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San Francisco 49ers 2010 OTAs: Day 1 Coach Singletary transcript

The 49ers wrapped up day 1 of voluntary OTAs, and Coach Singletary took some time to speak with the media in attendance. There certainly weren't any earth-shattering revelations, but there was still some pertinent information that came out of the practice today.

Kentwan Balmer is continuing to rehab his shoulder and was not in attendance at the practice. It sounds like he's been at the team's Santa Clara facility, or somewhere nearby working on his shoulder, but has since gone back home to continue working on his shoulder. I really hope he can get that shoulder in gear sooner rather than later. If he's not 100% by the beginning of training camp it will be a series impediment to his potential growth as a player.

Coach Singletary has been in touch all the absent participants except Manny Lawson. Nothing really new there, but Singletary seemed fine with the other players absences. He's not pissed about Manny's absence as he feels he knows the game plan and will be fine when the time comes in July and on. And as we discussed earlier today, Coach Singletary does see some benefit for the younger players in the absence of veterans.

One point of discussion that often comes up is what value there is to the practice when it's no contact, or at most, extremely light contact. Coach Singletary had some interesting comments, with the rest of his transcript after the jump:

[With] the passing game, you really want to focus on the offensive line, those guys going through the technique. The defensive line getting through the technique, get off the ball for the first two or three steps then pull it back. The DBs [defensive backs] making sure that every little technique, if it's a tight third, a loose third, whatever it might be. Just making sure that right now, the most important thing is that you're really getting the reps mentally in terms of the technical part, the detailed part of your position."

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Press Conference - May 17, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Opening Comments:

"I'm very excited to see the guys. It's always nice when the guys - in the offseason, everybody is doing their own thing. Everybody is working. A lot of guys are here working, some guys are out. When you get a chance after the draft to see some of the younger guys, of course some of the older guys - it's a nice day. I think we went out and got what we needed done today and we'll just continue for the next three days, to get the work in."

On how he has the four days structured and whether he has it broken up in days:

"It's broken up pretty much the way it is today, for the rest of the week. I sat down with the coordinators and just had them work out. What do we need to focus on. In these four days to get the most out of it so you get a chance to see what we need to do in the next set of OTAs that we have. We are just taking it step by step."

On how S Taylor Mays is looking to him:

"Not bad. He's going to be just fine. He's a young guy. At USC, they had him basically get in the middle of the field and try to make plays. Here, we are going to try to focus on some other things, as well as that. We will get him where he needs to be to make plays."

On whether he sees him as a free or strong safety:

"Our safeties are interchangeable. It really doesn't matter. He's going to have to be able to play in the box and he's going to have to be able to play off the ball and make plays in the deep third."

On how he balances making plays versus telling the players to back off:

"One of the things that we talked about before the practice - I had the captains talk about it. Obviously, it did not sink in deep enough, but when the receivers have a chance to catch the ball, let them catch the ball. If you are position to make the play, great, but let the guys catch the ball. That's something that we don't want to do. It's nice to see that guys are trying to make plays, but I don't want that right now."

On what he likes about CB Will James:

"I like the fact that he's a competitor. One thing that you are going to see when you put on the film, is he competes. He competes every down and I like the experience factor. He was with [assistant to the head coach/secondary coach] Johnnie Lynn in New York for about five years. Some of the things that we do very similar to what they did there, so we are not going to ask him to do something outside of his capabilities. He's very familiar with what we do and I think he'll add depth to what we are trying to get done."

On whether he expects to see CB Nate Clements or CB Shawntae Spencer at OTAs this week:

"No, I talked to them last week and Shawnate's situation, I know what he's doing. Nate, I know what he's doing. I told them go ahead and do what you have to do, but they know when we bring it in and get ready to go, they have to be ready to go. I don't worry about that at all."

On whether he is talking about their workout regimens when he says he knows what they are doing:


On whether he's happy with what they are doing:

"Obviously as a coach, you always want to see the guys, but it's just like last year. There were some guys that were not here last year and I told Nate and Shawntae, ‘Hey guys, you're men. You do what you have to do. You know what we are trying to get done here and I trust that.' Some of the guys will not be here at all for the OTAs and some of the guys will get maybe half of them. For me, I feel like they have to know what they are doing. They have to know what we are doing here and when we get ready for training camp, they have to know that the competition is going to be there and I trust their decision making."

