The San Francisco 49ers square off with the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in a game that could will either eliminate our 49ers or move them rather close to the division lead. I suppose a tie is also a possibility but we'll just ignore that one for now. Of course, it'd only be a fitting performance to get that kind of result.
This week's injury report is actually rather interesting for the Seahawks as they have a banged up group of wide receivers. The Seahawks top two yardage guys, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu both sat out practice today. While Obomanu is the big play threat at this point (averaging 19.5 yards per catch), Williams leads the team in receptions and yards and is a key part of their passing attack. Williams suffered what is being described as a first degree sprain, but Pete Carroll is apparently optimistic that Williams will be available on Sunday. The first degree sprain is the most common and requires the least amount of treatment and recovery:
A Grade I (First Degree) sprain is the most common and requires the least amount of treatment and recovery. The ligaments connecting the ankle bones are often over-stretched, and damaged microscopically, but not actually torn. The ligament damage has occurred without any significant instability developing.
Williams has been a beast in several games for the Seahawks and would be the guy to watch on Sunday. The Seahawks have plenty of weapons that can burn the 49ers, so one less on the field would certainly be a nice start.
I've posted the injury report and Mike Singletary's transcript after the jump...
Out (Definitely Will Not Play)
OT Joe Staley (fibula)
K Joe Nedney (right knee)
Did Not Participate In Practice
DT Aubrayo Franklin (groin)
LB Takeo Spikes (ankle)
TE Delanie Walker (ankle)
RB Brian Westbrook (not injury related)
RB DeShawn Wynn (ankle)
Limited Participation In Practice
CB Nate Clements (knee)
OT Anthony Davis (back)
LB Parys Haralson (ankle)
CB William James (concussion)
WR Josh Morgan (shoulder)
CB Shawntae Spencer (quadricep)
Did Not Participate In Practice
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
LB Matt McCoy (head)
WR Ben Obomanu (hand)
OT Chester Pitts (ankle)
LB Lofa Tatupu (knee)
WR Mike Williams (ankle)
Limited Participation In Practice
CB Roy Lewis (knee)
Full Participation In Practice
TE John Carlson (hip)
DT Colin Cole (ankle)
QB Matt Hasselbeck (left wrist)
Head Coach Mike Singletary
December 8, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On whether there was a change on the coaching staff:
"[Special assistant to the head coach/secondary coach] Johnnie Lynn resigned for personal reasons. I visited with Johnnie before he left. All I'm going to say about that is that it's something I will not comment on. But Johnnie and his family will deal with it, and I lose a good friend."
On how he will shift around coaching responsibilities:
"Well right now, really before the year started, [secondary coach] VJ - Vance Joseph is the guy that was the primary guy with the DBs. Johnnie was more of an assistant head coach, kind of tie in doing projects here and there, but at the same time helping with the DBs. But VJ has spent the most time with them, so that's not a huge drop-off there."
On what Lynn's responsibilities were:
"Just attending different meetings, whether Johnnie would be in the offensive meeting and I would be in the defensive meeting, or I would be in an offensive line meeting, Johnnie would be in another meeting. At the end of the day, we would kind of get together and talk about things that we needed to touch up on, so he was just more of a sounding board for me."
On whether there is anything to add to his earlier comments on the switch to QB Alex Smith:
"There really isn't anything, other than the fact that at this time of the year, with the games that we have left, it's a matter of being able to use the entire playbook. You know, [QB] Troy [Smith] has been working his tail off, and spends all the time that he possibly could to get everything in, but it's just not enough time in the day. And I think right now we need every - everything that we can possibly have, everything that we've learned in the off-season, training camp, we need that. So, Alex Smith will give us the opportunity to do that."
On whether going back and forth between quarterbacks is indecisive:
"Well, I look at it this way. I think the thing that I have said all along is, you go with the quarterback that you feel gives you the best opportunity to win, and as the head coach, you have to make decisions based on what you see. Indecisiveness, to me, is when you don't do what you feel you need to do, and you neglect your responsibility as a head coach. There are other teams around the league that switch quarterbacks, from time to time, and whether they're being indecisive or not, I don't know. All I know is, I want to do what gives our team the best opportunity to win, and at this time of the year, that's what I'm going to do."
