SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the 49ers media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said about his coaching background and philosophy.
Rams LB James Laurinaitis was talking about some of your run concepts, formations, it’s unique. You just don’t see it with any other team. He specifically talked about the split back. What are some of your influences? Did you watch the Bill Walsh installation tapes? Did that influence you?
“The person that really taught me all that was George Seifert. I worked for George in Carolina and he had a tremendous impact on me as a football coach. I was privy to all that stuff back then, and got to watch all the films and what not and learned about it. But as far as our schemes go, scheme doesn’t matter, it’s players. The players executing the plays matters. And that’s the bottom line. We talked about first day of training camp with our offense, fundamentals, conditioning precedes everything. Fundamentals precede scheme. Ultimately execution is all that matters, no matter what you call. So, anything that succeeds is a credit simply to the players. I think we always keep an eye, an ear and a nose to our players and what we feel that they can do well and try to emphasize that.”
Why is the split back formation never used any more?
“You know, you’d have to ask them. You’d have to ask them. I don’t know. I don’t want to get into a big thing here, but that used to be the norm a long time ago and then it kind of evolved in the 80’s to I-Backs. You try to marry everything you do together so, I think everybody’s more of an I-Back field. But I will say this, I think certain types of backs can run that stuff and certain types of backs you really wouldn’t want to run that stuff with. And we have backs that are multi-dimensional that can run that stuff. So, it’s good.”
How much of an advantage is it that you guys do stuff that’s unique and other teams aren’t seeing it on a weekly basis?
“It can be an advantage. It can be. But it’s overrated. It really is. It’s all about the players on the field executing, no matter what you do. But at the same time, it’s always nice to expand and evolve as you go. So, that’s something you definitely want to do. Every team’s different. You’ve got to measure what’s right for you.”
Laurinaitis was saying that he has to be on the lookout for unusual plays, trick plays, things like that. I know you don’t like trick plays.
“Never heard of them.”
Is that an advantage to you guys that sort of takes away from the defense’s aggression because they’re always on the lookout for something that might be unusual?
“I don’t know. You probably have to ask him. But we do what we do. We’ve just got to go out and execute what we do at a high level and that’s the bottom line as we move into November.”