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2010 NFL Draft Day three 49ers transcripts: Mike Singletary, Taylor Mays, Trent Baalke

As we closed out the third round of the draft, Coach Mike Singletary and Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke both conducted wrap-up press conferences. Obviously they'll both plenty more to say about the 2010 NFL Draft, but it's nice to put a bit of a bow on things for today. Additionally, new safety Taylor Mays was in town for his introductory press conference.

The good thing to pick up in Mays' press conference is that he seems ready to move past the Pete Carroll stuff. He'll use it for motivation, but he has calmed down on his comments from yesterday.

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Press Conference - April 24, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Opening comments:

"First of all, I'm very excited about the draft. I'm very excited about the players that we were able to acquire, draft and bring in. You already know about [tackle] Anthony Davis, [guard] Mike Iupati, [safety] Taylor Mays, [linebacker] Navorro Bowman, I'm very excited about him. This guy is a playmaker. We're very excited to get him where we got him because he's a guy that can give us some depth inside. When you look at [linebacker] Takeo [Spikes] and [linebacker] Pat [Willis], Takeo's been playing a long time. Takeo's always talking to me, trying to negotiate time off practice because after the game he's beat down pretty good. This kid can step in and get some reps and try and get better and really get a good understanding of what we're doing. We have [linebacker] Scott McKilliop. Scott McKilliop is trying to get it. He's trying to get his game together and take it to the next level. It's just taking a little time.  [Linebacker] Matt Wilhelm, the guy that steps in at the nickel situation, but this guy gives us depth at either the MIKE linebacker or the TED linebacker, there's some flexibility there. When I talked to him the other day I asked him, ‘How much are you weighing now.' He said, I'm about 240.' That's good. I'm very excited about him. I like what I see. He's definitely a playmaker and I'm excited about that. The [running back] Anthony Dixon kid that we have, I'm very excited to get him where we got him. He's a big back. He's a guy that's got great feet, great quickness. [Offensive coordinator] Jimmy [Raye] cannot wait to get his hands on him. When you're trying to close out a game, that's the kind of guy you want in the fourth quarter. When you're closing out a game, that's what you want. [Tight end] Nate Byham, I talked to Dave Wannstedt early on in the offseason and he told me a lot about this young man and his ability to really be a physical guy, and really give us some added protection there at the tight end position. I really feel good about what he's doing. He can also give us some flexibility as an H-back. He can line up and play fullback and go downhill and go and dig out a linebacker. That's helpful as well. Kyle Williams as a slot receiver, quick guy, quick and fast and gives us a lot of speed. That's a good weapon to have. It also gives us some flexibility as a punt returner and a kickoff returner. That was very nice to be able to add him at the place we did. Of course, Phillip Adams, a little more of a raw type corner, but has all of the tools. It was a guy that given the time and the skill to develop, is going to really compete at that position. I'm really excited about him as well."

On whether there will be a running back by committee:

"It depends. I think when you look at [running back] Frank [Gore], you have a hard time trying to explain to Frank how some other guy needs to play. He just doesn't get it. I think as time goes on he'll be a little more willing to do that. Maybe this year the touches that he gets, it's a situation where there really is a 50-50, 60-40 or however that works out and he's touching it 20-25 times a game. But we'll see. It just depends on how the game dictates at that time."

On why they did not look at drafting a smaller shifty running back:

"Between now and when we start training camp, maybe a guy shows up like that. But as of right now, we just went with the best back on the board at that time. It was a guy that Jimmy really liked and we saw the opportunity to take that."

On whether he was talking about Taylor Mays as a linebacker:

"I was talking about [Navorro] Bowman."

