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San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula spoke to the media today. It was the first time that anyone from the 49ers organization has spoken to the media since the front office shakeup from late last night and early this morning that revealed team president Paraag Marathe's reassignment/demotion.
When asked about the situation with Marathe, Tomsula stated, "I don't have any knowledge, don't have any comment." He added that he was just recently informed of the situation.
When asked about an analytics-based approach to football, he said that they absolutely use it and embrace it. He also added, "So much of it to me is gut and feel and those things," but said that it did back up his game decisions, like those to punt twice late against the Seattle Seahawks when the 49ers trailed by 16 points.
"We go through those every week," said Tomsula of analytics and statistics.
There was a rumor that Tomsula was not at work on Wednesday and that the team's public relations staff was instructed to keep his absence quiet, which was perceived as a possible conflict between Paraag and himself. He refuted that rumor and stated that he absolutely was at work on Wednesday and has not missed a day all week. Tomsula said that he had arrived to the team's facility between 4 and 4:30 AM. He stated that he had left and was late for the team practice, but returned for the team periods. His scheduled press conference that day was moved to Thursday, further fueling the speculation.
He also called media claims of Marathe and himself butting heads about analytics "absolutely false."
As usual, Tomsula started the press conference by talking about team injuries. RB Carlos Hyde and TE Garrett Celek will not travel with the team to Chicago for the game against the Bears on Sunday. C Daniel Kilgore, who remains on the PUP list, will travel with the team, but has not yet been elevated to the 53-man roster. WR DeAndre Smelter, also on the PUP, will not travel to Chicago.
The Marathe news started late Thursday night when Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News reported that there was some possible chaos brewing within the 49ers' management. Shortly after, it was revealed by Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area that Paraag Marathe, one of Jed York's most trusted associates and his right-hand man, would be reassigned from his position of team president.
Marathe will remain in his role through Super Bowl 50, to be played on February 7 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. After that, he will take on a larger role with the 49ers' outside ventures.
Kawakami stated that, according to an NFL source, Marathe was being removed from his position as president in part because he is believed to be the source of numerous recent leaks to national media, possibly including those discrediting Colin Kaepernick.