clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

49ers-Packers: Mike Singletary/Alex Smith post-practice trascripts

The 49ers returned to practice today, and as usual we had post-practice press conferences.  There's nothing too shocking to report, although a few notable comments worth at least discussing.

On the injury front, Glen Coffee will be back.  I'm not sure how big a difference that will make, but it's at least worth mentioning.  Also, Takeo Spikes remains day-to-day, and if he can't go on Sunday Matt Wilhelm would start at the Ted linebacker position.  Spikes had to leave Thursday's game and Wilhelm was quite solid as his replacement, finishing with 5 tackles, including 1 for a loss.

In terms of playing time, it sounds like Isaac Bruce will be playing, but he's definitely fallen down the depth chart.  It sounds like Bruce is now the #4 receivers, although that's not 100% clear.  He's definitely not the 1 or 2 though.  Singletary spoke with Bruce about this and Bruce seemed reasonable about it:

On how Bruce reacted:
"When I talked to Isaac about the change, he was very positive about it. He said, ‘I feel that Josh Morgan is ready. He's ready for this.' He's been working hard, and Isaac has been working with him to get better. I didn't expect anything different from Isaac. He's a class individual, and he's all about the team."

Given his play, I guess there wasn't much else Bruce could do in the situation, but at least he's handling it with a certain level of class.  He has to realize his playing days are quickly coming to an end.  He's a free agent after this season, and while I don't think the 49ers will be re-signing him, I'm curious if he gets any other interest around the league.

The transcript is after the jump...

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Walk Thru - November 17, 2009

San Francisco 49ers

Opening statements:

"As far as the injuries are concerned, [CB] Nate Clements will be out, [LT] Joe Staley will be out. [DT] Demetric Evans will be up. [LB] Takeo Spikes is still day-to-day, and if Takeo can't go, [LB] Matt Wilhelm will start. As you know, [WR] Isaac Bruce will not start. [WR] Josh Morgan will start. So, that's what we're doing there going forward.

[QB] Alex Smith, in terms of our offense right now, I think through everything that our offense has been through, the loss of the tackles, loss of [RB] Frank [Gore] for three-and-a-half weeks and just trying to settle in, Alex Smith playing 14 quarters - I think the offense is continuing to come together, continuing to find its identity right now. You're asking a guy, Alex Smith with 14 quarters, to come out and execute the offense, get the timing down, know the receivers, know the offensive line and then be successful - as well as deal with some of the other things. It's not like he's a rookie. He's been here before to deal with some of negative tone or whatever. Going forward, I think he's handled everything well. I think he's just continuing to take steps forward. I think [offensive coordinator] Jimmy Raye and [quarterbacks coach] Mike Johnson continue to work with him, and good communication and good dialogue going forward. I'm very excited about Alex Smith and what he brings to our offense, and I think going forward, he's going to do just fine.

When you look at the Packers offensively, they're a smart football team. They're a tough football team. They're offensive line is tough. Their running back is a downhill guy, runs tough, and they've got good receivers. The quarterback is playing well, playing smart football. They don't have many turnovers. He hasn't thrown many interceptions - I think five so far. They're doing some good things on offense.

On the defensive side of the ball, it's a very aggressive defense. They really do a good job with the turnovers. I think they're No. 1 in the league with turnovers. Their d-line is very active and come off the ball. Their linebackers are very active. The DBs do a good job. They blitz. [CB] Charles Woodson is having a great year creating turnovers and harassing quarterbacks. It should be a great challenge for us. I'm very excited for the opportunity to go to Lambeau. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

On whether RB Glen Coffee will be available for the game:


On whether WR Isaac Bruce will be the No. 3 receiver behind Jason Hill:

"As of right now, it depends on what type of package starts. It depends on the package that goes in. We'll see. I know he's not starting. Whether he's No. 3, No. 4 or No. 5, I don't know right now. It just depends on the package."

