Roman: “I think we can change gears pretty quickly.”

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.

ROMAN: Good afternoon. We’ve got a very good Houston team coming in. We’ve got a very complete defense, a playoff team that won a lot of games there, a complete team. When you look at their defense, it starts up front but they’re really talented at every level of their defense. You look at their two defensive ends, Watt and Smith, very, very good football players. Watt is a very unique player, plays with a frenetic style, very talented. The whole defense plays with very high motors. Line backing crew, they’re a 3-4 type of scheme really led by Cushing who is sideline-to-sideline. And then you look at their secondary, Jackson and Joseph outside, very highly rated against the pass. At the safeties you’ve got Manning and a Hall of Famer in Reed. We’ve got our hands full. Really dialed in here. Having a great week. Had some great meetings today. Looking forward to having a great practice. Any questions?

Q: Do the Texans keep Watt on the left side?

ROMAN: They move him around. Boy, he can stir it up. He stirs it up in the run game, pass game, front side, back side, double team, single blocked, this guy is a handful. We’re taking a hard look at studying. He can appear anywhere.

Q: Are you looking forward to the Watt-Boone matchup? It seems like two guys who are at the top of their games right now.

ROMAN: We’re looking forward to whoever against Watt. Whoever that is is going to be in for a full day. Our guys are excited about the challenge. I don’t think it’s going to just be one guy against one guy all day. I’m sure Alex will have a chance to block him.

Q: Do you expect Jon Baldwin to be on the field in most of your two wide receiver sets?

ROMAN: I think everybody that’s on the 53 and makes it to the game day is very important to our team. Everybody is going to have a role and Jonathan definitely is going to have a substantial role.

ME: What do you like about John Skelton as a quarterback?

ROMAN: We’ve got some exposure from competing against John. I think he’s big, got good stature, good arm. We got a chance to visit with him about three weeks ago, like his visit, liked his demeanor. Had a really good workout with us. Brings a veteran presence to the group. We’ll see where it goes.

ME: You mentioned Skelton’s stature. Jim Harbaugh mentioned Skelton’s stature yesterday. The team brought in two quarterbacks this offseason – Colt McCoy and B.J. Daniels – who don’t have stature in the pocket, they’re short by NFL quarterback standards. Why has stature now become an attribute you prioritize?

ROMAN: I just think when you describe a player like John, that’s one of the things that you can point to, his ability to see the defense and get the ball up and over the tall trees when necessary. That’s certainly not being derogatory to quarterbacks without great stature. But when describing John, I think that’s one of the things -a  big, big guys who’s able to stand in the pocket and deliver down the field.

Q: What are the challenges of trying to fit LaMichael James into the offense and find a role for him, especially in an offense that seems so based around a power run game?

ROMAN: I think we can change gears pretty quickly. With a player like LaMichael, it’s really not a challenge to find things for him to do. He’s a very important part of our offense. From week to week he’s going to have a different role. I think we’ve that in the past where LaMichael steps in and now all of a sudden you’ve got a different style coming at the defense and it allows you to do different things and focus more on his skill-set, and we’ve seen that.

Q: I don’t know that we’ve ever seen it while Kendall Hunter has been healthy. Is there a lot of overlap between what those guys do?

ROMAN: I think they’re unique but you can do very similar things with them. The more we stay on the field, the more we can utilize those weapons. It’s definitely a function of how many plays you’re running, how many opportunities you have during the game and trying to forecast that when you’re putting a plan together.

Q: Are opposing defenses more prepared for the read-option, more ready for it, than they were last year?

ROMAN: You’d probably have to ask them about how much time they spent on it. But I do think from time to time we’re seeing people that are game planning in order to box you in. People have definitely tried to change what they’ve done and rob Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. I definitely think there has been an effort to do that.

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  1. KNBR ripping the 49ers on releasing too much talent. And Balkee’s trading for them,just to release them.
    And another topic: wow,the lack of any bay area reaction to Lance being fired. Good thing Lance banked those millions.

  2. This is the part of the transcript that really stood out to me:

    But I do think from time to time we’re seeing people that are game planning in order to box you in. People have definitely tried to change what they’ve done and rob Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. I definitely think there has been an effort to do that.

    Every team has played them that way and it took until last week for them to adjust their thinking and gameplan. This move to Skelton from Daniels is a definite shift in what they’ve done at the position up until now.

    1. Yep, the ol’ bait and switch. Get them leaning one way, then go the other way. In essence, that’s really what I think is going on behind the scenes. I think it’s great that they didn’t wait until it was ‘broke’, just beaten up pretty good!

    1. Jack, do you think they go dime instead of nickel because their ILB’s aren’t that good in coverage? Or is is just their defensive philosophy?

      1. I think it’s just their philosophy Space. The way they do it, the safeties are just more athletic linebackers.

  3. My feelings about the LMJ Q and A
    If a La Micheal James package comes in then chances are an opposing D is prepared for it and able to change up accordingly.
    To me it would be better if the opposing defense had no chance for substitution and even better if they had to guess up to the last moment as to whether it would be a power run or a LMJ around the edge.
    So I am thinking I or maybe even a wishbone that features both James and Gore together in the backfield. That would add a third dimension to play action and even possibly read option if desired.
    The two run opportunities threaten pounding the middle of the defense and at the same time threaten stretching the D line laterally. The third dimension, the pass keeps them honest down field. If left guessing this is a whole field to cover.
    The I would give the QB a fake to the blocking back and the wishbone an either or hand off and plus a miss direction fake. Imagine the opposing D crowding the line from edge to edge to stop a two headed run threat, Davis is released down field thus the two backs pick up the blocking. Bingo.

  4. LMJ will be more effective with Jon Baldwin on the field and with the return of Manningham and Crabtree. But when it’s LMJ, K. Williams, & Q. Patton there are just too many small stop and go targets on the field that lack range. They take too long and have to make to many moves to get open and Kap is long gone out of the pocket. Just wait and see, guys with playmaking range makes a big difference, with Baldwin and Mannigham returning Kaepernick will be a beast.

  5. 49ers dumped too many A catagory players and replaced them with the busts of other teams. 49ers no longer have the ability to play at last year level. Roman said that they can chage gear fast but in last 4 games I haven’t anything that matches his statement. Beating a worse team in NFL doesn’t make you good team.

  6. Tampa Bay can’t catch a break this season. They cut Freeman the morning before the Browns starting QB tears his ACL. Now the Browns will likely have to sign Freeman. What horrible luck.

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