Roman: “I really believe we’ve got a balanced offense.”

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


Opening comments:

“Getting ready to play a very talented Tampa team. It’s kind of an interesting season for them, certainly. It’s really been an interesting year for a lot of teams. But, they’re playing at a really high level lately. When you turn on the film, these guys are talented and well coached. They lead the lead in picks. They’ve got a great turnover differential as a team and have won four out of their last five, so I think that speaks for itself. Looking at their defense, they brought [Buccaneers CB Darrelle] Revis in and [Buccaneers S] Dashon [Goldson] who we know very well, two great players in their secondary. Front four is very active, attacking style. A lot of movement, stunts or they’ll just play you straight. [Buccaneers DT Gerald] McCoy, 93, is playing at a super high level and no matter what they got him doing, he’s very hard to handle. I’m sure you guys have noticed that throughout the course of the season. Linebackers are fast-flow attacking linebackers and [Buccaneers LB Lavonte] David is obviously, 54, having a great year. So, we’ve got our hands full in our preparation and we’ve got a big situational day today. Any questions?”


They lead the league in interceptions. Is there a common thread through that? Do they do it through deception? Great one-on-one play? Is there something that you can kind of pinpoint of why they lead the league?

“No, I would just say that they’re a high-pressure team, high-volume pressure. Probably more pressure than we’ve seen all year. There’s times when they won’t pressure, but they create a lot of unrest, get the quarterback off his spot, kind of get him under duress, that kind of thing. And their secondary’s playing very well.”


Do you have to tell your receivers to keep an eye out for Dashon?

“I don’t think we have to tell them that. They already know. We know Dashon’s a physical player, instinctive player, and he’s playing at a very high level. We’re all happy to see that, but at the same time, we don’t want him to have too good of a gameon Sunday.”


How does a big, physical safety like that affect the game? You had a great free safety you played on Sunday. He’s a little bit different than Dashon. How does a Dashon Goldson type safety affect the passing game?

“I just think Dashon’s got a presence back there, kind of like the sheriff in a sense where he’s going to try to reroute concepts, read splits, formations, and if he smells something, he’s going after it.”


How has TE Vance McDonald developed this season?

“Vance McDonald. Vance has done a very nice job. He’s had a lot on his plate and handled it very well. I thought he did a great job in the game the other day. Was very instrumental in the running game last week. And, he’s done a very good job, a very good job in all phases.”


People, I guess kind out of college, found his run-blocking to be his strength and said, ‘We’re not seeing much of his pass catching.’ Is part of that just him being a rookie and some of this will come?

“I don’t think so. I think part of it is we just haven’t thrown the ball a ton this year, for different reasons, some of which were just kind of strange circumstances. But, I think those opportunities will come and it’s just an area that he will be, I think, very productive as his career moves on.”


When you say he has a lot on his plate, is it too implicit to say he’s kind of taken former 49ers and current Titans TE Delanie Walker’s role in this offense?

“I wouldn’t say that specifically. However, a lot of things that Delanie did Vance does. Some new stuff, some stuff that we didn’t do with Delanie, but a little bit more specific to his skill set.”


We look at the stats and QB Colin Kaepernick’s not throwing a ton, but it’s pretty different than the stats he put up last year when he dropped in there. Do you think he’s playing just as well, better this year than he did last year despite the stats?

“I thought he played extremely well last year. And I think he’s playing extremely well this year. I can’t make a snap judgment on comparing the two. I think he’s playing real well in a lot of aspects and I think he’s a star on the rise.”


I know you don’t like going back over last week that much, but that interception he threw, was that the right read that he just underthrew or maybe should have put the ball somewhere else?

“Well no, it was the right place to go. We were going after a specific person at that point. It was the right read.”


Are you asking him to do different things this year?

“I don’t know how to answer that, Tim, in a way because you’re always asking him to play football, play quarterback. I think over the course of 16 games, there’s probably a few things that he’ll do that are new or an evolution off of what you’ve done in the past, but not a whole lot, no.”


December’s always a time when guys are playing a little banged up. How much have you tried to cut back on the physical aspects of practice to try to keep these guys fresh?

