I know all of us were a bit concerned by all the players on yesterday's injury report. However, as today's report shows, virtually all the "limited" and "non-participants" were full participants today. Yesterday's report was a projection because there was no actual practice, so I'm guessing the team was just being a bit more conservative. Of course, Glen Coffee is not going to be playing, and given that we haven't seen any transactions today, it looks like Gore and Robinson will be handling the load at running back.
After the jump we've got press conference transcripts for OC Jimmy Raye and Alex Smith.
Limited Participation in Practice
LB Takeo Spikes (shoulder)
Full Participation in Practice
S Michael Lewis (quadricep)
RB Michael Robinson (stinger)
CB Tarell Brown (rib)
RB Frank Gore (eye lid)
TE Vernon Davis (shoulder)
WR Jason Hill (ankle)
TE Delanie Walker (shin, knee)
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee)
Did not Participate in Practice
RB Garrett Wolfe (back)
Limited Participation in Practice
TE Desmond Clark (neck)
DT Tommie Harris (knee)
CB Charles Tillman (shoulder)
After the jump we've got transcripts for Jimmy Raye and Alex Smith...
Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye
Post-Walk Thru November 10, 2009
San Francisco 49ers
On why WR Jason Hill received more playing time against the Titans:
"He has been practicing well since his hamstring injury and making progress. That coupled with the fact that [WR] Isaac [Bruce] had a tender ankle and ran a seven route over on the left boundary and rolled his ankle, tweaked it a little bit. So, we were down in numbers in the three-wide package and Jason was the next guy up. We were fortunate that we had him up for the game because he was the guy who had gotten the work as all three backups going into the game. It turned out that he was able to play and he made some plays for us."
On his background with the shotgun:
"Quite a bit, I would say extensive. There was a period of time where I coached with a couple of disciples of the Bill Walsh system that didn't believe in the gun that we didn't use it. But, in New York, Oakland, Atlanta and L.A. with Jim Everett, all of that was gun. I don't know if you want specifics, I don't know how to answer that question."
On whether you are limited in the types of runs you can call out of the shotgun:
"Somewhat, but it depends. When you make that decision, the kinds of runs that you are running, most of the time, are not direct runs because you don't have a lead blocker. But, they are runs that take advantage of the front and the alignment of the defense. They give you the same that is the likeness of pass and pass protection. They come not only in the draw variety, but across the formation kind of runs. We did have some success Sunday running the trap, but we had to relocate the back in order to do that."
On what QB coach Mike Johnson learned from watching college spread offenses in the offseason:
"You would have to ask Mike that. We discussed it in the offseason. I think what you need to understand is what we did Sunday has always been a part of what we do. We didn't invent the runs we ran Sunday out of the shotgun. We have had, and been practicing, our third down, our quarterback-not-under-the-center offense and runs since March. So, it wasn't something where, all of the sudden three weeks ago, because everyone thought we should be in the spread, that we went and looked at someone running the shotgun and came up with plays. It is a part of the offense that we have. What we did Sunday is a part of what we do."
On why he called it a third down offense:
"It is applicable to all downs, but what you had seen previously was when we were in the gun was basically on third down."
On the two interceptions QB Alex Smith has thrown when targeting WR Michael Crabtree:
"The one in Indianapolis was a tipped ball, and Sunday the one was a tipped ball that probably would fall to the ground harmlessly. The ball was thrown near the boundary and it was tipped and the linebacker came back within an eyelash of stepping out of bounds and got the rebound of the ball. I think tipped balls, you can't practice tipped balls. If the receiver and the defensive back are in a close confrontation, and they both get their hands on the ball at the same time, and there are other defenders near, that's why defensive backs work the tip drill. And, unfortunately for us, we've had two, not two but three deflections that have gone up in the air and the defense capitalized on them."
On whether he's comfortable going forward with the kind of offensive emphasis he showed on Sunday:
"I don't know that. I think sometimes the perception is that I should answer questions that give the defensive coordinators of the teams that we play a pre-game scouting report on what we're going to line up in. We have, as I said early on, the contingencies of what we do offensively to take care of the defenses that we play. If that is in fact the case that what we carry into the game is available for us and it helps us win the game, then I guess the answer to that would be yes."
