As Chip Kelly said in his post game presser, the first preseason game for the San Francisco 49ers had it’s ups and downs. A huge part of “the downs” were the two turnovers that the team committed in the first quarter. After the game I asked Bruce Miller if that will become a focus in the coming week and he replied, “It already has.”
Miller, who has been working diligently on his conversion to the TE position has received help from his position group counterparts while he maintains his leadership role during special teams play. And if changing positions wasn’t enough, Miller and the rest of the team are adjusting to the the tempo of Chip Kelly’s offense. 50 plays and 302 yards in the first half alone, doesn’t give anyone much time to think between plays.
Here’s the full interview:
You ran 50 plays in the first half. Have you ever been involved in anything like this?
Never. No. We’ve been in slow motion compared to this. But yeah, we picked the tempo up a little bit, we got a lot of plays in, and it’s going to be good for us I think to work with the tempo because we can slow it down. We slowed it down a little bit in the middle of the game. Being able to switch the tempo is going to big for us.
There are two sides, a quick three and out and then the long drive that ended with Vance McDonald’s touchdown. You see both sides?
Sure. It keeps the defense on their heels when we’re on the ball that quick. We feel like we’re in great shape. Don’t feel like maybe some of the teams we go up against will be the condition we’re in just because of the tempo that we practice but I think it will be good for us to move the pace back and forth.
Did training camp/practice really get you ready enough?
Absolutely, yeah we’ve been going pretty quickly in practice so we’ve had work at the tempo. Feel like we’re in good condition so it can be a big weapon for us.
And then you go up to elevation.
And then we get in the elevation. It might slow us down a little bit (laughing). We’ve been up there before though. I feel like we do a good job with it. Obviously, it does affect your breathing, getting the air, but I feel like we do a good job with it and we’ll compete, it’ll be good.
Is getting there Tuesday enough time for you to adjust?
Probably not (laughing). I think it will be better but you definitely feel the effects of the elevation. I don’t know if...how long are we there? Five days? we’ll be able to adjust that quickly but like I said we’re going to compete and we’re going to play as hard as we can.
With this QB competition, do you see both guys playing in a single game?
I’m not sure. Not in those meetings but both guys have gotten great work in. The good thing for us is that both guys can lead this football team and are good players for us so keep competing.
How is being a TE going?
It’s going good. Yeah, I thought it went really well today. Still ironing out some kinks but I thought it went good overall for my first time out in a real game situation. I thought it went good. We’ll just keep building. I’m sure I’ll have a ton to learn from now until the season but we’ll just keep going.
How’s the adjustment period been?
It was good. I don’t know if we’re adjusting. I know what we’re doing, what they expect and what they ask of us. So, we’ll just keep trying to perfect that but the transition has gone good. I got a lot of good help, these guys have been working with me non stop and Coach Nixon has been great. Yeah, just keep learning because it’s all new for me. Getting off the line of scrimmage and working down the field is a little bit different full speed and we got some work in practice this week at it but I got a lot of work to do. It’ll be good. I’m excited about it.
You’ve been lined up at TE before but is this the first time you’ve really been one?
That I was really a tight end, yeah, this is the first time. Most of the times I was used there in the past, I was blocking a lot, so that’s why, working through traffic at the second level was a little different for me so, yeah, just more reps. The more reps I can get will be the better, so looking forward to it.
Mike Davis had a really productive night. What have you seen out of him?
He did. He’s done a great job all camp. He did a great job reading the line of scrimmage and making cuts and he looked agile and had some break away speed, maybe not enough (laughing) but he looked great. He’s done a great job all camp so we’re excited about him. All of our running backs are doing a great job running in this scheme. It’s different for them too so they’re doing a great job. Carlos looked great, Shaun looked great, all our guys did a good job running the football. Just can’t turn it over, we gotta quit turning the ball over.
Will that be an emphasis this week?
It already has been. It’s already been talked about. That’s the most important thing, taking care of the football. That stats dramatically show teams that take care of the football, win games.