McCarthy on Tolzien: “I’m sure there’s insight there. I’m confident Scott has met all of our coaches.”

SANTA CLARA — Mike McCarthy spoke to Bay Area reporters Wedneday morning on a conference call. Here’s a transcript.

Q: A lot was made of the trip your coaching staff took to Texas A&M. What was gained from that?

McCARTHY: They were able to eat some good barbeque. They had a good time with Coach Kevin Sumlin’s staff down there. Got a chance to talk football, talk about A&M’s approach offensively and defensively to not only the option but some of the things that you see coming out of college football into pro football more and more each year. It was really an opportunity for our staff to get out there and get away and do something different. We haven’t done anything like the professionally as an NFL coach. Most of the time, or pretty much all the time, people are coming to visit you and get input and try to expand their horizons. Outside of the combine, our coaches don’t have the opportunity to interact with their peers or ever with college coaches. Kevin Sumlin was very gracious to host our staff and we thought it was something we wanted to do and I’m glad we did it.

Q: Was that in March?

McCARTHY: Yeah, I think so.

Q: That being said, how much better prepared do you feel your defense is to face a guy like Colin Kaepernick?

McCARTHY: I think the experience at A&M is a very small part of what we’ve done as a staff. We have a system of football defensively. We have base concepts and variations that come off of that. Obviously, there’s a focus on the athletic quarterback, particularly Kaepernick and some of the other guys in this league and the way this league has gone. I would think we’re definitely better prepared than we were last year, that’s for sure.

Q: Was part of that preparation bringing in a QB that can emulate some of those things in practice?

McCARTHY: We didn’t go that far. We didn’t feel the desire to sign a QB on our 90-man roster just to do that. That’s something we felt we’d be able to get done in our training through reps and just the emphasis of it. 90-man roster, obviously you want to have as competitive a training camp as possible.

Q: When you’ve gone back and studied some of the plays Kaepernick made against you, were they improvisational plays he made on the fly or was he recognizing things before the snap?

McCARTHY: I think the root of our issues really came in the passes, his ability to scramble out of the pocket. From a defensive perspective, your gap integrity and your rush lanes and those types of things is really what started his production. He was able to hit a couple of the runs there in the second half. I think the first read option was a five or six-yard gain. He had a heck of a night last year. We’ve studied the film, but this is a different team and a different year and that’s the way we’ve always approached it.

Q: Does it serve as motivation giving up 183 rushing yards to Kaepernick, the most ever for a quarterback in NFL history?

McCARTHY: That’s well-stated. I think anybody would be motivated when it’s directed at you like that, but the reality is this is a new year, this is a different game and we’re prepared for a totally different outcome.

Q: What did you see in Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace that prompted you to sign those two guys?

McCARTHY: Our quarterback position was being evaluated throughout training camp both internally and what was going on around the league. Starting with Seneca, there’s a relationship there starting with Ted Thompson drafting him in Seattle. We felt like we had a lot of insight into him. We worked him out in the spring and he signed with the Saints. It’s just really trusting your personnel board and watching the development of your football team and it came down to Seneca over our other guys.

Scott is someone we’ve always liked. Watching all his tape from both preseasons, I think he’s done a very good job since he’s left Wisconsin. I was impressed with what he’s done this year. I think these guys are a very good fit for us.

Q: Can Scott provide any assistance leading up to this game for your defense?

McCARTHY: I’m sure Scott and the players are having conversations in the locker room. We tend to leave that room to the players. I’m sure there’s insight there.

Q: But he doesn’t provide anything from the coaching staff?

McCARTHY: Well, it’s important for any player who comes to the Packers to meet all the coaches, so I’m confident Scott has met all of our coaches.

Q: Can you talk about the challenge your offensive line faces against the 49ers’ defensive front?

McCARTHY: Very good defense in San Francisco. Definitely starts up front. This will be a big challenge for both of our tackles. You look at the production of their outside linebacker position in both their base and sub, it’s been a key to their success. Justin Smith, you can’t say enough about him. And their inside linebackers. So, their front seven is a big challenge all the way through. It’s definitely something our young guys are prepared for. We’re looking forward to it.

