Roman on last week’s short-yardage failures: “I think we could have executed those plays better.”

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.


Opening comments:

“I’m very proud of our guys for finishing the regular season 12-4, qualifying for the playoffs. That’s why we all do this, for the opportunity to compete for a championship. We know what’s at stake and we’ve got a very good opponent coming up on Sunday in the Packers. Really feel like this is a team, it’s almost like a Division opponent. They’ve had a unique season and it’s very impressive what they’ve done, winning the NFC North and getting in the playoffs. So, we had a great practice yesterday, great meetings this morning, probably the best of the year, and looking forward to another great practice today. Any questions?”


In the past two games, QB Colin Kaepernick’s beaten them basically in completely different ways, with his legs, with his arm. What dictates that? Is it what you guys are doing or are you guys reacting to what the Packers are doing defensively?

“You’re talking about the last games against the Packers?”


Yeah, the playoff game last year when he rushed for 181 and then this year where he threw for 412.

“You know, just different games, different opponents, probably a little bit of both. But, just pretty good execution there.”


Can you put your finger on why Colin has been so successful against the Packers? Two of his best games as a pro.

“That’s probably just happen-stance really. I think Colin played really well and I think everybody around him played really well as well. Every game’s different and he played extremely well in both games.”


You’ve scored 79 points and had over 1,000 yards in the last two games against the Packers. People might say you match up pretty well against them. Is it a favorable matchup with some of the one-on-one matchups you get with them?

“I think it’s just every game’s different. The Packers have won a lot of games for a reason, they’re good. We know it’s going to be a very stiff test on Sunday and that’s what we’re preparing for.”


You had the couple reverses in the last game. You had the throw to T Joe Staley. Definitely misdirection stuff. Was that the plan going into that game? Was it a reaction to what Arizona was doing? Did you want to put it on film maybe for the playoffs too?

“No comment. You noticed the pass to Staley? You guys noticed that? A pretty good catch. He’s got to break that tackle next time. No, it’s just part of that game plan and nothing more, really.”


Head coach Jim Harbaugh also mentioned, he brought it up himself saying maybe on a third and one and some others there could have been even more of that. What’s the line between getting real creative and sticking to kind of what this team usually does, which is be real physical up the middle?

“Well, I just think everything starts with winning and what’s your ultimate goal and anything you can do to push yourself towards that goal however little, I think it’s very important. And that’s how we’ve always operated here and will continue to. I’m not going to get into specific tactical stuff or whatnot, but–.”


If Jim does, you can.



I said Jim did, a little bit.

“He did a little bit. But, let’s be honest, a little bit. But no, but to further answer your question, everything dovetails from our ultimate goal.”


Were there any things you saw from WR Anquan Boldin in Week 1 with his big performance that you didn’t already know about this guy or maybe you could only see from afar?

“Well, I mean, every game certain guys are just going to get different amounts of opportunities. They’re going to create opportunities for themselves by what they do, or they’re going to simply have opportunities based on what the opponent’s doing. In that game, Anquan had both. He created opportunities for himself. Green Bay was pretty loaded up with their run front and the personnel they had in, so that created some opportunities for him. So, a little bit of both there. Certain players, when they see that happening, it becomes a feeding frenzy. And he is one of those, and there’s not too many of them out there. You saw it a little bit last week with him. But, he’s always been a great football player, somebody I’ve admired from afar and even more now that we’ve had a chance to work with him.”


What kind of emphasis are you guys putting this week on improving short-yardage situations?

“Well, certainly after last week, we need to improve there. I think it’s an area we’ve been very good at this year. But, last week, I think we could have executed those plays better and that’s something we need to get corrected.”


Is it a trickle-down effect from FB Bruce Miller not being in there?

“I wouldn’t say so, no. Missing Bruce is definitely a bit of a hit, but the other guys are stepping up nicely and we have ultimate faith in them.”


They didn’t have S Morgan Burnett in Week 1 and he’s been back. How much does he change the face of that secondary?

“He’s a guy that understands that defense inside and out and I think that’s the biggest thing, aside from being a talented player. But, he’s definitely very comfortable and their secondary has done a very nice job adjusting the latter part of the season for sure.”


How do you approach this week from just a preparation standpoint for what the weather conditions could be on Sunday? Do you have to go into it kind of with an open mind of, ‘These kinds of run plays could work, these could not,’ how do you approach it?

“Yeah, you definitely have to look at all the factors. What’s the wind going to be like? Really, I think the number one thing is what condition will the field be in, even more than the weather. Both teams play in the weather, but how’s the wind and what’s the field like? That can certainly affect your decision making.”


What specifically are the challenges for a quarterback in frigid elements like that?

“Well, the ball is going to be harder and that’s really the number one obstacle. Obviously, depending on the wind, if it’s a windy day, obviously, you’ve got to try and pierce the wind with your throw. But, it’s more about the ball and grip.”


Have you ever called a game in conditions similar to what you’re expecting on Sunday?

“In 2004, in Chicago, it was -12, -15, but it didn’t really make a difference.


Do you draw on that to see what routes are easier to run, what routes give corners problems, which run plays are easier with footing and everything?

“Yeah, it’s all about the footing, really. It’s going to be cold and in order to advance to the next round we’re going to have to beat a team in the cold. So, we’re good there, but if the field is just different parts of the field are in different shape, then that’s definitely going to affect what we do and maybe how we do it.”


I know before a game you always take your walk. Will you take the marathon walk and will you be checking out the field too?