“That’s a great question and I think [head] coach [Jim] Harbaugh does a great job of that. I thought he had the team last week, had a great schedule and had them fresh and raring to go, jumping out of their skin before the game, which he always does. But, I think it’s very important to have a good feel for that and I really believe coach Harbaugh does a fantastic job of that.”


I’ve seen a stat where as far as screens to halfbacks, only Arizona has run fewer than you guys. Is there a reason for that that you can put your finger on?

“As far as our screen game?”



“Well, I don’t know. We’ve run a couple that unfortunately got snuffed out. I don’t know if they made the list. But, screens are something we carry, we work on and hopefully run at the appropriate time.”


TE Garrett Celek was inactive last week. Is that still due to his injury or is TE Derek Carrier now your number 3 tight end?

“Well, no. He’s coming off his injury and no sense rushing him back. We like what we see in Derek Carrier as well. Felt confident with him going in the game and then it’s just really kind of a competitive situation. But, no sense in rushing Garrett back out there too soon.”


Progress report on WR Michael Crabtree, how’s he doing?

“He’s doing good. I think he’s coming along week-to-week. He’s doing things closer to 100% and he’s doing well.”


He was on the injury report yesterday with an ankle issue. Is that not related to the achilles?

“No, it is not.”


Buccaneers LB Lavonte David, when you guys game plan, how wary do you have to be of where he is at all times?

“You definitely have to be aware of where he is. He’s done a great job in the middle of the field falling back underneath routes, understanding where he has to alter body position to on deeper routes. He’s very fast. He can cover a lot of ground quickly. He’s got great instincts and a great feel for the game.”


DT Gerald McCoy from Tampa came out and said that our gameplan is to stop Frank Gore, which is not unusual. Have you put any stock in stuff like that, when a player says, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do,’ and does that affect what you’re going to do on game day?

“I never believe anything I read in the media [laughter]. I mean you don’t know. Obviously, you want to stop [RB] Frank Gore. But at the same time, I don’t think you put too much stock in it because I really believe that we’ve got a balanced offense and I think everybody’s going to try to not get hit. At this point in the season, with who we’ve got playing, I think they have to respect the entire field. So, I’m sure the defensive front is very interested in stopping Frank and I’m sure the secondary is very interested in doing their job as well.”

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  1. Everybody comes into the game geared to stop Frank Gore. That’s nothing new. Goldson is going to get burnt for one…..

      1. MWN, I love that pic that has been on the net showing Sherman and Thomas chasing Frank down. Especially the look on Thomas’ face knowing that a 30-year old RB (with no legs) had just put a move on him. You could see the “I f’d up look on his face!”

        Gotta love Frank Gore!

  2. What a beautiful way of saying; I hate Kaep – and the 49ers (lol).
    I had a feeling your CK angst had more to do with Alex Smith than CK’ stats and media interviews.

      1. MWN – Yes…Bob Project is correct… is where I did mine. I wish more people would get personalized avatars. Most of the generic ones don’t stand out. HopferFan’s was a good one though (dark purple with creepy black eyes).

      2. Eddie as Hitler. Eventually I’m going to have someone draw me an Eddie dressed in a 49er uniform, maybe doing the Heisman pose…..

  3. Credit to Grant. Still nobody else is talking about the brilliance of Roman’s twist on the Gore run. Perhaps it’s not as easy as I’ve made it out to be.

  4. Forgive the reality check, but Peyton threw another crushing, choking (and completely characteristic) pick tonight. Romo, anyone? Maybe Young?

    Definitely not Eli, not Joe.

    1. He was hit as he threw. Give it a rest. Denver’s ills fall squarely on their defense. Manning is certainly one of, if not the, greatest QB of all time.

      1. “Manning is certainly one of, if not the, greatest QB of all time”.

        Regular season I can see how you would make a case, but it’s all about the post season for me. Peyton, Eli and Archie do not make my all time greatest list, which is in numerical order of greatness. You’ll notice that Joe is the greatest ever!

        Joe Montana
        Bart Starr
        Terry Bradshaw
        Tommy Brady
        Sid Luckman
        Roger “the dodger” Staubach
        Kurt Warner
        Troy Aikman
        Otto Graham
        Johnny Elway

      2. Razor,
        The only reason I said “one of the greatest” is due to the post-season shortcomings. However, no way, no how will you ever convince me Bradshaw (for example) was a better QB than Manning. If Manning wins another before he’s done (I’m not optimistic that will happen with Denver’s defense), he’s right there with Joe (smidge below….).
        Some of those guys on your list were from way before my time, so it’s hard for me to judge there.

