The San Francisco 49ers are turning over their cornerbacks in 2015, replacing starters Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox. Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright appear to be the favorites for those roles, but it is sufficiently early in camp that plenty of opportunities remain.
Wright chatted with the media on Wednesday, and discussed a few topics. He was coming off a practice session in which he had a pick-six against Colin Kaepernick. He repeatedly emphasized the pass rush provided the opportunity. He talked about how the team's defensive line can provide the kind of rush that forces a quarterback to make a throw before he is ready. We have heard a lot of positives about the pass rush thus far, and this bodes well for a cornerback corps of which we don't know a whole lot.
Wright also spoke about his poor performance last season, and the faith Trent Baalke had that he could bounce back in 2015. Baalke has referenced the team's previous signing of Carlos Rogers as a comp for this addition. Rogers had a monster year his first season with the 49ers. It remains to be seen if Wright will do the same thing, but the team clearly has some measure of confidence in him.
Here is a full transcript of what Wright had to say on Wednesday.
On how camp has gone so far:
It's been good, it's been good. it's been great actually. it's getting better every day.
On if he's worked in such a fast pace before:
No, not necessarily. It is a pretty fast pace, something we've been working on all offseason. It's been going good for us, and we like it.
On getting confidence from getting the pick-six:
It does a lot. As a cornerback you need that confidence. You need that to elevate your game in a way. And that's what it's all about. Just having confidence and definitely when you're making plays, it helps you with that confidence.
Couldn't hear the question:
Ah, no, just knowing the defense. Just knowing what the defense is going to force the offense to do. We just kind of put ourselves in a great position to force a throw like that. When we're gonna being pressure, the ball's gotta come out. He can't hold onto it or there's gonna be a sack. Just trusting that the d-lineman is gonna get there, and the blitz is gonna get there, and the throw's gonna be made. I just believed it.
On the routes the receiver could run on that:
Right, right. He either can run past me or he can run up and stop. He can't really do too many things, not enough time to make too many movements or anything.
On talking to Kap after interceptions:
I just told him I appreciate it when I did talk to him. That I appreciate that play, he said, yea that's the first play you made. He definitely, we didn't go into discussion about it, he kinda knew what was coming. He knew he probably shouldn't have made that throw, but he was either gonna get hit or make the throw.
On pass rush helping:
Yea, it's a complementary defense. Everybody's sacrificing for somebody else to make plays. Every calls different, but it's all set up for us to make plays and that's what defense is about. Just trusting that the pass rush is gonna get there, and trusting that that ball's gonna have to come out. And being able to make plays like that. We definitely want to be aggressive, and we definitely want to make plays like that.
On being veteran with departure of Cook:
Yea, I am. Me and Brock, T-Brock actually are, the oldest cornerbacks.
On younger guys having questions or just learning defense:
We all learn the defense together, but they do, they ask for advice on technique. And after doing one-on-ones, they talk to me about why I do certain things, or why did I do this, what did I see? They're a young group of guys who are determined to be good, and they're trying to be starters in this league.
On reversal of role from young guy to veteran so quickly:
It's not necessarily weird. It's a blessing, honestly, because as a player you always dream of being to that point, of getting to that point and being a veteran in a room. Being a young guy when I came in, I had a lot of older guys who'd been in the league for a while. Even last year, I was, they brought in another corner and I wasn't that guy anymore. But to be in that position now, and being on a new team, I'm just thankful, and it's an honor for me to be in this position.
On receivers he enjoys facing:
All of our receivers, they give a little something different. You got Anquan who's gonna be strong, he's gonna be a technician, he's gonna beat just with his savvy, veteran. And you got guys like Quinton Patton who's gonna be quicker at the line of scrimmage. He's gonna give you a lot more at the line. And you got guys who can just flat out run, so you're gonna get different things from everybody. We need it all. This division, and who we got on our schedule, we're going to see a lot of different types of receivers. So it's good to have that kind of versatility to go against in practice.
Oh man, it just, to me I just feel like Kaepernick's throwing the ball in and his options are a lot more. Watching film on him, it was a lot of, we're gonna run the ball with Gore, and we're gonna throw the ball to one receiver. To us, last year when we were watching film, he had his guys he went through, and I feel like this year, he's opening up a little bit. He's not just attacking one side of the field or just throwing the ball to one person. There's a lot more options out there. Boldin was his guy last year he threw the ball to, and we knew that that's who he was going to go to on third downs, that's who he wanted to get the ball to.
On who stands out among UDFA WRs:
You can pick your poison with those guys. They bring different things to the table. And you can definitely pick your poison. They're a great group of young receivers who are competing and battling. And that's one thing we talked about in the DB room. These guys are battling, and they're tough. You forget that these guys are only rookies sometimes. About how they work and how they go about their job, it's impressive to see that.
On motivation after down year:
Ah man, just not having a season that I wanted to have last year, coming into my contract year. Obviously I didn't have the best season for myself personally, and I know that there is a lot more to me and my game. For whatever reason, there ain't no excuses for my season last year, but obviously it wasn't good enough. But I'm thankful I'm here. I couldn't ask to go to a better team, go to a better situation, to be in at this point. I feel like everything happens for a reason. I'm in a new place, on a new team with new teammates, new scheme. I changed my number up. I just want to be a different player, I just want to be that player that the 49ers believe that I am, and that I know that I can be. It's just time to be that guy.
On negotiations with Baalke and pleasant surprise that he was high on him:
It wasn't a surprise. I was just happy to know that he did believe in me, and that he did see the potential in me, unlike a lot of other teams or general managers that was out there that we talked to. Because we were talking to a lot of teams, but they didn't necessarily feel as high for me as he did. It was just a blessing that he felt that way when I did have a chance to talk to him. That he realized that, and he'd seen that. But all along from the start, my agent was telling me, "San Francisco might be that spot. They talked good about you through the whole process." So even before I came on my trip, he kind of was telling me that San Francisco might be our place. So we started keeping our focus here.
On Mangini using blitz forcing more opportunities:
They gotta throw it, and when you've got a great pass rush, you gotta get rid of the ball, or you're gonna get sacked. Either it's a coverage sack, or either it's a great move by the great blitz or whatever it is, a great play drawn up, but you definitely, the ball's gotta come out. You can be more aggressive. And the way our defense is set up, it's set up for everybody to have opportunities to make plays. It's not set up for one player to make all the plays in this defense. It's set up for everybody to make plays. So, it's great.