This is the transcript of Jim Tomsula’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Injuries, I really don’t have a lot to update you on from last night. [DL] Glenn [Dorsey] is getting an MRI now and again with [S Jaquiski] Tartt and [WR Anquan] Boldin they’re in there getting some rehab, but both of those guys I think were OK. So, questions?”
Just looking back on that game yesterday, was there a common thread that ran through the tackling problems that your defense experienced?
“Yeah, I think it was a common thread, it was almost, I got the feeling, and again watching the tape, I use the term, ‘Don’t play not to make a mistake and don’t tackle being afraid to miss the tackle.’ Be more attacking. And I felt like that’s what our problems were. We weren’t, go get ‘em.”
Why do you think that attitude was missing?
“Well, just a, big game, we were pretty excited about the game going in. We were excited all week. Guys come in, just go get ‘em. I just had the sense that we were playing not to make a mistake there and not to miss and don’t do that. Just go get ‘em.”
I know you were asked about this after the game, but on reflection with that last punt, the 4th-and-8 and three minutes left, 3:09left, do you–?
“The two that we had discussions on on the sidelines that I was contemplating was 5:40-5:45, we punted, I think we were on the 23 and it was a two score game. Going into it we’re thinking, OK we’ve got to get two touchdowns and two two-point conversions. That’s the way we’ve got to play this right now. And then, when it got to the, I think it was three minutes, or 3:09, it was right around three minutes and we had two timeouts and at the five minute we still had the three timeouts. So, we had the two timeouts and the two minute. So, my point was if we were close, if we got that thing up there in a 4th-and-short then there was going to be a decision for me. But, after we got backed up there it was 4th-and-13 I think, we’re on the 11-yard line and we’re going to punt that ball. If you go for a 4th down right there, we are going to go make it a three point, if something happens it’s a three possession game. So, we wanted to punt it, use the two timeouts, get to the two-minute drill and onside kick and try to win the game. That’s what I thought. That’s what I still think. I would have done that in that area of the field.”
So, no regrets?
“No. Not for me, no.”
Obviously, part of that philosophy is you’ve got to stop them. The Seahawks had 500 yards and 28 first downs. What led you to believe that you would get the ball back?
“Well, that was what we needed to do to win that game. Just what I felt.”
Do you care how much you lose by?
“Oh god no.”
So, you don’t care if you lose by 23 or–?
“No, you win or you lose. No, that never, absolutely not.”
I think it seems unusual for a team down two scores to punt with three minutes left. Do you understand why there continue to be questions about it?
“Yeah, but my point was, I’m forgetting, it’s slipping my mind right now, we were 4th and what? It was 4th-and-8 on the 11-yard line. So, you have to throw. If it’s 4th-and-2, 4th-and-1, we’ve got a little something there. But, we’re 4th-and-8 on the 11 and defensively you’re going to pin your ears back, here we come. You’re going to be under duress and it’s a long conversion. So, if that doesn’t happen right there now you’ve got a three score game. There is no time. That’s quite frankly the way I see it.”
I guess, the issue is down 16 with three minutes left, you’re not in a good situation anyway.
“No, you’re not. Either way you’re not in a good situation. But, my point was they put another score on there, now we’ve got a three-score game. Now we’ve got to get the ball back three times.”
How do you teach a team to win? How do you give them that winning attitude?
“Well, I think that a lot of it is in your preparation. A lot of it is in your mindset. I think we have people here that have that about them, I do. And I know that we have that here. The record doesn’t do us any justice in terms of, that’s who you are in this league. So, but we’ve got to keep pushing on. There were positives in the game. Offensively, I saw a lot of positives. Special teams, I saw a lot of positives. Defensively, we were all, none of us were happy with the way we played and the way we went about it. And offensively, it’s not like we broke records, but you see things that we’re doing there that were good, things you can build on. That’s very good. Defensively, we’ve got it there. We’ve got to get, we’ve got people and we’ve got to pull together and get that thing sewed up. Run fits and tackling.”
It’s unusual to hear a coach in the NFL say guys were kind of tentative or, you didn’t say tentative, but kind of scared to miss a tackle, afraid to make a mistake.
“Yeah well, just go get it, you know what I mean? Don’t read your way through it. Attack.”
But, why do you think that is? I mean, they weren’t aggressive. It seems unusual in the NFL.
“Yeah. I mean, it was, when you watch the film, we were working to get our fit. It was almost like looking to see the play and then go get it. You’ve got to go, just go.”
How do you correct that? How do you correct that from now until this Sunday?
“Well, it showed up here. Two weeks ago I would have told you it was very good. So, we’ve just got to get it back on track. We’ve got to get back.”
What do you do to keep the morale up? You’ve had injuries, outside noise. What do you say to the guys?
“Well, you believe in the people that you have. That locker room there and the guys that are in it, there’s good, determined, good football players in there. We’ve just got to keep pounding through it and get to the other side.”
Were you surprised with the way things went down over the weekend with QB Colin Kaepernick? I mean, he was listed as probable Friday and then a day later he’s out for the season.
“Yeah well, I mean obviously that’s, he was checked with, they did the MRI and came back and it’s my interpretation that he had a second opinion and that was the results that came up and the action that was taken.”
Did you know he was injured before, the duration of the time?
“No, ma’am. No. I knew that, it was Monday he showed up it was on the injury report that his shoulder was sore and they wanted to get it checked. I knew that they had it checked, but he was in practice and practicing and all that. So, no I didn’t.”
So, Monday’s the first time you learned of it, after the bye week when you guys came back?
“Yeah. That’s the first time that showed up. Obviously, he’s got something there that he’s got to get fixed.”
So, do you have quarterbacks scheduled to come in today or tomorrow for workouts?
Who? How many?
“I won’t get into who, but two [one]. There’s two [one] today.”
Are they veteran guys?
They’re having workouts today?
“Yeah, we’ve got some workouts today.”
Do you plan on keeping three quarterbacks on your 53-man roster?
“Yeah, we’re looking to add another quarterback here whether it be on the 53 or the practice squad.”