        Also, you put Manning on those 70′s Steelers or 90′s Cowboys teams, and he wins like 7 Superbowls. Even the year he won, the Colts defense was terribly overrated and rode Manning’s coattails.

      3. Give it a rest? It happened last year in the playoffs, and if he’s in position to lose a game in this postseason, he will do so. Peyton is like clockwork. If you don’t want to hear it from me, that’s fine, but Irsay was pretty clear on the matter.

      4. Manning postseason record~9-11
        Bradshaw~14-5 with a whopping 151 passer rating

        Coulda, shoulda and woulda can be used to support any argument. The facts remain the same….

      5. How did Manning blow it in the playoffs last year? Does he play defensive back?

        Is Charlie Huddy a better defenseman than Ray Bourque? He won more Stanley Cups, so I guess he must be….

        And if you have Irsay in your corner, well then I feel pretty comfortable being in the other corner.

      6. Manning is definitely one of the greatest QB’s of all time. He is a great leader that basically runs his own offense. I can’t think of another QB with more input on the offensive game-plan and scheme than Manning. He has 1 superbowl and he should have 2. The one AFCCG where the Patriots went to Indi and won was an affront to all football lovers who care about watching a fair game. That punk, Rodney Harrison, and his other DB’s mauled the Colts receivers all game but nothing was ever called. It was one of the worst games I’ve ever seen. At least until the Seahawks came up with their – cheat on every play and they’ll only throw a flag 2% of the time – technique for their DB’s. At any rate, Manning is an all-time great who is a first ballot hall of famer.

      7. C’mon, saying Peyton isn’t one of the greatest QB’s of all time is like picking the 2013 Cowboys to make it to the SuperBowl, it just doesn’t make any sense.

      8. For me Young makes the list before Elway. The others seem fine, might not be the order I use but a lot of the appropriate names appear.

      9. The greatest QB i ever saw, using skill set alone, no other measure was Dan Fouts. If Fouts had’nt played with some of the worst defenses of his era i believe he would have won 5 or 6 SB’s.

      10. Manning reminds me of Marino sometimes. Marino was one of the finest passers ever, and he had command of his offense similar to PM. In that group you could put Waterfield and Van Brocklin and Jurgensen.
        Under best QB it all starts with Montana and Unitas for me. Elway’s resume is damn good. Favre tossed too many picks but he’s too good to leave off.
        Terry Bradshaw had some awesome clutch performances, but he was a kucklehead early in his career. Staubach another who qualifies as a QB/Leader. I loved Stabler’s two minute drill.

      11. I love you guys but really ,no John Unitas. He played for 18 years, passed for over 40,000 yards while playing during the time when the season was 12/14 games plus when football was a contact sport! No bump and run full time contact!

      12. Angus

        Manning threw the interception that sealed that loss. Also, Irsay owned Manning, then got rid of him because he wanted a champion. Irsay is Niner-esque in that regard. I think I’ll stick with him.

        Grant, I’ve gotten you about 200 hits over the last 3 days. Off to jolly old England now. Best to you and all. Until January …

      13. E,
        I’d refrain from using Jim Irsay in support of any argument, ever. He’s an absolute tool, and I would suspect he’s the football genius behind the Trent Richardson acquisition for a 1st rounder. Richardson must be one helluva winner if Irsay wanted him…….except he’s a tentative, plodding bust.

  5. The big-mouthed Bucs secondary call themselve’s “the no fly zone.”
    Time for some “Shock and Awe” on Sunday!
    TGIF!!! Get to Bevmo or your local Rite Aid Niner brothas….plan ahead for Sunday Bucs beatdown.

  6. Balance is great but c’mon the 49ers need to more Explosive Plays down the field if the 49ers want to get back to the Promise Land. Everybody knows that & I would like to think that these next few games is an opportunity to accentuate the Passing Game for no other reason is to show who ever the 49ers meet in the Playoffs they’ll have more to think about.

    And what about the Screens?

    I thought Roman’s answer to that was Lame, 2nd fewest Team to use Screens?

