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Transcript - Practice (Sept. 27, 2018)

Thursday, September 27, 2018 | Hoag Performance Center | Costa Mesa, Calif.


Opening statement:

"We put a lot of good work in yesterday. It was a decent practice. This 49ers team, they throw a lot at you. So these guys have a lot to prepare for, and coaches as well. We missed [WR] Keenan Allen on the field yesterday. He had a sore knee so he did not practice. [T] Russell Okung went through practice just fine. If your name starts with 'Joe,' you're not playing this week. So both [DE] Joey [Bosa] and [T] Joe [Barksdale] are out. We talked about that. I believe that's it as far as the injuries. [FB] Derek Watt with the thumb [injury], but he's looking good."

On if WR Keenan Allen will practice today:

"We'll see. I'm not sure. That knee was pretty sore yesterday from the game. We're being cautious with him."

On if WR Mike Williams will start if Allen can't play:

"Yes, Mike [would] step up as a starter. Now, sometimes we start out with three wide receivers anyway and Mike's a starter. That's nothing new to him."

On RB Melvin Gordon III:

"Melvin has always been a good runner. [We're] teaching him the different schemes that we're running, the run reads, the footwork, the aim points, all those little detail things make a difference in what a back sees — and when Melvin is seeing [well], he's really decisive. That's when he's at his best, but he's just improved. He's working on his one-on-ones. He's winning more one-on-ones now than he ever has. His versatility in the passing game has been outstanding. He's growing as a complete running back." 

On QB Philip Rivers:

"He's one of the best competitors in the game. He knows this game well. He prepares. His preparation is equal to his will to win. So as long as you have that in a quarterback, you're going to be in pretty good shape."

On the team captains:

"It was a vote by the team. The guys voted. [It's] really the same captains from last year made it this year, except [C Mike] Pouncey was the first alternate. [CB] Casey Hayward is the second alternate."

On NT Brandon Mebane:

"He's so consistent. He comes to work every single day and he's professional. He does his job and the guys respect that — the veteran player been doing it for a long time. So it's good for young guys to have a captain like Mebane."

On Mebane's performance on Sunday:

"I thought he played well. He's stepping up. He's a big reason why we've been better against the run. We didn't defend it as well last week. The Rams had something to say about that, but overall, this year Mebane has been outstanding."

On if the team is approaching DE Joey Bosa's injury any differently:

"We really haven't. We have guys on the roster that we're seeing there. You'll see [NT] Damion Square play that position a little more this week. We're just going to make some adjustments, but at this time of year, it's hard to go out and find help at that spot because if you're that good, no one is letting you go."

On needing more pass rush production:

"You'd love to see more from everybody, to be honest with you. You guys have winning one-on-ones — that's going to solve a lot of issues as far as the pass rush. [Defensive Coordinator] Gus [Bradley] is going to do a good job complementing that with different schemes."

On RB Justin Jackson:

"He has fresh legs, for one. He looks good in practice and we did miss out on seeing him in training camp and preseason games. He can run. [He's been a] very productive runner his whole life. I wanted to look at him. [RB Detrez] Newsome did nothing wrong, I just wanted to take a look at Jackson. We're going to throw him in on special teams, see how he plays on teams and also use him in the backfield."


Opening statement:

"Okay. It's a big week for us, just as far as offensively, they're very talented — I feel like a broken record — but [they have a] really good offensive scheme. When you take a look at these guys on tape, they're very multiple. They have some really talented players — fullback is very talented, tight end, and obviously the [running] back. They're the number two rushing team in the league. The do a little bit by committee — ten carries here, 15 carries for another guy. I just have a lot of respect for [49ers Head] Coach [Kyle] Shanahan, the scheme, what they do and the versatility of how they use the players — the flexibility I should say in the way they position them. With a new quarterback coming in, I think — watching tape from him last year — they have confidence. The game really didn't change much. They might do a few things differently, but for the most part I think they know what they are, what they want to be and they do those things really well."

On 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan:

"I have a lot of respect for him just in the times we've gone [against each other] on the same Sundays and things like that. I think he utilizes his personnel. He knows what he wants. He knows what he's looking for. As a head coach now, he's got the ability to go out and try to get those guys. So, for example, he likes to operate in 21 personnel. In order to do that, he needed a talented fullback, so he went out and got a talented fullback. I think his personality and the way he goes about it, he really knows he has strong conviction of how a good offense should look and how they should attack defenses. He goes out that way week after week."

On how Kyle Shanahan was influenced by his father:

"That would be a great question for him, but you see some similarities — some of the things that his dad, did but I'm sure it's who he's influenced by. He also does some things that are his own. He understands defenses really well." 

