Smith: 'We've got to do better'


Smith: 'We've got to do better'

Q: How would you describe the last two days as far as it pertains to who has gotten the better of whom out there?
Alex Smith: Lopsided the last couple of days. New phase of camp for us in the sense that, kind of going first, second and third down and all of the sudden the last two days were red zone and red zone emphasis. First two days of it and not good. The defense definitely got the better of us, I felt like, in all aspects, 7-on-7 and team. So, obviously room for improvement, need to get better.

Q: Was that due to the fact that there just hasnt been a lot of contact up to this point and that favors the defense?

No, I dont think that. Theres a lot of things that go into it. One, theyre a great defense. Great players, ready players, they know what theyre doing, play fast. Were not game planning what our defense is doing necessarily. Youre putting stuff in that youre potentially going to see down the line versus different defenses. We still have got to go execute. Theres no excuse. Yesterday, a lot of turnovers for a multitude of reasons. Today was a little better in that regard, but still didnt get much done. Just falls on us as a whole on offense, just need to execute better.

Q: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh just described DT Justin Smith as a guy who every other team wants but still goes out there every day like hes trying to make the team. Do you guys ever tell him to slow down?
I dont. Maybe the O-Linemen do. It seems like its contagious. I feel like the entire D-Line plays like that. A lot of great players up there and they all practice that way. They all practice extremely hard and love football. The whole defense in general too, but especially that front. On one hand its great for us. Its great to go against them every single day. They play every defense imaginable, every coverage, every pressure. Theyve got the whole gambit and they let you see it. So in that in sense, its great work for us. Weve got to get better though, better than we were the last two days at least.

Q: Hows the passing game progressed since training camp began?

I feel like weve had a good camp. Obviously, I feel like everybody on offense has really zoned in on the last two days and made a lot of emphasis of it, and it hasnt been good enough. Prior to that, I feel like we got off to a good start. In the passing game especially been doing some good things. This is situational football. The last two days has been heavy red zone and like I said, its a tough opponent but weve got to get better too.

Q: That first day of camp I raised the question of potentially having WR Michael Crabtree for the whole camp and here he hasnt been out there for a week. Does that set you and that combination back?

At this point, not worried about it. He had such a great spring and summer. I dont know when hes going to be back, but well look forward to his return. Hopefully its not too long. I know I feel good about what he got done this off-season. Its a long camp. I feel like hell get back and get some good work in.

Q: What are your thoughts on DT Ray McDonald? He was riding the bench for a while, now hes getting his chance and playing really well. To what degree have you seen over time his confidence grown both off the field and in the locker room?
I feel like that entire D-Line just feeds off each other, highly competitive group. They do everything together. They compete with each other at everything. Whether theyre in the weight room squatting or out there on the field, whos making plays and whos not on game day as well. Theyre a fun group. Its infectious and I think it rubs off on each other. Rays a big part of that. You see hes a big time player, really coming into his own as a player. No question when you do that, it creeps in and you get confidence as a teammate and leader.

Q: You of all people must be happy that the radio system is new this year?

Yeah, hopefully its better than the last couple years.

Q: Could you tell any difference today?

It does seem better. Its clearer off the bat, comes in better. The last couple years it always seems like we never really had many problems on the practice field. Its not until you get to the stadium that for some reason it doesnt seem to work as well. Hopefully this one does better up at The Stick.

Q: Did you guys ever suspect that it was a home cooking type of thing where the visiting team would always have something weird?

Yeah, but itd even happen at home sometimes. It just seemed like it was a touchy deal. Go in and out. For sure on the road it seemed like it would happen more often, but it would happen at home too. You expect more when you come in as a rookie, youre thinking this is going to be some crazy high-tech stuff and then you actually look in the helmet and its not. Youve got like AAA batteries sitting in there.

Q: When you talk to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, those other guys do they have the same problem?
I think the headset problem is universal across the NFL. I think every quarterback has dealt with it and you have problems. Youve got to have a plan ready, a Plan B, what youre going to do.

Q: And how many times have you had to hear half the call and then make up the rest?

That happens quite a bit. Sometimes no call at all and you just got to go with something. Sometimes it goes out. We were very proactive here especially last year with the backup system. With the wristband it makes it easier using signals and things like that we can get a play in.

