49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio met with the media today, and he had some interesting comments about Trent Richardson and the Colts offense. He got into some discussion about Pep Hamilton as well, which is interesting given their previous relationship at Stanford.
We also got some discussion about the 49ers performance against the Seahawks. Definitely worth a read.
When did you find out that the Colts had added a running back?
"Yesterday, during practice."
Does that, what did you guys have to do after learning that as far as the preparations for this game?
"Well, obviously we went in and put a tape together of watching him run the ball for Cleveland for the last year and two games. We watched him and got acclimated to his style of running and watching him run and we showed that to the players today."
Is it similar, power style, similar to Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch?
"In some ways, but I wouldn't say totally."
Is it much different than the other guy, Colts RB Vick Ballard who had been running there?
"He's bigger, probably a bigger version of him. And faster, probably."
What does that do to their offense? Colts QB Andrew Luck obviously still is at the control of it, so how much different are you expecting them to be there?
"I don't think they'll be different at all. They just may hand it off more than they have been. They got a great running back to give it to. It's even more reason for them to have balance in their offense, which I think they're striving to do anyway. So, it just gives them an upgrade at running back and we're going to see him."
How do you describe his running style?
"He's strong. He's fast. He's got a good stiff-arm. He's a move the pile kind of guy, but he also has got some shiftiness too where he can bounce it outside or inside. And he's comfortable running it inside or outside. They've tossed it to him a few times in Cleveland. They have the toss play at Indianapolis and they have a very similar running game at both places, so I think it will be a pretty seamless transition, as much as it can be, for a guy that's just got there today."
Do you try to kind of predict what they can do in just two practices to get ready for this, like what you might see from him?
"I think, because the guy's been in camp, been playing, in an offense that the running game has a lot of carryover, I'm sure they'll be able to teach him a good bit of the running game, some of their pass protections and regular personnel and have at it."
Because there might be a little more complexity in the passing game, is it too simplistic to say when he's on the field on Sunday, it very well might be a run play?
"Yeah, I think it is because they have protections in their regular personnel group when there's two backs, a tight end and two receivers on the field that are exactly the same for Cleveland and Indianapolis. So, I think a lot of the protections will be seamless for him. There may be some that they're not comfortable with him yet and they probably wouldn't call those."
Are you comfortable with that offense knowing Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton?
Are you comfortable with that offense watching it on video and have knowing Pep Hamilton and learning some things?
"I don't know what you mean by comfortable, but."
Well, is it familiar to you?
"It's, you know it's got some of the stuff that they did at Stanford in it, but not a lot. His background has been his last three years at Stanford and prior to that a lot of time with Norv Turner, who is the offensive coordinator at Cleveland. He's doing a lot of that stuff so, again that's carryover for [RB Trent] Richardson coming in."
Does the addition of Richardson allow them to be more Stanford-like, like he would be the former Stanford running backs Toby Gerhart, Stepfan Taylor-type of every down back?
"Well, I'm sure that's the way they visualize him to eventually be the every down back. Again, a lot of times when you get a trade like this during the season, it's for a guy who's holding out or something and he's really not ready to go. This guy's ready to go, so I expect him to play a bunch on Sunday."
When you were running the "D" at Stanford for one year, did it get competitive with Colts QB Andrew Luck's offense? Could you get things from that or was it a little lighter heated than that?
"It was competitive, particularly in the spring ball time of the year and early in preseason camp. It was very competitive. That was the culture we wanted over there and it was a very competitive situation."
What's the plan to replace NT Ian Williams and how do you absorb that loss in the defense?
"Well [DL] Glenn [Dorsey] will move right in as the fulltime nose. [DT Tony] Jerod-Eddie will come up and be part of the active group and we'll roll."
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had, he started 0-6 on first quarter against you guys and then I guess 2-10 by halftime. How did the secondary hold up in the second half and how are they playing overall through two games?
"We're playing fine back there. We didn't execute in the third quarter, in particular. Not just at the secondary spot, but all over. We had a chance there for that to be a low scoring game going right down to the wire, but we didn't get it done there in the third quarter."
How much nose tackle did Jerod-Eddie, type of nose tackle type of position, did he play in college? Had he been doing a little bit of that already here?
"I don't know how much he played in college. I didn't do any work on him coming out, but he's capable of playing it here. We've worked with him since the day he's gotten here and he'll be fine in there if he has to play."
Do you even really need a backup nose considering how little you guys are in your base personnel?
"Well, we do. You always have to have, when you dress five defensive linemen, there needs to be three injuries before we can't play our base, so somebody always has to be the backup nose. And, you're right, there's been games where we don't play much base. I think this game is a chance where we will play more base, as was Seattle was much more than Green Bay per se."
When DT Quinton Dial comes back, do you see him as a nose tackle primarily?
"I don't know yet. We've got to see him on the field."
Do you expect him to be back on that early part of the timeframe that he can't come back, that after Week 6 limit?
"Again, it's all just supposition right now. These guys have not been on the field once. They're both coming off extensive surgeries on their legs. We have to see where they're at physically before we really know anything."
Will you have everybody on defense, DT Ray McDonald, DT Justin Smith, LB Aldon Smith and S Eric Reid are all nursing injuries this week, do you think they'll all be up?
"Yeah, I think we'll be fine by game time."
Is it rare to see a nose as tall as Jerod-Eddie, he's like 6-5?
"Rare might be too strong of a word, but it's not common. But, there's been plenty of noses that have been 6-4, 6-3, a couple in that range."
How do you feel about the way Dorsey played Sunday?
"He did fine. He did a nice job for us."
What about CB Nnamdi Asomugha?
"Like always with the corner position, he had some good plays. He had the PI there for the 40 yards and some other ones that you know, up and down, but that's common for the corner position when you get a lot of balls thrown your way."
Luck's taken a fair amount of sacks since he's entered the league. Is their, obviously they have a pretty key injury at that position, is their line still a little bit of a work in progress and how would you assess that group?
"I think they've got a nice line. They got two tackles that have been number one draft picks. They did lose their left guard, which will hurt them some, but they came in last week and operated seamlessly with, when the left guard went out. I don't see a major problem with their line and I think they're making more of an effort to protect this year than maybe they did last year. I say that based off of what I read, not my eyes because I didn't watch them last year."
Were you trying to think along with Andrew more than you would with any other opposing quarterback?
"No. No, not at all."
Has Richardson's ability to pass protect changed your game plan going in at all?
"Well, he's a good pass protector. Whether they are comfortable enough to put him in there on third down and pass protect will remain to be seen. Again, I think their protections are very similar to Cleveland's. He could be in there most of the time. It would not surprise me to see him play half the game or 90 percent of the game."
From what you've seen over the last three months, how suited is Dorsey to play in your version of the 3-4?
"He's fine. He's played it good since he's got here and made steady improvements. A little different form when he first got here, but he did a nice job and had done a nice job last week after he went in there."