SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 12: Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the NFL season opener against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on September 12 2010 in Seattle Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 31-6. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Coach Singletary had his morning after press conference earlier today to discuss yesterday's debacle. The 49ers had a rough outing yesterday and my biggest concern is the discipline, or lack there of. Obviously there are a variety of issues related to both the players and the coaches that have to be addressed. However, the overarching theme, in my opinion, is the discipline that this team and its head coach are supposed to exhibit.
Mike Singletary was supposed to impose a sense of discipline and we did not see it on Sunday during or after the game. Aside from the stupid mistakes in execution and game management, the team seemed to turn on itself in the post-game. People blaming everybody. That can happen following losses but it is something that better be rectified this week.
I did have one question about the press conference. Coach Singletary had this exchange:
On whether he will look to get RB Brian Westbrook more involved and get more creative with running plays:
What does that mean, "Not yesterday." It sounds like he said no we're not getting him more involved in a game that has already ended. Is this a typo in the transcript or just a bizarro answer?
We've posted the transcript after the jump, but you can also view the press conference at 49ers.com.
Head Coach Mike Singletary
Monday Press Conference - September 13, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
"Good morning. First of all, we had a meeting last night that I'm sure you're aware of. We had a meeting last night and the purpose of that meeting was for our players and coaches to understand after the game, some of the things that I talked to them about and I knew what they were feeling, I knew what our players were feeling, and I wanted to make sure that before guys went home - because I know last year there were situations when we lost a game, particularly lets say for instance, the Minnesota game. Some guys just kind of went out and did this or did that, and I wanted to make sure that guys understood exactly what I meant of the things that I said after the game and to make sure that one of the most important things is that we stay together, as coaches and players, and to also give them the schedule for what we were going to be doing today as a team. And that's really the purpose of the meeting we had last night."
On whether he sensed that the team wasn't staying together:
"No, I didn't feel that. I just feel that after the game, some of the comments that I made, were very hard comments, very honest comments, and I just wanted to make sure that everybody was on the same page and didn't leave here having conversations in the parking lot and having conversations in the bathroom not fully understanding what I was saying because there was only so much time after the game to talk about those things, and while we were on the plane, while we were on the bus, I heard guys saying, ‘Coach that may have been a little too harsh, or I didn't understand what you meant by that.' So I said, you know what, we're going to get together and get this all ironed out so that when we come in today, we can look at the game for what it is as a team and learn from it, put it behind us, and get on with New Orleans."
On whether his comments were too harsh:
"No, I think it was very honest."
On whether there were specific comments on players:
"No, no we don't have to go there. It was just basic things. As I looked at the game, as I watched the game, I just wanted us to overcome some of the things, some of the plays in the game that we made. Okay, we didn't make some of those plays. Okay, guys, that's where we have to rally forward. That's when we have to take a step forward. Yes, we were on the road. Just making sure that they understood that out of the different situations going up there, it just wasn't acceptable under any circumstance. So it was very disappointing, very frustrating, all of those things that you felt as well."
On whether anyone spoke in the meeting or whether it was just him:
"Primarily just me. There were a couple comments made in the meeting, but I just wanted to address them."
On whether he was satisfied with what he said:
"I was satisfied to make sure that everybody was on the same page when they left. When you have a game like you had yesterday, obviously not everybody is going to be excited about it, but I wanted to make sure that they understood exactly what was said and that we could come in today and at least be on the same page."
On his assessment of QB Alex Smith's performance:
"When I looked at the first half of the game, and I looked at it on the plane on the way home, I thought he did a good job in the first half. I thought the second half, we come out in the second half and we did not do as well. I thought he still made some plays, but obviously there were some passes that were not good. We just have to continue to work on that."
On whether WR Michael Crabtree ran the correct route on the pick six:
"He ran the correct route, but it was just a - the throw that Alex made, it wasn't the best throw in the world."
On whether he has to reassess the line of communications to get the play in on time to Smith:
"We will take a hard look at it, and we will have an answer for it. We will figure it out in the next few days exactly how we are going to do that and exactly how this is going to get better. Whether (Offensive Coordinator) Jimmy (Raye) comes on the field, or however it is, we're going to figure it out and nip it in the bud."
