I forgot to post the injury report and OC/DC transcripts yesterday, so for today's final injury report I've attached the normal Thursday coordinator transcripts, along with Coach Singletary's normal Friday transcript. For those resting off hangovers, it gives you a little more to enjoy during the day. One thing of note in today's report is that Ricky Schmitt is questionable. In fact, he didn't practice yesterday or today, and with Joe Nedney out for Sunday, we might very well see some two point conversion attempts.
CB Nate Clements (shoulder)
K Joe Nedney (left hamstring)
WR Isaac Bruce (ankle)
T Joe Staley (knee)
K Ricky Schmitt (left groin)
QB Shaun Hill (back)
G Chilo Rachal (knee)
RB Glen Coffee (thigh)
CB Quincy Butler (knee)
G Mark Setterstrom (tricep)
OT Jason Smith (concussion)
RB Steven Jackson (back)
LB Paris Lenon (toe)
DE Leonard Little (knee)
WR Donnie Avery (thigh)
LB James Laurinaitis (knee)
Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Practice - January 1, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On whether there is a disconnect between he and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye with WR Isaac Bruce playing on Sunday:
"No, I don't think there is a disconnect. Why would there be a disconnect?"
On Raye's comments that it would be almost impossible for Bruce to play base on his limited practice:
"It might be. I told Jimmy, he and Isaac will talk and figure out exactly how it will be played out. Isaac will be up and I know he'll be an honorary captain. What happens after that, we'll see. Maybe he'll play, maybe he won't, we'll see."
On what he could gain from having Bruce play:
"I'll put it this way. As far as what can I get, I don't know. I have no idea. All I know is that I want it to be very respectful. The wide outs stepping up and coming to me about it obviously shows how they feel about him. I think we all feel that way about Isaac, but at the same time, it's just a matter of going the extra mile. I wanted to honor that and I think Isaac and I are on the same page. I think when the guys did that, it's one of those things that he wanted to honor it as well. From there, we'll let things play out."
On whether Bruce is still bothered by his ankle:
"Hopefully, not as much, but I don't know that. If so, maybe very little. I don't know at this point."
On why Bruce didn't practice this week:
"Well, I think when it gets down to the reps involved, you just want to make sure that the guys out here that are actually going to play the whole game, got the most reps."
On the status of K Ricky Schmitt:
"I think it's one of those things where we really just have to wait and play it out. I think the most important thing that we have to do is make sure we cover ourselves on the other end of that. We may have to look at another kicker depending on how that unfolds between now and game time."
On whether there is any thought of having P Andy Lee kick:
On possibly signing another kicker:
"Yeah, we may have to bring in somebody else, but we'll let it play itself out. Maybe, maybe not."
On whether there is anyone on the team that can kick in a pinch:
"We don't have that big of a pinch. No, we need to go get somebody that can really kick if the guy can't do it."
On the priority of bringing in a left-footed kicker:
"You know what, we just want somebody that can kick. Left foot, I don't know. I just want somebody that can kick the ball."
On Bruce's involvement in the game on Sunday:
"It will go all the way from Isaac going on the field for the coin toss and that's it or he could play the first play or he could play the first series. But, that's up to Jimmy and Isaac and I'm good with it either way. I've talked to both of them and I don't want to get Isaac in a situation where he doesn't need to be and I don't want to put Jimmy in a situation where he has to rethink a lot of things. I don't want to do that either. So, we'll see, but that shouldn't be that big of a deal."
On how practice went this week:
"Good week. Good energy. I think the guys understand what the mission is, what we're striving to do. We want to go there and play, hopefully, our best football game of the year. We're not just going there to win a football and the end of the season, no. We're going to go there and play well. That's the goal."
On whether QB Shaun Hill is still the No. 2 quarterback this week even with a sore back:
"Well, as of right now, he's still the No. 2, and I think that's why he stayed out so that he could be the No. 2. And for any reason, if it gets any worse or not, then [QB] Nate Davis would be up. One or the other."
On whether T Joe Staley will be out for Sunday:
"I don't know yet. I think we'll let that be a game time decision, so I don't want to make that decision on it yet."
On whether T Barry Sims will start:
On whether G Chilo Rachal will start:
"Definitely, he's starting."
On whether it's safe to assume a kicker will meet the team in St. Louis:
"That's a safe assumption."
On whether K Ricky Schmitt is making the trip:
"You know what, I'll find out more about that afterwards."
On his thoughts about finishing his first full season as head coach now:
"Disappointing. Disappointing. That's about the best way I can put it, disappointing. For me, for our team, for our fans, disappointing. But, it is what it is and after this game, looking to going to the offseason and get the things that we need, do the things that we need to do, we'll take care of that when it gets here, but it's disappointing."
