Smith: 'Kicking myself' over third-quarter interceptions


Smith: 'Kicking myself' over third-quarter interceptions

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Alex Smith met the media on Monday to talk about the 49ers' 26-3 loss to the New York Giants. The 49ers have a quick turnaround with a game Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park.Coach was talking about how different people rebound off of a loss. What about you?
"Definitely not right away, that's not me, no. Waking up, thinking about it, replaying it even today a little bit. Consciously, obviously putting this one away quick with the quick turnaround Thursday. Normally it's a little longer, but this week, putting this one aside. Big division game."Do you like having a short turnaround after a loss, just come right back out?
"After a loss like that, yeah, in some ways it's nice because you can't dwell on it. Even as a team, you've just got to move on."What do the Giants do that's so vexing for you guys in their coverage?
"Yesterday, I thought we started well. We couldn't end anything, didn't finish anything well. It seems like every time we got some momentum going we couldn't really capitalize on it. Then you get down a couple scores and you got one dimensional. I really feel like we gave our defense a short field. For me, the two interceptions late (in third quarter) were the ones I thought about the most. It's third down you're trying to make a play, but you're just making matters worse. You really got to see the bigger picture there, make good decisions on both those cases. That's what I was really kicking myself for."Is it difficult, they can get away with just rushing four guys?
"That's the thing. They're so good when they get a lead like that, they don't have to bring pressure to get home. They've got a bunch of D-linemen that can all get after the pass. So, it's tough. They're tough when they get a lead like that."Looking back at those first two drives, what was the cause of frustration? Where did it end up and why did it go dry right at the end, those first two drives?
"The first two? I thought we had good balance. We were moving it and mixing it up, just didn't capitalize down there. Got in some third-down situations where we couldn't connect. Had the one tipped ball. Forget what the second one was, but moved it, changed field position, get down there to kick a field goal and to only come away with three points, that's tough."You started the game with more passing than usual, a lot of shotgun formations. What was it about the Giants defense that made you guys think that was an effective way to attack them?
"Different reasons. One, we're very conscious, they're a good D-line. I think they knock down more passes than any D-line in the NFL. They're all tall. They're all long. They all get their hands up. So a little bit get back there and get away from it a little bit. One, I think we had good balance out of that formation. The week before we had been running it well, even out of the shotgun. So, wanted to continue that and had good balance early. Like I said, just got away from it, got down multiple scores and got one dimensional and then started forcing things and then it really got bad."In your wins, you guys have looked pretty awesome. In your losses, there's been some wild fluctuations. Can you point to a reason for that inconsistency?
"A lot of reasons. There's not one, for sure. You turn on the film and offensively, it's easy to look at yesterday's film and ask questions about pretty much everything because none of it looked good. And it wasn't good enough. A lot of times that is the case with a loss. A lot of times you don't have a loss and you look back and, 'Hey, this was all great.' It was some things you've got to get better at and need to do that. I don't think there's any one thing, I guess. A lot of things playing into it. And then turnovers are just like the nail in the coffin. You're not going to overcome those, especially once you're down. In some ways it is nice to have a short week. We've got to just move a long from this one and get ready for a big division game."Transcript courtesy of the 49ers public relations department.

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

The 49ers have graduated back to the phase of the offseason when offense-vs.-defense drills are allowed.

Because of the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers were allowed an additional “voluntary” minicamp before the NFL draft. That meant the 49ers were permitted to skip from the two-week conditioning phase of the offseason straight to what is allowed under Phase III.

But after the three-day minicamp in late-April, the 49ers were forced to retreat back to Phase II, when on-field drills but could not include offense vs. defense.

Beginning Monday – and over the next three weeks -- the 49ers can get back to conducting the standard one-on-one, 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 "non-contact" drills. The 49ers have the maximum number of 10 organized team activities scheduled. The official offseason program concludes with a mandatory minicamp scheduled for June 13-15.

The real competition does not begin until the pads go on during training camp. but here’s a look at the team’s most notable offseason competitions (one position you will not find is quarterback, where the depth chart of Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard appears clearly set):

Running back: Carlos Hyde, entering the final year of his original four-year contract, has a lot of competition to hold onto his role as the featured back. He is coming off his most-productive season, finishing just 12 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark when he sustained a knee injury with one game remaining. Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner lobbied for Utah running back Joe Williams in the draft. They clearly see a fit for him within the system.

