roster. Though not sure if that is all allowed to happen in one week.

          1. Unlike the real world where it would be frowned upon to accept a job offer from one company and then quit in a week or two to join the company you really wanted to work for, that probably wouldn’t be the case here. I don’t think anyone would begrudge him for signing onto a PS and then moving on (even if it is only a week or two later) when he got the chance to join a 53 roster – because that’s the goal of every PS player. But, if the scenario I pointed out is about correct, think of the logistics. He has to move to the city to practice with the team that signed him to the PS. If he knew he was going to be signed to a 53 a week or two later, why make two moves – unless you’re really desperate for money. But then again, maybe he is stupid.

            1. He doesn’t need to move anywhere to sign onto the Pittsburgh PS, and they were one of the 10 teams apparently trying to sign him.

    1. He might be like Mathis and wants to sign with a Playoff/SB bound team. RBs are dropping like flies, so waiting may be the best strategic move.

    2. If you’re small you really have to be extra special to make it in this league. How many players his size find success in the NFL. TY Hilton, OK name another that’s even close? Sure you can look through the league’s past and find others but the point is they are few and far between, they are the exception to the rule and if you aren’t exceptional then you are usually not long for this league.

      At 5’8 173 Dri Archer is a boy among men.

      1. C4C

        What is it that makes ‘one’ extra special ? EGO…and lots of it…which by the situation at hand…He has plenty of…

  5. So far, through one game at least, Gabbert is who we thought he was. Those that are not surprised by this are also likely the ones that aren’t suddenly thinking that anything is different today then it was the day before yesterday. The team still needs to find their QB of the future and the team still has every deficiency it had before they squeaked out a win against a team that was looking past us and has a huge vagina for a head coach.

    There is no reason to think anything has changed. How you felt about the team last week is how you should feel about it this and the next few to come until this horrible season is finally over. Despite Mr. Hammers unyielding faith in his favorite QB there is no miracle turnaround about to happen here. We played an OK team with a bad defense and a coach who made the wrong choice and we still barely won. Frankly that win was more of a gift from Dan Quinn then anything else.

    1. I disagree. The job the D did in slowing down the Falcons offense was very good. I think people have a right to feel a bit better about the D this week.

      1. Ryan was off. He missed quite a few open receivers. We can be proud of how we played in the run game. We play well on defense in normal offensive situations, get beat occasionally by the huge play, and get pushed around in the no huddle and 2 minute drill. We did well on goal line stands. Those things have been true for a while. So its not new.

        1. Was Ryan off because he had a bad day or because the D got in his face and put pressure on him, hurried him up? Looked like the latter to me. They rattled him a bit.

          1. I think both Scooter. You’re right you can’t separate the two. Could it be the other way that Ryan was having a bad day which emboldened the defense?

      2. The D played well but they’ve played well this season at times so, yes it’s nice to see as a fan watching the game but it isn’t reason to think the team is necessarily improving.

        1. The D has quite a few young guys, so any time they go out and perform well its a good thing in my book. Doing it against what is considered one of the better offenses is something new.

          As a young D I expect they will continue to be inconsistent, but what I hope for is more of these types of days, and less of the really bad days moving forward.

          1. but what I hope for is more of these types of days, and less of the really bad days moving forward.
            When that happens I’ll be there to cheer for it with you but one thing the defense has consistently been all year is inconsistent. Whether that’s because they’re young or just not all that good or just not coached well remains to be seen but with this team I don’t think one good performance is enough to say they’ve improved.

            1. See my post below.

              Keep in mind I am saying it is a reason to be feeling a bit better, as opposed to feeling the same way about the team as last week as you suggested. Not that we should be fist bumping because our D has arrived. :-)

              1. I’m also not saying that the defense didn’t play well. My main post is that the team is right where it was before the win against Atlanta. The defense having a good day doesn’t really change what positions we need help at. They had a good day but no on really stood out that made us go, ok that player is turning the corner and we can forget about needing to replace him in the near future. At least no one that was struggling.

              2. Ahhh, yes, that is true to a point. The guys that have been dreadful are still dreadful. But guys like Tartt, Johnson, Ward, Cromartie, Reid, Bowman, Armstead, Dial (and the rest of the DL) and Lynch all looked good. Hodges showed some flashes too.

                There has been plenty of chatter for a few of those guys that they aren’t performing well enough and should be replaced too. Having one good day may not mean they’ve turned the corner, but it is a reason to feel a bit better about their ability to turn potential into production. Having young guys come up with key stops at the end of the game (Johnson and Ward) is definitely a good sign too.

                Now you are absolutely right that they need to keep playing well for the most part or this performance means nothing. But for one week at least I feel better about the future prospects of the D! :-)

        2. Hmmm, perhaps another way of putting it would be that with the injuries forcing more young and inexperienced guys on the field, most fans could be forgiven for expecting the D to be annihilated by the Falcons offense. Not only were they not annihilated, but they actually played well. Definitely a reason to be feeling better about the D, at least for one week.

          The offense on the other hand is more of a question mark as it wasn’t against a top D, and in reality was merely competent. Nothing great, just good enough on the day due to the play of the D and a questionable decision by Quinn.

        1. The veteran safety was Dwight Hicks who played safety for the Toronto Argonauts in 1978 (three games), the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1985, and for the Indianapolis Colts in 1986. Hicks was undrafted and part of the parade of DBs that came through in 1979 and 1980.

          The three rookies were drafted 8, 40, and 65 so Walsh had some high draft picks and he had Walsh picking the rookies. He also had Seifert as his DB coach. Walsh also had a 36 in the second round for John Harty DT. He played six years, in 42 games, and started 17 games with 2.5 sacks and one safety. He was part of the “Superbowl Stand” and now 56, Harty lives in his hometown and works in sales for Eastman Gelatine, a subsidiary of Kodak. Just a team guy with two rings, and no big money.

    2. CFC,

      I agree. Win or not, nothing much has changed in the grand scheme. This is similar to the win against Baltimore a few weeks ago where they won a close game against a team that wasn’t playing well. I’m not going to diminish the effort because they played hard and the Defense especially played very well, but to expect this to kick start a run in the second half or believe the team is on the right track is wishful thinking imo.

    3. C4C

      Hopefully, what has changed is the attitude of our 53. This win under Blaine is precisely what was needed to be an uplift to the rest of the team….when everybody tells you that you’re lousy, you begin to believe that we’re lousy…we’re not lousy with Blaine…

  6. I was listening to the Dan Patrick show and they were talking about the 49ers. This insider said tomsula wanted to cut tank and TB made him cut dockett. Anyone hear that?

    1. Wasn’t there some chatter about ruffled feathers in the locker room about the time they cut Dockett? I was surprized that Darnell had earned that much loyalty. Perhaps this rumor sheds some light on it.

    1. He really had to wait to announce it? “Well he had to tell the players first.”

      They knew. Kaepernick knew walking off that field yesterday that he wasn’t starting against Seattle.

    1. Niners were not fooling anyone, so they just made it official. Gabbert deserves to be the starter, and Seattle was probably assuming he would start.

  7. I wonder if they were thinking that by holding off on announcing Gabbert as the starter, if would make the Seachickens prepare for two QBs. But then reason took hold and they realized that the Squawks don’t need to prepare for Kap as they know him very well. Probably better to announce it now if for no other reason than the locker room.

    1. I hope Kaep told them that he did not mind, and that Gabbert deserves to start.
      That would show me maturity and common sense on his part.

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