We'll go into some of the details a bit more tomorrow, but for now, I thought I'd post the transcripts for 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. I have been posting them separately, but given how different they can be in the information they provide, I thought I'd post them together in case people want to compare what each one says.
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
Press Conference - September 11, 2014
San Francisco 49ers
Listen to Audio I Media Center
You talked after the game that you wanted to see more out of your pass rush. What's been the message to your guys this week?
"Well, we need more pass rush. That's been the main message. We just have to pass rush, both better as individuals, with our technique and our purpose, and then as a unit being better. We need a good, even rush. We need better rush individually and then rush good as a unit. You know, there's not a lot whole to talk about there, just Dallas blocked us in the pass rush for the most part."
Seems like the last few years, DT Justin Smith has done as much dirty work stuff rather than being the guy who makes the play. Do you ask more of him now to be the guy that steps up and gets to the quarterback and makes more plays?
"Not really. I think what you're alluding to prior is a little overblown. He's been a major component of our pass rush since we've been here, and, obviously, even before we were here. He needs to continue to be and he was the other night."
Chemistry, obviously, is different with LB Aldon Smith. Is that part of it? Just building the chemistry with, whether it's LB Dan Skuta or LB Corey Lemonier, that sort of thing?
"Yeah, that's part of it, but not as big a part as I think you're trying to say. You know, Aldon's a very good player. That helps your chemistry."
What's the difference between CB Perrish Cox this year and Perrish Cox from last year, who got released and bounced around a couple teams?
"I don't know that there's a whole lot of difference other than, you know, I think when you do get bounced around a little bit and you finally get to a place where you want to be, and he does want to be here. He likes playing here. He likes being a part of this team. I think he's just doing a little bit extra, not a lot. I don't want to insinuate at all he lacked in effort in any way last year because he didn't, but just a little bit extra to be ready to go at the multiple positions that we count on him for. I think he feels at home here. He's well liked and respected by his teammates, his coaches, and we're just glad to have him."
Are the Bears unique in that they only used two personnel packages in Sunday's game? Are they unique that way and do they pose a unique threat because they're so versatile out of just two?
"Only two personnel packages?"
Yeah. That's what some data says.
"Who said that?"
Pro Football Focus.
"Wow. Well first off, they didn't have their fullback. He was inactive. So that eliminated that. There's probably a good chance that he'll be out this week so that expands their packages. One of the reasons they don't maybe have as many packages as some other teams is because their back is a viable receiver out of the backfield. So like last week, you saw Dallas sometimes go to four wide receivers and one tight end. Well, if Chicago wants to do something along those lines, they just do it with 22 [Bears RB Matt Forte] in the game. His versatility allows them to do more out of one personnel group than maybe other teams and that makes it harder on defense."
Their wide outs are banged up with WR Brandon Marshall, WR Alshon Jeffrey and WR Josh Morgan. Does that put more emphasis on watching out for RB Matt Forte or the tight ends to get involved in the receiving game?
"No, because you've got to watch out for Forte no matter who those receivers are. I think he's been their leading receiver for several years in a row, now. [QB Jay] Cutler is very comfortable in throwing it to him. A lot of them are check downs, which turn into dangerous plays, you know, very plus-yardage plays for them. You got to be ready for Forte no matter who else is out there."
As far as his makeup, did you think CB Dontae Johnson would be able to handle the situation he was kind of thrown into Sunday?
"I think he was going to be capable. I don't know if it was going to be that Sunday, you know? I do think he's capable emotionally and mentally to do it. Now, being asked to do it on opening day of his rookie year may have been a stretch, but he went in there and did very well. Obviously pleased with that and hopefully he grows with that and not rest on his success."
Did that exceed your expectations?
"No, I think it matched the expectations. But sometimes your expectations don't get matched, particularly early from a young guy."
He was kind of matched up last week against Dallas WR Terrance Williams. How do you prepare him this week for who he may see because you'd expect Cutler to target a rookie DB?
