SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Tuesday morning. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.
“Good morning. We’re working, guys are working hard. That’s what training camp’s all about. I think we’re very fortunate to have some really good leadership on offense. I think [WR] Anquan Boldin is a guy that’s done nothing but impressed since day one with how he approaches his job, how he mentors his teammates. I think [TE] Vernon Davis is another man that’s had a tremendous training camp on a lot of different levels. [QB] Colin’s [Kaepernick] another guy. [T] Joe Staley had his first mental error yesterday of training camp so that’s pretty good going a long stretch without having any kind of mental error. But these guys are working hard and we hope that some of our younger players look to those guys as examples and take advantage of the fact that they’ve got some great leaders sitting right next to them in the locker room. Any questions?”
What are your first impressions of WR Jon Baldwin?
“Well, Jon, Dr. Garza and his medical staff got him a physical last night so he hit the ground running this morning at 7:00 a.m. and he’s been diving into it. Really, not a lot to comment on thus far but it’s been all good. Got to talk to him, meet him, get to know him a little bit. Really liked visiting with him.”
What’s the learning curve going to be like getting him going from a West Coast to a West Coast offense?
“I think that’ll help a little bit. I think there’s a lot of similarities in the language between what he just experienced in Kansas City. He’s been in several offenses up to this point so he’s had to learn quite a few. But, I think it’s just going to be a one day at a time. That’s how we take it and we’ll see what we can get accomplished today.”
Given what you said in your opening about Anquan and Vernon, are you hoping that Baldwin kind of sidles up to those guys and learns from them in the locker room?
“If I was a young player and I didn’t do that, I would want somebody to just smack me in the head. If you have the opportunity to watch, listen and learn from players who have that track-record of success and how they do it on a daily basis, how they approach their job, how they get prepared, how they take care of their body, how they study, how they pay attention in meetings, how they can do everything they can possibly do to know their job so that they can do their job at a very high level. That is the one thing that, if you’re a young player and you don’t take advantage of that, we need to have a talk.”
What are your plans when you bring in a player this late though, and there are so many other wide receivers? What are your plans as to like how much you need to see him in game time and practice and reps and what do you need to see out of him?
“We’ll have to see how that goes as we go, and see what’s appropriate. We certainly don’t want to ask any of the players to do anything we haven’t prepared them adequately for. But, at the same time I’m sure we’ll challenge them with what we present to them.”
He looks like a much bigger target than WR A.J. Jenkins was. How does that size help him in this offense and what positions can he fit best at with that?
“Just speaking about Jonathan the player, I think size is the first thing that you notice when you look at him. He’s got really good range, leaping ability. I think we saw that as we studied him and what not. But, great catch radius is always a great thing. There’s nothing wrong with having a great catch radius.”
You mentioned studying him, did you, once you knew he was coming, kind of look at what he could do or were you familiar with him before?
“I think we were all pretty familiar with him from his college career. And, we certainly took a look at what he’s done up to this point.”
Is black still a non-contact jersey?
“It depends what week it is. We kind of switch that up. We don’t want anybody to get a beat on it.”
So, seeing Kaepernick in a black does not necessarily mean- -?
“I wouldn’t read into anything.”
Is he working through something?
“He’s working through practice every day, learning the playbook. But as far as health, he seems very vibrant and healthy.”
TE MarQueis Gray and TE Garrett Celek, how have they been handling their extra reps the last few weeks?
“They’ve gotten a lot of reps, a ton of opportunity there for them. Both of them are guys that have unique skill-sets. The tight end position is so unique. Each tight end can be so different from a skill-set standpoint. MarQueis has really impressed us with his ability in the passing game. We’re catching him up as far as the blocking and what not. And Garrett’s a guy that’s kind of a got to be able to do everything well kind of tight end. They’ve definitely taken advantage of those reps.”