Q: Sometimes offenses that have success against the 49ers’ defense establish the run and have balance. Do you think you’re better equipped this season to be a more balanced offense against the 49ers’ defense?

McCARTHY: Yes. I think any time you go out to play a game you’d like to have some semblance of balance. Eddie Lacy has done some good things and James Starks has had a very good camp and Johnathan Franklin is coming along and John Kuhn always has been a steady person for us. Yeah, I feel good about our backs and the direction we’re going to attempt to go with our offense.

Q: What is your impression of rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari? How has he held up against Clay Matthews in training camp?

McCARTHY: They’ve had their battles and it’s been great work for David. David has had every rep at left tackle since Bryan Bulaga’s injury. You can see him improving each week.

Q: Does that you give you some confidence that he’s faced an All Pro pretty consistently before he faces Aldon Smith?

McCARTHY: I would agree. David doesn’t lack for confidence. That’s clearly a strength of his. For a young man of his age, he’s very, very mature.

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  1. I like how McCarthy tries to play down the fact that Kaepurnicus sent them back to bitch school. Flat out embarrassed them. It’s been eating at them all offseason. They’ve had this game circled on their calendar for months, and as the hour draws nigh… they’re nervous as hell. In desperation, they sign both signal callers released by the 49ers.

    1. Totally agree. Amazing how they’ve spent so much time and resources trying to figure out how to stop Kaepernick – they’re clearly scared shi****** of him, wow!

      1. And yet all that “Back To School Night” during the Off-season the Packers did will not be a benefit come Sunday.

        I would be very surprised if the 49ers do any Read Option.

  2. I’d bet there’s no read option in the first half. Run Gore and play action. We can beat the packers so many different ways

    1. Completely agree. I am sure Roman will create a whole new game plan. I bet a lot of it will be planning based on seeing a lot of zone coverage. Kaepernick destroyed them with runs when they had their backs turned playing man to man defense. These first two games are going to be intense. Their opponents really don’t like them.

  3. This is not only about the Packer game, the game at hand, but about setting the tone for the rest of the season and giving other teams something to think about. Harbaugh likes physical football, think back all the way back to his games at Stanford. I am thinking 70-80% running plays through the game–a physical and punishing running game. The Pack D will be drained by the 4th quarter.

  4. Late in the season teams asked the question “why double team the nose tackle” when you can single him up and get the same results. Sopoago was a plugger and plugger only. He could not push the pocket back, he couldn’t get off single match ups, and it was Sopoago who struggled without Justin Smith in the line up. So I’m extremely anxious to see the combo of Ian Williams and Glen Dorsey and the impact they’ll have on an already good front. These guys appear to be big, strong, mobile, and athletic enough to actually garner drawing a double team. They made the 9ers second team look good in preseason by blocking things up and collapsing the pocket. Ian Williams and Glen Dorsey should cause havoc.

    1. Parkay,

      I read that an Eagles beat writer said that Soap had not made a play the entire preseason. He joked that maybe Soap was saving it for tge regular season.

      I am kooking forward to seeing our explosive
      pass rush. I think we’ll lead the league in sacks this year. I hope Lemioner gets snaps as well. So we always have someone fresh rushing the QB.

      However, im worried about our offensive kine. They didnt open up any hole in the preseason.

      1. A little inside info on Sopoaga:
        He is a bit home sick for SF. He likes the team/team members. But not happy with the coaching so far (compared to Harbaugh and Fangio anyway). The coach(es) is/are treating the players, including veterans, as if they are still in college.

  5. Someone suggested that the Packer defense will lack stamina in the fourth quarter. How does anyone believe that Aaron Rodgers cannot keep the Green Bay offensive unit on the field for longer drives? Total time of possession will be very, very important. In fact, it will tell the story.

    1. @ MWNiner:

      Thanks for the link. I know your comment wasn’t directed to me, but I want to respond to it anyway.

      I may like Warren Sapp’s answer to the question, but I don’t like him. I will never forgive him for what he did to Jerry Rice.

      1. Agree with ya, CB !

        Sapp, indeed, was known to be a dirty player..
        and I don’t imagine Jerry will be sittin’ down to dinner with Warren ..
        anytime soon !

