Tomsula: “I take full responsibility for the results of the coaching staff.”

This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s press conference from the NFL Combine, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Good afternoon and we’ll try this again. Go ahead and shoot. I’m really happy to be here and I’m excited to see you all and looking forward to the questions.”

 

You seemed to just reference your introductory press conference, which was criticized in some circles, you may have heard that. You are a fairly energetic guy and it didn’t necessarily come off that way then. Do you agree with that and was it just the atmosphere or the circumstances?

“No. I didn’t do a good job. You know what I mean? Didn’t do a good job. [49ers director of communications Bob] Bobby [Lange] was trying to get me to go to bed that night and I didn’t. Anyway, I’m driving him crazy. He called me three times last night to make sure I went to bed. So, we’ll do better at that.”

 

I hope he didn’t wake you up.

“No. I was good.”

 

What can you do better in this kind of setting?

“Well, again, where you’re at, you’ve seen me in social settings and more private. So, just getting used to it.”

 

You’re commanding a bigger room now as a head coach. You’ve been in a small room, friendly faces with the defensive linemen. How do you see yourself now instead of standing in front of six or seven or eight guys in front of 53?

“That’s fine. And I’ve done that. I do have experience doing that in the Europe League and doing those things. I don’t have a problem there. And when I’m up here I have to watch my manners and watch my language and try to make sure that I’m nice and polite. So, that’s what I’ve got to get better at.”

 

Did you go back and watch some of those interviews to see what I can do better the next time or did you just disregard them?

“No, I didn’t. But, Bobby sure did have me practice. As a matter of fact I’ve got this in the wrong place. It’s supposed to be down here so it’s not in my nose.”

 

One of the things that you were asked at the press conference and you really didn’t get into it at all was just schematics. What kind of defense are you guys going to run?

“Well, the schematics, and again I didn’t want to get into a lot of things until we got a coaching staff together. I wanted the guys, I wanted us all to get in there and to watch the film. Yeah, the schematics on defense, the 3-4, our personnel is set for that and will continue in that way. Offensively, we’re going to use the players that we have. We’ve got some dynamic players and we’re going to use those guys, but obviously we want to run the football.”

 

You’ve mentioned winning with class a couple of months ago. Are you going to have a stricter standard moving forward on with the type of players that you bring in in free agency, etcetera?

“Well, I think as a whole, I think league wide and everywhere in society, with everything going on we’ve got to tighten up and look at things. Look, it’s very diligent and our personnel staff is extremely diligent in what they do and the way they research and look into guys. But, it’s not perfect. We’re still dealing with human beings. People make mistakes and we’ve got to be able to address those mistakes, find out how we can prevent them in the future and then put plans in place. I think we’re doing that at our, I know we’re doing that at the 49ers.”

 

What are you plans with RB Frank Gore? You’ve talked a lot about how important he is and his leadership and everything like that. Do you plan on doing anything with him?

“Yeah. That’s going on right now. Frank Gore, yeah we talk about all of the things that he has and you talked about the leadership and the passion and all of those things, but let’s not overlook that he is a prolific running back in the National Football League. I’m a big Frank Gore guy. So, I know those talks are ongoing now, are starting this week along with all of our free agents.”

 

Have you spoken to DT Justin Smith since you’ve taken the job and how can you gauge where he’s at?

“Yeah. Justin’s come around to bust my chops. That’s the way he does things. What we usually do with Justin, me personally for the last three or four years, you all know the respect I have for him amongst other guys but we’re talking about Justin. He’s earned the right to make decisions on his terms. The guy’s had just an unbelievable career. He’s brought so much to everybody he’s been around, that he’s worked with and for and alongside. So, out of respect for Justin, I’ve told him that I will not try to talk him into anything and I will not try to talk him out of anything. He has earned the right to make his decision on his terms. But, we’ve said that for the last three or four years. I usually get with Justin after the Combine and when we get back. That’s usually when he and I usually shoot the bologna.”

 

So, this is nothing new? You’ve had these conversations with him during offseasons previous?

“Oh yeah. This guy has played a lot of football. So, it’s probably been three or four years since we’ve started having some of those talks.”

