SANTA CLARA – Pete Carroll spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.
Q: What were your impressions of the 49ers’ Week 1?
CARROLL: They couldn’t have been much more explosive in the throwing game. It was a fantastic day for the quarterback, a great breakout day for Anquan Boldin in the new uniform. Vernon Davis was no surprise, he did great. They showed a real trust in the quarterback and he came through in a big way. I think the impressive thing was how they answered the Packers. When the Packers came back and got a shot to get going in that game, they responded just the way you’d want them to. They had a great football game.
Q: Could you talk about Boldin’s game and your appreciation for it?
CARROLL: He had an incredible football game. It’s nothing he can’t do. He’s always been a great catcher and a big-play guy and a guy who can catch it players draped all over him. He just did everything because they gave him the chances. They targeted him 16 times or something. That’s a huge emphasis for any team to do that with their receiver but he warrants that.
Q: Did you see a lot of improvement from Kaepernick? I know it was just one game.
CARROLL: I don’t know. I thought he looked great during the stretch in the postseason last year and was really on it. He was able to make all the throws they needed, a lot of challenging downfield throws. I think it’s just an extension of that, but you can see the belief in him from the coaching staff. They really trust him and really went for it.
ME: Jim Harbaugh has talked a lot about how “flawed and biased” the new read-option rules are. Your team runs the read-option. Do you take issue with the new rules?
CARROLL: No, not at all.
ME: Why not?
CARROLL: Because I don’t see any issue with it. I think that quarterbacks, when they’re runners they’re able to get hit and when they’re not they’re not. I think that’s the only way they could have stated the rules and I thought they were pretty clear about it.
Q: The 49ers’ have had some issues with the play clock running down. Your crowd can exacerbate that problem and I’d imagine you wouldn’t mind if it did.
CARROLL: I’m sure they’re working to take care of whatever their issues are. Our crowd does make it hard on the opponent. It’s not just that it’s loud. It’s consistent that it just doesn’t go away. I know they’re out to set a record for the loudest noise ever in an open stadium. That might contribute to it a little bit. They have a great spirit about them and they just do not back down. It’s as difficult as it gets in a loud stadium, but how it affects those guys? I don’t know. They’ll take care of it in their ways.
Q: What was your impression of Eric Reid?
CARROLL: He did really well in the opener. He had a good preseason. He’s an extraordinarily talented guy. I don’t think it’s any surprise that he’s playing well. He was highly regarded by everyone in the draft. I would think everyone loved the guy. He has the right tools and it was cool for him to have the opportunity to make some big plays.
Q: Do you expect to have Cliff Avril back for this game?
CARROLL: Yeah, we do. He’s got to make it through this week. He practiced last week and he wanted to hold him out one more time. We’ll manage this week so he’ll be ready to go and hopefully he will be.
Q: Do you feel like your games against the 49ers are more physical than others?
CARROLL: We’re trying to play as tough as we can play every time we go out. I think they kind of think the same way. You’re going to get a matchup of a pretty good approach from both sides in that regard. When we play here, if you weren’t ready to go, you’re going to get ready to go and you’re going to get our best shot regardless. I know they’ll be gunned up and ready to go, too. It’s part of the division we’re in, it’s part of the style and it’s really the makeup of the programs. We’re very similar in the way we like to go after it in defense and the running game and special teams. You see two like philosophies go at it.
Q: Are you saying you and Jim have some similarities?
CARROLL: What do you think? You guys can figure that one out.
Q: What are some qualities of a Jim-Harbaugh-coached football team?
CARROLL: They’re very committed to the running game. They’re a very smart team. They play with a good attitude and toughness across the board. They have a great coaching staff. Brad Seeley is a fantastic coach and Greg does a great job, all of those guys. They get the players to play like they’re capable. I think that’s attributed to Jim’s leadership. I’ve learned to count on getting a terrific football team when you play him. You’d better be ready.
Q: Did you guys take a look at B.J. Daniels in the draft?
CARROLL: As a matter of fact, we did. We thought he was a very good football player and somewhat underrated and under the radar a little bit, but obviously not there because they figured it out and drafted him. We thought he was a nice player and an interesting guy to get on the team. Thought a lot of him. We feel like we know him so if he has a chance to play at least we have some background on him. We studied him very carefully and all of that, but we think a lot of his ability.
Q: You have two former Stanford guys in Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin, one was a fifth-round pick and the other was undrafted. Do they still have chips on their shoulders?
CARROLL: We also have a couple Cal guys, too. You didn’t mention Mebane and Lynch. The Bay Area is represented somewhat evenly here. But those guys have an attitude about them, they’re extremely competitive. Both guys bring a real nature to their play that we love. Those guys fit perfectly with the way we do things. They’re great performers in games and they carry the message by the way they practice and work and just who they are. They’re really integral parts of our football team. We’re fortunate to get them when we did and they’ve come through in a big way and they’ve really started to establish substantial careers in the league. We’re really proud of those guys.