On if the draft class is what he wants the identity of the team to be:

"What I want this team to be is, you can go right outside this door and look on that wall and it's just five things. It is physical, it is tough, it is relentless, it is discipline, it is smart. When we start training camp or when we have minicamp next week, you tell the guys just look at the board. You think you have a chance, you want to know what it takes to make this team, look at the board. When I look at the draft, I think there's some similarities there. Now, understand I don't want a big, bulky, heavy team, to go out, that's not what I'm looking for. I want speed, I want quickness, I want power and I'd like that with an attitude because I believe that at the end of the day that's what wins. I think the team that's going to hit the hardest, the team that's going to run the fastest, the team that perseveres, that's where the toughness comes in. Everybody goes through setbacks and everything else, but it's that team that sticks together and stays together and fights together. That's the team that's going to come out at the end of the day. That's what we're trying to build."

On how much closer the team is to where he wants it after this draft class:

"I don't know. I just know that we're a little closer. How much closer? I don't know. I think we're definitely shortening the gap."

On whether he had more influence on the draft this year:

"Did I? I would say yes. I would think it's just one of those things where I always felt when the season is over I get really excited about the upcoming year. I don't want to go into hibernation. I want to know who is it, who's out there? I want to know their stories. I want to know where they came from. I want to know more than them as players. I want to know who we're bringing in here. I've got a vision and want to make sure everyone understands what that is and to make sure that we're all on the same page. We all have different responsibilities, the player personnel guy. I'm going to let him do his job just like I let our coordinators do their jobs, but at the same time, I want them to know that this is important to me. I don't want to just sit down and show me this guy can play and this guy can't play. If I put on the film I may see something different. Let's talk about it, however it is. I think it's just something that I would do anyways. I just love knowing the stories and background behind these guys because that gives me the opportunity to know going forward what they're all about. If I've got the right stuff in them then I've got a chance to have a pretty good football player."

On whether there is one guy he is looking forward to seeing in minicamp:

"I get excited about this entire roster, I really do. We've got some intriguing guys and they all have their stories. You look at the Anthony Dixon guy that's been homeless a couple times in his life. Some of the guys have some personal issues and how they deal with those things. Some of the guys have had some negative press. Whether it be [tackle] Anthony Davis or whoever it is, whether it's [guard] Mike Iupati, who had to learn the language and had communications issues. How do we bring all of that together? Our coaches will make sure that we put ourselves in position to bring all of that in and have them learn as fast as they can, have us understand how they learn and how they communicate and how we get to them. Let's get on the same page as fast as we can because that common denominator, when we get to that place, then we can go up together. I'm excited about all of these guys."

On whether it's possible to get too wrapped up in a player's story:

"I don't have anybody on this list who has thrown anybody out of a window. I don't have anybody on this list who has stomped anybody. I don't have anybody on this deal who had a gun in a place. I don't have anybody here like that. I may have a DUI here. I may have a guy who's said, ‘The guy's a little overweight.' But, that's about all I see."

On whether he's intrigued by guys who he can reach out to:

"I'm interested in people. I don't talk a whole lot, but I'm always reading body language. I don't know about other people. I think when you're in this business as a coach, you have to like people and you have to want to get to the place. I want to know, in order for me to motivate them. I can get in front of them and say, ‘Hey, we're going to do this.' But if I don't know these guys, if I haven't taken the time to sit down and talk with them and know their story, then how in the heck am I going to get up there and lead them. I can't. I think that, for me, it's not something that - I feel that, whether I wanted to do it or not, I feel that it's part of the job. Part of coaching is motivating. Part of coaching is leading. It's inspiring, but if I don't know you, I can say some great stuff. But if it doesn't matter to you, then I may as well be talking to the wall. And, that's where, to me, it's very important. It's critical. It's vital that I sit down with each and every one of our players and find out what do they want. Where do you want to go? Because, I'm going to tell them where we want to go, and I want to see if there's a fit. And, those are the 53 guys that we're going to end up with."

