Jim Tomsula: “We need the practice time instead of going out there today.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s post-game press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Hello, good evening. Well there’s a wrap for the preseason. I thought the young guys represented themselves well. I thought they played hard and physical. I thought both teams did. There were still a few penalties. We do a good job turning second down into first down but we’ve got to get third down turned into first down. That group right there with those guys today, we’ve got to make sure we understand what that is. No injuries to report, we came out of it good, which is always a positive. I think the guys should be proud of the way they represented themselves individually and collectively.


What was the thinking in not playing any of the starters?

“With the practice we had yesterday, we had a full practice yesterday and we will have a full practice tomorrow. We had a lot of guys who had a great workout and great lift today, but I wanted to get the practice time. We need the practice time instead of going out there today. Taking yesterday off and did a walk through setting and then coming into this for five or six or eight plays, I thought would be better if we were able to get the 45 or 47 plays yesterday, and then be able to get those tomorrow with that group.”


Did injuries around the league influence your thinking on playing time tonight?                                                 

“I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you it’s always part of it, I mean just honestly. When I first came into the NFL and it was always the ceremonial five plays and getting guys in and getting them in a rhythm and getting them out, that was always a concern. Every staff meeting I’ve been in before this game has been touch and go in that area and everyone’s got a story that could scare you. You never want to coach with a dull blade.”


I think everybody knew Bruce Ellington’s potential but he hasn’t been able to do much this exhibition season. What did he show you tonight?

“I think that’s the reason Bruce is here. That’s what we know Bruce can do. I’ll say something about Bruce Ellington. In the spring, I wouldn’t say I was a gentleman to him. When it comes to that and talking to him about getting in before practice, taking care of his body before practice, taking care of his body after practice, doing those regeneration things and massages, taking advantage of those things. I didn’t feel like he was doing that. We had a man’s conversation. And, I will say that since then Bruce Ellington has done everything I’ve asked him to do in that way. His preparation before, the way he’s doing the things with his body and the effort that he’s putting into that, I think it’s terrific. What the object is obviously to be on the other side of that and moving forward and being ready to play.”


Is it in your mind clear-cut who your return specialist is? Ellington or Jarryd Hayne?

“Everything will be clear-cut right after the weekend.”


Can you evaluate Hayne’s performance today in all areas of the game?

“I saw him catch passes. I saw him run the ball. There were some really good plays and just like everybody else, there were a couple there in tight spaces and we’ve got to go. We have to keep working on that. I saw him in the passing game. I saw him tackle in coverage units. I saw him return balls, catch balls and return balls.”


He had that one fair catch?

“That was later in the game. It was a fair catch to get the offense on the field.”


He was instructed to–?

“Yes, just fair catch it.”


To show he can do it?

“He’s shown he can do it. Just fair catch and stand there.”


It looked like you had a good seat when he ran over that cornerback.

“I’m not going to disrespect any other player, but I will tell you that I think Jarryd is a tough guy.”


Are you of the mind that regular season can’t come fast enough or are you looking forward to this one last week of practice?

“We’re going to take every opportunity we can to get better before that score is for real. We’ll take what we have and we’ll use it.”


Why not play Blaine Gabbert a little bit?

“We’ve played Blaine Gabbert a lot. We have evaluated Blaine Gabbert. We’ve got enough film on Blaine to go through teaching and things like that and we’ve done that. We wanted to work some young offensive linemen. We wanted to make sure we had those people worked and quite frankly we wanted to give Dylan [Thompson] an opportunity to get out there and wanted to see what you got buddy,”


What did you think of him [Thompson]?

“I think Dylan overcame a few things. I like to see after a bad play how does somebody react. How do they react after a good play and I think he passed both of those. He had the opportunity to have both of those experiences and I thought he answered the bell.”


Do you know who will start at cornerback opposite Tramaine Brock for the opener?

“I will be very detailed in all that thinking in a couple of days here.”


