49ers DC Greg Manusky on why Shawntae Spencer at right corner

After today's walkthrough, 49ers DC Greg Manusky and OC Jimmy Raye held brief press conferences with local media.  As always there was plenty of fluff involved, but I thought I'd pull out his comments on Shawntae Spencer.

On why Shawntae Spencer earned the starting right cornerback position:
"He played very smooth, played consistent and clean, I think, throughout the whole preseason. Initially coming in, he didn’t do much in OTAs. He came into training camp and went with it with a passion and vigor to go out there and really compete. He did a great job. He did his job consistently week-in and week-out in the preseason and in practice. We like what we saw as a player and as a coaching staff, knowing the calls, doing his job and making a couple plays here and there. Just really playing clean and smooth, and that is what we liked about him."

On Spencer’s skill set:
"I think Shawntae is a physical player. He has quickness, he has speed and he has great eyes. He can jam guys at the line of scrimmage. With all those combinations of what you look for in a cornerback, he has those, and that is why he earned the starting position."

On whether his height helped him earn the starting spot:
"It is always better to be bigger, but sometimes smaller is even better. I don’t think it was a decision just because he is bigger. It is just that he played a clean camp and preseason games. He played smooth and was effective in each and every one of those games."

If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like Spencer won the job because he made fewer mistakes and kind of seems like the safer play.  Anybody think otherwise?

After the jump I've posted the Manusky and Raye transcripts...

 

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky

Post-Walk-Thru – September 10, 2009

San Francisco 49ers

 

On the personality of the defense:

"I think the basic thing is, they reflect the people that are on the defense. From Pat [Willis], to TK [Takeo Spikes], to Justin [Smith], to Nate [Clements], to the safeties in Dashon [Goldson], they keep on developing each and every week and feeling comfortable with one another and going after people. That is the attitude we are going to be having this year, pressuring the quarterback, creating turnovers and a great run defense. That is what we are looking for."

 

On how the defense reflects him:

"A lot of cuss words at times, I guess. Sometimes that’s how I coach. But I get over it and I tell the players that all the time. I get upset, but then let’s roll. You have to move on to the next play. Don’t worry about the last one that was committed, make sure you learn from it and move on. And that is what I want our players to do, move on. Even if something bad happens, a lot of things happen to people in this world that are bad, but they make the best of it and turn around and make the play."

 

On the importance of pressuring Cardinals QB Kurt Warner:

"We know we have to pressure Kurt, and we’re going to go after him. Sometimes we are going sit back and play some zone and play some man. You have to play the cat-and-mouse game. Kurt is a good quarterback and we have to take advantage of what we have to take advantage of when they give it to us."

 

On Warner:

"A veteran guy that has been in game a long time and knows a lot about it. He has seen a lot of things over his career. He is playing well. We just have to take advantage of certain situations when they do arise. After that, we have to make plays."

 

On how well the 49ers cornerbacks have played Arizona’s wide receivers:

"I don’t know what any other team has done. But I know that at times we are competitive against them. Hopefully we will continue to be competitive against them."

 

On Arizona’s wide receivers:

"Good wide receivers. They have been for the last couple of years. I think they were third or second in the National Football League in yards per play. Talented guys that make a lot of YAC-yardage after the catch. What we have to do is focus on covering those guys up when we need to cover them up, and when they do catch the ball we have to make sure we tackle them."

 

On why his cornerbacks have been affective against Arizona:

"Nate has played them a couple of times, probably Dre’ Bly has as well. So has Shawntae Spencer. We play them twice a year, so we know a little bit about them because we play them twice a year. We are going to go out there and compete."

 

On the Cardinals running game:

"[Tim] Hightower is running hard. He is running strong and he is running hard, along with Beanie Wells, who they picked up from Ohio State. They have two talented running backs back there along with a decent offensive line, a receiving corps that is pretty unique along with a quarterback who has been in the league a long time and knows the ins and outs about defenses and offenses. So, we have a challenge. We will face the challenge as we do each and every week. We will go out there and play and perform the best we can."

