NFL Injury Report: 49ers-Chiefs Thursday Practice Participation

The 49ers wrapped up practice for the day and some improvements on the injury front. Anthony Dixon did not participate in practice on Wednesday, but was back in limited participation today. The most notable absence from the practice reports has been WR Kyle Williams. He would appear to be completely healed from his turf toe, which could mean we'll see him returning punts on Sunday.

The other intriguing guy on the participation report is Takeo Spikes, who bruised his knee Monday night. I've posted the transcripts for both Jimmy Raye and Greg Manusky after the jump, but I thought I'd point to Manusky specifically addressing the ILB situation. He indicated that Takeo Spikes was actually good to go for Sunday, which would seem to indicate he was simply held out of practice as a precaution. He spoke about backup options as well:

On whether LB Ahmad Brooks would become the guy behind NaVorro Bowman if a similar situation to Monday happens again:
"We talked briefly about it. Probably have a little bit of (LB) Parys Haralson back there, or Manny (Lawson). That's what we have to change - change it up if we have to. But for right now it's TK (LB Takeo Spikes) and Bow (LB NaVorro Bowman).

On whether Haralson and Lawson would be ahead of Brooks in the depth chart:
"Yeah."

On how much work he will give Haralson and Lawson:
"Just giving them a little bit, you know? Just limited calls. We'll roll with it, and we'll be fine."

On whether the depth decision is based on Haralson and Lawson's experience:
"Yeah, I mean just over understanding, just the whole concept of the defense. They've been here longer than anyone else."

49ers
Did Not Participate In Practice
WR Ted Ginn (knee)
C Eric Heitmann (fibula)
LB Takeo Spikes (knee)

Limited Participation In Practice
CB William James (ankle)
RB Anthony Dixon (back)

Chiefs
Did Not Participate In Practice
DE Tyson Jackson (knee)
OT Ryan O'Callaghan (groin)

Limited Participation In Practice
S Reshard Langford (ankle)

Full Participation In Practice
DE Wallace Gilberry (back)
LB Tamba Hali (foot)
Jon McGraw (hamstring)

After the jump I've posted the coordinators' media session transcripts..

Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye
Post-Walk Thru - September 23, 2010
San Francisco 49ers 

Listen to Audio I Media Center 

On whether having TE Nate Byham in the game gives you more versatility:

"Well from our perspective he gives us a dual option in that he can put his hand in the dirt in the back field and he can get to the line as a tight end, he can extend in the slot. I don't know if there's enough evidence out there at this time for people to make an assessment of him of how we are using him in his ability, but from our vantage point he gives us some versatility in formation and an ability to be able to run and throw the ball and not worry about a matchup with him in protection on a big outside backer."

On how QB Alex Smith was able to handle the transition of the new play calling strategy to his new responsibilities:

"I think it was pretty obvious. I think he handled it very well. It wasn't like when we did it Monday night that it was the first time that we had done it. We practiced that process all week and I think he handled it pretty well."

On whether it speaks to his maturity as a player for him to be able to handle that change in season:

"Well yes and I think I said up here a couple weeks ago the one thing I've learned since I've been here, the 18 months since I've been here, that if you can't handle or adjust to change then you will have a difficult time. I think he did very well with the process. It really wasn't that much different, but I think he did well with it."

On whether going on the road will be another test in terms of the play calling:

"I think it's over, I think it's over. I mean everybody in the league that goes into noisy stadiums on the road has issues with entry of plays, and electrical or mechanical malfunctions. I think we put to rest the way we do it, and if it arises in a game we'll deal with it and go forward."

On what you take most from your time with the Chiefs:

"How to win. We won more games in the 90's than any other team in the National Football League, than the San Francisco 49ers. It was an expectation of winning and we did that in abundance."

