Jim Tomsula: “Teddy’s a good quarterback, a well-coached quarterback. You saw him improve dramatically.”

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

Opening comments:

“Good morning. We had, obviously, our walk-thru yesterday and our installation day. And then, today, obviously, coming out with our first practice. Guys are in meetings right now and then we’ll have our walk-thru and then practice later on. What do you got?”


Fans seem concerned about your offensive line. Obviously, you guys haven’t, you know, the starting five hasn’t taken a ton of snaps in a game situation together. How concerned are you as far as cohesion and how ready they might be?

“Cohesion, I feel pretty good about it. I really do. I feel good about that. Again, we’re not standing in a position to defend anything nor will I. I feel very comfortable with the guys. I feel good about the guys. I feel good about the group. It’s a good group.”


When you talk about cohesion, I feel like you are going to do a little bit more zone blocking. Do you want guys who maybe aren’t as talented but can play more together to get that thing going?

“That’s an educated question. No. I mean, obviously we are looking for the most talented guys we can find. We feel good about our talent. But, there again with cohesion and when you are working in those schematics, it’s the fundamentals and the footwork. So, whether you are working with a guard and a center or you’re working with a center and a guard or a guard and a tackle, those combinations are very repetitive. So, when you come out of an individual period, and you’re making me go somewhere I really don’t want, but when you come out of an individual period, everybody’s working together. So, when you’re working different positions, your footwork, your center’s, obviously, you’ve got to snap a ball, so there’s something. But, the footwork, your targeting and all those things are the same across the board. So, I guess that when you talk about the cohesion side of things, that’s been worked quite a bit.”


Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said this morning, he complimented LB NaVorro Bowman for the way he’s come back. He hopes Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson comes back in a similar way to what Bowman has done. What’s your take on Peterson and defending him and playing? There’s some anticipation for him coming back.

“Yeah. I’ve been on the other side of Adrian Peterson a few times. I’ve watched a ton of film on him, as has our staff. He’s a very talented football player. Extremely talented. Adrian Peterson does a great job, but he’s also in a schematic that emphasizes the things that he does and he’s got some other players around him that help him. So, that whole package there and obviously that’s a, [Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator] Norv Turner is the offensive coordinator, we’re all very familiar with Norv. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Norv and what he does and the way he does things. It’s the full compliment of things. I mean, there’s no denying the skillset of Adrian Peterson.”


Sorry to ask again about RB Jarryd Hayne. You’ve obviously got training over the next few days. What do you want see out of him? What are you specifically looking for to ensure or to better his chances of getting a go on Monday night?

“Well, in Jarryd’s situation, just like everybody that is a first-year player here, you’re into game preparation now, so you’ve got that aspect of it. But, we’ve also got to stay on the development side of it. There has to be those techniques, those fundamentals, the developing that has to stay on course, has to stay on point. And we have got to stay on that road. And that first year for all rookie players is, that’s the line that you balance there. How much do you give them? How much don’t? When is it time? So, that’s just where that has to stay.”


And when you say those, for people in Australia who don’t understand the game, when you say those fundamentals, can explain what you mean by that?

“Just the technique. Obviously, Jarryd has got the body position, the balance, the leverage points and all those things that he has. That’s proven, he has those. But now, how to use them and when to use them. Blocking, pass protections, he’s done a great job. Where he was to where he is, is terrific. I guess that’s why I temper all this speculation because I don’t want to take anything away from what the man has achieved. But, all he’s achieved was an opportunity to be in the locker room. That has to continue. And he’s the kind of guy that will do that. I mean, you feel confident that he will continue to ascend with his approach and the way he does things. So, I guess that’s my temperament. I don’t want to be the guy downplaying his accomplishment or the excitement for the country but it’s in a place. So, that’s where I feel there.”


I assume you’ve got the game plan sort of in. How much have you thought about what the first offensive play call is going to be? And I’m curious about as the game goes on, obviously, that’s offensive coordinator Geep Chryst’s area. How much do you see yourself getting involved on a play-by-play basis?

“Play-by-play in the game?”



