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Why Mike Purcell is likely to get the nod over Quinton Dial this Sunday

49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio provided some insight into the backup nose tackle depth chart with Glenn Dorsey hurting. We break down the news, as well as provide a transcript of Fangio's Week 7 Thursday media session. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The San Francisco 49ers are midway through a game week in which they have to decide whether Glenn Dorsey will be able to play on Sunday. The 49ers already waived Chris Harper to open a roster spot, but Vic Fangio indicated the team could wait all the way until Saturday to make a roster move.

Dorsey sat out practice on Wednesday, and Fangio told the media earlier today that Dorsey was going to try and do some stuff today. At that point, Fangio believes the team will have a better idea of where Dorsey stands.

The media asked Fangio about the team's various options behind Dorsey, which got us into a discussion about Quinton Dial and Mike Purcell. Fangio was pleased with Dial's work on Wednesday, indicating he got a lot of reps, and looked solid for having never taken part in a full NFL practice. Fangio felt that sometimes the day after tells you as much as anything else given the strain of the full practice.

Practice squad defensive tackle Mike Purcell was mentioned by the media, and Fangio's comments would seem to indicate he is the favorite to handle backup duties if Dorsey can't go on Sunday:

Michael is obviously ahead of those guys. He had all of the offseason work. He had all of training camp, played in preseason games. And, Mike's able to go in there and battle in the trenches for us. He can play nose or he can play end for us. He's versatile. He's experienced when you compare him to Quinton and Tank. So, he's ready to go if needed.

Dial sounds like he is settling in well with the defense, but he now has one full NFL practice session under his belt. It seems to me like it would be a pretty decent upset for him to get activated this quickly. I suppose it could happen, but all indications are for Purcell getting the call. Speaking of Purcell, feel free to check out the offseason 90-in-90 post on Purcell.

Here is Fangio's full transcript from today's media session.

Where do things stand with DL Glenn Dorsey and his hamstring?

"I don't know yet. He didn't practice yesterday. Right now, he's going to try and do some stuff today and we'll have a better idea then."

If he can't play on Sunday, would you have to make a move of either bringing DT Quinton Dial or NT Mike Purcell up to the 53?

"That's very possible, yeah. We might have to bring one or both of them up."

Is it now a question about which one? I mean, are you eager to see Dial this week? See if he could be brought up?

"Correct. Yeah, he practiced yesterday, got a bunch of reps in, did fine. Want to see where he's at today. Sometimes the day after kind of tells you the story, too. So, we'll see where he's at today and then tomorrow. We don't have to make any of those decisions until Saturday."

I realize it was just one day of practice, but what did you see from him?

"He did fine. I thought he moved around well, mixed in, was pretty good on his assignments. Overall, I was pleased with the way he practiced yesterday."

Is he ahead of DT Tank Carradine as far as what you've seen on the field?

"Yeah, probably a little bit, but not a lot. You know, it's hard to say that after one day. Tank had a little more severe injury than Quinton."

Is that just a matter of stamina to see how much they can do at this point?

"Stamina is going to be an issue. Obviously, they can't go out there and play 10 plays in a row or even eight. So, you'd have to stay abreast to that during the game if they're playing, how many plays in a row they can play or play totally."

Tank said yesterday he spent a lot of time in the film room and feels pretty prepared mentally. Did you see that from him and what type of preparation did you see from him in the meetings?

"Both of those guys were in all the meetings from day one. So, again, like I said earlier, being in a meeting, studying in a meeting and seeing it on tape and actually doing it is two different things. So, they've got to show it on the field that they know what to do rather than the meeting room. And, they're in the process of doing that and overall, based upon this is day one for them with no OTAs and no training camp, I thought they both did fine."

Where's Purcell? Is he in that mix too for a guy that could be active on Sunday?

"Yes he is."

What do you like about him? Where does he stand?

"Michael is obviously ahead of those guys. He had all of the offseason work. He had all of training camp, played in preseason games. And, Mike's able to go in there and battle in the trenches for us. He can play nose or he can play end for us. He's versatile. He's experienced when you compare him to Quinton and Tank. So, he's ready to go if needed."

A lot of people figure those guys that are coming off of the NFI list are probably more realistic after the bye week. Where do you stand right now on that?

