We're back with the practice reports for the 49ers. The Seahawks report hasn't been released yet, but I'll add that as soon as it comes in. The only change from yesterday was that Diyral Briggs was a full participant in practice today. Tomorrow's final injury report will give us a better idea of Briggs' status for Sunday.
At this point, DC Greg Manusky's comments would indicate Diyral Briggs is unlikely to play on Sunday. Manusky spoke with the media (as did OC Jimmy Raye - transcripts after the jump) and he stated that LaBoy would be part of a 3-man rotation at OLB and defensive end with the sub-package. At this point, with Ahmad Brooks on the shelf for a little bit longer and Briggs potentially out with his concussion, LaBoy has a golden opportunity to make a big impact. He showed his pass rushing skills in the preseason and now it's just a matter of staying healthy.
Out (Definitely will not play)
LB Ahmad Brooks (lacerated kidney)
C Eric Heitmann (fibula)
WR Kyle Williams (toe)
Did Not Participate In Practice
CB William James (ankle)
Full Participation In Practice
LB Diyral Briggs (concussion)
After the jump I've posted transcripts from OC Jimmy Raye and DC Greg Manusky...
Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky
Post Walk-Through - September 9, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On how much he expects the Seahawks to go to a three wide receiver set:
"I don't know. We're going to go into this game just like any team that we go in. There's a little bit of a question mark in regards to what they're going to do. We've just got to play our fundamentals and technique and do what we have to do. It's a little bit tough because you don't know what they're going to do, take a little bit off the preseason and know what they did there and then try to maybe expand a little bit from what they did. Right now with the number of guys they've got going in and out, I don't know. We've just got to play technique and fundamentals."
On LB Ahmad Brooks being out and if LB Travis LaBoy will be the third down LB:
"We'll get Travis in there, of course. I think it will be a three man rotation at outside linebacker and defensive end, a little bit in our sub-package. We'll be mixing them in and out."
On whether he feels comfortable with LaBoy:
"Yeah, fundamentally I think he's getting better every week. I think he keeps on learning. I think he's still got a ways to go, but I feel comfortable with him being in there on first and second down."
On what the rotation will be like with LaBoy and Brooks when he's healthy:
"He's been out for a number of weeks now, so just going into it right now, all I know is he's not up for this game. I'm not looking past this game, so I don't know what it's going to be when he gets back. When he does get back and he's got clearance from Fergie [head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson], we'll go with it and figure it out from there. For right now, I'm focusing on this week."
On how he combats being thin at inside LB and CB:
"The young guys have to step up and they've got to perform. It doesn't matter who you have back there. I think keeping the guys that we kept, we have confidence in their ability, confidence in the way they learn the system and understand it that we kept them. Right now, it's pretty good. Even though there are young bucks, there are a lot of guys in this league that are young guys that are out there playing and a lot of teams are relying on them, and that's what we're doing with these young guys."
On the challenges of facing a team with no clear-cut number one WR or RB:
"You've still got to take away certain things that they do from the pass plays they have, from the third down packages they have. We go in there with our musts of what we have to do to beat a team. I'm not going to tell you what they are, but each week is different so we adjust to whatever we have in front of us."
On where LaBoy needs to improve:
"It's a little bit different. It's kind of like caveman when you kind of sneak out, kind of walking on two feet. He was always down mostly in his career. A little bit in Arizona he was up, but he was primarily the rusher. Just from the vision points and sightlines of what he's actually seeing when he's dropping in coverage, that's got to pick up a little bit better. The more and more those players see it and they feel comfortable, it's easy for them. That's basically his sightlines and seeing what he's supposed to be seeing. He's been doing a good job. He's just got to continue to see it because even though our offense, he's pretty good against our offense, there are different looks offensively for Seattle and stuff of that nature."
On how much USC film has been watched:
"I haven't watched too much USC. It's different, different players, different skill positions, you've got different quarterbacks, it's different. Primarily the preseason is the stuff we're watching and trying to take as much as we can off of that."
