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What are these signs of growth Jim Tomsula thinks exist with 49ers?

The San Francisco 49ers showed significant issues with discipline on Sunday, and dropped to 4-11 with the loss to the Detroit Lions. On Monday, Tomsula got some questions about the game, and as usual, he had no answers. He talked about their being no excuses for the penalties and tackling issues, and spoke to trying to build some kind of consistency, but does not actually seem to have an idea of how to do that.

At one point on Monday, Tomsula was asked if he thought he would be back in 2016. He said, "Yeah. I'm going to coach until somebody tells me I'm not." He acknowledged that his status has not been addressed at this point, but apparently everybody's real friendly and offering him help, so that's something!

"I see people every day and we talk about, the biggest thing that I get asked is can we help? Is there anything we can do for you? Do you need anything? That's what I get asked constantly. And quite frankly, from that end of it, they couldn't give us any more than they're giving us."

I'd say this would strike me as more of a "dead man walking" type of situation, but I think most of us realize at this point that he's got the warden on his side and is getting to get at least a brief reprieve.

Later in the press conference, he was asked if he felt this 49ers team and the coaching staff are "in a better spot now than where you guys started?" His response:

"Yeah, I think there's been a lot of growth that way. We're in a performance-based business. We've got four wins, man. It's volatile. I understand that, everybody understands that. When you're a coach, the minute you sign the contract, boom, clock stats. We're fine with that. We're just going to keep working. We just work."

The next question involved the Bears game, and why the team did not improve upon that game. The media person specifically asked, "Why do you think that is and what as a coach do you think maybe you could have done to make it go better? Why do you think that happened, that you weren't able to build off that?"

Tomsula's answer, as usual was all over the place. He's talked frequently about how the team has had great practices and prepared well, and this seemed to be a slight step above that. He thinks something is going well, but what it is, I just don't know what:

"Well, I think in certain areas we did. It didn't equate to the win-loss record, which is the ultimate. I got it, that's the measuring stick. But, in certain areas we did. And I don't like going backwards, but when you go backwards there, obviously, the Cleveland thing was, that was just no good. That was a big step down. But, then as I'm watching the guys and I'm watching the way they're working and I'm watching some of the things that we're doing, that the coaches are doing and what some of the younger guys and where they're getting and the gel that you're starting to see happen there, I think that is good. What could I have done? Probably, Cleveland I put a lot of emphasis on starting fast in terms of throwing the ball, getting it down the field and things like that and that's just not how we're built right now. So, that's a Jimbo. I went into the offense, talked about that. ‘Let's stretch the field here early. Let's get some things going.' I think that's what you're asking."

I do think certain players have emerged, but at times it feels like it has been in spite of the coaching staff to a certain degree. Guys like Andrew Tiller, Trenton Brown and Dontae Johnson have gotten more opportunities, but the coaching staff seems to be doing everything it can to not actually get a firm grasp of what young guys can do. I'm sure practice performances have something to do with it, so I won't put it all on the coaching staff. But at some point, you gotta see what these guys can do in real situations.

This is not the first time Tomsula's press conference has struggled to provide us with any kind of real information, so I suppose we should not be surprised at this point. There are four of them remaining this season, starting on Wednesday, and wrapping up either Monday or Tuesday with the end-of-season press conference. I don't expect to learn a whole lot more during those four press conferences.