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49ers Q&A: Interim head coach Jim Tomsula

49ers Q&A: Interim head coach Jim Tomsula

December 29, 2010

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Interim Head Coach Jim Tomsula
Press Conference Dec. 29, 2010

On the injury report:
LB Patrick Willis will be out with a hand, LB Takeo Spikes is playing, LB Keaton Kristick is out, youve got G David Baas, hes day-to-day, ribs looking good. CB Phillip Adams is out. T Joe Staley is out, TE Nate Byham is day-to-day. On whether Willis is out for practice or the game:
Willis is out for the game. Yeah, hes out.On why Willis will not play:
His hand. He had to have that hand was fixed again.On when Willis hand was fixed:
Yesterday. Was it yesterday? Im not sure the day. The other day. Im not sure of the day. Im sorry, I dont know. He had that I dont think it was major, I just think they had to go in and I dont want to go in, I dont know details.On whether it is fair to say that Willis had a second surgical procedure:
Yeah, I think thats fair. I dont know, I think its fair.On whether Willis would play if they had won Sunday and were playing for a playoff spot:
No, that was irrelevant. I was told that was irrelevant. That had nothing to do with it. No matter what anything is, thats the way that was. This whole the whole injury update sheet is that way. On who will be the starting quarterback:
Alex Smiths the starting quarterback.On what contributed to that decision:
Experience.On whether he thought about starting QB David Carr in order to evaluate his potential:
No, it didnt come up.On whether he thinks of this game as a way to determine who will be brought back for the next season and whether he has talked to the players about that:
Well in that kind of a thought process, thats every week in the National Football League. And again, in that area, and that thought process, there really isnt one here with these guys. They play, theyre going out, preparing and playing. You know, I dont even think that anything goes into that.On whether he had talked to QB Alex Smith and how it went:
Yeah, actually, I sat down with him yesterday. Terrific.On his thoughts on Smith:
Ill tell you, with Alex, in my dealings with Alex Smith, is Alex Smiths the kind of guy youd want your daughter to marry. Ive got two daughters. Hes a nice guy.On whether he has evaluated Smiths level of confidence after being benched last week and whether that will effect him for the coming game:
Oh, no, no. And again, up until Monday, the only evaluation I have is on defensive lineman, front seven, defensive play, OK? And Im a guy that through the course of my coaching career, Ive held different positions, and I keep my spoon in my soup. I dont taste your soup. I go in and do my job, and do what Im asked to do, and I try to do it to the best of my abilities.On whether he gave the starting quarterback decision to offensive coordinator Mike Johnson:
Oh yeah, well I mean we obviously talked about it, I led the conversation in the area that I wanted it to go.On whether he plans to stick with Smith throughout the game:
Yeah. Obviously, everybody here look, theres 53 guys on the field, 53 guys and then the practice squad guys, but out of those 53 guys, theres still always at the end of the week, with special teams, and some of the things that we need there, there will be guys evaluated all through the week, to see whos on that 45. But out of those 53 guys, youve got 53 guys that have to prepare like theyre going to start and theyre going to play. So everybody does it. Now things happen during the course of a game, and decisions have to be made, and thats when those decisions happen. But everybody prepares like theyre going to start, like theyre a starter, like theyre going to play. And if theyre not doing that, theyre probably not in the NFL long. On whether LB NaVorro Bowman will start:
Yeah, NaVorro will start.On whether he intends to do more evaluation on young guys like S Taylor Mays:
No, I mean, again, the one thing I want to make clear, our preparations are to win. Were preparing to win a game. The evaluation process is ongoing, always. Yeah, I understand all of the other things with where were at, our record, all of those kind of things. What were preparing were preparing for a game to go in and compete to win.On his reaction to DT Justin Smiths Pro Bowl selection:
Right on. I get to work with that guy, and theres a lot of guys here that in my opinion, when you take everything into account, the way they work at it, the way they maximize their talents, the mental work, the physical work, all those kind of things, the kind of people they are, that are Pro Bowl guys to me. Obviously theres voting, and thats always the nice thing, whenever you vote for anything, right? We can always have the other side of it, thats why we keep the college bowl system going too, right? So youre never favorites, and talk about whos this, whos that. Weve got good conversation.On the decision on who stays on the 49ers coaching staff being in the hands of a new general manager or head coach and how he envisions the transition after this weeks game:
When I say a one-week calendar, I mean, thats not something new for me. My whole life is a one-week calendar, OK? Theres prior planning in the off-season, we get our ducks in a row, get lined up, but I can speak for me. When Sunday nights over, I go in and thats why I watch film on Sunday night, to close out the week, and Im on to the next. And that next day, Im working on day-to-day, climbing that ladder to get to game day. Game day is on the top of that ladder. So all the preparations are going into that day. Im very singular in my focus in that way. Im a football coach. Im Jim Nobody from Nowhere, Ive coached in different places. I dont run form that. My family is not going to starve, and if my wife has stayed with me for the last 19 years, shes not going anywhere, so Im good.On what he sees himself doing next week and if that includes helping with a transition:
Honestly, I have not spent a second thinking about that.On whether he has slept since Monday and what the last couple of days have been like:
Well I mean, when youre into coaching, and were talking about me, theres a whole coaching staff up there. Nobody is getting a whole lot of sleep during the season. I mean, you just dont. Youve got a window thats a small window every week, and youve got a certain amount of work to do. And when things come up that are out of the norm, you have to deal with those, but you still have the same amount of work to do. So thats the way you go with it. So, what do you look for? Theres coaches in this building that dont sleep on Sunday nights and that do those things. Thats the nature of our business. I think thats why when you get on an airplane and you take a look at where the coaches are, most of the time I think everybody is sleeping as soon as their backsides hit the seats.On looking refreshed today:
I had a shower (laughing). 49ers director of public relations Bob Lange told me to shave.On whether he has addressed the fact that some players will not be back after this game:
Yeah. Okay, in that, yeah. What weve tried to do right here, and again, its with anything, the players come in on Wednesday for game plans need to be set and things need to be done early in the week to move forward. So its always, my focus is, anything out of the norm, whether its this particular situation or whatever, anything, you want to handle it fast. You want to handle it on Monday, you want to get it done, and you want to attack it. You dont want to let it drag. You attack it, you hit it head on, and you speak honestly about it, you deal with the facts, and you put it in its place. Now, I can put it in its place and move forward.On whether he has thought about filling the open roster spot with an inside linebacker:
We have - Alex Joseph is here.On whether Joseph is a linebacker:
Yes sir.On whether Joseph will play Sunday:
Oh yeah, hes up. Yeah. I mean obviously were going to go through some evaluations right here, but the thought process is for him to be in here and he was meeting with the coaches last night. Great guy.On whether Joseph would be a backup for the inside linebacker position:
Yeah, hell be a backup there. And again, youve seen us. The way were built, weve got guys that can multi-task. So you always have a plan, no matter what goes on, you always have a plan for any kind of situations that may happen. So, the guys are trained in that way.On whether he will look to give game time to guys who havent played this season like T Alex Boone or LB Thaddeus Gibson:
Yeah, well, yeah, I mean were looking to win a game, were looking to prepare to compete to win. But yeah, yeah. Were looking but I mean, Im always- I can speak as a d-line coach. DT Ricky Jean-Francois is my young guy. Im always looking for opportunities to get Ricky on the field. Thats my thought process, I want to get him on the field, I want to get him playing reps. And if you do it here on the practice field, you earn the right for playing downs on the practice field. And then from there, we get into the game. Yeah, I mean, you like to get guys in the game. I mean, you want to stay fresh, thats my thought process. Thats where I fight with Justin Smith all the time. That guy doesnt want to come out. That guy wants to play, he doesnt care. And you know, all those guys have that, so sometimes youve got to protect them from themselves. You know, and so yeah.On whether he intends to start young guys in the last game just to get them playing time since they are not playing for a play-off run:
No, absolutely not. Thats why I tried to at the beginning of the week, its crystal clear where our approach is here. And quite frankly, I mean, with where were at right now, we wouldnt want to go that way. I mean I think you all can see the logic in that. Thats not smart in my opinion. So Im really happy with the way everybody is heading and everybody is going in the same direction.

