SANTA CLARA — This is the full transcript of Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
“Afternoon. A tough game put behind us. Bounce back and get right into the New Orleans defense. A very stout, solid front. [Saints OLB Junior] Galette kind of their pass rush specialist. [Saints DE Cameron] Jordan, [Saints NT Brodrick] Bunkley and [Saints DE Akiem] Hicks and then we know [Saints OLB] Parys Haralson well, still playing at a high level. [Saints ILB Curtis] Lofton’s kind of their sideline to sideline guy. [Saints ILB Ramon] Humber a good young player and then they’ve got some length at the corner, [Saints CB Keenan] Lewis and [Saints CB Corey] White. [Saints S Rafael] Bush and [Saints S Kenny] Vaccaro. Vaccaro is a very aggressive, good safety and obviously Bush is experienced guy, but Vaccaro is a guy that you’ve got to be acutely aware of. So, looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to having another great day today. Any questions?”
I think I counted three snaps between C Marcus Martin and QB Colin Kaepernick that weren’t perfect on Sunday. Was that what you would expect from a new center? Was there a common theme on Sunday with that?
“A couple of them were just off. There was nothing really that caused them. Just got to work to improve those. But, I thought Marcus played a pretty darn good game, first start. I was really proud of how he battled.”
He said he’s never played in a dome stadium before. Can you do anything to kind of give him extra prep for this game that’s coming up?
“Really just try to create the environment with the noise. And then, with what you’re doing during the game you can maybe create some leverage advantages. You can work silent count if that’s what you do. Non-verbal communication, that is one way to do it as well.”
With some of the inconsistencies on offense, you guys haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter, do you second guess, critique the job that you’re doing to try to get this offense in a rhythm?
“Yeah, I think second guessing and critiquing are two different things. But, always critique and when we fall short it starts squarely with me. I’ve got to do a better job getting us prepared, getting us to execute better. So, it really starts on me. I think we’re constantly evaluating and critiquing. Second guessing gets you nowhere. That’s pretty much worthless. But, as far as critiquing, evaluating, constantly.”
You’ve come under some fire from fans and I’m sure the media as well. Does that weigh on you? How do you feel about where you are?
“That’s news to me. I really don’t pay attention to that. All the fans I come across are very gracious and very classy. I really can’t concern myself with the flak that might fly around, good or bad. I don’t think any of us do. Everything that we concern ourselves with is with each other inside the building because regardless of what happened the prior week, good bad, irregardless. You’re just trying to get better and get prepared for the next week to win the next game
Yesterday we talked to RB Frank Gore and he really downplayed the notion that it’s all about him and giving him the ball. When you devise your game plan or make your play calls, do you make sure that the players have a pretty good idea or they know exactly what you’re thinking so that they can see the big picture?
“Yeah, I think you try to do that. But, at the same time, pretty much what we run in games that’s what we practice that week. And then you’ve got to be willing to adjust accordingly based on what you’re getting. It really starts with preparation, communicating that game plan, being on the same page, being as one and then going out and executing it. But, yeah I think the big picture is definitely part of what we try to communicate every week. But, we all understand that every play is important, a run, a pass, comes down to the execution of it. We’ve got great veteran leadership. Guys like [WR Anquan] Boldin, Gore, [T Joe] Staley, there’s some more too, guys that every single day come into work and provide a great example and great leadership. That’s what has allowed them and us to be successful.”
By my count in the Rams game the offense gained 26 yards on three counter runs, nine yards on two power runs and 14 yards on one wham. The wham got called back because of a hold, but it was a good play. Why not come back more frequently to those particular plays in that particular game?
“Yeah, that’s something you can always look back at and ask. That’s a, generally speaking, down and distance situations may have taken us out of exactly what we wanted to do. But, the point is well taken. I thought the execution on those plays were really, really well.”
By my count in the Rams game, the offense gained 26 yards on three counter runs, nine yards on two power runs and 14 yards on one wham. The wham got called back because of a hold, but it was a good play. Why not come back more frequently to particular plays in that particular game?
“Yeah, that’s something you can always look back at and ask and I’d say generally speaking, down and distance situations may have taken us out of exactly what we wanted to do. But, the point is well taken. I thought the execution on those plays was really, really well.”
I think CSNBayArea.com reporter Matt Maiocco mentioned people being, fans being dissatisfied and I think they look at we’ve got all these weapons and I think, this may not be exact, but I think you are 19th in yards, 23rd in points, last in red zone touchdown percentage, allowed the 3rd most sacks, and they say why isn’t this all working, why isn’t this offense clicking? How would you respond to people who are generally saying, what’s going on here?
“Well, I’d say, kind of in a nutshell, we’ve got to improve. We come in every day, we’ve got professional athletes, professional coaches working very hard to get that done. We feel like we’ve let some things slip in games where a little mistake here or there, a circumstance here or there. But, guys are working extremely hard to get it right and that’s what we aim to do.”
Some of your most balanced performances offensively have come where FB Bruce Miller gets a lot of snaps and if you look at his snap numbers in correlation to wins and losses, he’s generally not playing much in the losses and playing a lot in wins. How would you characterize that correlation?
“I think it’s game-to-game. I think Bruce is a very valuable player, but it’s definitely game-to-game. I wouldn’t run too far with that statistic.”
There were eight sacks that seemed like at least five, maybe six were just the Rams winning one-on-one matchups. Is that a fair assessment and is just a matter of guys having to block better?
“Yeah, each sack was pretty much a world onto itself. You go back, you look at them and why did this happen? It wasn’t solely on a particular, single player. Maybe a combination could have been worked out a little bit better, etcetera. But, just things that we’ve got to get fixed and correct and we will. That’s what we do. Got all the faith in the world in our offensive line. Wouldn’t want to go play a game with anybody else.”
Two of those guys, T Anthony Davis and G/T Alex Boone, didn’t play at all in the offseason, Marcus Martin is brand new. Do you have to expect hiccups when you have that scenario going into the midpoint of a season? Guys haven’t played together until the beginning of September.
“Yeah, I don’t think we look at that as an excuse. We understand the circumstances, but those guys are good football players and have all the faith in the world in them. With Marcus, he’s a young guy and really pleased with his approach and the player that he can become. We understand it’s a process with a young center, but I thought he played pretty darn well in that first game and we were pretty darn pleased with him. But, yeah, guys in and out of the lineup, not ideal, certainly for the O-line. But, we’ll overcome it.”
Seems like something good happens every time you call WR Stevie Johnson’s number.
“He’s doing a good job.”
Would you like to make him more of a focal point in the offense?
“Yeah, I think Stevie’s doing a great job. Really the entire offense on that last drive last week really sucked it up and did a really good job against a good defense. Pass protection was excellent. Stevie made some big plays. Kap was real sharp. Anquan made some big plays. [WR Michael Crabtree] Crab got that big P.I. And, Stevie’s doing a heck of a job. But, yeah, really pleased with Stevie.”
Speaking of going to Crabtree, is Colin too reliant on him in the red zone?
“I don’t think, I wouldn’t look at it that way. The way you’ve got to look at it is there’s a primary, a secondary and most of the time a third option. So, if the primary’s open, you need to throw it. We want to throw the ball to the open guy.”
Is he usually the primary?
“It depends. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. But, no, we’ve got all the faith in the world in Crab.”