Greg Roman on Frank Gore: “We don’t want to just ride that stallion all day everyday.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.

Opening comments:

“Afternoon. We’ve got a division game against the Rams. We know them well, they know us. [Rams defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams is back there as the d-coordinator. We have a lot of respect for him. He’s doing a great job with that defense. And, it really starts up front with those guys. They’ve got a really pretty special player named [Rams DE] Robert Quinn to our left. And, it brings back a lot of memories of [former NFL DE] Bruce Smith when I first got into the NFL. But, you combine him with [Rams DT Michael] Brockers and [Rams DT Kendall] Langford and [Rams DE William] Hayes, the pretty much eight-man rotation they get going there, that’s kind of their philosophy, roll them through and keep them as fresh as they can. Very experienced linebacking corps with [Rams LB Alec] Ogletree, [Rams LB James] Laurinaitis in the middle directing traffic and [Rams LB Jo-Lonn] Dunbar. And the secondary is the number one pass defense statistically in the NFL right now and doing a great job with [Rams CB Janoris] Jenkins who we all know is a very dangerous corner, does a great job of reading routes, sitting on things. And then [Rams S T.J.] McDonald and [Rams S Rodney] McLeod at safety. You could see McLeod really, really coming as with McDonald, a couple of guys there that they’ve developed there. And a rookie who’s doing a really good job in [Rams CB E.J.] Gaines. So, they’ve got a really good blend of youth and experience. I think everybody in the National Football League understands what Robert Quinn brings to a game and can bring to a game. I know his stats aren’t real big right now, but we think he’s playing better this year than he’s ever played. I really think they got some young guys that are contributing in there too. [Rams DT Aaron] Donald gets in there, the kid from Pitt and [Rams DB Lamarcus] Joyner when they get into their nickel package. A pretty diverse defense schematically. Have a lot of personalities that can do a lot of things and one of the top teams in the National Football League as far as blitzing. So, they’re going to test every rule you have. Any questions?”


When you have a running game that likes to try to wear down opponents by the second half, third, fourth quarter, is that harder to do when you’re facing a team like the Seahawks or the Rams that do have that eight-man rotation and keep guys fresh throughout the game?

“Yeah, I mean, generally speaking you can rotate eight guys through that don’t play very well and then it’s not going to make that much of a difference. It should however make a difference right? I think it more comes down to execution and are they playing for the pass or the run. When guys are blitzing the house it’s feast or famine in the run game right? You could have a free hitter or you make him miss and then you’re gone. So, it’s a little bit more, we call it outhouse or castle, feast or famine. Against a team like this in the run game you have to have patience and perseverance knowing that, hey they just might call up a cover-zero blitz out in the middle of the field and storm the castle. So, it can be a lot of different factors.”


Are you seeing less of that? When you came into the league, did defenses start to fatigue in the second half and do you see less of that nowadays?

“I think what kind of approach you take. If you’re really leaning on them and pounding them, you’re going to wear them down. But, if you’re the nail and not the hammer then it’s just the opposite. It really hasn’t changed much at all. Teams that do roll through those D-lines, they’re committed to it. This is not the first team this season that we’ve played that does that. But, you can definitely notice a difference at times.”


Laurinaitis was saying yesterday that when RB Frank Gore or RB Carlos Hyde are in that the plays don’t vary, they’ll both run the similar plays. So, from a coaching standpoint, how do you decide at what time Carlos goes in to spell Frank?

“That’s a little bit thought out ahead of time. But, at the same time it’s a little bit reactive during the game too. Some of it’s planned, some of it’s more just on the fly based on what just happened, you know? We want to try to do a good job of striking a balance there that works.”


How do you temper that with Frank’s desire to run and run and run and run?

“We’re on the same page. We are on the same page completely. I want players that want to be in there and whatnot. But, I also like players that you can reason with and explain the bigger picture to and that’s Frank.”


What is the bigger picture with Frank?

“Well, we don’t want to just ride that stallion all day every day. There’s just a point of diminishing returns at some point. That just holds true for any player at that position. Who gets hit more than running backs? So, it’s something that we’re on the same page with.”


Do you feel like you guys are in better position now than you ever have been to be able to manage Frank not only through the course of a game, but also through the course of the season?

“I hate comparing things. But, I think we’re in good shape. I feel confident and I think Carlos Hyde’s an ascending player and we’ll have a chance to work with another running back here pretty soon.”


Let’s talk about that other running back (RB Marcus Lattimore). Have you been able to catch any glimpse of him and see where he is and what the plan is for when he starts getting out there on the field?

“The only thing I’ve really seen is him working out, physically, doing drills and whatnot. He looks good.”


