Category Archives: San Francisco 49ers

Raiders, 49ers Team Up To Assist In Clayton Fire Recovery

Alameda, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers are teaming up to aid in the Lake County Clayton Fire recovery efforts. Each organization will contribute $10,000 to the Konocti Unified School District, which had schools directly impacted by the fire.

The Konocti Unified School District, which serves the Clearlake and Lower Lake communities, was scheduled to begin classes on Monday but cancelled all schools for the week of August 15 due to the Clayton Fire. Lower Lake High School’s sports fields and equipment were damaged in the fire.

“The Raiders express our care and concern for those affected by the Clayton Fire,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “We salute all of those who are assisting in the recovery efforts that are already underway.”

“Our hearts go out to the people of Lake County and everyone involved in the relief efforts as they courageously fight through the terrible tragedy that is affecting their homes and their way of life,” said 49ers President Al Guido. “We are happy to come together to help them along the path to recovery.”
The funds from the $20,000 joint donation will go to support the school’s efforts to rebuild fields and restore sports equipment lost in the fire.

Nearly 2,500 firefighting personnel throughout Northern California are working feverishly to contain the fire that has left more than 4,000 acres burned in and around the town of Lower Lake on the southern edge of Clear Lake. The Clayton Fire started Saturday, August 13, 2016, about 100 miles north of the Bay Area.

Fans of either team who would like to contribute to the Konocti Unified School District relief efforts should send donations to: Konocti Unified School District, PO Box 759, 9430-B Lake Street, Lower Lake, CA 95457. General donations for Clayton fire victims can also be made at www.larca5130.org/donate/ and www.ncoinc.org/give/.

Courtesy of Oakland Raiders Media Relations

San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin Named Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year

Photo by Shawn Jonas

San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin was named the 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, presented by Nationwide, on Saturday, February 6, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the esteemed accolade. One of the most prestigious awards in all of sports, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the only league award that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence. As a part of the honor, Boldin’s Q81 foundation will receive a $50,000 donation, courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

“I’m beyond humbled to be selected as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year,” said Boldin. “I used to dream that I could play like Walter Payton when I was growing up, but he became even more of an inspiration to me as I learned about his legacy as a humanitarian. I commend the other 31 finalists throughout the National Football League who continue to use this platform to influence the lives of others in a positive way. May we continue to open our hearts and make an impact in our communities and throughout this world.”

Anquan Boldin is a tremendous example of a professional athlete who has used the platform the National Football League affords him to positively impact the lives of others,” said 49ers CEO Jed York. “The diversity of his philanthropic efforts and the hands-on approach he takes to providing for those who cannot provide for themselves is widely respected throughout professional sports. Anquan has been a great ambassador for the San Francisco 49ers, and we congratulate him on being named this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.”

Boldin etched his name in the NFL record books multiple times throughout the 2015 season. In Week 16, Boldin recorded his 1,000th career reception becoming one of only 13 players in NFL history to record 1,000-or-more receptions in their career. In addition, Boldin reached 1,000 receptions in 185 games, making him the fifth-fastest player to reach that milestone, and currently ranks 12th in NFL history with 1,009 career receptions. Boldin also became the first player in NFL history to record 50-or-more receptions and at least 600 yards receiving in each of his first 13 NFL seasons. He finished the season with 69 receptions for 789 yards and four touchdowns. Throughout his career, Boldin has been honored with NFL Man of the Year nominations four times by three different teams and has been equally impactful in the community during his 13 years in the NFL.

Boldin is responsible for establishing the Anquan Boldin (Q81) Foundation, which for 12 years has been dedicated to expanding the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children. Through grassroots efforts by Boldin, the foundation has showcased charitable activities in Phoenix, Baltimore, South Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area, developing a niche for awarding scholastic and community achievement in youth, as well as distributing four-year college scholarships to deserving high school seniors. In 2014, the three-time Pro Bowl selection and his wife, Dionne, donated one million dollars to the Q81 Foundation for continued distribution of college scholarships. That same year, the NFLPA awarded Boldin and his foundation $100,000 for winning the prestigious Byron “Whizzer” White Award. Boldin’s foundation was also awarded $25,000, when he was named a 2015 Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award finalist, the only NFL player to be acknowledged.

Furthermore, the 13-year veteran recruits fellow NFL players and celebrities to participate in the annual Q-Festival, a weekend of free entertainment provided to residents and participating fans in his Florida hometown of Palm Beach County, raising more than $100,000 annually. Other seasonal services provided through the foundation include Thanksgiving giveaways, holiday shopping sprees and back-to-school donations.

Boldin’s philanthropic endeavors have also had a global impact. Since 2010, he has worked with Oxfam America, taking two overseas trips to Ethiopia and Senegal and later using his testimony at the White House to lobby Senegalese rights.

Press Release Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

San Francisco 49ers Wr Anquan Boldin Named Finalist For Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year

San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin was named one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide, for the second consecutive year. One of the most prestigious awards in all of sports, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the only league award that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.

Boldin will be available on a conference call on Tuesday, January 26th at 11 a.m. PT. (49ers Conference Call Line – 866-710-5981 – Conference Room Number: 159-231-8300).

Boldin etched his name in the NFL record books multiple times throughout the 2015 season. In Week 16, Boldin recorded his 1,000th career reception becoming one of only 13 players in NFL history to record 1,000-or-more receptions in their career. In addition, Boldin reached 1,000 receptions in 185 games, making him the fifth-fastest player to reach that milestone, and currently ranks 12th in NFL history with 1,009 career receptions. Boldin also became the first player in NFL history to record 50-or-more receptions and at least 600 yards receiving in each of his first 13 NFL seasons. He finished the season with 69 receptions for 789 yards and four touchdowns. Throughout his career, Boldin has been honored with NFL Man of the Year nominations four times by three different teams and has been equally impactful in the community during his 13 years in the NFL.

Boldin is responsible for establishing the Anquan Boldin (Q81) Foundation, which for 12 years has been dedicated to expanding the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children. Through grassroots efforts by Boldin, the foundation has showcased charitable activities in Phoenix, Baltimore, South Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area, developing a niche for awarding scholastic and community achievement in youth, as well as distributing four-year college scholarships to deserving high school seniors. In 2014, the three-time Pro Bowl selection and his wife, Dionne, donated one million dollars to the Q81 Foundation for continued distribution of college scholarships. That same year, the NFLPA awarded Boldin and his foundation $100,000 for winning the prestigious Byron “Whizzer” White Award. Boldin’s foundation was also awarded $25,000, when he was named a 2015 Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award finalist, the only NFL player to be acknowledged.

Furthermore, the 13-year veteran recruits fellow NFL players and celebrities to participate in the annual Q-Festival, a weekend of free entertainment provided to residents and participating fans in his Florida hometown of Palm Beach County, raising more than $100,000 annually. Other seasonal services provided through the foundation include Thanksgiving giveaways, holiday shopping sprees and back-to-school donations.

Boldin’s philanthropic endeavors have also had a global impact. Since 2010, he has worked with Oxfam America, taking two overseas trips to Ethiopia and Senegal and later using his testimony at the White House to lobby Senegalese rights.

Each of the 32 team nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year receives a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice. The two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 donation, and the winner will receive a $50,000 donation. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL Honors Awards show, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on CBS on February 6, the night before Super Bowl 50, from 6-8 p.m. PT at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

2014 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Winner Carolina Panthers LB Thomas Davis on Boldin:

“Anquan is a great dude. He’s very genuine and very passionate about helping others. It’s tremendous what he’s doing in the community. The lives he’s been able to impact, it leaves me in awe. I definitely feel that he should win the award. He’s very much deserving. Hopefully he’ll be the recipient of that award this year just based on all the things he’s been able to accomplish.”

