This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
Do you have a full house here? Do you have a good attendance for this mini camp?
“Yeah, yeah. Full house, right? Yeah.”
Everybody is here?
“Yeah, everybody is here.”
One thing, I think, a lot of people are wondering about is whether G Alex Boone could move to right tackle given former 49ers T Anthony Davis’ retirement. Has that been talked about and where will Boone practice these next three days?
“Yeah, well Alex can go to right tackle. He played it in college. Right now, we have (G Erik) Pears at right tackle. Alex, I’m sure at some point, will get some work at right tackle. Obviously, we’ve got the rookie [T Trent Brown] that is a right tackle. But again, he’s developing so we’ve got something’s to go there. We just have to see where that’s at. We’ve been playing guys at different spots and you’ll see that over the course of the next three days, but we’ve been doing that all offseason. But, Pears will be out there right now. I really like Pears as a right tackle.”
What do you like about him as a right tackle?
“Well, I mean that’s what he’s played. That’s what we’ve evaluated him most at. I liked the way he was moving. But the biggest thing with Pears since he’s gotten here is with his weight room, he’s bigger and stronger than he’s ever been. He’s moving really well. But again, we don’t have pads on so we are talking about all this without any pads on. But those are the guys right now that we are working through that position.”
With everybody here, what is your goal for this minicamp? What are you trying to install? What are you trying to accomplish in these three days?
“Obviously, we are just trying to get the team together and get everybody going. The culmination of everything we’ve done this offseason, putting it together. We’ve taken situations all the way through, obviously, the installation and things like that. But getting everybody out here and ending on a really good note just to finish up on that jumping off, that jump off point. I’m excited about that. I think you’re going to enjoy the next three days with the way these guys move around.”
With some of the new faces, how much of this minicamp is like you said the installation, the schemes and how much of it is building team chemistry?
“It’s both. But I mean the core of this team is here. That’s intact. The guys are here. So the team building, we are going to start and end there. We don’t need a collection of talent. We need a team. That’s what’s so great about football, in my opinion. It’s both.
This is the first time we’ve seen you since P Andy Lee was traded. Talk a little bit about P Bradley Pinion and what he means and also what Lee meant.
“Well, look we all love Andy Lee and Andy has done a great job here. I mean, he has. I’m glad things worked out the way they did for Andy right now. It was what he wanted and I know our organization worked hard to help with that. We feel real good for Andy with that. Nothing but well wishes to Andy and his family. Pinion, we’re excited about Pinion. Again, you’ve all had an opportunity to see him. There’s no live rush on him, you haven’t seen that yet. But we feel good and we are going to keep moving.”
Had you guys been actively shopping Lee or did he come to you and ask to be traded?
“Well, those are some internal conversations I don’t want to get into. This works out. Andy is very happy and that’s important. The business side of this is the business side, so let’s do it with some integrity and some dignity. I feel like that all happened that way.”
Did you as an organization feel comfortable making the trade once you saw Pinion out here and thought, OK, with what this guy did in college, it looks like he can do it in the NFL?
“Yeah. I mean, obviously we have faith in Pinion. He’s doing a nice job right now. But there is no live rush. He is a rookie. I get all those things. But yeah, we absolutely have confidence, I absolutely have confidence in the guy. I absolutely have confidence in the guy. But we’ve got to keep moving here. And we’re going to put, what is it, the proof is in the pudding.”
What more do you need out of QB Colin Kaepernick from a leadership standpoint? Over the last few years you’ve had DE Justin Smith and LB Patrick Willis and RB Frank Gore around here. As the quarterback of this team, what do you need to see out of him as a leader besides, over the years everybody has said he has great work ethic. Beyond the work ethic, what do you want to see out of him?
“Colin just be Colin. Colin’s good. I mean, people lead in different ways. There are different styles of leadership. Some people talk a lot, some people don’t. Some people speak volumes without ever opening up their mouth. Be a great teammate. The things that he’s doing right now, just for the record, where Colin is at right now, who he is and what he’s doing, I’m his number one fan.”
Do you guys talk to your players about social media and if you do, what is your stance on it and your advice to players?
“Ok, this is where [vice president of communications] Bob’s [Lange] probably going to crack an eyeball. I don’t like it at all. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t do it. I don’t use it. I really don’t want everybody to know where I’m at all the time and what I’m eating. I don’t get it, personally. Talking purely personally. It just so happens every time I do hear about it, it’s not in a good way. So that’s where I’m at. The guys know that and they laugh and make fun that I’m in the dark ages. It’s just not my thing. Now I understand it’s other people’s things and that’s fine. But if that’s going to be apart and it is part of society, then we’ve got to figure out how to manage it personally. So yes, we are going to have some more meetings on that through our player engagement.”
