SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
Does it look like you’re going to have LB Patrick Willis back in your defense this week?
“It’s questionable right now.”
Going back over that Broncos game, do you wipe away some of that since he was out of the lineup, a lot of the other guys were out of the lineup and what Broncos QB Peyton Manning was up to that?
“No, you don’t just wipe it away. Whoever plays has got to play good and basically what happened in that game is I didn’t do a good enough job coaching and we didn’t do a good enough job playing. And that’s a bad combination against a really good team.”
Why do you say you didn’t do a good enough job coaching? Do you think you should have done more exotic blitzes, that sort of thing?
“No, just a call here and there that didn’t work out.”
Do you have an idea of who you’re going to have back there in the secondary on Sunday, who’s going to be available for you?
“Not totally. Not totally. [CB Chris] Culliver’s still recouping from his injury as is [CB Tramaine] Brock and those are two of the guys that are still up in the air a little bit.”
But DB Jimmie Ward looks good?
“Yeah, I think he should be fine.”
Would you expect him to continue as your nickel guy?
With facing Rams QB Austin Davis once and their entire offense once just a few weeks ago, how much do you lean on what worked in that game when looking ahead to this game?
“Well, you always, I don’t think whether it was a couple weeks in between like it is now or if it was eight weeks or 10 weeks in between, it’s still the last time you played them. I don’t think you get away from what you did well, but understand that they’ll adjust some, just like they’ll adjust some, but it will still be our defense against their offense. They’re not going to change their offense wholesale for us and likewise we wouldn’t change our defense wholesale for them.”
You’ve said in the past that sometimes it’s good to play coverage against young quarterbacks, make them think more. But in that game, I think you guys blitzed a lot more than normal. Why is that?
“We did a little bit more, I don’t know that I would say a lot more. A little bit more. It really wasn’t because he’s the quarterback or anything, just was kind of feeling at those moments in time that they would be good calls and luckily it worked out a few of the times.”
Given that nose tackles don’t get a ton of snaps when you guys are in nickel a lot, how do you envision working DT Glenn Dorsey back in when he’s available?
“Well, I’m not sure of that yet. He started practicing this week. I’d still think he’s still a couple weeks out from playing and we’ll work our way through that when he comes back.”
Do you still do the takeaway Thursdays, the turnover Thursday drills?
Is it the same routine as it’s been over these few years here or do you add and adjust?
“Pretty much, I think. Pretty much.”
Is there any, I don’t want to say extra emphasis because it’s always an emphasis, but do you give these guys a reminder just right now, going, ‘We need to pick it up in the turnover department’?
“They know that. We’d like to get a bunch every game, but they can just always emphasize it and try your best to get them and hopefully you’re able to force a few.”
How do you think LB Chris Borland did in his start?
“He did OK. A lot like the rest of the team, we didn’t play well enough.”
What are some things, if you were to say these are some of the specific things he can work or learn from that game?
“It’s a little bit of everything, both in the run and pass, and in particular coverages, things that he could have done better. It’s his first start last game and he’s just learning. So, sometimes you get some new things every game.”
I know it’s been just a couple of days, but how does Glenn look when you see him out there? Does he seem–?
“He looks fine. In his injury, because it’s an arm-related injury, he’s going to look fine moving around. Until he stresses the arm in taking on blocks and shedding blocks is what we need to see before you kind of determine where he’s at with his injury. And we’re taking it slowly with that, so I don’t know that we’ve stressed him totally there yet.”
Assuming all those, Brock and Culliver, can play, I don’t know if you can share this, but who would be the starter and who would be the nickel in that situation with all hands on deck?
“Well, we’ll mix up the corner position and try and get them all action in there at the same time and in-and-out, be different combinations. When we play six DBs, they’d be in there, all of them. It looks like Ward will be able to go, so he would be the nickel. So, I think it would be different combinations at different times.”
Would Brock have played if Culliver and Ward were healthy for that Denver game?
“He would have played, but I don’t think he would have played full time.”