On whether he's talked to Bruce about the change:


On how Bruce reacted:

"When I talked to Isaac about the change, he was very positive about it. He said, ‘I feel that Josh Morgan is ready. He's ready for this.' He's been working hard, and Isaac has been working with him to get better. I didn't expect anything different from Isaac. He's a class individual, and he's all about the team."

On QB Aaron Rodgers being able to pick apart a defense if given time:

"You're exactly right. He will pick you apart if he has the time, most quarterbacks will. Hopefully, he doesn't have that much time. We're just going to have to continue to play better on the back end, and I think continue to try and put pressure on the quarterback."

On whether the 49ers starting outside linebackers having only 2.5 sacks bothers him or whether he's more interested in pressures:

"I always want to get sacks. You settle for pressures. Sometimes, pressures can be very effective as well. But, I just think those things will come in time. I think, more and more, offenses are doing more max protecting. I just think we just have to continue to have to do a better job there."

On whether he's ever considered starting LB Ahmad Brooks:

"No, not at this point. Ahmad Brooks is continuing to learn the system, continuing to learn how to be a consistent pass rusher. I just think that he's still getting his feet underneath him, but he's coming in and he's coming fast."

On the benefit of having a couple extra days following the Thursday night game:

"I think any time you have an extra day or two for guys to get their legs back underneath them, some of the pounding that they've taken, to heal and use it wisely, I think it can do nothing but help us."

On whether he's talked to the team about playing at Lambeau Field:

"I think the biggest thing that I told our team is we're going on the road, once again, to play a very good football team. It is a tough place to play, but we control some of that. I think it's very important for us to really focus on executing, focus on doing the things that we need to do and let everything else take care of itself. I didn't really talk a whole lot about Lambeau."

On how long he thinks it will take before QB Alex Smith is comfortable:

"I think he's comfortable right now, I really do. I think he's comfortable right now. I just think that the nice thing about where he's at is, first of all, he's a bright guy. Second of all, it's one of those things where the system that we're running is not so different. I think Norv Turner had a lot of similarities to the system that we're running now, so it's not totally different than the Turner system he had good success in. But, I think the thing that's really good for Alex is he's stepping in. He never really got out of the groove, and what I mean by that is he just continued to work. He just continued to work on his own, so when he did get the chance, it's not like he had to shake a lot of rust off. I'm excited about where he's at and the conversations that I have with him going forward are just continuing to ask him what does he need in order to be successful and trying to surround him with those things, whether it's more time, whether it's more detail, whether it's more meeting time, whether it's more route running out here with the wide receivers - just making sure he gets all of the things he needs so that he can feel as comfortable as he can during the game."

On whether he has everything he needs to be successful:

"I don't think you're ever going to have everything you need and you want and all of the other things, but I think that we're listening and trying to provide him with those things. I think he's being very reasonable about what he's asking for. Some of those things you kind of have to pull out of him because he doesn't want to change the offense. He doesn't want to change things around, but at the same time, I continue to reassure him that when I'm asking these questions, I really want the answers so that we can help him all we can."

On the things Smith has asked for:

"First is just a little more detail, getting into the offense and really just going back through some of the things that - we've gone forward here with [QB] Shaun Hill and some of those things. So, it's going back and kind of looking at some of the detail of those things and how that looks for him because when you have one quarterback, you're working with some of the changes that they need, when another quarterback may not need those changes, but they may need something else. So, it's just making sure that you kind of backtrack over those things and make sure that's cleaned up going forward. So, little things like that."

On how he would assess the play of LT Barry Sims:

"Outstanding. It's a pleasant surprise. I think he's done a great job. I'm really excited about what he has been able to bring to that position. I think he's done a phenomenal job."

On whether he would consider leaving Sims in the starting lineup when LT Joe Staley comes back:

"I may consider it, but I don't think it would happen because I think Joe Staley is our left tackle. Unless he comes back, and he's just really not ready or something like that, but Joe Staley is our left tackle."