Pass-rush end: The 49ers’ pass rush was among the worst in the NFL the past two seasons. Arik Armstead will be given an opportunity to see if he can adapt to the “Leo” position. Aaron Lynch must earn the confidence of the coaching staff and front office. The 49ers added explosive, 243-pound pass Pita Taumoepenu in the sixth round.

Tight end: The 49ers confirmed Vance McDonald was available for a trade during the draft. After finding no takers, the 49ers brought back McDonald and he rejoins the competition among rookies George Kittle and Cole Hikutini, and veterans Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.

Cornerback: Rashard Robinson is the obvious choice to start on one side. And assuming Jimmie Ward remains at free safety, the 49ers have no other player on the roster who has started a significant number of games at cornerback. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, will have a legitimate opportunity to win a starting job, as long as he displays a willingness to stick his nose into the action and play with the requisite level of physicality. Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser and Will Redmond should also be in the mix to replace Tramaine Brock, who was released shortly after his arrest after an alleged domestic incident last month.

Center: Jeremy Zuttah, a Pro Bowl performer, was added in the offseason via a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. Daniel Kilgore has been the 49ers’ center the past three seasons but injuries have limited him to just 23 starts over that period of time. Zuttah has position flexibility. The 49ers could determine the best thing for the offensive line is to move Zuttah to one of the guard positions – to challenge Zane Beadles or Joshua Garnett -- if he is not clearly better than Kilgore.

Weakside linebacker: The 49ers signed veteran Malcolm Smith on the first day of free agency, providing him with $11.5 million of fully guaranteed money. The 49ers ranked Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster as the No. 3 overall prospect in the draft. They traded up to select him at No. 31 overall. Assuming Foster is ready to compete at the beginning of training camp after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, it appears likely he would line up in that position and compete with Smith. The 49ers’ medical staff does not believe Foster will require any additional surgery, and Foster said he expects to be cleared for the opening of camp.

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan spent last offseason working with Tom House and Adam Dedeaux on his throwing mechanics.

Ryan went on to set career-bests in completion percentage (69.9), yards passing (4,944), touchdowns (38), interceptions (7) and passer rating (117.1).

New 49ers quarterback Matt Barkley worked with House and Dedeaux for the fourth offseason in Southern California before reporting to Santa Clara for the team’s offseason program.

“Kyle (Shanhan) is on board with what House and those guys are doing – I think, really, because of the year Matt Ryan had,” Barkley said on “The 49ers Insider Podcast” on NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He’s a believer in that. He saw the benefits of what Matt did with some of his drops and the timing on routes, how he changed his feet on some things. So we’re kind of sticking with that plan. Everyone is a little different, but for the most part we’re all on the same page when it comes to what our drops are looking like, our footwork and how the ball is coming out.”

House is a former major league pitcher and pitching coach who founded the 3DQB training facility in Los Angeles. Dedeaux pitched at USC and is the grandson of USC baseball coaching legend Rod Dedeaux. Former NFL quarterback John Beck is a motion mechanics instructor.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Carson Palmer are among the NFL quarterbacks who have worked with 3DQB.

“I believe in those guys and what they’re doing,” Barkley said. “They’re at the top of their game, working with Brady and a bunch of other guys. They’ve helped me.

“He won’t change your throwing motion or really tweak how the ball comes out, but he’s going to try to maximize velocity and ground force production and torque -- a lot of sports science terms. But, really, just maximizing efficiency with your motion and making sure you’re sequencing is right.”

Barkley had never played for Shanahan before signing a two-year contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency. But there are two obvious connections. Barkley’s offensive coordinator last season with the Chicago Bears was Dowell Loggains, Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 when Shanahan was the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator. The other connection is House.

"It’s kind of funny, he worked with Atlanta’s staff all of last year, helped Matt Ryan, kind of build his base from the ground up and helped him a lot and he had an MVP year," Barkley said of House.

"There may have been talks down the pipeline, who knows. I don’t think that was the deciding factor by any means, but it never hurts.”