Q: Whats your perspective on where WR A.J. Jenkins is as far as his progress?
I feel like hes coming along just great. I think a lot got made of his offseason which is tough. I mean as a rookie the expectation level is nothing, to come in in an offseason and expect something. I think hes in a great place. Hes got a lot of guys to learn from, a lot of guys that have played a lot of football, guys that all have different strengths. He can watch them play and see how they win. How they play to their strengths. Watch how professional they are. I think hes in a great place, a great place to just steadily keep improving. I think hes going to be just fine. No question about his talent. I think the big thing obviously is the playbook size is just so much different than the college level, run and pass, and just continuing to learn it and the details of it.

Q: What is his talent level? What does he do that distinguishes him?

I think hes a guy that can just about do everything. I think the thing that really distinguishes him is you just see the natural, I dont know if you want to call it foot talent, speed, in and out of cuts, that type of stuff. You see him in and out of breaks and you can see it there. The separation he can get, it just comes natural. Especially coming out sideways, breaking down, getting in and out of cuts, things like that. He has a great feel, great body language. I think its something that is one of his strengths.

Q: RB Brandon Jacobs was saying hes lost 15 pounds since the spring, he still looks fairly large, can you tell if the guys changed his body?

Yeah, I can. I dont think hell ever not look large. But no question, I do feel I can tell hes slimmed down since the first day I saw him. In a good way. I feel like he looks really good. I know from the little bit Ive heard talking to him, I know he really likes whats going on in our weight room and conditioning and stuff like that and has really taken to it. I think he looks great.

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ biggest free-agent acquisition on defense and one of the team’s first-round draft picks play the same position.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he is holding off on thinking about how everything is going to play out this season at the linebacker position.

“I really try not to envision it too hard because I see a lot of good players there,” Shanahan said Tuesday during the 49ers’ first week of organized team activities.

The 49ers awarded weakside linebacker Malcolm Smith guaranteed money as an unrestricted free agent totaling approximately $12 million. Then, on the first day of the draft, the 49ers’ No. 3 rated prospect experienced a free fall, and the club traded into the back end of the first round to select him.

While Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has been sidelined through the offseason program as he recovers from shoulder injury, he figures to compete with Smith for the starting job. Foster will also learn middle linebacker, where NaVorro Bowman has earned first-team All-Pro honors in four seasons.

Bowman looks to be nearly all the way back from a torn Achilles that limited him to just four games last season.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Shanahan said. “Seeing Bow out here and how healthy he’s been, knowing we’ve added some good free agents, and the way the draft worked out, having a linebacker we had ranked very highly fall to us at the end of the first round. We got a lot better pretty fast.

“When you ask me how it’s going to play out, I’m not sure. It’s a good problem to have. It’s something you’d like to have any every position. There’s going to be a very good player who’s not out there all the time. That’s not a bad thing. That makes the two guys who are out there go a lot harder and play better. It makes special teams better and it allowed you to survive injuries, which almost always happen.”

Bowman’s vision for the upcoming season includes him retaining his role in the middle of the 49ers’ defense.

"I won't be on the sideline, I'll tell you that right now,” Bowman said.

Bowman said he was not fazed with the 49ers selected Foster in the first round. Foster is likely considered the heir apparent to Bowman.

Shanahan called Bowman after the selection of Foster was made, but Bowman said he did not need to speak with the coach about why the selection was made.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Bowman said of the phone call, “but it was good to hear from him, to see that he had something to say or an idea of what he wanted to get across to me.

“But we haven’t talked about it. I did that on purpose. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll compete with anyone, whether he’s 21 or 35. It doesn’t matter. I’m a guy who’s going to give my best effort and have full confidence in my abilities to play this game. I know how much I study this game. I know how good I am and that’s what was going to bring back here.

“It’s always a competition. There’s always someone trying to take your spot. As a player, if you keep that in mind, you’ll always put the work in that’s needed.”


49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

SANTA CLARA -- For the first time since Bryant Young retired following the 2007 season, the 49ers have placed his old number back into service.

Linebacker Dekoda Watson was issued No. 97 for the team’s organized team activities this week.

Young was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award as the 49ers’ most inspirational and courageous player. No 49ers player has worn No. 97 in the past nine seasons or offseasons.

Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is now wearing No. 94 after being issued No. 96 for the rookie minicamp. Linebacker Reuben Foster is wearing No. 56.

Rookie defensive tackle D.J. Jones now wearing No. 96. Cornerback Rashard Robinson switched back to No. 33 after an earlier change to No. 26. Running back Kapri Bibbs is now 26. Rookie running back Joe Williams is No. 32 after wearing No. 33 at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles over the weekend. Veteran running back Tim Hightower is wearing No. 22.