    What an embarrassment!

    And how about the mis-opportunities to utilize McDonald on Seam Passes?

    That guy would be a Match Up problem for an LB or Safety with his speed & range.

    I love my 49ers but it’s very frustrating to see them not use all their weapons.

    1. The seam route to the tight end are way underutilized. As for the screens, their offensive line is about power and not finesse. Kaepernick got too muscular for the touch pass…..

      1. You mean like the one where VMac dropped the ball against the Panthers? lol. Yes it is underutilized in this offense.

      2. Great play, drop or whatever you feel happened on the play, it is a good play to try often when you have a TE that is athletic like McDonald is, and has a LB on him regularly in those situations.

        The Niners don’t use all their weapons often enough I don’t think that is debatable, but the question is whether that is due to the play calls or Kap not throwing to them. Probably both.

      3. Claude,
        VMac was interviewed two weeks later and asked about his progress with the team and out of nowhere he mentioned that “drop”. It haunts him because he knows he should have caught it and he understands the ramifications of that “drop”.

      4. Bay:

        It’s great that McDonald takes responsibility for the incompletion. All players should have that attitude. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s right. Go back and watch the play. Kuechly’s pulling on McDonald’s left arm is what caused the “drop”.

      5. I understand Claude. However it’s not that cut and dry. Once you get two hands on a ball, defenders try to separate you from it. Half of this room probably feels like VMac should have made the catch and the other half probably agrees with your interpretation of what happened. IMO, he got two hands on it, immediately followed by his arm being tugged. He should have controlled it against his body.
        Grant, there is your next blog poll lol.

      6. That was a simply a great play by Kuechly. MacDonald is (admirably) putting on his ‘no excuses’ face, but there’s no way that’s even close to being classified as a drop, IMO. Simply a real great defensive play.
        It wasn’t too long ago that the seam to Davis was our only play….you’d think it’ll be more available in the stretch with Crab and Boldin on the outside, hopefully occupying safeties.

      1. Jack, Im aware that it would be time consuming to find the plays but given the very few amount of screens that we ran it would be very interesting if you were able to find the all-22 on them and break down why they didn’t work and what the team needs to do to make screens work for them.

      2. I can see Maiocco’s logic here but I also think they have two of the most athletic OT’s in the league who could excel in the screen game if they used it more often. GB is one of the best screen teams in the league and I don’t see any great Olineman on that team. I think it is about work in practice and getting the timing down. I would bet it is a very small part of the practice schedule.

      3. Rocket,

        Part of why screens work for GB, even without a great O line, is that the passing game is their biggest weapons, and, as a result, defenses have fewer players near the line of scrimmage.

        The converse is true for the 49ers.

      4. ex,

        There is some truth to that, but the screen is a weapon to take advantage of the pass rush and the more players around the LOS, the better the results will be. There have been numerous times where a screen pass would have resulted in a big play for this team but they just don’t use it.

      5. The comments saying that the 49ers OL weren’t suited for screens is BS. Staley, Boone and Davis are very nimble, especially Staley, and they most certainly can get out in front of runs. The issue is that the screen game is best run against man coverage on obvious passing downs, especially against an LB blitz. Fast RBs help too, and Gore is generally the guy used on passing downs b/c of his blocking. Teams usually have 8 in the box against us, so there isn’t as much room on the screen. Also, would love to see a quick WR screen to Crabs with Boone and ADavis peeling out while VDavis chips the LDE to keep the throwing lane open. Just not against Revis, he’ll kill that play.

      6. When running outside screens to the halfback you generally don’t want the tackles involved out wide. Instead their role is to work the defensive end up the field and out of the passing lane, while the guards/center pull out to pick up the linebackers.

        While Iupati is pretty good in the box he struggles to get out wide on moving linebackers.

      7. Jack,

        You want the Tackle to break off his block and get into the downfield block on the screen ideally. While Iupati is not the most nimble of Guards I still disagree that he can’t get out on the perimeter for a screen. If setup correctly you don’t need top athleticism in your Olineman to pull it off.

      8. Rocket,

        Not typically on an outside screen. I have found 4 of the 5 screens to the halfbacks, and so far 2 of them are actually inside screens. These fit their personnel better because it allows them to get the tackle and center upfield, leaving the slower guards inside.

