SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“[RB] Reggie Bush, he’s got the tight calf. That thing was tightening up. And that’s the only guy we have. But again, injury, guys are coming in right now with the injury checks and all that kind of stuff. Getting back so early this morning, we let them sleep in a little bit. Well, looking at the game-tape and going through it, there are, we didn’t win, number one. But, there are some things that we do see improved and moving in the right direction and things that you can wrap your hands around. Definitely have some things that we’ve got to continue to work through and get it going. I like this team, I like the resolve, I like the attitude and I like the work ethic. So, with that–.”
Without getting into real specifics, were you happy with your defensive scheme, particularly maybe in the last quarter there in the last possession? Were you happy with what was called?
“Yes, I was. And again, we’re going to go through another meeting here, critiquing everything that way. But, right now, [San Jose Mercury News columnist] Tim [Kawakami], I’ll tell you, yeah I was happy with how we were calling it. Obviously trying, we were chasing a few things right there with the underneath stuff, trying to get those backs and tight ends out of the deal. So, trying not to give the same coverage and trying to tighten that up.”
It’s easy to say, Sunday Night Football commentator Cris Collinsworth said it on TV, with their starting wide-outs out, New York Giants RB Shane Vereen’s the one guy that can hurt you. Was that discussed? Can you do that, just talk amongst and say, “That guy,” especially with the running back, “We’re going to have to stop that guy?” You put S Jaquiski Tartt on him.
“Well, and again, you did see us with personnel changes and things like that trying to make adjustments there.”
How did LB NaVorro Bowman do in coverage in the game?
“Well, I mean, there was some stuff, our underneath coverage all the way we have to tighten up. So, I wouldn’t just say NaVorro Bowman. But, we’ve got to tighten those things up underneath with the timing routes. But, none of us played well enough.”
He seems to have lost mobility in lateral ways that he used to have. Do you look at it that way?
“No, I’m not going to say that, sir.”
Obviously, QB Colin Kaepernick certainly seemed to throw the ball better last night. What do you attribute that to? What was he doing better in your mind last night?
“Well, I mean, playing football to win. A big emphasis that we’re trying to talk about, not trying to talk about it we are talking about, is taking the practice to the game and do the things that you’re doing in practice and do it in the game and just continue on. We talk about finishing, finishing the rep and finishing the period and finishing these things. We need to finish the week in the game and that was the biggest focus that we had.”
How important was that showing given what had been said about this team for three weeks then to go back to New York and kind of do what they did? And I think in terms of character you have to look at them as a positive thing about what they did last night.
“Yes, sir. Well, I don’t spend a lot of time and I don’t think these guys do, on opinions from outside. And, I think, thank God that we don’t. We have to talk about the realities from the inside out and that’s where, as far as from my chair, where I try to keep it. So, I don’t know how much all the outside is knocking the guys in terms of how they feel. I think we are focused on the realities of what’s in the locker room and let’s build and keep working through and get this thing right. But, I do think it was, the effort in the game I thought was terrific.”
In the past, I’ve known other coaches who have gone through tough periods like you’re going through, who would call friends, mentors, other coaches from the past in their lives. Not to get answers, just to ventilate and talk to people not in their organization. So, my question for you is, have you done that and if you have could you tell us who?
“Well, I’d rather not get into who, but yes I do have people that I’ve worked for. And, a few of them are from the old NFL Europe, guys that were retired NFL coaches. I do, do that. I’ve always done that. So yes sir, I do that. I refer back to notes. I do that on airplanes, things like that. I’m always trying to, there’s a quality control I try to do with myself to make sure that you’re seeing, what is it the trees through the forest or the forest through the trees? To make sure that it’s that one, let’s take a look at it. So, yes I do, do that.”
How concerned are you that the result, the loss, washes away some of the positive things and the losing streak continues and it’s harder to build off maybe some of the positive things offensively that you did?
“Well, I mean, the record is the record. That’s just the fact and the reality of it and that’s not good enough and we’ve got to change that. But, in terms of looking at the film and reviewing with the guys and learning and moving, we try to keep that consistent all the way through. So, our approach that way won’t change and the facts are the facts when you watch tape. So, I don’t think that has any bearing there, but we’ve got to win football games.”
Is Reggie Bush, would you expect him to be ready Sunday or is this something that–?
“Well, I honestly, I’ll know Wednesday. They weren’t in there when I just came out. He wasn’t there yet. We wanted him to get some sleep. So, we’ll find out where he’s at. From my understanding, it was tight. So, it wasn’t, the first inkling wasn’t that something got pulled, it was just tight.”
Knowing his, I mean this is a couple of games now where he’s only played a little bit, had to come right back out. Do you need maybe RB Mike Davis up more regularly?
