49ers Training Camp: Jimmy Raye on WR Jason Hill

The 49ers wrapped up their morning practice and Jimmy Raye took some time to address the media. The 49ers weekly training camp schedule is generally predictable as to which coaches and/or players will be available to the media on any given day. I think my favorite is his last answer. Somebody should have sent this over to Al Davis a long time ago:

On WR Jason Hill and what he needs to do to be integrated into the offense:

"He needs to, and I told Jason that in the spring, he needs a level of consistency of performance. Running fast doesn't necessarily equate to playing football. He needs to inherit all of the traits for the position and do them in a consistent level and utilize his speed more to his advantage. I think Jason's been around here for three or four years, maybe four going on five and that's a long time to play. Now, he is a good special teams player which has kept him viable, but he needs to step up and compete in this training camp and prove his ability to play a position so the he gets time and quality time in games."

We'll see if Jacoby Ford and DHB will be able to actually prove to be football players, or just really fast and athletic individuals who can't catch a football to save their life.

Jason Hill is a guy who has been all over the place in his time with the 49ers. One minute he's making a really nice catch, the next minute he's in somebody's doghouse. With the trade for Ted Ginn, and the addition of Kyle Williams, Jason Hill has his work cut out for him. He adds something on special teams so I don't see him getting cut this year, but if he wants to be an impact player he'll need to step up his game.

I recall reading over the offseason that he was showing a bit more in practice, which had always been an issue for him. Given Mike Singletary's persona with the 49ers, only stepping up on game-day is simply not gonna cut it. Hill will need to show over the next month that he can bust his butt on the practice field day in and day out.

Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye
Post-Practice - August 3, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

On the reason for the short passing game as a result of the blitz sequences through the first two days of practice:

"Well, there are two sides to that part of it. We're in a basic installation start over. Build a foundation ground. So, normally in a situation like that, you go low to high. It would be sac religious to come out and start throwing the ball 40 yards down the field when you're trying to establish the tempo, rhythm, and timing and spacing of the passing game. So, it's a combination of the install and how you teach and the progression of teaching and the segment of practice that you have a chance to experience and look at and we do have some blitz segments at the practice."

On WR Ted Ginn's ability to limit the defense and his ability to stretch the field:

"You know, I hope so. I think the threat of that, the perception of that, is maybe even greater than the actual occurrence of that. His presence on the field demands that you have to make a decision about how many you want to commit to the run, from a coverage standpoint. So, there are some packages of things that he's involved in that give freedom to #85 [TE Vernon Davis] and #46 [TE Delanie Walker], and #15 [WR Michael Crabtree], so the threat of that as we try to find out a level ground of where his comfort is and where [QB] Alex [Smith] is comfortable with the packages that he is in. We certainly think, not only from a perception standpoint, but from an actuality standpoint, that he gives us something defensively that you have to figure out when he's on the field - how you want to defend that particular package in terms of the run/pass mix.

On how much Ginn has done and his progression from his trade to now:

"I had nothing to pre-judge him on because I wasn't there in Miami. Since he's been here, my vantage point, offensively, we're excited about him. Then he hit a plateau a little bit as a learning thing bogged him down with the new formations and the new systems, and then he's come into this training camp and today he has been outstanding. And if it continues to go, and continues to improve the way he is, I think we will be very pleased with him."

On QB Alex Smith's growth from last year to this year and his expectations for him this year:

"Well, the first part of that question, 365 days ago to now is night and day. The expectation, I've been around long enough to know that each year, no year bleeds into the next. So, how you manage the start of the next year is very important, and the fact that he is more comfortable coming into this year from a language standpoint and a play standpoint, gives us all reason to be excited."

On where WR Brandon Jones stands right now and his optimism for him this year:

"Brandon is in competition. Brandon's situation has changed from this time a year ago because obviously the people in the lines are different. So, the competition for position and the competition for time is different, but he's had a good camp. He's working hard. He's done the things we've asked him to do. Hopefully, that will spill over into his play and he will perform at a consistent level and do the things that we thought he was capable of doing a year ago prior to the injury."

On his impression of G Mike Iupati and T Anthony Davis now that they are in pads:

"They've been impressive early on from a physical standpoint. From a physical and athletic standpoint, particularly Davis, and I think as his condition has improved, I've seen some things that I didn't see early on in the OTA's when he was just out of college in the draft and hadn't played football since the later part of November or early December. They both have a physical presence about them. They're athletic with big bodies. I don't see any reason why they won't continue to ascend as they get more familiar with the language and the system of football that we're playing. Then the other part of that is the continuity of playing with the other three guys or four guys. As they do that, as they integrate themselves in to that, I think we will be very pleased with them going forward."