San Francisco 49ers WR and 2014 Baltimore Ravens Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee Torrey Smith on Boldin:

“I’m planning on him winning it. I think he should win it. The impact he’s had in Arizona, obviously back home in Florida, in Baltimore and now here. It’s crazy. He’s so spread out. There are not many players that can say that. What Anquan has done is really unique and it’s going to continue to live on longer than his playing days here and I think that says a lot because I think he’s a Hall of Famer.”

Press Release Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

San Francisco 49ers Place QB Colin Kaepernick On Injured Reserve; Promote QB Dylan Thompson To Active Roster

Photo by Shawn Jonas

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have placed QB Colin Kaepernick on the Injured Reserve List, and promoted QB Dylan Thompson to the active roster from the team’s practice squad.

Thompson (6-3, 218) originally signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of the University of South Carolina on May 5, 2015. He was released by the team on September 5, and then signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.

A 24-year-old native of Boiling Springs, SC, Thompson set the South Carolina Gamecock record and led the SEC with 3,564 passing yards last season.

Thompson will wear number 13.

Kaepernick (6-4, 230) appeared in nine games (eight starts) this season and threw for 1,615 yards and six touchdowns while adding 45 rushes for 256 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

Press Release Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

San Francisco 49ers Transcript: Head Coach Jim Tomsula

Head Coach Jim Tomsula
Press Conference 
San Francisco 49ers

Opening comments:
“Injuries, the only guy we have to talk about is [CB] Tramaine Brock. He’s been limited. We’ve limited him the last couple of days. I feel really good about him. We’re just trying to be smart and make sure we’re ready to go.”

Would you list him as probable or questionable?
“No. When you get into, that comes from [Vice President of Football Operations Jeff Ferguson] Fergie. I don’t, they were trying to explain that to me the other day. However he lists, I mean, he’s done the individual, he’s done the, I can tell you what he’s done. He’s done the group stuff. They just didn’t want him in opened up team periods. So, I’m expecting more of that today.”

How’s he looked in your eyes during practice?
“I haven’t seen a thing.”

You haven’t seen a–?
“I haven’t seen anything that tells me negative. But, they haven’t opened him all the way up, you know what I mean?”

Yeah.
“That’s why I stay out of it. I’m not going to get myself in trouble there, you know, with the trainer. That’s it.”

Did you want to divulge who is going to start at the other cornerback spot?
“No. We’ve got the whole group working there.”

And same with return specialist?
“Yeah, we’ve got them working. They’re doing a nice job.”

Let me ask you this, understanding that you’re not going to say who it is–?
“And you understand why. I’m not trying to be coy. I’m not trying to make anything. We don’t need to give bulletin boards where people can study everybody’s every movement.”

Then let me ask you this, how long ago did you tell these guys though when they’re starting so that they can prepare for that role?
“Oh yeah, they’ve known. And everybody knows that they’ll play. We expect our secondary to, all of them to play.”

You said early in the offseason that you wanted to get your team better acquainted, more comfortable with Levi’s® Stadium and that wasn’t as possible as you had hoped. Where are you on that and do you feel good about the comfort level, the home-field advantage you’re going to have?
“Yes. I mean, yes I feel like, you know, we’re in this building, we’ve been in this building locker room-wise and everything we’re doing that way. So, all that is extremely comfortable. Our training room is in here. So, we’ve got all that going on day-to-day. We did get a nice amount of work in that stadium in the spring and in the fall. We got time. So, yeah, I feel great about that.”

You’re a guy who wears black a lot and it looks like–?
“It’s slimming.”

And it looks like they’re going to be giving out black t-shirts and the black uniforms. Do you think that will help with having the crowd all being the same color and the new uniforms?
“I think so. And I know the guys make fun of me. I mean, obviously it’s neat, it’s cool. The guys like it. I’m trying to keep my connection to the younger generation. But, for me, I mean, it’s 53 and 1/3 wide, 100 long with two 10-yard end zones and an opponent. That’s kind of where I stay. But, I think the guys really, I mean I think they really like it. There’s no denying, OK, that it’s Monday night. I got reminded today about that. It’s game day. But, Monday night is obviously a thrill for the guys, all players.”

Would Australians have any particular reason to want to tune in on Monday Night?
“Well, I’ll tell you what, if I was in Australia, I’d have the NFL package. I’d be watching every football game I could watch because I just love football and it’s a great game.”

Any particular reason though?
“It’s a phenomenal game.”

Back to the stadium real quick. Have you gone out and checked the field conditions in terms of–?
“No.”

Not at all.
“Not yet. Usually I do that on Saturday, check things out.”

Which would be tomorrow?
“Yeah. Well, yeah, I should say Day 4. That what we refer to it as.”

Your kickers have been practicing there throughout the week?
“Yeah. Yeah, they do that.”

How would you assess the week of preparation, the practice, what you saw from the guys on the field?
“The last two days have been really good. It’s been a really good week of practice. I’m excited about the energy level, the attention to detail. So, the practices have been crisp and sharp. Today, we’d like to really get it. It won’t be as long today, but it’ll be the team emphasis and stuff like that. So, excited about today’s practice. Seems like a nice energy level around here right now and the guys seem to be in a good spot.”

With former 49ers and current Oakland Raiders LB Aldon Smith signing yesterday with the Raiders a month after you guys dismissed him and you had a really compassionate plead for people to seek help. What are your thoughts about him getting back into this?
“Listen, all I or anybody here want for Aldon is a great life. That’s just as, again, everything there doesn’t have to do anything with football. I don’t want to speak for other people, but I would feel confident saying that about this whole organization, everybody in that locker room. All we want is what’s best for him. We want him to have a great life.”

I know you offered him help when you released him. Did he follow up on any of that?
“I don’t, I’m not going to go, that’s his business and I’m not going to get into any of that. Out of respect.”

You’re going to have one guy on your injury report which is a very low number comparatively. Do you interpret that as a success towards your approach to injuries this year? You’ve done the thing where you wouldn’t let a guy come back until he was 100-percent, that sort of thing.
“Well, there’s a couple reasons for that too. First of all, in the context of that question, not my approach. This whole, it’s the village. It’s the training room. It’s the strength and conditioning. It’s the players themselves. It’s every, it’s the food. It’s the hydration. To me, it’s everything. It’s not one thing here or there. Everybody has a hand in that. And the biggest hand in that is the players. Now, obviously, the expenses that have been, to purchase the equipment for regeneration and to take of your body have obviously been funded here in a big way. So, we have a lot of that and the guys talking about those things. The guys doing those things. There’s, again, there’s been talk all along about some of the things are shorter and there’s not this and there’s not that. The day is still the day. It’s just been distributed a little different. So, a guy sitting in boots. A guy’s in a hot tub. Guy’s getting a massage. Those things are happening during the day. That’s what I attribute all that to and we feel like we’ve worked real hard in the process. So, we don’t think the hard work, I mean, you’ve been to practices. These guys bust their tails and we’ve had collisions. We’ve put the pads on and we’ve gotten collisions. So, we feel like we’ve balanced all that out. We do check it every day. But, then again, when you talk about the practice itself, somebody not going full speed hinders a drill. So, it’s not only getting that guy right, it’s also being able to have everybody else get the work done that they need to get because we want to practice at that speed.”

