SANTA CLARA — Here’s a transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good morning. First of all with the injury report, [DT Kaleb] Ramsey, he’s got a little muscle strain, we’re going to have him rest today. [WR Bruce] Ellington, the same. [LB Philip] Wheeler, the same. [WR] Dres Anderson has got some soreness, so we’re going to give him a little blow. [WR] Torrey Smith we are giving a veteran day, that’s been on the deal. [WR] Chuck Jacobs, again, he’s a little sore so he’s going to, we are going to rest him. The monitored reps, we don’t need to go through that every day, it doesn’t change, same guys. Any questions?”
I was just thinking, on that injury note, you have a lot of cornerbacks that you are looking at this camp and they’ve all been pretty much out there I think every single practice, right? I know I’m killing it.
“Why are you doing this me?”
Can you just describe what that competition is like and how good it is to see those guys on the field every day?
“Yeah, I mean, and again, I don’t think I’m telling you anything new, you’re seeing it, they are competing. It’s a hard working group, it’s a talented group. I mean, they’re young, but it’s hard working and it’s talented. And, they are really receptive to the coaches and I mean, [secondary coach] Tim Lewis back there, if you haven’t stood to watch, I mean, one thing I enjoy doing from my perspective is going around and watching the individual drills and the group drills and listen to these guys coach and teach. But, if you’re interested in watching those corners just go over that way and just listen to that. It’s a really fun and enlightening period.”
Are you looking to see a couple of those guys really take their game up to another level in these exhibitions?
“Well, that’s everybody. We, to me that’s what you use the exhibitions for and see who takes it to that next level and see, that starts sorting things out. So, we are waiting for those things to, for those opportunities before we start getting into any. We had a big discussion, we don’t have depth charts, but you have to put something out onto a piece of paper for this preseason games and that brought up a conversation the other day, or yesterday. So, we will shift that around and those depth charts in no way, I should say now, mean anything in terms of something being solid and staying. You will see those be manipulated throughout the course of the preseason.”
What about reps? Have you thought about reps for the first game?
Well, usually, the first team offense, for example, gets a quick hook in the opening game. Given the fact that they are learning a new offense, will you leave QB Colin Kaepernick in a little longer, perhaps?
“Yeah, I mean, all those conversations in the first game start with a quarter. That’s nothing new, that’s nothing earth shattering. That’s where it starts. So, we have talked about that, but we’re also going to see where this week of practice goes to determine if that’s a little more or a little less.”
LB NaVorro Bowman though, he will play some on Saturday?
“Yeah, right now, yes. I always, [Associated Press reporter] Janie [McCauley], I want to reserve the right if he’s a little sore. But, as of today, yes.”
How special will that be? I know that there are steps along the way, but that’s his first action.
“I think in terms of Bo, I mean, getting out on the field in the spring and then the first padded practice. There’s all kinds of special things going on, but we are kind of taking the approach of Bo is back. We are just moving forward.”
How will this year, QB Blaine Gabbert just gave us some insight that offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, this year, is taking more input from quarterbacks as far as game plans and what they are seeing on the field, see things through their eyes. So, during this preseason, obviously there are things a team needs to work on, but how is that going to develop in developing a game plan that kind of will of work through this season too? Is there any changes this preseason that you will be working on?
“I mean, when you’re talking in those, when we’re talking about that dynamic, again, I don’t think it’s anything new. Quarterbacks are always heavily involved in any team I’ve ever been around, in the game plan, particularly the pass game. But, when you talk about the run game, talking about the looks and what looks you like and where you’re throwing and what you feel comfortable throwing and how it looked and felt to you in practice. So, I don’t know that all that’s new in terms of an idea, but there will be, there will always be some input through the quarterback position into the game planning on a daily basis, weekly basis. This is where we’re at. This is where we’re heading. How do you feel there, how do you feel there? And if somebody doesn’t, just has a problem with something, then we don’t need to start trying to put a round peg in a square hole. But again, a lot of those conversations you get into, now you explain why you’re doing it. And then, everybody is more comfortable just getting the whys. So, our coaching staff will put the game plan together, but will obviously just be asking for the input and constant talk on how you feel about things and where you are with different things so that we can get the whys in there too. There’s a lot, I’m not saying us, but I mean, there’s a lot of quarterbacks and if you play quarterback you like to throw. I mean, that’s natural. So, the run game, but we’re incorporating that because in this play action pass off the run game and there’s a way things, it’s just everybody being on the same page.’
