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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Transcripts: DeMeco Ryans and Chris Foerster provide updates ahead of 49ers-Bears

Sep 8, 2022 at 6:05 PM--

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster spoke with reporters after Thursday's practice as the team prepares for its Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster

What have you seen from the group, especially those interior guys, through the course of training camp and the preseason?

"It was a work in progress as always. The one thing about [OL] Aaron [Banks], [OL] Spencer [Burford], [OL] Jake [Brendel], all the guys we have working inside, they work really hard every day. They prepare well, they go out there, work really hard at getting better and you saw improvement every single day. They go out there, there's the ups and downs. The preseason game, the work against Minnesota, things like that, but they all work through it and they've grown a lot in the process."

How do you sort of balance, believing in some of those younger guys long-term and also knowing you need results in the immediate term?

"Well, now we're going to start playing real games and we'll start seeing the production and you always have to judge people for the production, coaches and players alike. We're all judged for the job we do, whether we win or lose on Sundays. And so, there's lots of factors that will come into it, but you're always working on developing a player. Sometimes playing a player 65 snaps, a game, every play, every game is the right thing. Sometimes playing them less than that is the right thing. You just don't know until you start playing and seeing where they are in their development. And you really don't know until the bullets start flying on Sunday. I don't like that analogy. Sorry, for the words, but you don't know until it's a game situation in a game setting, and then you really get to realize where this guy really is. And then you say, okay, well, yeah, development's good, but we have to be productive. We'll always put the best players on the field or the best combination of players on the field. And that's something we'll have to judge as we move forward."

T Mike McGlinchey was obviously working on a couple things health wise, and then just lately he's got a run up to a decent amount of practices. How does he look to you at this point?

"He looks the best he's looked. Knock on wood that he holds in there. He fought through the rough injury coming back in the Green Bay game, got about eight plays in, and now he's really done a nice job, man. These last few days, he's looked like the Mike that we've all hoped he would look like. That's been encouraging. And again, same thing, he's got to string some games together here, and I hope that he goes out on Sunday and has a really nice outing."

What was the process like of putting the run game together this offseason knowing you have an additional weapon at quarterback, but also with Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel not being here, just kind of like logistically, how did you guys put that together?

"It was such a big catalog of place that [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and Mike have developed through the years. Starting back in Houston with Mike and Kyle and then at Washington, when we were all together, then they went to Cleveland, Atlanta, and then all those years, it's a nice catalog. So to say that, and then you add the [WR] Deebo [Samuel] and then we had the quarterback runs in Washington. And now again, with Trey, you have some of those options available to you. So they're all there. It's a big library and so developing, it's not really picking and choosing. And really, the great thing is we're always just looking at what's best against the team we're playing. You try to maximize the abilities of your players against your opponent. What do they do? What do we do well? And then what are those plays that are going to work against them that are going be good? And we've got a lot of different ways to do a lot of the same things. A lot of the ways to present different things for the defense. Kyle's created just so much diversity in what we can do. And the guys are so adept, it's really cool that the motions, the shifts, the things that we're able to do is just a real testament to the way that Kyle and all the coaches develop these guys and how they move and how they do things. So it's a cool offense to work in. And what these guys have established through the years, it's really kind of just walking in and saying, well, what do I want to use? What do you want to do? And that primarily comes from Kyle."

Do you find that there's enough time to put all that stuff in so that you can pick and choose when to use it throughout the season, just in terms of what the offseason program is like and all that?

"Yeah, it's a challenge, but I think that's the challenge that I hope we did a good job of trying to say, okay, we have to have a level of success against our defense in training camp and they present certain issues and problems, so there's certain things you really don't want to do against your defense. Then you hope when you go to Minnesota, that's a different defense or each preseason game, it allows you to use more things. So you're just looking at the big picture of what am I trying to establish? What blocks, what runs, how am I trying to expose all the different players to all these different facets of the offense so that when you get an opportunity to then say, okay, this game, we need to do these things. That's how you kind of get it all covered."

You work with the running backs and the quarterbacks for a portion of practice, have you ever done that in the past?