What went into the decision to have the practices in the stadium and how does that benefit the team?
“Well, we went in to the stadium, number one, we’d like the stadium to feel like something old to us so we’re going to practice in the stadium. We’re going to take advantage of that. We’ll do some more of that in camp. Just being in that stadium, working in the stadium, it’s good. Obviously, the wind, the sun, those different things. Just being in our building. We’d like to make a new building an old building for us.”
Going back to Sacramento Bee reporter Matt Barrow’s question. Are you going to offer guidance on say anything? What will be sort of your message?
“The message will be here it is, this is what it is and how do you use this and how do you live with this in our world. I could say something to your right now and the next sentence say I didn’t mean that. To me, that’s what you can’t do on the social media. If you misspeak, God knows as much as I misspeak, it’d be a disaster on that stuff.”
Did you talk to Colin after the tweet he sent–?
“No, I didn’t get into all that. If that’s where we’re going, no. All that stuff, that was a mistake. He didn’t have all the facts. Wasn’t sure where it was. Saw a picture and apologized. Owned it. Our big deal is own it and fix it.”
During the voluntary sessions, the one’s we got to watch, it seemed like there was a ton of rotating. Over these next three days, do you plan on trying to maybe have more guys, do it more according to a projected depth chart to try and build chemistry heading into training camp?
“You will see some, and there was some of that in some of the periods through these OTAs. But you’ll see some of that by period, through the practice. Scripted it that way to get different people playing different spots or together. D-linemen, the rotation, checking a nose with an end. It’s nothing new. You’ve seen that, but just taking that philosophy and kind of moving it around a little bit. But there will definitely be some continuity periods where we’ve got guys working together on purpose and taking a lot of the 11 there.”
How familiar is WR Anquan Boldin with the offense at this stage? Did he come in and get a playbook at any time? I know he wasn’t here during most of the offseason.
“No, we don’t, you have to be here to get a playbook. That’s just a policy.”
So this week has been his introduction to the offense?
“Yeah, he came in and he’s going through it. Any of those guys that have been training away from here, they get here, they get brought up to speed and going that way. Again, speaking of Anquan, I wouldn’t make too much of how many reps he’s getting. We’re just going to make sure, this part right here, the physical we’ve seen for a long time. We know where that is. He’s getting up to speed on his stuff. He’ll be in there. He was in the walk-thru a few reps here and there. Those guys will get an opportunity to get out there. The learning curve, I don’t like just giving people lines from a playbook. There are notes you take, you move things, you put the film with it. Sometimes you start memorizing lines in a book, you can lock yourself into some things.”
How do you kind of work DE Arik Armstead in? He was at rookie mini-camp right?
“He doesn’t get here until the end.”
Oh, he’s still not here?
“He’s still not here. He can’t because he’s got to wait until his graduation.”
Is there any level of competition here or is it more learning and continuity? Like you said, the competition comes in training camp.
“Well, there’s obviously competition. The physical competition of the sport, the collision side, contact and collision side, that’s going to come in training camp, obviously. Right now, the competition is more in how the body’s moving. How you’re moving, where you’re at. Looking at those things and obviously, the mental side. Where are you? What are you comprehending? Can you adjust? How’s your braining working? That kind of stuff. To me, there’s always competition, it’s just in what way it’s coming.”
Where are you as far as understanding the players you have and where they are? Because this is a new team to you too. All together for the first time. All running through, like you said, trying to hit that trajectory. Where are you percentage-wise on knowing–?
“That’s the thing that’s been great though. What did we have the two, Bob? Two or three people that weren’t here in the OTAs?”
“It’s only been 2 or 3 guys. That’s been fantastic. So we’ve been doing that all along. I feel really good about where we’re at right now.”
But your understanding of where your players are?
“Yeah, I think so. But again, we don’t have pads on. That’s the one thing I want to keep saying. This game’s played with full equipment. All the talk we’re doing right now can go right out the window when those shoulder pads get on.”
What has TE Vernon Davis shown you about the way he wants to turn the page on last year?
“I’ll speak it now. Vernon is stretching the field. Vernon looks extremely fast. Catching the ball really well. Again, the next three days, I’d rather you watch it then me talk a lot about it because you’ll have the opportunity to see it.”
You mention how Colin’s been from a leadership standpoint. How about on the field? Where do you want to see him grow or perhaps improve?
“He’s growing. He’s growing. Just keep on keeping on, buddy.”
This minicamp is earlier than most in the NFL. Did you do this by design so the guys have a longer break before camp?
“Yeah, we wanted to get this going right here. We wanted to get after it. Just the flow of the offseason, we wanted to keep flowing, we didn’t want to chop it up. This is all by design.”