 

Just given on wear and tear on his body, if he does come back have you picked out a program for him where he kind of takes the offseason programs off in some ways and training camp? Did you have those discussions with him?

“Well, I think, you’re there all the time. You see how we do with Justin, and quite frankly I’ve let the guys know. When you have a 15-year career in the National Football League, we’ll look at doing those things for you. So, yeah we have. Now he’s begrudging to a lot of that, but that is what makes Justin, Justin. He’s grinding. He’s in there. He’s on it. He’s working out every day now. That’s who he is. But, in terms of practice reps and practice things, I’m always looking for ways to take some steps off of him and the ultimate goal here is game day.”

 

There was a lot of speculation of how your coaching staff came together. But, general manager Trent Baalke said yesterday, “Look, I know everybody’s worried about who makes the decisions, but I wasn’t even in the room for a lot of these interviews. This is Jim’s staff.” Is that pretty much the case? It came together the way you wanted and the guys that you wanted?

“Yeah it really did. And I take full responsibility for the results of the coaching staff and the team and the game day results.”

 

Obviously you’re a defensive coach, but how difficult or different will the transition be without Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and Chicago Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell, the guys that these guys have played for the last four years?

“Well, I mean there’s always transition. Those guys, specifically the two names you brought up, I worked very close with and those guys are tremendous football coaches. We’ve had a lot of success. So, there’s a transition. That’s life. We’ve got a group of guys that are ready to handle that. And just as you’re thinking through the names in that room and those guys, it’s an even-keeled group when it comes to that stuff. These guys have been through a lot. The older guys, we’re talking eight years ago. They’ve been through some stuff and these guys are well equipped to handle that. There is transition, but we’ll be fine.”

 

You said the talks with Frank Gore, but what about a guy like WR Michael Crabtree? There is the speculation that he’s not coming back.

“The speculation side of things, I don’t go there. Absolutely. And I know that those talks are happening this week. I don’t have the checkbook. I’m not in those particular conversations, but I do know that leaving San Francisco, heading to the airport the other day, that everything was lined up to talk to all of our people, the guys that are our guys.”

 

What are the best traits you’ve seen out of RB Carlos Hyde and how do you see him being integrated? Is he going to be integrated more in year two even if Frank Gore is back?

“I would think. Carlos Hyde is a heck-of-a football player. You’ve seen it in college, but then you’ve seen it translate to the pro field. And you’ve seen the plays. You’ve seen the guy run. His vision. His feel. He can plant, redirect. I mean, the guy’s got some stuff. I like his speed. I like his burst. So, I’m really excited about Carlos Hyde.”

 

Yesterday Trent said that he envisions TE Vernon Davis being on the team, having a big role as always. Have you had those conversations? I think he alluded to something on social media about him not taking the offseason program off this year and that he’ll be around.

“Yeah. Again, you’re talking about guys that I’ve been with for a long time. I’m a huge Vernon guy, you know that. Vernon’s work ethic and the way Vernon works, the last year I know Vernon wasn’t here in the offseason and things like that, but Vernon was working. Vernon showed up in shape. Vernon showed up physically fit. So, those things are happening and you know that with Vernon. But, Vernon’s a great football player and he’s still a great football player.”

 

Has QB Colin Kaepernick been in contact with offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and the new quarterbacks coach and talking about how things are goin to change for him offensively next season?

“Yeah. He’s been in touch. I’ve been in touch with him. Geep has been in touch with him. [Quarterbacks coach] Steve Logan’s been in touch with him. But, there’s a fine line there. We’re not getting into a lot of schematics. And again, we’re still, as a staff we’re still going through everything. So, it’s really not the appropriate time to talk about any of that from our standpoint staff-wise. We’re still in the middle of that. But, also with the CBA and things like that, you don’t want to get into all of that.”

 

Why isn’t the entire staff here?

“Well, we’ve got a lot of guys, some of the guys are in now and we’ll have a few in. But, I personally made that decision because we’re trying to crunch and we’re trying to get this thing put together. And instead of coming in with an already-made playbook and lay it down and flip through the pages and whiteout one team name and put in another name, I really wanted the staff to look at the players and build this thing around what we have. And that’s obviously cumbersome. So, there’s a lot of film getting watched that way and a lot of meetings going on and then you get the drawings and you get the different things you’ve got to get done, making the cutups. So, that’s what we’ve got going on right now and we’re in a tight window. These guys are going to have a lot of work to do looking at tape on the draftable players. Everybody will be here next year. That’s just simply the reason.”