"No, I've been a line coach. That's between Kyle, [offensive passing game coordinator] Bobby [Slowik]. There's a ton of people that work with our quarterbacks, and then obviously [running backs coach] Anthony Lynn with the running backs and those things are pretty well covered in the meeting room and in individual. We'll watch, I'll watch, we all watch everybody's individual periods. And so, if I see something or somebody sees something, obviously you can comment on it. Mostly Kyle, he oversees all of it as the coordinator and the head coach and then we all work really hard to stay on top of our details."

QB Trey Lance's ability to work under center, and also in the shotgun with the zone read stuff, is this the biggest catalog or menu of run plays that you've ever had to pick from?

"Well, seeing that how it's developed through the years, it probably could be just because you add in the zone read stuff. It's stuff that we've done before with Trey, how much of it's an element in this game plan or not, how much of it we're going to use or not is still to be seen, but it is an element there, he's done it when we've had him at the quarterback position before in these previous games. So it is an element to the offense, but yeah, there's no question because the numbers of plays or ways we can do things, you add in the Deebo package, then you add in just the regular offense as it evolves through the years. And then you add the quarterback stuff, and there's a lot of stuff, and deciding what's good every week, but it's a lot of stuff, but it's really not. A lot of it's just the same thing. It's just a different name to do the same thing, the passing game's kind of the same things because you put people in the same spots, but you have to call it something different because its different people doing it, but you're really still attacking things a certain way. Same thing with the run game."

FB Kyle Juszczyk's talked about his cut blocking, and the fact that he'll cut block in the hole, cut block on the play side and go back on power and it's just stuff that generally, initially it was like, what are you doing? You're a fullback. Why are you doing this? Then it was embraced, but certainly he does it and can do it well. Is it unusual for a fullback to block sometimes how he does?

"Everybody has a different skillset and guys do things different ways. That's the great thing about coaching. It's not just a cookie cutter deal, so yeah, a traditional fullback with the neck roll that's going to hit a guy between the numbers or under the chin and bloody his nose and all that stuff. And there's a lot of different ways to get a guy blocked. [T] Trent Williams is not traditional. What he does in the backside of plays, what he does in certain ways, it's just not traditional. It's not something I drill or coach, but it's the way that Trent plays the game. Same thing with Kyle. Every player has some unique things and it's always up to us to bring them back down and say, 'Hey, that's good, but here's why I'd say you can't do that on that play.' But other times if it works and that's in the skillset, if the guy doesn't make the tackle, the guy doesn't make the tackle. And that's all I'm worried about."

Have you found that cut blocking often is effective?

"It can be, yeah, when it's legal. They've eliminated so much of it and so there's such a limited area where you can do it and you have to be careful when you choose to do it, because sometimes you and the player, you cut and end up in the hole, but Kyle's really smart about that and knows."

How would you categorize Aaron Banks' development up to this point?

"Aaron's development has been good. He's worked really hard. He's maintained his physical conditioning. He trains really hard. He works really hard. It's just going to have to see when he gets in, it's been up and down for both he and Spencer, I'd say of the three interior players, he and Spencer have been, a little more up and down. Now they've also had more reps in the preseason, so they've had more chances to be up and down. Jake's had more limited reps in the preseason and has done maybe, I would say, a little bit better up to this point, but all the guys have worked hard and really, it's preseason. We'll see when Sunday rolls around, we could be singing a different song on Monday and saying who's done what and how they've been doing. But I'd say Aaron has done a really a good job to this point. But I think Aaron would say, and I'm telling you this and you guys focus on the inside three, every guy has something they can work on. And every guy and yeah, it's a given, but every guy has an area to improve in. We got a long season and every guy has something to work on, to improve on, to get better at and we have to see it every single day. Because if you're not getting better, you're getting worse. These guys, we've got to keep them working to look to see how can we get better? We're by no means gelled and arrived as a line. And it's not just because of the inside three. It's just everything, we've got to keep working and this game builds on the next game builds on the next game. What you want to do is go out this week, perform to the best of your ability, have a great day, a great game. And hopefully we end up with a win, and then you can build on that. And that's what we're trying to do each week with this group and in the process, develop these younger guys behind him as well, because I've always said this to everybody, anybody who's in that room on opening day, I've been on too many teams and too many lines where I hope it doesn't happen here, but every guy in that room ends up playing. From the practice squad guys to the second team tackle. You hope you play your starting five for 17 weeks and the playoffs and the Super Bowl. But you also know that you might have to get through with shoot [Former 49ers OL] Justin [Skule] in 2019, who isn't on our team right now, started five games at left tackle and we went 5-0 with him at left tackle as a rookie. [OL] Dan Brunskill started at I think guard and tackle that year. The center went down, [Former 49ers OL] Weston [Richburg] goes down in New Orleans and then [Former 49ers OL] Ben Garland comes in and finishes the season and had an excellent year. So you just don't know which guys it's going to be. The guys we're talking about today, we may not be talking about in five weeks. I hope we are. I hope they're all playing, developing and doing great. So again, that's a long answer to an easy question."