"Yeah. Well, 17 [Jeffrey], you know, Jeffrey and Marshall, those are two really good receivers. Assuming they play, I think he'll just throw it to what the coverage dictated. I don't think he'll aim at a guy, per say."
So if CB Chris Culliver and CB Tramaine Brock don't play, are the starters Cox and Dontae Johnson?
"Possibly. Cox could start and, you know, [CB Chris] Cook would enter into that mix, too."
What have you seen from DT Ray McDonald with the situation hanging over his head in terms of his focus, his preparation?
"I think his focus and preparation has been good in light of everything that he's been through here the last two weeks or whatever it's been. He's obviously had some things he's had to deal with. He's been late for a couple meetings because he's had to deal with some things. You guys saw last week he was late for a practice or two because he had to talk to people. But I think he's handled it extremely well in light of the firestorm that's out there."
I don't know how much you keep tabs on the practice squad guys at this point but DL Lawrence Okoye is moving over and doing a little scout team stuff on the other side. You had mention that his size makes it tough to keep that leverage, stay low. Is he better suited to be an offensive lineman in the National Football League?
"Well, we're trying to find that out. By no means have we given up on him as a defensive lineman. It's just that, you know, when you try and line up in practice, and I don't know how many offensive linemen we have on the squad counting practice squad, but I don't think we have 10. You don't want to wear your starters out. So, like you see on a lot of positions, like [LB] Chase Thomas is playing tight end on the scout team, you know, Lawrence has got to be able play some O-line has a member of the practice squad. Felt that since we're going to ask him to do that to give him a little training, too, you know, see where it leads."
But you're not possessive of him and want to keep him as a defensive lineman?
"No, I am. I still think his best future is with the D-line."
How do you feel about the run defense and how they fared after the first game?
"It wasn't good last week. We did not have a good game up front versus the run and rushing the passer for the most part. It's like I told you after the game, particularly in the first half, more so than the second half. The second half, I actually thought we played halfway decent, but you get a third-and-21 illegal contact, a third-and-seven holding and a third-and-18 bomb. Other than that, we played much better in the second half. We're going to need to play the run a whole lot better in this game than we did last game."
What went into the decision to keep DT Quinton Dial and DT Tank Carradine out? Was it more of what you talked about with Carradine in the past as far as assignments and stuff or was it more with special teams with DT/TE Demarcus Dobbs and DT Tony Jerod-Eddie?
"Well, special teams does play a role in there. Dobbs is a contributor on the special teams. When you only dress five D-lineman, those guys have to have some versatility. You know, Dobbs can play in the base and in the sub. He plays in special teams, so, he adds a little bit more there when you're only dressing five. If you're ever able to dress six, which would be unusual but possible, you know, then those other guys may be able to factor into it."
I ask this because, obviously that second drive, LB Ahmad Brooks had three penalties in pretty quick succession. Was he ready to play? I mean, was there an issue with his readiness?
"I think he was ready to play. He just had three plays there in the short time span that weren't very good and that we got to get corrected. You know, gave him a break after that and he played better in the second half. It's unusual to have three penalties in such a short span, but he did."
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman
Press Conference - September 11, 2014
San Francisco 49ers
Listen to Audio I Media Center
"It was great to start off the season with a win. We moved onto a Chicago Bears team on Monday that has a very experienced defense. Starting with their front four, they've got one of the best pass rushers over the last decade in [Chicago Bears DE] Jared Allen on our left. They've got a great rotation going through with [Chicago Bears DE Lamarr] Houston, [Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah] Ratliff, [Chicago Bears NT Stephen] Paea and Paea's a real strong guy up inside. A very experienced linebacking crew led by [Chicago Bears LB] Lance Briggs who has been doing it at a high level for a long time. Very heavy, does a great job of batting down passes, play-action type passes and a sideline-to-sideline player. And then, obviously [Chicago Bears CB Tim] Jennings and [Chicago Bears CB Charles] Tillman on the backend. A very experienced, savvy defense and we studied their offense in the offseason, one of the offenses we looked at offensively and they do a great job on offense. We're aware of the task. We're excited for the challenge and looking forward to having a great day today. Any questions?"