On whether he spoke to LB Manny Lawson as well:

"I did not, no."

On whether he expects to see him at all this week:

"I have not heard from him. It's been awhile since I talked with him. Same thing, I know Manny is a guy that I'm not concerned about in terms of what kind of shape he's in. He's a very bright guy. He knows the defense, so when he gets here, when he has to be here - same with [NT] Aubrayo [Franklin] when he has to be here, he'll be here and be ready to go."

On whether it's going to beneficial for the young cornerbacks that the starters aren't here and they'll get a better look at them:

"Yes, I think it definitely is a benefit for some of the younger guys. We've got some guys - every opportunity that these young guys get is a chance to come in and get some reps and gets you a step closer to having an idea of what they can and cannot do. That's why, when guys decide, ‘Coach I'm doing this. I think I'd like to miss because I want to keep doing what I'm doing.' You go right ahead. You know the players. You know what we're doing. Just be ready to go when we have to go."

On whether he is comfortable with Lawson's contract situation and if he'll be a part of the team in 2010:

"Absolutely. I feel that Manny will be here when he has to be here and I think he'll be ready to go."

On Clements' health and rehab:

"He's doing fine. He's excited about where he's at. He's excited about what he's doing and he's working his tail off. Knowing Nate, he's just going to be excited to show where he's at when he gets back."

On whether DT Kentwan Balmer is around rehabbing his shoulder:

"He's been around for the most part. He's not here now. He's working with a guy back home for maybe 10 days or so. He'll be back and we'll go from there. He's getting done what he needs to get done."

On whether it is to be expected that there were many passes dropped this early in the process:

"Well, I guess it depends on who the receiver was. I think some of the guys just have to get used to catching the ball again. Some guys are natural at catching the ball. There are others that are not and they have to work up to it. I'm confident that with the balls on the ground there will be fewer and fewer balls on the ground going forward."

On whether he gets more out of watching the corners in the passing game than the run game:

"I guess if you look at it, yes, it definitely makes sense. There are a lot of things that you really can't see and I talk to the guys about that. No one is going to make the team in shorts. It looks pretty, but no one is going to make the team in shorts. Let's take care of each other. But the passing game, you really want to focus on the offensive line, those guys going through the technique. The defensive line getting through the technique, get off the ball for the first two or three steps then pull it back. The DBs [defensive backs] making sure that every little technique, if it's a tight third, a loose third, whatever it might be. Just making sure that right now, the most important thing is that you're really getting the reps mentally in terms of the technical part, the detailed part of your position."

On whether he's spoken to WR Isaac Bruce and why he's still on the roster:

"I have not spoken to Isaac Bruce since last season at the end of the season. I guess at some point in time we'll deal with that, but I haven't really thought much about that."

On whether Bruce being on the roster is a non-issue:

"It's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.

On Bruce taking up a roster spot:

"Not really."

On whether Isaac Bruce taking up a roster spot will be taken care of by training camp:

"We'll deal with it."

On whether players will be in pads on the first day of training camp:


On whether he expects T Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati to be inserted to first team reps:

"I think one of the things that we're going to do is, just because we drafted a guy in the first round, we're not going to bring him in and put him in as a starter right away. I want to make sure, for both of those guys, that we really listen to them. When they get out here, they're going to dictate, they're going to tell us they're ready. More than anything right now, it's the learning curve. It's learning all of the little details that come with the position when they're pulling. The protection, which is a big part of it, just making sure they're comfortable and we don't put them in a position that they feel pressure or anything else. I feel very confident in the guys we had last year to continue to get better, continue to compete. We'll let the natural thing happen as it comes. 

On whether he let Davis and Iupati know that they're going to have to earn starting positions and it won't be handed to them because of their draft status:


On whether the young guys will get more reps as the days go on:

"We'll see. I think after today, you have some veteran guys that some of the coaches will say, ‘You know what, I've seen enough of him right now. I saw him today, that's enough. We'll let the next guy go. We'll let the young guy go.' Or, ‘I want to see a bit more.' I think it all depends on the coaching staff and the coordinators and what they're feeling and maybe they need to see a little bit more here or there. We'll let that dictate itself."

On whether he likes what he's seen so far from his punt returners today:

"I like that we have some guys that can catch the ball first of all and go. It's nice to have some options. Last year, we were scratching our heads every day, trying to figure it out. Thankfully, we have some guys that will continue to get better, that you get excited about blocking for."