Pretty up tempo practice out there. Is that the goal here to emphasize a faster pace environment?
"Yeah. We're just going to go at a pace. We're just working on the clock."
When you say working on the clock, you're talking the practice clock or the--?
"The play clock and the practice clock. Just moving."
Is the aim there to put pressure on defenses so that they can't substitute or to put pressure on them stamina wise?
"I mean, just the way we're practicing for us, not anybody else, but for us, number one you are getting your conditioning part of it. Number two, trying to add the pressure to it so you have to think in a fast paced, stressful environment offensively. And defensively, that helps you in these critical times in games, the two-minute stuff. So just everything having to operate at a fast pace."
How much of an adjustment period is this for the offensive linemen with a new coach? Are they learning different things? Is this point in the offseason pretty critical for their coming together?
"Yeah, I think it's for all of us. I don't think you can say O-line. I think everybody's getting a lot of great work. The guys, the players are really, really going after it. It's been a lot of fun."
Specifically for the O-line, are they getting more, is there kind of a change in the scheme that they're doing?
"Yeah, well, I mean you're blocking and tackling but I'm not going to get into schematics and all that stuff. Yeah, the guys are working their fundamentals pretty hard and we're trying to make sure we're getting the carryover into the team periods."
How's this transition going for you, from going from hands on per each defensive guy into techniques to supervising all these players at different positions?
"I think's it's going good. It's a great locker room. It's a great group of guys. And then the coaching staff, it's a really good coaching staff. I think you can all see that. It's been enjoyable, but, I mean, it's a lot of work."
I think former 49ers DL Justin Smith on the radio the other day cited DT Ian Williams as a young guy that probably a lot of people in the NFL don't know about but who he sees a lot of potential in. That seems to be a theme along the defensive line. Which guys are you eager to see step into perhaps a bigger role than they've had in previous years?
"The defensive line specifically?"
"All those guys. That's a really, I mean, obviously I've worked intimately with those guys. But to watch what [defensive line] coach [Scott] Brown and [defensive assistant] coach [Aubrayo] Franklin are doing, it's really cool, you know. Specifically, coach Brown, that's a guy that I used to study a lot in terms of some of the pass rush moves and some of the stuff he was doing. So it's a neat deal. And then Aubrayo obviously playing here, but those guys working with them, just watching them all, it's a really good group. And there are some talented guys there that have worked really, really hard."
When DL Glenn Dorsey, I guess in 2013, had his first season here and people thought well that's his home in the middle at the nose. I mean, is he a guy you're looking at, maybe moving outside?
"Yeah, he can play both. Everybody in there is cross training. We were talking the other day, I think we've had six different guys, well I mean, Dorsey started at nose. Ian started at nose. [DT Quinton] Dial started a game at nose. [NT] Michael Purcell started a game at nose. [DT] Tony Jerod-Eddie started a game at nose. It's all cross trained, so they can play them all. It creates a depth at that position. Glenn did a great job at the nose position, but Glenn's also, I mean, it's a D-line group. We kind of stay away from 'you're the nose' and you know, Ian can play edge, you've seen Ian on game days two years ago playing the defensive end position. So, we've got all those guys that can move around and play that spot."
Is Glenn all the way back from his biceps?
"The biceps? I mean, he's doing wonderful. You know, the lifting is all getting good. He's looking really good too. "
With LB NaVorro Bowman, is today just a maintenance day for him?
"Yeah, Bo's been doing a great job. It's been awesome watching Bo. It really has. He's doing really, really well."
There's so much talk about this team losing so many players over this offseason. Did you have to address that early with these guys and say forget about that and you're here and move on?
"Never spoke a word of it to be honest with you. I mean, other than, obviously some guys have retired and things. Justin, who just recently and again, Justin Smith's gotten me a pay raise. Let's not hide the facts. The guy's, he was just an unbelievable football player. And the key is, one thing I do want to say about that is that I know a lot of people compare him, and the comparisons, that's the big thing we do. Justin Smith, you don't compare him to anyone. The bar that he's reaching, or the bar that he was always going after was the bar he set. So he was always competing against himself. All the talk with he can still start in the National Football League, absolutely. But that's not, where he's at and all the stuff, I don't have anything but awesome feelings for Justin Smith and where he's going."
What have been your impressions of WR Torrey Smith so far, watching him work young receivers and just overall what you've seen from him?
"You know what, the first impression, everybody goes out on the field and you see how fast he is. But my first impression of Torrey Smith is more about the man than it is about the ball player. He is a unique guy. And the way he carries himself and the way he talks to people, he's one of those multipliers. He's just a really, really good person. Obviously extremely talented and works his tail off, but yeah, he talks to everybody. And it's not just receivers, it's, you know, and that's the thing you'll find in this that's been exciting me with my office being in the locker room and all that. You get to see these guys and just the way they interact and the decency and the respect and the kindness that they treat each other with is really, it's pretty cool."
What's RB Carlos Hyde's status?
"He's working through the leg. It's nothing. I mean we got no big, but we're going to wait. We want you 100 percent. We're doing this offseason thing and we're doing things fast and we're doing all those things, so we're not going to push. It's not the season, so we're trying to treat that the right way."
Did TE Derek Carrier re-fracture his foot?
"No, he didn't. Don't have an exact status but I do know the x-rays or MRI, I'm not even sure which that was, there was nothing broke there or anything."
What are you seeing from G Brandon Thomas working with the first team? Didn't get the chance to play last year but obviously a good opportunity for him to compete.
"Again, we watched him all year. You see him. Again, you talk about a wonderful guy but you talk about a guy who's really worked hard. And when you come back off the legs, it's not like everything, you're medically cleared but now you've still got, now you've got to get football going. You got to get stepping on that thing and getting running and getting moving. And there's a period of time there, and just to watch him, and you see it now, those little hitches in the giddy up, they're going away day-to-day. Every day, it's just getting better. He's doing really well."
Does defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, and I might have a follow-up to this, does Mangini have--?
"Just a warning. He's got two, he just let you know [vice president of communications] Bob [Lange]."
Does Eric have complete autonomy or do you insert yourself in and have your thumbprint on this defense as well?
"Well, I'll say, the entire thing, when you want to point a finger or blame, just point them all at me. OK? Nobody has full autonomy. We're all in this together. And I have a comment on offense, defense, special teams, player engagement. So if it's on the field and you don't like it, you don't need to, you can just come see one guy."
The reason I ask this, S Antoine Bethea was talking about how the defense, it appears from his standpoint, is a little bit more complex, maybe trying to create a little bit more confusion for the offense. That's got to be a balancing act as far as trying to be complex but not overly complex.
"Certainly the ideas and thoughts of Eric has going, make no mistake on that, Eric's doing a wonderful job in this part of itand the things we're doing out on the field and the defense that we're learning. But now you also talk about [senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach] Jason Tarver and you talk about [secondary coach] Tim Lewis and [linebackers coach] Clancy [Pendergast]. I mean, you get all those guys together in there and some of it, we're trying. Who exactly are we, you know what I mean? And looking at some different things in coverage and looking at some different patterns andstuff like that. That'll all settle down once we're in, and again, it's not like that's something new. You've seen that here,You've seen that everywhere you go. OTAs, you put things in, you've got that time to put things in and kind of see what guys do better, so there's a lot of that going on. But all those guys, that entire coaching staff, is really some good stuff."