You say you studied their offense in the offseason, or their defense in the offseason, is that different than any other upcoming opponent?
"No. You definitely try to study other offenses in the offseason just to see what they're doing. You don't have time during the season to really study other teams and what they might be doing. So, the offseason provides a time where each coach on offense we might assign a team to study their offense and to see what they can glean from it. I felt like their offense was one with coach [Chicago Bears head coach Marc] Trestman, what they did there and it was a good team to look at. So, just part of the offseason project routine. And we looked at their defense as well."
Is that to help your defense or is it to kind of add things to your offense?
"It's definitely to get a perspective on what they're doing, why they're doing it, how they're doing it. Maybe they do something that we could do something or use or tweak or whatnot. It's always good to have a great feel for what other teams are doing."
What struck you about their offense? What do you like about what Marc Trestman does?
"I thought their offense did a really good job of working from an advantage standpoint. I really thought that they were really smart about how they went about running their offense, utilizing their players, the different skillsets of their players. But, the focus really is on their defense."
One more question along those lines. What from the former 49ers head coach Bill Walsh tree and former 49ers head coach George Seifert stood out to you to see their thumbprints on what the Bears do?
"Well, I definitely think there's some pure west coast principles with what they do. But, they do a great job of adapting and evolving with their players and utilizing their skillset in a very specific manner."
Their defensive front, I think they've got five players with more than 10 years in the league. So, they're an older group. Are they still as physical or would you say more a mentally smart unit that makes that their strength?
"I don't want to pigeonhole players or teams or units with a word. I think they're a very experienced, talented unit and I definitely think all those players it's obvious on film they utilize their experience. Pre-snap recognition, keys, tips, etc. So, you've got to be extremely sharp and you don't want to let them know what you're doing before you do it."
When you looked at the Bills game, what did the Bears defense maybe that you saw struggle with on that run game?
"They played the run really well. Just a few got out of there. And, credit to the Bills on those plays and all those other plays that didn't go for more than two yards or whatever credit to the Bears defense out there playing football. They're a very good defense."
You mentioned some players on their defense. Last year they allowed 470 yards of offense. What happened, what went into that from what you saw on last year's film?
"Number one thing was injuries and personnel shuffling. They rebuilt their defensive line, completely rebuilt other than Paea. So, it's completely new players up there. That's really the biggest thing."
Do they still have a similar defensive front scheme as even the Cowboys just because of what was in place before that just in terms of some stunts that they're doing?
"There are some similarities, but there are some differences, some subtle differences to how they're playing certain things upfront relative to last year. Different than the Cowboys in that regard. But, there are some similarities."
Is G Mike Iupati all the way back you think from that injury that he had in the Championship Game? It seems like, certainly in the game against the Chargers he seemed to struggle and didn't seem to be as sharp as what we've come to expect from him.
"I think there's a couple plays Mike would like to have back, but other than that I think he's doing a very good job. We know Mike's an elite player. We're very thankful that we have him. Just like all of us, we're trying to get better, especially from Week 1 to Week 2. I think we can make a huge jump there and be more consistent. But, I really think Mike has elite characteristics. He has a lot of big high moments. Just like everybody, working to get better every day."
"I think he's A-OK."
How well did QB Colin Kaepernick go through his progressions?
"He did a great job in our last game, did a great job. He was marvelous. Just cool as a cucumber. Did everything he should have done and then some. So, just played the quarterback position really, really well. Moving on from that game and working hard in practice. I think he had a really good practice yesterday, so we've just got to keep that going."
Can WR Bruce Ellington kind of fit the fly-sweep [inaudible]?