On his early impression of RB Anthony Dixon and what he expects out of him:

"I like him, though there are times I want to strangle him. He's young, and you know how they say youth is wasted on the young. He's young and he's learning. He's running over the quarterback and the lines. He's just having fun, and he's learning what to do. He's a big body man with quick feet, and we anticipate he will give us an inside, physically dominant presence in the later part of the season. It takes some of the load off of [RB] Frank [Gore] and [RB] Glen [Coffee], and keeps Frank fresh for a purpose."

On whether Dixon has a chance to be the number two guy this year:

"Well he's in competition. He's got a big hill to climb. The number two guy here isn't too shabby, so if he steps up to that point where he is knocking that guy out, then we will really be pleased."

On how G David Baas is doing today:

"I don't know, you would have to check with the medical staff and the training people about that."

On whether he is prepared to not have Baas available for the next several days or more:

"I don't know until the morning of the practice when I get the injury report. Hopefully he'll be back soon but, it's really good for the young guys because, all of a sudden, they get more reps. I really don't have an idea on that other than what the medical staff gives me prior when we start the plan for practice."

On whether he pays attention to the camaraderie in his offense:

"That's the number one thing I watch. Particularly as Alex is integrated into the group. You have to remember a year ago this time, there was a cloud of uncertainty about him - his ability to play, and in the locker room, and his constituents. There wasn't that ‘me/you thing' 365 days ago, and there was a competition that was taking place. And now that we've gone through a nine game slate with him and the off-season, he's familiarized with the team and the team is more familiarized with him and his leadership qualities. It's his team, that atmosphere that is created tells you a lot about what you want to do and what you can do with the group and what the belief factor is. That is where the arduous days of competing and training camp tries to get you to the point where, from an offensive standpoint, you can make the wrong calls and he can make it right or you can make the right call and he can make it better. So, that camaraderie, that cohesiveness, is what you're trying to get and the quicker we can get that part with the offensive mind, the better it will be with him."

On FB Brit Miller's toughness and his improvement in the past year:

"Some. He showed flashes as you remember last summer in the preseason games. He's a conversion, so it's a little bit longer because he was a linebacker in college, he played defense. His conversion has been good, and the fact that he played and was around all of last year has helped him going into this training camp and I've been pleased with his performance to this point. He brings an element of physicality and he has speed and athleticism for that position, for the fullback, which usually leaves you short on one side of that from that position because you're usually an in-line box player."

On the benefits of the nutcracker drill for the offensive line:

"Well, you have to understand that is a teaching tool. It's not a courage drill or who's tougher than who. We're trying to teach stance, angles, and leverage. The benefit of it is that you have a chance in a controlled environment to fundamentally teach flat back and hat speed, knee bend, and keeping your knee bent in advance of your angle and leverage points. That is the design for both offense and defense. It really isn't about what the perception is outside, if somebody is tougher, or about knocking them back. We're trying to teach the fundamentals angles of blocking and the fundamental angles of playing off the block, and then in a controlled environment where they aren't around people. So, you get hands on teaching and it's been very good."

On how much the offense was altered to accommodate TE Delanie Walker:

"I don't know if altered is the right word. We have personnel packages which involve two backs, two wide receivers, and a tight end or two tight ends, two wide receivers, and a back or three tight ends, a running back, and a wide receiver. They are all different and he fits into the packages and he allows us more flexibility when we are two tight ends, two wide receivers, and a single back because he has wide receiver ability and you can formation him so that he's in a position to create matchups, or create matchups with Vernon. So, he's an integral part of what we do from a personnel standpoint because you have to treat him as a tight end, but he has wide receiver ability so you have to make a decision defensively. If you want to play him with a sub-package like Atlanta did and play Nickel defense when he's in the game and take one of your backers out or you want to stay face and expose him to your safety's or linebackers, so it's a plus for us. If he continues to develop, it allows use Vernon in an interchangeable position and that will be a huge plus for the quarterback."

On whether he has a number in mind of how many wide receivers will be on the final roster:

"At this point that's too far ahead for me. No, I don't have a number right now. As that group works itself in with a commonality with the quarterback, I just want to make sure we keep our pulse on #21 [RB Frank Gore] and the running game. That's what's going to make all of those people that you're talking about better."

On WR Jason Hill and what he needs to do to be integrated into the offense:

"He needs to, and I told Jason that in the spring, he needs a level of consistency of performance. Running fast doesn't necessarily equate to playing football. He needs to inherit all of the traits for the position and do them in a consistent level and utilize his speed more to his advantage. I think Jason's been around here for three or four years, maybe four going on five and that's a long time to play. Now, he is a good special teams player which has kept him viable, but he needs to step up and compete in this training camp and prove his ability to play a position so the he gets time and quality time in games."

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