Roman: “Repeating successful plays is something we’ll do, just didn’t have a chance to get back to them, really.”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript.

ROMAN: Short week. All the coaches were back in about an hour after the last game, getting to work on the Rams. Guys have been working hard and late into the night. Seeing our coaching staff unshaven, a little gritty but grit is good. We’re getting ready to play a Rams team, a division team. Their defense probably has the best defensive front we’ve seen. They’re playing very well. It’s a very explosive and aggressive front at every position. They play an aggressive style up front. They have a very athletic secondary. I think the linebacking corps has a great mix of youth and experience. They fit in really nicely. A lot to get done in a short amount of time. Guys are very focused on playing a little bit more precise and really dialing in on this game. Getting on a plane tomorrow and getting ready to play. Any questions?

Q: What have you identified as the offense’s major problems the past few games?

ROMAN: Again, I think Jim mentioned it the other day, just a little bit more precision. There are a lot of different plays that we’ve made before, it’s just this much off and as we know it has a trickle-down effect. It starts with all of us, really. When you go through a dry spell like this every guy has to look at himself and see what he can do better. That starts with me. It’s really across the board.

Q: What can you do better?

ROMAN: I’ve just got to do better, got to get results. I’m not into excuses, I’m into results.

Q: You guys were having success in the run game and then very early in the second half you guys went away from it. Why did you guys go away from the running game?

ROMAN: I think it’s more a function of staying on the field and having the opportunity to get into a rhythm or call those plays. The past two games, aside from late in the game when you’re in two-minute mode, we’ve had very few base downs to get into a rhythm. We’ve got to do a better job of extending drives, making first downs and creating opportunities for ourselves to get into a flow, get into a rhythm. When we do that, we’re pretty good. But right now, the past couple of games we have not been. We’ve got to get it done.

Q: Do you think Colin’s confidence is wavering a little bit?

ROMAN: I think Colin is doing fine. He’s coming in every day and working hard. That hasn’t changed.

Q: What instruction have you given him as far as waiting for a pass route to develop versus scrambling? What restrictions or instructions is he under?

ROMAN: I’m not going to get into the strategic part of it but across the board the execution needs to be better. We have the capacity to do that. We have the means to do it. It’s something that it’s not just one little thing and every play is a little bit different. We’ve all seen him pull it down and have a big scramble.

Q: Kaepernick hasn’t been great on the first series this season, a lot of three-and-outs. Has that been a focus to get that drive going?

ROMAN: I think everybody has to get into a rhythm early. We had a third-and-three and we missed a block on a run and that’s why we didn’t stay on the field. When you stay on the field then you get to move through your game plan accordingly. It’s a function of execution, really.

ME: Against the Colts you called two runs in particular in the first quarter that we very successful, runs for Gore outside and both gained more than 20 yards. Why did you choose not to call each play a second time? Was it new scheme? Were you surprised how successfully those particular runs worked out?

ROMAN: Again, those plays probably would have been revisited but really just the opportunity to call them didn’t come up based on certain things that they adjusted to, how they adjusted. Repeating successful plays is something we’ll do, just didn’t have a chance to get back to them, really.

Q: Do you think you’ll have Vernon on Thursday?

ROMAN: We’ll have to wait and see. It probably will be a game time decision. Jim could talk to you further on it.

Q: What about LaMichael?

ROMAN: Also a game time decision.

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  1. more circular coach interview speak:

    “why aren’t you guys playing better”
    “we need to execute better” translation: our guys need to play better.

  2. Grant, was that Barrows that asked the question about the first series and 3 and outs? Just wondering because on his blog he put up Kaepernicks stats on opening series since he became the starter. In 13 starts, his first series have resulted in 1 TD, 1 FG, 1 INT and 10 three and outs.

      1. The guy who torched the Niners last season for the Rams is currently hurt for the New England Patriots (Danny Amendola). If Morris sees the field, it will be in special teams and/or if Parish Cox gets hurt. I highly doubt he’ll be guarding the Rams top three receivers.

      2. Well it might be a good thing having youthfull legs in the defensive backfield. The kid ran a 4.32 so he’s got some wheels. And other than Reid… I haven’t seen one good thing from our DBs all season. And for all you guys dissing Kaep… Get a life. It took AS 8 friggin years to do anything worth respecting. He’s young… He’s going to have some growing pains. But he’s a hard worker with top notch talent. Stay faithful.

