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Greg Roman discusses the return of 49ers receivers

The San Francisco 49ers had their top four receivers on the field for the first time this season. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman met with the media after practice and discussed the receivers.


Opening comments:

"I commend you for being here today. Those of you that are here, happy Thanksgiving to all. I have a lot to be thankful for. We're on a bit of a short week coming back from Washington, landing at five in the morning on Tuesday. Coaches got right to work. Players got a little rest. Getting ready to play a really, really good St. Louis team. I think when you watch their film over the past month or so, they're as good as anybody. So, I thought we had a great practice today and just deep in it right now. Pretty much have all our base and situational stuff in. We'll get into the red zone tomorrow. So any questions?"

How much of that great practice you had today was about getting some bodies back out there on the field, specifically WR Michael Crabtree?

"Well, I think just the attitude and the guys knowing what they're supposed to do, what to do and playing fast today. That was really how it was. It's always great to have a player like Michael back out at practice. He's progressing nicely and we hope to have him out there on Sunday."

You have the whole receiving corps back right? This is the first time, I guess, all season that everybody's on the field right now.

"Yeah, I'd say so."

Because WR Quinton Patton's practicing this week as well right? Limited or whatever.

"Yes. Yeah, it's nice to see those guys out there. Takes on a different dimension, but at the same time, whoever's played up until this point has done a good job and we'll just see how it goes from here."

You know that TE Vernon Davis and WR Anquan Boldin are the only guys that have caught touchdown passes. Is that something that's a sticking point with this offense where you've got to get more guys as an end zone threat where teams can't key on these two guys?

"I definitely think we all, as a staff, feel that the more guys we can get involved, I think that's something that we definitely try to do in a lot of different ways. Whether it's extra o-linemen getting in the game, spreading the ball around, having everybody contribute and I think that's something that we can do a better job of moving forward."

How do you envision Crabtree and Boldin complimenting each other on the field and the kind of challenges it poses for a defense trying to scheme against you guys?

"My vision for that is Anquan complimenting Michael after he scores a touchdown, Michael complimenting Anquan after he scores a touchdown. I get what you're asking."

He, not an I compliment.

"Very nice. I think at the root of it, you've got two guys that are very, very dependable receivers that can get open and catch the football. I think any time you can balance out the field, it's a bonus and bringing Michael Crabtree back adds value any way you look at it. But, I think with those guys, you've got a guy on each side of the field that has a pedigree. Everybody on our team, we feel very confident going out there. The pedigree these guys have and we see it every day. Now, I suppose defenses will probably have to balance up a little bit more. We'll see."

WR Mario Manningham had a couple sideline catches in the game last week. Is that just his, does he have just a great knack for knowing the boundary?

"Yeah he does. We noticed it really during OTAs when he first got here. He was making some unbelievable catches, controlling his body and getting two feet down somehow. And we all saw in the Super Bowl a couple years ago. He's always had that knack. He's got a great ability to do that. I think we saw one time in particular last week. But yeah, Mario's, he's got the tightrope act down."

Is it safe to assume that whenever Crabtree does return, that he'll be kind of, I guess, gradually eased back in?

"I think that's a fair statement in a general sense that I don't think we're just going to throw him out there and just have him play every play. But, I think it's day-to-day. See how he's doing. See what he can handle. See what's best. And I think that you've got to have a feel for that day-to-day, week-to-week, and that'll be it. Now, is there going to be a pitch count or whatnot? I don't know that there necessarily will be, but we'll try to have a good feel for it."

How did he respond coming back a day after going through a full practice?

"Good, very good. He looks like Mike's always looked. He's worked really hard. I think I mentioned about a month or two ago I couldn't believe what he was doing in rehab. He's looking good. He's day-to-day. He's progressing and we'll take it day-to-day. That might mean we'll tempo him into things slowly. It might mean we'll tempo him in gradually. We'll see."

Will he have to wear anything different on his feet to kind of protect that part of his body once he comes out?

"No, I think the trainers will make sure his ankles and whatnot are taken care of accordingly, but he won't be out there with a ski-boot on. I think our training staff, [vice president of football operations] Jeff Ferguson and his staff do a great job and they'll take the appropriate means."

Is G Adam Snyder going to start again at left guard?

"Yes. Adam will start at left guard."

G/C Daniel Kilgore didn't get in there at all did he last game?

"He got in for a play or two, but not in the interior."

Didn't he play some center?


Yeah, I think in the last series?

"Yeah. Maybe at the end."

And G Joe Looney got in?

"Yes. At the end."

Was there any thought given to seeing what those young guys can do and have kind of an open competition for left guard?

"Well, quite frankly, that open competition takes place every day. I think we feel great with Adam in there. We feel great with Daniel and his role, which is a very important one. Daniel will assume some tight end duties if necessary. Center, guard, he's got to know a lot. But, we feel very good with Adam in there."

And with today being Thanksgiving, what are you specifically thankful for?

"We have so much to be thankful for. Starting with our country, living in the United States of America. I think we all have to be very thankful for being able to pursue what we love in life. Me specifically, my family, my wife, my children, and it's a great day to remind us of how fortunate we are. Let's go get a win. Have a great Thanksgiving."