What’s your input going to be on the defensive and offensive game plans?
“Well, everything will go across my desk. So, I think there’s a big difference between being an enabler and a meddler. I want to be able to not be a meddler, but be an enabler, but also have my understanding on where we’re going from a whole team perspective.”
Will K Phil Dawson and P Bradley Pinion both take some kickoffs given those situations?
“Haven’t even talked about that yet. Phil’s our kicker and Pinion’s our punter. But, haven’t talked about that. Obviously, you’ve seen Bradley kicking and he can do that, but Phil’s our kicker.”
You’re going to have four new starters along the offensive line it looks like. And a lot of those guys are going to be playing different positions than they did last year. I know G/T Erik Pears has played right tackle before, but those interior guys are switching. When you’re looking at that position, what went into the decision to say, ‘We’re comfortable with these guys switching spots,’ playing different roles than what they’re used to?
“You mean like [G/T Alex] Boone going to left guard?”
Well, we talked about Boone, but center and right guard?
“Center and right guard, we’re still, I mean, we’re in, we’re sorting that out as we go. So, you’re seeing the combinations. You’re seeing, I mean obviously you’re seeing the rook [OL Ian Silberman] in there. It was duly noted, a rough day a couple of days ago, but then we came back. We’re going to still put him in the fire and he handled that well. So, we’re just, there’s an evaluation going on there. You’ve got [G] Brandon [Thomas] playing the right guard and doing some things there. So, again, we can’t forget the fact that he’s a rookie. He’s going through those things.And in a lot of ways, I mean, he’s a rookie that sat out a year. A true rookie would have had shoulder pads on before, you know, in that time that Brandon didn’t. So, we’re just making sure that we’re staying on top of that and calling when you got to go. And you see [C] Marcus [Martin] playing some guard and Marcus can play center. He’s played center, we know where he’s at at center, he’s still getting center, but we’re working some guard too. And again, that doesn’t do anything, in my opinion, there’s only seven or eight of those guys up on game day, so you’ve to be able to do both. So, what’s the best combination if in fact something does happen? How do we get our best combination on the field? So, we’re kind of getting all that sorted out at the same time.”
Will Brandon Thomas and Ian Silberman get to work with the first team line in the game on Saturday? Will they get work in with the number ones?
“Yeah. They’ll be a, I don’t have that down on paper yet, but yes, as we’re talking, you’re going to see combinations right there.”
Regarding defensive assistant Aubrayo Franklin, how is he as a coach and when you had him as a player, did you see qualities in him that, you said, I don’t know if you’re thinking in those terms, but you know, you thought he could be a coach down the road?
“Yeah. I always did think that. And I mean, I think everybody knows how I feel about Aubrayo Franklin and one of the things, and he’s doing very well, but I think the other side of that is him being teamed up with [defensive line coach] Scott Brown. Scott Brown is a veteran defensive line coach. He’s a, the type of person he is and how good he is at coaching, I think our defensive line has gotten better with his addition and he does some things that I didn’t do that I believe will make us better and I’m really excited about that. And then Aubrayo being able to be in a situation to learn some of those things and obviously, he knows the leverages and the square stance and the way we play, things like that. But, what coach Brown brings there and just the idea of, there’s all these things. The personnel side of things, then you get into the game planning, you get into all the work that you’re doing after a player goes home. So, I really like where we are right there with Aubrayo, that being his first time coaching, he’s sitting there with a man who’s done it his whole life at a very high level and he’s a good man. So, I think that combination is really good.”
Former 49ers T Anthony Davis was a player that was here and retired and he made the comment yesterday and today that he’s planning on coming back next year or at some point. What do you think of when you hear that? Just of him as a player and someone that was here once.
“Well, first of all, I’m not even thinking about the playing side with Anthony. It’s well documented, we’ve talked about it, and he’s taking care of Anthony and I’m really excited about that. I’m excited about hearing that he would like to come back with football. I think that speaks volumes of where he’s at and how he’s feeling. But, I like to just stay, that’s a different time and a different place, but it does make you feel good. Obviously, things are going in the right direction for him.”