On whether he is listening to the offensive calls:
On whether the plays are being enunciated to Smith:
"The plays are being enunciated. I think what happens sometimes is when you call a play - first of all, you're looking at what happened, and you're trying to figure out, ‘well why did this happen, why did that happen,' and you get the play and you've got 15 seconds before it goes off. So that's a lot to be able to get in and I know Jimmy (Raye) understands that he has to do a better job of getting it in and we're going to work on it this week and get it where it needs to be. But that's just something that we will work out."
On whether that should have already been taken care of before they got into a game:
"Well I, I will put it this way. It's an issue that you continue to work on, you continue to go forward with, and hopefully it gets better. But it's not getting better fast enough. So that's the issue. Particularly in the crowd noise and everything else, because once you're up there, you're giving the call, you're getting it in. and because of the noise, you can't quite hear the call. So that causes a problem too."
On whether he is bothered by QB Alex Smith pointing to the line of communication as a problem:
"Am I? No, I think it's great that he mentioned this is the problem. No, I'm not bothered by that at all."
On whether there is a fail-safe that Smith should know what to do if he can't get the play in:
"Well I mean, if he can't get the play in, I don't care who you are, in a situation you want to make sure you call the right play. But you want to be able to give your quarterback a situation where, if all else fails, call either one of these three or four plays."
On whether the decision to go for it on fourth-and-one can be made faster:
"Yes. It has to be, and it will be."
On whether he is worried about the team's confidence:
"No. The confidence that I had going up there, when I look at the film in most instances it shows why I have the confidence. But in the National Football League, 84 percent of the time, when you lose the turnover battle, you're going to lose the game. And when you're on the road, it's a little bit worse. So we knew before leaving here - this is something that we talked about all along, that I don't care how good you are, if you turn the ball over, particularly in the red zone, it's going to be hard to win. So when you talk about confidence, I don't think all of the sudden, oh man, we're not any good. We're not - maybe dumb, but not very good. I wouldn't say were not good. I feel were going to be a very good football team. Very good football team."
On his impression of rookie linemen G Mike Iupati and T Anthony Davis:
"I think they held their own for the first game in Seattle. I think they held their own pretty well. Obviously they have to get better, particularly when Chilo (Rachal) went out, and you bring another guy in, (T/G Adam) Snyder in, and it adds a whole other field for them. But overall, they played high, had a couple of off-side penalties here and there, knew that was going to happen, anticipated that. It will serve them very well going forward. You would hope that wow, I would just like to see them come out and really - they did what they did in the first game of the season. I can't say that I was that disappointed."
On why the running game wasn't more effective:
"I think the running game, when you look at some of the things that we did with the type of runs that we had, primarily inside, you kind of stack the inside. And that's where we were running. And I think there were a couple of plays that we had outside, but after we got behind, we didn't run as much. But I think when you look at the running game, the bottom line is that you have to continue to run. If you get two yards, it's okay if you get two yards. If it's second and seven, if it's second and eight, if you're going to run the ball and you're committed to it, and you're going to balance out your offense, then you just have to be a little bit more patient. And each quarter that goes by, as you continue to stay with the running game, each quarter that goes by, it gets a little better. If you can hang onto it and not do dumb things to get you in trouble before you get to the third and fourth quarter, you have a chance to turn that two, one, three, into a four, five and six and even more."
On whether he will look to get RB Brian Westbrook more involved and get more creative with running plays:
On how he will regroup and not make those mistakes again:
"I think when you look at our team, you can say at the beginning of the year, if we're in the eighth- if this team is in midseason and we're still doing the same stuff that we did yesterday, then we've got issues. Hopefully we can get better in a couple weeks and I trust that we will."
On whether he is critical of himself:
"There's going to be somebody critical of me everyday. So I don't worry about that of it. Should people be critical? How I view myself, anytime we lose, and even sometimes when we win, I'm critical of myself, because I always feel that I can do something better. Very rarely is anybody going to be more critical of me than me. I continue to be a student of the game. I don't ever say when we lose the game, ‘Man, you guys are awful.' No, I have work to do. And if there's something that didn't happen out there that needed to happen and I failed to see it, I failed to make the right decision, yeah, then I'm going to say, hey you know what guys, that's on me. And I find myself saying that very often."
