Mike Singletary press conference transcript: 49ers not interested in Larry Johnson

Ok, so Mike Singletary didn't say it would NEVER happen, but when asked about Larry Johnson, Singletary said:

On whether the 49ers are interested in RB Larry Johnson:
"Right now, I hadn't even thought about it. No. No. Not right now."

The 49ers do have a need for running back depth, but it's not happening with LJ.  He actually doesn't clear waivers until tomorrow afternoon.  The 49ers would be looking to wait until after he clears waivers, meaning he'd basically have 2 days to learn even a little bit of the playbook.  Also, the Texans are bringing Johnson in for a workout, and the Redskins haven't ruled out trying to sign Johnson (if he clears waivers).  I'd imagine he'll be locked up before the end of the day tomorrow.

Earlier today I mentioned I was looking for info on Jason Hill in the press conference.  We didn't get a completely clear answer, but Singletary did address the wide receiver position.

On why WRs Josh Morgan and Jason Hill played so much:
"I think right now, we have to meet as a staff and really look at our receiving situation. It's a good situation, we have a lot of talent there. We just have to figure out the right combination of time for all of our guys."

On how much he will play Bruce in the future:
"I think it makes sense for us to get together as a staff and really figure out the best thing that we need to do going forward and we will do that. We will do that this week and we will do it today."

On what he saw from [WR] Jason Hill that this was the game he wanted Hill to play:
"Practice. I mean, Jason Hill - I just saw it in practice. He's a guy that could have really gotten a bad attitude and said, ‘Hey, forget it. I'm out here.  I was out here last year, I was making plays. It didn't happen. This year, maybe I need to go somewhere else.' But, he's a guy - we've talked a few times. I know [wide receivers coach Jerry] Sullivan has talked with him as well. He's had a tremendous attitude out here and just busting his tail trying to make plays. He's got all the DBs mad at him because he continues to make plays. What he did in the game did not surprise me. I'm very excited about what he was able to accomplish."

Not exactly clear-cut information, but the writing is definitely on the wall for Isaac Bruce.  He's had an amazing career, but it looks like his time is winding down.

Feel free to use this thread to discuss Monday Night Football as well.

We have the complete transcript after the jump...

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Press Conference November 9, 2009
San Francisco 49ers

 Opening statements:

"Good afternoon. First of all, obviously this is not the most exciting time in the world right now. I would say the biggest thing is we just have to continue working we just have to continue going forward. In the loss we had yesterday, it was unfortunate some of the things that happened in the game. The things that we talked about all week, doing the things we needed to do, going out and playing together. The offensive line, for the most part, did a decent job. Obviously there was one sack there, [T Adam] Snyder's guy came underneath. It was just a good pass rush, the one that caused the fumble by [QB] Alex [Smith]. But overall, I thought the offensive line did a good job. I was very encouraged when I came in and looked at the film last night. The running backs, Frank Gore ran hard. I thought our receivers did a good job of blocking downfield. As far as Alex is concerned in terms of throwing the football, I thought Alex did a good job of throwing the football. I thought the first turnover he had, throwing the ball to [WR Michael] Crabtree, the ball just takes an unlucky bounce back and the guy was able to come back and make a pick. That doesn't happen too often. The second turnover that went to [WR] Josh [Morgan], I thought there were a couple of things that could have happened there. Josh could have made a little better play on the ball coming back to it. I thought the defender got there a little bit early, but we didn't get that call. Other than that, I think Alex had one play that was really on him and they did a good job defensively. He thought it was Cover 4, and basically the DB came off and Alex was trying to get the ball there on time and the guy made a nice play. When I look at the offense, for the most part, unfortunately it was one of the better offensive performances I have seen since I've been here. If you take away the turnovers, we have a chance to really have a good offensive game and have some excitement and momentum going forward. But it didn't happen that way. We did have the turnovers, and I think that is something we have to continue to work on. Outside of that, what do we do going forward? You have four losses and obviously that is not where you want to be, but it is where we are, dealing with reality. I think the most fortunate thing we have right now, the blessing that I would call, is we have a coaching staff that is continuing to work their tails off putting our guys in position to win. We have a young team that has to continue to fight, stay together and execute consistently. The guys are playing hard, that's not even a thought. I have had questions about, ‘Do you think they will start bickering in the locker room?' and those sort of things. No. We won't have that, haven't had that. That won't start. We have eight games left in the season and we have to go out and do the very best we can to win those football games. Other than that, questions."

