The 49ers offensive and defensive coordinators met with the media on Thursday, and we got a pair of amazing lines I wanted to share. You can read the full transcripts for both Vic Fangio and Greg Roman down below.
Fangio was discussing Eric Reid making his debut against Aaron Rodgers. He had this to say:
#49ers Fangio on S Eric Reid debut: "Sure there's other tms we'd prefer for him to start against. There's no Sacramento States in league."— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) September 5, 2013
McLeod Bethel-Thompson does not take kindly to that, good sir!
Roman came on later and had the ultimate in coach-speak:
Roman: "They're gonna do what they do and we're gonna do what we do. We just have to do what we do better than they do what they do."— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) September 5, 2013
Is there really anything else to ask once he dropped that gem?
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
Press Conference - September 5, 2013
San Francisco 49ers
With CB Nnamdi Asomugha still in the blue noncontact jersey, what's his availability like for Sunday?
"We're confident that he'll be able to play on Sunday."
He's the number three?
"That's the way we're thinking about it right now."
How close is that? Can you go matchups when it comes to that number three guy or is he pretty clearly ahead of CB Tramaine Brock?
"We wouldn't go on matchups at this point. You know, he'll be the number three guy starting the game on Sunday, unless something happens in between now and then."
Is it likely that he'll matchup with Packers WR Jordy Nelson?
"Yeah, he'll probably be on him a good bit of the time. We basically are playing left and right with our corners in the sub, so, but they like to line their receivers up from left to right also. So yeah, a good chance that he'll be on him for a fair amount."
Was CB Chris Culliver a descent matchup with Nelson last year?
"At times he was, yeah. They caught some balls on him, but he played well."
You guys have seen so much of QB Aaron Rodgers over the last couple years, last year obviously. Does it still seem pretty fresh, your scouting report that you have on them, has it changed much?
"No. I mean, the last scouting report we had on them, the only thing that was added was our game. We don't add the preseason games to it. So yeah they're fresh in our mind. We're fresh in their mind. After a long offseason, everybody has a little wrinkle here and there they do, so I'm sure we'll see something that maybe they haven't done in the past. But, they have a great offense. It's been highly ranked in all offensive statistical categories that count, scoring points number one, and I don't see them changing very much."
They haven't run much on you guys the last two times. They have two rookie running backs. Does that change the way you have to approach them or is it pretty similar?
"Not really. It's really up to them if they want to run it more. They have drafted two good rookie running backs, I'm sure we'll see them in there. They may make more of a concerted effort to run it. I really don't know, you'd have to ask [Packers head coach] Mike [McCarthy] that. But, we'll be prepared for them to attempt to run it some more."
Do you expect different schemes though when they have a rookie left tackle and a young right tackle?
"I don't believe so to be honest with you. They have an offense there that they believe in and they're going to run it. I'm sure they have ways, that if they're struggling, that they would give the guys some help, but they have an offense that they believe in and they want to run it."
Do you expect to see fewer four-receiver sets from them?
"We were the team that they did it the most against last year in both games, so I don't know."
What's your impression of RB Eddie Lacy in particular?
"Big back. Strong back. He's got some shiftiness. He's a spinner. He's got some good cutting ability. He's got some size, so he's got some niftiness to him with some size that makes him a good back."
Does QB Scott Tolzien's presence on their roster make you do anything different, change things up at all?
Not particularly this game, but you're going to go against read-option offenses. You have in the past. A lot of discussion about whether the quarterback is hittable, where he is, what's your stance on that?
"Well I think the league's been pretty clear on what their stance is. Until the quarterback presents himself as a passer, he's a runner."
In the pocket? Whether it's in the pocket or anywhere?
"Correct. And really I think where people misinterpreted the rule a little bit, the quarterback has never gotten any special attention. The passer gets special attention. So, it just so happens that the quarterback is the passer 99.9 percent of the time. But, it's the passer, if you were to toss the ball to a halfback and he was going to throw a halfback pass, once he starts that action of throwing a pass, he gets the protection of a passer. So until the quarterback starts showing that he's a passer, he's just like a running back."
Is that the motion or is it the stance?
"Both. The action first before the actual motion."
Your head coach said that there were some grey area there.
"I'm sure there is, as there is in all rules."
Have you and head coach Jim Harbaugh talked about what should be allowed, just philosophies--?
"Oh yeah we've had discussions about it. When I look at it, I see it from a total football perspective. I don't look at it from just a defensive perspective."
Because defensive guys are smarter than offensive guys?
Did you guys not begin implementing your game plan for Green Bay because you knew there was a chance that some of your players could wind up on other squads, on Green Bay's squad?