 

On facing the Cardinals offense in Week 1:

"It doesn’t matter if it came in the first week, tenth week, twentieth week. Whenever it comes, we have to take hold of it and go with it."

 

On how Arizona’s offense will be different with a new coordinator:

"There will be a little bit of change, there always is. But they are going to do what they do. Just like Jimmy [Raye] talked about, what he said up here a couple of minutes ago. They are going to do what they do and try to take advantage of our defense, and vice versa. That is what we are going to do. And they are basically going to do what they do. It is not going to change that much, but if it does, it is what it is."

 

On what he saw from the Arizona offense this preseason:

"It is basically the same stuff we have seen in the past, with a little bit of wrinkles, but not much."

 

On why Shawntae Spencer earned the starting right cornerback position:

"He played very smooth, played consistent and clean, I think, throughout the whole preseason. Initially coming in, he didn’t do much in OTAs. He came into training camp and went with it with a passion and vigor to go out there and really compete. He did a great job. He did his job consistently week-in and week-out in the preseason and in practice. We like what we saw as a player and as a coaching staff, knowing the calls, doing his job and making a couple plays here and there. Just really playing clean and smooth, and that is what we liked about him."

 

On Spencer’s skill set:

"I think Shawntae is a physical player. He has quickness, he has speed and he has great eyes. He can jam guys at the line of scrimmage. With all those combinations of what you look for in a cornerback, he has those, and that is why he earned the starting position."

 

On whether his height helped him earn the starting spot:

"It is always better to be bigger, but sometimes smaller is even better. I don’t think it was a decision just because he is bigger. It is just that he played a clean camp and preseason games. He played smooth and was effective in each and every one of those games."

 

On whether the defense is as far along as he had hoped:

"I think each and every year you go into it. I think we are ahead of where we were the last two previous years. I think we are going to continue to grow. I am still looking for a lot of success out of the defense, just like Coach Singletary is. We have to go out there Sunday and compete."

 

 

 

 

Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye

Post Walk –Thru 09-10-09

San Francisco 49ers

 

On how much more of the offense has been installed for the regular season:

"Over, finished, done, none. We installed the entire part of our offense. The things that we haven’t been using this summer that was part of the game plan for this week against Arizona, we included. But in terms of anything new installation wise, there was nothing new that we installed for this game."

 

On the number of plays that might be used against Arizona:

"We have enough offense to take care of the contingencies, and each week is different based on the style of defense that we play, so the play number basically slides. You have a certain number of run down plays, first and ten, first and second down plays and then we have our third down package. Then we have red zone and we try to pull as much as we can in similarity from the run down to the throw down to cut the volume, and then we have the red area plays that is designed specifically for defensive coverage in the red area. Then we have your short yardage, your goal line, the back of your two-minute [offense]. The plays vary in terms of numbers based on the style of defense that you’re playing. Based on how we continue to accentuate our players and what they do best, but I couldn’t give you a concrete number of how many plays we would have in the plan. It basically would depend on, if you figure average, you’re going to get 70 to 72 snaps a game during a normal game and how many of those in 11 possessions based on the kickoff and the first half you are going to get 11 to 12 possessions most of the time without a sudden change. So all of that is calculated in, but basically it’s by design of what they do defensively that marries what we want to do offensively, and hopefully some of that will slide from one area to the other area."

 

On what is it about Shaun Hill’s make up and character that makes him a successful NFL quarterback:

"Because he has [been]. He’s been a successful player. I think if you witness his play the latter part of last year, I think you would deem what he did as a quarterback, I think you would qualify that as being a successful quarterback and hopefully that will continue as we put this together and start a 16-game championship season run this year that he would exhibit the same amount of play."