On how many prospects were brought in before the draft and some of the criteria for ruling out certain prospects:

"Maybe 30, something like that. But, really, it's not a time where I'm sitting back and looking at, ‘OK, this guy I'm going to judge every one of them, and this guy I don't want, and this guy...' It's just really an opportunity to sit back because every player has a story. And, oftentimes, when you bring these guys in and you have a chance to sit down and talk to them - I'll give you a good example. [G Mike] Iupati. Iupati comes in and the things that we hear, ‘I don't know if he can learn it. I don't know if he can do it fast enough.' So, what do you do? Do you sit back and go, ‘Well, we better stay away from him'? No. You bring him in. [Offensive line coach] Mike Solari is going to take him up to the board and wear him out, and at the end of the day, ‘Hey Coach, this guy can do it.' Now, I don't have to go into a long conversation about it. ‘You believe he can do it? Great. Let's go.' [S] Taylor Mays comes in and we get a feel for how he's wired up, what he's about. He leads. You sit down and you talk to the coaches. ‘What do you think about Taylor Mays.' ‘Well, I look at the film and it doesn't match with the ability. I look at the film, but the guy can do this. He can do that. And, when you look at the workout, it seems he can do this.' Well, maybe he wasn't asked to do that. A lot of times, when you look at guys, there's so much to the evaluation process, but I think what it really comes down to is when you look at that film, if that guy is doing something, and you are really trying to figure something out, sometimes it just doesn't add up. And, if you don't bring him in and sit down and talk to him, you'll never know. And, maybe somebody else gets a good deal and maybe you just saved yourself from another headache."

On whether the draft class is a reflection of the toughness he is looking to build:

"I think they kind of coincide somewhere."

On whether those moves were coincidence:

"I feel good about a team that wants to go out and play the game the way it was supposed to be played. As I've said before, I'm a historian of the game. This game was created for men to go out, get off the streets and find something for guys to do and understand how to compete. And, when the game is over, you shake each other's hand and say, ‘Hey, you got me today, but I'll get you next time.' Competition is a great thing. You can go out there and play the game as hard as you can play, not be afraid to go all out. Not be afraid to fall of your face. Not be afraid to get knocked on your butt, just as long as you're willing to get up and try to knock him on his butt. So, I want the guys who are going to continue to get up and fight and try to win. And, when it's all said and done, the most important part is to play with character. Win or lose, play with character. That's what we want to develop."

On whether there is an onus to perform this year or that's it been put on QB Alex Smith:

"If it was just Alex, then maybe we would have drafted another quarterback, but it's not. It's a team. It's [RB] Frank Gore. It's [RB] Glen Coffee. It's [TE] Vernon Davis. It's all of those guys who we've been trying to build around. To me, I still believe the quarterback position is really important, but I don't think it's what they make it out to be. ‘The quarterback is the most important guy on the...' I don't believe that. I really don't. I just believe that if he didn't have that tackle over there, you're never going to know how good he is. If they're not blocking for him, if they're not protecting - I don't know how many quarterbacks who have come into this game who I really believed were really good quarterbacks, but they never had a chance because they just didn't have the people there who could block. They just didn't have the running back who was willing to pick up that extra linebacker or that extra safety who was blitzing. If it's not a team - it's either a team concept or it's nothing. So, Alex Smith is a part of the puzzle, but he's not all of it. So, there has to be a team thought process, and I really believe Alex embraced that. I really believed that he embraces that idea of knowing that we're not asking him to go out and win the game. But, we are asking him to go out and perform to the best of his ability and to execute to the best of his ability. So, that is what we're asking him to do. And, if he can do that, then fine. We're going to be OK."

On whether he can quantify the difference working with Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke this year and Scot McCloughan last year:

"It's a little bit unfair to Scot to say that right now because the situation was a bit different. I just think Trent stepped in, and I think Trent did a good job with the time that he had and everything else. I think he did a good job. Scot, I think, did some things differently. This is my first offseason, my first real offseason. When you have an idea of understanding of what the board means, you have an idea of understanding what the draft is about and how the scouts see it and look at how the coaches see it, and then try and put that together and come up with a win-win situation."

Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke
Post-Draft Press Conference - April 24, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

On how he feels about the way the draft went:

"The room was fine. Like I said, we were prepared. Like any draft, you're going to have hard discussions. We had a couple of those, but it went well. It really did. As far as the overview, I don't think you ever get everybody you plan to get. That's impossible. There are 32 teams, 31 other teams drafting. But, as far as going in with a plan, executing the plan, getting the players that not only we had valued as highest-rated players, a lot of times, at their positions, we felt that we addressed needs as well. Overall, we feel very good about the draft."

On whether there was a slight shift in the philosophy of taking the best player available to selected need:

"I think, once again, you try to address needs, but you try to do it with the best player available on your board. There are times when there are similar players at different positions that have equal value. And, of course, when you're in that situation, you're going to take the best player available at the position of need. So, it's a little bit of give and take between the two."

On RB Anthony Dixon and whether there is any concern that the team has three running backs with similar styles:

"As far as the styles of the backs, you want good running backs, and you can never have enough of them. You throw them in the mix, you never know when somebody's going to go down, and you've got another guy to put in there. The style of offense we run, it's like I said in the beginning of the draft, go big or go home. We want to build a physical football team, and, generally speaking, in order to do that, you've got to be big, and that's how we addressed it."

On how much more physical the roster is with this draft class now in place:

"I think this team is a lot more physical than when we first got here. In terms of this draft class, I think this takes us up a notch, and we're going to continue to add players who are physical football players and who are big guys for their position. That doesn't mean we're never going to make an exception. We've addressed that. But, in this case, we went in thinking big and that's what we got."

On how much consideration was given to S Earl Thomas in the first round:

"Earl was a higher rated player on our board, no doubt about it. So, [there was] a discussion in terms of his size. Were we concerned about it? No, we weren't concerned. He's a littler guy who plays big for the position. Those are the types of exceptions you're willing to make."

On whether this class embodies the tough, physical mold:

"Yes, I think it is. This is a tough game. I don't care what position you play. I don't care where you line up in this game. You've got to be physical. You've got to be tough, and you've got to have both mental and physical toughness. It's a long grind. If you're not tough mentally and physically, it's hard to compete in the National Football League. I don't know that there would be many people who would challenge that."

On whether players like LB Scott McKillop and RB Glen Coffee still have a long way to go and whether this draft piles players on:

"When you say pile on, you're looking at a team at the inside linebacker position - [LB] Takeo [Spikes] isn't going to play another 10 years. You've got to think forward a little bit. The guy we added was the best available player at the time. He's a heck of a football player. So, from that standpoint, you can never have enough good linebackers. You want to create competition. We're very happy with Scott, but this is another young guy, once again, to throw into the mix and see what happens."

On whether he noticed more trade activity in this draft than in past drafts:

"No, because in all honesty, when you go into the last stretch of the draft and all you have is three sixes and a seventh, nobody really wants the sixes. So, there's not a real chance to move up. You're pretty much stuck sitting there and kind of waiting for your players to fall, and in all honesty, did we miss a couple by not having the ability to move up, yes, but you're always going to do that. But the guys who fell to us in the picks that we had, we feel very good about."

On whether he was more finely tuned to Head Coach Mike Singletary's thoughts and direction this year:

"I think the assessment goes like this: Coach was involved in the process probably more so than he was last year because he was more involved in the overall process. He was on the road. He was calling people. He was getting to know the backgrounds of these young men. But, in terms of making the final decision, I made the final decision, but he certainly was involved in it."

On whether he has thought about how WR Kyle Williams and WR Ted Ginn will share the load on offense and special teams:

"First of all, they play two different positions. Ted is going to be the X in our system, and Kyle is going to figure into the slot position. So, they don't even play the same position as the receiver position goes. Kyle gives us a different type of receiver than what we currently have on our roster. Kyle is a smaller, quicker guy who can work inside. He's proven that at that level. His kickoff and punt return value also gives him a chance. Is he going to come in and beat any of the current guys out? That's up to him, but it's going to create competition, and that's what we're looking for."