Potential big play slips from Hoyer's grasp during preseason loss to Broncos

Potential big play slips from Hoyer's grasp during preseason loss to Broncos

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw the ball well enough to impress the Denver Broncos’ defensive backs during the 49ers’ two joint practices.

While he hit most of his passes on Saturday night, it was one that slipped away that summarized the 49ers’ 33-14 loss to the Broncos in the second exhibition game for both teams.

Hoyer had plenty of time to throw and saw a potential big play unfolding as he started to throw to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. But the ball popped out of Hoyer’s right hand as he began to throw.

“I was getting ready to rip it to Kerley,” Hoyer said. “He had a double-move route, and I thought he was going to win. I went to throw it. And I was going to throw it hard, and literally, I think my arm even went forward and I was looking around, ‘What happened to the ball?' "

The ball ended up loose on the ground, where Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris recovered.

“My quarterbacks coach asked me, ‘When’s the last time that happened to you?’ Hoyer said. “Maybe a few years ago in practice, that happened one time. I never had that happen in a game. It’s the worst feeling. You go to throw the ball and you’re looking, and all of a sudden, you look around and you have no idea where it is.”

Hoyer and the 49ers passing game was sharp during two practice sessions with the Broncos during the week, prompting All-Pro defensive backs Aqib Talib and Chris Harris to praise the Hoyer, as well as coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

Hoyer completed 8 of 11 pass attempts for 89 yards under the lights of Levi's Stadium. He threw an interception when 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin juggled the ball and Denver defensive back Chris Lewis-Harris wrestled the ball away from him as they tumbled to the ground.

“There weren’t any reads on his 11 attempts that I was upset with,” Shanahan said of Hoyer.

