Roman: “We’ve just got to eliminate that one play within a series that would put us behind the eight ball.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Good afternoon. Have a really good opponent coming in in Seattle. You look at their defense, they’ve had some injuries. That’s a bunch of guys in there. We’ve seen [Seattle defensive lineman Demarcus] Dobbs and [Seattle fullback] Tukuafu, Will, in there at times. They’ve gotten their guys back and had a really good win last week as did we. That’s a short week, so, the challenges are many and we embrace that. Any questions?

 

You looked at your watch. Has this been a topsy-turvy week for you guys? What’s the workload been like for the coaching staff?

“Well, I mean, everybody in the league pretty much goes through it with a Thursday game. Once you get done with your previous game, kiss the wife and kids, wave to them and get back to work. But you see it on the schedule months ahead, so, you try to get ahead on it a little bit.”

 

What about the physical challenges of it? Does it affect the way you use your personnel? Only short-day’s rest, not everybody’s totally recovered?

“I think [head coach Jim] Coach Harbaugh does a great job of really kind of letting the guys tempo and build up during the week. Really, just get them prepared for the game day on short rest. As far as personnel and decision making in the game, not really. Both teams have the same challenge. We traveled to Baltimore a couple of years ago on Thanksgiving. That was a short week.”

 

Can I assume no contact at all this week, right?

“No, absolutely not. It’s just a day-by-day thing. Just gradually building up. On a short week, it’s not like you’re going to reinvent the wheel. It’s more about getting guys full speed mentally just so they can go play fast on game day, turkey day.”

 

What went into the decision to practice here at Levi’s® Stadium tonight?

“You probably want to talk to Coach Harbaugh about that. We had a little walkthrough in there yesterday as well with the lights. The day starts a little bit later for these night games. When in the North Atlantic, right?”

 

How many times have you been in there since the start of the regular season?

“I believe that was our first.”

 

You guys haven’t played real well at home. You guys seemed to be more effective on the road. Do you think it’s still kind of an unfamiliar setting on game days?

“I wouldn’t say we haven’t played good. We’ve won more than we lost. Certainly would’ve liked to play better. I don’t know that we’ve played our best football yet and certainly not at home. I definitely think there’s a little bit of an adjustment period there breaking it in.”

 

Guys have said you guys feel like you’re close to an offensive breakthrough. What do you feel like you guys have to do to kind of make sure that happens here down the stretch?

“I think our best football is ahead of us. And really just tighten down a few things here and there. A thing here and a thing there. At times, we’re playing like we want to play. I think some drives end based on one play or one thing that happened. I think we’ve been pretty successful over the course of time doing what we want to do. But we;ve just got to eliminate that one play within a series that would put us behind the eight ball from a down-and-distance standpoint or end the series before we want it ended. We got the guys to do it. We’ve done it before and we look forward to doing it again.”

 

Harbaugh after the game said that QB Colin Kaepernick’s playing great with a capital ‘G’. Is he playing his best right now that you’ve seen and what do you like most about it?

“I think at times he’s playing better than he’s ever played without question. I think there’s a play here or a play there that he’d like to have back. I think he’s commanding the offense extremely well. I definitely think he’s moving through his progressions in a good way. He’s making some clutch throws, too. I think he’s led us down the field in must-have situations or gotten us out off the goal line in critical, clutch situations. Think he’s done a very good job. I mean, that last drive, that ball he got in there to [WR] Anquan [Boldin], that was just a great throw-and-catch. You just don’t see that. You can look around, keeping looking, but not a lot of guys can put that ball in there in that situation. But it was a great play. And then Boldin, who can only be described as double tough, what a play by him. Not only to catch it, finish with the catch, and continue on. That play kind of encapsulates Anquan and it’s really indicative of what Kap’s capable of, too.”