On the similarities in the personnel in what you were doing in Kansas City than to the guys that you have here now:

"Yes a little bit. We had I think at the time arguably the best tight end in football, [TE] Tony Gonzalez, and we are a tight end total offense. We had a Hall of Fame running back in Marcus Allen. We have a similar player here in [RB] Frank Gore. We had [WR] Andre Rison and [WR] Derrick Alexander and [WR] Joe Horn at wide receiver. We had speed and power and experience, I think there are some similarities in some players at the skill position. We were farther ahead and much better in the offensive line, and that's not to take anything away from this team, but we had a solid offensive line that had been together for a long time. Think about [C] Tim Grunhard, the center from Notre Dame, and the thirteen or fourteen time pro bowler at right guard [G] Will Shields and John Ault. We had a line that was already developed as opposed to here where we are trying to get to that point where we get continuity and development at the line, but in terms of the players and similarities, there could be some similarities to that."

On whether you can go into the tight ends similarities in Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis and how you would use them from then to now:

"Well I don't know that. The difference would be off the top of my head, I haven't thought about that. When we put this together here, there were some areas that were similar. I think Tony with his ex-basketball background at Cal, we extended him more, played outside more as a wide receiver for matchup than we do here with [TE] Vernon [Davis]. We did it the other night in the game vs. New Orleans and got an interference play on the boundary, but I think Tony at the point that I had him, at the time that I was with him, I think developed more. He developed more as an outside receiver because the trade off was, he wasn't at the point, he wasn't as good at in-line blocker as Vernon Davis is. So he was used more in matchups than probably we do here. That would be the thing I would say would be the closest."

On whether it was a big step for Alex Smith to take when it came to actually executing on the game field from the practice field:

"I think any time you do that in the National Football League it speaks volumes about where you are as a player. Now we practice that, and we have a philosophy in two minutes, T2 and T4, and everybody was fretting over the timeouts and all of that, but we understand that as long as we have time and downs, we have  chance to win the game. We understand what stops the clock and how you stop the clock. We practice the skill repetitively and when we got the ball we had an expectation from going down and scoring because we do it. It's the chicken and the egg type of deal of what comes first, but I think if you have some success in practice or you have repeated success in practice of doing that, and most of it is mechanical, managing the mechanics of it, and when you are able to do that and you can play with a calmness like I thought we had, I thought he displayed a real calmness in that drive. He moved out when they were covered and made some plays with his feet. He threw the ball where it needed to go, he was in command of it when we had them, the times that the ball was incomplete, when we had them, to communicate what we wanted to him, he executed that. So I think it was a big step for a quarterback to go 82 yards and get the game in a position where you could extend the game, and then come back with a two point play I thought that was huge."

On what your philosophy is with the clock in terms of whether you are more a manager of the time or score and not worry about how much time is left:

"Well it's different. It's a different scenario and the reason it's different is because in that situation it was two scores. So time, without timeouts, the urgency was first of all you have to get the first score. You can't worry about taking time off the clock and being judicious because you're not playing for a field goal to tie, you're playing for two scores, and prior to that series my thinking was we might need three scores prior to that third down play, so I was thinking score, two point conversion, onside kick, score again. So the time on the clock with no timeouts was a non issue to me. We had to go score twice, and the fact that somebody asked well should he have stayed in bounds on the scramble and eaten up more of the clock. Well, you're playing with no time outs and you need a touchdown, time is a premium, because if you don't have time, you're done. So the first priority was to score, we had to score, and then after the score we had to have the two point conversion, and fortunately we did that and I think it left 1:19 on the clock for them, but they had no timeouts I think, maybe they had one, and if we could of forced them, the trap that went in was a 40 second play normally, but it went home. So you're going to be mad because he scored and say ‘gosh I was hoping he would get tackled at the two so we could run more time off the clock?' No, I was trying to score."

On whether you were thinking at the end of the game this play was going to take more time off the clock when you called it or that this play couldn't score:

"It had both elements. I thought it would go home, and it did, but we were prepared that if it didn't that we were there, inside the 10, we were prepared to go, and it went in, and I was ecstatic that it went in, because then I went straight to a two point thought."

On whether you look at Monday night's game and say that you did particularly a good job on that night:

"I thought I did a good job in Seattle, maybe I'm biased, but no. Sometimes you're hitting the rhythm, sometimes you're on. I'll tell you this, it's a lot easier to call them when they're working. I don't critique it that way. I look for the fundamental execution of what we are trying to do to get onto the next thing. I think this is the only place I've coached in 34 years that the coaches' performance was evaluated. It's different from me."

