SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.
ROMAN: Afternoon, we’ve got a playoff team coming in here in the Colts, very well-coached, very good defense. Just day-to-day here in terms of getting ready. Thursday is more of a situational day for us and that’s what we’ve just been working on this morning. Any questions?
Q: How big of a priority is it to get the running game going this week?
ROMAN: Every game is different. It can change during the course of a game. We can go back over the last couple years and see where the run was emphasized more one week or maybe we went into the game saying, “Hey, we’re going to run it,” and then we changed gears during the game. I think we have a good plan getting put together, coaches working hard on it, players working hard on it. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: Is this one of those games where you say, “Hey, we’re going to run it.”?
ROMAN: I don’t think we’ll ever just say that. Our guys take a lot of pride in running the football. I think it’s part and parcel of what we do. There is a time though where do you really want to bang your heard into a brick wall as they say if they have one or two more guys than you have etcetera. So those are the decisions you have to make.
Q: Do you see defenses playing you guys differently in the run game?
ROMAN: I think so. I do. They can play whatever they want. I’d say we’ve seen a little of that and that’s not really that new. If they overplay it, I don’t know that we’re going to just bang our head into a brick wall all day. We want to give our players a chance to be successful.
Q: Specifically with the read-option, do you see the adjustments that were made in the offseason with every defense kind of devoting a lot of attention to defending that?
ROMAN: I definitely think you’re seeing some of that. We definitely haven’t placed a big emphasis on the read-option to this point in the season but that could change.
Q: How do you think the offensive line has blocked in the running game so far this season?
ROMAN: I think they’ve done a fine job. There certainly are plays we’d like to have back. I’m sure they feel that way but our big emphasis was, from Day 1, that we want to ascend this year starting with where we left training camp. We want to get better every week. I really believe our guys are in that mindset that we’re going to get better every week. The production and execution thus far has not been where we want it to be but it never is. We’re just trying to improve each and every week. I think we’re very fortunate to have the offensive line we have.
Q: On Kaepernick’s first interception in the end zone last week he said he wasn’t expecting the defender to be there. Was he told that that play was going to be wide open?
ROMAN: I don’t know if I’d get into specifics on that but at the time the guy fell off and made a play and the ball ricocheted up. I don’t know that we specifically said that.
Q: Did Kaepernick make the right read, though?
ROMAN: On that play?
ROMAN: A lot of different things could have happened on that play. That wasn’t the primary read but it unfolded the way it did and we’ll move on.
Q: Kendall Hunter only got one touch Sunday. Are you comfortable with where he is health-wise and is the plan to gradually work him back in?
ROMAN: Kendall is getting better and better every week. Again, each game could unfold differently. This week we’ll see what happens. He’s working hard. Really like how he looks and I’m sure he’ll have a great game this week.
Q: He’s gotten very little playing time last week. Why is that?
ROMAN: It was just the way the game unfolded. Every week it’s different. Kendall Hunter is definitely a guy we want involved in the game.
Q: When Kaepernick scrambles what are his instructions as far as protecting himself?
ROMAN: There are a couple different things on how to approach a defender taking you head on if you’re on the sideline. It’s really common sense-ish but there are some perameters we talk to him about and Jim talks to him about. I think he’s got pretty good instincts there.
Q: You’re happy with what he’s done on those scrambles…
ROMAN: As far as protecting himself? Yeah. There are a couple different ways he can do it. He can slide. He can go shoulder first. But he’s got a real good sense on how to end the play so to speak. We really trust those instincts.
Q: Shoulder first? I’m assuming non-throwing shoulder first.
ROMAN: Yeah, I shouldn’t say shoulder first. I should say forward, on your chest.
Q: For so long it’s been the way Gore goes the team goes. Are you thinking, “We’ve got to get Frank going because that’s who we are.”?
ROMAN: We definitely want to get Frank Gore going. Frank Gore is one of the best backs in the league and one of our leaders. In the first game of the season I really don’t think we were going to run it a whole lot. We just felt like it would be a little bit more advantageous for us to throw it and that’s how it unfolded. Frank Gore is going to be a big part of what we do this year. Frank churning out those yards for us is very important to our success.
Q: Do you and Kaepernick talk between every series?
ROMAN: Just about. Yeah, just about. Not every series. We don’t try to smother the quarterback during the game, none of us. But year, when something needs to be communicated we speak.
Q: Delanie Walker was a huge part of the offense last year and the year before. Has it been a difficult adjustment in the running game without him there?
ROMAN: Delanie had a great career here. Vance and Garrett have stepped into that role and are doing a very good job, very pleased with where they’re at and they’ve got to continue to improve.
Q: Do you expect Vernon Davis to play on Sunday?
ROMAN: I certainly hope so. I don’t know what kind of blood he has going through his body but it heals really well.
Q: Jim Tomsula worked with Greg Manusky when he was here. Have you talked to him this week just to get a better sense of what it’s like to be facing him?
ROMAN: Coach Manusky does a great job. Jim Tomsula and I have spoken really over the course of time through the offseason this summer to try to get some insight on what they do. I think they’re doing a very good job.