On how much more he knows about his team now compared to this time last year:
"Wow, it's just hard to put a measuring stick on it, but I mean tons more because you go through OTAs, you go through offseason program, you go through mini-camp, you go through the draft, you go through all these little things and step-by-step, you're with them. You're watching them. You're watching the growth. You're watching them mature. So, I think it's just at a different level because you're with them from the beginning, so a lot different, a lot more."
On which kicker is going to be meeting the team in St. Louis:
"I have no idea. I don't know. I don't care. I just want a guy that can kick. That's it. Simple as that. That's it."
Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky
Post-Walk Thru - December 31, 2009
San Francisco 49ers
On whether all the turnovers prove his system is working:
"I think so, yeah. I think finally the guys figured it out. I think all season, even during training camp and even OTAs, [head coach] Mike Singletary implemented a strip drill for the running backs - and it was also for the outside, inside, everybody across the line, d-linemen, o-linemen - and it is finally coming to a head where we needed it to be. Turnovers are a major part of playing defense and playing offense and that was one of our goals going in. It has worked out and hopefully it will work out Sunday against St. Louis."
On why the team has forced more turnovers lately:
"I think as the season wears on, players get comfortable in the scheme - they know what to expect and they have seen it time-in and time-out. That happens with a lot of ball clubs; they just feel comfortable in it and the routes they see week-in and week-out, they keep on seeing them, which is good. Sometimes they make plays on it, stripping the ball. We have been teaching that all year, and it has finally come to a head."
On which player have stood out by forcing turnovers:
"I think [S] Mark [Roman] and [S] Dashon [Goldson] obviously. On the back end with those guys coming up and hitting the way they have the last couple of weeks, even [S] Michael Lewis. We have been practicing the strip drill for I don't know how many weeks and months out there. It is a focal point that has been in our meetings since day one when Coach Sing took over and it is finally rolling."
On how difficult it is to strip the ball:
"I wasn't very good at that, I made sure I got the tackle. There are a lot of guys who have a lot of speed and have the ability to strip and tackle. [LB] Patrick [Willis], Dashon, all those guys, [CB] Dre [Bly], all the guys that are going in there. What we are trying to teach is mostly the second guy going in there, if the running back is up or going down, make sure you try to get the ball."
On whether he is surprised that the turnovers come in bunches:
"We first experienced that when we were up in Oakland during training camp, when we went up there to face them. It was like a feeding frenzy. Guys were expecting it and looking for it and I think when we get in games like that, that is what we are looking to do. It just adds and feeds on to it."
On why those big turnovers games have only come at home:
"I have no idea. You would have to the guy upstairs."
On whether Goldson is playing better because of his comfort in the defense:
"I think definitely. I think he is getting more comfortable. I think every year that you play and every game that you play, you get more comfortable with the calls and you know what to expect. Once you settle in and you go with it you kind of roll with it, and that's what he is doing. Across the board, I'm not just singling out him. It is not so much the defense; it is now that we are trying to focus in on what the offense is doing, which is good. There is not too much time spent on instillation saying we have to put this in here. Maybe we have to tweak here, it a little bit there, but from a player's prospective, they have seen it so many times and then all of a sudden it becomes game time and they know what the opponent is doing now. From a player's standpoint you have to figure out what you are doing first, then you have to figure out what the defense is doing and it is just a progression. Then you find out what the offense is doing to try to attack you. It goes in stages like that as an NFL player. So, the older you get the wiser you get."
On how long it takes to make that progression:
"I think the first year, you just figure out what you are trying to do, at least from my perspective it was. Then the second year, you are figuring out, ‘Okay, this is where I am in the defensive scheme.' The third year, you are still trying to figure it out defensively. Then about the fourth and fifth year, you start trying to hit your peak and trying to figure out where the offense is trying to attack you and why they are attacking you on certain routes or running plays. Then you start rolling around your sixth, seventh, eighth years should be your most productive years."
On the progression of LB Ahmad Brooks:
"I think the progression, especially for Ahmad, it was a little bit of a redshirt year, even in this year. He was like a true freshman. I always say with a pass rusher, sometimes it is hard to get them into a groove. What happens is they have to feel the body lean; they have to read on the run and do all those little things. For him, it is a progression and it is steps and the more and more he sees things and the more and more he feels things, the better off he is going to be. But it is a progression, just like any other player."
On whether he likes Brooks' role:
"Right now, that is his role. We will go into the offseason, but I'm not really focused on next year right now. I'm focused on the game. We will see where it takes us. We will study the film in the offseason and see where we can put him and see where he can go with it, with all the players as well."
Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye
Post-Walk Thru - December 31, 2009
San Francisco 49ers
On WR Isaac Bruce's role this weekend:
"I'm not sure at this point. I will visit with Isaac and make some determination on that going forward. At this point, I am not real sure exactly what that would be, but I will visit with him and see where he is. It has been a long time since he has actually done any football stuff, so I will visit with him and be respectful of his trusting. He is going back to the place where he was such an outstanding player and we'll see where he is and make a determination from there."
On how much Bruce will play:
"I'm not sure about that either, I will visit with Isaac. I don't want to do something to disrespect the career that he has had and show some form of tokenism that is shallow and nondescript and meaningless. I will have another 48 hours to think about that and hear what his comments are, hear what [head coach] Mike [Singletary's] thinking is and then we will make a decision going forward."
On what he meant by "tokenism":
"That interpretation I will leave strictly up to him. And as I said earlier, he had most of his illustrious career there, I'm sure the people there are looking forward to seeing him come back. But, I will let him do the decision making on that part of it and be respectful of what he says and mindful of what the mission is going forward."
On whether he thinks that would be disrespectful to Bruce:
"No, I didn't say it would be. I said I don't want it to be."
On what it would mean to start Bruce:
"Are you speaking about him starting and playing the game? I don't think he could do that. I don't think he could start and go play the game at this point based on his inactivity in what he has done over the last six or seven weeks. He is one of those guys who keeps himself in tremendous condition, and he may feel he can do that. Like I said, I will visit with him and if that is what he thinks he is able to do and he shows in practice here the next couple of days, then it is possible and I will take that into consideration."
On whether Bruce practiced yesterday:
On how much concern he has not to put Bruce at risk of injury:
"The ultimate. I guess I'm not making myself very clear here, I'm not going to disrespect what he has done over the course of his career with some token gesture. I said previously that I would have a conversation with him and Coach Singletary and make a determination based on that. But in terms of what he has done over the past eight weeks football-wise, it has been minimal on the field. That will enter into the decision. It won't completely make the decision, but that will enter into the decision based on what he says in the conversation that we have going forward."
On Bruce's contribution to the team since he has been sidelined:
"It has been outstanding. He has given a lot of his expertise to all three of the young guys; [WR Michael] Crabtree, [WR Josh] Morgan and [WR Jason] Hill. He has been very good in the inside, in the classroom. He sees things that a lot of people don't see watching the tape in the implementation of the pass game. So he has been very helpful that way. I think his rehab inside, which I'm not in there, I'm outside on the field, but I think he has continued to work on his rehab and his conditioning. But in terms of being on the field with the offensive team and [QB] Alex Smith, that has been nonexistent. I guess I could look at it and say it is like riding a bicycle, you never forget how. If he says he can go, or that he wants to go and finish the season over in St. Louis, I will take that into consideration and make a decision."
On the status of T Joe Staley and G Chilo Rachal:
"I don't know. You would have to check with Coach Singletary on that. I don't know what their status is."
On the Rams defense:
"They are a good defensive football team. If you recall the first time we played them, I think we scored two touchdowns. It was a 35-0 game, but offensively we scored two touchdowns. We had a chance at another one over the top, but there was a pass to Josh Morgan that didn't get handled. I liken them to the team we played last week, in that the mentality of the team is heightened when the game starts, or when we play the game because the leader of the team is a defensive coach and former defensive coordinator in this league. Defense holds a lot longer in a situation near the end, the defense holds steady a lot longer than the other phases of the team. So I will expect a full-blown effort from them defensively. They are good up front, [DE] Leonard Little is still a quality pass rusher. [LB James] Laurinaitis has played really well for them. And [CB Ron] Bartell on the corner has had a good year for them. I would expect a full boat from them."
On the progression of the guards and center this season:
"When [G] David's [Baas] ankles got better and the three of those guys stayed together for a solid four-game stretch, I think the interior part of what we have done has improved. The communication has gotten better because Eric has been the steady force in there, he has been in there the whole while. Chilo, off and on. Dave struggled with the ankle deal early on. I think he is healthy and better. I think the improvement has been steady and has been good."
On how Baas has played lately:
"We lost him in training camp. For a lineman, the timing, particularly when you play in the interior and the quickness with which things happen, it takes a little longer when you miss as much time internally than you do as a tackle outside because you are on more of an island out there. So his ankle problems coming out of training camp injured, and missing most of the training camp period, then trying to go probably when he wasn't 100-percent just exacerbated the problem he had. It held him back probably a little bit, but as he came on, obviously, they thought enough of him to make him the offensive line award winner, the McKittrick Award. I thought once he got healthy he played well."