  3. I had mentioned this in a previous post. If AS had two games like Kap. just had the people on this blog would be screaming bloody murder to trade him or cut him and let the #2 go in. Everyone seemed to think that Kap was the Messiah and if he were the #1 the was no way to stop the 9ers. The super Bowl proved that to be wrong. He was a dear in the headlights as he has been the last two games. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and in this case the #2 was better than the #1. Kap is 1 and 2 and AS is 3 and 0. How this will end is a unknown right now and I hope that things get straightened out as I have been a fan every since Buck Shaw trooped out Frankie Albert and crew for their first game at Kezar. Here is an interesting blog. http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/msn/what_is_jim_harbaugh_going_to_do_with_colin_kaepernick_he_sat_smith_and_he_wasnt_playing_as_poorly_as_colin_is_now/14608639

    1. Yeah, but what? Give the hook to CK and go with Colt? Good gravy! I hope not. Call up Tebow? Haha. No, buckle down and get better. They are their record, as they will be after 17 weeks; it ain’t over.

    2. For starters, check out who the Chiefs have played so far compared to the Niners first three opponents? Secondly, the Chiefs are relatively injury free with a great young defense. They have a favorable schedule and didn’t even need Alex to throw a TD for them last week in order to win.

      If the Niners had kept Alex Smith, he was owed $8 million this season – roughly $7 mil more than Kap. In addition, trading Smith will eventually fetch two 2nd rd picks. So, if Smith stays, the Niners probably don’t make it to the SB, don’t have Boldin (because they wouldn’t be able to afford him) and they’re out two 2nd rd picks. Oh yeah….they’re also 0-3 to start this season.

      1. 23jordan deep inside you really want Alex back, but you just can’t come out and say it, you still have feelings for Alex? Don’t be shy just admit it ! Everyone already knows you love the guy.

    3. 23Jordan, Adnit it you love Alex Smith? You always bashed the guy all the time when you get a chance too. I Wonder what will you be posting after the niners record is 1-5? You will probably still find some ridiculous excuses why the 49ers are losing. You and Kap deserve each other.

      1. DS, You cannot not even come up with a new name, you remain nameless, please get off the computer at the Oakland library and give it to a child that needs to do his homework.

  4. ME: “Against the Colts you called two runs in particular in the first quarter that we very successful, runs for Gore outside and both gained more than 20 yards. Why did you choose not to call each play a second time? Was it new scheme? Were you surprised how successfully those particular runs worked out?”

    ROMAN: “Again, those plays probably would have been revisited but really just the opportunity to call them didn’t come up based on certain things that they adjusted to, how they adjusted. Repeating successful plays is something we’ll do, just didn’t have a chance to get back to them, really.”

    Good question Grant.
    They (Colts) my have adjusted, but during the drive in which FG rushed for 61 yrds, we were flat out dominating their front line defense. Even with their adjustments we should have continued to let our big road graders smash their faces because they were almost unstoppable.

    Against Green Bay, the offense found their groove in the passing game and kept exploiting it relentlessly.
    Going away from the run because Roman felt that the Colts made some adjustments sent the message that we can no longer impose our will against teams which had become our identity. Gore would certainly echo that sentiment and likely have it seconded by the O-line.

    1. Changed?????? Wtf? I didn’t see them stopping anything. THAT’S the change you switch up for. It’s NO secret. Either he shapes up THIS week or he’s got to go.

    2. They did run outside again, on the first play of the 2nd half and Gore gained 7 yards. On the next play he gained 5. Then poof, he was gone.

      1. Exactly Hammer.
        That is the most perplexing item that I took away from Sunday’s game.
        We had the defense on its heels and our O-line was blasting fools.
        Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
        Roman got to cute in the 2nd half and it backfired.

      1. For all those AS supporters.. If AS had the same 2 games – then yeah – fans would be upset. 13 games for CK vs. 7 years of the same BS from Alex!

  5. Q: What can you do better?

    ROMAN: I’ve just got to do better, got to get results. I’m not into excuses, I’m into results.
    =============================

    You could get lost! How about that Roman.

  6. I remember all this talk about how big and full of plays the playbook is.
    I guess they don’t like reading, because I’ve penny saver magazines that had more in it. RUN THE FN ball sometimes!

  7. These media sessions should allow the Journalists to retort the answer of their question. With either another question or comment. THAT would be worth paying for. NFL here’s an idea for some more money. Charge $1.99 for a whole day worth of media talk for your team.

  8. Roman’s run game scheming is indeed very innovative as advertised, but he really needs to step up on his passing game schemes. Often, the pass plays look like run plays from Singletary days, unimaginative and predictable (and hence, easier to defend). Clearly, with just 15 starts under his belt, Kaep is on the learning curve as a pocket passer and at this stage of his development, he’s not always going to be able to throw the receivers open, or look off the free safety. So the offensive schemes need to create open receivers (bunch formation, multiple crossing routes, etc). Another way would be to extend short passes. Last Thursday night, Andy Reid used down field blocking by receivers to manufacture large gains from check down passes by Alex. These were effectively low-risk, downfield screen passes that worked very well.

    I’m just guessing here, but think the Niners may have made a strategic error for the Colts game. They may have game planned a vanilla offense thinking it would be enough to win the game, and keep some surprises for the Rams game. By the time it all collapsed in the fourth quarter, it was too late to alter game plan.