  6. I love how all the 49er’s fans are loud NOW when for the last oh 15 years no one heard bubkiss from them. Fair weather. Teams will have figured out ways to stop him… just like the run and shoot, wildcat, etc. he’s a flash in the pan and will go down in flames. Y’all’s defense though is no joke. I will say that. But overall, I will be kicked back with some bon bons, giggling when all the talking heads are scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened to the anointed Kaepernick.

    1. Pat, it does not matter if you are a woman or man, but I’d appreciate it if you’ll return after the Packers game to dine on some crow….

      1. CK had it right; last year is old news now. Only Sunday’s outcome matters. But even with that being said, the Niners have beat the Pack now 3 times in a row, and ‘Pat The Pack’ comes on here talkin’ stuff? Child, please!

    2. Pat–Talking smack doesn’t make you a fan, especially when your team isn’t very good and can’t back it up on the field. That actually makes you either a troll or delusional. Just because fans did not have unrealistic expectations leading to them predicting championships does not mean that they were not support their team. Bragging requires success. Other fan bases who do a lot of bragging with nothing to back it up with end up looking like the fools they are.

    3. But overall, I will be kicked back with some bon bons, giggling when all the talking heads are scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened to the anointed Kaepernick.

      You’re right Pat. The Packers will be scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened to the anointed Kaepernick because he will running and throwing over them all day long. I think that will shut up those talking heads on the Packers D.

  7. All this “Back To School” the Packers have done during the Off-season will have very little to do with the game because as we all know games are won in the trenches & the 49ers have that in spades on the both sides of the ball against the Packers don’t we?

  8. Prime sez:
    “…..Pat, what did the Packers do this offseason to get better?…”

    Pat is prolly a “hit n run” artist.. but, I betcha he/she thinks just because the Packers “acquired” Tolzien and Wallace .. they have the edge ..

    Well… I sure hope to see either of them on the field..
    come Sunday !

    1. I don’t think the 49ers use the read option till late in the game when those defensive lineman of the Pack are tired. Being disciplined against that type of offense is difficult and when you are tired, that’s when you make mistakes in over pursuing, or not attacking quickly. This is when Kaepernick can take advantage.

      The next test for our QB will be to see how smart he in reading how the Packers will try to hide their scheme. No doubt he has all the physical tools, now can he take the next step out think Dom Capers and what they have prepared for him.

      1. Good point FDM. Can CK make the right calls at the line of scrimmage and out duel a savvy defensive coordinator in Capers?
        I think the one thing that will be even more important is will Roman attack this suspect Packer defense. There seems to be a hype with GB this year and being a contender in the NFC. If that’s the case of Rodgers okay but where else did they get better?
        To me it’s up to Roman to come up with a good game plan and call a good game with a balanced attack. Then its up to Seely to not give the Packers any easy scores on special teams.
        SF 29
        GB 13

  9. This whole read option stuff is so overblown. None of these experts were even paying attention to Kaepernick and the Niners when they were running a fairly basic set during his first 5-6 starts. They unleashed the pistol during the playoffs. They knew it would give them an advantage with a young QB. The Niners will go back to a more conventional set with Kaep.

    Wilson, Kaepernick, and RG III are just great mobile QB’s. The rest is probably a little bit of racism and lot of denial (that these young kids can be this good this quickly). If these were three white guys running around doing this stuff, they’d be the next Steve Young. In fact, they are simply the next evolution of the position. Kids today are bigger, faster and better…that trend will not reverse itself.

  10. From ESPN Stats & Info:

    “How important is Week 1? Since the postseason expanded to 12 teams in 1990, 54 percent of teams to start 1-0 reached the postseason while 25 percent of teams starting 0-1 made the playoffs. Of the 272 teams to reach the playoffs since 1990, 189 started the season with a win (68 percent).”

    1. interesting stats.. Grant ..
      but ..
      I tend to believe, that if one learns from the past..
      then, one has the opportunity to get better…

      Same here ..

      If today’s Niners haven’t learned from the “Erickson-Nolan-Singletary” debacle .. then I can see where those stats are relevant …

      I bet Har-Baalke have those three bobble-heads mounted on a stand as a reminder of what NOT to do !

      They’ve learned …

      But, thanx for the stats, anyhoo !

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