Is there room on the 46 for a third running back who won’t be playing special teams?

“You’ll have to see at that time. You’ve just got to wait and see how things are at the appropriate time. Too early to answer.”


You mentioned the Rams have the best statistical passing defense, but they only have one sack. When you look at the tape, what’s your explanation of that?

“Oh man, it’s almost a setup, OK? Because when you watch the tape, I mean come on, they’re this far away, the quarterback’s getting rid of the ball or something happens or he just dishes it, it’s just getting out of his hand. They’re committing so many resources to 94 [Rams DE Robert Quinn] because 91 [Rams DE Chris Long] is not playing. But, make no mistake about it; we will not be lulled into that trap because all you’ve got to do is watch the film. 94 is playing better than he did last year.”


Why do you say that?

“He’s added to his repertoire. He has a great understanding of formations, what’s around him, what he’s going to do versus certain looks. When people try to double team him he’s got different answers, more answers. Physically he looks better than ever.”


Your team, traditionally, has run the ball more than the average team in the NFL. Now, you have four proven, veteran wide receivers. Did you ever, you or head coach Jim Harbaugh, talk to those guys and just explain, ‘Hey, there’s going to be some weeks where you may not going to get that many balls?’ Just make sure everyone was on the same page and stayed happy throughout the game?

“Hey, you want to come over here with me and have a talk? That’s the first thing we talk about as an offense when we get together. Some games are going to start tilting one way, some games the other. Some games you might have this many, some games that many. But, we got a group of guys that are focused on doing their job to help the team win. My experience has been players, units, teams that take that approach, when it’s all said and done, they’re sitting where they want to sit and everybody has achieved a level of personal and team achievement as long as everybody’s pulling for the team.”


A lot of times when there’s a lot of field goals kicked like on Sunday with five, people say, ‘OK, well, that’s sort of the bad point. You didn’t get into the end zone.’ Since you and Jim have taken over, you’ve kicked way more field goals on anyone else and had the best record over that time. Does that kind of prove that maybe there’s a little bit of fallacy there and that field goals aren’t exactly evil?

“Field goals are evil? Who said that?”


Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

“We got to get them checked. You’re trying to win the football game and you do so however you can. And the accumulation of points is certainly part of that. Great job by our field goal unit the other day, [K] Phil [Dawson], the field goal unit. Couple things in the red zone last week, we should’ve scored touchdowns. We’re always striving to do that. However, each game is a little bit different. We’re going to try to get better in every area. Certain games play out different ways and you just got to make those decisions based on what’s going on.”


When QB Colin Kaepernick is flushed out, is it his natural tendency to run left? Is that the side he prefers, and if so, is that something you’d prefer he’d not do given that he is right-handed?

“We’re well aware of all those metrics. He’s aware of them, too, really, because we know other teams study that stuff. It all depends on how things happen on a particular play. If there’s a bunch of guys over here, you’re not going to go to right just to break the statistic. ‘Hey, we broke the statistic, now they can’t say it anymore’, yeah, but he got splattered for an eight-yard loss. You got to instinctively play the game and good things happen.”


Jim said you presented him with a reel on WR Brandon Lloyd in the offseason. Him being a year out of football, and he’s proven he can make those plays, but, what did, I guess what I’m trying to ask, why did you think he could still make those plays being a year out of football?

“Well, I think [general manager] Trent [Baalke], Jim, we all talked to him a couple of years ago. We always felt like he had a dimension to his game that was special. You just don’t know for sure so you got to get out on the practice field and see how it goes. It was very similar with [former NFL WR] Randy Moss. You weren’t quite sure. You just got to see it. Once you see it, and he’s an experienced veteran guy, you don’t want to overwork, if that’s the right word, or what not. We’ve got a lot of capable guys, but he certainly makes us better. Really, at no point did he show that he couldn’t do it at practice. So, that’s really the answer. Just roll the balls out and let’s go and see what we got. It’s that simple.”


Is that something you do a lot in the offseason? Do you make a lot of reels of other players?

“Oh, yeah, we study all the players, yeah. There’s no question.”


Did Lloyd come out here a week or so before he signed, is that correct?

“I can’t remember.”


He did come out here? He worked out for you guys?

“Can’t quite remember that. I’m really focused on the Rams.”


Did he have the reel to show that this was a guy who can make plays downfield?

“Oh, yeah, there’s no question. Adjusting to the ball. Also, he’s been a hard guy to cover one-on-one throughout the course of his career. When you look at his highlights over the course of time, it’s an impressive a body of work as you might find.”


Is he best on the sideline?

“Could you explain that?”


Around the sidelines?