Is the learning curve, I remember last year Celek, I don’t want to say struggled in the beginning but he started to come on towards the end of the offseason. Is Gray doing the same sort of thing he’s making the same move that Celek did a year ago?
“MarQueis is definitely progressing. There is definitely a curve involved, especially when you look at what he’s done in college. He played quarterback, receiver. So, there’s definitely a curve there. From the day he got here ‘til now it’s worlds apart and he just needs to continue on that path.”
Where do QB Colt McCoy and QB Scott Tolzien need to improve on in this game coming up?
“I think it’s going to be a big game for them, big game for all of us. But, I think they just need to improve really down-in down-out constancy. The right reads, obviously making the right throws. They’ve done some really good stuff up ‘til now, stuff that’s under the radar type things. Again, they’ve had some plays that they’d love to do over again. So, it’s a matter of coming out this week and having a really strong performance one play at a time.”
What kind of under the radar stuff are we talking about? Adjustments and checks?
“Yeah, just adjustments. Managing certain things. Somebody lined up wrong they got him lined up right, that type of stuff. That’s very important at the quarterback position.”
In different forms in the offseason and training camp, Colin was talking about everyone wants to say he’s a running quarterback and he can’t resist that. If he had below average speed, what kind of quarterback would he be?
“Hypothetical, I can’t answer that. I don’t even know. I don’t know how to answer that.”
Let me rephrase it differently then. He obviously, he has enough ability with his arm and his mind to be a high-functioning NFL quarterback even without his speed?
Is that an accurate statement?
“Yes, no question. I think you hit it on the head too with his arm and his mind. He’s got really good arm talent but he’s also learning the game really well. Continues to impress in meetings to no end. He has been learning since the day he got here and he knows things and has very strong opinions, the right opinions, on a lot of things that you wouldn’t even know he had. But, I think Colin’s a guy that’s taken advantage of every day he’s been here in terms of learning, focusing, staying engaged even when he wasn’t quote unquote the starter.”
Are you eager to see QB B.J. Daniels against a little bit better caliber competition on Sunday?
“First of all, I thought B.J. did a great job leading us down the field the other night for the winning touchdown. [WR] Chuck Jacobs making a great play on the fade there when they blitzed us. I just want to tip my hat to that group of players that was on the field. Really, however these guys show up in the game, when they show up, all we’re looking for is them to do their job irregardless of circumstance, who they’re playing against or with.”
Does his ability to make a lot of different kinds of throws surprise you? Were you expecting that Friday night?
“Are you talking about B.J.?”
“No it didn’t. He’s been ripping them out here. He’s impressed us in practice quite a bit from time to time with just the different kind of throws he can make. He can fire some lasers. And I thought he showed some really good touch on that touchdown pass as well if that’s what you’re referring to. He was firing lasers and just laid a feather to the corner for Chuck, and that was really nice to see.”
Given his experience and track record, WR Austin Collie seems on paper to be an attractive option, health wise he’s obviously not quite there. Do you feel like he’s getting close and have you seen improvements since he’s been here?
“Yeah, he’s gotten really better every day physically. I think our training staff, [director of football operations and sports medicine] Jeff Ferguson and those guys are the best there is. He’s been in there working with them, working with our strength and conditioning staff as well as practicing, so he is on it. I mean he is on it. We have seen marked improvement in him and it’s been kind of a daily thing. He’s doing a great job and is just competing like heck right now.”
Is Collie getting reps with the first half with the first team?
“We have not really lined all that up just yet. But, I think he had a great showing in the game the other night and continues to impress in practice.”
Will you keep five wide receivers?
“Again, that’s another thing that hasn’t been decided just yet. We’ll see how it all shakes down. It’s heavy competition right now and you can see it. The guys are in the right frame of mind. They’re competing, they’re on it and with some of these guys on a day-to-day basis, it’s exactly as if we’re getting ready to play a regular season game. They’re fighting and clawing and scratching to make the team and it’s very evident.”