The Deebo package in the run game, without getting into specifics, how much has that grown and evolved in the last 12 months?

"Well, the Deebo package is the Deebo package. Deebo is Deebo, man. It's how much we use it, how much we do of it. Each week it's different. It could be zero. Who knows and how much we're able to do it based on what the defense presents and what we decide to do on offense. Kyle is always looking. We're always looking to evolve and develop and not just be stagnant and stale on what we do and whether that's a Deebo package, whether there's stuff for other players in our offense as well. You just don't know how that plays out."

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Tell us about the plan at safety while DB Jimmie Ward is out.

"We have multiple guys that we can put in that position, so we're still working through that. You guys will see what happens at safety on Sunday."

The Bears have a first-time offensive coordinator in Luke Getsy and they have a fullback for the first time since 2018. Are you expecting a more traditional run game from them than what they've shown in the past?

"Yeah, these first games are always kind of tricky, so it's kind of like, what are you going to see? You plan for things we saw with these guys in the past, they have a fullback now. They can do many different things, but the cool part about our defense and what we went against in training camp is we've seen just about everything you can see from an offensive perspective. Our offense gave us a lot of tough looks during training camp, so I feel like our guys are prepared to handle anything that's kind of thrown their way. And it's just a credit to our offense and Kyle knows guys for the things that they've given us. So you try to prepare and plan as best as possible. With the first games, there is no telling, like you can get many things, you got a new coordinator, new staff, so our guys just have to play their fundamentals, be sound, do a great job communicating and go out and just play with great effort, great fundamentals. That's what's going to help us in this game."

Regardless of who you started in the defensive backfield, including nickel, you're going to have a lot of new faces, some veteran guys, but guys who haven't played together, what have you done to try to make sure that all those guys are working together on the same page and that there are no miscommunications?

"Yeah, our guys have done a great job throughout all these practices. Guys have been together at practice. They all haven't been together in a game, but they've done it on a day-to-day basis in practice. And they've done a good job of communicating. You have a veteran guy there in Fred who does a great job of running the show for our defense. Multiple guys who have played for us, guys will be out there, so it won't be too many new guys, but the communication, I'm not too overly concerned about the communication, because I feel like our guys have done it all throughout training camp really well. So that's one thing that I know Fred prides himself on is making sure all the guys are on the same page, so he's done an excellent job of that."

Their offensive coordinator Luke Getsy came from the Packers, you guys obviously are used to preparing for the Packers. Is there some, I don't know if familiarity is the right word there, but things you can sort of look at?

"We hope so. Luke has been there for a while. That's the offense, you see very similar things that they've done in preseason from the Packers offense as well. You look at those things, but again, there's nothing that we can go out and just hang our hat on that these guys are going do. There's not any evidence of anything, so our guys just have to be sound in what we do. It's not about them as opposed to it's more so about us and how we handle ourselves on Sunday."

You put your game plan together for Week One, you have an extra week to do it. Do you have to fight the urge to put in lots of things? Just because you have time or do you like to put in extra wrinkles?

"No, it's whatever we put in. It's going to be things that I feel like our guys can do well. You never want to overload our guys. We want our guys to go out and play fast and play with clear minds. So that'll always be the case, no matter how long we have to prepare two weeks, one week, three days, it's all about what can our guys handle. And with them going out and executing at a high-level, that'll always be the case for us."

It appears that they are going to start two pretty untested offensive tackles. What are your impressions of those guys from what you've seen?

