Coach Singletary's 8/31 press conference: Odds and Ends

Coach Singletary had a pre-practice press conference yesterday that I didn’t have a chance to get posted.  After reading through it yesterday I thought it would be worth analyzing in a little more detail.  He discussed a broad range of issues that the team needs to address between now and the start of the regular season.

The biggest piece of news (which has been reported most everywhere else) was that Ahmad Brooks is out two to three weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee to remove a small bone fragment.  If you read that part of the press conference you can see the continued use of "day-to-day," but everybody else has confirmed the 2-3 week prognosis.  I think he still makes the roster, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on these next couple weeks.  Maybe it means a Jay Moore scores a spot?  I’ll kick it around a bit before putting together my next 53-man projection (probably coming Thursday).

In general it sounds like the team will be giving the youngsters a lot more of an opportunity this weekend against the Chargers.  I’d imagine most starters would be going no more than a couple series, if even that.  Some potential starters that I could see getting extended action are Josh Morgan and Arnaz Battle at wide receiver.  As Barrows indicated a couple days ago, Morgan has not exactly blown folks away in the preseason games, so he probably would like to put on a nice little performance on Friday.  I’d also imagine Dre Bly and Tarell Brown will see a decent amount of playing time, unless Singletary and Manusky have decided that Bly has done enough to earn the job.

One guy who did not get the most glowing endorsement was Micheal Spurlock.  Singletary was asked whether Spurlock was the team’s first choice to run the Taser (Wildcat) formation and he said:

"I won’t say that he’s the first choice. We’ve got a couple of guys that can do it. Spurlock is certainly one, [WR] Arnaz [Battle] is another, [RB] Michael [Robinson] is another. I just think that all three of those guys they bring about a different look to it and offer different things. So, we do have some options there."

"[Spurlock]’s the guy that you’ve got to worry about getting outside a bit more [than others]. I guess it’s been awhile since he’s thrown a pass but when you look at Michael Robinson I think that Michael can really execute the Taser. He really understands it and maybe knows it a little better at this point. Arnaz – I’m not quite sure; he hasn’t had a chance to do it but I know that he can do it. Like I said, they all add something different."

Spurlock is definitely a big time bubble guy at this point and Singletary seems to really be pushing Robinson as the Taser guy.  I think he’s on the outside looking in and would need a fairly significant performance on Friday to have a shot at the team.  Anybody feel otherwise about Spurlock?

At this point things are relatively quiet for the 49ers heading into the final game.  They've got roster spots to be determined, but it sounds like this will definitely be a game more suited for the die-hard fans.  A casual fan will flip it on and see numerous players that will be cut 48 hours later.  Personally, these games are the interesting ones to keep an eye on the potential sleepers.  Maybe nothing comes of them, but it's one of those prototypical preseason games that mean nothing to most, but mean everything to some of us.

 

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Pre-Practice - 08-31-09
San Francisco 49ers


On whether he’s expecting to get QB Alex Smith and T Adam Snyder back this week:
"It’s just going to be day-to-day."

On whether today’s practice is a walk-through:
"No. We’re doing regular practice, but we’re in shells."

On whether Smith will practice:
"I’ll just say this: Alex, I think, will try throwing the ball or something like that, but some of the other guys are just going to be day-to-day. We’re not rushing anybody. We’re just going to see how they feel."

On whether he is watching how G David Baas and Snyder handle today’s practice:
"Yes."

On whether the team will bring in another person to fill the 75th roster spot:
"No. We’re just looking at our roster, looking at where we stand, and we’ll make decisions as we go forward."

On the status of LB Ahmad Brooks’ knee:
"I think they removed a small bone fragment. It was successful, and we’re just going to take that day-to-day."

On whether Brooks’ injury is long-term:
"Not that I know of. Not at this time. Right now, as I said before, it really was successful and we’re just going to take it day-to-day and see how he feels. I’m just glad it wasn’t a big deal."

