SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman was interviewed in the 49ers’ auditorium Wednesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.
ROMAN: Afternoon. Had a great practice yesterday. A lot of spirit. Looking for another one today. Got a lot of things going on right now. Our offensive staff, just got to commend them. To a man they do a great job. Very fortunate to work with this group. It’s our fourth year together for the most except for a couple guys here and there. To a position I think they do as good of a job as anyone in the NFL. Looking forward to having a great day today. Any questions.
Q: How do you feel about your offense getting shut out on Sunday?
ROMAN: Not good. At all. We’ve got to improve. Again, a lot of really good individual performances. A lot of good individual moments, but not enough collective cohesion, precision by the offensive unit to playing winning football. You go through the tape, there’s a lot of great things. It serves as a great tool for us to understand that football is the ultimate team sport. It takes 11 guys on the field to get the job done. Got to do better.
Q: Why would you commend the coaching staff right now?
ROMAN: Probably could do it every day. They do a great job day in and day out. They work tirelessly. It’s a staff with absolutely no motives other than to help the players and to win. Probably should do it more.
Q: Are we going to see more three and four wide receiver sets and empty sets from your offense this season?
ROMAN: That remains to be seen. It’s week to week. It’s all about how does that match up against a particular team. We play quite a bit of empty. We probably use more tight formations that some people and we haven’t played a lot of…haven’t lived in three wide receiver sets like some have. And there are really, really good teams that play in three wide receiver sets, but there are a lot of teams that do the same and don’t enjoy the same success. So, it will be very specific to us, our personnel, how it matches up against the other team.
Q: Is your personnel more suited for that now than before?
ROMAN: I’ve always felt really good about our personnel. A guy like Vernon Davis you can split out. Some of the tight ends we have and have had we will split out and create those distributions, you know, three wide receiver looks, etc. So i like where our wide receivers are. They’re working hard and there is a good chance you see more of them.
Q: How do you assess Josh Johnson so far?
ROMAN: We’ve got some history with Josh and feel really good about that. I think there are a couple of things that happened in games that he would like to take back, maybe do over again. Those are things that are very fixable. He got us going into a nice rhythm and tempo in Baltimore, and then we had the fumbled snap. Those are the things that just can’t happen and I think he understands that. We see him for umpteen number of snaps every day in practice. That serves as a really good barometer. And then game days are when you’ve got to put it all together as a player. We’ve just got to, as a unit, do a better job on game day.
Q: Jim Harbaugh talked about it’s time to stop experimenting and to go with the guys who are going to be playing. How much do you look at who will be the third receiver and the fourth receiver on the active 46-man roster during the regular season?
ROMAN: We have gotten a tremendous amount of opportunities for almost all of our players in situations that we were hoping to evaluate them in. So that’s been a very, very positive thing for us. That’s really the crux of this time of year.
Q: Have you seen enough of Stevie Johnson to know how he’s going to fit into the offense?
ROMAN: Yeah, I think we definitely understand how he can fit in. I really believe that we need to keep working to develop the level of chemistry that we want and that’s an ongoing process. That’s not something that will ever stop. Hopefully it peaks the last day of the season. It’s something we have to improve upon every day. And that’s really everything, every unit as a whole. So really happy to have Stevie and think he’ll bring a lot to the table. Have a good feel for his skill set. I love his energy out there. Us as a unit needs to continue to work every day to develop that chemistry.
Q: Is Stevie Johnson your No.3 receiver?
ROMAN: We don’t put numbers on them.
Q: If you have three receivers out on the field will he be one of them?
ROMAN: It depends. I think we will have some flexibility.
Q: Are there difficulties in evaluating players in the preseason when the game plan is at a different level than what it would be in the regular season?
ROMAN: To your point, yes, in a way, on game day. But during the practice and whatnot we’re working on things that reflect the regular season, so you get a good feel there. But yeah, there is a little bit of a question mark. But I think we try to set things up so we can get that evaluation as much as possible without getting too specific.
Q: Do you expect to get Garrett Celek back soon?
ROMAN: He’s coming along. I am not aware of the exact day that he will be back but looking forward to him getting back out and competing.
Q: Can you talk about your backup offensive line?
ROMAN: That’s been a real positive for us, getting guys opportunities at different positions. The ability to show position flexibility serves us well and serves them well as players. I think our second offensive line has done a very good job thus far throughout camp. They need to keep it going. I think they’ve done a nice job in pass protection and in run blocking. Sure, there are always things to get better but these guys have really done a good job. Really coming together as a unit, it’s pretty neat to watch.
Q: What’s your assessment of Marcus Martin?
ROMAN: Marcus missed the first couple of weeks of camp so he’s behind. But he did a very good job in the game. Was very excited to see him carry over what he’s been doing in practice to the game. Really excited for him because he’s going to have a very bright future.
Q: Is he progressing slowly?
ROMAN: He’s got a great attitude. Thus far it’s been very good. He’s behind. He missed some time, valuable experience. He’s got to catch up. You can’t stay behind. You’ve got to catch up. I’ll let you know when he gets caught up but he’s working really diligently to get caught up. Just to reiterate, I think he’s got a bright future if he continues to work the way he’s working.
Q: Where is Marcus Lattimore in his recovery?
ROMAN: He’s looking good. Our training staff is the people to ask on that if you want to get specifics, Jeff Ferguson in particular. They’re putting him through a lot of change-of-direction stuff and hard type cutting. He’s looking good but I would ask Fergy about that.
Q: Anthony Davis said yesterday he doesn’t need any work preseason work to get ready for the season opener in Dallas. Do you agree with that?
ROMAN: I think it’s really according to our training staff, how they organize that and what’s best for the player and his health and where he’s at. I think Anthony is getting there and he’s starting to take part in some of practices which is good to see. We’ll just see how it goes in conjunction with our training staff. But you definitely want to have as much practice as you can relative to your health. But sometimes, hey, that’s just how the cookie crumbles and you do the best you can and you get ready the best you can.
Q: If he does come back and starts practicing with the first team unit, will Jonathan Martin start getting practice reps at guard?
ROMAN: Yeah, I think Jon is a guy that can play probably four positions on the offensive line and at some point you’d like to be able to get him some work in those areas. We’ll see how that goes.
Q: You’re now able to carry 10 players on the practice squad. How was that news received by the coaching staff?
ROMAN: Great. It was a great decision by the National Football League. Really is. Just gives more players a chance to develop and have a job. Selfishly, it gives us a chance to develop a couple extra guys. I think it’s a great thing. Bravo. Great decision.