Fangio: 'We're a work in progress'
49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio talks about the improvement he's seen out of his players over the last week.
Well I don't think we've made. A great deal of accomplishment that we're a work in progress. Again fine tune in our defense get the guys. Rust off we've got a few new things here and there nothing major but some things that they've got -- totally understand you know the play. So I don't think that it's gross improvement yet other than it's getting back in the football shape and back in the knowing our system. So they can executed flawlessly and picking up the new things that we've inserted. This -- we still trying to do some situation football but you know particularly in the first week just like to go out there and play. Played ball did start crack in the pads get guys callous to contact. Get guys calloused to. Practicing and running. And more assimilating they. Three hour games so it's a little bit about what we do mix in the situations also. -- It does he has a chance to compete there. You know we've played him at both sides you know. Luckily he's a guy that can play either side it is a little bit of a transition there's some guys that can only play one side some guys can play them both. Becomes. You know just the calls me in the opposite sometimes when you're on the right than they do on the left. So there is some mental gymnastics to go through. I think he's capable of playing both sides have been in a mixed in there. Parents. Cox -- Harrelson. The idea I'm just get this working gets a lot of work with all of them and Ahmad we rotate those three guys in there with the first group. There we feel fortunate to have all three of them we feel like we got three starters there's so. He probably gets about as much work is a mind and all the and us. He's got that name in last year. All during the season he would get a lot of reps in practice on the left side because if D'Amato what do. Had to come out of the game he would have played left all the would have played right so last year during the season. He would get about 2530%. Of his work on the left so it's nothing new for him. Well they're good tandem back there and you can't play good defense without good safeties. You know that's that's is -- fact over the years and those two guys back there they quarterback the secondary they cornerback -- coverage element. And they're both good that support the run and tackling. Because they are the last line defense and one of the reasons we were. They -- tonight give up too many big plays last year both in the run and pass was because of pat and those guys back there. But at safety play is very very critical and we feel fortunate to have both of those guys. I got a lot of improvement each and both of them can make individually. And I'm they'd be the first tie that you know would like to improve their. Blitz ability. Would like to improve their understanding of the coverages exactly how they fit. With each and every route progression that they have to defend. They both have a lot of work to do which is good and they're both young enough they're still on the upswing in their career both of them obviously Navarro is playing his third year but. Still they got a lot of work to do. It's. Well -- got good quickness you know the slot. Cover guys got to have good quickness does a lot of short area routes that you gotta -- other reacting play. He's got intelligence because really everything he learns fast corner has no carry over to the -- he's actually playing a linebacker position. And he has the intelligence and the football instincts to be on the play all those new zones and all the techniques that he has to play in there. He's got a really good understanding. As you would think a veteran would have some guys never mastered but he's got a good understanding. What the offenses are trying to do from route concepts and he has good anticipation. Cox is there we have T brown. Is there also. And we have Michael Thomas plays that also force -- got four guys that we can put in there right now. He's he's done well you know he does a good job playing the nickel position force. Same thing he's got good -- things got good -- there short area quickness. Can feel the routes and that is. You know capable corner also so it's it's critically to have those guys. Because when teams who put four wide receivers and the feeling in the two of them then so hopefully we can develop three or four them. Well it's a possibility. You know you got all combinations and I can be that guy and Carlos can stay outsider. You know you got back in that position and our two corners in our nickel defense. Will be corner type players so will be three of them. Five or six corners we have available for those positions and yes she could be. They've done well. I think -- set a good job of improvement from the first day he got here in the off season you know after the rookies came in and made. You know he was swim and then a little bit mentally I think he's gotten better has little better feel for our package and still has a long way to go. But he's gotten better and I think Mike thomas'. Very heady player. Knows and understands football he's done a good job too. You. As you. You. All three of those guys for the most part friar interchangeable force now in the adjusted and and read them a break and play nose. In a heartbeat. We like those backups to be on the play both nose and end because you can't have a guy that's only -- -- you can only have one of those nine years. Game day roster -- -- -- the other five that are dressed has built will be playing knows also that she makes Ricky Jean valuable because season knows. -- can play in so. You can have long guidance and knows only but your backups after they'll play both. Physically you know. Well I think we can be as good as we were. And if not better but that may not just show that on paper you know we. You know stats as whatever you want it to mean sometimes. I'm confident will be better. That one of the reasons we were really good on defense last year is because we had a really good offence that protected the ball. We had very short very few short fields against us our kicking game that a great job in controlling field position force. So they made our job a little bit easier for us last year than compared to most easily. And now the important going forward you know so we had a phenomenal year that way if that slacks off a little bit. Then that. Bleeds into your defense also and your team so. I think we're capable of better. I don't know we'll show that on paper though. -- -- Much much farther along. This year than it was last year at this time obviously he's. Got a season under his belt this season in this system that hadn't changed a whole lot. He still less things to learn you know sometimes the coverages run together on him about how we can play a certain route combination and the differences and I'm. But. He understands football you know some guys understand it better and others and he understands it good and you can talk to him at a high level. When you're teaching and you don't have to break it down and you know paint by numbers he can he can imagine what you're talking to him about and feel it and understand that and I think -- -- -- much more of the more you play.