"That's part of it. That is part of it. We don't do it quite as early as our offense does it. Part of it's too, we did do it early. The whole San Diego week, which was a short week, we practiced against Green Bay stuff defensively and split up our meetings and whatnot, but we don't do it real early."
Does that signal that you knew that there was a good chance that Tolzien could end up with the Packers? He was let go, before, or after the Minnesota game.
"No. I mean I had no idea that we were going to cut him and then actually I had no idea where he would end up."
What does T David Bakhtiari, 21 years old, a 4th-round pick, obviously in there in part of because of injury, have you seen enough in the preseason to kind of get a scouting report and what he can do well?
"Well, we've obviously watched all of his plays as a left tackle. He's a good, solid rookie it looks to me. He's got some good size. He's got some good athleticism. They wouldn't put him in there if they didn't' believe he could do the job. So, that's the guy we're going against."
How many outside linebackers do you figure to have up on Sunday?
"I think there's a good chance they'll all be up, but I don't know that for sure."
When you look back on last year's playoff game, what worked so well against Rodgers in the second half?
"Well, I don't know that there's any one thing, we just played well. Obviously our offense moving the ball helps. There wasn't one thing. We just played good. It became a basketball-on-grass type game where it was just spread out, throw it every down. We were able to hold up, which is hard against that team. He's a great quarterback. He throws it just as good as anybody if not better than anybody and he's got all the elusiveness that goes with it. And he's got good guys to throw it to, so they're a hard operation to stop."
What's your feelings on S Eric Reid getting his first start against such an accomplished quarterback and an accomplished offense?
"Well, I'm sure there's other teams we would prefer for him to start against. But, there's no Sacramento States in this league, so no matter who he goes against it's good stuff. He's just got to be ready. I don't think the game will be too big for him. I think he'll be fine."
This may be too simplistic of a question, but with their tackles being somewhat untested, do you anticipate more short passing or just quick passing from Rodgers?
"They do that anyway. That's a big part of their passing game anyway, so I mean, they threw it a bunch against us last year, as you guys know, in both games and a bunch of them were extremely quick passes. So, that's just part of their everyday operation. Will they do it more? I don't know, but they do it a lot anyway."
What's your impression of T Don Barclay the right tackle?
"He's a good player. He played against us in the playoff game last year. Tough guy, solid guy in there."
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman
Press Conference - September 5, 2013
San Francisco 49ers
"Excited to move into the regular season. Think we've had a very productive preseason phase. I'd like to thank everybody that was a part of the team during that time. We're set, we're ready to go. We had a great practice yesterday and looking forward to having another great one today. Any questions?"
How concerned are you about what Packers QB Scott Tolzien and Packers QB Seneca Wallace might be able to provide, information they can provide to Green Bay? Do you have to change some things?
"Well, Green Bay - they have a great defense and looking at them in the preseason, they played really well. I think it's really going to come down to the players on the field. I mean I could say something pretty clever like, ‘Once they think they've got all the answers, we change the questions.' That may or may not be true, but I'm not going to say that. It's really going to come down, especially in the first game of the season, to fundamental football, blocking, ball security, execution. All that other stuff, it tends to get a little overrated. When you pin your hopes on stuff like that, there's a flip-side to that coin too on what can happen. So, Scott was a very good player while he was here and I'm sure they're picking his brain. It's really not going to have any impact on the game."
Is it easy, a week before a game, to change all the verbal cues at the line of scrimmage so that what the other team hears isn't consistent with what it meant a week or two ago?
"Nothing's really easy. I think to execute something, it really requires everybody to be in tune. Whether you change a play, a route, a quarterback read, a run-blocking scheme, whatever, verbiage, whatever it may be, it requires a tremendous amount of focus. Fortunately, our guys are very focused individuals and love working with them."
How would you assess TE Vernon Davis' offseason? What strides did he make in the summer?
"Vernon's had a great offseason. I think we've mentioned this before, but man how many offenses has Vernon Davis had in his career? So, he's settling in in his third season together, all of us together, and he's really taking command of it. Route running. He's had some big days during training camp catching the football. His run blocking is probably, if anything, getting better. He's really learning the offense, where he fits in the puzzle of everything and it's allowed us to possibly expand what he does."
Head coach Jim Harbaugh was pretty adamant about quarterbacks not being protected when they do the read option. What's your feeling on that?
"Could you please say that again?"
Jim Harbaugh was pretty adamant about not liking the new rules about the quarterback being unprotected in the read option. Just wondering what your feelings were about that?
"My feelings are that the rule needs to be refined to make it a good rule. I'm not going to get into the wording, the terms, and the specific legalese of it, but if it's not refined, it will be."
Do you think QB Colin Kaepernick took some extra hits, specifically in the Super Bowl?