On the San Francisco offense with QB C.J. Beathard:

"It's the same style of offense. They're going to run the stretch play. The different runs, they're going to do some movement, some wide motions and things like that. So that doesn't change with a new quarterback. The new quarterback has the ability to extend plays and do a good job there, but their longest explosive pass last year was from [Beathard]. It's not like they hold back with him at all."

On preparing for Beathard:

"Well, I think you know you do you watch the tape from last year and some of the plays from there. Then you focus a lot of your energy on these games this year because you know what they're doing. They're second in the league in rushing. That's not going to change just because of who their quarterback is. So I think those styles of play will remain the same and they go about it. Now you're just looking how can you affect the passing situation and what his style is."

On playing without DE Joey Bosa:

"I think we challenge the defensive line when you have one-on-ones you've got to win those, but there's certain things that we can do, too. Maybe it's different games up front. I know [Defensive Line Coach] Giff [Smith] has talked about that and how we can try to get more one-on-ones with our guys. I think it's just one of those things. There's a combination. One, you have to win your one-on-ones. Two, is the style of throws you're seeing. If they're quick rhythm throws and they're movement-type passes and things like that, then it comes up to scheme. You have to try to attack it that way and find a way to play tighter coverage to give the [defensive] line a chance to rush. In our room, we talk about the rush and cover work together. If you have good coverage, you have to have the rush. In order to get a good rush, you have to have good coverage. We take it as a responsibility of everybody in the room."

On if there's a temptation to call more blitzes with Bosa out:

"I don't think so. We don't look at it that way. I think there's some creative things that we've done in the past. I still think that we have to cover better and we've got to rush better. They work hand-in-hand. There's times when we covered well last week and he sat back there and felt like you had a lot of time. Then we hit the quarterback a couple of times and we didn't have tight enough coverage. I think, for us, it's just to keep improving at what we're doing and trust that it will come together as we get tighter in both areas."

On defenses blitzing less this season:

"Right. Someone came and talked to me and said that we're up in blitzing compared to in the past. So we're kind of going against what everybody's doing. I think some of the things offensively that you're seeing, some of the ways teams are trying to attack defenses, that forces you to be more sound in some of the things you do. I'm not sure if that's taking away some of the pressure. Some teams we watch — I would think as a whole though, as we're watching plays, we're seeing less blitzes against opponents we have played thus far."

On pre-snap movement contributing to less blitzes:

"Yeah, some of the different things you're seeing, I imagine. I can't speak for all coordinators why they're doing that. I think, as a whole, sometimes if you're bringing edge pressure, you'd like to hit it to a jet sweep. So I think it's just based on the coordinators."

On his relationship with 49ers Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh:

"Yeah, and I haven't had a chance to watch much of San Francisco on defense. I don't know what they're doing. I'm sure there's some similarities in how we approach it. We were together for quite some time, but I'm sure he's branched off. Kyle [Shanahan] was at Atlanta with [Flacons Head Coach] Dan Quinn. Dan Quinn was with all of us in Seattle. Kyle's had a chance to really go after that defense week after week in practice, in OTAs and now in San Francisco. You can imagine that he has a pretty good understanding of what we're doing. So I think it's important that execution is going to have to be really good. It's just like going against our offense. Now, after going through a couple of years, they understand, have a pretty good idea what we're doing. Not all of it, obviously, and all the little things, but — it goes back and forth. There's some challenging times in there for them and for us. So it's a great challenge for our whole defense and our team." 

On NT Brandon Mebane:

"You know what, as a staff, defensive staff last week we thought he played — I know since I've been here it was probably his best game. Now, you ask Coach [Giff] Smith he would say, you go back a couple of years, even, it was one of his most productive games. He had a caused fumble, sack, quarterback hit, tackle. He had a really good game last week, but he's been a guy that can count on us being consistent week-in and week-out and just last week he had a really good game."


On the San Francisco offense:

"Just trying to, first of all, focus on me, come in, get better. I know my coaches, my assignment for the week and hone in on what we like to do."

On 49ers QB C.J. Beathard:

"He makes a lot of good throws. They are just as comfortable with him. He does a great job scrambling around. He's a little bit more athletic than Jimmy, but he's a good quarterback."

On if it helps facing a similar offense last week:

"It kind of helps. We know we'll see some of the same plays. Just being able to see it another week makes you fix the mistakes you made last week."

On playing deep safety:

"Yeah, [I'm getting more comfortable] as a deep safety. Just trying to learn my job, whatever assignment they need me to do. I'm just going to make sure I'm on top of everything."

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