      9. As far as the Screen itself, every team I’ve ever been a part of had both the OT and OG on the play side release their blocks and slide out to block for the screen. We’d also alternate between the Center or other side Guard pulling to help out as well. I’ve seen numerous teams in the NFL do it this way.

    2. Folsom,
      good points. We need to make an executive decision as to who our deep threat is going to be the next three games. We need to take the shot at least once and do it early in the games. My vote is for Manningham to be that guy. It’s what he is good at. It’s how Eli utilized him. It’s either him or, Patton.

      As far as mismatches for VMac, I think the 49ers have him in a “time out”. He is a full time blocker. It’s his punishment for not making any plays with the limited opportunities that he’s had. Next time he gets a shot, he better toughen up and use it wisely. No more drops.

      What is frustrating is that I don’t understand the 49ers “plan” for certain guys. What is our goal with VMac and what is the “plan” to get him there? We have had some blowouts where the timing was perfect to force feed that ball to someone. VMac is that perfect someone. Or John Baldwin. Let them see 4 or 5 targets. Work on specific routes. We don’t do that and it drives me nuts.

      1. “We have had some blowouts where the timing was perfect to force feed that ball to someone. VMac is that perfect someone. Or John Baldwin.”

        The role for VMac is more of an inline blocker. This has allowed them to move Davis around more within the formations.

        Why should they have force fed the ball to Baldwin? Would have been a waste of time. They knew he was only holding a spot until Manningham and Crabtree came back.

      2. Jack,
        the point was to get another option up to speed in our offense. Build chemistry with our QB who obviously needs a rapport with a receiver to utilize him.

        Lets play the what if game. What if Boldin goes down? We’ve already seen what happens when Crabs goes down.

        And don’t give me this inline blocker crap. If he is expected to block fine. Why is he not receiving more targets? It’s what he actually did in College. Receive the ball. We need our players confident rolling into the playoffs. You can’t all of a sudden ask guys to do something they only do in practice and expect excellence out of them.
        We used a number two pick on VMac. At this point, either the coaching staff doesn’t trust him, CK doesn’t trust him, or he’s just not good enough to get open and catch the ball.

      3. Bay its not that unusual for a first year player not to produce, in fact its much closer to the norm than the opposite. We can all pick out the rookies who perform their rookie yr but i would guess it 5 to 1 vs those who take a yr to acclimate

      4. Bay,

        Your what if game question first. If Boldin goes down Patton will be the one to replace him, not Baldwin.

        The targets that went to Walker last season have been split between McDonald and Miller this season. And look at it this way, his 16 targets through the first 13 games are 16 more than their 2012 first round pick had through the same time period.

    3. Folsom49er says:
      December 13, 2013 at 8:32
      more Explosive Plays down the field
      You mean like a 51 yard run play to set up the win? Someone just posted a stat the other day that said we were either middle or top middle of the pack when it came to # of plays over 20 yards.

      1. Bingo. Our problem is inconsistency. I don’t know where we rank now, but I thought earlier in the year we were worst in the league for 3 and out drives.

  7. Anyone else having an issue with the blog where it will sometimes re-load to a blank screen, usually after clicking a link or posting a response? Not sure if it’s my browser or the blog.

  8. That game last night is why I don’t put my hard earned money on the line with these games. Any given day I guess.

    1. That is exactly what it is CFC. Any given day is what this league is all about and last night wasn’t just a win for the Chargers but a convincing one as well. I don’t know if it ‘s just my imagination but Manning’s passes really look weak at times and I’m wondering if he’s starting to lose some steam or if his neck is bothering him again.

    2. Coffee just remember underdogs win with the spread 60% of the time and the favorites who cover are more often those few really good teams. Use those rules and you will usually end up better than 50% but college is much easier to pick.

      1. Underdogs cover 60% of the time? I’m slightly degenerate in my gambling…..I question that stat. If it were true, I’d be a billionaire by now.

    1. Wow Jack….Outstanding work! I didn’t realize you can zoom in on the pictures by touching them. At least on my old Galaxy SII you can.

      1. Grant – I hope you stay with us for a long time but If/when you must walk (better career opportunity).
        I nominate Jack Hammer to take over the blog….I’m dead serious.
        Press Dem should hire him down the road.