I’m going to ask a Hayne-related question that’s not necessarily him. With all that’s gone on, has anybody sent you request for you to look at them? Like maybe other sports stars or any of your ex-NFL Europe products sent you? Any fan mail about what’s going on? Any cross-sport guys?
“Yeah. I mean, those things happen. But, again, anything having to do with personnel we do funnel to the personnel department.”

But, have you gotten people that have reached out to you?
“Well, yeah that was before anybody ever heard of Jarryd Hayne in America. Yeah, that’s just constant. That’s always happened. So, DVDs, you get sent a lot of stuff, you do.”

Have you heard from any of your old NFL Europe cross-sport guys?
“I’m not going to tell you that I have. But, again, I don’t check the mail as much. Just honestly I don’t. [49ers employee] Vilma sorts it and gets it. Anything personnel related she sends it to the personnel guys. So, there could have been, but I don’t know about it.”

LB NaVorro Bowman mentioned yesterday, potentially his first game back, obviously Monday potentially being jacked up and he’s going to have to deal with maybe trying to harness his emotions. What’s your sense been of him this week when you’ve checked in and what message is he giving off to you in terms of how he’s preparing for Monday?
“Focus. That’s the word. Extreme focus. I might say that’s the one thing that stood out to me this week, really good focus. We want to have as much fun as the next guy and we’ve got the table tennis going on at the end of the day, things like that. But, from the time we start to the time we end practice it’s a very focused setting. And he’s obviously a major part of that.”

Press Release Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

San Francisco 49ers Transcripts: Offensive Coordinator Geep Chryst and Defense Coordinator Eric Mangini

Offensive Coordinator Geep Chryst
Press Conference 
San Francisco 49ers

Opening comments:
“It’s great to be here. Week 1 of the regular season, there’s a lot of juice throughout the league and in our locker room. But, can’t wait to play Monday night. That’s about all I have to say, but I know you probably have some questions.”

How has the offensive line starting to come together now that OL Jordan Devey’s set at right guard?
“Yeah, you know, that work up in Denver was really good work for us. We were trying to find those final combinations. But, since that game, I think we’ve locked in. The padded practices are real important for the linemen. If you lined up those linemen together and start to develop some chemistry, I think that’s what we’re seeing. So, we were valuing the practices, not just the good work we had up in Denver, but then coming back here and working with ourselves has really been good. And I think we’re kind of getting that chemistry you want to see going into Week 1.”

You had padded practices last week, what Wednesday before and then Friday?
“Yeah. And we’re trying to work that in because what happens, normally, is you’re trying to find the final 53 in the fourth preseason game. So, we probably worked a little harder, knowing going to Denver, we probably didn’t play some of those guys as much in the game itself up in Denver because we had gotten some good work, a padded day, even though we had shorts on it was a padded day and then an unpadded day and then carrying that momentum into Week 4 of the preseason. A lot of the guys went through a normal week even though it was a short week. So, trying to back-end the Denver week with the fourth preseason game, I think we’ve picked up right where we left off right now knowing that it’s a Monday night game and we still have some work to do this week.”

How have you seen TE Vernon Davis, pretty motivated to bounce back from a tough year? We see him over on the side working with tight ends coach Tony Sparano, how has that relationship been with those two?
“Yeah, it’s been a great relationship with Vernon and Tony and we love all of our tight ends. But, Vernon, been here now the fifth season and you see Vernon and you realize just what we think an anomaly the previous year was. And that happens, especially to veterans. And I think he’s come out from the first day of offseason all the way through and there’s been a nice chemistry. We have chemistry between linemen, chemistry between receivers and the quarterbacks, but we’re also seeing some chemistry between the coaches that have been brought on board and then those position players. And that’s really exciting to see. Those of you that have been out there, we’ve gotten a lot out of the practice segments. The individual portion of practice, there’s a lot of work going on. There’s more gadgets on the field in terms of receivers running through what looks like thoroughbred hoops. But, at the end of the day, we’ve gotten a lot of work out of that and we hope some of that will pay off on Monday night.”

Do you expect the Vikings to test your offensive line in different ways to make sure they’re all on the same page?
“Yeah, there’s a lot of different ways to do it. You can test them by personnel. They’ve got some good young people playing defense and then [Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer] Zim’s scheme has been always very sound. He’s been around a long time. He’s got that nice blend of being a tough disciplinarian yet they still enjoy playing for him and playing hard. So, you try to fit your plays into the scheme that it’s going to be knowing that you can forecast maybe some of the things that they’ve done in the past to try to put their best foot forward on opening night.”

You said in training camp you thought you had the right offensive linemen there but time will tell. You ended up making two trades for offensive linemen. What do you feel now? Do you feel like–?
“Yeah. You pull the scope back and you realize that there was going to be some replacement of the people who were there from previous years. And we’ve done that. For example, [former C] Johnathan Goodwin, we did a nice job with [C] Daniel Kilgore coming in. He’s injured, so we’ve got to keep finding that combination. And again, going back to the value of having pads on for those linemen to work as a cohesive unit. I think we’ve gotten a lot out of that. But, you have to probe the different combinations. You saw that throughout, not just within the games, but even during practices. Those of you that have been out there, you saw just how much we were trying to probe to find the right combination and right now as we stand here, we’re healthy which is important and we’re developing some good chemistry. And I think those are really good things to bank on going into the game.”

Apologies to the beat writers, a RB Jarryd Hayne question. How have you found him dealing with the attention for a player who has still got a lot to prove?
“You know, it’s been a remarkable journey since he first got here. He’s so good at handling the ball in flight. We remember maybe fielding a punt or catching a pass, but then during the game itself, you know, they come at you with different angles then maybe what he’s used to. It’s been quite remarkable for him to be that comfortable so quickly. So, it’s been a remarkable journey. I’m glad you can check it out for yourself because it’s been remarkable.”

Are there any management issues with you given that he’s still got a lot to prove and is getting so much attention as a rookie? Has it been a challenge for you?
“What’s been great is [head coach] Jim Tomsula’s background in NFL Europe. I think that the European player, he’s worked with a lot of projects. We had [former 49ers DL] Lawrence Okoye. I would think right now, there’s no language barrier. Sometimes when you’re working with foreign players, if it was a language barrier, then communicating is hard. But, even though we have football terminology, I think that’s been a major plus is that other than an accent every now and then, there is no language barrier.”

Did you see enough just in the last week when he was healthy for WR Bruce Ellington to be the number three guy?
“You could tell right, the fourth preseason game we wanted to get him in. We actually tried to call some plays in the second half of the Denver game, trying to see where he was at because he’s a dynamic player when he’s out there and when he got out there the first third down, it wasn’t exactly called to be a touchdown, it was called to move the chains but he did it on his own. Again, as an example of someone where you don’t want to jump to too many conclusions after the first day of training camp or in the offseason. But, it seems like where we stand right now, he’s at a good spot and confident and healthy.”

WR Torrey Smith seems unconcerned that they didn’t hook up on a lot of passes in the preseason, with QB Colin Kaepernick. Is that your take too? I mean, they hit a lot in practice.
“Yeah. I would have to say over the long haul of training camp, games and practices blend together. And so, we saw enough from the offseason, the OTA’s, the mini-camps and the practices themselves including the practice yesterday, where there’s enough connections that you’re not losing sleep over that.”

Are you getting along with C Nick Easton?
“No problems there.”