On where the offense is as a unit:
"I think our record is 3-5. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. We're 3-5. I would say we're not near where we need to be. If it was better, I think we would have won more games or helped our cause in terms of winning more games. I think we made improvement, but there were areas of the game Sunday that were outstanding. The play was exceptional, was outstanding, but it's very difficult to overcome four turnovers."
On whether it's been difficult to find improvement given the changes in the offense:
"Yes and no. Continuity is very difficult to come by. We've changed a lot of places, and that's the nature of the NFL. If there's one thing that is constant about the NFL, it's change. And, unfortunately for us, in the first seven or eight weeks, we've had to change the quarterback. We've had to change the right guard. We've had to change the left guard. We've had to change the running back. We've had to change the wide receiver. We've had an onslaught of changes, but the way we manage that is a benefit to us if we can do it in an expeditious fashion so we can get on with winning games. It's been difficult, but we're probably going to have more changes going forward."
On the first touchdown pass from QB Alex Smith to WR Jason Hill in the back of the end zone:
"Well, what they did right was they applied the scramble rules that are in place that were taught in the red area, and Alex remained a passer. And, in most situations like that, the quarterback leaves his passer mentality and becomes a runner. But, he kept his eyes downfield and drifting and he was in a position where he could either throw or not take a negative and throw the ball out of bounds, and he remained a passer. That was the best thing about it. And then Jason applied his onside scramble rule, and we were able to get a completion for a touchdown, which gave us a completion of a T-2 at the end of the half and got points. And then we had a T-4 at the end of the game that got points. So, those things are very gratifying."
On whether he has met with head coach Mike Singletary about the receiving corps and WR Isaac Bruce's role:
"No, that meeting, I don't think has happened, unless I was excluded from it. We will visit that - we wanted to get through today and see where he is tomorrow, and in the meantime, we will increase the activity of [WR] Josh Morgan and [WR] Jason Hill. We'll see where he is, where his foot is or his injury is. And then we'll make a decision going forward."
On Bruce's injury:
"We'll see where he is physically. See where he is physically and then we'll make a decision going forward."
On the areas of the offense in Sunday's game that he was pleased with:
"Well, as I mentioned, I was pleased with our, as we refer to it, T-2 offense, which is our offense before the half, which was very good in Indianapolis that went down and got a score also. Our T-4 was very good, which we went down at the end of the game and got a score and an opportunity to onside kick the ball and have another chance to put the game into overtime. We were five for five in the red zone, three touchdowns and two field goals. We had a 19-play drive in that game that overcame three or four penalties and a negative that went down and got points. I thought our ‘me-to-you' factor was very good. Is he open? The pass to [TE] Vernon [Davis] was a great adjustment and throw. We threw the ball - he complete 29 balls, and we showed some ability in our deceptive game with our arounds and handing the ball to the wide receivers that made yards. So, I thought the playing area was very good. I was very disappointed that we had the mishaps that we had that led to 24 points for them, because, I think, without the turnovers, it would have been a different outcome."
On whether the T-2 and T-4 are similar plays:
"No, they're not."
On whether he can explain the time at the end of the half and the time at the end of the game:
"It changes because at the T-2, any points are good. When you're playing T-2 and you have the ball before the half, whether you get a field goal or a touchdown, any points you get are good. And, T-4, you're in a T-4 situation, you're either in an offense to try to either extend the game or win the game. So, the impetus of the play is totally different because you're operating against the timeouts. You're operating against a defense that's trying to prevent you from either extending the game or prolonging the game or, in a T-4 situation, winning the game at the end. That would be the difference."
QB Alex Smith
Post-Walk Thru - November 10, 2009
San Francisco 49ers
On which package does he like better, the T-2, or T-4:
"It's pretty similar. You hope not to be in the T-4."
On why he performs well during the end of halves and games:
"I have no idea. I don't know."
On a theory that he performed better in a spread-offense similar to his college playing days at Utah:
"Spread out? Maybe, perhaps, I don't know. It could be you think that anytime that you are spread out and you're in the gun, all quarterbacks are going to see things better. I don't know, I'm not sure."
