Jimmie Ward spoke to Bay Area reporters Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.
Q: How has the transition been to free safety?
WARD: It’s been going good so far. Can’t wait until today.
Q: Do you like that? It seemed like you were good at outside corner last year?
WARD: I like all the DB spots. I don’t have one favorite or one specific spot I would rather play. If it was up to me, I would love to play all three. Now I’m doing whatever the organization needs me to do.
Q: What is it about this role that you’re in right now that suits what you do will?
WARD: Just really fly to the ball and make plays. That’s what I like so far about free safety.
Q: How much have you watched of Earl Thomas?
WARD: Earl Thomas, Coach Haffley just pushed that out to me right now. But I already had been watching Earl Thomas. He’s one of my favorite players.
Q: Do you think Rashard Robinson is ready to cover No. 1 wide receivers?
WARD: Oh yeah. Rashard is pretty good, he’s pretty talented. And he’s a young player so he’s only going to get better.
Q: How is your shoulder?
WARD: It’s definitely coming. I got into a little collision yesterday but it’s definitely 100 percent.
Q: Is that a concern at all switching positions? You could be running into guys at a higher speed at safety than if you were playing cornerback?
WARD: That’s true, but when I played corner I still found myself being real physical. I feel like this is no different. Maybe a little more tackling.
Q: Are you going to have a greater voice in the defense, trying to direct guys and position people?
WARD: Yes, because I feel like you’ve got to be a quarterback on the defense. You’ve got to take charge. You’ve got to be a leader.
Q: Have the majority of your reps been at single-high free safety?
WARD: Yes, so far.
Q: Would you fit as a cornerback in this system given what they ask their guys to do?
WARD: Right now, I feel like it’s not a complicated defense. Basically Cover 3. I feel like I’d be good.
Q: Have you had talks with the team about the fifth year option?
WARD: I have no clue right now. I only can control what I can control and that’s being on the field and giving it my all. We’ve got the draft coming up tomorrow, so they’ve got a lot of tough decisions to make. There still is some more time. They’ll get to me with that.
Q: Are you surprised Colin Kaepernick hasn’t been signed yet?
WARD: Um, yeah, you know. He’s a great guy. I feel like he’ll end up fitting some team and somebody will give him a chance.
Q: Who is playing Nickel?
WARD: We have K-K (K’waun Williams) and we have Will (Redmond) – both of those guys filling in right now at Nickel. And then we have (JaCorey) Shepherd. So, it’s three guys, and maybe Keith Reaser can get in on the Nickel job because he has shown he can do that, too. Right now, we’re four deep.
Q: Are you happy the team kept DB coach Jeff Hafley?
WARD: Yeah, man. That’s my boy. I’m glad they kept some coach that knows the players. At least we have a coach that knows the guys, who can help out John Lynch and the defensive coordinator now and tell him a little bit about each guy. But I’m pretty sure at practice you have to demonstrate it all over each year. That’s about getting better.
Q: Do you have any sense of if your position could change after the draft?
WARD: Not yet, but I’m versatile. I can play a couple positions. Whatever decision John Lynch makes, it’s going to be best for the team.