"Yeah, with the young guys, again, guys just have to go out and play. It's rookies, guys rise to the occasion all the time and you never know about the rookies until they actually get in games and they have to go out and get game reps. So, what are we expecting from those guys? Who knows? We expect those guys, their NFL-talented players who can play, so we're expecting their best and they'll get our best."

DL Nick Bosa is always locked in and has the professional approach, but is there something that changes during a game week with him and what are your expectations with him?

"Bosa is the same and that's what makes a great player. You're always consistent. He's never too high, never too down. He's consistent each and every day and that's what allows him to play at a high level. And the game, nothing's too big for Bosa, so he doesn't have to change who he is just because it's game week. He'll continue to make plays and dominate just by being Bosa."

Does he have that freedom to pick whatever side he's comfortable on during a game?

"We'll see where he lines up on Sunday."

We haven't seen rain here in, I don't even remember how long. It could rain, it could be windy, did you do any preparation for the inclement weather?

"Not much we can do. With the inclement weather, guys just have to make sure they have the proper cleats and our equipment staff, they're great. They'll make sure our guys have the proper footwear to make sure we can run and not be worried about slipping or footing or anything of that nature. Guys just need to worry about having the right equipment to go play fast and not worry about the weather."

Kyle was saying, I think it's not until like Week Six that you guys really start watching film of other teams from this year. A lot of it's looking at the past, do you feel that early on in the season you make more adjustments mid-game, early in the game, do you think that increases early in the year?

"Each game is different. Each game is just its own deal, whether it's early or late, whatever's happening in that game, if it calls for adjustments then we have to be ready. Always to adjust and put our guys in the best position to be successful, so whatever, if it's early or late in the season, it's always, for me, it's different each and every week."

Last year's game Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields ran for a lot of yards, he had that crazy touchdown. Was that like, him? Or were there issues with the way you were defending him?

"No, Fields, I mean he's a tremendous athlete, right? He got out on us last year a lot, made a lot of big time plays, big time runs that normal quarterbacks can't make so the guy is very athletic, he can run all over the place. So, we have to, as we rush and as we play our coverages, we have to be very aware of that. Because of the type of athlete that he is, the speed that he has he can get out on you and make you pay so we just have to be conscious of that and be disciplined in everything that we're doing."

How do you think you've grown as a coordinator from year one to year two? Does the process feel any different this time around?

"I mean the process is the same, right? It's the anxiety, the anxiousness, just making sure no stones are unturned to make sure we're giving our guys everything they possibly need to be ready to go out and perform on Sunday. So, it's always there. I'm always pumped up and just excited to get in and gameplan and then get out to see our guy's practice and actually execute the gameplan, see them go out and do it flawlessly. Like these guys, the guys we work with, I can't say enough about just the men that we work with, these guys are tremendous. Anything we ask of these guys, they're on it. And they do it for each other, which makes our group very special. And that's one thing I'm excited about. So, whoever we face, whoever we go against, it's about the men that we have in this locker room, they're exceptional men and I am proud to coach these guys."

What's it like having to look back on that Fields run where he just, he broke containment and made an incredible play, what's it like in the film room having to break that down?

"It's like an ESPN highlight reel just like everybody else is watching it. I give him credit, man. That was an outstanding run. That's how I look at it. He made an exceptional run, and it was impressive. That's how I look back at it; it was an impressive play. He's a great player."

Who on the scout team is playing your mobile quarterback this year?

"The mobile quarterback? It's [QB Jimmy Garoppolo] Jimmy G. No, Jimmy has done a great job, he's gave us some great looks as far as getting the ball out, moving around, scrambling, Jimmy has done an excellent job of that."

Is he giving a good Justin Fields impression?

"He's just playing the quarterback position, so whatever those plays call for, Jimmy is making it happen."

When you face a quarterback who's as mobile as Justin Fields and you're talking to your defensive linemen, your pass rushers, is containment just as important as pressure? How do you talk about that with them?

"You just want guys to be aware. When you're rushing this guy, you just have to be aware of who are you playing, right? We're not playing a quarterback who's just going to sit in the pocket and just take a sack, that's not who he is. This quarterback, he's a mobile quarterback, he's athletic, he can get out on the edge, he can get out through the middle, that's who we're playing. So, as we play a quarterback like Justin Fields, you just have to be aware of who you're playing."


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