The 49ers ignored Greg Manusky’s defense in the first round of the draft, but the coordinator does have some new pieces to fit into his 3-4 scheme. There is second-round pick S Taylor Mays, of course, and third-rounder LB Navorro Bowman, plus seventh-round choice CB Phillip Adams and free-agent LB Travis LaBoy.
Manusky spoke to reporters Saturday, ambling to the podium with the use of a cane. (I’m told he’s had hip replacement surgery.) Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about a beefy guy with a cane that makes him look even more imposing – like at any minute he might take the device and beat you to death with it.
Anyway, here is some of the give and take with Manusky.
NOT TO MENTION, WHO HAS THE BEST RENDITION OF THEIR COLLEGE FIGHT SONG
Manusky on what he’d like see accomplished during the rookie minicamp: “I think with the younger guys that come in here, they’re a little bit out of shape and they’ve got to go through the training camp procedures. There’s a lot of meeting time. A lot of practice time. The stuff they should be working on, certain techniques, certain fundamentals and eventually they try to figure it out and try to be the best that they can. That’s what we’re trying to see what they can do physically and what they can’t do.”
THANK YOU, MR. AND MRS. MAYS
Manusky on what he saw in Taylor Mays before the draft: “The one thing I can’t coach is 4.38 or whatever he runs. I can’t coach that. That’s what mom and dad gave him. From that standpoint, it’s good that he can run that. Now we’ve just got to work on his footwork, work on his eyes and all of those little things that Coach Sing talks about all the time.”
IN OTHER WORDS, MAYS WILL BE FEWER THAN 22 YARDS OFF THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE
Manusky on whether USC’s defensive system was different than the 49ers’: “I think a little bit. I think every system is a little bit different. From the standpoint of him playing in different positions and coming down and blitzing off the edge, yeah, a little different than what Pete [Carroll] had him down there at USC. We’ll throw him in the mix and see where he ends up.”
ARE YOU LISTENING, KENTWAN BALMER?
Manusky on what he expects to get out of his rookie this season: “I think the most important thing is that when you start to build something, the backup players become better. I think there’s not a letdown all of the sudden when someone gets banged up or nicked. The next guy comes in and plays defense. There are no missed heartbeats; you just keep on playing.”
SO THREE WEEKS IS TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Manusky on how long it will take Navorro Bowman to grasp the scheme here: “Usually overall, I think the third year of their tenure. I think usually that’s when they really figure out the system and figure out what football’s all about in regards to the NFL. Usually across the board, three years it takes a lot of players. Some guys do come in and they’re athletically gifted and they can play. Some of their mistakes are not seen because they’re so athletically gifted.”
THE ‘MIKE,’ OR JUST LIKE MIKE?
Manusky on whether Bowman can be his Mike linebacker: “We’ll see. We don’t have any pads on right now so we’ll look around and see where he fits the best. I don’t know what he was taught in college, but for the most part, we’re going to see where he fits in the schemes. He’s a physical guy. He’s got good speed. He has pretty good eyes. We’ve got to wait and see.”
BECAUSE WE HAVE TO AT LEAST ACKNOWLEDGE PHILLIP ADAMS’ EXISTENCE
Manusky assessment of the rookie CB from South Carolina State: “He’s a small school guy that came in and has some pretty good feet, pretty good vision. It’s the same thing; it’s just so early to tell about these kids because for right now, from an illustration point, we only have about that much defense in. The more we pick up, it’s going to be a little bit harder.”