“Oh, I see what you’re saying. Outside the numbers?”



“That’s where he’s made most of his hay as more of an isolation-type receiver outside the numbers. Yeah, you’re exactly right. And he can work the boundary now. He makes catches in practice that’s ridiculous. [former NFL WR] Cris Carter-esque on the sideline.”


What have you seen from T Joe Staley and T Jonathan Martin and how did last week against Kansas City prepare them for Robert Quinn?

“Good question. Joe is Joe. Joe is one of the best tackles in the league, and he’s constantly working every day to get better. From the first day of OTAs, he has been laser-like in his focus. It’s been very impressive. He’s been a great captain for us thus far. I think Jon, I think they both understood, they looked at the film, understood what they were dealing with on the edge, and really, really screwed it down and they did a really good job. That game’s over but that’s a good test for Quinn. Quinn is a little bit different. Different style. This is a new week, new study, new preparation, new problems to fix, new challenges to overcome.”


Will Quinn stay on Joe’s side?

“Yeah, for the most part. [Comcast Bay Area writer] Matt [Maiocco], it’s like 98, 99 percent of the time.”


Was last week a particularly good run-blocking game?

“It was much improved. I think we took great strides in that area last week. There were a couple things that we all understand could’ve been better. But, it was outstanding in a lot of ways. Really a lot of credit to the offensive line, tight ends, the backs, receivers blocking downfield. Really, everybody. It was really good execution. Could’ve been better, though. I think we got to watch it, some certain things from that game, and understand some simple things could’ve led to more points in the red zone for example.”


ME: Seemed like you guys had a lot of success running right up the middle in the second half. There were some plays where G Mike Iupati got right up to the linebackers quickly. Is that an adjustment you made at halftime?

“Little bit. I think [C Daniel] Kilgore did such a good job inside that it really opened that stuff up. A lot of blocks ended up being Kilgore against their nose guard, who’s a pretty darn good player. He was winning. Once you see that happening, then you can start feeding the beast so to speak. We were able to get Mike up to the backer pretty quick and that was big.”


Do you see a direct correlation between how many snaps FB Bruce Miller gets and how well the running game does?

“Bruce is a good player in the run game. Now, some of our one-back runs, man, they could’ve been big plays for us this year. I’ve got four of them jumping in my mind right now. We just got to fix a few of them and so easily correctable. And that’s something we look to do here moving forward.”

This article has 55 Comments

  1. In the last couple of seasons Franks production has diminished as the season wore on. Each time before the season started the Niner’s planned on limiting his carries to keep him fresh for the end of the season and playoffs and each time injuries and a lack of a viable second back forced them to use Frank more than they had planned. This season they have Hyde and hopefully they will limit his carries. When Frank’s carries are limited it makes him hungry then he runs angry and pi$$ed off when he does get the ball.

    1. I rather see the QB passing the ball then handing the stupid ball off. Personally, I don’t watch the 49ers until they learn to throw the ball.

  2. Roman: Yeah, I’m going to run Frank gore for that’s all I know how to do. The WRs we signed, don’t lay out any fantasy bets on them. They’re just here to warm the bench, help Frank get his fat yards, be decoys out there to fool the D’s 8 man box so they go spread and we run Frank Gore at them. Ck only passes for 200 yards because by then, we’re up by a slim majority, but just enough to run Frank Gore over and over. And if you people don’t like it, don’t watch the 49ers. Go watch Monday Night Raw if you want something exciting as we’re a ‘do run-run, the do run-run’ 49ers.

    1. yep .. I called it at 5:01 ..

      Again, Short Bus ..
      how many times are you gonna repeat yourself ?

      Don’t you have anything intelligent to say ?
      Everyone here already knows how you feel, cuz
      it’s the only thing you know how to say .. and
      it’s proof positive what I said about the dictionary
      is absolutely true ..

      Don’t believe me ? ..

      Then I challenge you to ask the regulars if they
      think you’re a troll or not ..

      What ? .. are you afraid of what them might say ?

      1. Obviously Shrimp Boy, you see nothing but lower expectations from your QB and seem to enjoy. I guess you set your standards really low in life while I set mine high. Also, for the high caliber QB that didn’t win a Superbowl, I guess New Orleans didn’t win that time did they, or Indianapolis Colts didn’t win either. Yeah, high caliber QBs have no place in the

    2. I’m still trying to decide which is more painful, the content of your posts or your syntax. Both make me want to chew off my fingers.

  3. wilson ..
    I know.. you’re right .. but he’s too easy .. ya know ?

