Vic Fangio on Ray McDonald: “I’m not involved in those decisions. I’m the defensive coordinator.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.

When you evaluated it, how did DB Jimmie Ward play in this last game against the Bears?

“He played OK. Obviously, he had some tough plays there where the ball was thrown his way. Playing DB, unlike playing some other positions or playing baseball, if you have a couple bad at bats, like in baseball, or a couple plays up front, it’s not quite as noticeable as it is at the DB position when they’re throwing the ball your way and a couple of them end up in some touchdown passes. So, yeah, he had some plays that he’d like to play better, but overall he played OK.”

Obviously Bears WR Brandon Marshall is a very large receiver, more known for his size. Was that a bit of a mismatch or was that more of Jimmie’s inexperience and he’ll learn how to deal with that a little better?

“Well, he’ll learn how to deal with it better, obviously. But, a guy that size, he’s got a size advantage over all the DBs in the league for the most part, not just Jimmie Ward. And you know, when they’re playing physical and allowed to push off the way they push off it makes it even tougher.”

Yesterday the Cardinals deactivated RB Jonathan Dwyer. What is the position of the 49ers with DT Ray McDonald this weekend?

“I think our organization has been pretty clear and consistent with our stance there.”

Though there’s an example of another team within the league chosen to take a harder line with one of their players?

“Again, I think our organization has been clear, consistent and concise with our stance on that and I’m not in a position to comment any further.”

With Ward, I know that the Cardinals put WR Larry Fitzgerald in the slot a lot. What does he have to do in that matchup better than what he did against Brandon Marshall?

“Play a little firmer. Know that the body that he’s going against is bigger than his and get him some help. He’s just got to play a little better. He was trying to do things right the other night, but just weren’t good enough. It’s not a major overhaul or panic button, he’s just got to be a little bit better.”

Have you talked to him personally to relay that to him or do you leave that up to maybe the other guys and the defensive backs?

“Both, both.”

He didn’t seem too discouraged after the game. Obviously he understood he could’ve had a better game. Is that the kind of mentality you like to see in a kid?

“He’s a confident competitor, but yet accountable. He knows if a play isn’t good enough, he knows that. He doesn’t start to look for excuses or point the finger. He just looks at himself. But, yeah, he’s a confident guy.”

You’ve seen DT Justin Smith for two games now. Does he look like Justin Smith from 2012, recovered from his shoulder injury?

“He does. I don’t see any change in him. He’s healthy right now. He’s playing good. He’s not slowed down at all.”

Can I ask you about 49ers broadcaster Ted Robinson? Why did the team decide to have him not do play-by-play for two games, but not take a similar move with McDonald?

“I don’t know. I’m not involved in those decisions. I’m the defensive coordinator, not the owner, not the general manager.”

With even with congresswoman Nancy Pelosi making a comment that the team should–?

“I’ve got no comment on that, obviously.”

Where is LB Corey Lemonier in his development right now?

“He’s developing. He’s a guy that got to play three or four hundred plays last year. Has played a fair amount of plays so far in these first two games. We’d like to see him rush the passer a little bit better than he has in these first two games. But, he’s the developing and he’s still a good young player that we like for the long haul.”

When you say rush the passer a little bit better, have you talked to him about doing different things? He seems to take the same path each time to the quarterback. Changing it up, adding new moves to his arsenal?

“Obviously, everybody’s got to have a couple pitches. It’s like in baseball; you just can’t be a fastball pitcher. You’ve got to have some off-speed pitches there. We run games with him. He was involved in games. Those are part of being different pitches. But, you can’t do it every play. So, he’s just got to rush a little bit better on an individual basis and then we’ve got to rush better as a unit, also.”

What kind of a running back is Cardinals RB Andre Ellington?

“Very good. Quick. Explosive. Fast. Good vision. He’s an elusive guy. He’s hard to tackle. He’s a good player.”

Have you seen enough from LB Aaron Lynch to maybe consider giving him more snaps?

“He’s played a fair amount in these first two games, upwards of maybe 40 snaps or so in the first two games. We’ll keep rolling him in there.”

Can he rush from the right side if need be?

“He can. He’s mainly played on the left since we’ve gotten him, but he’s capable of going over there.”

Is conditioning still an issue for LB Ahmad Brooks?

