The San Francisco 49ers are off to Baltimore for Thursday's preseason opener, but before they left, Greg Roman and Colin Kaepernick met with the media. We'll have Kap's transcript in a bit, but for now, here's Coach Roman's transcript.
He bounced around a lot of topics, which is generally par for the course, but there was one amusing highlight. The quarterbacks have been running a drill with a butterfly net, where they try and throw the ball through the butterfly net. As far as I can tell, none of them have completed it. Apparently Greg Roman gave it a try today. Someone asked how he did, and after they confirmed there was photographic evidence he took part, he gave himself an F. I doubt we'll ever see video of this, but fingers crossed for something!
Fooch's Update: Important news! Bay Area Sports Guy has an action shot!
Fooch's Update No. 2: Turns out both Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert got it through the net.
"Good morning. That's a pretty nice picture of Ronnie Lott out there. What a warrior, what a competitor. We've got quite a few of them, too. So, we're heading to Baltimore. We've got our entire offense installed. As you go through the first couple of days, you're installing basically what we would call our core offense, kind of like the keel of a ship or the trunk of a tree. And then the branches, the things that branch off, the situational stuff, this play, or this type of play and this concept might be good against five of the teams we run this year because they do this. But, 11 of the teams we run it's probably not in our best interest. So, we've gone through a lot of different situational stuff, the players, and they've got a full plate right now. So, we'll kind of dial it back to square one as we go to Baltimore, and really, really focus on our fundamentals, execution as a unit. And just get better. It's a great opportunity for us against a very good team. Any questions?"
We've heard in the offseason and QB Colin Kaepernick talked about cleaning up the playbook and kind of trying to streamline things. What did that consist of during the offseason and training camp?
"A lot of meetings on our part. Like I said earlier to you guys, after three years, we've pretty much run the gambit with a lot of different players in terms of what we were willing to do to win a game. And it was time to clean out the garage. So, really just tried to streamline things. I always say, and I'm not the first one to say it, I'm sure I stole it from somebody, that taking a complex thing and making it as simple as possible is an art form. And, that's what we tried to do. So, hopefully we're good artists."
So what did that consist of?
"Just terminology. Maybe ways to better explain things. When something hits somebody's brain, maybe it hits it a little cleaner. There's less grey area involved in certain things. And obviously, not everything gets adjusted, but you do your best to do it. You're always trying to make it better."
There have been issues in the past of just getting the play in and getting up to the line of scrimmage and getting the snap off in time. Was that with an eye toward trying to clean up those issues that you guys have had in the past?
"Not really. It was more of just an overall trying to make it better, more efficient. Trying to make it one percent better, two percent better. We'll see how far we can go with that."
I made that statement. Do you agree with it, that that's been the issue?
"At times it has, at times it has. And I think in the course of everybody's season, there's going to be an issue here and there. Thankfully, we've had a lot fewer issues than most. But, that is certainly one area, one of many, that we are trying to always push the envelope and get better at."
Is RB Frank Gore going to play in the game on Thursday?
"That's a good question because there is no answer to that right now. We're not quite sure."
What about a couple of new guys on the offensive line, G/C Daniel Kilgore, T Jonathan Martin, G Joe Looney, will they go beyond what their line mates go in this game?
"I think that's probably going to happen. We haven't sat down and really gone through that stuff. But, I would say the other guys probably won't get as much as them."
When you were talking about the offseason reworking the playbook and the offense, do you factor into your own defense and the possible changes in personnel, maybe the football team needs to change its identity slightly? Is that something you do when you look at your offense?
"That's interesting and that's kind of a multi-layered question. That's big-picture thinking right there. But, I think when you're putting together the structure of something really, you don't take those external factors into consideration. You're trying to make something better. Players may change on both sides of the ball. But, the existing structure is your focus. That's big-picture thinking though. I kind of like where you're going with that."
Along those lines, Colin talked on day one just about establishing a rhythm in the new stadium and it's a new era. What's your take on that? There are so many memories at Candlestick and this is sort of a new era for you guys.
"Yeah, I think there's a lot of credence to that. That's our home. And I think people knew when they were coming to Candlestick, to quote who was it, [Robert] De Niro, ‘They're in for a dog day afternoon.' But, we've got to go out and prove that all over again in our new stadium. So, I think guys are really excited about everything about the new stadium. So, just got to go defend the flag."
Since camp started, what areas have you improved in heading to Baltimore? What areas have you not?
"Well, I think we've improved. I think each guy has improved in very specific things. I think at this part of camp, now, we really as a unit have to focus on the entire unit improving as far as execution. Getting into training camp, you're really focused on the whole part of the offense but you're also focused on the individual parts of the offense. We'll see as we move forward. A lot of the different things we're doing now, guys are picking up pretty good."
Where do you see WR Quinton Patton sort of in the picture at wide receiver? I mean, he obviously progressed last year, now you brought in some other guys. That position seems a little bit more jammed. How has he progressed and where does he sort of fit in?
"He's getting a lot of reps, doing a good job. I love his work ethic. He's been able to stay healthy, and that's the number one thing. A lot of what he's doing I really like and he's able to do it day-in and day-out. He's making a very favorable impression."
I'm not sure if we've asked you about FB Bruce Miller this camp. What does he show you every day on the field that reminds you how much you missed him when he was hurt last year?
"Bruce is a guy that gets football. Coach Tom Rathman does a great job coaching those players. I just think Bruce can do a lot and handle a lot. Bruce can think his way through an issue as it's happening, and that's a great quality in anybody, really, in life, sports, on the field, of just being able to think your way through something as it's happening and changing in front of you. He does a great job of that - adjustments, instincts, dependability. And that's something at the fullback position, however people might typecast Bruce as a fullback, it's a physical, demanding position. A lot of collisions, obviously. Bruce, if he keeps going like he's going, I mean, he might get the Swiss Army knife moniker, too, that [former 49ers tight end] Delanie [Walker] had. But he's on his way, just got to keep the pedal to the metal."
You tried your hand a couple times at that rollout drill with the butterfly net. How would you grade your performance?
"Do you have any film evidence of this?"
I might have a couple pictures.
"Well, in that case, I have to answer the question then. I think I give it an F. I think I need to better warm up and be less impulsive, but it was great getting the blood flowing."
[Bill Walsh coaching intern] George Whitfield's there, you guys are doing interesting drills, that kind of stuff. How do you feel like that's sort of helped your quarterbacks progress in terms of throwing mechanics, that type of thing?
"I've really enjoyed being around George. I think he's a bright, bright young coach that shows a real aptitude for being able to communicate at a high level. I know he's enjoying himself but it's always good to hear, always want to keep your eyes open for new ideas, new this, new that. You might tweak something you do, add a little something. You always want to grow as a coach. I think it's a great opportunity for George."
What have you seen from WR David Reed, punt returner?
"David's flashed at times, and done some really good things. He's one of those guys that goes out and does his job every day. He's a pretty balanced athlete. He's got good quickness, good speed. I think he can do a lot of different things well. He changes directions well. Looking forward to him having a great preseason."