On how his meeting went with Alex Smith about his decision and whether Smith is motivated by the earlier game against Seattle:
"Well I think, more than anything else, yes he would be motivated by the first Seattle game. But I think more so than anything else, recognizing that, you know, he has an opportunity. He has an opportunity right now to step in, and up the tempo of our offense, utilize some of the protection calls, utilize some of the things that can very easily get us out of tough situations. Troy Smith has been a big-play guy, working his tail off, getting things done, but we just need more of the playbook at our disposable - at our disposal - right now to be able to move forward."
On whether RB Frank Gore's injury plays into his decision in that Alex Smith might complement RBs Anthony Dixon and Brian Westbrook's running style better:
"I really think Gore's injury, you know, maybe I would say that would be a very small part of it, because Gore was very good in the protection area. Gore was also, you know, what you would call the ‘bell cow' in terms of being one of the best backs in the league in running the ball. But I think more importantly, it's just at this time of the year, the thing that really plays into it is you have situations that you can get into as an offense, and as you look at the coordinators around the league, as you go forward, Troy playing those five games that he's been able to play, for now, there are more teams that understand that this is really what he does. So you kind of pigeon-hole him there, and kind of hold our offense hostage, which is a situation that you really don't want to be in. Troy, it's not fair to him, it's not fair to our offense. I just feel that right now, Alex, he knows it, he can do it, he's done it, and I want to give him the opportunity to do it right now."
On whether it was a mistake made in not requiring Troy Smith to stay around during the bye week:
"A mistake? No, not at all. There's only so much that the human mind can take at a time. I think it would have been a mistake to have him here, because there were things that he had to go and take care of, and at the same time, as I told you before, with the way that, you know, the fax machines, emails, all those things, what he could do, he would have had to come out here on the field and do, and go through reps in terms of timing with receivers and things like that. But everybody else has families too, so you're not going to make that requirement of him. So everything he could do, he could do at home."
On under what conditions he would make a switch back from Alex Smith to Troy Smith:
"I think right now, I'm just going to look at what we have in Alex, and we're going to go with that. That's all I want to say in terms of whether I go back or forth or whatever. I have no intentions of doing anything other than whatever gives us the best opportunity to win, that's where we're going to go. So, I think Alex is the starting quarterback right now. I'm not going to say, just like when Troy was starting, I'm not going to say, ‘Alex is it, we're going to finish the season with him,' because I don't want to do that. I don't want to go there."
On whether who will start at quarterback continues to be a week-to-week decision:
On whether Alex Smith is an excellent quarterback:
"How many excellent quarterbacks do you have in the league? I think you have maybe three or four excellent quarterbacks in the league. No. I think he's a good quarterback, that's working on being a better quarterback."
On whether he is concerned about Alex Smith's timing with his receivers since he hasn't played in five games:
"No, not at all, because Alex has been the guy that continues to throw out here, and is doing a nice job of throwing. No, not with Alex, no."
On LB Takeo Spikes comments that the defense did not know what the Seahawks were going to run when they played them in week one and whether he agrees with that statement:
"I'll put it this way; I think there were a lot of unknowns the first time that we played them. They were continuing to get guys in, you're not quite sure who's going to be the receiver, you're not quite sure who's going to be the offensive line, so some of that, to a certain degree, yes. Is that an excuse? No."
On whether he has someone to bounce ideas off of now that Lynn has resigned:
"Oh yes, yes I do. But Johnnie was the number one guy to do that."
On whether he would bounce ideas off of other coaches on his staff:
On whether the decision for Lynn to leave was a mutual decision:
"Well, I'll put it this way. When personal matters come up, it's very important that you really don't get into, was it this, was it that. I just want to say, it was a personal issue that came up, and Johnnie - he's going to have to handle it in the best way possible, I wish him all the luck in the world. And you know, Johnnie and I remain friends."
On whether there is an injury update with K Joe Nedney:
"We're continuing to run tests and do some evaluations on the knee, and until we really have to do something there, we're going to continue to see how we could help him get better."
On whether personal reasons refers to outside of the realm of football:
"I'm going to say personal, period. And leave it there."