Four games into the preseason, can you give a general assessment of your team now?

“Our team, right now, in my opinion, is a team that’s in a good place. Guys that are working really hard. Guys that you know is very important to. There are things that we need to take advantage of these days and get more work on. Which we are. But I really like the team. I really do. It’s a team. I’ve always thought a collection of great talent that can put something bigger (together) than themselves. I think this is a team that’s a talented group and a group that is really into the team concept. I see them hanging in the locker room together, just those things you look for. I see that going on and that’s very exciting to me. There’s a whole general group that just enjoys working with each other.”


Where would you evaluate that Kendall Hunter is right now and it looked like he had a little more spring in his legs than last week. Number might not reflect that. How did you feel about it?

“Kendall obviously had the opportunity tonight to get out there to run. He had the opportunity last week. Kendall is one fighting son of a gun. I mean what he’s overcome and what he’s busted through. I can’t say enough about him. We all feel that way.”

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  1. We have a new sort of JimTalk;

    ‘He had the opportunity last week. Kendall is one fighting son of a gun. I mean what he’s overcome and what he’s busted through. I can’t say enough about him. We all feel that way.”
    WHAT does that mean?

    1. It probably means ” He gave it his best shot”. ” He tried”. That doesn’t sound very encouraging reading through the PC double speak.

  2. I knew Hayne had to have orders to execute a fair catch, because there’s no way in hell that’s in his DNA.

    Tomsula will smash your face in, but with a smile….

  3. My guess at the 53 (barring any suspensions for Brooks or Miller).

    QB – Kaepernick, Gabbert (2)
    RB – Hyde, Bush, Davis, Hayne (4)
    FB – Miller (1)
    WR – Boldin, Smith, Ellington, Patton, White (5)
    TE – Davis, McDonald, Celek, Bell (4)
    OL – Staley, Boone, Martin, Devey, Pears, Looney, Thomas, Brown, Silberman (9)
    DL – Dorsey, Williams, Dial, Dockett, Carradine, Armstead, Jerod-Eddie (7)
    OLB – Brooks, Lynch, Lemonier, Harold (4)
    ILB – Bowman, Wilhoite, Moody, Bellore (4)
    CB – Brock, Acker, Johnson, Reaser, Wright (5)
    S – Reid, Bethea, Ward, Tartt, McCray (5)

    K – Dawson
    P – Pinion
    LS – Nelson

    Kilgore – PUP
    Smelter – NFI reserve
    Simpson – Suspension
    IR – Busta Anderson… for some unknown (and mostly made up) ailment.

    Just missed:
    – Mike Purcell: Went with TJE due to his greater versatility. And 49ers already have Williams, Dorsey and Dial that can play NT.
    – Busta Anderson: Wanted to include him but roster math made it hard. So I figure they’ll try and get him on IR to make sure they keep him for next season.
    – Andrew Tiller: Tiller has been good this preseason. Wouldn’t surprise me if he makes the 53.
    – Craig Dahl: Played his best football as a 49er this preseason. But its a logjam of talent at safety in front of him.
    – Shayne Skov: Has had some good moments this preseason, including starting a few games. Another that wouldn’t surprise if he makes the 53.

    Vets Hunter and Wheeler I don’t think make the team as they haven’t shown enough in preseason to warrant a spot.

    1. Lemonade’s reps came pretty late in the game for someone competing for a starting role. Bellore was covering ground well in pass defense. Hard to keeper ell off the roster. As you said, NG seems crowded, but what I’ve seen suggests Purcell might be able to,provide inside pass rush as a backup option in the nickel/dime too. Silberman might slide through waivers; both he and Thomas looked lost last night.

    2. Scooter, nice breakdown. Losing Purcell would sting, and you could see them trying TJE at OLB. They had 5 at OLB last year, if memory serves. So I’m guessing he’ll make the cut and they’ll try to pass Silberman to the PS.