 

The first phase is self-assessment?

“Yeah. Absolutely. I didn’t want anybody brining any playbooks in the room or any of what I call reference material. Let’s leave that in the office. Let’s turn on the tape. Let’s look and see our guys and then let’s get the perspective from each coach at the position that they’re responsible for and let’s look at how we do things and what each player does best and then let’s put it together.”

 

A couple of young players on the defensive side, DT Tank Carradine and LB Chris Borland. Can you just talk about your evaluation of those two guys?

“They’re really good. Chris Borland was put in some situations this year and really, obviously, had a great season. Just did a great job. Really excited about that guy. And Tank Carradine, Tank obviously coming out of Florida State was a position change. He had the knee injury and that was a tough year and a half for him. And just watching him battle through that and seeing where he’s at right now, Tank’s in the building every single day and working like crazy. He’s gotten that stuff behind him and he’s moving forward in the weight room and he’s really doing all of the heavy squatting and things right now, so he tells me. I’m really excited about those guys. And there are other guys. We’ve got some young guys that can really play football.”

 

Your quarterback just recently went back and forth on Twitter with a fan. Do you look at that stuff? Do you see that stuff? What do you think of that?

“Well, first thing is, yeah I heard about it this morning. I haven’t seen it. To be brutally honest, I’m not a Twitter guy. I don’t Tweet or look at Tweets. I’m not real good with all of that stuff. I’ve been advised on the walk over here that I need to get better at it. So, I need to look into that. But, obviously all that back and forth, I don’t know enough to speak about it.”

 

What are some qualities that Steve Logan will bring to your staff? Was it hard to get him out of retirement?

“You obviously know that Steve, there’ve been a few people that have tried to get Steve out of retirement over the last couple of years and he just decided not to. I worked with Steve over in the Europe League. And I mean, obviously the quarterbacks that have played for him in the college level, at the college level that have moved on, there’s obviously nice success there. But, where I got to see Steve, which was most impressive to me, was on the field in Europe. Obviously a developmental league, so you had different quarterbacks every year. And to watch Steve change his approach with each different guy and to really evaluate the mechanics and the traits of each guy and then coach them to those strengths, that’s what’s really neat about Steve Logan. I’m really excited about him, along with the whole staff.”

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  1. I really like his approach with the offense and what Logan brings to the table. I’m cautiously optimistic that with an outside deep threat, this offense improves and takes some pressure off the defense….

  2. I thought he handled himself a lot better. I think this guy is a real good football coach when it comes to a positional coach. The big question is if he can delegate and allow his coaches to coach without putting his hand into everything. If he can demonstrate that a lot of us will look really stupid come September.

    1. It’s not like he has no experience as a head coach. He’s going to be fine. In many ways his experiences in Europe are better than what coaches receive in the NFL or NCAA.

    1. agree, MidWest ..
      a complete 180 from the last presser !

      It sounds like he’d got a handle on the situation ..

      (Who woulda thunk?)

  3. I like Tomsula. It appears to be genuine and without a lot of pretense. He admitted the first press conference was bad and he is learning how to handle himself with the media. He acts like someone who really loves football. The reports are he is a really good coach. Now the questions are can he led a team? Can he mange all the coaches and players and can he mange a game?

    I hope this off season he will go over game films from other teams and watch how other coaches handle challenges, time outs, when to go on 4th down and the like. Study the better coaches and see how they mange games.

    Not that he would ask, but the other thing I would suggest he do is talk to Bruce Brochy and find out how he handles players, coaches and other management issues.

        1. MWD – I think what most of us has to do is take the wait and see instead of the he is going to flop or he is going to be good. I was okay with the hire and I still am till proved differently. I make no claims that he will be good, only claim I make is I am ok with the hire. Next year at this time I could be b1tch1ng.

