SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Sunday morning. Here’s what he said.
ROMAN: Welcome. We’re entering our second preseason week. Guys are working real hard. We’re working through a lot of different situational stuff, base stuff. We’ve got the Kansas City Chiefs in our second preseason game, so it’s another great chance to get out and evaluate what we’re doing and what we’ve got. Guys are competing. A lot of good competition.
Q: Marlon Moore started at split end against Denver. Do you want to see different guys start at that spot throughout the preseason?
ROMAN: We look at starters as the offensive line and the quarterback. They’re going to start and play, but whoever plays the first play of the game, he’s in on the first play. We’re a multiple-personnel-group team. If you’re on the active roster, you will have a role.
Q: You’ve got so many receivers in camp. Are you able to get them all enough reps, and as the season approaches to do you want to get some receivers more reps than others?
ROMAN: That’s kind of a two-pronged question, the first being we’ve got good numbers there and we’re going to make a real effort to get those guys the appropriate reps. Secondly, we’re a multiple-personnel team and everybody’s getting a good amount of reps. I don’t know if there’s always going to be one guy who’s in there with the Ones. I think we’ve got some flexibility there, and that flexibility will continue to grow.
Q: Anquan Boldin and Austin Collie are your only receivers who have produced at a significant level in the NFL. Does that affect the way you evaluate Collie?
ROMAN: I think Austin brings a great pedigree with him. He had an injury before that kind of halted that, but Austin’s a guy who understand the game, a disciplined guy, he’s learning our offense, but any time you have a guy who knows what do, how to do it, understands coverage and all of that, that’s a bonus. We’re looking at the big picture of the player. Austin’s working hard every day. He’s taking nothing for granted.
Q: Do you adjust your play calling during a preseason game like you would in a regular season game, or are working more off of a script?
ROMAN: In the preseason we’re not so much concerned about what we call as opposed to who’s in and what do we want to see them do? That type of thing. The tactical approach is one that some take. I don’t know that we do. Preseason is a great time to build toward the season. There are some things that we’re looking at and evaluating schematically, but I think it’s more about the players, getting them out there and seeing what they can do.
Q: So it’s fair to say it’s more predetermined than reacting to the opponent and the situation?
ROMAN: I would say that’s pretty fair.
Q: Vance McDonald had several nice catches Thursday night. He also dropped a couple. Overall, what was your assessment of his performance?
ROMAN: Vance took a good step forward in the game. I like the look in his eye before the game. I think he graded out pretty well. Like everybody else, there are plays he wishes he could have back, but for a young guy like him it was a great learning experience. Everybody makes mistakes. We’re all human. But he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Guys that don’t, they progress and keep getting better. That’s the emphasis.
Q: How would you assess his blocking up to this point?
ROMAN: Like everything, it’s a work in progress, but I’m pleased with where he’s at and where he’s going. He keeps making strides. There are some key components that fundamentally he’s got to understand, and that’s a process and that’s what training camp is for. He’s right where he needs to be.
Q: Why hasn’t A.J. Jenkins been able to put it all together?
ROMAN: A.J. is working hard. He had a couple of plays the other night he’d like to have back, but he had some good plays. We’re of the ilk that when you come in after a game, you learn from it, you move on and you get better, and that’s what we’re doing.
Q: Watching practice, it seems like he has his good plays, but he also has plenty of not good plays. Is it concentration? Why do you think that level of consistency hasn’t been there?
ROMAN: I think A.J.’s out there competing hard. I think everybody has those plays. You’ve got to bounce back from them. You’ve got to get better. You’ve got to learn from them. I think A.J. does a lot of really good things. He’s just got to continue to work and get better day by day.
Q: What does he do best?
ROMAN: There are a lot of things he does well, very well. I don’t know if I can pick one, but he makes some spectacular catches. He has big strong hands. He makes good catches. He’s getting better with his route running. He’s improving in everything he does. It’s just a matter of down in, down out consistency. I think we all need to strive to be better day in and day out, play in and play out.
Q: Will he continue to get more reps than the other receivers in practice and in games?
ROMAN: A.J.’s going to get a healthy amount of reps, as are the other guys.
Q: When the team brought in Kassim Osgood, he was known more as a special teams guy. Has he surprised you with his ability to play wide receiver?
ROMAN: He’s done a very nice job. From the day he got here, his spiral notebook was filled with information. He was cramming for the test when he got here. He’s really picked up the system well. He had a really nice game the other night. He’s a guy that’s got really good size and understanding of the game. Really smart guy.
Q: Why didn’t Jewel Hampton play Thursday night?
ROMAN: He’s just working through something.
Q: You helped develop Alex Smith. What do you think it will be like to stand on the opposite sideline from him this Friday?
ROMAN: He’s a nameless, faceless opponent. I’m very happy for Alex’s success and very appreciative of all the contributions he made while a 49er. I wish him nothing but the best. He’s a fine, fine competitor and quarterback.