"No, I thought Baltimore played a very clean game. I thought that was very clean within the rules."
You don't think the rule as it stands now is a good rule?
"I think the interpretation of it could be abused and not in the best interest of the players or the league."
When you hear Packers LB Clay Matthews say what he said or other guys who said it throughout the summer just about the read option, do you think defensive players or even defensive coordinators are going to target Kaepernick?
"I don't know. I think they're going to do what they do and we're going to do what we do, and we've got to do what we do better than they do what they do."
With the injuries in the Packers' secondary, is your game plan going to kind of alter or change for different scenarios or people?
"I think we're very aware of each member of their secondary - how they play, where they play, their personality on the field. It's something we'll definitely be aware of with what we do."
Do they have a lot different personality without Raiders S Charles Woodson back there anymore?
"I was very impressed with what they've done this preseason, with their communication, being in the right place. Charles Woodson's been a great player for a long time and it remains to be seen how that plays out, but everything they've done so far has been pretty impressive."
How much in this week's practice have you worked with WR Chris Harper on his multitasking role and how much of it is, you're on the scout team right now, do that.?
"A little bit of both. We're teaching him how to get into a stance and get comfortable there and play some receiver, play some tight end, play on the scout team, play with our first team. He's done that and really want to get him pushed into what we're doing and see where it goes."
Do you see just watching him out here, and I realize it's only been a couple of days, but do you see Titans TE Delanie Walker similarities?
"Each player's different. I definitely wouldn't compare those two players, but I do think he could fulfill a similar-type role that Delanie filled here. It's just going to require some time on task and I like what we see so far."
He played wide receiver at Kansas State, and you don't see a lot of blocking or things like that. How do you, sort of, project that he has the toughness to do what Walker did very well for this team?
"Well, I think that you hit it on the head, that's the one thing. We've mentioned it to Chris, ‘You have a physical skill set, you're going to work hard physically to develop and then it's going to come down to your toughness and want to.' And that's it in a nutshell really. Did anybody watch Kansas State last year? High powered passing offense?"
"Good answer, Tim. No, he's done a lot of blocking, mainly on the perimeter, some on the core. But there's a curve there for him to get on and play at a high level inside."
How does that melt with TE Vance McDonald and TE Garrett Celek? What skills does he have that are unique compared to those two?
"Well, I think just coming from the wide receiver position he's probably a little bit shiftier and niftier. Got a little bit better straight-line speed, quickness, that type of thing. Doesn't have the girth, the mass, the ability to lineup on the line of scrimmage and do all those things. But every tight end's different, every tight end is different. You can really take some tight ends in the league, and shoot, are they really tight ends or are they wide receivers? When's the last time they've had to block a defensive end? Well, if they haven't they're probably being hidden on their depth chart as a tight end, but they're really a wide receiver. And there's tight ends that, is this guy a tight end or is he really an offensive tackle? So, each guy's very unique."
If RB LaMichael James is unable to go, or not full strength, how's your running back rotation looking? How much do you get from RB Kendall Hunter in his first game that counts in nine months or so?
"Well, Kendall's been itching to get back out. Man, we're all excited to see him back out there. He's got such a great spirit, team spirit and he'll do anything he can for the team. And we're really fired up that he's back in the lineup and back out there competing. And [RB] Anthony Dixon had a nice preseason. He cameoed some at fullback. But Frank's looking sharp, Frank's looking really good. I'd say he's got some real good balance in his feet. So, feel pretty good about that group. And they do a great job preparing week-in and week-out."
The Packers have, obviously, devoted lots of time and energy to study up on that read option. I was wondering, do you feel like you could have a very productive, successful offense without ever running a read option play?
"I would certainly hope so. I would certainly hope so. Plays are plays, it's all about execution no matter what you have called. Any success we've had in the past against that team was simply because of the players on the field and not because of scheme. Players get it done on the field. And whatever route, whatever play we call, those guys do a great job understanding it's all about the execution. Run, pass, hand it off, read option, whatever."
Do you see a lot of improvement from their defensive front, specifically the line?
"We felt pretty impressed by them last year before we played them in the first game and before and after we played them the second game. The week before we played them, they played Minnesota, who has a vaunted rushing attack, and shut them down. So, we're very aware of how good they are, both from a personnel and coaching standpoint. I think our players do as well. We're excited about the challenge and ready to have a great practice today."
Do you see your wide receivers, other than WR Anquan Boldin, as pretty much interchangeable? They can go in at in any spot where they're needed?
"That's a really good question, [Matt], because yes. These guys do a great job of learning multiple positions. And really feel good about them playing multiple positions, really everybody. That's one of the things of that group really gives us some flexibility with, is lining them up all over the place. And it's something that we'll probably do."