          My only contention about the hire is simply this, I was under the impression that when players/coaches are replaced it is too make the team better. I did not see any other HC prospect that would be better then Harbaugh. I have know idea whether Tomsula will be better or not. Wont take long into the season to see where he is at. Let me tell ya after that first presser my stomach was turning.

          1. Mine was too Under, although it was more due to Baalke and York being there. It felt like I was watching a puppet show at that time. That was the case today though. Today I saw a guy that’s easy-going and knows what he’s talking about. A little green but that’s to be expected out of a guy who jumped the DC position.

  4. We should keep a counter for the number of days since Grant posted a positive or supportive article about the 49ers. Counter is up to 11. The last article appears to be back on Feb 8th, when the 49ers hired new WR coach Adam Henry.
    smh

  5. Well this simply won’t do. If Tomsula starts getting comfortable in pressers then that’s one less thing we the fans have to moan about! :-P

            1. Only way he slides is if he posts pedestrian 3 cone and 40 times, suggesting he still has not recovered his burst prior to the foot injury….

              1. That’s why I said if. I have a feeling we’d have to trade up into the top 10 in order to have a shot at Parker.

          1. CK, cubus or anyone – Have you guys heard any updates/comments coming directly from Kurt Warner on #7 making strides? I read what Baalke said but I haven’t heard anything from Kurt Warner since January. Have you?

            1. According to barrows he is making big strides in mechanics and the film room. Barrows also mentions we won’t know until he applys it to a mini camp at the earliest.

              1. Elite – Thanks for the info!….I will continue to call #7 #7 until he gets back on track.
                I still can’t believe that Grant thinks Jeff Garcia would’ve been a better tutor for #7 than Kurt Warner……Belly laugh!

              2. Ya grant reaches a lot but at times makes sense. Regarding Garcia was not one of those times. Ya kaep needs to get better no doubt regardless who the coaches are. He is making the right decisions now he has to have balke get him a number 1 Wr!

            1. Crab15,
              Ha! Really not a Michigan fan (Cal Bears). The M avatar logo was my little personal protest (I’m crazy like that, lol).

              I may go with something different sometime soon, but to be honest the yellow color kind of helps me find my posts when scrolling on my phone.
              But I will catch a few Michigan football games for the obvious reasons.

  6. JimT Tip #1: “To be brutally honest, …”

    I hope JimT drops that one quick. Otherwise it will eventually attract the wrong kind of attention.

    1. Yeah, Scooter and I discussed that one yesterday. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have to move up to do it (esp. based on that 80″ wingspan that was mentioned). I can see Baalke moving up from 15 to 11, but really not any further. He just won’t pay what it takes. Also, I don’t know what the needs of 11 through 14 are and are they willing to trade down. That’s as big of an issue as what will it cost us.

      1. The best trade partner would be the Browns or the Giants. The Vikings, Rams, and Dolphins could use help at the WR position.

      2. Mid West is right re: the Giants. If the top pass rushers are gone by #9, I’d be curious what the Giants would want for a trade. May not be too onerous. Though they may just take Scherff.

        The Vikings at #11 could be a potential trade partner. I’ve seen WRs mocked to them, but they have bigger needs. Charles Johnson looked promising last year, and they also have Greg Jennings, Cordarelle Patteron and Jarius Wright. I’m not sure they are ready yet to move on from Patterson.

        1. Scooter:

          Most of the ten or so mock drafts I looked at last night had the Vikings taking a receiver. Many think Patterson is a bust. Wasn’t he pretty good during the 2013 season. Must have had a terrible 2014, but I wasn’t following him.

          1. If they get rid of Greg Jennings then WR might be their top priority, but if they keep him I just think there are other positions they’ll see as bigger needs. Especially given the depth at WR this year.

  7. A football guy being asked softball questions.
    .
    ‘Hey, Jim. Two very important questions. What’s your favorite color and does two plus two equal five?’
    .
    ‘Take your time, buddy.’
    .
    .
    .
    ~ALOHA~

  8. Well the consensus seems to be that JT has made a positive impact with that last presser.

    I like the guy, but OC and DC are still a bit concerning. I think they did a great job with the position coach hirings, but can Chyrst get it done? If we stick to establishing the run and utilizing the PA we may have some success. For now I’m still cautiously optimistic. I’m hoping for a true #1 on the outside, Parker might be the guy with those long arms.