On how much attention he pays to the offensive line problems Seattle is having and if they try to attack the weak spots:
"That's their problem, it isn't mine. I guess you could try to do that, but I don't know who's going to be in those positions. Attack who? Right now, it's a question mark, a tackle, I don't know. Until it comes Sunday and we see who's out there playing, we play. It's not my decision, it's Pete Carroll's and his staff there. I just roll with the punches."
On how DT Justin Smith has looked in the offseason:
"Good. Justin is Justin. He loves football, loves being around here, competes hard. We're excited to see him out there on Sunday performing."
On LB Parys Haralson having a quiet preseason and whether that concerns him:
"No, he didn't play as many reps. Our defense is fundamental defense. Sometimes everybody's saying, well Pat's [LB Patrick Willis] getting this, he's getting that. He got a sack on [Vikings QB] Brett Favre. Well the other guy set him up too. It's just not Pat, even though Pat's a great guy, a great talented player, it's not an individual defense. It's a team defense and we play like that and when we have good success, everybody gets good things to happen to them."
On whether he expects the Seahawks to attack S Reggie Smith in dime situations:
"Sure, I would. Reggie's a good ball player. He's starting to mature like I said earlier during training camp. He's getting better and better and the more looks those safeties see, just like any position, they get better at it. Attack him, go ahead, that's fine."
On what his comfort level is with playing S Taylor Mays:
"I've got no problem with any of the young guys that we have on our team. I think from a confidence level, every one of them is confident. I think talented wise, I think they're talented and understanding what we're trying to get. I think they understand that. I have no qualms about putting any of them in there."
On whether NT Aubrayo Franklin has built up the stamina to play or whether he'll rotate with DT Ricky Jean Francois:
"I think you've got to talk to Aubrayo. I don't know how his steam is, we'll find out on Sunday. We gave him a couple reps during that last preseason game, did pretty good. He's going to have some quirks here and there. He hasn't played and practiced much. I think yesterday was the first day that he practiced for a decent amount of time with pads."
On who the backup NT is:
"Ricky Jean [Francois]."
On whether he would put DT Isaac Sopoaga in instead:
"No, for right now Isaac's fine where he's at. Probably put Ricky Jean in there."
Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye
Post- Walk-Through - September 9, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On what takes crowd noise out:
"I think scoring takes the crowd out of it a lot better than anything else. There are two things you have to consider, and one is if we could do it. They can't - if you go two minute and hurry up, they can't scream 60 minutes. They can't holler for the entire time. So, you know you go no huddle and you play and then exhaust them. When we're at the line and they have to continually strain forever, then getting the run, if you can stay ahead of the down and the distance marker in the run, you're running the game. You're running the ball well. That would also help, but I think that the premium is to maintain your thrust and score points. And if you can score points it makes it a lot less noisy up there."
On whether it is easier to run the ball in a noisier environment than it is to throw the ball:
"Well the biggest - obviously the thing that you're fighting is communication. And there's less communication probably that you have to do in the run than the declarations in the pass and the pass protections and that part of it. When you're in a hostile environment with that much noise, I guess if you're weighing one against the other, that would be running would have a decided advantage on that."
On what the captain title says about QB Alex Smith and his work in the offseason:
"I think it speaks volumes for where he was when I got here, when I arrived, and where he has come to this point. And the thought of his leadership and the change that he's made in his persona and the way he goes about his work and his business says a lot about the substance of the individual. I think its very wholesome feel based on all of the obstacles he's had to overcome to get to this point, to maintain his focus and still be there and to be mentioned or even considered as one of the captains of the team, and then to be elected that way, appointed that way, I think is a tremendous accomplishment for him."
On how TE Vernon Davis leads and his impact on the team:
"How does Vernon lead? Very gregariously. Vernon can lead by example in his play, and he also is a well tuned athlete conditioning-wise and work-ethic-wise in the weight room and on the practice field. He can run all day and doesn't appear to get tired. He's a thoroughbred that way. So he does, I think, he does more with actions maybe more than words because when he tries it with words sometimes it gets a little - can get a little out of bounds."