“Again, you’re on the lines that we have to be thinking all week. We’ve got to answer that question. I don’t know the answer to that question.”
I know, to Tim’s question, you said for Colin playing football to win. But, what did you see specifically? You know, he completed passes into traffic, some short–?
“He’s done things that we’ve seen him, that we’ve all seen him do. We saw him do things that he does. That’s where I’m at. It’s there.”
You talked last week just about Colin, not having Colin second guess throws. You said you talked to him about that. Is that what you saw largely last night where he wasn’t thinking through things, he was just playing?
“And Tim, I don’t want to speak for him, I don’t. But, from my perspective, the biggest thing that I wanted to make sure of, whether he felt that way or not, and I can’t tell you that he did, but when you play with the weight of the world on your shoulders, I don’t believe you can play that way. You’ve got to play as a team. That’s just what I believe. And I understand that position is the most important position in sports. I understand that. But, you’ve got to do it, you’ve got everybody here and we’ve all got to do our jobs. And we all have to be a factor in performing to win. So, that’s the biggest message that I said. And the other thing with me is, when things are not right, when things are not where you want them to be, to me, it’s narrow the focus. It’s not jump into 15 different things. That’s why I say think our way through it. I don’t want to grab, and that goes back to your question on reverting back to some people that I respect and asking questions. That’s where I’m at. Not change to change, not change to feel better today. But, if there’s a change, what is it? What are the long-term effects? We’re trying to think our way through everything. Don’t want to make emotional decisions in that sense.”
Would TE Vernon Davis be on a path to play Sunday?
“I think so. I mean, we felt pretty good about him going through last week. We went out there on, it was Friday. It just wasn’t, it wasn’t where it needed to be. So, he stayed back and had two days of treatment and the workouts with the strength and conditioning.”
And all indications are that LB Ahmad Brooks will be there for Sunday for you?
“Yes, that’s what we understand. But, I do know the funeral is this week. And quite frankly Tim, when it comes to a family and this, I won’t. I won’t push on that. I won’t. That’s just, right, wrong or indifferent, that’s just how I feel.”
Have you talked to him recently?
“Yeah. Texted the other day. Game day, actually. And he’s with his family.”
You mentioned it’s not all on Colin. Obviously, the whole offense played better yesterday, specifically in the second half, than they have the last few games. Why do you think that was? What was different about the way the offense functioned in the second half?
“I felt like practice showed up in the game. I felt like the things that they do together all week long, they were doing together in the game. I keep using the word resolve, but a resolve, a determination but also you could see a joy. That’s, again, that’s what I really appreciate about this group. When you go through tough times, I mean obviously we’re not hiding from the facts. It’s a tough stretch here for the Niners. And it pulls your glue. It pulls everything. These guys, yeah, you come off the field, you want to do something good. You want to win. And it pulls at you, but these guys won’t let it snap. They just keep pulling it. They keep pulling it tight. And I believe in that and I believe in guys that are willing to earn it. And that’s what we have.”
Colin, he was under center more it seemed like yesterday as far as the offense. Was that something specific for this week or was that something more where you felt he could generally get back on track with that?
“Game plan. Tendencies.”
When you look at Baltimore, here’s another team going through a tough stretch as well. What are sort of your impressions of that group and how here are two teams that played in the Super Bowl a few years ago?
“In terms of film and the work I’ve been doing on Baltimore here, it’s only been about an hour, hour and a half. I spent last night on, you know, getting ready for meetings with coaches to review and put to bed this last game. So, I’m really not at a point to speak about that yet.”
Are G Andrew Tiller and OL Jordan Devey competing for that job? Is it Tiller’s job, maybe he has an edge right now?
“No. Both of them, there were some good things out of both of them in the game. I like both of them. Tiller’s a big, strong, heavy-handed guy. I’ve just admired the way he’s worked since he got here last year. He was obviously on the practice squad. We went against him a lot, defensive-line wise and he’s just a guy that I noticed. And love the work ethic and all those things. A few things we wanted to work on, and he’s been working on them and thought it was time to get him up and give him a shake. So, Devey’s, he’s getting better every week. I think you see that. Guy’s grinding. So, we’ve just got, let’s create some depth. Let’s get ourselves rolling right there.”
WR Bruce Ellington played the first two snaps really early on and then not again. Was that just a game plan thing? I mean, he makes a couple plays there. Would you have liked to have seen him more in there?
“Yeah, I mean, we think Bruce is, obviously he’s got some explosive attributes. But, no, we went with how we game planned and Bruce could have been in there. I haven’t finished up the whole rep-count reason why thing yet. I’ll finish that up with the offensive coaches here at lunch. So, but when Bruce was in there he did a good job. We liked the other guys and what they were doing in there. So, that’s just why we went that way.”