This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Good morning. The injuries, I just came out of the training room and we’re not complete with everything yet, but what I do know is [S Antoine] Bethea’s up getting checked, an MRI or whatever they are doing on that shoulder or chest thing. We’ll know more about that later on today. [S Jaquiski] Tartt, he got a leg contusion. He was in this morning, seems fine. And, [CB Kenneth] Acker got some cramps, so he’s OK. And, that was where we were. And, [RB] Carlos [Hyde] came out of things good last night, so we’re in good shape there. Obviously, we limited his reps. Reviewing the game, that game is not anything that any of us here are proud of. That’s not how we want to represent ourselves. So, we do have a couple extra days here that we will take full advantage of that opportunity to go through this coaching-wise and assess and identify and correct.”
Going back to Carlos, when he mentioned a stress fracture it leads to a lot of questions about if it is a stress fracture should he be out there? Is this something that can worsen? Is this something that can become a chronic thing that carries on? Can you address that and alleviate perhaps those concerns?
“Well, in terms of myself and even Carlos, with our medical staff we’re not going to put somebody in danger. So, I have complete confidence in that. Our people don’t put people on the field that are at risk to further injure themselves or things like that. So, I’m good.”
Is it something that can heal this season or does he need an extended period offseason for it to–?
“I’m understanding that he can heal. It’s a time thing and we have to monitor his reps and all those things and it heals. They’ve done all the things with the shoe and they’ve gone through it all.”
What is the status of QB Colin Kaepernick’s thumb? It looked like he had a pretty good bandage on his–?
“Yeah, he’s got a swelled up thumb they said it was. Right now, I don’t have anything that shows me any concern. We’re not done with the injuries.”
Has a decision been made, what roster move to make, as far as WR Jerome Simpson, his exemption ending today?
“That’s ongoing right now. Obviously that has to be done, I think it’s 1 o’clock today. As soon as we have that we’ll make sure you have it.”
Bethea is at Stanford being checked?
“Yeah, that’s where they go for the MRIs.”
As far as LB NaVorro Bowman, he had some concerns during the week that he could get that knee where he wants it in a short week.
“Yeah, and then he doesn’t want to come out.”
It seemed like he played pretty well. Was he happy with how he got his knee?
“Yeah, his knee felt fine. That’s what he said to me. I think that when, again obviously he didn’t want to go out. We were trying to roll through there with three guys. Bo wanted to keep on rolling.”
So, the idea was to have LB Gerald Hodges ready in case Bowman did need to come out?
“Yeah. That was the plan going in, to roll the three guys.”
You’ve had three games where you’ve had 10 or fewer first downs. There are other stats that are a little alarming regarding the offense. When people look at that and say, “Hey, we’re seven games in, changes need to be made.” Would you ever consider an in-season change to any of your offensive coaching staff?
Are you set at quarterback going into this next game against the Rams?
“Yes. Colin is our quarterback. There’s no controversies.”
Do you look at things right now with the team or just organizationally that there is a need for some changes to be made going into your next game?
“Yeah, I mean, we are looking at everything. Not unlike you normally do, but we have extra time and we’re going through everything.”
What was the part about last night’s game that really upset you the most about how it played out?
“Well, I did not expect it to be quite honest, I did not. I thought we did a nice job taking care of the bodies. I thought the guys did a nice job locking in in the meetings. And so, I didn’t expect that.”
Have you had an opportunity to speak with any of your captains and kind of get your finger on the pulse of where things are?
“Well, after the game last night obviously people disappointed in the performance. But, as of today, no. I’ve been with coaches and film and those things.”
ME: How much did the team practice during the week?
“We did a walk-thru on Monday and then Tuesday we did about an hour-and-half on the field and then Wednesday we did about 40-minutes on the field. But, the tempo was way down. We didn’t work the timing things and the high-speed things. We just walked through the assignments. I mean, you’ve got to take care of the bodies.”
ME: Do you feel that was the right approach in retrospect?
“I do. Yes sir.”
Colin said that the Seahawks were just more intense than the 49ers were yesterday. Is there a reason for that? Can you explain it that that’s a veteran team that’s been in those types of games, you have a young team? How do you interpret an imbalance in intensity?
“Well, I thought there were spurts where the intensity, particularly in the second half, dropped. There was one time in the second quarter and we were identifying that on the sidelines. But, I don’t think it was a conscious, people starting to think and trying to figure out, what do I adjust? What do I fix? And as that was going, we’ve got to keep the intensity rolling while we’re doing those things.”
