SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript.
Q: How much did the Saints overextend themselves to stop your running game?
ROMAN: They did definitely made a heavy investment in it, and we pretty much forecasted that. It was definitely an extreme investment on their part. We felt that they would do that. They mixed it up, though, throughout the game. It wasn’t an every-play thing. It was basically a 9-man front quite a bit.
Q: Why haven’t you been able to exploit that in the passing game.
ROMAN: I think it’s a function of making a few more plays. You look at that game, we make one or two more plays, we win the game. The week before, we make one or two more plays, we win the game. We’re always striving for improvement. We’re certainly not a finished product. I think those opportunities are out there and the roof is going to blow off. It’s going to pop. It’s coming if we keep working like we’re working. It will come.
Q: You’ve had fewer than 200 yards of offense the past two games. Does that surprise you?
ROMAN: I’d say the past few weeks have not been up to our standard or the standard of production we expect and work for. It’s simply a function of getting back to work, identifying problems, fixing those problems and reemphasizing the positive things. You can go back at the New Orleans game last week and I’d say there were some incredibly positive things – great throws, great catches, great plays made – even moreso than some games we’ve won. Overall though, the past couple of weeks have been grinders. We’ve got to make a few more plays. That’s what we’re working to do.”
Q: Colin Kaepernick is taking some criticism. How much of that is fair?
ROMAN: I don’t pay attention. I don’t think anybody really pays attention to what’s being said or perceived or where people are placing blame, etc. We look at it as an offense, each individual player, and we understand it takes 11 guys to make it work. Whatever is being said outside really doesn’t factor in. I’d say he did a lot of really good things in that game. There are a couple of plays I’m sure he’d like to have back, but there always is. It’s something that’s going to keep on improving as we keep on working. I love his attitude. I love his interaction with his teammates. Like I said, it’s going to keep improving. It’s going to pop here soon.
Q: These past few weeks, has he spent extra time studying film, extra time talking to you, extra time on the field?
ROMAN: Yes. The answer is vehemently yes. Colin works extremely hard. He’s an early riser. He spends a lot of time studying film. We have iPads now, so he’s always on his iPad studying film, interacting with us. He’s got an A+ work ethic. And communication flow is very good.
GC: Kaepernick’s stats are down across the board from last season, as I’m sure you know – passer rating, completion percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, etc. Why?
ROMAN: I don’t think looking at the stats – we’re not chasing stats, but in general it’s never just one thing, good or bad. Colin is doing a lot of really good things well. Those things aren’t necessarily reflected in the stats, especially the past couple weeks. He’s definitely a player that is ascending. We’re definitely excited about having him as our quarterback.
GC: How specifically is Kaepernick ascending? It seems like he’s in a slump.
ROMAN: Understanding the game, understanding of his job – again, these things aren’t reflected this week as we stand here right now. As far as his development as a quarterback, this is incredibly valuable for him to go through these types of situations, battle his way out and learn from them. To play quarterback in this league is a tall task. Over time, there are so many different things you’ll encounter, so many different players you’ll play with, all of those different things that contribute to your growth as a quarterback, your recognition skills, understanding where the weaknesses in defenses are, how guys match up, protection schemes, run schemes, all the different things on his plate. And that’s just part of a quarterback’s development. This is a very opportunistic time for him to learn and get better from.
Q: You said Carolina is a line-up-and-do-what-they-do defense. From an offensive standpoint, how much of a line-up-and-do-what-we-do offense are you guys and how much do you tweak what you do based on the team you’re facing, or in the case of Colin getting multiple plays in the huddle and changing at the line of scrimmage – what do you strive for?
ROMAN: We strive for production and winning. We’ll do whatever we think is best, puts us in the best situation to win. Sometimes it’s line up and do what you do. Sometimes it’s uptempo. Sometimes it’s we need to make sure that we’ve got this covered, do you want to run the ball into a safety blitz? If there’s a bad play, we might need to get out of it, that type of thing. But all those things are different week to week and our guys do a great job assimilating them and understanding what we’re trying to get done and working on them and working together and executing them.