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DeMeco Ryans, Chris Foerster provide updates ahead of 49ers-Seahawks

Sep 15, 2022 at 5:19 PM--

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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 2 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

This Sunday's game, obviously S Talanoa Hufanga had a great game around the line of scrimmage. How was he on the back end and in the coverage stuff?

"I think Huf had a really good game for us. He flew around, he played with the type of energy, the tenacity, the grit that you would hope for, he stuck out amongst the entire group, just his style of play and I'm very happy with the way he played. The style of play he played with, we just have to have all 10 guys playing like that. I think Huf did a really good job and he's only going to continue to get better, so I'm very happy with what he did for us in that game."

Do you recall your reaction when you first heard Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson was no longer going to be in the NFC West?

"Probably similar to everyone's reaction. It was just shocking. You see a guy who's been with the team for so long and has had so much success there in Seattle. So it was a little weird seeing him on Monday night in a different jersey. It is a little weird, but I think everybody had that same kind of reaction, so nothing different there for me as well."

Was any part of you happy?

"I wouldn't say happy. It happens all the time, for me, I've been in the league for a long time, so guys change teams, guys move to different places. So for me, whoever we played really doesn't matter. Russell leaves the NFC West and we still have to play against him, so it's really not that big a deal for us."

When Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith opened up Monday night's game by completing almost every one of his first half passes, was that a good wake up call for you guys going look we have to be on point with this guy now that he's taken over?

"Yeah, and that's just with everybody we play. Geno was successful. Yeah, I think they set it up for him where he can make some quick reads. He gets the ball out on time. Does a good job of going through his progressions, he's a veteran quarterback, who's done it for a while. So we have high respect for Geno and what he can do with that offense and the way they play. They play the game the right way. They run the ball well. They play good defense, good special teams. And they surround Geno with good players, so we have to do our part on Sunday. We have to finish. That's one thing we didn't do this past Sunday, we didn't finish. We had opportunities to close that game out and defensively, we didn't get the job done. So, for us, the thing coming in is how much better can we play? How can we help support our team and put us in position to win the game?"

How did you think DT Javon Kinlaw did the other day?

"Yeah, Kinlaw did really well. To start the game off, to get pressure on the quarterback, to forcing an inerrant throw. Kinlaw was active, he played with great pad level. Think he's doing a really good job inside, and he played well for us. And Kinlaw is another guy who will continue to get better as he continues to play, so I'm happy with where he is. He did a good job for us on Sunday."

How noticeable of a difference, he obviously was dealing with that knee thing for so long, but not having it and kind of being healthy, could you notice a big difference?

"Definitely, I notice a huge difference in just how he's moving around. His demeanor, he's in a really great space and he's playing well for us and he's moving around well. He's not worried about injuries. Anytime you can get some stuff off your plate, mentally. You're not worried about injuries. You're not worried about rehabbing. Now you have time to focus on really getting better as a player and that's where Kinlaw is. His focus is in the right place and you see his game improving each week."

It seemed like he got more one-on-ones early. He was pretty effective, it seemed like they started double teaming him more.

"Being an interior guy, sometimes the way they slide to you, the way they're sliding the line, sometimes he's just in that position where he's going to be doubled based on the protection that the offense is giving us. But, again, he's doing what we ask him to do, and he's really affecting the game. He's helping us. He's being disruptive inside and he's being the player that we thought he could be."

How frustrating are the defensive penalties considering they we're an issue last year and the defense is just so elite when it's not making those mistakes?

"Yeah, you don't want penalties, that's it. You have to play smarter. The thing about those penalties is they're self-inflicted. Self-Inflicted penalties will kill you, so we have to do a better job of just playing smarter, continue with the same relentless effort, the mindset, but we just have to play smarter on a few of those penalties where you guys saw. They went down and scored on us on the three times we stopped them on third down and we allow drives to continue to go on. Guys in this league are too good. You can't continue to give good players opportunities to make plays, so once we have guys down, we have to finish it."

You're a guy who went through training camp where you were doing two-a-days during camp and playing in all the preseason games. Do you think that maybe guys not playing in all the preseason games, I know it's part of the agreement, but do you think that affects their chemistry right off in Week One?

"I think every guy is different. I think some guys can really handle not playing in preseason, but I think for the most part, a lot of guys do need preseason to just get that first hit out of the way, it's a lot of guys first time going on the ground and their first action. So for a lot of guys, I think younger guys, they do need that time. They need to see just a few reps in preseason just to knock out some cobwebs, where guys who've played for a while. Guys who are veterans that have done it at a high-level. Those guys can get by with it just because they got a ton more reps than younger guys. So they can get by with missing a preseason, but I think there's something to getting a few reps, and every guy is different. I don't think it's a team-by-team, but every guy, each individual is different when it comes to preseason, some guys need it. Some guys don't, some guys just hit the ground rolling like they didn't miss a beat. Some guys they come out and they're a little rusty. They're not tackling as crisp. They're not quite on it where they should be communicating but, it's always up to that individual."

