49ers Training Camp: Coach Singletary on safety Reggie Smith

When we look over the various press conference transcripts, often times we don't always get a ton of information from the coaches. However, generally they do go into a little detail about a different specific player each day. Sam Lam can probably answer this for us, but I'd imagine that for the media, you can only ask so many questions about Alex Smith. Even if people are gobbling up Smith stories, at some point you get bored and want to write about something else. So, each day you ask about somebody different.

Yesterday afternoon, Coach Singletary spoke with the media and was asked about Reggie Smith in particular. As is the case with many teams, certain veteran players get some practices off thanks to their veteran experience. Aside from avoiding injuries, certain veterans are able to flip the switch and get back into things. They still practice, but there is not nearly as big a need to overwork them.

Strong safety Michael Lewis is one such player who gets the veterans' privilege. Given that, backup safety Reggie Smith gets some additional practice time, which can only help his situation. Singletary spoke about Smith yesterday:

On what he expects from S Reggie Smith now that he fills in for S Michael Lewis when Lewis has days off:

"Just going to the next level and just maturing. You know, he's been a little banged up the past couple of years, been kind of quiet and I think sometimes guys take a little longer to mature and kind of step into it, and plus we had Mark Roman and Michael Lewis, veterans. Sometimes it's hard for guys to really see themselves, envision themselves as getting some playing time so they kind of subconsciously think ‘Well you know, it's not going to happen this year.' And that's...for Reggie I think it's been a good thing. It's been good for our coaches, and our players to see him step up and do a good job."

On whether Reggie Smith is in the same third safety, nickel role that Mark Roman was in last year:

"Well, I think right now we're just continuing to sort it out and really trying to find what his skill level is and what he's best suited for. So we're still trying to figure it out."

We've had discussions about Reggie Smith, but he's a tough one to figure out. He's dealt with a bunch of injuries and now he faces a loss of playing time to Taylor Mays. Obviously there are two relatively inter-changeable safety positions, but if Mays surpasses Smith at strong safety, there won't be much time behind Dashon Goldson at free safety.

Given the addition of Mays, it's not surprising that Coach Singletary would say "[W]e're just continuing to sort it out..." Smith appeared in 10 games last year with a mix of regular playing time and special teams. Smith isn't going anywhere this year, but is he any sort of long term answer for this team? And I don't meant as a starting safety, because Goldson is filling one spot while Mays is expected to eventually fill the second spot. Given that, what is Reggie Smith's long term role with the team, if such a role exists?

I've posted Coach Singletary's full transcript from yesterday after the jump. As always, feel free to check our new 49ers coach, player, front office transcript page.

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Practice - August 5, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Opening Statement:

"Alright, it was a pretty good practice today. I just really wanted to come out and change the scenery - I planned this awhile ago and felt that if we went forward, this would be a good way, a good time to do that. Coming out here today, I just think it really gives the guys a change of pace and the rest of the day we're going to just continue to do some of the things we need to do in order to get better. That's really it."

On how he chose the Cal State - Monterey venue specifically:

"Maybe a month and a half ago, we started talking about a place to get away and this one came up to be the best one."

On whether the camp has benefitted from cooler weather:

"We have. I think the cool weather has certainly helped. We've had a few guys go down with being dehydrated for a number of reasons. Some guys just need to eat a little better, but the hydration is the bottom line, but yes I would say that."

On whether he ever had camp like this when he played:

"No."

On what it would have been like to have camp at a place like Monterey:

"It would have been nice. It would have been a very nice thing. But times are different and the situation is different."

On the player's reaction about moving locations for the day:

"I haven't told them anything very much, I just kind of told them we were going to go away.  I told them Monterey and they really just didn't know what to expect. They didn't know what was going to be here, they didn't know if another team was going to be here, they didn't know anything. And I like that. They don't need to know and surprises are good sometimes. But I think the guys came out here and responded pretty well. It worked out pretty well."

On whether it is difficult to get initial intensity in a new setting:

"Well yeah, I think the first thing, you've got about an hour to get up here on a bus, so guys got pretty warm on the bus and saw that it was a little bit cooler up here, so getting them off the bus was the big thing. Once they loosened up a bit, they knew we had to work, so it got a little better."

On the plan for the afternoon:

"I can't tell you that one. But we're just going to finish off the day, and it will be good."

On whether he is holding afternoon practice:

"No practice, no."

On whether he could see coming back to the area:

"Possibly. I mean, it's very nice facilities here, and it really worked out well for us and we really enjoyed being here - I think our players and our coaches. This is a nice place to be able to come to practice." 

On whether he would consider moving the entire 49ers training camp to Monterey:

"Don't think so."

On whether coming to Monterey had anything to do with no longer scrimmaging the Oakland Raiders in Napa:

"No, it had nothing to do with that. Absolutely nothing."

