I was down in San Diego this weekend for a wedding, so I planned on recording the Friday night 49ers-Broncos preseason matchup. For some reason I forgot about the local network broadcast of the game and set my DVR to record the NFL Network broadcast. I got back from San Diego yesterday afternoon, grabbed some food and kicked back to watch the game. At first they were airing the end of an earlier game. I began fast-forwarding and suddenly was being confronted by images of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, followed by the Raiders-Cowboys game.
Yes, for some reason the NFL Network switched it up and decided to show the Cowboys and Raiders and NOT the 49ers and Broncos. I realize this is only the preseason, but given the two teams involved, could it have been a worse matchup to record instead of the 49ers?
This leaves us with some short-term good and bad news. The good news is that the NFL Network re-aired the game from 10pm to 1am last night and I got it recorded (and it's not the Raiders game again!) The bad news is that my plan for this morning was too post an update on all positional battles, or maybe a new 53-man roster projection. Given the change in recordings, that stuff is postponed a day or so while I finally watch the game.
In the meantime, to get the chit-chat rolling, I thought we could focus the early conversation on two topics. First, the kick in the junk that was my situation above with the NFL Network. Just a cruel joke if you ask me. But more on-field product related, the second topic is fullback Brit Miller.
As I can only view the statistics right now, he certainly made a splash with his two touchdown receptions. As Thomas Clayton would tell you, preseason statistics aren't necessarily an indicator of a roster spot (too soon?). When I get to watching the game I'd imagine I'll be able to get a better idea of his performance, but for now, I'd like to hear what other folks think. Miller was probably a long shot to make the roster heading into training camp, but things have certainly improved for him. Robinson was getting playing time at fullback before going down with a groin injury.
More importantly, last Friday saw Zak Keasey go down for up to 8-10 weeks with a broken forearm (according to Mike Singletary - yesterday's transcript after the jump). Keasey was no lock to make the roster, but his special teams prowess definitely helped his chances. Singletary indicated Robinson remains day-to-day, but made no mention of Moran Norris. No matter what, Miller is probably going to see quite a bit of playing time this week and beyond. While a roster spot is far from guaranteed, Miller has been placed in a position to take a roster spot.
Oh, and I finally started watching the game. LOVE the jerseys.
Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Walk-Thru - 08-16-09
San Francisco 49ers
On describing the purpose of walk-thrus:
"It’s to get back into the flow. The guys had yesterday off, and so you come back, you look at the film, you correct the mistakes, you come out here and go through some of the mistakes. It’s an opportunity to come back together. We’ve got a test later on today and then tomorrow, we go back to work again. So, it’s just bringing it back to football. A lot of times when guys have time off, they get away. You just have to bring them back like, ‘okay guys, here we go. This is what we’re here for and let’s get ready to go tomorrow.’"
On what he did yesterday on the day off:
"I got away. Every chance that I get with my family, I make sure that I don’t forget the big picture as well."
On adding more running backs to the training camp roster:
"Right now we’re just going to kind of play it day-to-day. We’ve got a fullback coming in and we will see. I guess in the next few days we will see what we have already and if we can go with that or if we have to add somebody, we will, but we will just take it as we go."
On the loss of running back Thomas Clayton:
"It’s always unfortunate when you lose anyone that’s trying to make a football team. He’s just a guy that really works hard. He gives you everything that he has on every down and we know that he had high hopes of being part of the team. When someone like that goes down, it’s always a difficult thing to see. So, we’ll just have to rehabilitate the knee and go from there."
On if there are any thoughts to bring Thomas Clayton back:
"That’s too far down the road to begin to talk about ‘should we bring him back? Should we do this or whatever?’ We’re going to let him get healthy first."
On other teams around the league asking about Clayton:
"It’s hard to miss him. When you look at him, he’s the kind of guy that everything that he’s doing you know that he’s going as fast as he can go, he’s going as hard as he can go and he’s just one of those guys that when you look on him on film, you know that you’re going to get everything that he has on every play. Every team is looking for somebody that will do that."
On what he thought of Scott McKillop’s performance in the pre season game:
"I see a young guy that’s trying to have the game slow down for him. He continues to work on his technique and all of the little things that he needs to do in order to make this football team and make a contribution in his first year. He’s trying to make calls – so right now, the game is big for him, not too big, but it’s big, and for him, he’s trying to get it to slow down a bit so that he can get his eyes in the right place and get the correct reads. I think right now that’s the biggest thing for him. He is a guy that is making progress each day, and the more time goes by, the better he’ll get."
On watching the game film from Friday and his thoughts:
"It wasn’t much different from what I saw Friday night, I mean, it was okay. I think that we can get a lot better. It’s not bad for a start, but I just think that it’s really important for us that we set the tempo. I think it’s important for us to make sure that we don’t play to our opponent’s level, whatever that might be. We want to go out and set the level of tempo so high that they have to adjust to us and I think that’s important for us to stay focused on."
On noticing the physical play of running back Glen Coffee:
"I just know that he’s a tough guy. He’s a physical guy. He’s a tough runner. Once he gets past the line of scrimmage, he makes great cuts. He’s got decent vision down the field. I think the biggest thing that sticks out with him is that he doesn’t play like a rookie and [also] doesn’t carry himself like a rookie. He’s a guy that when he goes out to play, he plays with an attitude. Very tough kid, so that’s exciting to see."
On critiquing the play of safety Curtis Taylor:
"Curtis played okay. I talked to him earlier today about the way he played. I think that for the ability that he has and him being a big of a guy as he is and being as physically gifted as he is, I want to see more out of him. I want to see him bring more of the physicality. I know that he has a lot of speed for a guy his size to really make plays on the field, but it’s about coming down in the box and making a play. Being physical on a receiver, running back or fullback trying to take you out of a play, how do you respond to that. I want to see more of that going forward."
On injury updates concerning linebacker Patrick Willis:
"I’m thankful to get Patrick [Willis] back. Even though he’s back out here, I’m still going to keep my eyes on him and make sure that things are going the way that they should go, but I’m very excited to have him back. He adds a lot to our defense. He adds a lot of excitement. It’s kind of like bringing back the completion of our defensive unit."
On injury updates concerning fullback Zak Keasey:
"I think that we talked about 8 -10 weeks for him with the fracture and we just have to hope that he heals properly and go from there."
On Patrick Willis and other injured players returning to practice Monday:
"[Patrick] Willis will be back tomorrow. I think that we get Delanie [Walker] back. I think that Tarell Brown will be back. He will be running again and we just have to monitor that day-to-day. Other than that, I think that’s it."
On the status of guard David Baas and running back Michael Robinson:
"Baas is still a day-to-day situation right now. We’re monitoring that very closely, but he’s making good progress. Robinson is the same thing. I think that he’s day-to-day situation as well."
On the process of placing running back Thomas Clayton on waivers:
"I just want to say right now that we’re going to talk about it a little bit more in terms of how we want to handle that situation and we will go from there, but we haven’t talked about that exactly yet."
On any thoughts of the quarterback rotation for the upcoming game versus the Oakland Raiders:
On his familiarity with Oakland Raiders President Al Davis:
"Oh yeah, I know him, but not well."
On going up against the Raiders in his career:
"Only as a player. Al Davis has always had a reputation of being a coach, a [general manager], or an owner on the field that when the opposing team came on the field, he treated them as if they were on his team. You know, ‘Hey, how are you doing. Hey, what’s going on?’ He was very friendly, very nice, so I remember that and that was always different. The Raiders were the only team in the league that treated you like you were friends. Before the game, they treated you very well. Before the game, everything after that was downhill."