 

We know how the NFC title game ended over the last few plays, the turnovers. But he also, Colin, kept you guys in the game offensively with a lot of stuff he did. Do you look back on that game and think that was a pretty good game by Colin?

“Again, I think there was some amazingly good plays, a couple plays you’d like to have back. Thought it was a great effort. You’re always striving for the perfect game. But he keeps coming in every day looking to improve. I’m very glad he’s our quarterback, let me just say that.”

 

We all know the backstory about these two teams. From the outside, looks like there have been stories about guys almost having personal grudges against each other. How do you coach to that? Do you have to talk to these guys about not making it personal and just playing as a team against another team?

“I don’t think we really have to because I think some of that’s overblown. Our division, every game is truly a, it’s a battle, a true battle. Every game in the National Football League is. But our division especially brings a special kind of football and it’s not for the meek. We have a great respect for Seattle and every other team in our division along those lines. Everybody understands that it’s going to be a tough football game and it’s all about the football, just playing good football.”

 

You don’t get concerned that guys are having personal stuff going on?

“We’ve never had any issues with that.”

 

What does the fact that the first-team offense finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter this season, what does that do for the confidence, not only for Colin individually, but for the unit as a whole going forward?

“I just think in-and-of itself. It was just a great drive and we had to have it. We had some turnovers and whatnot and some unique situations early in the game. It was a tough football game against a pretty good defense. We had to have it. They went down and got it done. I don’t think anybody really blinked or thought anything else was going to happen.”

 

In the offseason, a lot of people were talking about how WR Michael Crabtree just never got back to full strength last season. Do you see this year that he’s, even though the stats might not reflect it, but do you see that he’s running better and that he’s closer to what he was pre-Achilles?

“Yes, in short. There’s no question. I think he’s moving better now than he has since the injury. By now, I mean today, even more so than earlier in the year when had some other things going on. Yeah, I think he’s moving as good now as I’ve seen him since the injury.”

 

Colin, in his career against the Seahawks, has three touchdowns and seven interceptions and a rating around 50. Obviously, they’ve got a really good defense is part of that. Is there something about that matchup that he struggles in?

“No. The stats are what they are. They’re very good on defense and they always have been. I remember when we first got here, in what was it, 2011, in the offseason looking at their defense in 2010 and going, ‘Wow, these guys are really good.’ And now, I think they’ve gotten better, but they were really good back then. It’s just a function of executing it one play at a time, just taking the game one play at a time against this team.”

 

Question about their defense. With Seattle DT Brandon Mebane out and then DT Kevin Williams going in, what are their styles like? Does that change them at all?

“Not a whole lot. Mebane, I think, is kind of a special kind of guy. I think they just bring a little bit of a different skill set. Mebane has played in that system and he’s physically a unique guy with a center of gravity and whatnot. They’re both very good players, very accomplished players. I don’t think you’re going to see a whole lot changing from them.”

  1. Headline says it all.
    Drops
    Penalties
    Sacks
    Missed blocks
    It seems almost every drive has one of these plays.
    I think we will see the best our offense has this Thursday.
    No drops
    Limited missed execution
    No turnovers
    Limited sacks.
    This is where championship caliber teams step up.

      1. It’s the “herding 11 cats” theory.

        In most drives all it takes is for one cat to wonder at the right moment, and the drive is dead or worth only three points.

    1. @Ninermd,

      Yes on EVERYTHING you Posted.

      This is week#13 and the 49ers Offense hasn’t come close to a Complete game. So as my father use to say….

      “If not now….then when?”

      It starts with the O-Line. They have to do a much better job than what they showed in the Championship game in Run Blocking because they got Walled in January.

      Secondly, Roman has to be much more aggressive in using the 4-5 WR Sets so the Offense can utilize ALL their weapons…#13, #84 & #85 (where are you?) not just be limited to Boldin & Crabtree otherwise the 49ers have no chance of winning.

      I think I covered everything.

  2. Question for Coach Harbaw:

    are you nervous?