When you guys were scouting him, did you look at him as a guard as well? Is he capable of playing that?
“Yeah. We all know what the numbers look like on game day, right? You have a big group of 90 that dwindles down, but then you’re only going to have probably seven, it’s a luxury to have eight dressed up. So, you’re always looking for someone that can be that swing guy, the person that has the ability. So, we worked hard last year, for example, with [C] Marcus Martin so that he could pull the ball and play center and also play guard. That versatility, position versatility, is really important and any of the guys coming in, including [OL] Ian [Silberman]. We were out there, for those of you that remember watching we had that one training camp practice where we were rolling the ball back there. But, we just have to stay with developing him as a center even though that’s not part of his background. It’s just the versatility, and hopefully though practices and reps and over the span of an entire season, everyone becomes comfortable with it.”

In basketball, coaches likes to say it’s important to get a big man involved early, get him touches early.
“Sure.”

Does the same principle apply to Vernon Davis?
“I think Vernon’s very unique in that way in that for a big man, he does run. And there’s another basketball analogy that’s reward the big man for running the floor. So, Vernon, I think it’s important to get everyone going early. And the easiest way to do that is to get first downs so that you get more plays and you string some plays together in a drive. So, I think you’re conscious of everyone’s role on game day. And then within the game plan, can you spread it out, not just for Vernon, but what is Bruce Ellington’s role in the game plan? Or what is [WR] Anquan’s [Boldin] role? Or Torrey’s role? And if you feel like you’ve got a balanced call sheet going into a game, you feel like everyone has ownership within that game plan.”

Could you imagine how tough that was for him last year dealing with some injuries and not being utilized maybe the way he–?
“Yeah, and any athlete, you talk to athletes, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. And I think there’s never the perfect season where everything just falls into place. So, the challenges are kind of playing through some of the sticky points to a season and for the most part, the people who are good athletes play through all of that. And every now and then, they do get stuck and you’ve got to make sure to just stay with the plan and move forward. And so, we’re moving forward off of that and there’s been a lot of plays that have been made throughout the course of this training camp that, you know, the past is the past.”

What kind of differences have you noticed out of RB Carlos Hyde the rookie to Carlos Hyde the number one back replacing someone like former 49ers and current Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore?
“First off, he’s had a great rhythm to things. So, you come in as a rookie, you’re not quite sure what’s around the next bend. I think he took full advantage of the offseason here to put himself in a good spot conditioning-wise. I see him working out so hard with [director of human performance Mark Uyeyama] Uye and in the weight room, and then working on the practice field. There’s just a comfort level. You’re no longer a rookie, you see that, take a Marcus Martin, that draft class of people who are coming back for their second go around. They’re looking at some of the rookies and realizing what it was like. But, we really see a lot of growth from Carlos both physically and then within the playbook.”

But, was rhythm maybe an issue for him last year in the sense that he was a much different runner than Frank?
“Yeah, and again, you want to have a little bit of a piece of a game plan for everybody. But, when it’s game day, no one wants to come out of a huddle on game day. But, you want to mix people in. So, there’s always a balance associated with that where right now, he knows he’s in the huddle and he doesn’t want to come out. So, he wants to make the plays. So, I think it’s a different role for him and something that he’s excited and looking forward to and has worked hard to be in that spot right there.”

What’s your assessment of QB Blaine Gabbert’s preseason performance?
“You know, the last time we talked, a couple of things we wanted to look at, we wanted to look at the O-Line as a rotation, we talked about Jarryd a lot and how phenomenal he was just picking up this game. And then we talked and it was really a serious effort to try to get Blaine what he was doing on the practice field, and I thought he had it, I don’t know what else he could have done in the preseason games to give himself more confidence and to give us more confidence. And that’s always a great feeling going into the season.”

Defensive Coordinator Eric Mangini
Press Conference

Opening comments:
“Good morning everybody, how are you doing? We are just pushing forward on our installation, our situational defenses. Got through walk-thru, we’ve got another good day of practice today. I thought yesterday went well, and just moving the plan along.”

How do you kind of account for what you think the Vikings will do on Monday night?
“I’ll tell you, the first game of the season, to me, is always one of the toughest because you’ve had a whole offseason, they’ve had a whole offseason. What you show in the preseason isn’t necessarily what you’re going to do or what you’re going to get and you don’t know what things they like from their OTAs, from training camp, things along those lines. Then you add an element like [Vikings RB] Adrian Peterson, who is a special player. And, what’s the balance going to be? Run? Pass? How are those things going to play out with Adrian back there?”

How hard is it to game plan going against two burners on the outside, you have Vikings WR Charles Johnson and you have Vikings WR Mike Wallace who can basically just clear out, opening the middle for Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph, so how do you, how tough is it to game plan for something like that?
“Yeah, and you’ve got a really special running back. You’ve got a quarterback that can run and do different things that create problems outside of what you normally get. There are a lot of different things that you have to try to get in place because you’re first answer may not be your best answer and you’ve got to work on a couple of counters. So, as the game goes on and you go into the plan thinking it’s going to unfold one way and it doesn’t, having the ability to refer back to, ‘Hey, remember when we did this or this,’ and be able to not only put that in on the sideline, but also execute it.”

Have you decided on who’s going to start at cornerback and where are you in that process?
“Well, we’ll let the week play out. All of those guys are working at it and some of it is how they practice, but it’s also how well they deal with the game plan and understand the game plan. So, we’re evaluating that as we go and then we’ll work it out at the end of the week.”

It seems like those guys have different skills sets. Would it make sense to decided playing time based on matchups?
“Well, there’s a component to that. The other thing that you get is you see a significant amount of 11 personnel. Not just from Minnesota, but from all teams, so that’s when you get in your substituted defenses where multiple guys can play. You can look at it from a matchup perspective and I’ve done that quite a bit over the years, where you put certain guys on certain guys. Sometimes I’d say it’s a really good approach and other times you really want to go left and right, depending on how they are building the formations, how they’re building the passing game, what the threats are, because even though that player has a specific set that you’d like to matchup on, those routes that you’re getting aren’t consistent with where it’d be a big edge.”

WR Torrey Smith said the other day that he was surprised to find out that CB Keith Reaser and CB Kenneth Acker both had missed last year due to injury because they were both so good and so polished when he arrived. Did you have the same reaction that they didn’t really seem like guys who are feeling their way along this offseason that they just kind of jumped into it with two feet?
“Well, I’ve liked that about, not just those guys, but when you look at the rookies, guys like [S] Jaquiski [Tartt] or [DL] Arik [Armstead] or [LB] Eli [Harold]. Those guys have all approached it the same way. You don’t get the sense from any of them that it’s too big for them. You don’t get a sense that they’re in awe of it. If anything, you feel their excitement. You feel their excitement about the opportunity that they have and the challenges that they’re going to have and that’s what you look for. The last thing you want as a coach is to have a guy that you’re comforting through the first game. So, I’ve liked that and young guys have a nice quality about them, because sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know and that’s a good thing.”

How has LB Ahmad Brooks looked after being away for a week?
“He’s looked good. Ahmad has looked really good. And Ahmad is a guy that throughout the spring, throughout camp, really been impressed with his work ethic, his toughness, his consistency, his approach in the classroom. All those things have been outstanding, outstanding.”

You would expect no restrictions on him, he can play?
“No, I don’t expect any restrictions on Ahmad at all and Ahmad’s built in versatility where he can go left, he can go right, he can move around. Ahmad can be anywhere.”

