Pre-practice Q&As

SANTA CLARA –

Rapid fire, here are selected quotes from four different group interviews from this afternoon. They feature Josh Morgan, Shawntae Spencer, Patrick Willis, and Taylor Mays.

The first practice of the season starts at 2:30 and goes to 5:30 and I am not allowed to tweet but I will take diligent notes and report back to you tonight. After practice we will interview Coach Harbaugh, Vernon Davis, and Colin Kaepernick, so stay tuned.

JOSH MORGAN

Q: Does a receiving unit have to build a rapport without your number one receiver?

MORGAN: We most definitely have to build a rapport because it’s a new offense and we’re all learning everything together. Most of us are roommates throughout training camp so we’re in the room testing each other just to make sure we learn each other as well as the offense.

Q: The talk is this team stills needs additional receiving help. Do you agree?

MORGAN: No, I don’t really think so at all. The more the better, but I feel like with the talent we have right now all we’ve got to do is learn every detail of the offense and I think our talent will speak for itself.

Q: What do you know of Michael’s condition?

MORGAN: Michael Crabtree? I don’t really know anything I just know he’s working through something right now.

Q: Was it related to what happened the first workout at Camp Alex?

MORGAN: I don’t know anything about that.

Q: What’s Kaepernick like?

MORGAN: I think I have a good feel for him. He’s got a strong arm and high velocity on the ball. That’s good, it gets there quicker. The quicker he gets me the ball the quicker I get to make a move and break a tackle. He seems like a real student of the game and that’s what you want from a quarterback. It’s going to be a big learning curve for him too, especially with him taking all the snaps right now.

Q: Goals for the season?

MORGAN: Super Bowl, Pro Bowl.

SHAWNTAE SPENCER

Q: How much pressure does it put on the secondary losing a guy like Nate Clements?

SPENCER: It’s the same pressure we face any other time. There’s four of us out there, there’s going to be four of us out there again this year, so whoever’s out there there’s going to be pressure. We just have to deal with it.

Q: How is the playbook different than last year’s scheme?

SPENCER: English and Spanish. Everything is different. So we have to completely put aside everything we’ve had the last five, six years here. It’s like learning a new language. First you have to learn the terminology, then how to align and adjust right. It’s difficult.

Q: What are your thoughts on Colin Kaepernick so far?

SPENCER: We’ll see this afternoon. He’s a good looking kid – very maketable. We’ll see. No passes have been thrown.

Q: One day of padded practice – does that help, hurt, or make a difference at all?

SPENCER: Did you see the smile on my face when I walked out here? It does, it gives you a lot more time to recover and your body feels a lot better. The constant banging, banging, banging, it’s hard to go out there and perform at that level with that much banging, banging, banging.

PATRICK WILLIS

Q: Does Takeo not being here change your role in the locker room? He was such a leader. Do you need to step up and fill that vacuum?

WILLIS: I’ve heard people talking about that since day 1. I can only be me, I can’t try to go out and be somebody I’m not. I’ll speak when I feel like it’s needed.

Q: Who’s the most vocal player on the defense now that Takeo Spikes is gone?

WILLIS: I don’t know. You can have somebody that can yell and say the right things when things need to be said. Right now, if something needs to be said or done then I’ll do that.

Q: Thoughts on Alex Smith?

WILLIS: I’ve been here with Alex going on five years for me. The opportunities are still there for him. Right now he’s our quarterback and he’s a leader on that side of the ball and one of our leaders in general. I’m not getting any younger and for me it’s about now and tomorrow, not about trying to develop and become. He’s had his ups and downs, but when I look at him and when I talk to him he’s confident and he feels good. At the end of the day it’s got to start with you first. You have to feel comfortable with yourself. And I feel like he does, it looks like he does, so we’ll see.

TAYLOR MAYS

Q: Will you go out today as one of the starting safeties?

MAYS: I don’t really know what’s going on. We’ll see. I’m not really tripping about it. I’m feeling a lot better than last year and I’m ready to play.

Q: When you look at your rookie year what do you think you need to work on for this season?

MAYS: I just got to across the board play better and play smarter. I have a lot more confidence now than I had last year. I feel a lot more experienced and comfortable. That’s a big difference for me and hopefully it makes a big difference in my game.

Q: What’s your goal for this season?

MAYS: Just to go out and do what I do and play to my potential and just go from there.

Follow me on twitter @grantcohn.

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