On his experience running the two-minute drill at Utah:
"It was more T-2's than T-4's."
On whether he likes playing better in a shotgun formation:
"In certain situations, yes, if there is no threat of a run. Sometimes is nice to mix it up and get back there. I think that in third down situations, pressure situations is when you get back and see it and maybe buy yourself half of second to get the ball out. Other than that, you'd like to keep a balance between the run and pass situations in the game to keep that and be under center."
On either having the opportunity to review film from the Tennessee game or going straight to game film to prepare for Chicago:
"I watched it quickly yesterday morning, then you move on pretty fast. I watched a lot of Chicago yesterday and it's such a short week."
On having one of his best offensive performances overshadowed by his interceptions:
"I felt that, in a sense, that I saw things well. You turn on the tape and it wasn't like I saw anything new. When I rehashed the game in my mind, it looked very similar to what I looked at when I turned on the tape which is a good thing. I felt like I saw everything well. A couple of balls were thrown tight - there was one on the boundary the safety was coming trying to make a play on it, it gets tipped in-bounds and the one that [WR] Josh [Morgan] had tighter coverage. There those are kind of the job hazards that kind of come with the territory. That is going to happen, I think that as a quarterback the important things are if you are making good decisions, are you throwing the ball where you want to throw it, are you getting the ball out on time, those are the types of decisions that you're looking at. That's how you prevent turnovers from the quarterback's perspective, by making sound decisions and throwing the ball accurately on time."
On whether he was relaying his throwing tendencies to the opposing defense with his eyes:
"The one on the boundary could have gone up. That half second maybe allowed that safety to come over and make a play that allowed that ball to stay in-bounds. The other two didn't feel like I was late at all. But the first one I could say, critically looking at it, I could have gone up quicker."
On whether working on his body language could have prevented that turnover:
"That was a third-and-long and we were trying to ‘hi-lo' the corner on the boundary. It was a matter of trusting what you see from that defender and letting the ball go."
On what Jason Hill did right on his first touchdown:
"The great thing he did - initially he started back down towards me, trying to give me a throw and saw that the inside receiver was kind of running in the flat there and a lot of passing is about spacing, so I think he immediately saw that, put his foot in the ground, turned and ran upfield, at least giving me two throws. Once he came down a little bit, his defender bit and he turned and slipped upfield and was open in the back of the end zone."
On whether defenses are playing WR Michael Crabtree differently:
"I guess I don't know. We are moving on so fast from this Tennessee game, it's hard to look at things like that. I think the more he plays, the more he is going to give people to think about, the more routes he's going to give corners to think about and the more comfortable he is going to be with things."
On why he hasn't been able to develop much chemistry with WR Josh Morgan:
"I don't know. It's a matter of what the defense is giving us sometimes, maybe sometimes what we are asking him to do. I think it's a combination of things."
On his ability to draw offsides penalties and whether it is something he has worked on a lot:
"It was something I never did as a younger guy. I never did it in college. I never did it much my first couple years. I just think I'm more conscious of it now in certain situations. I'm more conscious of using it to your advantage."
On how difficult it is to develop a rapport with WR Michael Crabtree:
"I think the thing you miss when he comes in like that is you miss the training camp practices where you can really build the fundamentals of your routes together. It's timing. When he comes in within the week we are doing our game plans and he is doing a great job of getting himself up to speed and not missing a beat and it's just a matter of us all working together to get that done."
On whether there is any sense of significance to this game:
"Every game is the biggest game at that point. That's the truth of it. This week, you play and you learn from it and you move on already and we're on to Chicago. Yes, this is the biggest game of the season and the next week that will probably be the biggest game. Right now, the focus is on Chicago and that's it. It's them coming in and getting a win and it is the biggest thing."
On how much losing four in a row weighs on the team:
"It might, but we can't let it weight on us. We have to continue to work to play harder, to execute better, and to win a game and that's what we have to get done."
On whether building a rapport with Crabtree is just a matter of time:
"I think so. Time and repetitions, but it's different. I think there are things that we ask him to do that he may be more comfortable with because he has a history with them. Yes, a little bit of that is just going to be time and repetitions."