The San Francisco 49ers second day of practice with the Baltimore Ravens was followed by coordinator press conferences. Vic Fangio and Greg Roman each spoke with the media, with Roman answering a few more questions.
Fangio had some interesting comments about the illegal contact penalties. He said one of the calls against the 49ers secondary was incorrect, and the league had already told them as much.
Greg Roman went into some detail on how the practices help them improve. He also went into some detail on Joe Looney and Bruce Ellington.
I'll ask you the same question I just asked Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. Which guys on your defense stood out to you at practice?
"We had a few guys that have stood out here in these two practices. [LB] Aldon's [Smith] obviously been practicing well, is one. Think our safeties have been practicing well. Those are some of the guys that come to mind immediately."
Facing Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco, is it a challenge that, thinking back to the Super Bowl, does that linger at all in your mind that you didn't answer the call?
"No, I don't think so."
He's so good at throwing the deep ball and got some very fast receivers. Is that a nice kind of change, a different test for your defensive backs?
"It is. The whole thing is a great test and a great learning experience for us. These joint practices, we're going against a different offense than our offense runs, likewise for their defense. We're going against different players. They may have a few more speed receivers, so it's good to go against that speed. Their running game is different so it's good to go against that. I've done over 20 of these joint practices in my days, and they're always very good and very beneficial."
Specifically, how did CB Chris Culliver do? I know he didn't practice much today, but how did he do yesterday against the deep ball and against that speed?
"He did fine overall. I think they called him for one pass interference on one of them which looked like a very questionable call, but we'll live and learn with that thing. But I thought he practiced well overall."
A lot has been made this preseason so far of the pass interference, contact, holding. How are you guys preparing differently, if at all, to pass that down to the players given how things are called more?
"Well, we've always taught our players to play with the technique that's within the rules. The officiating has been instructed to be more diligent in that area. We saw a negative with that the other night in our game where it was on one of the third downs there in the second half. They called us for an illegal contact penalty, which in no way, shape or form was an illegal contact penalty. And the league's already confirmed that it wasn't. You hate to think that these guys have been drilled into their head that they're seeing ghosts out there now, too. We were called for a penalty where a guy did nothing wrong, nothing from a technical standpoint or rules standpoint, but yet was called for a penalty. We hope that stuff gets cleaned up by the time the regular season comes."
How has LB Aaron Lynch looked so far in his first practices?
"He's doing fine. He practiced some last week. Didn't feel he was quite ready, and for his benefit, didn't play him in the game the other night. But he's been practicing out here these two days, will continue practice. He's making steady progress here."
Are you going to get some guys back on the defensive line pretty soon? DT Justin Smith or DT Ray McDonald?
"Yeah, I'm thinking that those guys will be ready to return maybe when we get back to San Francisco at some point in the near future."
A lot of people are wondering, and I realized we asked you this a week ago, but was wondering about NT Ian Williams and anything more on his prognosis?
"No. Still anticipating him to be ready at some point and to start practicing, hopefully sooner than later. But, you know, we'll see."
"Having a lot of good work against a very good Ravens team. Tempo is very similar to what we'd be doing against ourselves, but we get to do it against a different style of defense and certainly different style of players. Everybody's working very well together and I think we're getting a lot out of this. Any questions?"
Do you have any update on G Adam Snyder?
"Too early to tell. It looks like he got tangled up in a pile, but hoping for the best. Too early to tell."
Most of your linemen wear knee braces, is that correct?
"Not all of them all the time, no."
But, he was?
"You know, I can't remember."
WR Quinton Patton left early. Is he OK?
"Again, a little too early to tell."
What'd you take away from the red zone work today?
"It was really good work against different type of coverages that we see in practice against our own defense, so that was huge. The goal line work was great. You have to have a fourth and a yard with your backups on the goal line in training camp for it to officially be training camp, so that was great."
What about WR Stevie Johnson? It just seems like he's getting along with QB Colin Kaepernick, their chemistry is growing, have you seen that too?
"There's no doubt. Every meeting, every practice, guys are getting a little bit more synced up. I think we all say that we're far from a finished product and we've got a lot more work to do though."
Was the emphasis today on getting the ball down the field a little bit more?
"Yesterday we pushed it down the field. I think we hit some more today than we did yesterday, so we're trying to get more work throwing the ball down the field than we have in the past on a day-to-day basis. So, we try to schedule that a little bit better."