On how much RB Brian Westbrook will be in Sunday's game and how he will be used:
"I think you'll see some of him. To what extent, I don't know. As I said when I was up here the last time I talked to you when we first acquired him, my biggest concern with a player that doesn't go through the off-season program and training camp, you run the risk of a setback from a strain or pull or injury deal, and that's what happened to him. And trying to get him up to football shape in the Raider game, and then he had a setback. I think he's going to be okay, but we don't have any place in the set plan a number of plays for him, because you couldn't very well do that and take practice time away from the other things you're going to do, not knowing how much availability you're going to have with him. And until he gets ground into shape, football-shape-wise, and he's feeling good physically about himself, then I think that will increase as we go forward. But in this first game, we will play that by ear and give him some snaps and some certain packages as we see fit, but it won't be a big run on him."
On Westbrook's knowledge of the system:
"He's doing okay, he's doing okay. He has some carryover - I mean, he's an eight-year veteran guy, so he has some carryover. But the biggest thing in the heat of the battle with guys that come from a different system is they transform words and verbiage and like-situations and protections and run calls, they revert back to what they knew. So, you have to be patient with that, but he's done a good job of engraining what we've been able to do."
On his comfort level with WR Michael Crabtree's knowledge of the slot position:
"I'm comfortable with him. He's been around. Even though he got the hiccup there and the whiplash and missed some time, my biggest concern with him is not knowledge of the system, as much it is conditioning. He hasn't played at game speed in any of the exhibition games, and even though a year ago he was not here, he was conditioning. This time he was here but not getting any conditioning and there's a different tempo from not playing and practicing and going into play. That would be my concern at this point, it wouldn't be - I think he'll do okay with the terminology, with the system in the game. It's just how quick we can get him to where he's not maxed out and exhausted."
On comparing RB Anthony Dixon from when he was acquired to now:
"Oh my goodness. He's a delightful young guy. When we got him, he didn't know H from apple butter, but he's come a ways from that point now, at least he's got the S-H part of it. I think he's an interesting study. He's great because he's fun. Those guys that don't know what they don't know but play fast, play hard, and run for touchdowns, they're easy to like. And he's a big physical guy. You watch him and you don't realize he's a 240-plus-pound guy. I think he has a tremendous upside. He's learning something every day. Its Christmas morning with him, it's a surprise all the time, but once he's in the environment and he's put through it, he grasps it pretty well. And the one thing he does understand is if you hand him the ball, he can run with it. So he's very interesting and I like the young man. Sometimes it may not appear that way, but we're getting there. We're getting there."
On whether G Mike Iupati has exceeded expectations in transitioning from the WAC to the NFL:
"I don't know that he has exceeded them, but he has certainly been up to what we expected. He's a large human being with athleticism, and I think he would have been - he just happened to be at Idaho. I think had he been at Michigan State or Stanford, I think he would have been as dynamic of a player. He's a good football player. He has good range and flexibility, tremendous strength, and an acquired toughness that is inherent that gives him an opportunity to be a really, really outstanding player."
On whether he envisioned rookies Iupati and T Anthony Davis starting in Week One:
"Well, we're still getting to week one, and there's hope that they could go out there. They've had the bulk of the work at the practice there, which would lead one to believe that they are going to go, but it's a game time - it's up to game time deal."
On replicating crowd noise in practice and whether it helps the rookies:
"We're trying. What we're attempting to do is try to create an environment through the speakers that will give them some idea of what it's going to be like. But that's more for us in terms of our ability to hear in the huddle and decipher information than what it will actually be like in the game. And our belief is this - it's kind of like living in the shack by the railroad track. We start it in walk-through, we keep it going through the team period, and if you live by the train track and the train comes by all the time, eventually after a while, you don't notice the train. You don't hear the noise. And so in our preparation we've tried to - from our walk-through all the way through our team periods - we've tried to have the noise constant so when they get into that environment it will be like living by the train track, they won't notice the noise and we can go ahead and function and do what we've been doing."