From a coach's perspective after a loss like that, is it easier to get your players' attention and drive a point home? Not that you don't have their attention, but you know what I mean?

"Yeah, I don't think as a coach, when we had that game, there is not any room to get any attention, guys already know. They know that we were in position to finish and win the game, so guys know that and they know what they have to do before. As a coach, I step in and say anything, the guys, they already know the mistakes that were made. They already know the corrections. They're just disappointed. We're all disappointed because we feel like we can play much better than we played and guys know that. And you don't have to harp on it for too long, because we're dealing with professionals here and they understand what we're here to do."

DL Nick Bosa got that third down sack and he wasn't involved in many plays, obvious plays, were they neutralizing him? There weren't that many pass rush opportunities, but from your perspective, how did he play after that?

"Yeah, Bosa did a great job. He did a really good job rushing the passer. There weren't many pass attempts. It was sloppy conditions, so a lot of run game that we saw, so that kind of, depending on which side they're running to, it kind of takes him out of the game, but he did a good job, good effort. He was attacking the ball. He was playing the right style. He did a really good job for us, but it was just really tough conditions for everyone out there. So when you are in those conditions, it's just hard to get the proper foot and to go rush the passer. Guys are not dropping back as much, so you won't have as many opportunities."

You had one rookie out there who played a lot of snaps, CB Samuel Womack III. How did he do in his first real NFL game?

"I thought Womack, he did some good things in his first game and he also has a ways to go. He has to continue to play better for us. I thought he was okay in his first game, but we've been grinding him, working him to continue to up his level of play. And he's going to do a good job for us."

Was he, I don't want to say at fault, but I guess what happened on the Bears WR Dante Pettis touchdown?

"It was just a breakdown in coverage. When you play a quarterback like [Bears QB] Justin Fields, a quarterback who's going to scramble, move around in the pocket, we all knew that, but one thing you can't do is if the quarterback hasn't crossed the line of scrimmage, we can't have everyone running down to get the quarterback if he's not past the line of scrimmage. So it's just one of those plays that, he got out of the pocket guys got antsy in coverage, and guys just undisciplined from a standpoint of trying to go get the quarterback too quickly. And he found one and it was a great play by him to be able to throw that ball back across the field and make a play like that. It was a good play by Justin Fields."

You always expect your guys to play well and keep it clean in every game, but do you kind of attribute just it being Week One as part of kind of getting back into it?

"I don't. I think we've had a lot of reps of training camp. We've had preseason games, so I don't attribute it to it being Week One. I think Week One, you should come out and the focus has always been on your fundamentals and technique. That's the things you have to rely on in Week One, and we did that for the most part. Our guys, they played their butts off for the most part. They played outstanding, we just had a few breakdowns with the penalties that we can clean up and we just got to go get the ball more. I think it was great for Huf getting the one interception, but my challenge to our guys is can we get more? Can we get more? Can we get more? So if we continue to play like we played on Sunday, play smarter and continue to attack the ball. Everyone's going to be happy with the results on Sunday."

Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster

How do you feel your younger guys did on the line?

"Well, it's always hard after you lose, because when you lose everything's tainted by your loss. There's a lot of things that could have been done better. But overall, I think it was a solid first outing. That's the best way to say it. If we had have done a little bit better, maybe we could have won the game. But the guys really worked well together, they performed well together in spurts and gave us a chance to have some success. We didn't quite get it done, but I was not disappointed by any stretch. They played okay."

What about your rookie, OL Spencer Burford? It didn't look like he gave up any pressures or sacks. That seemed to be a really strong first outing for him.

"Correct. Yeah, I think you're right. He did. He went out there, competed and did a nice job. Really happy with the way he played and like I said, it was okay. There's a lot of little things to clean up for him, but overall, from a production standpoint, you're correct. It was a good outing for him."

T Mike McGlinchey did some coaching during the offseason just about getting his mental state correct after he had a bad play. Did you see progress from him after the one sack he gave up, that he played more consistently?

"One hundred percent, yeah. Mike's really worked hard at that. He's known that's a problem that he just has to bounce back from a bad play. Everybody's going to have a bad play. How you bounce back from it, how you progress through the rest of the game, I think that was real positive for him. He had a negative play early and we talked about it on the sideline and he corrected it and was able to, he had a real similar play, it came up like in the fourth quarter, I think identical protection call and he set it much differently. He approached it much differently and corrected it, which is all you're asking for. Everybody's going to have ups and downs in the game, but it's being able to battle through them and he did a nice job."