Are you able to see much of the T Joe Staley, Ravens LB Terrell Suggs matchup?
"Oh yeah, I see every play. And, that's a really good matchup. Two very good players. Joe's doing a good job. Suggs obviously gives him a lot of things to worry about. His style is a unique style. You remember when he was getting drafted, people were all enamored with his 40 time and there was a lot of debate. I think he's pretty much squelched that debate. So, just for Joe, it's a great challenge every day to sharpen his blade."
Do you like the fact that G Joe Looney has gone up against sort of a shorter, powerful guy in Ravens NT Brandon Williams just in terms of how that requires certain technique that?
"There's no question. Williams and [Ravens DT Haloti] Ngata can play as low as it gets. I think [former Ravens NT] Kelly Gregg is the only guy that used to play lower for the Ravens. He was just a little bit shorter, but yeah it's great work. Two very good defensive tackles and a lot to be learned there."
Do you see, I know it's only been two days since the game, but do you see improvement in Joe's technique in dealing with those kind of squattier guys?
"Yeah, and it's something that he's got to work on every day, it's that simple. He showed improvement yesterday in practice and Joe's a smart guy. Generally when something needs to get fixed he can fix it."
How did G/C Daniel Kilgore do from an assignment standpoint? How has he been doing from the shoulders up?
"Great, great. He was I think 100 percent mentally in the game and in practice he's been sharp. The center's got to be on his toes every play. A lot like the quarterback, not only is he giving information, but he's also got to be aware of what somebody else might be communicating to him too. So, Dan's doing a really good job with that."
How much just from a coaching standpoint are these three practices more valuable than even exhibition games?
"Here's the thing, your ones get, we just got two valuable two-minute work against their number one defense, red zone work against their number one defense. The ones don't always get that stuff in the games in the preseason. So, this is just a very good opportunity to get that work, situationally, against another team's ones. Now, you do it against your own team, but it's apples and oranges. Our defense plays this style, the Ravens play a different style, so it helps us prepare better for the season. As far as our backups as too it's the same thing. They're not blocking the same defensive front every day. They're blocking different fronts that they're going to see during the season. Different coverage techniques. Different coverages. Different disguise. It's invaluable."
Are there any teams, have you looked ahead on the schedule to see that the Ravens are similar to this team that's coming up?
"I wouldn't do a thing like that."
"No, of course not."
And if you did, I'm sure you'd share it with all of us.
"Of course, of course. I would just blast it out there via megaphone."
Rookie receivers notoriously struggle, but is WR Bruce Ellington further ahead than usual?
"That's a great question. He gets better every day, more confident every day. And again, when something isn't quite right we get it fixed and he gets it fixed and then you move on from there, what's next? And, that's a credit to him. Every day he's getting better and this has been great for him."
Do you think the rookies coming from the college ranks, maybe the guys who were asked in college to play a few different positions are a little bit more--?
"Could you be more specific?"
Like Saints WR Brandin Cooks with the Saints, Ellington does a few different things. Do you think being asked in the college level to do different things has allowed them to catch up a little bit better?
"I think so. I think they're used to a little bit of multiplicity, multitasking, yeah. I think it's also a sign of them that they were able to do that previously. People put those duties on them because they were able to handle them. That's part of the allure of having a guy like that."
I know that T Jonathan Martin was dealing with mono in mid-June and that can be a pretty severe illness. Is he back to full strength? Where is he in terms of getting his weight back and all that stuff?
"He's getting there. I think losing that time and what he had gained prior had set him back, but he's just gutting it out, working hard. Probably not quite there, but getting there. But, has been obviously the number one priority since he's come back."
I've got a Levi's® Stadium question. Have you tested the elevators and will you miss the coaching boxes at halftime?
"I was just talking to some of the Ravens guys about that. The sprint down the stairs when the elevator was working, and then through the crowd, onto the field, across that, through the tunnel into the locker room and back, man, I'll be telling my grandkids about that someday. But, looking forward to a highly functioning, fully functioning elevators of Levi's® Stadium and that's all I've got to say about that."
You've tested them out, or not yet?
"I have tested them out, yeah. It's unbelievable. Have you been up to the top? Have you guys been up to the top above the press box what they have up there? Unbelievable."
Have you actually done it with a stopwatch to time it?
"No. I stopped using a stopwatch on myself a long time ago, for a good reason."