"That would obviously be good in a perfect world. But, we're not in the perfect world right now with the status of our defensive line. So, we got to do what we got to do."

With DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, I'm assuming will play, get most of the reps there during the game regardless of what happens? And how do you feel about what he brought to the table after Glenn went down?

"He did fine in there this past game. Tony's been here now for two years. He's progressed a lot in a short period of time as a player and both physically he's improved his body. He's gotten to play here a fair amount in the last two, three games. His work is paying off and he still has a lot of improvement he can make, but we're pleased with where he's at right now."

What areas did you have to coach LB Corey Lemonier at the line throughout the offseason and training camp?

"Well, being a linebacker, number one, to where you have to drop. And then the hardest thing any of those guys go through is when they are a dropper, figuring out if it's a run or a pass. He's spent his college days with his hand down coming forward all the time. Now you're getting into a two-point stance, which is foreign to you, and you might have to go backwards. So, the process, the decision making of figuring out run or pass and going backwards was always the hardest thing for those guys in the beginning."

LB Aldon Smith had to do the same adjustment, correct?

"Correct. But, Aldon didn't have an offseason work. Aldon's rookie year was the year of the lockout and we didn't get him until training camp. So, Aldon was behind the eight ball in that regard."

So, how has Corey fared in that these last couple games of figuring out run or pass?

"Well, Corey hasn't played in the base. So, what he's been playing for us is what he did in college, basically. So, he hasn't really played, he's had a few snaps where he played linebacker, but not many."

Do the Titans use TE Delanie Walker like you guys used to where he's moving around to a lot of different spots?

"They do. They move him around a pretty good bit and utilize him as a fullback-type guy and a tight end-type guy and they move him around."

Is their goal to match him up on a linebacker in passing situations?

"I think that's the goal of anybody's offense if they have a good tight end to try and get him matched up on a linebacker."

How do you like that matchup of LB Patrick Willis versus Walker?

"We'll see on Sunday. But, Patrick has covered some good tight ends in his past and Delanie's a very good tight end, as we all know, and we'll see how Pat does on Sunday against him."

Did his physical condition impact how you used him last week, talking about Pat?

"Not really, not really."

Do you agree with him that he was rusty, that he wasn't quite 100 percent Patrick Willis last week?

"Yeah, he wasn't quite, he wasn't 100 percent. You go thought two weeks of total inactivity and then you come back to practice and you're dealing with a leg injury that's still lingering there with you, you don't always have your confidence. But, he played fine and I think he'll be better this week."

The last couple of weeks especially, you guys have had success with the turnovers. What do you attribute that to, especially these last two weeks?

"First off, every interception has a story behind it, both from the offensive standpoint and the defensive standpoint. We've been in the right place at the right time on some routes and we've gotten the ball picked off. We've done a good job of trying to hit hard and strip the ball when the other team's carrying it and we're finally seeing some dividends pay off there in the last couple of weeks. But, we're trying hard all the time, just doesn't seem to work sometimes."

Are you preparing for Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick?

"Pardon me?"

Are you preparing to face Fitzpatrick?

"We're preparing to face their offense number one, because I think their offense is basically their offense no matter who their quarterback is. And then if [Titans QB Jake] Locker shows up, they may use some of the read-option game with him. So, we've got to be ready for that. So, we are preparing for both quarterbacks."

What are your, obviously they've played with Fitzpatrick most recently, what are your thought on him? What's kind of the scouting report?

"He's a good quarterback. They're fortunate to have him as a backup. A guy that's played a lot in the league. He's played winning football in his past. He's a very elusive guy. He's a scrambler. He's confident. He can make all of the throws. He's got good arm strength. So, I think they feel pretty good about him being in there."

I just wanted to ask you about Dr. Dan Garza. How well did you know him and what were your thoughts when you heard the news?

"I was shocked and devastated. I knew him very well. He was a, I've been around that high-level football for over 30 years and you get to meet a lot of the top doctors in those areas where you're at and he was at the top of the list there. He was just tremendous. He was an A-plus doctor. He was a friend of everybody in this organization and had time for everybody. I know I needed him for a couple things off the field. One time, I was away on vacation and came down sick and called him up and it was like I was right there. So, he was a tremendous individual, a tremendous doctor and somebody that we're going to really miss."