SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Bruce Miller Wednesday interview.
ME: Do you have a sense during games of which runs are working particularly well?
MILLER: Oh yeah. I think so, especially with the different defenses that we see. We have a part of the run game that is set for those guys, and another part that is set for different fronts that we see. We have certain runs that we like against fronts. You can tell during the game which ones are going to work, which ones aren’t. Which ones that they’re on top of and really are set to stop. A lot of teams, they load it up when we get in those power formations and it’s like, penetration, shoot the gaps, come through. It’s hard to run the football like that. So you adjust, make the changes, and a lot of times that’s bringing in a wide receiver, spreading it out, opening it up.
ME: Take the last game. Frank Gore gained 14 yards up the middle on a Wham run. Alex Boone was flagged for holding, but that was a good play. Do you go to the coaches and communicate that, tell them which runs you think are working?
MILLER: Yeah, we always have those conversations. We can line up in different formations and see if they’re even going to allow that to happen. If they were in an Over front, they’ll say, “Alright, we got killed on that play, we’re not lining up in Over any more, we’re going to play Under the rest of the game.” So, that happens quite a bit. But we test it out and see what they’re trying to get done, and that makes us decide what we’re going to do.
Q: How important is it for the offense to get back to running the ball?
MILLER: I think one thing we can do as players is not really focus on G-Ro and Coach Harbaugh. They’re going to call the plays the way they call them. We have to help them out. When they do call the runs early in the game, we’ve got to make them work, not force them to throw the football. If they’re loading the boxes, we’ve got to make it right and make it work so they have the confidence that we’re going to be able to run the football. A lot of it is on us to make it right early in the downs and early in the game.