WR Quinton Patton seemed to get a little too intense toward the official and he continued that on the sideline. You had to intervene on that. Do you not approve of that and how do you move forward?
“Yeah, we don’t need to act like that and I talked to Quinton about that. Things are going to happen that you’re going to disagree with, but we’ve got to keep ourselves under control.”
I think I know the answer, but when you talk about looking at everything and possible changes, I asked about the offensive coaching staff. Would you consider any sort of in-season change to the coaching staff?
“No. I’m not there at all.”
So when you’re talking about looking at everything, you’re looking at personnel?
“Well, when you say personnel, how we call things, scheme, putting players in the best positions that we can put them in. How can we get better that way, getting players in positions to make plays to their strengths. That kind of evaluation.”
When you talked about, I think people will say, “Well, you said that exact, more or less, that exact same thing three or four weeks ago. We’ve got to look at everything. We’ve got to look at schemes.”
“And we’ve had some up and then down. We’ve got to continue on that and stop the, we’ve got to get an uptick and then we’ve got to keep growing with it. That’s what we have to do.”
But, why seven games in are you still trying to mix and match and figure out how to best use the personnel?
“We’re just continually, our record is what it is. We have to do something to get better. That’s unacceptable. That’s not what we’re going to do. That’s not who we are. It’s not what we’re about. So, we’re going to fix it.”
What were your observations of what made Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson so effective up the middle and just finding guys on the deep ball?
“Well, we’ve got to tighten up on the coverage and the communication in the coverage. Even out the rush, too.”
ME: Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett’s touchdown catch before halftime, that was the play after Bethea hurt his shoulder. Tartt came in to replace him. He wasn’t deep, he was sort of in underneath coverage. Was he supposed to be there or did he react to the play action fake? Was he supposed to be back helping CB Tramaine Brock on that?
“No. The one coming across the field you’re talking about?”
“No, we have to squeeze that coverage. With the play action, it’s a throwback. So, when you do recognize the throwback on it, you know how you came to the one side and he’s going back across the field? So now, you’ve got to turn and deepen. So, he needs to deepen to help it, but we’ve got to be tighter with the corner.”
We talked a lot throughout the entire offseason about the complexities of the defense and how the players have talked about they’re being asked to do more things. Do you at some point have to harness that in and just focus on a few things they do well and not try to confuse the opposition?
“Well, I do know that defensively that is what we’ve been trying to do here for the last few weeks.”
Are you encouraged by what TE Vernon Davis showed you with some big catches yesterday?
“He had some nice catches. I mean, nobody played well enough.”
Colin didn’t target Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman at all. That’s probably why WR Torrey Smith finished the game without any catches. Obviously, he’s had some big picks against Colin in the past. What’s the balance there when they’ve got one guy trying to take away one of your guys? Do you have to attack him at some point, or by not, it seemed like by not targeting him you’re sort of falling into the Seahawks defensive plans?
“Well, again, what we did last night, I spoke of it last night, but a rhythm to the offense and get going and then those things do present themselves. But, we’ve got to give ourselves a chance to get into those modes.”
Bethea’s shoulder or chest as you said, is that a possible season-ending injury?
“I don’t have, I don’t want to speculate on a thing. I just know that when they send guys for MRIs I wait and find out what the MRI says.”
ME: Colin Kaepernick didn’t run at all, had no rushing attempts. Was that the game plan going in to have him mostly pass or that’s just how it worked out?
“Yeah, I mean we had, with the game plan yesterday, are you talking about the quarterback-driven runs? We had some quarterback-driven runs up. I don’t think that any were called. They were playing the cover-nine there with the overhang. So, they were playing in a position for that. But, they’re always on our call sheet.”
They had six sacks, five of those sacks came with just a four-man rush and you guys generally have five offensive linemen. Were they just obviously better in the trenches and more physical or what happened?
“Well, we put ourselves in a position. We don’t need to be in that position. When you put yourself in a position to where everybody in the stadium understands it’s a pass and you’re behind and you’ve got to go longer in the field, those defensive linemen are going to get their tails up in the air and they’re a very talented defensive line.”
It’s a difficult question to ask, but as a coach you have a lot of young, you have 26 first year or rookie players on your team. So, when you say make changes and put them in better positions, are you coaching more for the inexperience that you have on your squad?
“I don’t want to say that. I wouldn’t categorize it that way. And we’re not looking for any kind of excuses, we’re not. We’ve got to, we’re right now looking at it player by player. What is that skillset and what we always do, revisiting, and getting that matched up to the way we call it on both sides of the ball. To accentuate the strengths and stay away from the weaknesses of individuals.”