“No, I’ll know everything that’s going out there. So, if there’s anything out there you don’t like, I’m the guy. But, the plan and where it is right now to date, I’m very excited about. I think the guys are, we’ve got a really good group of coaches. We really do. And the way they, the thought process behind everything and the flow and yinging and yanging and being able to, you’ve got your jabs and your punches and your heavy-hitters and then you’ve got your change-ups. So, I really like where it is right now.”


As the game is progressing, how involved will you be in the play calls, offensively and defensively?

“The call to call, no, we’ll have that streamlined. That’s worked, in my opinion and my approach to it, that’s all done during the week. So, I’ll be fully aware of where everything is and we’ll all be on the same page. We had a coordinators meeting yesterday and we will continue to talk through that. But, as the game changes, obviously, we’ve got to be able to adapt and adjust as it goes. But, the game plan itself and where we are and what we’re doing, we’re all on the same page. But, I won’t be involved in calling the play. If that’s what you’re–?”


Well, what did you learn your previous time as a head coach? You’ve done this before. What’d you learn from that that will help you here in terms of that, the play-by-play? 

“The players win games. The magic call, if you’re searching too hard for a call you probably have more problems than that call. That’s coming from a defensive coordinators perspective.”


In light of what you’ve just said about Hayne, how much confidence do you have in him right now that he can field punts efficiently?

“All the confidence.”


In a game on Monday night or even late in the game if it comes to that?

“Very much confidence. Very confident in his ability to field a punt. But again, you start talking about the 46. How much can you do? What can you do for the team? And then with the schematic that we’re installing, that we’re going through, that we’re talking about here. How are you practicing within that scheme? The things that we’re doing this week, do they fit your skillset? That’s where that all comes into in my head. Special teams, OK if you can catch a punt, but can you do other things? What else can you do in the special teams area?”


WR Bruce Ellington’s hamstrings are fully healthy?

“Yes ma’am.”



“Yeah, I mean we had walk-thru yesterday, everybody was on and accounted for.”


You mentioned after the Chargers game you wanted to get back on the practice field those two days last week. What was the goal of those two practices? Was it more for game planning or was there still some fundamental things you wanted to work out?

“Both. Situational stuff, making sure we went back and hit some things. You saw us hit a lot of situational things throughout camp. There were a couple there that we circled, that we wanted to go back an revisit just to stay on those situations and make sure that we had another time to go, another opportunity to go through those and coach it up and get out on the field and actively get through it. So, I would say all of it.”


WR Torrey Smith talked about how he and QB Colin Kaepernick were practicing well these couple days. Can you just, looking at the league overall, it’s such a quarterback-driven league and a lot of eyes are on Colin. Does he need to play at a league MVP level for this offense to succeed?

“Colin just needs to be Colin. And I think Colin is really good.”


But, he seems driven to prove everybody.

“I don’t know that you’ll meet a more driven person. I don’t know that you’ll ever meet a more driven person than Colin Kaepernick. I mean, he is driven.”


What did you learn about the Vikings organization from that time you spent with them in Charlotte?

“Class. I mean, I felt like they were really good people. I felt like they were honest. I met with [Vikings general manager] Mr. [Rick] Spielman and [Vikings assistant general manager] Mr. [George] Paton and I really enjoyed my time with them. I thought they were two really, really down to earth but sharp football guys, in my opinion if that matters or not. The interesting thing was the phone call I got from [Vikings owner] Mr. Wilf, he called and just to thank me for, I thought that was just a really nice gesture.”


Was there, when you, I don’t know how much research you had done into their organization, but are there any things that now you can apply about how that roster was built and–?

“No, I don’t think so. No, I mean, I wouldn’t read a whole lot into that. Honestly, no. I know of those two gentlemen and the way they think over the years and what they’re looking for and the way they go about it. But, I wouldn’t say that few hours, there was nothing.”


How flattering was that, for them, for an outside organization, you’ve only been with one NFL organization, for someone from the outside to think enough of you to bring you in for that kind of opportunity?

