SANTA CLARA – LaMichael James was interviewed Saturday afternoon by Bay Area reporters outside of the 49ers’ locker room. Here is a transcript.
Q: Bruce Miller said you’ve been nothing but positive. Is that the mindset you’re taking coming into camp?
JAMES: Yeah. If you don’t take that mindset, (training camp) will eat you alive. You come out here, long days – there is no reason to be upset. You’ve got to be here anyway, so you try to get the best out of it each and every day.
Q: How do you approach this opportunity with Kendall out for the season?
JAMES: I just want to say that Kendall is one of my best friends on the team. Any time you see any one close to you get hurt like that, it’s kind of depressing. You never want to see that. I’m a little down for him, all the work he put in during the offseason to be out here with us. You’ve just got to play for him.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk to him?
JAMES: Definitely. I talked to him all night and today, too.
Q: How is he?
JAMES: He’s good. He’s about as good as he can be with something as traumatic as that happening.
Q: Did he know right away yesterday that it was an ACL tear?
JAMES: I don’t believe so.
Q: What’s your mindset now that there is one fewer proven guy ahead of you on the depth chart?
JAMES: My mindset pretty much is still the same. I was treating it like that anyways, just going out and competing each and every day. Really just trying to make the team better any way I can.
Q: What do you have to do to get the kind of role you’d be satisfied with?
JAMES: Compete, that’s the main thing. Go out and work hard each and every day. I think it’s more of a mental thing, knowing what you’re doing, eyes in the right spot, picking up blitzes, whatever they ask you to do. One thing that’s important in this game is experience. As a rookie it’s a little difficult picking up everything. Now it’s my third year, I feel I have a better grasp of the offense.
Q: Are you excited to put the pads on today?
JAMES: Oh yeah, I think it will be fun. I think it will minimize some of this unnecessary thudding we have. Just protect each other. These are our teammates. It’s not like we’re playing against each other.
Q: What do you mean by unnecessary…
JAMES: Thudding. When you’ve got pads on, you’re protecting yourself. When you’re not out there with pads, anything could happen, people falling down, people holding each other up.
Q: How’s punt returning coming for you?
JAMES: Good. It’s just another way to get the ball in my hands. Last year was the first year. I feel like I can grow in it, and kick returning and running back. Whatever it is, I want to be an all-around player.
Q: If you get a lot of snaps this year, would you like to run more read option plays?
JAMES: I think it would be fun. Whatever the coaches decide to call I’m all for it.
Q: How much do you weigh right now?
JAMES: About 208.
Q: How much did you weigh last year?
JAMES: About 200 to be exact.
Q: Does the added weight have any effect on your speed?
JAMES: No, I’m still fast.
Q: What did you weigh as a rookie?
JAMES: Probably 190.
Q: To be exact?
JAMES: To be exact. I’m pretty accurate with the numbers.