    Hey ..
    you might be interested in this ..
    I tracked down his IP .. found where he lives ..
    and filmed him in his basement ..
    If you wanna know what he looks like ..
    Well .. Here Is .. the Short Bus

      1. yeah ..really …
        If you think that’s funny .. just wait ’till the regular
        posters here see it, too

        1. MW Niner, really, putting up porn sites now. Tsk, tsk, Grant needs to clean this site of trolls like you.

        2. Yeah Shrimp Boy, and I’ll tell them that it’s you parading around after the 49ers lost to Arizona. Thanks for playing the game. I got a bridge to sell you as well.

          1. Tell me how the Seahawks won the Superbowl. Defense and running the ball, but you’re right running the ball is overrated and the only way to win is pass it.

            1. Between Lynch and Gore, I’d give the edge to Lynch for he’s a tough RB to bring down. Anything the 49ers are doing, they always copy some other NFL team rather then design their own plays. Gore doesn’t have the weight factor like Lynch. He’s too short. He can be brought down if the defense had capable players in the box. I feel very strongly Gore has an injury waiting to happen like the 2 RBs we lost last year. Wilson is better then CK at least around the media. This is a man that doesn’t do dumb things in talking with the media. Wilson can pass if situations called for it.

    1. If Indy and the niners doesn’t go all the way this year, what are the chances they harbaugh reteams with luck in Indy?
      Count on it for next year. Hate to say it but if that happens, Indy is going all the way. He can leave the offense to luck, and bring fangio’s defense. I would hate to saddle luck with roman, but at the same time, it would be interesting to. See what luck does. They have no run game in Indy and luck is asked to do it all.

      1. Fan do you see that Pagano’s job is at stake? I don’t follow the Colts but I haven’t seen anything that indicates he’s at risk of being fired. I see very little chance of them being reunited. Colts are 17th in rushing yds per game. YDS per carry is 3.7 puts them at 23rd. Wonder if that’s an o-line issue or RB issue or both?

        1. Well I feel the Colts are a lot more exciting then the 49ers right now in passing the ball. I think if opportunity presented itself if Harbaugh is gone, he could wind up in INdy too if not Oakland. But I’d rather see Harbaugh land with either Indy to help Luck or with Michigan college.

          1. Jim, since you hate teams that run the ball, you must really, really hate teams like the Seahawks who lead the league in rushing yards per carry and yards per game. Does your buddy Mary realize that?

        2. I think Pagano is well liked, but if they don’t win, then you never know. It would be interesting to see Luck and Harbaugh in the pros.

        1. Mary you did hear Luck say after his game that he loved his time with Harbaugh. He had every chance to jump on the band wagon. That aside there’s no chance of Harbaugh going to Indy.

  4. One of the Sports Illustrated panelists used a word:
    frenetic (= frenzied, frantic ) for Kaepernick.
    This quality will be much more apparent to the fans
    when Gore goes out for a few weeks (or the season?)
    and our work-in-progress QB must still “find a way”…

    If you disagree, then please give us some detail on how
    Colin (as team leader) has communicated a trust factor
    to Mr. Hyde? The answer is – he has not done so. Why?
    He is sending a distinct message: Crab-Boldin-Gore…

    1. I think it’s interesting that Lynch leads the Seahawks in YAC being 20th ranked in the league while Harvin is only ranked 50th with a poultry 7.0 yards per catch average.

  5. A Patriots v 49ers Super Bowl would be good. Imagine the media dealing with BB and Harbaugh for 2 weeks.

    1. “I don’t take vacations. I don’t get sick. I don’t observe major holidays. I’m a jack hammer.” Harbaugh on if he’ll take a break after the Super Bowl…

      “There is an old saying about the strength of the wolf is the pack, and I think there is a lot of truth to that. On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” Belichick on trading Logan Mankins…

      1. Wow Peyton tourched the niners in the PRESEASON! Oh no we are finished. You are tool that truly believes in his mind that you have a clue in what you are talking about. That makes it worse.

        1. If I recall 4 years ago vs. AFC West, didn’t KC and Den beat the 49ers and we had beaten Oak and SD? I feel Den and SD will be the 2 teams to give the 49ers trouble.

      1. Mary is a Seahawk fan, Jim. You know, that running team with the QB that averages only 213 yards passing a game, less than Kaepernick. Or do you make exceptions about passing for 300 yards a game when a team is not named the 49ers?

        1. space ..

          using logic on someone without a brain
          is an exercise in futility ..
          The guy has only one rant .. and that one
          has worn out the welcome mat..

          He knows nothing else

      1. Hi Grant. I hope you can get Harbaugh to change his tone with the media and ask CK to leave his glasses, hoodie, ear phones, and whatever else at home. Thank you.

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