On how he envisions S Taylor Mays fitting into the 3-4 defense:

"I can assure you this, he's not going to play linebacker. He's a safety. In our system - and the coaches can talk a lot more on this - but in our system, we're looking for mirror-type guys. We feel that Taylor brings the ability to play off the hash and work down low into the box and cause a presence down there. So, we're fine with his versatility at that position, but he's not a linebacker. He's a safety."

On the status of S Michael Lewis:

"Michael Lewis is the starter. You draft a guy like Taylor Mays at the level that we drafted him, certainly you want to get him on the field, but Michael Lewis is the starter and he's one of the best leaders on this football team. I know how competitive he is. He's just not going to give his job away."

On whether by drafting linemen, a blocking tight end and power running back that there might not be as much of the spread offense:

"I think what this allows us to do is be versatile. I think it allows us to establish the line of scrimmage. It opens up the play action passing game, which really helps the quarterback position. It allows us to finish games down the stretch. You get into the fourth quarter, you see the teams that are winning football games and going to the playoffs, and you're able to finish games. When you're bigger and more physical than other teams, it gives you an advantage. And, that's what we're looking for."

On whether the linemen are spread-type players:

"In terms of the offensive linemen?"

On the offensive linemen and the running back:

"Offensive linemen in any system have to either sit in pass pro or run block. We feel good about them in both areas. So, in terms of offensive linemen being spread style, I don't know. It depends on what you're asking them to do up front. We're pretty confident they're going to be successful in any scheme that we want to play. So, do they fit us? I guess, to answer your question, they fit us."

On where he sees LB Navorro Bowman fitting in starting out:

"I think he's got the ability to play both spots. And, what you're looking for is versatility. The one thing that's overstated in this system is the Ted and the Mike. In all reality, both of these linebackers have got to take on. Both of these linebackers have to flow and scrape. It's not as much - when Coach [Mike] Nolan was here, the philosophy was more of a big, plugging linebacker. That's not necessarily the case anymore. I think what we've got to talk about is their ability to do both. Can they step into the box and come downhill and take on lead blocks? And, can they scrape and make plays sideline to sideline? The good thing is he can do both."

On what he likes about CB Phillip Adams:

"We like his competitiveness. We brought him in here for a visit, one of the 30 visits you're allowed. We liked his demeanor. We liked his passion for the game. We like his upside. We think he's a young player with a lot of upside. And, who knows? It's not a position that we've got a lot of depth at currently. You throw him in the mix and you see how he competes and you see how fast he comes along."

On whether the perceived difficulty of signing someone as an undrafted free agent has any bearing on who gets selected in the 7th round:

"No, because free agency is a crap shoot anyway. You're going to draft the best available player on your board at a position of need, most likely. Not always, but most likely, to make sure you get the numbers you need going into training camp. But, it's also a guy that you feel good about in terms of their development. And we feel really good about Phillip."

On where the team stands on CBs Dre' Bly and Walt Harris:

"That remains to be seen. I haven't even started thinking about where we're at with that. I was just trying to get through today to be honest with you."

On whether drafting G Mike Iupati lessens the need to sign G Chester Pitts:

"I certainly think it lessens the need, but we're going to explore every opportunity to make this team more competitive, better up front. Are we where we want to be yet? No, but I don't know that any team in the league can say that."

On whether he likes the Seattle Seahawks draft and whether he knows where that team is going:

"No, I'm not going to get into how Seattle fared or didn't fare because I really haven't studied what they did yet in the draft. All I know is we took the opportunity over these three days to make this football team better, and I'm confident we got there. I like this draft class. I think we're going to be a better football team in the Fall because of it. Now, it's about getting down to business, getting these young guys in here and seeing how they compete."

