Vic Fangio talks Santonio Holmes, Tim Tebow, replacements refs

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

We break down some of Vic Fangio's comments from his Thursday press conference in which he discussed the Vikings, Jets and replacement officials.

49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio chatted with the media yesterday, and had a chance to discuss the Week 3 Vikings loss, Week 4's matchup with the Jets and of course, replacement officials.

In looking ahead to the Jets, Fangio's biggest concern was their use of multiple personnel groupings.

"Well they're multiple number one. They play a lot of different personnel. They've got a one wide receiver offense. They've got a two wide receiver offense. They've got three wide receiver offense. They'll play a lineman at tight end. They'll give you some unbalanced line. They'll give you the [Jets QB Tim] Tebow package, which you have to prepare for, so they're very multiple."

I can think about five different jokes off the top of my head about that tebow line, which is of course why it is the headline you see on the front page. I may be 33, but I can enjoy that kind of joke as much as the next person.

Fangio did also discuss the replacement referees and had some interesting comments about taking advantage of the situation. He stated very clearly that the coaching staff did not coach the players specifically with regards to taking advantage of mistakes by the replacement refs. At the same time, I would imagine there was at least some internal discussion among the players about where they could gain an edge. Given the competitive nature of these players, it would be a bit surprising if they were not looking for an edge the last three weeks.

Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
Press Conference - September 26, 2012
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

With Vikings QB Christian Ponder's feet and WR Percy Harvin's speed, was the game plan good and was it just the execution that was lacking in that game?

"It was both. We didn't execute as well as we're capable of executing and I could have had us in some better calls in certain situations. So, it was both."

What was happening on the, they seemed to go to that swing pass to Harvin quite a bit and it was effective just about every time. Whose responsibility is that on the edge there?

"Well, I think they ran it twice and got some positive yards with both of them. And in both times it was different calls so it was different people involved there."

Looking at the Jets, what concerns you most about their offense?

"Well they're multiple number one. They play a lot of different personnel. They've got a one wide receiver offense. They've got a two wide receiver offense. They've got three wide receiver offense. They'll play a lineman at tight end. They'll give you some unbalanced line. They'll give you the [Jets QB Tim] Tebow package, which you have to prepare for, so they're very multiple."

It sounds a little bit like the 49ers offense in some ways.

"Maybe in a way, but I wouldn't go that far."

Just with their different packages?

"Yeah, they do a lot of different packages and they change personnel a lot."

The pass rush in this last game, why weren't you guys able to get home?

"Well they were throwing it quick a good bit. We rushed four predominately, most of the time. Had some five and six man rushes in there. We just didn't have our best day rushing the passer, but that's a credit to them and their offensive line, and they were getting it out quick some. There was some boots. Ponder was tough to get down at times for us. It was a little bit of everything."

Some of your defensive players, S Donte Whitner and DT Justin Smith, indicated in some ways there may have been a letdown and didn't have the same energy level. Did you sense that?

"No. It's hard to put a finger on something like that and quantitative one way or the other. If those guys said that, those are two pretty stand up guys. You kind of have to take them at their word, but sometimes that's an easy thing to say too."

You brought up the Tebow package. What does it consist of and how serious of a threat to do you have to take it?

"Well you have to take it very serious because they'll play him some in there and it's more like it gets back to the college type offense where there's the gun read, the quarterback runs where he fakes it and then keeps it and it's just a quarterback power. It's an everyday power, but it's with the 11th guy on the field not the 10th. So you do have to prepare for it."

Do you practice against that a little bit with what QB Colin Kaepernick does?

"You mean in training camp?

Yeah, I guess in training camp.

"A little bit, a little bit."

Has it been in any use do you think?

"No, no."

Why not?

"Well, because when we were seeing it during training camp, we really weren't dialed in to stopping that type of offense. We just played our stuff out. Whereas when you really have to go against it, you've got to change the way you play things and alter your play to compensate for that type of offense when he's in there. And they were only doing it a couple plays every day or every other day, so we didn't want to spend all that time inserting it then."

Would DT Ricky Jean Francois be in at the nose if DT Isaac Sopoaga can't go?

"That'll probably be the way it'd go."

Talk about the styles of those two guys, how they're different.

"They're both pretty similar in some ways. They're both big, physical guys on the nose for us. Ricky's got a little bit, maybe, more movement ability. Isaac's got maybe a little bit more stoutness to him. But I don't see a big different in both guys and we would expect Ricky to go out there and play really good for us."

Were you pretty pleased, he had two starts last year, were you pleased? He looked kind of like an NFL starter when he was out there.

"Ricky's definitely a good player and he played about 300 snaps for us last year. As you said, he started a couple of games, both when Ray and Isaac were down. And we have total confidence when he's in there. We alter nothing because he's in there."

You coached with New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan for several years. Do you have any Rex Ryan stories?

"Well we were together three years. You know, not a lot of stories other than they named anytime they served Mexican food at Baltimore for one of our meals, it was known as Rex-ican, not Mexican, because he loved Mexican food. Supposedly with his new diet and physique, he's cut down. He hasn't eliminated Mexican food, he just doesn't pile it on the plate like he used to."

Is this Jets game coming at a good time for the 49ers after last week's loss?

"No. Any game right now, it's our fourth game of the season and I don't see any significance with it being the Jets or anybody else, other than they're a good football team that we have to go play on the road. So I really don't look at the game any different whether we had won last week or not."

With the main, the regular officials coming back, is that going to make a big impact, particularly in the secondary, how those calls are made?

"I don't know. We've coached our guys right from the get-go like we always did. We didn't say, ‘Hey you can get away with this or you can't get away, they're calling it more tight,' or anything like that. So we weren't telling our guys anything to either extreme because of the replacement officials in there. We were coaching them like we always did. Hopefully there won't be much difference."

Hopefully there won't be much difference?

"Well, in the way they're, the way our guys interpret playing. We've been preparing them to play as we always did last year, anytime. So we weren't saying one thing, ‘Hey we've got replacement officials, let's do this.' We weren't doing anything like that."

What makes Jets WR Santonio Holmes unique?

"Well he's very explosive. He's fast. He's quick. He's athletic and he's very dangerous after the catch. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he's like a punt returner. He's very dangerous, and he's [Jets QB Mark] Sanchez's, obviously, favorite target. He's a very explosive player and I know him from back when I was in Baltimore and he was with Pittsburgh. We played him twice a year and he was a really good player back then also. So, he's got really good ability."

You joked on the radio, I think last week, that Justin Smith would handle any sort of problems like if you sensed a letdown. Is that his weekly duty?

"Well, I mean, I don't go up to him and tell him he's got to do it. I think he's definitely one of the leaders of this team and I think he would take it on his team to do that if he sensed that."

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