“Obviously, those are huge honors. I mean, obviously, it’s very humbling for somebody to take a few hours of their day to talk to you. I mean, that was very humbling, I’m very appreciative to it.”


Are you guys using the virtual reality this week?

“Yeah, we’ve got a room. Well, I don’t have the exact time schedule, but we do have the virtual reality. I have put it on, our coaches have put it on, our players have put it on. It is, you have seen that pole out there. Have you ever looked at practice and you see that little pole? That’s what that is and you’ve seen it there every day.”


Is it just from a quarterback perspective or do you have other–?

“We’ve found a few things here and there that we can use it for, that’s about all I’ll go. Not that it’s a secret, but yeah it’s a pretty neat deal. If you grew up playing video games, it’s a real cool deal for you.”


That was the one developed by Stanford, correct?

“I’m not sure who developed. Is it?”


What’s your assessment of Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater?

“I think Teddy’s a good quarterback, a well-coached quarterback. You saw him improve dramatically and again, that’s no, that’s not a surprise to any of us on who’s coaching him. But, he’s done a really good job. Obviously, mobile, he can throw the ball, he’s got all the, he can move the pocket and he can make you pay with his feet.”


How good were you at video games?

“I never did them. But, that thing really is a cool, it’s a cool tool.”


Mike Zimmer, obviously, is a defensive guy. As far as stunts and things he did when he was a defensive coordinator, is there anything you’ve noticed through the years that may be unique or special to him and will you be expecting some of that Monday?

“Yeah, I mean, schematically, yeah he’s a four down guy. He’s obviously creative. But, probably the one thing that’s always stood out about a Mike Zimmer coached defense or the Vikings is how hard they play. They play hard. They’re, nothing but respect for how hard they play.”

  1. “The players win games. The magic call, if you’re searching too hard for a call you probably have more problems than that call.”

    1. From Bleacher Report —

      The 49ers have a coach who sounds like a Led Zeppelin record played backward when he gets flummoxed answering basic press conference questions.

  2. Yes, they are well coached, have a ton of talent and have improved dramatically.
    They are gentlemen who are sharp, with good football knowledge. They are honest and a class act who he deeply respects for their kind gestures.
    And he plans to bludgeon them.

  3. Thank you Grant for putting up this post so I can comment on the coaching.
    Coach Tomsula should not be like the mine foreman in the movie- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In that movie, the mine foreman asks the Sundance Kid to stand still and aim to shoot at a rock. The Kid misses, and he turns away in disgust. The Kid then asks if he can move. The Foreman allows him to move, and the Kid moves like lightening and blasts the rock to bits.
    Tomsula must allow Kaep to move. I want to see the Sundance Kaep.

  4. QB Coach Logan talks about discernment, and says that Kaep must perceive which option to go with by analyzing the split second actions and making the correct reads quickly.
    I say that Kaep should not be over burdened with processing too many things because it just becomes sensory overload. I would like Kaep to not take time to over think, but just go with his gut feelings. He should be intuitive and instinctual. Kaep should be reactive and fly by the seat of his pants.

  5. OC Chryst will have to change the way they think. He should realize that there is no reason to have to waste time and call a play that has to be relayed down to the field, then wait again to see how that play did before choosing a new play. He should allow Kaep to be the field general and be thinking 2 plays ahead. They should run the hurry up and concentrate on getting to the LOS quickly so the defense has little time to react and no time to substitute. The read option makes the decision of what play to run only after they are 1 second into the play, so all the reading and shifting ahead of time is extraneous and not needed.
    Chryst should have scripted 3 plays to be called ahead of time, and constantly change the sequence by scripting those plays so the next play call is determined by down and distance. Only the Niners will know what plays are called ahead of time, so they will be unpredictable. Kaep should be able to run those plays quickly, and by preventing substitutions, they can create mismatches. They should run multiple plays out of a set lineup, and put a man in motion to gain an advantage.They should never put a man in motion, then have him stop and get set, because that is defeating the whole purpose of a man on motion.