Did you see him take some, you know, new approaches to his fitness, to his eating or did he share any of that with you over what he did during the offseason?
“I should probably talk to him about his fitness and eating, I could use some of those tips. We hadn’t talked much about that. Its, and again, even though I’ve been here the past couple of years, the relationship you build with guys on the other side is a little bit different. I’ve talked to [TE] Vernon [Davis] probably ad nauseum about his eating and fitness. He’s got a good regimen going. But, we haven’t done a lot of that. We talked more in lines of the importance of it and it wasn’t a conversation that had to be revisited because he’s been so proactive with all that stuff.”

Is there any, was there any awkwardness there with Ahmad being gone for that time and then being welcomed back? Because he was kind of in limbo for a while, how did you kind of plan for that in that time?
“Well, it’s going back to what I said initially with the first game, there are so many different plans that you have in place and really our planning has changed pretty dramatically throughout the course of the spring and training camp, where changes have taken place and one system, plan, idea, core group of things that you liked looks totally different. And then, you push the next one forward and something changes and you have a different group then you change again. And, going into this game, now you have to have a ton of different things prepared because you don’t know what you’re going to get, I mean, you have an idea. You try to eliminate as many variables as you can, but you just don’t know.”

One of those big changes was former 49ers and current Oakland Raiders LB Aldon Smith. Obviously, you only had him for this offseason, but today he signed with the raiders up the freeway here a little bit. Any reaction to him getting on with his career?
“Yeah, I’m really happy for him. There’s another guy that I had a great experience with. Loved the way he was working, approaching things. I’m really happy for him and I’m cheering for him to do great things.”

Can you talk about how you see LB NaVorro Bowman approaching this game and whether this has kind of played up to a dream scenario for you, just he’s come in all the way through this healthy and is ready to go Week 1?
“Yeah, that’s exciting. We’ve worked with him and he’s worked with us in terms of how much, the approach. And a lot of that for a guy who goes through a major injury, there is a learning process, there is a building confidence process because the first few times you make a certain movement, you react, you’re not thinking, it’s a measured movements. Things can, sounds can be made that you’re not used or that you worry about and it’s just part of the healing process that comes with it and you just try to get the best plan and everybody is a part of that plan.”

He’s such a key figure, not necessarily on the defense but on the team, do you sense or do you notice other players sort of reacting, when he makes a play does it kind of lift up the rest of his, the guys around him?
“Yeah, the group as a whole is very supportive of each other and another thing that you always look for in this situation is how guys respond to each other and you can see it on tape. A guy makes a play, there are a bunch of guys over there congratulating him. It’s not about, ‘Hey, I need to get mine. I need my plays. I need my sacks. I need my tackles.’ It’s we need to be successful and guys are excited about other teammates success and that, to me, isn’t always an easy thing to get. It isn’t always an easy thing to build. It’s organic. You can try to push that along but as I watched, have watched the guys and seen how they respond to each other, they like each other. They care about each other. They don’t want to let each other down and I respect that and really like that.”

The Vikings offensive line, obviously, has a few moving parts, more so than you would usually, do you try to test them to make sure they are all on the same page?
“Yeah, you’d love to test anything that’s different but we have a lot of moving parts and a lot of different things as well. And, they’ve got a moving part that came in that really is a huge test with Adrian. And then, the things that he can do, whether he has perfect blocking or whether he has no blocking, he can create yards after contact. He can create holes that aren’t there. He can bring the ball all the way backside even though he’s pressed the wall front side. He tests the integrity of your front and there are plenty of examples on tape where things have broken down and he generates something that really a lot of backs can’t generate. And, he’s a guy that gets stronger as the game goes on. It’s not like he shoots his gun early in the game and then slows down. He builds, builds tempo and I’m sure Minnesota’s going through the same process. They’ve got new guys working together, communicating together. In the offensive line, there’s a lot of communication but we all deal with that, you deal with it in secondary. And, they’ve been working with each other for a little while now and I’m sure they pushed that comfort level up.”

In the preseason, we saw Jaquiski working in maybe playing some linebacker in some certain sub-packages. How much of a luxury is that to have a guy who physically can probably fill in the run game but also has the speed maybe to cover some players in the modern NFL?
“Yeah, you’re always looking for that. In substituted defenses, you want to get as much speed as you can out there, but you don’t want to get so little that they just run the ball and you can’t do anything about that. And, [DB] Jimmie Ward’s done a nice job too. He’s a guy that had missed a bunch of time and missed some more time, but has come back and gotten stronger and stronger as we’ve gone on through this preseason, so I’m excited about him as well. Both of those guys, it’s amazing they played high school football together. I don’t know what that record was but that team should be pretty good.”

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers coaches’ headsets weren’t working properly last night in New England and that sort of thing happens a lot there. You coached there and against them, any comment?
“No. I have nothing to add to that.”

Press Release Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

San Francisco 49ers Transcripts: Head Coach Jim Tomsula, Speacial Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr, and QB Colin Kaepernick

Head Coach Jim Tomsula
Press Conference
San Francisco 49ers

Opening comments:
“Good morning. We had, obviously, our walk-thru yesterday and our installation day. And then, today, obviously, coming out with our first practice. Guys are in meetings right now and then we’ll have our walk-thru and then practice later on. What do you got?”

Fans seem concerned about your offensive line. Obviously, you guys haven’t, you know, the starting five hasn’t taken a ton of snaps in a game situation together. How concerned are you as far as cohesion and how ready they might be?
“Cohesion, I feel pretty good about it. I really do. I feel good about that. Again, we’re not standing in a position to defend anything nor will I. I feel very comfortable with the guys. I feel good about the guys. I feel good about the group. It’s a good group.”

When you talk about cohesion, I feel like you are going to do a little bit more zone blocking. Do you want guys who maybe aren’t as talented but can play more together to get that thing going?
“That’s an educated question. No. I mean, obviously we are looking for the most talented guys we can find. We feel good about our talent. But, there again with cohesion and when you are working in those schematics, it’s the fundamentals and the footwork. So, whether you are working with a guard and a center or you’re working with a center and a guard or a guard and a tackle, those combinations are very repetitive. So, when you come out of an individual period, and you’re making me go somewhere I really don’t want, but when you come out of an individual period, everybody’s working together. So, when you’re working different positions, your footwork, your center’s, obviously, you’ve got to snap a ball, so there’s something. But, the footwork, your targeting and all those things are the same across the board. So, I guess that when you talk about the cohesion side of things, that’s been worked quite a bit.”

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said this morning, he complimented LB NaVorro Bowman for the way he’s come back. He hopes Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson comes back in a similar way to what Bowman has done. What’s your take on Peterson and defending him and playing? There’s some anticipation for him coming back.
“Yeah. I’ve been on the other side of Adrian Peterson a few times. I’ve watched a ton of film on him, as has our staff. He’s a very talented football player. Extremely talented. Adrian Peterson does a great job, but he’s also in a schematic that emphasizes the things that he does and he’s got some other players around him that help him. So, that whole package there and obviously that’s a, [Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator] Norv Turner is the offensive coordinator, we’re all very familiar with Norv. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Norv and what he does and the way he does things. It’s the full compliment of things. I mean, there’s no denying the skillset of Adrian Peterson.”