On what time he left last night and what time he came in this morning:

"I haven't left in three days, so, it is a grind. It is a grind and when you go through this process, you work 363, 364 days a year to get to this point and it all happens in three short days. There is a lot of work that goes into it. It's tiresome work, but there are a lot of people involved. So, you're trying to coordinate all the different opinions and respect all the opinions that go into making these decisions and the way we do it, it's a lot of work."

On whether it was uncommon to get the value that you did with three sixth round selections:

"I think now, everybody feels good about their draft and we certainly wouldn't draft these guys if we didn't feel that they had a real chance to come in here and compete for jobs. All of them were productive college football players. All of them. You have a 1,000-yard plus back out of Mississippi State. You have a tight end that was two-time Big East and the third pick, Kyle Williams, another very productive player against high levels of competition. So, when you look at that, if they're productive at the college level, it certainly gives them a chance to be productive at this level. And we like them. We like them a lot."

On whether he looks for a nose tackle similar to NT Aubrayo Franklin when he is scouting:

"Well, I think you can tell by what these free agent nose tackles are getting paid in the National Football League, especially in a 30-front defense, that it's a rare breed. There aren't many of them. There weren't many in the draft that could play that position. In our system, we're looking for a guy that can play square and play lateral on the line of scrimmage. We're not looking for a penetrator. They have to be able to hold the line of scrimmage on gap schemes and they have to be able to hold the line of scrimmage on lateral flow schemes and keep the linebackers free. That's their main job. Their job isn't to make plays, it's to allow others to make plays. And the good ones can do it and that's why they're getting paid what they're getting paid in the National Football League."

On how many guys in this draft fit that mold and were you disappointed that you couldn't land one:

"We had five guys rated at some level that we felt could play the position for us in what we did. Were we able to address that position? No, but we really didn't go into the draft trying to address that position. If the right guy would have fallen to us and we were able to pick him, we would have picked him, but we weren't going into the draft thinking it was a high need."

On whether DT Ricky Jean Francois fits that role and could be the backup to Franklin:

"We're high on our group. We really are. We like the young guys we have in the mix. We think Aubrayo has done a nice job for us. It just wasn't a position that we felt, if we didn't come out of the draft with a nose tackle, we were going to be disappointed. We went in there thinking if the guy fell to us, we would pick him if he was the best player available. It just didn't happen that way."



S Taylor Mays
Press Conference - April 24, 2010
San Francisco 49ers


Head Coach Mike Singletary Opening Comments:

"[S] Taylor Mays in the second round. I feel very fortunate to get him at that place. I'm excited about him coming here and being a part of our defense. We know that he will continue to bring the physicality and be the playmaker that we have on the defense to get to the next level. I'm very excited to have a player of his caliber here, so with no further ado, Taylor Mays."

S Taylor Mays opening comments:

"I'm very excited to be here. I feel very fortunate. This is where I wanted to go and if there are any questions I will definitely field them."

On his new number:

"It's good. I've always had a two on my jersey, but the 2-3, it's good. I'm going to make it happen."

On how much time he spent talking with the 49ers before getting selected yesterday:

"I had a trip down here. I had talked to them at the combine. I had taken a trip down here and I felt like I vibed very well with Coach Singletary and the rest of the staff and not just the football coaches, but the people in the lunch room, the people at the front desk, everybody. I got a great vibe, great feeling from them. I felt good about that whole process that I engaged with them."

On whether he was thinking he might land with San Francisco at No. 49 overall:

"I was hoping that my phone would ring. I knew if I ended up on this team, regardless of what happened in my career, it would be a team that would push me to the limit, that would push me to maximize my potential every day, and really, that's all I could ask of myself, being in a situation where I'm going to get the most out of my ability."

On where he fits in the team's physical identity:

"Every day, bringing it. That's the best attribute that I have. Being physical and bringing it on an everyday basis. I watched film of [LB] Patrick Willis, [LB] Takeo Spikes and [S] Dashon Goldson, they bring it. I think I bring it at the same time. I'm just going to try and give it up for those guys, give it up for the coaches and all the effort that we put into this, and really just put my body on the line, sacrifice for the style of defense that we play."