On whether Michael Lewis is going to play against the Chargers:
"I’m not real sure. I think a lot of these things right now – the biggest thing that I’m looking at right now is not so much the San Diego game. I think we’ll be able to get a lot of guys back before our first regular season game, and that’s really what we’re targeting. And, that’s really the focus right now. We’re going to play this game, the San Diego game. We’re going to look at a lot of our young guys, rookies and things like that, finish filling out our roster, find the players that we can and go from there."

On whether WR Brandon Jones is the only guy who is unavailable for the Chargers game:
"At this time, I think that’s correct."

On the progress the team has made from the first day of training camp:
"I think the biggest thing going into training camp was, really, the mindset – just making sure we had the right mindset going into the season. And, as far as the other things, we had the quarterback situation we had to look at, looking at our wide outs, looking at the cornerback position. I think the competition continues to go there, and that will play itself out here this week. But, I think overall, our guys really worked their tails off and really challenged themselves in terms of the work load that we had this offseason. This week, we’re just going to cut it back a bit, allow the guys to get their legs back – particularly the veteran guys – and kind of start cheating a little bit, looking forward to the Arizona game."

On whether there has been a decision on the starting right cornerback positions:
"No. We’re just going to continue to let it play out, and some of the decisions will be made as we see it. But, I think right now we’re just continuing to really look at it and make the best decision possible."

On whether he will choose the best 53 players in the final roster cut, or whether he wants a specific number of players at a specific position:
"I think it’s a mixture of both. Obviously, you want the best 53 guys you can. But, if I’ve got 15 tackles, then I can’t play with that. You just have to go through it and really look at what works for our team in terms of the offense and defense we’re playing, in terms of guys that we have to have. I think it’s a mixture of the two."

On whether having the team practice in full pads was beneficial:
"I think it’s gone very well. I’m thankful that the guys responded well and did not complain. I think this week we’ll go through it and guys will get their legs back. There’s no doubt we had a hard training camp. So, going forward, I’m very excited at how things have turned out."

On whether QB Shaun Hill will play in the Chargers game:
"I want to see how he does this week and we’ll just look at him day-to-day and see if he needs more rest, see if we need to play him. We’ll figure it out. If he does play, it will be very limited."

On the execution of the "Taser" formation on offense against the Cowboys:
"I think it was just – when I look at the execution, it was okay. We did it for the first time and I think that we just wanted to run it and kind of get a look at it ourselves and see how the guys would respond to it. But, I thought it was nice to get it in there and kind of begin to expand on it a bit, so it was good to see."

On whether WR Micheal Spurlock is the team’s first choice to run the Taser formation:
"I won’t say that he’s the first choice. We’ve got a couple of guys that can do it. Spurlock is certainly one, [WR] Arnaz [Battle] is another, [RB] Michael [Robinson] is another. I just think that all three of those guys they bring about a different look to it and offer different things. So, we do have some options there."

On whether Spurlock’s strength in the Taser formation is his quickness:
"He’s the guy that you’ve got to worry about getting outside a bit more [than others]. I guess it’s been awhile since he’s thrown a pass but when you look at Michael Robinson I think that Michael can really execute the Taser. He really understands it and maybe knows it a little better at this point. Arnaz – I’m not quite sure; he hasn’t had a chance to do it but I know that he can do it. Like I said, they all add something different."

On whether S Michael Lewis has had any neurological test since his concussion:
"I don’t know about a neurological test, I just know that we’re monitoring anything that has anything to do with concussions, headaches or anything like that, migraines, whatever it might be, just making sure that we’re really wise about it and really taking care of our guys on it."

On sensing an excitement building up in the Bay Area with both the 49ers and San Francisco Giants winning:
"I look at it this way; I hope that there is [an] expectation. I hope there is excitement, but the most important thing for me, even with the pre-season, I know that the games don’t count to the outside world but they do to us. I just think that it’s one of those things that we continue to take one step at a time and that we are building something. I do feel the expectation and I do feel the excitement, but more importantly, I feel it from these guys."

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