How did LB Malcolm Smith make it through the week?

"He's probably doubtful. We are going to list him as doubtful. He's been limited all week and was today, also. Doubtful is a small chance, so we'll see on Sunday."

Will LB Brock Coyle then be at that spot?

"Yeah, we've got a number of choices. We'll see then."

Now that you've had a full week to adjust from RB Jerick McKinnon's injury, have you decided what the plan is moving forward with RB Matt Breida and RB Alfred Morris?

"Yeah, definitely. We've known that since it happened. We've been working on it, and we'll see how the game goes with it."

You said you wanted to watch Breida all week because this is his first week back. How did he look?

"He's looked good. He came back fresh. He's been ready to go. He's ran the ball well. I'm excited to see him on Sunday."

What kind of progress has he made from rookie to now in just the pass-catching aspect?

"I think he's come a long way. I think he struggled with that when he first got here. He got a little bit better as the year went. But, I thought he had a drastic improvement going into OTAs and training camp. He's further along in that area than he was when he came here."

Just looking throughout the league at the incoming class of rookies and all the movement in the offseason, it seems like more teams seem to have their answer at quarterback than maybe recent history. Do you notice that and do you view this as sort of an exciting time for the league looking at all those quarterbacks?

"I haven't really thought about it. But, yeah, there's a lot of young good ones. They've done well over the last year, especially with [Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson] Wentz, who would have been a possible MVP guy last year. I know the young guy with [Los Angeles Rams QB Jared] Goff having the success he did. So, there's a lot of good young ones out there, and there's a lot of good older ones, too. It's time for some good young ones to be coming up."

What did you learn about LB Fred Warner that you liked so much that you put him in a position where he'll be making the communication calls and all that stuff?

"Just how he's been since he's gotten here. On tape, he seemed like a very smart player. We met him at the combine, brought him in here and just the way he handled himself, it was pretty obvious that he was a very poised person. Since he's gotten here, nothing has been too big for him. You get around a lot of guys, people can be very intelligent, but you can still get overwhelmed in the heat of battle and stuff. Fred's been the same guy every day. Nothing is too big, nothing is too small and he's been very steady and that's what's going to give him a chance to be successful."

You've talked about those positions being interchangeable, but it would seem from maybe my perspective that Coyle might be the better fit at MIKE just given his veteran status, but you have Fred in there at MIKE. Could you explain the reasoning why?

"Yeah, the main difference is all of the communication and stuff you have to do so there is a little bit more put on a rookie in terms of communication. But, we felt Fred earned that spot. We thought he played at a very high level throughout the practices and the games that he got in on. So did [LB] Reuben [Foster] last year. But, we thought he was better at the other spot, not doing the communication. Fred, it hasn't slowed down. He's been good with it and since he earned it physically and it didn't slow him down from a mental aspect, it was a pretty easy decision."

How much does DL Ronald Blair III's versatility play into him? He's one of nine guys left from the previous regime.

"I've got a lot of respect for Ronald. First of all, he plays at a high level. He wins a lot and he can play all of the positions. When you have that versatility on a D-Lineman, that's a guy that's very tough to replace. He is mainly on the outside from his size and stuff, but when we put him on the inside, he's tough enough and scrappy enough that he gets it done. So, Ronnie can make plays on his own and he can help us in a lot of situations depending on how the game can go throughout who you have up on game day."

How's it been working with Alfred Morris again given the familiarity you guys had in the past?

"It's been great. Anyone who knows Alf, Alf is as good of a person as there is. He's great to be around. He hasn't changed at all and he never will because that's who he is. So, it's great to have him around as a person and the fact that he's the same player makes it even that much better."

Have you decided on a starter at right guard?

"We plan on [OL Mike] Person starting."

Yesterday, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said that it seemed like Malcolm Smith would be full-go for Sunday. Did he have a setback yesterday?

"No, he's just been limited each day. At that stage, if he could take every single rep and go, then that's when we would know he's going. But, the fact that he can't quite yet, he still has almost two more days to do it so that's why we're not going to rule him out, but he's not there yet."

What about OL Garry Gilliam? Has he practiced?

"Yeah, he's good to go. He's full-go."

Would he be the swing tackle?


* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers

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