On whether he sees anything here today that personifies the physical nature of the team:

"Not necessarily anything today. You see the facilities. You see the locker room. You see how everybody handles themselves, and it's very business-like. Very classy. It's very professional, and I think that kind of adds to the attitude of it's a serious, physical, tough, classy football organization."

On whether he has spoken to S Ronnie Lott:

"Yes, I talked to him after that press conference, or after that radio interview. I talked to him this morning also. He told me great words of wisdom like he always does. I always listen to everything that he says and try to apply it to my life. He's been a great role model and mentor for me. And, when he says it to me it means a lot, versus when a sports writer says it. I definitely take it with me."

On what Lott's words of wisdom were:

"He just told me, in terms of the ability, that I'm in the right spot. I need to be a student of the game. I need to listen. I need to learn and I need to be dedicated all the time. If I do that, and if I keep my head down, keep grinding every day, then I'll look up at the end of this thing and be happy with where I'm at."

On whether the 49ers have told him to play like he did at USC or have they asked for adjustments:

"Well, you've definitely got to make adjustments when you're on a different team, and I'm sure that's stuff that we are going to go over, but there's a lot of things in my game that I'm going to have to change and those are things that I'm going to work on, I need to address and fix. I know that the coaches decided to draft me because they are willing to work on those things with me and are willing to believe that I can fix those things."

On what the things he needs to work on are:

"Just in terms of playing with better technique in coverage, being more aware of the ball when it's in the air and working on catching the ball and obviously things with technique. Those are things that I need to work on and I can't do exactly what I did at USC because I'm not going to get away with that now. I understand what they are telling me, so I'm going to change it."

On whether he sees himself in the box more as a 49er:

"I don't know. I know that they move their safeties close to the line and deep. You have to be able to do both. I think a good attribute that I have is that I can play deep. I can play in the box. I can almost be the quarterback of the defense in terms of understanding what I need to do at both positions. Anything they tell me to do, I'll do and I'll do it better than anybody else has ever done it."

On whether playing in the box would be a big adjustment for him from what he did at USC:

"I played deep a lot. I studied so much of our defense, especially when [S] Troy Polamalu was there. He played deep and back and I understand how to play close to the ball. I understand how to play deep. I understand how to play both sides of how to play safety. Even though I play deep a lot, I understand what I need to do when I play in the box. Obviously, I'm going to be willing and very open to learning what the new coaches tell me about playing deep and playing close."

On whether being a first round snub will fuel him throughout his career similar to Coach Singletary:

"A little bit. That was tough, but I feel like everything happens for a reason in God's plan and I can handle it. I'd rather be here than anywhere else and be in this situation. Everything happens for a reason. I just feel this gives me the best opportunity to be on the best team possible and the best quality career possible. You go in here with a chip on your shoulder, definitely, but you have to able to channel that. You can't let it go take you into the wrong direction because that is when you are playing to prove somebody wrong and you may be taking you out of your preparation. It's not personal at all."

On whether he's talked to G Chilo Rachal at all:

"Yes, I talked to him last time I was here in San Francisco and I'm definitely going to talk to him, if not today, I'm sure I'll talk to him in the next couple days, next couple hours or somebody else close that went to SC and definitely get acclimated to being out here."

On his comments about Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and whether he's talked to him since:

"No, I knew you were going to ask me about that. I respect that. You are all doing your job, obviously. What I said yesterday, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing and I wasn't trying to take shot or disrespect anybody. I said it and right when I said it, I thought it was done. It was what it was. It had nothing to do with changing our relationship, what we've built over the last couple of years. I've moved on from that, but I feel like he's definitely moved on from that. He's never said there were any bad intentions between me and him. I'm just here to be a 49er. I'm just happy about that."

On whether he fits the bill of being a physical player with this draft class:

"Yes, definitely. I think that just shows the style of player that they want on this football team, the character of the player they want on this football team, and it definitely shows up because that's what all the players are."