On whether Smith was locking onto receivers too early:

"I really don't think so. I really don't."

On whether Smith and Morgan have chemistry together:

"I think it could be a combination of things. I think Josh is still maturing into a receiver. He is going to be a great receiver one of these days, it just hasn't happened yet. But, he is working his tail off to get there. That's where it's at. You just have to continue working at it."

On the injuries suffered Sunday:

"[RB] Glen Coffee has a concussion. He will probably be out this game. [S] Michael Lewis has a quad strain. That will be day-to-day this week. [S] Curtis Taylor has a shin contusion. [RB] Michael Robinson had a little bit of a stinger. [CB] Tarell Brown, a rib contusion. [G David] Baas had a little bit of a stinger. [TE] Delanie Walker, a little bit of a knee sprain. I think that will be a day-to-day thing but I think he will be okay for the game. [RB Frank] Gore, eye contusion. Anything I say just add contusion onto it and you'll be in good shape. [TE] Vernon Davis, shoulder contusion."

On why WRs Josh Morgan and Jason Hill played so much:

"I think right now, we have to meet as a staff and really look at our receiving situation. It's a good situation, we have a lot of talent there. We just have to figure out the right combination of time for all of our guys."

On whether WR Isaac Bruce was injured against the Titans:

"He has a sore ankle. He has had a sore ankle for a few weeks, a couple of weeks. Nothing big, but just kind of a little bit of pain there. He is trying to work through it. That's all it was."

On how much he will play Bruce in the future:

"I think it makes sense for us to get together as a staff and really figure out the best thing that we need to do going forward and we will do that. We will do that this week and we will do it today."

On the play of Davis this season:

"Vernon Davis, he has been the same since the beginning of the season. He has worked his tail off. What he is doing now is just the investment he made in the offseason. He continues to get better and he is going to help this team win a lot of football games. He is committed, that's why he is a captain. He is the example that everybody on this team wants to look to as a guy who is doing it right. He is just really working his tail off and he is making a difference in the team."

On Davis' blocking:

"Normally, when a guy is doing something well and he starts doing something else well, what he was doing well originally drops. He continues to get better as a blocking tight end. He is one of those guys, you put another 20 pounds on him and he would be right there doing a heck of a job blocking those ends and tackles and everything else. He is just an extraordinary athlete and is beginning to put all the tools together. He continues to work out right out there on the field before practice, after practice, getting it done. That's why Vernon Davis is successful and he will continue to be so."

On the challenge of running out of the shotgun:

"The shotgun is just one of things where it depends on how much flexibility you have from your o-line. You can run traps, you can run power, you can run basically the same things. It is just a matter of it has to happen a little quicker. There's not much of an illusion to it when you have the fullback. It makes it different because you are keying on that lead guy. I just think that we have to see is how much of the shotgun look that we will keep going forward. We will expand it depending on who we are playing, depending on what they are trying to do to us. If we have to loosen up the front seven if they are trying to load up the box, maybe we do that. But we just have to wait and see."

On whether he liked the shotgun look:

"I like the things that work. I don't really get into a look or whatever. I look at, how many yards and how  effective is it? How did it fit with our personnel and what we are doing? It is certainly something we have the tools to do. We have Vernon here in the tight end spot, and we have three wide outs. We have Gore in the backfield. Those are some great weapons to be able to use. I just think we have to really focus on cutting down on some of the other things we are doing that takes away from that because I think it is a powerful thing going forward."

On Titans RB Chris Johnson:

"Obviously, what you saw there was real speed. I don't know if there has ever been a running back as fast to the edge. Sometimes when you look at something on film, you go, ‘Okay, right. We will get him.' I thought for the most part, our defense did a pretty decent job, there were just a couple of times where he got out. When you look out there and see a guy turning the corner and Patrick Willis is running after him, you don't see that too often. Patrick is going to catch that guy. And he did, a few times. That is credit to him. But the guy made some good plays. They blocked on to us. We didn't do a great job getting off blocks yesterday. They did a good job staying on the blocks yesterday. It is just one of those things, I thought we had to do a better job getting off blocks and we didn't."

