This is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Tuesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ p.r. department.
Where do things stand as far as your injured guys? I know there were a lot of guys who came in and out of the game. Kind of made it a little bit —
“Name some names.”
CB Perrish Cox?
“He’s questionable. Truly 50-50.”
LB Ahmad Brooks?
“Questionable but on the plus side, hopefully.”
LB Aaron Lynch?
What about S Eric Reid?
“I don’t know that yet. That’s all that protocol they have to go through.”
Is he going to see the neurologist today? Is that still the plan?
“I don’t know.”
Last week in talking about DT Tank Carradine that he just needs to get experience and that sort of thing. Are you starting to see that with DL Quinton Dial? He’s had some experience and you’re starting to see good things from him at this point?
“Yes. Quinton, like I think I’ve said recently here, has been a good story through this season. He was forced to play nose for us. Wasn’t really getting much training at that position in camp, but injuries to the two guys, the first two noses, caused him to have to go in there and play. And he’s really gotten better and better every week and done a nice job for us. I’m happy for him, and he’s done good.”
Obviously, going to be an opening at left defensive end next season. Do you foresee him being in that mix of guys that are competing for that spot?
“Well, he’s in the mix. What next season brings as far as who is all here, what other guys are in the mix, will be determined at that time. But Quinton, obviously, can now, we can say, can play nose or end. And we’ll always try and put the best combination out there.”
Is DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, is that left defensive end more his natural spot or where on the line does he fit best do you think?
“Tony’s versatile. He can play all three spots.”
Can DL Glenn Dorsey also be moved to defensive end since he played that with the Chiefs?
“It’s a possibility. Like I said, it’s all going to depend upon who is all here. The more versatility you have that obviously helps because invariably, you’ll have a guy or two that can really only play one spot, so it’s nice to have guys that can moved around them.”
What do you know about Arizona QB Logan Thomas?
“Has a big arm. Athletic. Good size. He’s a talented quarterback, and I know [Arizona head coach] Bruce [Arians] is putting him in there to see if he’s the guy that should play in the playoffs for him if need be.”
With a guy with a limited sample, when you’re evaluating him, do you go back to the preseason or do you go back to when you guys were working on him in the draft, potentially, too?
“All the above. We’ve seen all his snaps this year, preseason and regular season. And we do have some tape from him in college.”
You’ve talked about DT Justin Smith over the years and just how great he can be and what he’s meant and the Hall of Fame status and all of that. Is there anything, just over these four years, that really standout, like one certain play that defines him?
“No, not a certain play because he has a lot of those plays often. I think the one thing that defines him is that he’s just a true warrior in the truest football sense of the word. The guy is as tough as anybody I’ve ever been around, accountable as anybody I’ve been around. He has played through injuries that most people wouldn’t have played through. He doesn’t talk about them. He played a whole season last year with half an arm. There are a lot of guys that wouldn’t have even gone out there. But the guy loves football, loves playing, loves competing. He’s definitely in my personal top-3 or-5 Hall of Fame [players] that I’ve been around.”
Has he been playing with injuries this year as well?
“Lately. A little bit.”
“I’m not sure if it’s his elbow. But, yeah.”
Do you foresee having to make a trip to Missouri?
“I hope not. I still think he’s got a lot of good football left in him. I think he’ll do the right thing and take some time before he makes any decision and go from there. Would love to talk to him at any point.”
He’s talked about only, really, having one move, the bull rush and using his strength. How unique is that for guys that have been so successful for as long as he’s been in the league?
“Well, he’s got more than one move. But, yeah, he’s just gotten so good at it. And he can slip a guy, too. He’s got more than one move. He just knows how to play. The game comes easy for him, and a lot of people it doesn’t come easy for. And when you combine that the game comes easy for him, and when I say easy, mentally and reactively, and when you put his talent together, you get the player that we’re talking about. When he came out, as you all know, he was a top-10 pick. He ran really fast, et cetera, et cetera. What year is this for him?”
“Fourteenth year, to still be playing at this high level speaks volumes of how he takes care of his body. It’s a 365-day deal for him. He just loves to play. He really does.”
Is this a strange week for you guys? You haven’t been in this situation where you’re not going on beyond this week and so much about whether head coach Jim Harbaugh will be back or not. Is it a little weird? Guys who might be in their last games, too?
“Not really. The last game’s always a little different when you know it’s your last game. But you know, when we’re in meetings as coaches, whether it’d just be us as a defensive staff or with the players, it’s normal. It’s just all the stuff around that everybody notices it to some different degrees than others. It’s just part of the deal.”
You guys have gone deep in to the playoffs the last few years and that’s limited chances to interview for head coaching jobs. Obviously, it’s different this year. What are your thoughts? Is that something you’d like to do, to interview for a head coaching job, perhaps this job? Have you thought about that?
“I haven’t, really. First off, wherever there are openings, it’s their opening. And if they’re interested, they’ll come to talk to you. I don’t know. It’s not one of those types of jobs where you put in an application and go through a weeding out process. They know what they want to do most of the time. They have a picture of what they want to do and if it fits, it fits. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Do you have any idea about what they’re thinking here?