This is the transcript of head coach Jim Tomsula’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good morning. The injury report; [WR] Torrey Smith with a knee contusion, we’ll keep him, we’re just going to treat that right. He’ll be out. [DT Darnell] Dockett with a rib contusion, I know there were some, what am I saying? Yeah, it’s cartilage. The crack is in the cartilage, which is treated like the contusion. It’s not the bone. If it was the bone we would be talking about something different. [CB Tramaine] Brock, a muscle strain, we are just staying smart there. He’s out at walk-thru. And then, [TE] Vance McDonald, again, he’s at the walk-thru and we’re doing good there. So, that’s what you’ve got there. The, on the offensive line, we’re going to, you’ll see it today, but [T] Joe Staley’s lining up at left tackle, [G/T] Alex Boone at left guard, [C] Marcus Martin at center, [OL] Jordan Devey at right guard and [G/T] Erik Pears at right tackle.”
Jordan Devey is your starting right guard for the regular season?
“Yeah, we’re not going to make absolutes. I’ve been a D-Line coach all my life, people change. But, yeah we’ve seen what Jordan’s doing and where he’s at right now, and he’s come in, and we’ve taken the time. He’s got the system. Love the practice tape. So, he’s, that’s where we’re going.”
Why not give him more reps? I think he only had–?
“See, you’re talking about reps, you know, game-reps. He’s gotten a lot of reps in practice.”
I didn’t see too many, though, in Denver with that first unit.
“Yeah, no, but he’s gotten the reps with the scheme that we’re running in.”
Are you going to start that offensive line on Thursday just to give them some?
“Probably not the whole group. Again, we’re weighing out, to me I always weigh out what we’re gaining there. What are we gaining at the beginning of that, going out for the ceremonial first five plays? So, we’ll keep going with that, but you won’t see everybody out there.”
Marcus at center, he’s gotten some snaps, obviously, all through the spring and camp. What did you, I mean, did you look back also on last year’s film and see stuff that you liked with him being the center?
“Yeah. I mean, obviously, Marcus is, there’s a lot of things at play here. And, [G/C] Daniel Kilgore is on the PUP and Daniel will be back after that. Feel real good about Marcus getting a lot of work at center. We’re trying to think this all the way through, not just for tomorrow. So, we’ve got, we have to create depth. I mean, typically what do you have, seven of those guys up on gameday? You’ve got to be able to be creative. You’ve got to have those dual guys. So, the way we’ve approached it has been that way and we’ve made sure that we’ve kept rep counts and all those things to make sure everybody is getting the work that they need. And, feel like we’ve created some depth and that’s where we’re at right now.”
Can you explain just what do you see in Devey? You’ve only had him for a short period of time. What are the aspects?
“And, I have watched the film on him pretty good.”
What are the aspects of his game that you think really–?
“He’s just a guy that started numerous games in this league. There’s a calmness about him. There’s a calmness about him in there playing the game and I’m talking about in himself. He’s got, he’s a good football player. He’s a smart guy, came in there and really got it quick. So, just like where he’s at.”
Just considering he hasn’t, obviously as noted, been here too long, I assume you’re still kind of in an evaluation process with him. I mean, he certainly still has to prove himself, is that right? He has not been handed right guard?
“I mean, again, and this isn’t being flipped, but I don’t know that anybody has ever been handed anything here. I just don’t see football that way. If you’re not performing at the level that we need you to perform, you’re replaced. I mean, we all know that. So, I don’t, I know it’s big news who’s the starting line, and who’s this and who’s that, and I know people enjoy that. But, quite frankly my approach to it is guys play football and we get going. We’ve got some young guys developing too. That’s the other thing, looking at that and how, there’s a fine line there between getting to a negative. A guy that you know is going to be a really good football player and you’re trying to push him faster than he can go and you get him out to there and now you’re talking about a whole new thing. Now you’re talking about ruining a guy or setting a guy back and then now you’ve got a guy that’s paranoid and a nervous wreck when he gets out there and there’s enough anxiety. So, all those things. That’s where we’re going. I feel real good about it. I feel great about it and that’s where we’re at. I don’t think that position is any different than the other ones. I mean, the one position that you’ve got your cat there that’s rolling is your quarterback position, but other than that we’re playing.”
You mentioned building depth and versatility, but from what we’ve seen, I think, Alex Boone has been pretty much only at left guard. Why hasn’t he worked at all on the right side at either guard or tackle?
“Because I don’t have any plans to put him over there unless we have to. But, we created depth at left tackle by Alex Boone playing left guard.”
Does that mean that OL Trent Brown would be your right tackle if something happens?
“Alright, now we’re getting way too deep, and we’re not going to put, the 53-man roster has not been set, so I will have no further comments on those things. I mean, I hope that’s fair enough, in fairness to the guys in that locker room.”
How close, not necessarily how close, but is there still a lot of things that have to work their way out before Saturday, including practices and walk-thrus this week and the game? Are there a lot of jobs still up in the air or do you have a pretty good sense about what’s happening?
“We’re feeling good. I mean, it’s, there’s some guys this is real important for. There are, there is that, but that’s every year. But, there’s a majority of things that are set in place.”
You guys waived DL Lawrence Okoye yesterday. Why not wait until the final cuts for him, someone who’s been around with the team the last couple of years?
“Well, and quite honestly, with a guy, really, that was a discussion here. And, just to be frank, Lawrence hasn’t played a lot of football. So, for somebody to give him an opportunity in fairness to him, they’re going to want to, after the 53, you’re into game week. So guys, at that point right there, guys that have tape, guys that have played in this league, guys that they can, that people can go back and look at, they’re plug-and-play guys. So, when you have a guy in that situation, was my thought, that it gives him a better opportunity. And I will say he has done, what he’s done in three years or two and a half years is remarkable.”
Is he under consideration to come back here to the practice squad if things work out?
“Yeah, and [Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reporter] Matt [Maiocco], I will answer that vaguely, everybody that’s been released is under that umbrella.”
In the cornerback situation, have you guys decided on a corner? Have you decided on who will be your starting guys there?
“Yeah, we’re not going to talk as in depth there. But, yeah, T-Brock is still, we feel like everything is going to be great there, but we’re still holding him. So, I won’t get into that conversation much. I’m not going to get into that too much. We’ll find out where T-Brock is at and I expect him to be absolutely fine.”