On whether he would switch Sims to the right side:

"Probably not. [RT Adam] Snyder is doing a good job on that side."

On WR Josh Morgan's play:

"I talked to Josh Morgan the other day and just let him know that I liked what he's doing. I like the progression. I just want to see it faster. I want to see when Josh Morgan and [WR] Michael Crabtree line up, the [the defense] has issues on both sides. It's not, ‘We'll take away one, and you deal with the lesser' because I think Josh Morgan is extremely talented. He's extremely physical. There are just a lot of things that he can do and present a lot of issues for a defense. So, I'm just looking for the time that, and hopefully soon, where he presents a lot of issues over there."

On whether a lack of experience in a passing offense in college is part of Morgan's development;

"Yes it is. It's a difference in being a receiver and being in an offense where you have to be really detailed. Some offenses, the receivers don't have to be as detailed. They're not asked to run specific routes, and I think in our offense, [wide receivers coach] Jerry Sullivan really stresses that. It's extremely important for receivers to be exactly where they're supposed to be because it makes the quarterback better."

QB Alex Smith
Post-Walk Thru November 17, 2009
San Francisco 49ers

On having time off over the weekend:

"Yeah it was kind of nice. I got kind of a mini second bye week."

On what he did with the time off:

"Nothing real eventful. When you are this busy and you finally get your time off, you find that doing nothing sometimes is the most enjoyable thing."

On whether there was any work to be done over the weekend:

"We came in here, but I think for the most part just recovery - getting fresh. We got a jump start on Friday, just to recover and get back to it."

On what he tells the coaches he needs:

"There are different things, little things here and there, things I might think I need or we need. It just kind of depends on the situation. We talk pretty often, so it has been a lot of different things. Nothing real major though. Usually it is small things, whether it be a little extra time this week with the receivers or whatever it might be."

On whether he has ever had a coach ask him what he needs before:

"Not like that, no. I've never had that question posed to me before as far as a quarterback. It kind of makes you think a little bit."

On whether he looks forward to facing QB Aaron Rodgers:

"I do look forward to it. Yeah I have gotten to know Aaron since then. I got to know him throughout that whole year with the college stuff, the awards and the draft process. I have stayed in touch with him since then. I had the opportunity to play them a couple of times in preseason and the regular season. Yeah, I look forward to it. Through all that process, Aaron was a great guy. I appreciated that when we were going through all that competition and things got hyped up and worked up, he never seemed liked it ever got to him. It didn't change him."

On playing at Lambeau Field:

"This is my first time going, so I look forward to it. There is a handful of places now I have never been and this is one of them. I look forward to it and I am excited for it. I have heard a lot about it."

On Rodgers' career:

"I think he is doing a great job there. I think he has done some really good things. I look at their offense and what they are doing. I think they give a lot of problems to defenses. They spread people out, they have a lot of weapons and he takes advantage of it. So of the little I've seen, you don't get to study many offenses, I think he is playing well."

On whether he knew how far Rodgers slipped on Draft Day in 2005:

"I didn't find out until a little later what was going on. It's a long process, the first round takes forever. So you are kind of doing the circuit then getting filled in about what was going on, who went where. So yeah, a little bit."

On whether he felt bad for Rodgers:

"No question, to be back there in the green room is uncomfortable. Every single pick, there is a camera sitting on you seeing your reaction, and to have to sit there that long would be really difficult I would imagine."

On whether he feels that in some way he is competing with Rodgers:

"I don't. I understand that we will forever be connected because of that. But I don't at all feel like I am competing with him in that sense. I am competing with him to win the game on Sunday. But I put the statistics and all that stuff aside, I'm not paying any attention to it."