Sorry to ask again about RB Jarryd Hayne. You’ve obviously got training over the next few days. What do you want see out of him? What are you specifically looking for to ensure or to better his chances of getting a go on Monday night?
“Well, in Jarryd’s situation, just like everybody that is a first-year player here, you’re into game preparation now, so you’ve got that aspect of it. But, we’ve also got to stay on the development side of it. There has to be those techniques, those fundamentals, the developing that has to stay on course, has to stay on point. And we have got to stay on that road. And that first year for all rookie players is, that’s the line that you balance there. How much do you give them? How much don’t? When is it time? So, that’s just where that has to stay.”

And when you say those, for people in Australia who don’t understand the game, when you say those fundamentals, can explain what you mean by that?
“Just the technique. Obviously, Jarryd has got the body position, the balance, the leverage points and all those things that he has. That’s proven, he has those. But now, how to use them and when to use them. Blocking, pass protections, he’s done a great job. Where he was to where he is, is terrific. I guess that’s why I temper all this speculation because I don’t want to take anything away from what the man has achieved. But, all he’s achieved was an opportunity to be in the locker room. That has to continue. And he’s the kind of guy that will do that. I mean, you feel confident that he will continue to ascend with his approach and the way he does things. So, I guess that’s my temperament. I don’t want to be the guy downplaying his accomplishment or the excitement for the country but it’s in a place. So, that’s where I feel there.”

I assume you’ve got the game plan sort of in. How much have you thought about what the first offensive play call is going to be? And I’m curious about as the game goes on, obviously, that’s offensive coordinator Geep Chryst’s area. How much do you see yourself getting involved on a play-by-play basis?
“Play-by-play in the game?”

Yeah.
“No, I’ll know everything that’s going out there. So, if there’s anything out there you don’t like, I’m the guy. But, the plan and where it is right now to date, I’m very excited about. I think the guys are, we’ve got a really good group of coaches. We really do. And the way they, the thought process behind everything and the flow and yinging and yanging and being able to, you’ve got your jabs and your punches and your heavy-hitters and then you’ve got your change-ups. So, I really like where it is right now.”

As the game is progressing, how involved will you be in the play calls, offensively and defensively?
“The call to call, no, we’ll have that streamlined. That’s worked, in my opinion and my approach to it, that’s all done during the week. So, I’ll be fully aware of where everything is and we’ll all be on the same page. We had a coordinators meeting yesterday and we will continue to talk through that. But, as the game changes, obviously, we’ve got to be able to adapt and adjust as it goes. But, the game plan itself and where we are and what we’re doing, we’re all on the same page. But, I won’t be involved in calling the play. If that’s what you’re–?”

Well, what did you learn your previous time as a head coach? You’ve done this before. What’d you learn from that that will help you here in terms of that, the play-by-play?
“The players win games. The magic call, if you’re searching too hard for a call you probably have more problems than that call. That’s coming from a defensive coordinators perspective.”

In light of what you’ve just said about Hayne, how much confidence do you have in him right now that he can field punts efficiently?
“All the confidence.”

In a game on Monday night or even late in the game if it comes to that?
“Very much confidence. Very confident in his ability to field a punt. But again, you start talking about the 46. How much can you do? What can you do for the team? And then with the schematic that we’re installing, that we’re going through, that we’re talking about here. How are you practicing within that scheme? The things that we’re doing this week, do they fit your skillset? That’s where that all comes into in my head. Special teams, OK if you can catch a punt, but can you do other things? What else can you do in the special teams area?”

WR Bruce Ellington’s hamstrings are fully healthy?
“Yes ma’am.”

Yeah?
“Yeah, I mean we had walk-thru yesterday, everybody was on and accounted for.”

You mentioned after the Chargers game you wanted to get back on the practice field those two days last week. What was the goal of those two practices? Was it more for game planning or was there still some fundamental things you wanted to work out?
“Both. Situational stuff, making sure we went back and hit some things. You saw us hit a lot of situational things throughout camp. There were a couple there that we circled, that we wanted to go back an revisit just to stay on those situations and make sure that we had another time to go, another opportunity to go through those and coach it up and get out on the field and actively get through it. So, I would say all of it.”

WR Torrey Smith talked about how he and QB Colin Kaepernick were practicing well these couple days. Can you just, looking at the league overall, it’s such a quarterback-driven league and a lot of eyes are on Colin. Does he need to play at a league MVP level for this offense to succeed?
“Colin just needs to be Colin. And I think Colin is really good.”

But, he seems driven to prove everybody.
“I don’t know that you’ll meet a more driven person. I don’t know that you’ll ever meet a more driven person than Colin Kaepernick. I mean, he is driven.”

What did you learn about the Vikings organization from that time you spent with them in Charlotte?
“Class. I mean, I felt like they were really good people. I felt like they were honest. I met with [Vikings General Manager] Mr. [Rick] Spielman and [Vikings Assistant General Manager] Mr. [George] Paton and I really enjoyed my time with them. I thought they were two really, really down to earth but sharp football guys, in my opinion if that matters or not. The interesting thing was the phone call I got from [Vikings Owner] Mr. Wilf, he called and just to thank me for, I thought that was just a really nice gesture.”

Was there, when you, I don’t know how much research you had done into their organization, but are there any things that now you can apply about how that roster was built and–?
“No, I don’t think so. No, I mean, I wouldn’t read a whole lot into that. Honestly, no. I know of those two gentlemen and the way they think over the years and what they’re looking for and the way they go about it. But, I wouldn’t say that few hours, there was nothing.”

How flattering was that, for them, for an outside organization, you’ve only been with one NFL organization, for someone from the outside to think enough of you to bring you in for that kind of opportunity?
“Obviously, those are huge honors. I mean, obviously, it’s very humbling for somebody to take a few hours of their day to talk to you. I mean, that was very humbling, I’m very appreciative to it.”

Are you guys using the virtual reality this week?
“Yeah, we’ve got a room. Well, I don’t have the exact time schedule, but we do have the virtual reality. I have put it on, our coaches have put it on, our players have put it on. It is, you have seen that pole out there. Have you ever looked at practice and you see that little pole? That’s what that is and you’ve seen it there every day.”

Is it just from a quarterback perspective or do you have other–?
“We’ve found a few things here and there that we can use it for, that’s about all I’ll go. Not that it’s a secret, but yeah it’s a pretty neat deal. If you grew up playing video games, it’s a real cool deal for you.”

That was the one developed by Stanford, correct?
“I’m not sure who developed. Is it?”

What’s your assessment of Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater?
“I think Teddy’s a good quarterback, a well-coached quarterback. You saw him improve dramatically and again, that’s no, that’s not a surprise to any of us on who’s coaching him. But, he’s done a really good job. Obviously, mobile, he can throw the ball, he’s got all the, he can move the pocket and he can make you pay with his feet.”

How good were you at video games?
“I never did them. But, that thing really is a cool, it’s a cool tool.”

Mike Zimmer, obviously, is a defensive guy. As far as stunts and things he did when he was a defensive coordinator, is there anything you’ve noticed through the years that may be unique or special to him and will you be expecting some of that Monday?
“Yeah, I mean, schematically, yeah he’s a four down guy. He’s obviously creative. But, probably the one thing that’s always stood out about a Mike Zimmer coached defense or the Vikings is how hard they play. They play hard. They’re, nothing but respect for how hard they play.”

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr.
Press Conference 
San Francisco 49ers

Who’s going to be your return man on Monday night?
“Great question. No, we’ll see. Guys have been working. We have a great group of guys to pick from, so we’ll see.”

Does that make the decision harder though, that you now have three guys who can do it?
“Absolutely. They’re being evaluated every day. We love who we’ve got and we’ll see who pops out.”