On whether the 49ers are interested in RB Larry Johnson:

"Right now, I hadn't even thought about it. No. No. Not right now."

On how the losing stretch is weighing on him:

"Do you mean is it one of those things where it takes me to a place? I will put it like this, as a football coach, I am very thankful to be doing what I am doing. But, there are a lot of guys waking up this morning where they are in a job that they don't want to be in and they are doing something and they wish they could be doing something else. I get up every morning, trust me, it is testing at times in this job, but I love this job and I love what I do. I feel that I am the luckiest man in the world to do what I do. Everything that comes with the job, just like you with your job, sometimes you have things that upset you, things that you wish were going another way, but this where it is at. In these moments, this is when I am at my best because in these situations, you just have to rise above and you have to put your best foot forward. You have to be positive. You have to look at where things are and just call it what it is. I can't get lost in the reality of the four losses. It's not something that you want. It's not something - it's not a place that you want to be, but that's where it's at. So, for me, it's just getting ready to, coming in this morning, being excited, talking to the coaching staff, having the coaching staff, ‘Hey, let's go. Let's get ready. Call your guys. Let them know we're on. Be ready to go tomorrow when they come in.' We're setting the game plan in place today, and let's get ready to go tomorrow. On that question, the thing that I want to do is I want all of you to understand this: If you talk to me after a game, nine times out of 10, if we lose the game, it's very rare that I will be sitting back and kind of being philosophical or whatever. I'm going to be ticked. OK? You can call it stress, you can call it whatever you want to call it. For me, it's human. It's just human. You guys in the media, it's just one of those things that, I don't ever think I'm going to have the right etiquette to stand up here and pontificate like some of the other coaches can do. That's not me. I'm a football coach, and I'm real, and what you see is what you get. All I can tell you today is that we've got eight games left, and we've got the right coaches, we've got the right players, we've got the right vision and we just have to go forward. Sometimes, that's all it is, nothing more, nothing less."

On the process of him deciding to become a coach:

"I'll take you through this: I think everything happens for a reason. I think, first and foremost, I told you before that I didn't want to coach, for all of these kinds of reason. I thought, as a player, at least you can go out there and hit somebody. At least you can do that. But, as a coach, you're dealing with guys, and they have to go play. And, you've got to go over there and you've got to make sure that you're doing all the right things on the sideline. But, I think all of the things that I thought before, getting into coaching, is what it is. It's in practice. What you do in practice, nine times out of 10, that's what you're going to get in the games. What you practice on, that's what you should do in the game. I think, for me, that's the best gaze that I have going into any game that we play in. That's why we have practices that are intense at times, in terms of making sure that every little detail is worked out and you still see at times we come up short. But, the guys are headed in the right direction. The guys are - there's not one eye, not one set of eyes in the room last night blinking. All the guys are looking at me and we all agree, you know what? Here's another game. You take the gun out and you point it at yourself, and we're shooting ourselves. We just have to go forward and expect the best and understand that the best will come because we will not see it any other way. I will not compromise. As far as coaching as concerned, it is what I love to do, and I was hesitant to get into coaching because of some of the - I'm standing up here today for this kind of thing because I hate losing. It's as simple as that. No one loves losing, but I hate losing, absolutely hate it - especially when you've got a team that can win. So, that's where I'm at with that. But, I absolutely love what I do."

On whether he wanted to coach the Chicago Bears:

"I wanted to coach at whatever place that wanted me. I didn't know where I was going to coach. And, it's like I said before, when my wife and I knew that we were going to be coaching, we put our house up for sale. We didn't know where we going to be coaching. We didn't know what level we were going to be coaching, had no idea, had no clue. We just knew we were going to be coaching. So, in terms of where we wanted to coach, I just felt that as we prayed, wherever the Lord would have us go, that's where we wanted to go. Where we ended up going, that's where we were going to coach, and we were going to coach as hard as we could and as long as we could."

