49ers vs. Cardinals Injury Report: Mike Johnson on Nate Davis

The 49ers and Cardinals released their Thursday injury reports and the only change was the inclusion of Justin Smith, who sat out practice with an illness. Other than that everything is as expected heading into the holiday weekend.

With the Thursday injury report comes the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator transcripts. Mike Johnson and Greg Manusky spoke with the press and had plenty of questions about the potential coaching changes and dealing with the team in a game that has no playoff implications. It's a good deal of coach speak, but there were a few comments worth noting.

Mike Johnson was asked about Nate Davis and the possibility of adding him to the roster:

On whether there was any consideration of bringing QB Nate Davis up to the active roster for this game:

"The only discussion head coach [Jim] Tomsula and I had was who was going to be the starting quarterback, and [QB] Alex Smith is the starting quarterback. That's the only thing we talked about and that's what we came up with."

On what your stance was regarding Nate Davis' preparation and work ethic in the offseason:

"That is something that I don't want to get into at this point. If you ask me this question on Monday, I will give you a different answer, but today my focus is on Arizona, it's on Alex Smith being the starting quarterback and putting the game plan together for this week."

That second question and answer is the much more interesting of the two. He says he'd have something to say if asked Monday, so as the season wraps up we'll keep an eye out for more specific comments on Davis. Of course, seeing as Mike Johnson (and maybe even Davis) might not be around next year, who knows if it will really matter in the end.

Thursday Practice Participation Report

49ers
Out (Definitely Will Not Play)
CB Phillip Adams (ankle)
LB Keaton Kristick (concussion)
T Joe Staley (fibula)
LB Patrick Willis (hand)    

Did Not Participate In Practice
RB Brian Westbrook (not injury related)
TE Nate Byham (heel)
DE Justin Smith (illness)

Limited Participation In Practice
C David Baas (ribs)
RB Anthony Dixon (ankle)
LB Takeo Spikes (hand)    

Full Participation In Practice
TE Vernon Davis (thumb)

Cardinals
Did Not Participate In Practice
LB Joey Porter (tricep)

Limited Participation In Practice
LB Clark Haggans (groin)
TE Ben Patrick (hamstring)
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring)

Offensive Coordinator Mike Johnson
Post - Walk-Thru - December 30, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

On whether it is difficult no matter what the situation to call the plays on your own:

"Well it's a difficult situation, but it's another game. It's the last game unfortunately, but it's another game and that's how we're going to approach it."

On how important is it to reflect that attitude to the players and reminding them that there is still a game to be played:

"Well that's our business. We are professional football players and we are professional football coaches, and whenever we step out on that field, it's our job to go out and give 100% at whatever we do. That's how we are approaching it as a coaching staff and that's how we're approaching it as a team."

On whether you have seen that professionalism in meetings this week:

"Yes, we've been approaching it with good energy. We have tried to keep it positive, as positive as you can keep it, and we are going to approach this game the same way that we approach every game."

On whether there was any consideration of bringing QB Nate Davis up to the active roster for this game:

"The only discussion head coach [Jim] Tomsula and I had was who was going to be the starting quarterback, and [QB] Alex Smith is the starting quarterback. That's the only thing we talked about and that's what we came up with."

On what your stance was regarding Nate Davis' preparation and work ethic in the offseason:

"That is something that I don't want to get into at this point. If you ask me this question on Monday, I will give you a different answer, but today my focus is on Arizona, it's on Alex Smith being the starting quarterback and putting the game plan together for this week."

On how much conversation you have had with Jim Tomsula about what the offense will look like for the final game this week:

"Our main goal is to win the game. We've talked about how we are going to approach the game and how we're going to handle certain situations and things we're going to do in certain situations. You're not going to be able to make a bunch of wholesale changes in one week, but the goal is to go out and win the game and that's the most important thing."