    Two wins against Seattle put you where you want to be.
    Two losses and… dang..!!! Pete Carroll will be a
    happy, gum-chewing son-of-a-gun.

    1. Dude, go troll somewhere else. No one is interested in reading your nonsense.

      Seattle has not won in SF since 2008. That means they have not played well since 2008. Your biggest weakness (OL), goes head-to-head against our biggest strength. With Aaron Lynch, we have our strongest pass rush in years.

      If Seattle loses they are done. The Niners have one road game after that. Their schedule is soft beyond Seattle again, and Cards at home. Seattle has the Eagles and Cardinals on the road. To boot, AZ probably will have home field wrapped up and nothing to play for against the 49ers in the last game.

  3. “We’ve just got to eliminate that one play within a series that would put us behind the eight ball.”
    ————————-
    Rather then strive for perfection I’d rather they were just a more potent offense that wasn’t so put off by a single play during a drive.

    1. It hasn’t been just one play all the time on some
      Of these drives. They’ve overcome some penalties or dropped balls only to be set back later in the drives with another problem.

    2. “We’ve just got to eliminate that one offensive coordinator who would put us behind the eight ball.”

      There, fixed.

    3. CFC
      We have given up 16 sacks on first down this season, that pretty much effs up that particular drive. I havnt done the breakdown of those sacks and the particular situation (formation, personnel, play call etc) but maybe a run or a quick throw would help in keeping us ahead of the sticks. But overall I agree, walk upright before you sprint. Perfection might be asking too much

  4. That’s such a defeatist attitude to me. So, anytime we have a bad play that doesn’t gain any yards or potentially loses a few yards that drive is already over??

      1. And it’s a lot easier to overcome third and five or less, than third and ten or more for almost every team in the NFL. The ways one mistake can kill a drive is endless. The best offenses over come those situations more often than the offenses that aren’t so good. Even if you don’t let your own mistakes kill drives, you’ve still got some defenses like Seattle that are going to make in hard on any offense.

  5. week 13 NFL power rankings:

    Chiefs……….. #8
    Seahawks….. #9
    49ers………… #13

    question for Coach Harbaw:
    where will we stand after a loss to Seattle on Thursday night?

    I am the Super Bowl monkey and I approve of this message.

  6. 49ers are winning games and GRo’s play calling has been a huge reason why. He’s slowing the tempo and avoiding early 3 n outs which allows the defenders a breather, he’s establishing the run by keeping the oline limber and engaged which spills over into better pass protection. I just wish he’d take the reigns off of kaep to let it loose in the red zone where the passing windows become narrower and every decision is amplified. Overall, I’m glad Romans putting it together!

    1. Uh huh, I sense your optimism, but I think this is a classic case of too little, too late. The losses against Chicago and St. Louis put us in a big hole. Our record is 7-4, tied with Seattle and two games behind Phoenix, which as you know beat us. Our remaining schedule consists of the Seahawks (twice), Raiders, Chargers, and Cardinals. It is unlikely that we will win all these games, even if our offense improves, and potentially, the way our offense has been, we could lose four. It would take a small miracle for us to get to the playoffs. Our final record is likely to be 8-8, at best 9-7. This of course is just my opinion, but I think I am being realistic.

            1. That’s not a bad mindset. If this season is a no-go, the future does rest on his shoulders. There is no way they will draft a QB next year ready to lead the team to the SB. Andrew Lucks happen once every 10 years or so, and you have to draft in the top 5 to get them. We are lucky to have gotten Kaep. He’s got some maturing to do as a QB and as a young fellow, but I believe that will happen. If we don’t make the playoffs, what do you think York and Baalke will do about the OC? That’s really a tough one, because I would hate to lose Harbaugh as the head coach.