What are the primary factors that you’re considering right now when picking a candidate?
“Well, shoot there’s a ton of them. Obviously, on Monday Night Football you want to have guys that you feel confident in and that can do the job and they’ve all shown that.”

You realize Australians will declare a war if RB Jarryd Hayne doesn’t get in the game?
“You know what, I’m aware of that. No, Jarryd’s a heck-of-a player, very talented. A young player that needs to mature a little bit as far as just getting experience. But, he’s going to be fine.”

Speaking of experience, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula talked about you have to do more than just being a punt returner. What do you see Jarryd Hayne’s progress in terms of taking proper angles when he’s on kickoff units and punt returns and so forth?
“That’s one of those deals, that’s a learning situation for him. Every experience is a new experience for him covering kicks because he’s never done it before as far as being in the NFL. He’s going to get better at it. It’s my job, me and [assistant special team’s] coach [Richard] Hightower as a special teams staff to get him better at it and we will. That’s just something that he’s going to have to learn.”

He lined up in the middle on the kickoff coverage. This is maybe just a general question. How do you decide where to put somebody on kickoff coverage across that line?
“Body types, depending on the job. Jarryd can make people miss out in space so we put him inside. There’s a lot of stuff coming at you so he’s going to have to learn to read on the run. But, he has the ability to get to the ball, he has a nose for it just like a number of guys that we have. Putting him in the middle, be able to take on a wedge, be able to defeat a man block and get to the ball and kind of cover the whole field as opposed to just being on one side or the other.”

WR Bruce Ellington, I think, is the only guy who returned punts last year and maybe the only guy who, other than RB Reggie Bush who’s ever done it. When you look at Reggie who looked a little rusty in the game at Denver, WR DeAndrew White and Jarryd, how much do you have to really hone in on just decision making when you’re back there?
“Oh, it’s huge. I mean, obviously the ball is the most important thing and we want to make sure we take care of it. Decision making is huge and it’s something that all those guys, Reggie obviously has the most experience at it, but moving forward those guys got to know that making those decisions inside the 10, being able to fair catch a ball when a guy is barreling down on you, those are things that you normally really get only in the game. You get a little bit in practice, but not so much. So, you’ve got to be able to kind of go through those experiences as you get in the game. We try as coaches to try and put them in those situations as much as possible, but it’s kind of hard to simulate.”

I have a question along those lines. I believe it was the second preseason game where Jarryd made an over-the-shoulder fingertip catch. Is that something that you want to see or in that kind of situation is it best for the guy just to let it go?
“In that situation right there, for Jarryd in the preseason, that’s something that we wanted to see, him to be able to field the ball naturally and kind of make that kind of play. And that’s not an easy play to make, obviously and he made it, kind made it look routine. But, we wanted to see that and he made that play. Now, obviously, during the game, running back in a real game in that situation, yeah we want to make that catch. Because, if they’re out-kicking the coverage and that ball is going, it’s going to hit and travel and roll. So, if it rolls that’s another 15-20 yards of field position depending on where the ball is so we always want to save field position.”

So you need, he needs to prove to you that he can make that catch, which he’s done?
“Yeah, he’s shown that.”

Could we see different punt returners based on field position as the game progresses?
“Could happen.”

How much is, you know the three guys you’ve mentioned returning the kicks all did very well. How much is that to do with how well it was blocked up?
“I think it has a lot to do with it. If you look at, everybody is flying the Hayne Plane right now, but if you look at who led our team in punt returns in the preseason, it wasn’t Jarryd Hayne. It was DeAndrew White. So, I think the guys up front and the vice outside, they’ve done a great job of blocking and understanding the concepts of what we’re trying to do executing the fundamentals of the techniques of the scheme. And, I think they’ve kind of found a home there so now we’re just trying to build upon that.”

What’s your assessment of DeAndrew White as a returner?
“I think he’s a heck-of-a returner. He’s a good young player that like Jarryd, he needs to mature a little bit as far as experience, get that experience. But, he’s going to be a heck-of-a player.”

Last time we talked, you said you needed to see more from WR Bruce Ellington, he hadn’t been on the field enough. Now that he’s been on the field, what’s your assessment of Bruce?
“Bruce is a heck-of-a player. He’s a good young player who’s ascending. He needs to stay healthy and Bruce knows that. We’ve had extensive conversations and he just needs to take care of his body so he can be on the field and show us more of what he’s shown that last preseason game and the things that, taking the ball 70 and hitting a good punt return up the sideline. Those are things that we see in practice that he has the ability to do, but he has to continue to do that and stay healthy at the same time.”

Coach Tomsula actually said he sat him down, maybe you were there, and talked to Bruce and said this is what you need to do before practice, after practice, healing, recovery. Have you seen a big difference in him since those two chatted and just taking more responsibility for that?
“Well, and I don’t mean to sound like a butt when I say this, but I don’t watch him that closely. I know that he knows that those are things that he has to do. He has guys that are around him that do those types of things like [WR] Anquan Boldin, like a [RB] Reggie Bush that stretches an hour before practice. And, a guy like Anquan Boldin who gets out there 30 minutes before anybody else does and goes through his whole routine. So, he has those guys to watch and to follow. He just has to make sure as a young pro, I take the steps to get to where I need to be because those guys are double digits in this league. So, he has that in front of him to follow.”

Since coming back from his foot injury or back into practice, how much has DB Jimmie Ward played on special teams and do you expect him to be an option on Monday?
“Oh, absolutely. Jimmie’s done a great job. He’s a heck-of-a player. Love his energy and his passion for the game. He wants to do everything right all the time and he’s a fun kid to coach.”

Has he been a gunner primarily?
“He’s been a gunner. He’s done a bunch of different things for us. I mean, we see him as being a core guy for us and doing a great job on defense and helping to contribute to this football team.”

And WR DeAndrew as a gunner? It looked like he did some stuff pretty early in camp. How has he progressed in that area?
“He’s done a good job. Again, he’s young and there’s some, there’s certain things that he needs to learn about that position. He needs to learn how to be a little bit more physical and be more efficient with his movement. But, he’s any other young player. He just needs to continue to develop.”

It seems like there’s a very real prospect that Jarryd might play on Monday night, would you say that? You guys seem to be downplaying it.
“It’s, well, when you get so much of this, it kind of gets, we have to keep everything in perspective. He’s a young player in this league. He’s new. He’s a rookie. Just because he’s from 3,000 miles away or wherever he’s from, he’s still a rookie in this league. Most rookies, unless you’re a top 10-15 pick in the draft, they don’t get that much hype. So, we’ve got to kind of keep everything in perspective and understand the preseason is the preseason and right now is right now. This is real bullets flying. That was kind of paintball. This is real bullets. So, we’ve just kind of got to temper it all and take it all with a grain of salt and move forward. And, as the weeks go on and things start to progress, then we’ll address it then. But, until then you just kind of, that’s just me.”

Just on that, on the flipside of that, even though he hasn’t played the game before, have you guys looked at what he does naturally and thought, “Hey maybe that could work in our game?”
“Oh, absolutely. That’s why he’s here. He wouldn’t be here if we didn’t look at him and kind of assess that and evaluate it. Obviously, he has natural skills. But, like anything else, you’re excited about him but he’s still a rookie and you’ve still got to prove it on the field in the regular season.”

But I mean, can you take some of his skills, what he has, and translate that and get your guys to look at what he’s doing? Have you seen that?
“Yeah. I mean, he has that natural make you miss. He has those types of things that you naturally can’t teach, the fearlessness, all of that stuff, absolutely. He has some great characteristics about him as a runner, as an open-field runner. But, there’s still some small little nuances of the game that he needs to get better at and he knows that.”