  6. O line Coach Foerster will have a critical part in the offense, and everything hinges on his success. If they cant give Kaep enough time to throw, it will be a long day. They should start out by running the ball to gain confidence, and not even allow the possibility of a sack. Kaep should expect the blitz, and counter it by identifying the blitzer and possibly rolling away from him, and/or completing quick passes so they have no time to get to the QB.
    Once the running game gets going, the play action pass will be devastating and effective.
    If they crowd 8 in the box, the third down bomb may be the best way to counter it. Kaep should just roll out to avoid the sack and buy time, then heave the ball as far as he can, and create a jump ball for Torrey Smith, who will hopefully catch it, draw a foul or tip it to Boldin.

  7. D line Coach will have a good opportunity to create havoc, because the Viking O line has been hurt by injuries, and the right side is makeshift. He should attack that weakness with gusto, and rattle TB early.

  8. Mangini has inherited a top 5 defense, and all the players look good, even with the losses of Cowboy PW and Aldon.
    He must contain AP, but also contain TB. He should dial up some zone blitzes so a DB has an unabated shot at the QB.
    Bow is back, so I expect a slugfest. If the Niners can sack TB more than 3 times, they have a good chance to win the game.

  9. Coach Tomsula must not be conservative. GB proved in the NFCCG that settling for FGs will cost them the game. If confronted with 4th and goal, they should GO FOR IT.
    Coach Tomsula is being coy, not designating Hayne as the punt returner, but if he wants to win games, he should put in the best player for the job. Hayne has demonstrated his skillsets, and proven that he can change a game. Field position may be crucial in deciding the outcome of the game, so Hayne must be allowed to play.
    In this first game, I would sit most of the rookies and allow the veterans to play. However, Hayne is a veteran in years and has extensive game time experience, so he should play.

  10. Many posters want Kaep to master being only a pocket passer. I want him to win games.
    Forcing Kaep to be only a pocket passer is like putting an Abrams Tank in a pit.
    However, I do not want him to run wild. I want Kaep to run smart. He should never expose himself to big hits, so he should throw the ball away before they get to him and avoid the sack. I do not care if his completion percentage is adversely affected. AS held onto the ball so his completion percentage did not decline, received a concussion and lost his job.
    Kaep should just use his wrist to flick the ball quickly for quick slants and generally get the ball into the hands of his play makers. He should use pump fakes to freeze the safeties, and use sleight of hand to fool the defense.
    Kaep should rotate his head 20 degrees to look off the safeties while tracking his receiver out of the corner of his eye. Kaep is staring down the receiver too much and making it easier to defend.
    I want Kaep to roll out in a controlled designed pocket so he will be able to use his mobility to avoid sacks and buy time for his receivers to get open. Many times, the defenders become befuddled because Kaep is loose, and they worry about him running by them and making them look silly. Many times, they will forget all about the receivers so VD or AB will be wide open. Kaep can throw on the run, so I hope they allow him to move.

  11. To the many posters on this site, I wish to apologize for repeating what many have read before. I heartily hope they will skip my posts if they wish to, and just concentrate on the game.

    1. Lol! I looked on here and saw there were 15 responses. Then I saw 13 of them were by Seb.

      Seb, your passion is great, but you may be spending a little too much time posting on here if you contribute 85% of all posts.

  12. Thanks again for giving me a blank slate to put down some of my thoughts. I want to talk more about the play calling. The Niners should just assume they are trying to steal the signals. If signals are being relayed to Kaep, both Gabbert and Thompson should be signalling, and only Kaep should know ahead of time which is the right play called.
    The Niners should test whether the signals are being stolen by signalling in bogus plays and running something totally different.
    I warned before about the signal calls, but posters just scoffed at me. After that last article, it sounds like stealing signals is just standard procedure for many teams. I also warned about former players giving their new team intel on the Niners. I was scoffed at that too, but after RJ Francois and and Parys Haralson went to Indy and the Saints, the Niners lost both of those games.
    Seattle just grabbed Moody, so the Niners should throw out their playbook and come up with a brand new scheme when playing Seattle.

  13. After watching my beloved Niners eviscerate the Vikings 20-3, All I can say is I feel like the coaches read all of these posts and tacked them up in the locker room.

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