“Oh yeah. Oh, no question, no question. Yeah, I think we’ll get out there on the field early and see how it’s doing. I know they have some heating underneath it, but I don’t know if at that temperature if that’s going to have much of an effect, but it’ll be something we’re certainly going to look at.”


Do you know where you’ll have your walk through on Saturday?



Do you know will you get to be in Lambeau for a walk through Saturday? Do you know where you’re going to do that?

“I don’t think that’s been decided yet.”


When you look at the run-game against Arizona, was it more execution by the 49ers? Obviously they had a very good run defense. [Inaudible].

“The run game against Arizona last week, I think at times was very good, at times it certainly wasn’t good enough and it’s something we’re working to get corrected. But, it was great to walk off that field with a win.”


The center, there’s all that chaos around him, what does this guy, what does C Jonathan Goodwin do well? What distinguishes himself as a center?

“I think he’s great with his hands, number one. I think he’s a master with his hands. Maybe one of the best in recent history using his hands and understanding how to use his hands, hand placement, leverage. He’s just incredibly smart at getting everything organized quickly and recognizing it during the week. It’s very easy to teach him something, ‘Oh yeah, I got that, OK.’ And I’m talking about something totally new. Give him something totally new, but it’s not new to him. As long as you give him the concept he’s like, ‘OK, OK, I got it, you want me to do this.’ So, that’s awesome when you can do that because he’s directing traffic at a very high level I might add. Thank you very much.”

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  1. Grant, there is no mention here regarding Wright’s injury. Are we now looking at Cox and Morris starting? How do you feel re this development? Jason

    1. Not good at all..A weakened secondary against four wides is troubling to say the least..I guess he tweaked it in practice..

    2. If neither Rogers nor Wright plays, my guess is Brown and Brock would start. In nickel, Brown would move to nickel and Morris would play LCB.

      1. And that’s a serious disadvantage 49ers. Rodgers will pick on him all day(Morris). This is where cold weather is advantage 49ers.

      2. And a better run game. This is a dream scenario for Roman. Bad weather and he gets to be conservative, the perfect script.
        If G Ro wants to be a head coach, calling this game well, gets him an interview worse case.

  2. I’m giving away my age here but I have to chime in on all the “classic frozen tundra” yackity-yack… Traditional football was meant to be a fall sport, NOT a winter sport (winter bowl games were played in warmer climates).

    What I mean by “traditional” is big time college football. A form of football that existed decades before the establishment of big-time pro football. The rules, techniques, conditioning and tactics were developed for a sport played on a green surface, not a frozen white surface. Games with sub zero temps are a total farce. Not real football at all.

    (To be fair, games should not be scheduled for hot climates in September either)

    To make it more fun, the winner of Sunday’s “football” game goes to SeAdderal on 6 days rest for the privilege of playing a doped up team in an admittedly sound engineered stadium. Hooray for “traditional” football!

  3. “High” of 6 F Sunday, with -20F to -30F wind chills. And this won’t make a difference??? Get real. I like the Packers in this one.

    1. Actually, the forecasted high on Sunday is -5 degrees (all temps given in Fahrenheit). And that’s without the wind chill factored in. With the wind chill factored in, it will feel like -20 to -35 at the beginning of the game and will only get worse as the day turns to evening. Sunday night, the wind chill is projected to go as low as -40 to -55.

      I don’t think the current Packers have played in temperatures and wind chill that even even approach those figures. It’s going to suck for both teams.

      I wonder what it would take for the NFL to consider moving the game to the 1pm EST timeslot?

      1. Or moving it to the day before which has the temperature at 25 deg. I just don’t like this scenario period. It’s not always the best team that wins in weather like this, it’s the team that has less frozen blooper reels.
        Weather so cold, the folks in Wisconsin won’t come to the game…..

    2. That kind of weather is going to affect everybody and – most likely – the passing game. That favors the 49ers who have a better running game and Green Bay’s run D isn’t stout.

      I agree about moving the kickoff to 1pm local time.

    3. I lived in Nebraska for one winter. One time, the wind chill reached -27 deg F. That was brutal, I could not stay outside for more than 10 minutes.

      1. Nick:

        I camped at near zero temperatures (there was some wind, but nothing that would have taken it down to -27) once.


        I’ll never do it again. We had a roaring fire going, but it didn’t help. The part of my body facing the fire was burning hot, but every other part was shiveringly cold. We basically spent an hour around the fire slowly spinning in place until we gave up and retreated fully clothed into our sleeping bags.

        That’s the trip on which I learned that not all 0° sleeping bags keep you warm at 0°.

  4. The temperature will be brutal for both teams and any number of players could get hurt. I think football is better with 12 games, maybe a bigger playoff picture and have it done by Christmas.

    1. blasphemy.
      this weekend and next weekend are the highlights of the year – two days of pure playoff football, with the best teams fighting under challenging conditions. 49ers as currently constructed are made for this.

  5. Everyone’s talking the players. How about those cheerleaders on the
    sidelines? What, who’s going to protect them from the cold?

  6. “We could have executed better” (R says of the run game) He could ALSO be more strategic in calling the runs, less predictable, and use bootleg options……
    These, for those of you who remember this team during the “dynasty” era,
    were nearly always the plays called in the red zone. And they nearly always were successful. This team has struggled in the red zone, settling for field goals far too often. It’s , IMO, because Roman attempts to run at the strength of our opponents defense…….It’s macho . It’s “Frank Gore, inside, for no gain”, & a wasted down……not very creative.

    1. For the love of God, would you guys please do some research before you claim that the team has struggled in the red zone this season. It’s a myth.

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