Are we going to see any lateral passes?
“Great question, I don’t know. I wish I could give you that answer.”

Your special teams guys have got to play a scrimmage position too. When you’re making a choice about who to be active or not, how much does that play into it and who makes the final call?
“Well, obviously, all the personnel decisions run through the front office and obviously special teams is something that you definitely consider. It has to be. When you start talking about the bottom part of the roster, all of those guys are going to play on special teams. So, they have to be able to contribute in that fashion.”

In terms of making a decision in a given game?
“Oh, absolutely, going in week-in and week-out.”

Does it sometimes have to do with the game plan?
“Absolutely, it sure does.”

QB Colin Kaepernick
Press Conference
San Francisco 49ers

You’ve obviously switched modes from the preseason to the regular season now, but in terms of your mindset, where are you at going into this?
“We’re just trying to prepare to make sure we’re ready to go out and get a win.”

You’ve had six months of preparation now. Where has this team gotten in the six months to convince you of that?
“We’re a lot farther along than where we started. So, I think this team has confidence in what we’re doing and we need to go out and execute.”

You guys obviously kept stuff in reserve, a lot of stuff in reserve during the preseason. Would you say you kept more hidden than in previous years or is this just typical as far as what you showed during the preseason?
“It’s not really hiding things. At the end of the day, you go out, you play football. It’s not really about what plays you’re running. It’s about the players running the plays and executing them and using their technique and getting the job done.”

In June, you talked about cleaning a lot of things up and you wanted to take on a greater load to carry this team. Where do you feel like you’ve come from, you know, in a matter of those three months since mini-camp?
“I think I’ve improved personally. I think this team’s improved. It’s something that everyone in here has worked everyday and tried to get better to make sure when we did get to Week 1 of this season that we’d be ready to go and ready to go out and compete.”

It’s a team game, obviously, but personally, you’re 4-0 on Monday Night Football. You’ve got nine touchdown passes, no interceptions. What is it about the lights of Monday Night Football that kind of makes you ramp up the game?
“Well, I really didn’t know that. But, I’ve loved playing under the lights since high school. Just kind of takes you back to the old days of being under the lights. It’s a different vibe then when you’re playing in a day game and I think everyone likes that feeling.”

And I know, also, you’re looking forward to a new start, new beginning. But also, looking back a little bit, what’s the biggest lesson you took from Jim Harbaugh?
“He taught me a lot. A lot about professional offenses. A lot about the defenses, how they can react, how they can change based on what you’re doing and what their game plan might be. So, I really can’t say one thing. He’s taught me a lot.”

How do you think the offense has adapted in camp and the preseason as far as the faster tempo that you guys are trying to implement?
“I think our players have adjusted phenomenal. It’s become second nature for us. It’s something that we don’t think about anymore. We just operate at that speed.”

You don’t seem like a guy that’s really worried about outside perception given everything that’s happened this offseason. As a team captain, how do you relay that message to block out all that outside noise to the rest of your teammates?
“I don’t think that’s something this team really needs to be talked to about. They come to work everyday and work their butts off. So, it’s something that this team kind of handles by itself. It just naturally comes about.”

How eager are you to see TE Vernon Davis turn the page? I’m sure all of you turned the page on last year, but he especially wants to get things started in a positive direction.
“I don’t really see it as turning the page. We just need Vernon to be Vernon. He’s a phenomenal player, a great talent and someone that can make great contributions to this team. So, when we step on that field, I think everyone will be excited to see what he does.”

Head coach Jim Tomsula was saying he wants ‘Colin to be Colin.’ How do you be yourself in this league? What do you want people to say about what kind of quarterback you are?
“To be honest, I’m really not worried about what people say about me as a quarterback. I’m worried about what my teammates think and what my coaches think about me as a quarterback. So, that’s ultimately who I give that ability to judge to.”

A couple years ago, you had the dual-threat. You took pride in being a dual-threat. Is that something you want people to take notice of again?
“Once again, I’m really not too concerned about peoples opinions of what they see or view me as. I mean, I was also the black quarterback with tattoos. So, once again, not something that really crosses my mind.”

What sticks out to you about Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense. What are you looking out for?
“They do a lot of different things and they do them well. They play fast, they play hard. Something we’re going to have to be ready for everything.”

Are any blitzes unusual or a lot or is that something you have to prepare for in particular, the blitzes?
“Every defense blitzes, they just do it different ways. So, we have to get ready for the way that they’re going to blitz us.”

Have you found the virtual reality to be valuable in preparing for opponents? How much are you using it this week, for example?
“A little bit here and there but really haven’t used it too much. Something that we have to kind of progress with as the technology progresses.”

Will it be special to see coach Tomsula? It’s his first real game as head coach and you know how far he’s come to do this.
“Yeah, it’d be great for his first game to be a win. So, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Press Conference Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

49ers Sign Offensive Tackle Tanner Hawkinson To Practice Squad

Santa Clara, Ca. -The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have signed OT Tanner Hawkinson to the practice squad.

Hawkinson (6-5, 300) was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Kansas. He saw action in a career high three games for the Bengals in 2014. As a rookie, Hawkinson made his NFL debut vs. Minnesota (12/22/13).

At the University of Kansas, Hawkinson started in a school-record 48 consecutive games and earned Second-Team All-Big 12 honors as a senior in 2012. A 25-year-old native of McPherson, KS, Hawkinson attended McPherson High School, where he was an all-state defensive lineman and tight end.

San Francisco 49ers Announce Practice Squad

Santa Clara CA.– The San Francisco 49ers announced today that they have signed nine players to the team’s practice squad. All nine players spent the 2015 training camp with the 49ers.

Pos.        Name
WR       DiAndre Campbell
CB         Marcus Cromartie
RB         Kendall Gaskins
DT         Kaleb Ramsey
LB          Marcus Rush
NT         Garrison Smith
QB         Dylan Thompson
G             Andrew Tiller
S             Jermaine Whitehead

San Francisco 49ers Release 14 Players, Set 53-Man Roster

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Santa Clara, CA. – The San Francisco 49ers announced on Saturday they have released 14 players. The team also placed tight end Busta Anderson and running back Kendall Hunter on the Injured Reserve List. Wide receiver Jerome Simpson has also been placed on the Reserve/Suspended List.

The 49ers also acquired center Nick Easton from the Baltimore Ravens for an undisclosed draft pick. Easton must pass a physical for the trade to be executed.

Easton (6-3, 305) originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent on May 7, 2015 out of Harvard University. He appeared in 24 games for the Crimson where he earned First-Team All-Ivy League honors twice in his career (2013-14). As a senior in 2014, he earned Academic All-Ivy League honors and started all 10 games as Harvard went undefeated on the season. A 23-year-old native of Lenoir, NC, Easton attended Hibriten (Lenoir, NC) High School.

The following players have been released and the roster now stands at 53 players:

Pos.            Name

WR     DiAndre Campbell

CB      Marcus Cromartie

G/C    Dillon Farrell

RB      Kendall Gaskins

TE       Xavier Grimble

CB      Leon McFadden

LB       Nick Moody

DT      Kaleb Ramsey

OL      Justin Renfrow

DL       Marcus Rush

NT      Garrison Smith

QB      Dylan Thompson

G          Andrew Tiller

S           Jermaine Whitehead

 

Courtesy of 49ers Media Relations