Roman: “Needless wasting of timeouts is inefficient and not something we want to do.”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said.

ROMAN: Had a good practice yesterday, looking forward to another great one today. We’ve got a big game, division opponent, a team we’ve played four times. We know a little bit about them, they know a little bit about us. They’re a good team. They’re defense statistically the past two years has been as good as any. Pretty much their personnel, front end middle and back end are among the best in the league. Their secondary is a unique secondary as far as their size and range. They’re a good team. Knee-deep in the preparations.

Q: When you face big cornerbacks is it good to have a big, physical receiver like Anquan Boldin to match up against them? What’s the best way to attack size?

ROMAN: There are a couple of different ways to do it. You can attack size with size and say, “Our size is better than your size.” That’s one way to do it. Or you can attack it with quickness, the you-can’t-catch-me mentality. You can attack it with misdirection, that type of things, try to create a pause in their getup. They’re very good players. However you attack it, you’ve got to execute.

Q: Do you expect to see a lot more man coverage than you saw last week?

ROMAN: They’ll play man. They’ll play zone. They’re going to do what they do. They’ll definitely play some man. Always have to expect man. If a team plays man, you’ve got to go into a game expecting man all the time.

Q: Is it an easier adjustment thinking man and going zone?

ROMAN: That sounds pretty familiar. Think man, react to zone. Very good. You always want to run a route thinking man. It’s going to be physical. You’re going to have to be physical in your route. You can’t just run the lines on the paper versus man. You’ve got to get open. If it’s zone, now I react to zone. But if you’re thinking it’s zone and then bam, it’s man, it’s too late.

ME: I understand you script the first few series. After those first few series how do you choose which play to call, by feel or do you re-script between series?

ROMAN: It’s a little bit of both. We’re having constant conversations. I’ll say, “Hey, what do you think of this, do you guys like it?” And then, “No, because of this, or yes because of that.” Our staff, I think we have a good communication flow. At times, man, it’s easy. Anybody can do it. And then there are times when you’ve got to get a little creative with it. But, it’s a little bit of both, really. Every game is a little bit different in that regard, too, how it unfolds, “Hey, they’re playing what they’ve played,” or, “They’re playing something completely different, therefore we’ll probably do something different.” But we have really good communication flow as a staff. We’ll continue to get better.

ME: That communication, is it between series?

ROMAN: It’s at all times, really. It’s not a board meeting, but I think we’re getting to the point now where we can communicate a lot more efficiently than we did once we started.

Q: How has Eric Mangini been involved in that process in the days leading up to the game and even during the game?

ROMAN: He’s been great. Very, very thorough work put in on us and the opponent. I think he contributed to the game plan last week as he will every week. During the game he’s in the booth with us, helping us upstairs, helping communicate what’s going on and what just happened and whatnot between series. He’s doing a great job.

Q: Is he another set of eyes for you to really understand what the defense is doing?

ROMAN: Oh yeah. He’s part of our staff and he’s up there with eyes on the defense. Between series we’ll get together and talk.

Q: How will adjust to how loud the stadium is. Will you be using more hand signals?

ROMAN: It’s a loud stadium. We’ve just got to be very efficient with our communication. It’s just something we’ve got to practice, which we have been and we need to continue to improve. When it’s loud, verbal communication really becomes strained. You can’t let that strain of verbal communication affect your mental or physical play.

Q: There has been a lot of timeouts and using them at different times. Do you think football observers are over blowing the idea that you must save your timeouts for the end of the half and the game?

ROMAN: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Certainly, you’d love to have all of your timeouts and never have to use one. It’s something that you can always look back on after the fact and say, “Gosh, I wish we would have had a timeout there.” You’re always trying to save your timeouts but the bottom line is there are times when you need to use them to perpetuate a drive in the fashion that you wish. Needless wasting of timeouts is inefficient and not something we want to do. Now, is it over blown? I’m sure it is.

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  1. Hey Grant,
    I’ve got a feeling that the Niners might break out their hurry up offense this game to negate the crowd and tire the Hawks secondary. What personnel takes the field in the 2 minute drill and is there any way that Patton contributes?

  2. “You can attack it with misdirection, that type of things, try to create a pause in their getup.” Kyle Williams on a sweep or 2 anyone?

  3. Repeat after me ten times: “A FIVE YEAR DELAY PENALTY IN THE THIRD QUARTER IS MUCH BETTER THAN NOT HAVING A TIME OUT IN THE FOURTH QUARTER.”

  4. I sure like Roman’s interview style. I don’t think he gave anything away, but had had some specific, interesting, and direct answers. I liked reading his thoughts. It seemed like he may have unwittingly mentioned at least one cause of our late snap problems, though. No, it may not be a Board Meeting every time, but if everyone gets a vote on a play during a game, it’s not hard to imagine how the call could be coming in late. I doubt it happens often, but I’ll bet it happens. In the huddle, there’s just one guy who talks: The QB. Maybe in the booth, or on the sidelines, there oughta just be one guy talking?
    I don’t know whether that’d be better or not. It’s pretty hard to argue with the level of success these guys have had. On the other hand, we’re trying to get a little better every day, right? Gotta do something different, if you want a different outcome.

  5. The delay in getting the calls into the QB must be a pretty big problem for JH to call out Roman and his staff in public for not getting the plays into the QB quickly enough ! JH always keeps that stuff in-house,so him even admitting his staff is mostly at fault is a big deal. (He also said a couple plays that players lined up in the wrong spots but mostly he blamed himself and the staff,which to me means ROMAN and his system of play calling that seems to take him too long to decide on a play before he calls it down).

    This has been a problem just as often with Alex or with Kap,so nobody should be blaming the QB’s for this problem,it’s all on Roman imho. He needs to make quicker decisions and streamline his process.

    I remember that JH once said that at Stanford they had Roman calling all the running plays and another assistant(I think the current HC at Stanford) calling all the passing plays and everyone else chiming in with their comments from time to time during games. I wonder if Roman is still using that system and calling his plays by committee ?

    I wonder how many voices he is hearing in his headset before he decides what play to send down ? Is it that too many cooks spoil the broth or is he making the decisions by himself in the NFL and he is just plain too slow ?

    1. Tim only one coach is allowed to have access to the headset and calls with the QB. That from what I see is JH on the sideline.
      Regardless it’s the QB’s responsibility to get the play called in the huddle, break it, line everyone up and get it off. After the play is given the responsibility is all on the QB. CK is spending too much time from the huddle to getting under centre.

  6. Kaep will have to avoid the early big mistake in this one. Got away with one last week. Otherwise once he warms up it’s usually game over for opposing defenses.

  7. I was at that blow out last year in Seattle. The noise level is unbeliveable. Kaep is going to have some problems for sure, but the key is for them is to be able to run the ball. Without that it’s going to be a long night.

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