The San Francisco 49ers are back at it preparing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and will likely need to mix things up a bit in their offensive and defensive game-planning. On Monday, they held Adrian Peterson to 31 yards, and Teddy Bridgewater to 231 yards and an interception. The 49ers went with a lot of basic 3-man fronts, but they also mixed in well-timed blitzes to contain the Vikings attack.
On Tuesday, Michael Wilhoite met with the media, and was asked about doing similar stuff now that they are on film. He said that the team had really just shown a small package of what they can do. He had the line of the day when he said, "I think that there's a lot of stuff Mangenius has, and a lot of tricks up his sleeve."
During the offseason, there was talk about Mangini's defense requiring more thinking that could slow the players down. However, Wilhoite thinks the installation process has made it easier as they have moved along. There will be adjustments to be made, particularly facing a potentially dynamic Steelers offense. DeAngelo Williams had a great showing in his debut in place of Le'Veon Bell. Antonio Brown remains a force, and Heath Miller is still a solid tight end. They give Ben Roethlisberger some serious weapons.
On physicality being their mentality:
Yea, I think that's been the identity, mentality for a long time. When I got here, with Harbaugh, it was kind of set with Justin and Pat and those guys have left us but I think we've kept it here, and that's been our mentality. And I think we knew they would come in and try and play our style of football. We like to think that we're one of the best teams that play that style of football, and that's lining up man-to-man and just playing physical, and hitting people. I think we showed that we can play that type of football [on Monday night].
On doing the same things in Week 2 now that it's on film:
Yea, yea. I think that with all the tools that we installed in OTAs, and then the fall camp, I think that we just showed a small package of what we can do. I think that there's a lot of stuff Mangenius has, and a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I think that the way he's coached us so far, and the way they prepared us, is not only fun, but we feel like we're in the right positions, we feel like we're doing our job well. And then at the same time, like I said, we have a lot more we can throw at them.
On Mangenius moniker being well-deserved:
Yea, yea. That's my name for him, so I think that obviously it shows. He's a good mind for the game.
On Mangini's faith in them with all the information:
For sure. He gives us a ton of information, and I think it was difficult at first. But we're professionals, we're professional athletes. I think if you challenge us we're gonna try to rise to it. I think that's why we're here, and I think that's why we're in a position we're in. Of being 1-0 and playing really well on defense, because we embraced the challenge he put in front of us of learning so much information, and we attacked it head on.
On the nickname being used by more people:
I don't know, I don't think so. We'll let it build. it's only been one week, so we've got 16 more weeks after that, so we'll see where it goes from there.
On defensive rotation:
I feel like we've got some good depth, especially on the d-line. And that's where it starts. Our defense has been what it's been for what, the past five years since I've been here, because of our d-line. We have good players everywhere else, but that's where it starts and that's where it ends. With them being able to rotate in guys in dime and nickel, and all our different packages, is very helpful to them I'm sure. And then keeps us free, keeps me and Bo able to roam, and make plays.
On NaVorro Bowman being able to play so much Monday:
No. I feel like I've been around him long enough now that I just expect that. He is who he is. He's one of the only players I've been around that can conduct himself the way he does, and play the way he does. I mean, he's NaVorro Bowman, so, I expect that out of him.
On if Bowman showed appreciation for finally being back on the field:
I think it was more before the game, where he was like, you could tell he was so excited to be out there, and he couldn't wait to get out there to play the game. I think the pause was when he was making plays. When he had the couple sacks, and made the couple plays, that's when you could tell he was so happy to be out there. And when we first came out, he went straight to the crowd. You could tell, he was in his element, he was in a zone. He was where he's supposed to be, and he shined.
On Acker's strong start:
One, he's so athletic. He's very athletic, he pays attention to the details. He's focused in meetings. I think he's a business-like guy, he comes to work, works hard. And I think that's how our defense and how this team is. I feel like we're a bunch of grind-it-out guys, we work hard, we don't pay attention to distractions, and we just keep moving forward. And I think that he's that same type of guy, and I think it's obvious in his play.
On any offseason distractions (sarcastic question):
Not that I know of. For me, I've been pretty focused since day one.
On the tradeoff between guys who departed, guys still around:
The tradeoff is like I just said. Right now, we have a bunch of guys who just want to grind. We want to play as hard we can, as long as we can, and work at it. When we're making mistakes, or things aren't going our way, we never panic, well we didn't last night. We showed resilience, we kept pushing forward, and we kept just grinding. And when they'd get some plays on us, we'd come back and we'd work on the next one. I think that's part of football. There's gonna be a lot of good plays and bad plays, and you just have to keep pushing forward. And I think that's the tradeoff. We've got a bunch of young guys that want to learn and are trying their hardest to help this team win. And that's all we can do.
On Carlos Hyde's big game:
It was awesome. I've been waiting to see him get the opportunity to run the ball that much. I think Carlos will be a very good player in this league for a long time. He's got a great combination of speed and power. He's explosive, he plays low, and he got to learn from the best for a whole year last year. When you learn from a guy like Frank Gore, like I learned from Pat an Bo, you can only go one way.
On short week and any comments from Tomsula:
No, I think that as a professional, that's what it is. That's the tough part of the NFL. That's what makes the NFL what it is, and what makes it so difficult to win consistently on a week-to-week basis. The good teams find a way to do it. You're not going to hear anybody complain, you're not going to hear anybody give excuses before or after the game. We're just going to take it like it is. We knew this going into it. They gave us a schedule months ago, so we knew when we had this game that it was a short week. So I'm sure our coaches prepared, I'm sure they'll have us prepared, and we'll go out there and play.
On parameters being the same no matter what:
The night before the game [Tomsula] mentioned, It's just football. You know, we've been playing football a long time. The field isn't gonna change, like he said. The crowd's gonna be the crowd every game. But at the end of the day, we've got a lot of young guys, a lot of rookies, and I think the best way to keep them calm, or make them understand, is just this is football. At the end of the day, we're all here because we're good football players. Every single one of us can play, it's just going out there and doing it.