On whether there is any thought on playing some younger guys or is it just going to be a carry-over from last game:

"We're going to approach the game and play the players with the best chance to win, and that's how we're looking at it. We're not going to go in there and play players at the expense of winning a football game. We're going to go in there with the approach of playing the best possible players that give us that best possible chance."

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky
Post Walk-Thru - December 30, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

On DT Justin Smith being named to the Pro Bowl:

"I think, number one, a great guy. Number two, a great teammate and just a great guy to be around. Spent a lot of time studying his position, understands the game, hard working guy, lunch pail guy, really excited for him and happy for him. He had a good year. Even though he doesn't have the greatest numbers, but he's just a hard working football player that has success, which I'm happy for. Just a great guy."

On LB NaVorro Bowman filling in for LB Patrick Willis:

"I think it's going to be a little bit different of course. Patrick's a Pro Bowl player and for him being selected as well, I think it's great for him. It's a little bit of an adjustment, especially for this guy. I think it's good for him for getting some reps. He can feel it out and get in the game and go out there and perform and he's excited about it as well."

On getting Bowman to focus on LB Takeo Spikes' position more than Willis' early on:

"With young guys, that's what the concern was going in, just for him to study that position more than anything and once the season progressed and [LB] Scotty McKillop kind of got banged up and got hurt, I went to Bo and I said, ‘Hey bro, you've got to make sure you know both. You've just got to pay attention.' With most linebackers, you want them to understand both of them, but it is a little bit of a different position for both guys. He took the challenge and he understands it. I think he'll be fine with it."

On the difference between the two linebacker positions:

"The TED linebacker is inside and he's over the bubble, which is more fullback leads and things of that nature. Where Patrick's a little more covered up because he has a three-technique in front of him and there's not a guard screaming up on him. I think basically in Lehman's terms, one's a bigger framed guy and the other one's a little smaller, quicker framed because of the blocks that he gets in front of him. And from a coverage perspective, usually the MIKE linebacker is the guy that usually is the cover guy more than the TED position."

On LB Takeo Spikes earning the Len Esmont Award:

"TK is a great guy to be around. I wish I had him when he was a young buck as well. Understands the game, plays his butt off, practices his butt off and he's that type of guy. I was happy that he received a couple of awards and I wish he could have gone to the Pro Bowl too with those other guys. But there are a lot of other guys that are deserving as well in the National Football League."

On being an assistant coach and knowing a new head coach is coming in:

"I've got a job, they told me to coach 16-plus games. That's all I do. I go in and I'm just a guy that goes in there and works as hard as I can for every game plan that we have. Have the players, put them in positions to make plays and that's what I'm doing. The futures going to come, it is what it is. Across the board, that's always been my saying and whatever happens, happens. I can't control that. All I can control is what happens Sunday."

On possibly only being in one place for two or three years coaching:

"That's the way the National Football League is. From a coaches perspective, that's the way it is. My family understands that, across the board, from my brothers to my kids to my wife. That's the way it is in this league."

On how he would describe head coach Jim Tomsula as a coach:

"Great coach. He understands systems, he understands game planning, he understands defensive line. A great guy to be around, I'm excited for him. He set a little bit different presence and tempo and stuff during the practice yesterday. But I'm excited for him, a very good guy, a personal friend of mine. I've been working with him for four years. Just an all-around great guy."

On him being friendly and if that is his personality:

"Yeah, that's the way Jimmy is. He's a friendly guy. He's from Pittsburgh; it's on the bad side of the state though. You'd rather be on the other side of the state. I always bust him about that. He's a Pitt guy."

On whether it's looser with him:

"I think so. I think your team sometimes resembles a head coach and he's little bit looser than Mike [Singletary] was. But Jimmy's just a Pittsburgh guy."

On Bowman's playing time falling off late in the season:

"I think he's got to continue to work. He's playing a different position, but he has played a little bit during practice and played a little bit during training camp. With his time during the season, TK was just having a heck of a year. Playing the snaps that TK did, we were still in the hunt until last week and going into this game. Takeo was playing great, he was playing a great season along with Pat. Just finish up the season with this last one."

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