On where that happened yesterday:
"It happened all over the place. There's no one place, there's no one time. Its like after a game, and somebody asked me why did you go for it? Why did you not just kick a field goal and go up six-nothing? Because I felt that we were going to make it. I mean, that's why you have fourth-and-one, and you have to make a decision. You know, we made a call, it didn't work. So do you go back and kick yourself and say why in the heck did I do that? And there were other things in the game- well, why didn't you call a time-out here? Why don't you get on the coach more and have him make sure he gets the call out there correct? You know, there are any number of things, but until you play that first game, you can go through preseason and you can be great in the preseason, but until you play that first game, there are some things that maybe during preseason, you think, that's going to be okay. And you play the first game and you realize, it is definitely not going to be okay, we have got to fix it. And plus, that first game is on the road. Like I said, I think it will serve its purpose very well, but yes, I am critical of myself, as we should all be."
On Crabtree not playing in the preseason:
"Anytime a player misses the offseason, you know those games, particularly a young player, it's going to show itself. It's going to show up in games, and I think last year- sometimes one of the most difficult things for a young player that came in last year like he did, you think, maybe I don't need training camp. Maybe I by-pass that. But you fail to see that we put you in a very limited situation, where when you come in, its not like we expect you to learn the whole playbook. You know, just learn these five plays. Just learn these seven plays. But you go through training camp, even though you don't play in the game, I think you begin to discover there's a lot more involved when you have to learn the entire playbook. There's a lot more involved in it when the timing of certain routes that have to be run exactly right. So I think that's something that he learned yesterday."
On whether he could have done something more to get him in those games:
"Well as much as we could, without forcing him to do something -that's when you get into the trainer versus the athlete. When I talked to Fergie and Fergie tells me, you know what Mike? He's banged up. And the kid is saying he's banged up as well, that makes sense to me to say, he's banged up. Sure, I could say, I want you out there. I want you to play. And then I have to listen to you guys on a whole other route. And I don't need that."
On the defense giving up 28 points:
"When I look at our defense, our defense will be a great defense this year. Yeah, they gave up 28 points, but you have to look at where and you have to look at how. I think it's very important when you look at this game to put it in perspective. You have to look at the number of yards they got, you have to look at the opportunities they got, and when I look at our defense, I just look at the way our guys play. I was very proud of the way they played when they got on the field with the exception of a few bad plays. Which is normally in games. But a game of this magnitude, you had a couple of bad plays there, and they got us. But as far as the defense is concerned, our defense is going to be a great defense."
On CB Nate Clements jumping routes at certain times, and whether he wants him to do that:
"The situation with Nate, and I talked to our DB coach [Vance Joseph] VJ and Johnnie Lynn, and that's one of the conversations we had last night and this morning. I want to make sure that there's no gray in what we do. There are certain defenses, and we didn't call that defense very much, but there are certain defenses that it calls for that corner jumping that route. Now, it's down to the technique he has to use in jumping that route. It's one thing if the quarterback pumps and the DB just goes ahead and totally abandons anything else and could leave somebody else exposed. There's a way to do it and a way not to do it, and the thing that we're going to have to do, I thought Nate did a good job yesterday for the most part, and I know the play that you're talking about and it looks like he just totally lost his mind on the play, but I think we have to do a better job as coaches as well to make sure that there's no gray, and there's a little bit of gray in that particular defense, which is why we don't run it very much, but we just have to take the gray out of it and Nate will be fine."
On the discrepancy in saying the problems with the play calling were a headset issue more than once:
"Maybe because it was a misunderstanding on my behalf. During the game when I talked to Mike Johnson, ‘Mike, why is there a problem?' ‘You know what coach, there's a problem with the headset, we had this last year.' Okay, fine. So to me, I'm not going to get into a conversation, ‘Well Mike, what exactly do you mean?' If there's a problem with the headset, okay, there's a problem with the headset, if it's one time or if it's 20 times. That's what I thought. So, if I said it was more than once, then I was wrong."
On possibly moving offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye to the field and whether that would take the middle man out of it and that Jimmy would be the one with the walkie-talkie:
On whether Jimmy Raye will still call plays:
"Yes. Jimmy is going to remain the play caller. I mean, that's what he's here for. But whether or not he is in the booth or on the field, we're going to figure it out. However it works out where Alex is getting calls faster, whether Jimmy is on the field or not. But the fact that he could be on the field, that's a real possibility."