SANTA CLARA – Second-round pick LaMichael James missed seven weeks of the Niners offseason program because he was still in school. He’s working out at the team’s facility this week, and he spoke to reporters today about how he’s gotten himself up to speed, what he can bring to the team, and what he wants to accomplish in training camp. Here’s a transcript.
Q: Were you able to make up for the time that you missed in the offseason program?
JAMES: I feel like I’ve made great progression in the department. I’m getting in the playbook and learning the plays. The more reps you get, the better you get, and it’s all coming to me. I’ve been getting with Colin (Kaepernick) to help me out. A lot of the quarterbacks and lot of the other players have helped me out a lot, just bringing me along. Coach Tom Rathman is spending extra time with me just to get the playbook down.
Q: Those seven weeks that you to be away from the team, how tough was that?
JAMES: Any time a program invests this much money in a player, you want to be out here with your teammates in order to get better. While I was away, I had to study the playbook on my own. I had to take it upon myself to get better every day.
Q: What can you bring to this team right away?
JAMES: I feel I can do anything. I do a lot of work on special teams, running back, catching the ball out of the backfield, anything they want me to do. I’m here to work and make the team better any way I can.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that you want to accomplish during this camp?
JAMES: Just getting better each and every day, getting a grasp on the playbook. When a player doesn’t know what he’s doing he seems to play slow. I’ve got to get down the fundamentals of the game so I can go out there and play fast.
Q: Have the other running backs been helping you out?
JAMES: I haven’t really talked to too many. I know Kendall (Hunter) because he’s from East Texas and I’m from East Texas. I text with Brandon Jacobs, he’s always texting me and seeing how I’m doing. I can’t wait to meet him. Delanie Walker is always talking to me, Ted Ginn – a lot of those guys are cool.
Q: Have you met Frank Gore yet?
JAMES: I haven’t, I just text him.