    1. I dunno, Leo ..
      if the kind of prep work JT mentioned
      is (in fact) .. being done .. I think that’s a big positive ..

      and, at this point in time .. I have no reason to doubt
      Jimmy the ‘Stache ..

      (please don’t drag me kicking and screaming …
      away .. from the dark side )

  9. I’ve seen this Amistead (sp?)guy from Oregon mocked everywhere from #8 to #38; one or two had SF taking him at #15. Dunno.

        1. Isn’t the fact that Armstead is 6’8″ a concern? Won’t he expend more energy than shorter guys in staying low. So, in the 4th Quarter, will that mean he’ll be more tired?

          1. Armstead is a local product from Elk Grove ( i live in sacramento). I believe he is the younger of 2 brothers ( the older had a heart condition that kept him from being a high NFL draft pick. i think he played in Canada and the NFL after managing the medical issue). Both big kids, blue collar good character. I could see him being a good 49’er.

            With that said: not at 15! we need to FINALLY land us a true #1 franchise wr ! This is gonna be our best shot! If for some reason Baalke balks at wr……. i wouldn freak out if we got Waynes, the top cb

  10. Cubus It was never a problem at Oregon. Due to Oregon’s lightning fast offense the defense was on the field lots. I doubt any player from Oregon is out of shape. Also remember he had to practice against their offense and their is no rest for the defense. Should not be a problem.

    You might look at his 6’8 jumping with hands held high and the QB trying to throw over him. His pass rush skills need improving.

    1. I would pass on Armstead if it was me. I don’t see anything resembling a first round pick when I look at him. He has good explosion off the line and is able to drive back an OL back, but he doesn’t show the ability to finish them off. His pursuit also looks like he is lumbering rather than chasing and his spin move leaves little to be desired. I also notice that he allows the one assigned to block him to get under his pads and effectively drive him out of the play. Armstead would be a good 2-3 round pick, but he’s too raw to take a chance on in the first round.

      1. His upside is tantalising so I can understand why people would like him. If the light goes on for him he could be a very disruptive player. But at the moment he’s a guy that occasionally flashes his impressive athleticism, strength and length advantage, but generally doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher.

  11. I couldn’t stand his first interview but still said Id give him a season. I’m not changing my mind now, that he’s done ok in an interview. Sad that this has to be bright up.
    HEALTH will be the key to success this season. Not a coach or his interviews

  12. Grant,

    Have you ever spoken to/interviewed Tom Gamble? I suspect he’s a pretty important, maybe the most important, addition to the 49ers this entire offseason. He’ll probably assist Baalke in having a draft closer to 2012 than 2013 or 2014.

  13. Reported on PFT regarding Mariotta:

    “CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler reports Oregon QB Marcus Mariota has been “wowing” in his team meetings at the Combine.
    Brugler reports Mariota has been impressing teams “and them some.” Combine interviews can be a critical part of the draft process, especially for quarterbacks. Mariota was always expected to interview well, but it can only be good for his draft status that he’s hitting them out of the park.”

    1. Its interesting to me that many people expect him to run a slow 40 time. I think it must be because he’s more of a build up speed guy than sudden athlete. But I think like Alshon Jeffrey he may surprise a few people with his long speed and run in the 4.4s.

  14. I am Jed York, I want more then anything for my Niners to play in next year’s Super Bowl, I also have a disgruntled fan base. So I am thinking, (ouch) to help my team to get to the Super Bowl I am going to need and impact player. What player out there would immediately enhance my team and help excite the fan base once again. Cooper – I trade with the Raiders – they need draft picks. Not sure what the cost is but I do it.

        1. wasn’t that Count Dooku who owned that Browns? If the Sith own the Browns it would explain the factory of sadness. Wait, Jed is originally from Ohio…has the Dark Side finally taken over the Niners?

            1. dang! that was Frank Langella not Christopher Lee! that’s okay. Frank Langella is evil too. He played Skeletor opposite Dolph Lundgren’s He-Man.

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