On TE Vernon Davis making his first Pro Bowl:
"I'm excited and ecstatic for Vernon. I think it just goes to show hard work and diligence is rewarded and pays off."
On whether he wants to see more 21 personnel:
"Yes, if that's the head coach's desire, then yes I support that."
On how much better the offense could be with another season in the same system:
"No, not even close. The one thing that I learned over 33 years of coaching in this league is that every year, every season is a different entity into itself. The previous campaign bears very little fruit going forward. You manage the season that you have at hand and I think the biggest plus for us is that the language and the nomenclature will be second nature to us. The words will be familiar and the scheme will have some carryover too, but in terms of projecting what that will do in the end, I wouldn't dare predict, at the conclusion of this going forward, where it would be in 2010."
On how important the continuity he can offer coming back next season as offensive coordinator:
"I think from a player perspective, it's probably very important that they can basically eliminate some anxiety about change and having to learn something different or having to listen to someone in terms of the implementation of it, which I think would speed up their process of being able to play faster because the nuances of the things that they are hearing for the next year are similar in vocal expression and practical application from a carryover point of a previous year. So I think that would be a huge advantage for the player, in terms of continuity along the same lines, in terms of the system."
On Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer's comment about QB Alex Smith needing to be in the same offensive system and whether he's noticed how much more comfortable Alex Smith has gotten over the last few weeks:
"Yes, I have. I didn't attribute to anything Urban Meyer had said because I didn't know those comments were made. I think with him, he's very anal, extremely intelligent and when you have the kind of intellect, you tend to be somewhat analytical and detail and structure is real important to that type of individual. I think what has happened is, he learns more by playing. He hasn't played a lot of football in the NFL and as he's interpreted what we are doing offensively and effused himself in that process, the games have been learning experiences for him, in terms of his maturation and I would think going forward because of the way that he approaches things, the more he plays and the more that he can relate things that happen to him in the game, with things he sees in the classroom, I think the process going forward would be a plus just because of the kind of personality he is. He wants detail and he wants to know exact things and what we have to wean him off that exactness is and there is a fluidity of play that's involved at the position and I think the more he plays, that will take over because he will play better, faster, the more he plays."
On whether he can wing it a little bit more:
"I don't know if that's the right word. You need a certain amount of maverick in you to really embrace the position. Going through the reads and the anticipation of the coverage, ‘If it's this, I want this, if it's that, we want this.' There's a part of you, and the last guy, [QB] Brett Favre, is all the way to the other side. You don't want to go that far, but there's a part of you that has that maverick that I'm going to get him. I know the play is 585 Swing and the coverage says do this and that, but that guy can't cover my guy. I'm going to throw him the ball. There's a part of that, that as you develop and play that becomes a part of you and makes you whole at that position and I think with him, it's through practical application where with some guys, their personalities are just that way or with their ability it's just that way. I think with him it's seeing it, processing it and again, next time, I know what that is kind of deal."
On whether there is any application to what he just said to the first play of the game:
"No, I think that's a separate entity. Now I know the next time the situation happens because of the process that was taken place and the play call and the look, he has some additional tools to use that he didn't think at that point that he needed to because he anticipated the end flat to be able to throw the ball off of the look, and so now he knows he has the mechanism to handle that. So, he learned from that process, but I think that's a different deal than the development part of it."
On whether he means in terms of intellect in how they approach the game QB Alex Smith and QB Brett Favre are polar opposites:
"Definitely intellect, no. I'll pay for that one. They are polar opposites in a lot of ways. Brett has more Wrangler commercials than Alex does."
On whether he thinks that their offense has performed better than their 29th ranking indicates:
"My mom told me a long time ago. Lies figure and figures lie. To me, what the offense has been able to accomplish, under the circumstances and the parameters at which it has operated, the changes and the inconsistencies, that number, reflective as it is, we'll be respective of that, but I think there's a lot more too than the 29th number that's written on the page. What is it, 32 teams? It puts you down there in the bottom third. I think there's a lot growth that has taken place. There are a lot of players that now understand they can play this game, at a high level, if they do things, certain things, fundamentally and structurally the same way. I'll bear the burden of that number and listen to that all offseason and understand what that is. But the bottom line is to get this quarterback and this team winning, and the last I checked, the Pittsburgh Steelers that went to the Super Bowl was ranked 25th or 26th in the league on offense, so the main objective is to get the players to play as good as they can play and give a winning performance and win as many games as we possibly can and let the people that do the stats, talk about how we rank. "