On what stands out to him from looking at the competition between the receivers, cornerbacks and tight ends:

"Well they're just continuing to compete and they knew it was going to be a very competitive camp, particularly at the wide receivers and DBs. Everybody is really stepping up and I think competition is the best thing you can have to help guys get better. No one's in a comfort zone, everybody's working hard and pushing to get to another level."

On what he expects from S Reggie Smith now that he fills in for S Michael Lewis when Lewis has days off:

"Just going to the next level and just maturing. You know, he's been a little banged up the past couple of years, been kind of quiet and I think sometimes guys take a little longer to mature and kind of step into it, and plus we had Mark Roman and Michael Lewis, veterans. Sometimes it's hard for guys to really see themselves, envision themselves as getting some playing time so they kind of subconsciously think ‘Well you know, it's not going to happen this year.' And that's...for Reggie I think it's been a good thing. It's been good for our coaches, and our players to see him step up and do a good job."

On whether Reggie Smith is in the same third safety, nickel role that Mark Roman was in last year:

"Well, I think right now we're just continuing to sort it out and really trying to find what his skill level is and what he's best suited for. So we're still trying to figure it out."

On whether he has an injury update on DT Derek Walker:

"Derek Walker I think tweaked his knee a little bit, but he went back in so he's fine."

On what his teaching point was when Vernon caught a pass in the middle of the field and S Taylor Mays was in the vicinity:

"For Taylor Mays, Taylor was thinking he could have made the play but my point was really to the linebacker who had Vernon. Vernon got past him and I guess he really didn't know that he had Vernon, so he was running with him but he wasn't sure. The thing I was telling him was, ‘Whether you have him or not he's a guy running free, so get on him.'"

On why they didn't promote the trip to Monterey to get local fans out there:

"You know what, it was just one of those things we decided at the club and didn't really think much about the fanfare or anything other than that. We just wanted to work."

On G David Baas' concussion and how him being out would have been handled on his team back in the 80's:

"I don't know. To be honest, with David Baas having a mild concussion, to me it's just really interesting right now, because when you start talking about the concussions and things like that, there's just so much information now and it's such a new thing that I think that they're still trying to discover what the heck is a concussion. I just think back right now, when we were playing you would just go out there and play and then they would put some smelling salt in front of you, and you would just smell that and go back out there and play if you can walk. You hold up two fingers and you say two and a half and you're close enough, let's go. That's pretty much how it was."

On how many diagnosed concussions did he sustain as a player in college and the NFL:

"I never had a concussion. So I have been very fortunate, I've been very blessed."

On how getting away from the facility helps you mentally prepare for the season:

"It's like an away game, it's really just like one of those things that's a change of scenery. That any time you can get away it just makes guys think differently. You know you're out of your comfort zone, it's something new, you have to adjust, and it changes your thought process. Any time you can do that, even when we're at practice and we just change the schedule around, you know guys are like ‘whoa wait a minute we didn't know that', so any time you can do that it just adds that much more time for guys to think about it and adjust."

On what unit is impressing him the most in terms of camaraderie compared to last year:

"I think more so than anything else like last year is the amount of work that we have put in. There's a lot of work that we have had to put in. The past three days have been pretty brutal and not one guy complained about it. They just work. That's just one of those things that I feel very fortunate and very blessed to be coaching this team and it's a great group of guys."

On S Dashon Goldson's progress:

"He's developing fine. I'm just trying to get him to not knock himself out or not to knock somebody else out. He is a very aggressive guy, but he's just having fun and really loves the game. He's truly a guy that is a throwback guy, he comes out here and he has so much energy. I don't know where he gets the energy from, but he has so much energy, always bouncing around and can't wait to hit somebody. That's kind of who he is."

On getting to know WR Michael Crabtree on a personal level: 

"I think for all of these guys you strive to get to know them a little bit more as time goes on. Have not spent a lot of time with him but we've certainly had conversations. He's just a good kid. He's a good kid that really wants to keep his life as private as possible. He's not a guy...he's really misconstrued because when you look at him you think he's a diva, as they were saying last year. He's the furthest thing from it. He likes to dress nice, he likes nice things, but you're not going to find him clubbing or things like that, that's just not him."

On whether the offense is where he would like them to be:

"Well I always hope that we're a little bit further along than we are, but I think we're making some good progress. I think [Offensive Coordinator] Jimmy [Raye] is doing a good job, the offensive staff as a whole. You know everybody is just grabbing their responsibility and trying to take it to the next level. I think every coach that we have on offense...it's like all hands on deck. They are working their tails off to get us where we need to be."

On the status of LB Travis LaBoy:

"Yeah he's a little bit dinged. I think he has a mild concussion so we just took him out. We'll check him a later and see how that is." 

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