“It’s improved from where it was. It’s improved.”

How do you think he’s played through these first two games?

“He’s played OK. I’ve seen him play better. He’s capable of better, but it’s not a huge drop-off.”

Now that you’ve seen the film from Sunday’s game, what was your assessment on the disconnect with the defense in the second half?

“Of the disconnect?”

Yeah, because obviously they did so well in the first half and then the second half?

“We had some critical penalties in that opening drive that hurt us and kept their drive going. We had a third-and-nine, a third-and-seven where we were off the field and had penalties. You play a team that last year was the second-highest scoring offense in the league, Chicago was, and you give them extra opportunities, it’s like giving a team extra outs in baseball. You’re in trouble a little bit with a quarterback like [Bears QB Jay] Cutler and the receivers they have.”

The way DT Quinton Dial hit Cutler, to use a baseball analogy, it seemed like it was in the strike zone.

“It was, but I guess because it was with the crown of his helmet is what they called.”

What’s your favorite baseball team?

“Phillies. I’m embarrassed to say.”

A question about LB Dan Skuta. Assuming you agree that he’s kind of an old-school player, are there any other throwback-types he reminds you of? Maybe a better question is why is he kind of an old-school player?

“He plays hard and tough and he plays very smart. So, those are good combinations. He’s on his job. He knows his job. He knows other people’s jobs. He’s just very smart and tough. Could probably compare him to [former LB Bill] Romanowski from years past without all the fluff around it.”

So I’m clear, McDonald is definitely playing this Sunday?

“To my knowledge he is.” of the 49ers.


This article has 28 Comments

    1. If you don’t like his choice in quotes then, you tell him what you want him to tell you and he’ll help you out. He’ll save you both time.

  1. G.Ro needs to be shown the door. His philosophy is antiquated and his response in regards to his approach is telling. How can someone improve if they’re unwilling to admit they made a mistake? he continually falls back onto his criticism of execution without questioning the play calling, spacing between carrier & crabtree, kaepernick telegraphing his intent prior to the snap, lack of killer instinct, etc..He loves to micromanage the game from his ivory tower in the booth and that sort of hubris takes away the extemporaneous fluidity and impromptu decision making from the QB position. His arrogance is astounding! What sort of Coordinator risks the health of his quarterback for the sake of spreading the defense out wide and inhibiting them from crowding the box? He’s put the million dollar arm of the franchise at risk and he needs to be canned immediately! Harbaugh & G.Ro subscribe to an archaic, stubborn variety of football that dates back to their Midwest roots. The bayarea deserves an avantegarde coach who’s constantly evolving his X’s & O’s ala Pete Carrol. Carrol derives more outta his team albeit a less talented roster. He has a feel for the game akin to a comedian with apropos timing. You can’t win in this league playing not to lose, you have to go for the jugular! We’ll always be stalled at the brink and end up “just not good enough” with this kind of philosophy. Harbaugh & Co. collective belief system is corrosive to a teams DNA and permeates every morsel of the institution.

  2. I have something that I’d like to ask the spineless media, sponsors, and politicians. Since you guys relish in the idea of not letting the due process play out and openingly convicting a player plus (more or less) demanding that same player be benched, then why exactly aren’t you saying the same thing in regards to Hope Solo? I mean she’s been accused of assaulting her nephew and his half sister, and there are pictures of the results of that assault, yet there is hardly media coverage on it and she is even being allowed to start for the U.S. Women’s soccer team. What’s with the blatant double standard? Where’s your whiny outcry on that? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

    In my opinion, we need to let the due process run its course before we convict any player of wrongdoing. We are allowed to judge the possible action, but we have no right to convict a player until we know all of the facts. That is something you refuse to do.

      1. It’s sad, but that’s what a lot of people think even though history has proven that both men and women can be vicious creatures if they choose to be.

        1. Yep…
          And where’s the man hater Mary with this story?
          Double standard man. I guess women’s lib gets to pick and choose when to be equal. Smh

    1. Thanks MidWest. It is something I have been mentioning in a round-about way for about a week now. Everyone keeps saying how terrible it is for man to assault a woman, but in reality it should simply be about when someone assaults another person. Gender simply shouldn’t matter for either those committing the assault or the victim. The whole “there is no excuse for beating a woman” gives me the irrits – there is no excuse for beating anyone (though of course there are in some instances reasonable excuses, such as when defending yourself).