On whether he thinks about how things would have turned out if the 49ers selected Rodgers:

"Who knows what would have happened? I don't really think about that. There are a million different scenarios you could probably play out that could have happened if things went differently. But this is the way it went and here we are meeting up five years later. We have both taken different routes, but I look forward to it."

On the differences between his and Rodgers' journey:

"I haven't spoken to him about that. The few times I have had to see him and talk to him over the years has been pretty quick. It would be interesting to talk to him about it. We both have taken very different routes to get to where we are now."

On whether Rodgers has told him what it was like to play behind Brett Favre:

"I haven't talked to him about that. I haven't. Most of our conversations have been pretty quick, a little, ‘How are you doing?' I didn't get into things like that."

On Green Bay's defense:

"They are playing really well. They played really well on Sunday against the good offense that Dallas has. I think they are a good test for us. I think they are strong across the board. I don't think there is a standout position group that is playing better than others, I think they are all playing well. They are stout up front, the linebacking corps is playing really well, they have a lot of depth there, and they are a really veteran group in the secondary. They make a lot of plays. I think they lead the NFL in takeaways, so I think it will be a really good test for us."

On whether he has to focus extra on his accuracy this week:

"I guess you always hope to be precise and accurate. I think it goes more into the decision making, if that makes sense. You have to be very sharp about your decision making, where you are going with the football, what you are doing against what they present, because they do present a lot of different looks. You have to be able to make decisions and then it comes down to throwing the ball."

On WR Josh Morgan starting:

"It is a great opportunity for Josh and I am excited for him. He always works extremely hard. He worked extremely hard this offseason and worked hard last year to get to where he is. I think he has improved a tremendous amount. This is a big opportunity for him and it's a big opportunity for us. I feel really good about Josh being out there."

On how much time he has spent throwing to Morgan:

"Not a ton of time. I missed last year, but all this offseason he was here and we worked out quite a bit. We went through camp together, and obviously now we are in whatever week we are in the season. So we had a little bit of work."

On the importance of chemistry with the receivers:

"It is crucial. I think it is crucial to any offense to have that trust between each other that he is going to be where he is supposed to be and I am going to put that ball where it is supposed to be and that it is going to work out. You have to have that trust and you have to be accountable to each other. I think that is vital to any passing game."

On the development of WR Michael Crabtree:

"He just continues to keep working. I think every week he is here he is just going to keep getting better and better. He has still only been here a short time when you think about it, but he has so many tools. I think he is a very gifted player. I think he has a very natural feel for the game. So I think it is just going to get better and better for him."

On whether he feels comfortable throwing jump balls to Crabtree and Morgan:

"I feel real good with all our guys, but those two have a great feel for the ball. They are competitive when the ball is in the air. They are both big-body guys who catch the ball with their hands. So yeah, I definitely feel good about that."

On developing an identity on offense:

"I think it will always be like that over the course of a season. You are going to have cycles and go through things - things you are doing well and things you aren't - when you are finding out who you are. You want to set that identity to a certain extent, but it kind of evolves as you go along. You continue to adjust it to the personnel you have and the things we are doing well."

On the advantages of running out of the shotgun:

"I think it helps us at least present a balanced formation to the defense. Traditionally thinking, when you line up in the shotgun, it is predominantly pass, so to be able to run the ball out of the shotgun at least allows us to stay balanced."

On his input to the coaches during games:

"If something came to me, I would definitely have the freedom to say it. Usually, I don't really think like that though. I am busy playing. I don't really think like a coordinator, per se, or something like that. I don't always have the best view. Sometimes when you are out there, things look differently. If I do see things I definitely say them. I don't hesitate to say them, but I don't know how much of that actually goes on."

On the play of T Barry Sims and how coach Singletary has said he's playing outstanding:

"I think just that, he stepped right in and hasn't missed a beat. He has played really well. That's hard to do, come in and play left tackle in this league where you are getting matched up every week against big-time pass rushers, and to play the way he has, has been great. I don't think twice back there, I trust those guys up front."