    3. Brooks probably starts on team suspension list and won’t count against 53.

      Dockett out, Purcell in.

      Silberman out, Wheeler in.

    4. Nice list Scooter. Obviously Dockett is out of the picture which means Purcell has likely made it. I don’t see Silberman making it as he has been struggling to put it mildly and would likely make it to the PS. I think Farrell is the 9th Olineman if they keep that many and if not, I think they keep an extra LB – Skov or Wheeler – instead of the 9th Olineman.

  4. 2 differences. After the Bronco game, Silberman is a safe cut to the PS, so I would replace Silberman with Busta Anderson. I think Busta will be snatched up if cut.
    Purcell will make the team, so I would switch Purcell for Bellore.

  5. Note to Razoreater and Brotha Tuna:
    Let me paraphrase a famous person:
    ” who’s got it worse than I do “….????
    NOBODY. The man is digging his own grave… (0-1)

    Are you fellas still eating out of his olive jar? No…?
    Then let the chips fall where they may.
    I am the Super Bowl monkey.

    My money sez Coach Harbaw only lasts one season in Ann Arbor.

  6. I found it gratifying to watch the 49ers improve on both sides of the ball as the exhibition season came to an end- positive reinforcement. I give the GM and all the coaches credit for the team’s overall progress. What I surmise after watching the QB play, it is apparent the team is comfortable with Kaepernick going to his strength by running as often as he wants. The offense is far more diversified than the last several years.

      1. Signing Dockett put the team in a roster math bind that got even tighter after drafting Armstead. It seemed like a “win now” move, but that was before Aldon’s departure and Brooks likely departure.

        1. I think he was insurance in case Armstead didn’t live up to expectations, just like he did with Dahl when he drafted Reid….

  7. “We need the practice time instead of going out there today.”
    ~ Jim Tomsula

    I take this statement to mean that starters were held out because the team is prepared for the season opener.
    Although I want to trust my head coach with the significance of this statement I still find it just a little unusual that some players did not receive play time.
    Kap could have used more reps as well as some of potential starters along to the O-line.
    but that’s just one man’s opinion.

    Let the real games begin!

    1. I think with all the bad things happening to the Niners, he did not want to risk a starter going down to injury before the first game.I am ecstatic Bow was sat down, because if he went down, the season would be ruined.
      It also gave the 3rd stringers an opportunity to shine, so other teams may pick them off the waiver wire. I think Coach Tomsula wants his players to succeed, no matter where they go.

    2. Translating Tomsula isn’t a science, but what I thought he meant was that he preferred to work the first string hard in practice before last night’s game, and hard today instead of the usual token appearance of five or six plays Thursday night. Practice time for the starters is more valuable than fourth preseason time.

  8. Seb, HT,
    Thanks guys, both views make good sense.

    My thoughts are that Kap could have used more work to brush up on his mechanics against live action.
    If CK is using a red non-contact vest in practice it may give him a false sense of security vs facing live action in a preseason game.

    But ultimately, I do feel good about going into the season injury free.

    One of my favorite players (in college as well), Kendall Hunter may be hanging on with a this thread to make the team.
    I feel the same way about Shane Skov.
    Injuries have stunted their NFL careers and perhaps even ended them before its said and done.

  9. Don’t know if anyone caught any of the Michigan vs Utah game last night. But somewhat interesting that a Utah fan had a large cut-out picture of Alex Smith’ face waving above the crowd.
    Little message for Jim Harbaugh I’m sure.

    1. AES…

      Hahh ! I didn’t get the game, but I would love to have seen that episode….I hope JH chokes on that for the rest of his coaching career. Forty niner fans are choking on it now….and will be until we unscrew this mess….

  10. I like Jimbbo, I do. But nothing means scheisse until real NFL games in the regular season. We have not seen this, nor has Jim T. So FFSake lets all stop gripping and see what the story is in 4 weeks. It is fascinating I cannot wait to see what happens!

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