“(On) his pick, Marquise has to catch that ball. He threw it to him. That keeps the drive alive. He just didn’t catch it clean and the DB made a good play. I wish Brian could’ve played longer to get a chance to get into some sort of rhythm.”

In the game, the 49ers committed 11 penalties for 86 yards and turned the ball over five times. Denver scored 27 points off those turnovers.

“I don’t think any of us should be pleased right now,” Hoyer said. “When you put the defense in that situation, regardless of whether it’s a regular-season game or a preseason game, you should feel displeased with the performance.”

Instant Analysis: Turnovers cost 49ers in preseason loss to Broncos

Instant Analysis: Turnovers cost 49ers in preseason loss to Broncos

BOX SCORE

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers don’t have to worry about peaking too soon, that’s for sure.

The 49ers first-team offense was plagued by turnovers and penalties against the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium in the second exhibition game for both teams. And things did not get much better when the backups entered the action.

After two days during which the 49ers more than held their own against Denver in joint practices, there was no debate about which team was better when it was time for a game.

The 49ers put together an all-around sloppy performance -- low-lighted by 11 penalties and five turnovers -- in a 33-14 loss to the Broncos on Saturday night.

While the starters were in the game, the 49ers were outscored 10-0. The 49ers committed six penalties for 53 yards and committed four turnovers in the first half, as the 49ers fell behind 20-0 through two quarters.

“I thought the D did a solid job,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said during his halftime interview on KPIX. “We put them in a bad situation four times, so I was happy that they just held it to what it was.”

Jaquiski Tartt was responsible for one of the giveaways when it was ruled he inadvertently touched the ball on a punt in the first quarter. The Broncos recovered the muffed punt to retain possession.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer lost a fumble when the ball slipped out of his hand as he was throwing. Hoyer was also tagged with an interception. Denver defensive back Chris Lewis-Harris ripped the ball away from Marquise Goodwin as he juggled a Hoyer pass that was thrown behind him.

Running back Tim Hightower lost a fumble in the second quarter.

The Broncos capitalized on those four turnovers for all 20 of their points while shutting out the 49ers through halftime.

The 49ers’ offense showed some signs of life with Hoyer at the controls. The team gained 111 yards on their 22 plays. Hoyer completed 8 of 11 passes for 89 yards before rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard replaced him late in the first half.

Beathard continued to make a strong case to win the backup job. Beathard is in competition with Matt Barkley as the 49ers’ No. 2 quarterback.

Beathard teamed up with his former Iowa teammate, tight end George Kittle, on a 29-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Kittle caught the short pass from Beathard, turned up the left sideline, ran through an attempted tackle by Lewis-Harris, then stiff-armed safety Orion Stewart en route to the end zone.

Beathard completed 7 of his 12 pass attempts for 110 yards. His passer rating was 116.7.

FOSTER, BOWMAN START
Linebackers Reuben Foster and NaVorro Bowman, who were limited in the 49ers’ final joint practice with Denver with shoulder ailments, started played 20 snaps apiece.

With Foster and Bowman on the field, the Broncos totaled just 63 yards of total offense. Bowman had two tackles, while Foster added one before the 49ers’ first-team defense was removed in the second quarter.

Foster underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder in February. Some NFL teams reportedly did not believe he would be available to play this season. He was cleared for full-contact drills on the eve of training camp.

The 49ers said Foster’s mild AC joint sprain in his right shoulder was not related to his previous injury. He was held out of contact drills on Thursday. Bowman was pulled out of practice Thursday with a similar condition.

SITTING IT OUT
Players who did not see action due to injuries were: Defensive linemen Aaron Lynch, DeForest Buckner and Ronald Blair, linebacker Sean Porter, defensive backs Will Redmond and Prince Charles Iworah, wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, and guard Joshua Garnett.

Jimmie Ward remains on physical unable to perform due to a hamstring injury. Ward could be activated when the 49ers return to practice.

THIS ‘N’ THAT
--Undrafted rookie Victor Bolden supplied one of the lone highlights for the 49ers with a 104-yard kickoff return late in the fourth quarter.

--Eli Harold started at the strongside linebacker in place of Ahmad Brooks, who entered the game in the second quarter with the second-team defense.

--Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian connected with Jordan Taylor on a 19-yard touchdown pass against the coverage of newly signed 49ers cornerback Asa Jackson in the second quarter.

--Undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome started at free safety for the second game in a row. Jerome recorded two tackles and broke up a pass.

--Goodwin caught three passes for 44 yards. His first two receptions accounted for the first first downs from the 49ers’ No. 1 offense in the exhibition season.

--Rookie pass-rusher Pita Taumoepenu recorded a sack in the fourth quarter.

--The 49ers did not get much going from their top three running backs. Carlos Hyde gained 26 on eight carries. Kapri Bibbs had 6 yards on four carries. And Hightower had minus-1 yard on three attempts.

--Rookie running back Joe Williams entered the game with less than seven minutes to play. Guard Norman Price got blown back into the backfield on Williams second attempt, allowing Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris to, in essence, intercept the handoff from Barkley to Willliams.