SANTA CLARA — This is what Greg Roman said about the 49ers running game at his Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.
Have you been impressed with G/T Alex Boone’s development and in particular his ability to pull and use his athleticism for a 6’7” guy?
“Yeah Alex, I though, had one of his best games, if not his best game last week. Technically, from an assignment standpoint, everything he did last game was really well. He’s come along really well, he’s learning every week. You see a lot of different styles of defender, a lot of different styles of defense and Alex is the kind of guy we want, a guy that’s pushing to get better every week. So he’s doing a great job. When he gets out in space, he can get rolling, a bit like an 18-wheeler going down a hill. He did a great job last week on a couple of our perimeter plays.”
RB Frank Gore has had a season-high 23 carries last week. Kendall always provided a nice change of pace for him. Given that, is there a possibility to see RB LaMichael James Sunday and how much that would help Frank?
“Whatever back we have in there to compliment Frank we feel good about. It’s definitely something we don’t want to overload Frank over the length of a long season. Really believe we gave him a few too many plays last week. Whatever back we put in there, we feel really good about and anybody that’s on the active roster could possibly play. LaMichael’s a guy that’s been working hard and it’s very possible he could be playing this week.”
How is that call made when you take Frank out of the game? Is that a sideline decision?
“There’s a couple different ways it happens. There’s times when he’ll pull himself out, which is good, we feel good about, where he needs a blow or what not. There’s times when we’ll try to get another guy in there to spell him. So, it can happen either way.”
Would you make a specific, this is a RB Brandon Jacobs play call? Get in there 45.
“There’s times when that happens. There’s definitely times when that happens. But also, he’s earned the right to spell himself and we want to make sure he’s fresh.”
Again, if James does play, would it be more of a specific, he’s in here for this package of plays?
“Whoever’s active has got to be ready to handle everything. Certainly, when you have one specific guy in with a specific skill set, you’re probably going to lean to what he’s really good at. That’s what we try to do. However, you can’t just say, ‘This guy’s in so we can only do this.’ That’s got a short shelf life.”
How’s LaMichael developing in pass blocking?
“He’s coming along. It’s not until you get out there. It’s been since the preseason since he’s actually pass blocked. He works hard with [running backs] coach [Tom] Rathman in drills, but you never truly find out until you get out in the game on Sunday afternoon.”