Greg Roman discusses Vernon Davis, LaMichael James, wide receivers

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman met with the media on Tuesday, and touched on a variety of issues facing the offense. He provided updates on Vernon Davis and LaMichael James, and discussed the 49ers wide receiver situation.

Opening comments:

"Sorry to keep you waiting. Short week. All of the coaches were back in about an hour after the last game getting to work on the Rams. Guys have been working hard, working late into the night. Seen our coaching staff unshaven, a little gritty, but grit is good. And we're getting ready to play a Rams team, a division team. Their defense probably has the best defensive front we've seen. They're playing very well. It's a very explosive and aggressive front really at every position. And they play an aggressive style up front. They're a very athletic secondary. I think their linebacking corps, they've got a great mix of youth and experience and they fit in really nicely. So, a lot to get done in a short amount of time. Our guys are very focused on playing a little bit more precise and really dialing in on this game. So, getting on a plane tomorrow and getting ready to play. Any questions?"

What have you identified as some of this offense's major problems the last two games?

"You know, again, I think [head coach] Jim [Harbaugh] mentioned it the other day, just a little bit more precision. There are a lot of different plays that we've made before, it's just this much off. And as we know it has a trickledown effect, but I think it starts with all of us really. I think anytime you go through a dry spell like this, every guy's got to look at himself and see what they can do better and that starts with me, so it's really across the board.

What can you do better?

"Just got to do better. Got to get results. Not into excuses, into results."

Obviously you can look at the stat sheet and just look at the game and see that you guys were having success in the run game and then very early in the second half you went away from it. Why did you guys go away from the run game as quickly in the second half as you did?

"I think it's more of a function of staying on the field and having an opportunity to get into a rhythm or call those plays. The past two games, aside from the late in the game when you're in two-minute mode, we've had very few base downs to get into a rhythm. So, we've got to do a better job of extending drives, making first downs and creating opportunities for ourselves to get into a flow, get into a rhythm. When we do that, we're pretty good, but right now the past couple games we have not been, so got to get it done."

Jim Harbaugh was really encouraged by WR Jon Baldwin's practices last week and said he might take on a little more of a role. How do you see him fitting in as you go forward for Thursday?

"Jon's done a really nice job in practice. I like his attitude. He hasn't gotten into a game yet and I really haven't noticed anything but a guy coming in everyday working hard and flashing in practice. So, I think Jon's a guy we're very fortunate to have and his role could expand pretty soon."

You mentioned about their athletic secondary, what have you seen in second-year player CB Janoris Jenkins?

"You know, he's definitely not a rookie anymore. He made some big plays last year, some pick-sixes and the guy's such a phenomenal athlete. Really, really good ball skills. He could probably role out of bed in the morning and play really well. He's just a real natural at the position. And you can see now him starting to really evolve at the position in terms of where he's at, how he's doing things and probably everything you'd want out of a second-year player. A very explosive, dangerous player."

Do you think QB Colin Kaepernick's confidence is wavering a little bit now?

"I think Colin's doing fine. He's coming in everyday working hard and that hasn't changed."

What instruction have you given him as far as like waiting for a pass route to develop and giving that extra step or two, or just making a decision ‘I don't see it, they're not open, I just need to go.' What restrictions is he under, or instructions is he under?

"Well, I'm not going to get into the strategic part of it, but really, all across the board the execution needs to be better and I think we can do that. We have the capacity to do that. We have the means to do it. It's something that it's not just one little thing. But, and every play is a little bit different. And we've all seen him pull it down and have a big scramble. And all the circumstances, the rush lanes, the defense, are they just winging it up the field, are they staying disciplined, is there a rush lane, all those different little things."

Talking about getting into a rhythm, Kaepernick hasn't been all that great on the very first series, a lot of three and outs. Is that an area of focus to kind of get that initial drive going and get into a rhythm early in the game for him?

"I think everybody's got to get into a rhythm early. For example, we had a 3rd-n-3 I believe and we missed a block on a run and that's why we didn't stay on the field. And when you stay on the field, then you get to move through your game plan accordingly. So, it's a function of execution really."

Against the Colts you called two runs in particular in the first quarter that were very successful, runs for RB Frank Gore outside that both were for more than 20 yards. What I want to know is, why did you choose not to call each play a second time? Was it new scheme? Were you surprised at how successful those particular runs worked out?

"Again, those plays probably would have been revisited, but really just the opportunity to call them didn't come up based on certain things that they adjusted to, how they adjusted. So, repeating successful plays is something we'll do. And just didn't have a chance to get back to them really."

Do you think you'll have TE Vernon Davis on Thursday?

"We'll have to wait and see. It'll probably be a game-time decision. Jim could talk to you further on it, coach could. But, I think Vernon will be a game-time decision."

What about RB LaMichael James, do you expect to have LaMichael?

"I think also a game-time decision."

What's the timetable with WR Michael Crabtree? We see him over there and he looks pretty good for a guy who had an Achilles tear in May. Are you hopeful that you're going to get him back towards the end of the regular season?

"Well, he's working hard. I don't think there's any specific day or date. I think [vice president of football operations Jeff Ferguson] Fergie and the medical staff are the ones to really talk to on that. But, if we can get him back this year, that'd be gravy. And I think the way he's working now it's quite possible. But, again, I think you'll probably want to talk to the medical staff."

Do you steal looks from time-to-time? I know you've got a practice to conduct, but do you watch him?

"Yeah, I was staring at, as I was walking over here I was staring at him the whole time. Yeah, he's working hard doing good."

Are you impressed by just what he's able to do at this point given the nature of that--?

"Yeah. No question. No question. Both he and [WR] Mario [Manningham] have been working really hard."

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