On what dictates how often the ball goes to WR Michael Crabtree, whether it's the defense, the call, the routes he is running:

"I think it's probably all of that. The design of how the defense plans to defend us. We set out to have some balance in that game. It was important for us to have success on first and second down to keep them out of their sub package on third down where they're very good and keep the game where we had winning plays on first and second down so we had seven play minimums no three and outs was our plan. To keep their offense on the sideline watching, and I don't think when we factored that in that we say ‘well we got to get Michael Crabtree 15 balls.' I wanted the ball in the hands of 21, and if the ball was in the hands of 21 and it was turning like we could turn it, then all the other derivatives of it would take care of themselves, and it did."

  

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky
Post Walk-Thru - September 23, 2010
San Francisco 49ers 

Listen to Audio I Media Center

On what he took away from his time in Kansas City:

"Winning, good people, good town. I loved it there when I was a player. I had a lot of success, you know? It was fun. It was a good time."

On whether he transferred any of his experience in Kansas City to now:

"Yeah a little bit, I think you get your pass and you go through it and some of the calls, some of the plays and the things that you did and playing at 10:00 a.m. in the game, we're playing at 10:00 in the game and that's what I tell the guys, we're playing at 10:00 a.m. our time, so get your get ready, you know? Because you're playing at 10:00 a.m., and that's our time. We have to get ready as soon as we get on that bus, ready to get over there, whatever time it is."

On what he considers his team affiliation from his playing days:

"I was just a football player. I don't know. I guess Kansas City because I was there six years. So, I guess that would be the main one."

On whether LB Takeo Spikes will be ready for Sunday:

"Yeah, I think he'll be ready, ready to roll. Yeah."

On whether LB Ahmad Brooks would become the guy behind NaVorro Bowman if a similar situation to Monday happens again:

"We talked briefly about it. Probably have a little bit of (LB) Parys Haralson back there, or Manny (Lawson). That's what we have to change - change it up if we have to. But for right now it's TK (LB Takeo Spikes) and Bow (LB NaVorro Bowman).

On whether Haralson and Lawson would be ahead of Brooks in the depth chart:

"Yeah."

On how much work he will give Haralson and Lawson:

"Just giving them a little bit, you know? Just limited calls. We'll roll with it, and we'll be fine."

On whether the depth decision is based on Haralson and Lawson's experience:

"Yeah, I mean just over understanding, just the whole concept of the defense. They've been here longer than anyone else."

On what stands out about Kansas City's offense:

"Efficient offense I think. They can run the football, good runners, good offensive line."

On whether he is surprised that the Chiefs don't use RB Jamaal Charles as much this year:

"I don't know about their depth chart, but they're looking to gain yards in the running game and use the guys that they need to use. However they want to do it that's fine with me, we still have to cover them up and play with them."

On whether being ready at 10 a.m. has been a problem for the team in the past:

"No, I'm just saying I know when I was in San Diego and we went to Kansas City, I mean you're playing at 10:00 in the morning, and that's your time. So your clock's got to be ready to roll. And we've had a lot of success when I was in Kansas City playing there, I think that's one of the reasons why it is because it's a 12:00 p.m. game, not a 1:00 game. So for the people that play on the West Coast going there, it's a 10:00 a.m. game."

On how he feels CBs Shawntae Spencer and Nate Clements played against the Saints:

"They played well. We did the jobs we had to do. We didn't give them any deep balls until the end there. I think they played well. I think the first week they played well. They had a 170 this week they had 2-something, 230. So to hold a team down like that, they're an efficient offense, and we did."

On whether the speed of the Saints stands out when he watches them:

"Yeah they had speed, they have good receivers. I mean, their vertical threats, their spot-up threats, I mean they are across the board, they're well coached down there in New Orleans. I think the receivers because of the way they play the ball and the way they position themselves, I mean, just look across the tape, that's why they won the Super Bowl last year. Because of Breezy (Saints QB Drew Brees) too of course."   

On whether there are similarities between the Chiefs and the 2009 Cardinals:

"Yeah I think there's a little bit of mix. I think just with everything you get a mix from head coach coming from Arizona. It's different now. Sometimes you don't have those players or vice-versa. Maybe a better one or a lesser one. What works for them, it's what it is." 

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