On what changed in his mind that led him to want to coach:

"What changed in my mindset as I want to coach? It's a hard thing to explain. When I said my wife and I, we prayed about it, that's what we did. We felt that through prayer there were certain doors that were open and then we had to field the right fit and the right situation that came about. And that came, which was from Baltimore, and that's where we went. As far as all of the other things, I think everything that's happened in my life has prepared me for moments like these.  I can't lie to you. I would love to come in and have it be we're 6-0, we're 7-0 and we're going forward. ‘Wow, what a brilliant guy. Wow, where has he been.' But, it's not like that. But, I would much rather have it this way, where you come in and you start off right, you know you can do it, and then all of a sudden all these changes. You're changing the quarterback. You start finding out about yourself. You start finding out about the people around you and you start finding out what you're made of. And then you come back together and the thing starts working again. Then you feel better about what you've accomplished and you feel better about the people you've been around because you've been exposed. There's nothing that exposes you like a tough time. There's nothing that exposes - you don't get to know people until you go through tough times. You don't get to know your spouse until you go through tough times, or kids. So, I would much rather have it like this because when it does swing around, we'll be enjoying it a lot more, and it'll be much more of a richness  to it going forward and an appreciation for it because it doesn't come easy. There are a lot of little things that have to work right in order for the big thing to really come into fuition. So, I feel good about that. I feel good about these next eight games. I feel good about these next eight games. I feel good about the situation we're in and I feel good about our guys having to work through some things, as well as our coaches, to climb back up again and get ready for that next one and let's go."

On what makes him think his team will turn it around:

"You know what sir? I don't know where you're from, and I don't know what you really meant by that. I understand that you're not my players, thankful that you're not my players. I do want to win. But, let me say this: You have to know guys that you spend days with. You have to know guys that you spend hours with. It's just like you when you're at home. I don't know how much time you spend with your kids, but it's important that when things happen, you know, you have a pretty good idea of how your kids are going to respond. If you tell me that one of my kids slapped you or one of my kids spit on you or something like that, I've got a pretty good idea of who it would be because I know them. I would say, ‘OK, that was Jackie.' Or, ‘You know what? That was Brooke.' When I think about our guys or when I'm talking about our guys, I know them. I know them, and when you spend as much time with these young men and you know what they're made of, then you have a pretty doggone good idea of how they're going to respond. That make sense?"

On whether he contacted the Bears before he decided to get back into coaching:

"Well, I'll put it this way: When I knew we were going to be coaching, the thing that I did was I called Dick Jauron, who was then at the Bears, the head coach. And, I told Dick Jauron exactly this, I said, ‘Coach, my wife and I prayed about it, we've decided that we're going to be coaching. I'm not asking you for a job, but I am telling you that this year, in the very near future, I will be coaching. I don't know where, don't know when.' And, that was it. He said, ‘Well, Mike, good. Let me get back to you and see what's happening here.' And I said, ‘Once again, I understand, I'm not asking. If there's something there, great, but let's just not do something just to do it.' So, he got back to me eventually and just said, ‘Mike, the way things are here, it just looks like it's going to be a tough situation to work out.' I said, ‘Fantastic. I thank you.' And he just let me know that I'm not supposed to be there. So, that was it."

On whether he has any particular emotions coaching against the team he played for:

"Not in particular. I'm just excited for the game. But, not emotions outside of the emotions that I have for any other team."

On the positives and negatives of playing the game on such a short turnaround:

"I think, whatever positives and negatives we have, it's the same for the other team. So, it really doesn't matter a whole lot. We've just got to get ready to go."

On what he saw from [WR] Jason Hill that this was the game he wanted Hill to play:

"Practice. I mean, Jason Hill - I just saw it in practice. He's a guy that could have really gotten a bad attitude and said, ‘Hey, forget it. I'm out here.  I was out here last year, I was making plays. It didn't happen. This year, maybe I need to go somewhere else.' But, he's a guy - we've talked a few times. I know [wide receivers coach Jerry] Sullivan has talked with him as well. He's had a tremendous attitude out here and just busting his tail trying to make plays. He's got all the DBs mad at him because he continues to make plays. What he did in the game did not surprise me. I'm very excited about what he was able to accomplish."

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