              1. George I’ve used Bay’s current method for 69 seasons. It’s worked for me through thick and thin and more thin.

              1. Thanks Rib. It’s up to Grant to clean things up. Obvious it’s fan77 IMO that is hijacking my name and avatar.
                Not even on Thanksgiving can he stop being an a hole.

    2. My concern with Kaepernick, and I have seen it with Wilson this year too, is that he appears to be late deciding to run. He is so focused on trying to read the field he is taking off late on plays he should just tuck and run.

      1. He has to learn to do that which is why he’s not running as much. A QB has to be able to let plays develop downfield before taking off and Kap is slowly learning to do that. He might be leaving some plays on the field where he could have run, but in the long run standing in there will make him a better QB.

  7. This game is going to come down to the 49ers offense vs Seattles defense. If we can sustain drives and scored touchdowns, we win this game. I plan for them to do the same thing we will do against wilson. Stack the box and force him to pass. Kaep has to keep his poise, use his legs, and be smart. It’s okay to throw the ball away.

    Our defense has to be smart as far as keeping Wilson in the pocket. From the stats I’ve seen from games, he’s been running a lot. Teams do good job of stopping the run game until Wilson begins to scramble. We have to keep him in the pocket. I’d say we keep the basic 4 man rush, with the occasional delayed blitz.

  8. I hate going into this game with Jonathan Martin starting. When we first picked him up I didn’t think he’d even make the team….

  9. Just want to wish all my American Niner fans a Happy Thanksgiving!
    We fight claw and scratch but at the end of the day we just all love this team! Have a good one!

      1. Thanks, Prime, and right back at ya, as well as all the Niner-loving posters here. Here’s hoping we have another BIG reason to be thankful late Thursday night!

        And (almost) completely off-topic, I just read that Troy Aikman considers Joe Montana the best QB of all time. I guess WE all knew it, but it’s gratifying to hear it from a rival. There’s your feel-good story for the day!

    1. Very warm thoughts nicely stated, Mr. Time. Thank you. And best wishes to all for the Holiday. Let’s roast some bird tomorrow! Go Niners.

  10. It’s Roman ‘ s fault Colin isn’t the highest rated QB in the league. He passes better than any other player in the league hands down

      1. Aldon Smith might be quick but I’ve never seen him bench press 300 pound lineman off of him like he was a 90 pound nerd

  11. Hearing too much pessimism here. The NY Giants proved some years ago that all you need to do is get to the playoffs.
    No one expected them to win a playoff game let alone a friggin superbowl.

    The 49ers are not a high potent offense as we all know, but with 5 games left to play we still are very much in contention for a playoff spot.

    btw, My favorite baseball team just won a World Series by just making it to the playoffs in a one game elimination against the Pirates.
    Don’t tell me it can’t be done.

      1. MWN,
        Good work by Chris (T-Rex) Borland. I believe he made a similar play in college as well. The kid can flat-out play football and is fearless.
        If he didn’t play football he could have made a great Navy Seal.

        Been a 49ers fan since the days me and my friends would save Berkeley Farms Milk carton coupons and go watch them at the old Kezar Stadium.
        Grew up watching John Brodie, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wilcox, Ken Willard, Roland Lakes, Matt Hazeltine, Gene Washington and others.

        Seen the good, bad, and ugly with my team and when they were out of the playoff picture by the 6 game of the season I just turned my hope to the following year.
        Yup, I riding this team no matter what direction they go.
        But with 5 games left they certainly are in the thick of the playoff run – no need to sound any alarms just yet.

    1. Nonsense.

      Niners 24, Sqawks 20.

      Midget – 170 yards, 1 TD, 2 ints, 30 yds rushing
      Mutemode – 75 yards

      Kaep – 220 yards, 2 TDs, 0 ints, 50 yds rushing
      Gore – 60 yards
      Hyde – 40 yards, 1 TD
      Boldin – 70 yds 1 TD, Stevie – 45 yds 1 td, Crabs – 60 yds

  12. Nobody is mentioning it, but the one play which totally changed the game last week was the Hyde fumble in the 2nd quarter. Up till then, the Niners were in control, and were at the 40 with a first down. A score there would have pretty much put the game away. Instead the Hyde fumble flipped field position, and kept the Skins from mentally checking out then and there. I believe that is what Roman is talking about when he talks about the one play putting us behind the eight ball.