      You and Jack have mentioned Hope Solo as an example of this double standard, and quite rightly. But I also wonder hypothetically what would happen if it was a gay NFL player beating up his male partner? Would there be the same public outcry? I doubt it.

      1. I can partially answer that last question Scooter. Former 49er and Raider Kwame Harris was found guilty back in November of last year of misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and assault against his partner on August 21, 2012 at a Chinese restaurant.
        I don’t recall anyone in the media media latching onto this story at all, so my guess is because a former player that is gay wasn’t openingly critized or harassed for assaulting his partner, then the same will most likely hold true for a current NFL player that is gay. Which unfortunately adds yet another layer onto the double standard.

      2. Look at the lack of outcry over Glen Winston. Google Winston and read about his brutal, random from-behind assaults and the impact it had on his victims, and then consider how news of his recent transactions ha been met with crickets….

  3. Cohn, you idiot. I mean that in the most polite way possible. That cover 3 was correct if you reference the right play. It was the interception up the seam to the Tight-End when the safety undercut the ball. Stop with the inconsistent facts, because it makes you look unprofessional.

    – Mr. Unassuming

  4. Who asked what his favorite baseball team is? I like the question, his answer only makes Fangio even more likable.

  5. Are Bay Area media members so dense that they don’t know the difference between a guy who’s been charged and a guy who hasn’t.

    If McDonald is ever charged I think the 49ers will not hesitate to make a move on him.

    1. It’s not just the Bay Area media. The writers at ProFootballTalk, including Florio, can’t make that distinction either.

  6. Watch this CNN video interview, it’s excellent. Dewan Smith-Williams is the wife of Wally Williams who played for NO, Cleveland and Baltimore b/4 he retired. She also was a victim of domestic abuse. They have salvaged their marriage and she went on to get her masters and help others who were in like situations.

    It’s not judgmental nor does it beat up on “men” She tells it like it is and how isolating it is for many of these wives. She doesn’t think Ray Rice should lose his job.

    1. And it still doesn’t even come close to answering why there’s a double standard with all of these hypocrites in regards to Hope Solo Mary.

  7. So, ok, I can see that the Bay Area media would let the RayMac question leak in to the Presser, stupidly, but predictably. But they question (challenge) the Def Co-Ord about the Robinson move? Really? You see what they’re doing, right? The Press Conference is not an opportunity to gain knowledge or insight into the team, rather it has become a performance opportunity for some of the media stars to promote their agendas and polish their own images.
    The Biggest Loser in all this is obviously Roger Goodell, who continues to degrade his position by his current duck & cover reaction to criticism.
    The Second Biggest Loser, IMO, is the media. Some members of the Fifth Estate have stooped to embarrassing levels of self righteousness. They also are in their kick-the-dead-horse mode wherein they thrash a subject until the next crisis du jour comes along. Can you say Favre? Tebow? RG3?
    The Third Biggest Losers are The Fans. For all the obvious reasons.
    I’ve got more, so check out of this rant if you want! Two important overview take-aways from all of this; both good and bad: Shame and Lynch Mob Mentality.
    Shame: from the original suspension of Ray Rice there was a public outcry, professed outrage by football fans and the public at large. It was fanned by the media, but it was candid and real and wide spread. The mass opinion rejected the NFL’s take and eventually imposed what we can loosely call Community Standards upon corporate wogs at NFL. There was Public Shaming and a conciliatory reaction. So that’s good, right? Right? The NFL woke up to the public’s taking domestic abuse seriously in societal terms.
    Good and bad. Good that the lawyers got their heads unwedged, but perhaps ominous at how it unfolded.
    Community standards> public outcry> herd mentality> Tyranny of The Majority> lynch mob. It’s a slippery slope folks. The beauty of The Constitution and The Bill of Rights is that they offer protections to the individual against tyrannical government and the tyranny of the majority in a democracy.
    What we have today is a veritable Media Lynch Mob; in the Ray McDonald case…(wait for it, wait for it…..)……HE HAS NOT BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME, so yeah, definitely, kick him off the team, send a mob (of those without sin) to drag him out of his house and string him up. That’s the good old American way; well, the old way.

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