Did you see the play of that sack that he gave up and right after the sack, he just makes a beeline for the sideline. Is he going to talk to you at that point?

"You'll have to ask Mike about that. That may have to do with the previous question. How is he going to deal with having the bad play, what's next? We eventually talk. I usually give the guys when they come to the sideline, the last thing they need is a screaming lunatic when they get to the sideline, which I try not to be. So when they get over there, I try to just, you know, let them get a drink of water, sit down we'll process what exactly happened during the series. Then we can come back to it and correct what happened."

Are you saying that that's sort of his process now, is to sort of get off the field and eliminate it from his mind as quickly as possible?

"I'd follow up with him on that. I'm not exactly sure what he's doing to calm that. My thing is the end result. I'm just looking to say, 'Hey, Mike, you know, you seem a little worked up', whatever it is. I think you could ask him, that'd be a good question to see what his process is. If it is to just, 'Hey, I have to get out of here. I have to get to the bench, have to sit down, have to calm myself and get ready for the next series.'"

The offense rushed for 176 yards, I believe. Were you pleased with the running game? What was your assessment?

"Like everything else, we lost the game, so it always just comes it's kind of just like, eh. You'd like to take some pride, guys would in the fact that they ran the ball well, but the guys worked really, really hard. We left a lot of yards on the field. There were some things that were really, really good. There were some things that were off and hence, that's why we came up short. Numbers-wise, it seems like a good number. It's all tainted by the fact we just didn't get it done at the end of the day."

Do like how the rookie runners have responded this week to possibly having an expanded role?

"Well, they've been working real hard out there the last couple days. Watching them run, they've been really working hard to, to get it and to pick everything up and to do things the right way. And like we've talked about with my guys, we've had a lot of conversations about the process of getting ready to play and then actually playing in the game and what happens when you play. So with them, there's always going to be a learning curve with every young player, but boy, they've worked really hard this week and they look good."

Can you tell that QB Trey Lance has an impact on the run game, just from being on the field? Can you see that, like just the threat of him?

"Oh, definitely, because just how the defensive ends have to play. In the last game for example, when you're in certain formations, pistol formation, shotgun formations, the ends have to, the defense has to make a decision on how they're going to play and that's different than they have to play when you're always under center when you don't have the threat of a running quarterback. So it does. Now, it's not a huge deal because they have a call and our defense has as well as to who's got quarterback, blah, blah, blah. But it is different than just lining up every snap and doing the same thing over. Now all of a sudden you have this other call and then all the complements that can come with it, play-action passes and those things can cause a little more. It adds a layer for them to have to work on, that's really the best way to say it. And everybody's got an answer for it and everybody's seen it enough now, but you can tell that the effects and it lets other plays occur because the threat of the running quarterback, you play off of how they're going to play your running quarterback when that time comes."

Did you see that on the WR Deebo Samuel score, that end seemed to take a step inside and that maybe allowed Deebo to get outside?

"Well, that defense has a tendency to, usually the way they play their gaps is to close most things. But with that play, there's a lot of different ways teams defend it and so that's part of the read of the play. That's what's the beauty of it. If they do one thing, you do the other, if they do the other thing you do that other, it's that cat and mouse game, but you have an answer ready, available within the play. Not so much. 'Oh, well, we ran this play. They're doing that. Let's come back with the next play and do the other thing.' Within the play of a zone-read concept you actually have the option within it to read and see what they're doing. 'Oh, they're doing this, let's do this within the play.' And that's kind of the beauty of it. When the end does close on that play, it gives you a chance to send Deebo around the corner. Pretty cool."

When you turn on the tape of the Seahawks, is it strange not to see their classic eight-man box and not to see the cover-three thing that they've been doing?

"You know, for me, I just see really, really big guys. When you look at 97, 90 and 99, I just see big, big guys in the middle. And I see good edge setters that can rush the passer. And whether the eighth guy is down there or not, those big guys in there are still a pain in the rear, man. They are good players. They're really hard to block. They do a good job at defending and defeating blocks. They've been coaching them really well up there for a long time. And even though the scheme has changed slightly, those big suckers are still in there, man. And they do a heck of a job. And it's always a challenge. When I turn on the film, I keep wishing that they'd be gone somewhere else, but they just take up the whole space on the film and my guys, we have to get out there, guys have to get out there and compete and do a good job against them. They're an impressive group and they're always a challenge."

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