 

On Shaun Hill’s laid back persona and whether that’s a good characteristic for a quarterback:

"No. I don’t see him as laid back. I see him as a guy that prepares, that gets himself involved emotionally and physically. He will take off and run the ball sometimes to a flaw with his helmet off and not run it out of bounds. I see him as a player that plays football, who just happens to be playing quarterback. He has the characteristics of a football player that plays the position of a quarterback. I don’t see him as this laid back guy that you mentioned."

 

On the final installment of the offense making it easier for him to game plan against Arizona:

"It makes it easier for me, but not so much for the player because we played four scrimmage games, and a large portion of what we had installed we were practicing, but we didn’t do in games. That kind of gives them a little bit of a jolt because all of a sudden they have to emotionally readjust themselves of plays that they’ve learned, that they’ve ran, that they’ve done, but now they become priority in terms of the plan and all of the nuances that you try to get the bugs worked out of during the exhibition season. Some things you don’t do or show, so we had to get them done off of cards in practice."

 

On how much flexibility Shaun Hill will have to call audibles during the game:

"Hopefully, very little. We always script the first 12 openers, the first third down and short, the first short and medium, the first short yardage play. We will always have a script that they will have available to them for the openers, as we refer to them. The first 12 plays, they may not come out exactly in the order that they are on the sheet, but they are going to be called somewhere in the first 12 snaps that we have. So they have studied those plays and have an idea of their assignments and what they do. So we’ll do the first third and short, the first short yardage play and the first third and medium play, so they have an idea and that can change if all of a sudden we get the ball kicked off and we have scripted 12 plays and we get the ball at the one-yard line. So all of a sudden, there’s a switch in momentum because we are in a backed up mode and we’ve got to get the ball out of our end of the field. So that can happen after we do what we do in our backed up offense. It’s fluid based on field position, score and the change that takes place when we get the ball."

 

On whether he has always scripted his first plays:

"I’ve done it for as long as I’ve been coaching. I think Bill Walsh probably started it, but I wasn’t at that meeting that he had. I’ve coached with enough people that coached with him over the years that somewhere it became a part of what I started to do as a coordinator."

 

On whether Glen Coffee will play regardless or only on circumstance:

"I think all the guys that dress and go to the game, need to be prepared to play, not just Glen Coffee. If you go to the game on Sunday and you dress, you should be prepared to play, and he will play in the game, as I would expect all the 22 offensive players that we take. I would expect they would play."

 

On whether he has any plays for him specifically:

"The plays that we have in the game plan are specifically for him. Those runs and passes that we have, when he’s in there, they’ll be specific for him. If you are asking me if we have a package that says, ‘Glen Coffee Plays,’ when we put him in, no, we don’t have that."

 

On what his philosophy is game planning his offense against other teams:

"The generic answer would be, first of all, do what we need do best and what our people can do best. Then the development of that, we will try to exploit the weaknesses that we have that takes advantage of what we do, so it’s a twofold deal. We are always going to have a core group of things that we do that you have to stop because obviously we have been running it in practice and a lot longer than you have on Wednesday and Thursday, so you have to show us you can stop that and then we hope that the rest of what we do will take care of the weaknesses that they have, and give us a chance to exploit the weakness that they have and take advantage of them if we can."

 

On when the players know about the first 12 scripted plays that they are going to run:

"It varies probably from a road game, going onto Arizona, they will probably get it in the night meeting, the nine o’clock meeting, the night before the game on Saturday night. Then for a home game, they could have it on Friday or they could have it on Saturday night meeting, but what the intent of it is, is to eliminate anxiety rather than create anxiety, so it depends on the flavor of the week, how I feel the emotional feel and tempo of the team is on Friday or Saturday walkthrough. Sometimes I may do it coming off the field on Saturday and go over the list before we even leave to go to the hotel on Saturday night if it is something that I think needs to be stressed and emphasized that they need to be thinking about prior to the time they come to the hotel. So it’s one of those things that varies depending on how I feel the attitude of practice during the week went and what we are trying to do."

 

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