Greg Roman on the Lions defense: “They’re a one-gap penetration team.”

SANTA CLARA – Here is the transcript of Greg Roman’s week 6 Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.

[Opening Statement]

“We’re getting ready to play in a tough environment against a really good team, an undefeated team. Don’t know the last time they lost a football game, regular season or preseason. They’ve got it rolling and they’re good. Defensive front four is extremely talented. They rely on them a lot in the pass rush and disrupt the running game, create penetration. Linebackers are very physical, downhill players, experienced in the system, so they’re very well coordinated. The secondary is very aggressive and physical as well. Very good team we’re getting ready to play, but we’re moving into the situational stuff this week. I’ll throw it out to you guys.”


Where are you expecting to see Lions DT Ndamukong Suh mostly and how do you stop him?

“Suh is mostly to our right. They’ll walk him around some as well and run some games with him. But, how do you stop him? Well you got to be technique sound and basically perfect. Schematically, you can do some things to account for him. You can’t live in a box because there’s three other pretty good D-linemen up there, too. Number 99 [Lions DT Corey Williams] is a heck of a player inside as well, very disruptive. So, where do you distribute your assets? I think you’ve got to mix it up a little bit and keep them honest, but at the same time, the players up front have to be technically sound, get off on the count, and basically all the habits you build in practice, all the hours of practice, they have to be what you lean on.”


Are they similar at all to Philadelphia in that they’re mainly a front four rushing team; they don’t blitz very often?

“Their blitz percentage is much lower than it’s been in the past; you would guess because of the ability of the front four to create pressure. In that regard, they are. There are several things about them that are very different than Philly.”


Suh just told us that their mantra is ‘meet you at the quarterback’; they’ll hit him every time they can. How do you prepare the guys for that?

“I think the film says it all. Those aren’t empty words. If you turn the film on, that’s what they’re doing. They’re an up-field team. They’re a one-gap penetration team. They do a very good job with their eight-man fronts stopping the run. That’s really what they’re coached to do from day one. I think our players, once we put the film on, once we put the film on Tuesday, it speaks for itself.”

They rotate nine deep there. Do you just prepare for new faces coming in?

“Yeah, you have to study all those guys. You really do. You have to study what their moves are, their go-to moves, alignments, stance, etc. They’re going to roll them in and keep it fresh and they’re doing a good job with it.”

Was it disconcerting to you at all watching the film against the Bears how often they got the linemen on the Bears to jump and then sticking?

“Any time you have that many false starts, it’s tough. That was obviously an issue they had. I don’t know quite what their issue was. Obviously, you have to prepare to play in loud environments, that’s the NFL.”

Did you think that yesterday’s practice was more like a dome game situation than previous ones?

“All I can say is our new speaker system works really well.”

Do you ever consider piping the music into the meeting rooms themselves?

“Never have, never have. I think there’s times when you have to be able to communicate effectively and find the best environment to create a level of focus that you need, and I think there are times when you have to put stress on that. In the meeting rooms, I think you really want to create an environment of as much focus as possible.”

What held up the process of getting the new speakers?

“You’d have to ask [Head Coach] Jim [Harbaugh]. I don’t know.”

What do you guys do to compensate the loss of WR Joshua Morgan?

“Josh is a huge loss. Josh is really an up-and-coming receiver in this league who we counted on for just about everything from blocking to all sorts of different route running. He’s done a great job and he’s a great guy, great teammate, great guy to coach. It’s next man up. We’ve got three really good ones and we just signed a fourth. He [WR Brett Swain] had a great workout the other day and he’s doing a great job picking things up. Next man up, that’s just part of it. Losing Josh, as hard as it was, it’s part of the game, but it’s something we’re definitely disappointed about, but we’re moving right along. Had a nice conversation with Josh yesterday and he’s doing well.”


Do you feel good about how WR Braylon Edwards is coming along with his rehab?

“Braylon’s doing a great job and his rehab is right on schedule.”

You mention Joshua’s downhill blocking ability. How has WR Michael Crabtree’s been?

“Great. Our receivers have been phenomenal. I challenge anybody to find any NFL receiving corps that blocks as hard and as well as our receivers. They have been phenomenal. It’s a credit to John Morton, our receivers coach, as well obviously as the receivers themselves. They are inspiring with their effort.”

He came into the league with a ‘diva’ label attached to him. Do divas block down the field like he does?

“What is a diva anyway? I don’t know what that is. All I can tell you is this: our receivers are extremely physical in their blocking and it’s inspiring to everybody.”

Delanie says he’ll do anything, whatever role you want him in. Are you just going to stick with him as a tight end?

“What is a tight end? Tight ends line up all over the field. They line up in the backfield, they line up split out. That’s what Delanie does. He is ‘Mr. do it all’. We put a lot on him mentally, physically, and he is up to the task. He is doing a great job in a variety of roles and that’s how we like our tight ends.”

How is your line been playing and are you expecting G Mike Iupati to be able to go?

“Our line has been doing a great job. We say it’s a race to get better, a sprint to get better. They are getting better and better and that’s what we want to continue to do throughout the season. As far as Mike, Mike’s going to be fine I believe.”

If something were to happen in a game, is T/G Chilo Rachal your swing guard or is the starter, C/G Adam Snyder, your swing guard?

“There’s a couple different scenarios we talk through. I’d say Chilo is probably the swing guard.”

Has he been getting work at left guard?

“I hope so if he’s the swing guard, yes.”

Does he look comfortable?

“Yes, he sure does.”

I’m sure there are plenty of reasons for it, but when Snyder was inserted into the starting lineup, the offensive line seemed to improve. Can you just talk about his play?

“Adam Snyder?”

Yes, Adam Snyder.

“Adam Snyder is very intelligent, understands the game, studies it hard, works hard, tough guy, real team guy. Chilo is all of those things, too. Been doing a great job, but specifically about Adam, you can put a lot on his plate and he does a great job communicating. Real asset. Love Adam Snyder.”

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