    Different topic: Here’s the way I see the rest of the season playing out:

    I believe the Niners will split the two games vs Seattle, and beat the Raiders, Chargers, and Cards to finish 11-5. The Cards will beat the Falcons, but lose to the Rams, Seattle, Niners, and Chiefs to finish 10-6. The Seahawks will split with the Niners, beat the Rams and the Cards, and lose to the Eagles to finish 10-6.

    Playoff Seeding prediction
    NFC: 1. Packers 2. Niners, 3. Cowboys 4. Saints 5. Eagles 6. Seahawks
    AFC: 1. Patriots 2. Broncos 3. Bengals, 4 Colts, 5. Chiefs, 6. Ravens

  13. Interesting how Steve young and mark Brunell on NFL live said that kaep is progressing as a pocket passer and that Russell Wilson is degressing.. Interesting! Two former QBs who acually watch tape came up with that conclusion..

    1. You really have to hate the guy to say that CK has not improved his play in the pocket. Now, we can debate whether his improvement should be more by now or not.

    2. I saw that too. I thought my TV was broken. Who would have thought Kaepernick is actually progressing more from the pocket than Mr. Elite. I’m just glad it was actually acknowledged for once.

  14. I believe that most bloggers here know that CK has progress but to many the progression has been too incremental.
    The ‘pocket QB’ aspect has been slow developing but Kap is not only learning to be a more proficient pocket QB, but learning to think like one.

    CK’ best weapon has been his legs since his playing days at Nevada and the 49ers rode that strength when he took over as a starter. But if Kap is to have real success (long term) in the NFL he has to master all the nuances that come with becoming a pocket QB.

    Let’s face it, we drafted a wild Mustang in CK, now he has to learn how to be control the wild side and play under control in the pocket.
    He is doing just that.

  15. This is THE MOST important thing I want to see from our qb tomorrow. Not huge yards, not huge TD’s, not huge running yards….
    I want to see him play this team without ONE turnover. Just that. That’s the ONE thing he hasn’t done since starting vs this team. Just has a turnover free game and I can believe you’ve progressed

    1. MD,
      Agreed.
      I would also like Roman not to overthink himself in the redzone by trying a “cutesy” play that rarely works and basically loses one down. Those type of calls have virtually given us 2 downs and a field-goal try rather than 3 downs.

      Roman has to know that these type of calls put our offense “behind the eight ball” as well.
      We have the horses to score in the redzone with basic simplistic calls instead of getting cute.

  16. Romans comments are looking straight at CK He has to stop with the Stupid turnovers not 1 not 2 but 3 , he single handle has lost the last 3 in Seattle , CK how bout you just not turn it over and lets see what those mighty Hawks do if you don’t turn it over 3 times with 8:00 left in the 4 quarter

  17. I would to see the Hawks actually have to beat us for once and not give it to them , cause we all know we don’t get the gifts (turnovers) when we beat them we have do it the old-fashioned way and punch him in the mouth for four quarters

  18. Rick started.. so.. lets go with it

    Prediction time :

    Reid, Cully and T-Rex all get INTs …
    (Cully almost takes it to the house)

    RayMac, Borland, Aldon and Lynch get sacks
    (but Aldon gets two more to add to his total)

    Stevie gets a TD .. and so does Bruce Miller
    (yeah, I know that one is a longshot .. but hey..
    it could happen)

    Final

    Niners 24
    SeaChickens 12

  19. 16 -13 Niners and we lose two players , one for the year and one for 3 games we all ways lose a player or to when we play this dirty team

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