      2. FDM – Thanks for your input and I will follow your advice on having another beer.
        Which regular blogger would you select to take over? There are several other worthy bloggers but please give me a name.

      3. Crabs
        Somebody as objective and levelheaded as possible, no predominant biases, with good football knowledge and the ability to explain it. I’m thinking maybe Prime or E.
        But I’d vote for FDM as our doctor if he’ll keep prescribing beer. Just had an Anchor Steam Christmas Ale, so I’m doing what I can for the team.

      4. BT, Hammer, Space, Razor…you dudes all rock! Space rocks for real.
        I will try to locate and try all those beer suggestions in SoCal. I read all your posts and many others all the time….keep ‘em coming…..this blog is a great escape from the sometimes nutty world.

      5. Furthermore – This is our man cave but don’t forget about your lady and kids fellas. Wine and dine your girl and buy the kids the latest video game and we’re all happy.
        Maybe your girl/wife aint doin what she used to do but that’s ok…. keep on keepin on. You’ll be rewarded eventually.
        Once again….Treat your lady right.

      6. Crabs, here’s a link to a little bit of my musical history. These guys used to practice in an old barn in what I’d call a “country block” away from where I lived as a teenager. But out there in the country with no street noise, I could hear them play clearly and it really influenced me to start playing myself. Though I never got to actually play on any recordings or gig with them (too young and not a very good guitarist), they would let me come over and jam with them on my cheap Harmony single-pickup electric guitar while I learned my chops. Though they never hit the big time except as a local band, it was pretty cool — and still helped with gettin’ the babes, lol.

      7. @Space
        Ha! I heard Billy Joel asked once if his parents influenced him and convinced him to take up music. He said, “Nah, its was a way to meet chicks, man.”

      8. Brotha, ah, the chicks! Being a teenager during that era of free love — well, gotta be honest — I did much better than I deserved, lol. Most were older than me and introduced me to things women were willing to do that I had been previously ignorant of if you get what I mean. Those were the days, my friend!

      9. Space – Thanks for thinking of me bro…That “Plastic People” song was terrific for my taste.
        I didn’t have time yet to look at more stuff on there, it’s my wife’s birthday and we are headed out to in-laws :( lol… then to dinner. Gotta wine and dine tonight…..will get back to you though. Thanks again man.
        Go Niners and go N.Y. Giants!!

    2. First play; fail because the running back made the wrong cut

      Second play; fail because the defense was able to immediately recognize the play which in the case of most screens is fatal. What could the offense have done to make this play work?

      Third play; success 9 yard play

      Fourth play; success 6 yard play

      Fifth play; fail because of a defender recognizing the play. What could they have done to stop the DT from getting to Gore?

      2/5 isn’t great but I’m not seeing anything that suggests they shouldn’t be running it more often, do you? A better cut by Dixon and it’s 3/5. What was the main differences between the successful plays and the ones that aren’t, seems like good defense and possibly execution are the main factors. I again still see no reason for them to call it so infrequently.

      1. One thing that sticks out is that 4/5 of the screens were attempted on 2nd down always run in a medium to long distance situation. Two 2nd & 5′s a 2nd &10 and a 2nd &24, the last one is a 3rd & 9.

        If you’re a DC you’d easily tell your guys to look for a screen on a 2nd and medium or longer.

      2. The 49ers run more screens to the outside with the receivers etc. PFF did not include a screen to Hunter in their numbers when he was lined up out wide as a receiver.

        I would like to see them put together a list of number of halfback screens by team. Would like to see the % of those across the league. Also a list of all screens, halfback, WR, etc. Wouldn’t surprise me that the raw numbers show the 49ers near the bottom since they also have thrown the fewest passes.

    3. Did you see anything that suggests the size of our lineman has anything to do with why they aren’t call more? It didn’t look like it to me.

    4. Jack, another good one. I have to say it’s been a pleasure seeing you evolve as a blog writer. You take the time to do the research that enables you to incorporate it into your blog’s theme without overdoing it as one comment suggested. Just keep it up and good things will keep happening.

  9. Jack,

    Be very carefull . They love you now but the secound they disagree with you they will turn on you like a pack of wolves ….Hah!

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