"Well, you know, we ran one with him in the preseason. He's definitely a guy that you can do some of that stuff with. We don't want to put too much on his plate all at once. But, he's a football player. He gets things. It makes sense to him and I'm excited to see how he evolves with what we're doing."
Is he your number three emergency running back?
"He would definitely be able to fulfill that role. [FB] Bruce Miller is also another guy that can tote the rock. And, we're going to hand the ball to a lot of different people, so you never know. Be alert for [T Joe] Staley on the reverse."
With how good WR Anquan Boldin was on third down last year and he was good again on Sunday predictably, was part of the offseason emphasis you talked about reworking the offense and finding other options on third down, guys like WR Brandon Lloyd and WR Stevie Johnson?
"Yeah, and [WR Michael Crabtree] Crab. Crab had some really good plays that got called back on some penalties I guess. But, it's really, if you get a good group of guys out there who do you double? That's really where it starts. Who's getting doubled? Where's coverage allocating itself? If people are doubling, I think we've all watched football games and guy's getting doubled and the quarterback throws the ball right into it and the ball gets intercepted, that is not good for the team. So, we try to throw it to the open guy. If people are double-covered, a lot of times you don't want to throw it there. When you're able to distribute the ball to guys that have leverage, probably great things are going to happen."
How has Crabtree looked this week versus last?
"He looks really good. He looked really good last week. He's working really hard and I love his approach. Doing all the little things, doing everything right. He's going to make plays for us."
How about his calf injury? That was obviously a problem last week--?
"He looks 100 percent. He looks great."
You were talking about Kaepernick's progression reads a few minutes ago. When you think about the development of a young quarterback, how does that develop? Is that just a product of comfort in the system, the game slowing down? Where do you expect that to manifest itself?
"Well, we could probably talk about that for days. The simplest, quickest answer I can say is each guy is different. Hopefully you find out what his strengths are and you try to work towards those strengths. The more experience they get, the more they see, some guys get better. It's just like any other position in that regard. We've got a quarterback that's very competitive and detail-oriented. My experience has been guys like that, if something doesn't go exactly as planned they're going to learn from it. It's going to get stored away and they'll move on. There's a lot of little things that go into it, but I think Colin is attacking that position the way it should be attacked."
How much of that goes back to what you were just talking about for this year when somebody's getting doubled, there's probably somebody else open whereas maybe last year there wasn't?
"Yeah, I can't remember what play, but I definitely think I really like our players and however we deploy them. I really like the discipline our quarterback's playing with. We definitely want to be able to work away from the double teams so to speak, work away from the leverage of the defense, throw it to the open guy. We've got some really good guys to do that with. So, there's always things to get better at and that's what we're looking to do this week."
RB Carlos Hyde looks physically when he has the ball in his hand he looks like an ideal fit for the offense. But, when you guys were evaluating him, was the fact that he worked in the read-option in school was that more appealing for you guys?
"[49ers head coach] Jim, coach Harbaugh made a point that this guy can run anything that we do. I really feel like that's the case. He can run pistol, the gun, under center. And that was really the evaluation process. I think we all felt that way. But, you never know what we might do with him, you know?"
Talking with RB Frank Gore yesterday, he said Carlos sometimes the holes are there and sometimes you have got to make one and that was his advice. Do you see that from Carlos yet and where is he in that process?
"Yeah, I think he learns by doing. Like when something happens, if he doesn't hit the hole or tries to make too much and bounce it, he'll come back the next time and hit it. That's my sense of him. Whether it's protection, motions, whatever it is, learn from it and move on, the wiser. He's a big guy that when he gets behind his pads he can get us a lot of hidden yards."
Another running back question, was former 49ers RB LaMichael James not a great fit for this offense?
"I think LaMichael's a really good football player and just circumstances were that he had some injuries and this and that. Just, things played out the way they did. I wish him the best of luck."