    At Stanford, Harbaugh and Roman often kept the offense simple against teams they were confident that their D would contain effectively. In fact, David Shaw has taken that step to the extreme. Last Saturday evening, my son and I went to the Stanford-ASU game where I was astounded to see Shaw completely shut down the passing game for almost the entire fourth quarter after taking a 37-14 lead. He sent in the second string QB and ran power with zero wideouts. I guess he wanted to generate as little tape as possible for the Pac-12 teams. In the event, ASU mounted a furious comeback and with the lead shrunk to 11 points, Shaw had to reinsert the starting QB who then ran an effective bootleg to seal the win. I think Shaw may have wanted to stash that bootleg play (the first of the season, I believe) for the game next Saturday against Wazoo at Seattle.

    1. I noticed the same thing. Stupid strategy. Could have cost them. Just goes to show that head coaches get picked for a number of reasons, and in-game strategy is way down the line, so you’re going to have head coaches making head-scratching decisions. I think Shaw’s decision was more to eat clock and not allow enough possessions by the opponent to catch up, but threes and outs were all they were getting because the defense committed everything to the run. Don’t think he was trying to avoid giving anything away to future opponents.

  9. Offensive coordinators really show their true worth on how they game plan to start a game, adjustments they make and how they perform in pressure situations. Even going back to last season, the Niners are always getting off to slow starts. The past two games, they’ve failed to make any significant adjustments and they really haven’t performed in crucial situations. Roman isn’t the only issue the Niners have right now, but he’s a big part of it. Start utilizing all of the talent around you and get a little more creative. Can we please see a screen, more misdirection, slant, rollout, bootleg, pump fake, dig routes, etc.

    1. What about blitzing to generate pass rush and help shorten the time the dbs have to cover… Or run blitzing gaps… The D is not the same so Lord Fangio should adjust too.

  10. Sorry, but this guy is a bad offensive coordinator. No sense of in-game strategy. When Alex was here, in my opinion he ran the ball too much. With Kap, since he had some success passing, now he passes too much. He just has no sense of going with what’s working. Just a terrible play caller. Please, please, Harbaugh, give somebody else a try – Geep Chryst, maybe?

    And who is designing the pass plays? There are some obvious things that ought to be tried when the passing game stinks so bad – bunching the receivers, slants, screens, quick throws – nothing tried, just the same old failing schemes. Just terrible decision making. I’m thinking that Harbaugh’s strength is in motivation and picking good coaches, but maybe not in X’s and O’s – and he’s made a bad choice in Roman. It’s going to hurt this team bad. And my peace of mind.

  11. It started with using the pre-season to look over the fresh faces instead of getting the vets up to speed. It sure didn’t help to keep Colin out all summer. He’s a rookie even if he played last year. He needs the reps; stop treating him as if he’s made of china.

    I don’t blame the coaches for keeping it close to the vest. Reading some of the posts here ya gotta think some of you absolutely neeed to get a life outside of sitting on your butts in front of the teevee on Sundays — or Thursdays in this case.

  12. It’s pretty tough to generate an offence without talented receivers. Crabtree, Bouldin, and Davis are the only receivers that other teams would want and two of them are injured. The 49ers should stop picking speedy midgets as wide receivers that can’t break free of the defensive holds. They need bigger guys that can hold their own. Check out the height of of receivers on other teams and then look at the 49er receivers.

    1. it’s not just the receivers. in fact if you go and rewatch the film (access to all-22? or even just an nfl network replay) you’ll see the 3rd and fourth option receivers getting open. Now they’re not that good but they’re getting open and Kaep isn’t figuring out his plays and the defense or simply isn’t reading it fast enough.

  13. It’s almost like Roman has fallen in love with the big play ability of Kaep’s potential. Without deep analysis on my part, it seems like he needs to dial it back some at times and go back to playing for field position.

    I think the Rams game will be a good test for both Kaep and Roman. Their defense can control the line of scrimmage. It will probably be a slow, knock down, slug it out affair (unless they get Tavon Austin going against Rogers). Roman may need to play for field position and Kaep play the part of patient game manager that has to wait for his big play opportunities.

    There’s a chicken and egg question about the defense. Has the offense’s propensity for early 3 and outs contributed to the defense becoming softer? Or has the softer defense caused the offensive game plan to change from ball control and field position to a more explosive and riskier game plan (thus more 3 and outs) because they don’t have as much confidence in the defense?

  14. Hey Greg. You forgot how to run when we were on the 5 yard line last year in the Super Bowl and apparently it’s a permanent condition. You are the one calling the plays and forcing our great run-blocking OL to become primarily a pass blocking unit. That is really stupid.

  15. Roman tell us all after the Texans game at home how good is your offense. You and harbaugh in the last two games was the worse coaching of both of your careers. Last year success might be the harest thing to do, specially if your team has lots of issues. Right now the niners are a mediocre team, won’t be surprise if they go south in the west.

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