SANTA CLARA – Quinton Dial spoke in the 49ers’ auditorium Monday afternoon. Here are selected quotes.
Q: You’re running with the first-team defense this year. Is that a good opportunity for you?
DIAL: Yeah it’s a great opportunity. I don’t think it’s too much of a transition for me because starting with the last eight or nine games (last season) I’ve been running with the guys and I know what they expect from me. I just come to work every day and show them what I’ve got.
Q: Do you go back and look at a lot of the things that made Ray McDonald successful in that spot?
DIAL: Ray was on the left side. I’m on the right side.
Q: OK, then Justin Smith?
DIAL: I watch a lot of tape of Justin. The last two years I was with him I asked a lot of questions and worked with him on some stuff. All I can do is tell you what I’ve learned from him and try to put into my game.
Q: Did you deal with offseason surgery this year?
DIAL: Yeah, I just had a cleanup done on my knee.
Q: That’s all?
Q: You feel fine?
Q: You’re a little bit bigger than Justin and Ray were. Does that mean you play that position differently than they did?
DIAL: Everybody is different. I don’t play how Justin plays – I’m going to play how I play. I play blocks differently than Justin and Ray do. It’s just what I feel comfortable doing on a certain block, what my body can take.
Q: How has playing the zero technique and the four technique prepared you for this year?
DIAL: Playing D-line, it’s pretty much playing the same positions. Zero, four – you all see the same blocks. I think it’s helped me a lot getting ready for the season. I’m going to try to learn as much as I can going forward and see how it goes.
Q: Did you know DeAndrew White when you were at Alabama?
DIAL: Yeah, we played together.
Q: What was he like in those years and what do you see out of him now?
DIAL: He definitely has developed and learned to be a pro. I’m trying to work with him and teach him how to take care of his body, because it’s a long season.
Q: Did you know Jim Tomsula gave him the nickname “Alabama”?
Q: Did you try doing that to you too when you were a rookie?
DIAL: No, he called me “The Alabama A–H—.”
Q: Is DeAndrew doing the same things now that you saw him doing early on at his career at Alabama before the knee injury?
DIAL: Yeah, he’s an awesome playmaker. He’s just got to stay healthy. That’s the biggest thing for him. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be a great athlete and a great asset for us.
Q: Why did Tomsula give you that nickname?
DIAL: You’d have to ask him.
Q: You play with a mean streak, though. Is that part of your game?
DIAL: That’s just me, bro.
Q: What do you see out of Arik Armstead?
DIAL: He’s got some great weapons to him. I haven’t seen him go against the one group yet. I’ll give you a better judgement when he goes against those guys.
Q: How do you view the pads going on so? How does that motivate through the rest of camp?
DIAL: I can’t wait, man. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Doing all this offseason training, pushing weights, somebody’s got to pay for this work I’ve been putting in. Can’t wait.
Q: Is it hard to work technique when you’re not wearing pads?
DIAL: A little bit. Yeah, it is. I try to perfect my game and be a technician, and in order to do that you’ve got to get it down without pads. Then when you put the pads on it’s not much of a transition.
Q: Thanks, Q.
DIAL: See you guys. Let me know what (Tomsula) says when you ask him.