Jim Tomsula addresses the media prior to matchup with Cleveland

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:05 PM--

Opening comments:

"Injuries; [LB Michael] Wilhoite and [RB Carlos] Hyde will not travel. [TE Vance] McDonald, we're going to see where he's at today. He's in that protocol thing, so we'll see where he's at and go from there. [LB Aaron] Lynch, again, we've got to see where he's at. You know he was out on the practice field yesterday, so he'll be out again today. But again, those guys are in that protocol, so we have to do what's mandated. And then [WR] Torrey [Smith], Torrey was a little sore yesterday, so we just went ahead and yanked it. But, he'll be fine. He'll be out there today. So, that's what we have."

Do you plan on adding a tight end from the practice squad tomorrow?

"Well, yeah, that's obviously in the conversations. We're not playing secrets here. You guys are at practice every day. You've seen [DT] Tony Jerod-Eddie work at tight end. You've seen, shoot, [DT Quinton] Dial's worked at tight end. You've seen [G/C Daniel] Kilgore work at tight end. We like tight end packages and we've always made sure that we've got guys that do that role. So, we're always up to speed there."

Jim Tomsula Addresses Media Before Week 14 Matchup 

What's been your impression of TE Brian Leonhardt since he's come on to the practice squad?

"Very good. Obviously we knew a lot about him. [Tight ends coach] Tony [Sparano] had him and he played or started 12 or 14 games last year, something like that. I don't know the exacts. But, we've got film on him playing. He's a guy that's played a lot of football in the National Football League. So, we feel really good about him. I like the guy."

One of the things that offensive coordinator Geep Chryst was talking about and why that play worked with Torrey Smith in Chicago, was the patience that the offense had to have. You also want to get off fast in games. So, I'm trying to see how do you balance that because you're still looking for your first, first quarter touchdown on offense this season?

"Again, there's a patience level to it. You obviously want to come out and make a few plays right there. We had a first down early on and we stabbed ourselves in the foot with a penalty. So, stay into it, playing clean, coming out and coming out fast. I thought the guys came out fast in terms of the mentality and the way they were moving around. We just didn't get it done. We've got to come out fast and clean and move the ball and score some points."

Did Torrey leave the game on Sunday briefly and come back?

"If that happened, I'm not aware of it. But, no I don't think so. I mean, for anything other than substitution? I don't think so."

He was just sore yesterday and he'll be back today?

"Yeah, he was sore. He was out there, he was running around. He was doing something and then he was sore. So, they checked him out and I said, 'look man, we're good.' We need him to practice a good day today and get out there on Sunday."

Did McDonald and Lynch, did they get their concussions from hitting the ground or was it from somebody?

"From what I understand, Vance's was kind of weird because I saw the tackle and my eyes left him. But, I don't know if somebody came with a knee, you know, running and coming over the pile and somebody hit him with a knee into the head or how that happened. But, it was something like that. And then Lynch was just in the middle of making a tackle. You know, and guys coming in."

And they reported headaches and stuff following the game?

"Yeah, I don't know about all that. I just know that when those things happen right there, and a guy's getting up a little slower, our guys get on the field. Again, we keep talking about it, but just the way they're attacking that from a medical standpoint excites me. I can only speak for us and the way we're doing it, but it excites me. They are absolutely doing it the right way. Those guys leave the field, [LB NaVorro] Bowman left the field. And he was up and going, but they took him into the locker room and had him checked and all those things and he was declared fine and he is fine. So, I think what we're doing, the way we're doing it and obviously the league's involved with all that, but I really like where we're at with that stuff."

Do you sense that there's, even this year, there's extra caution during the week following a concussion than it's been in the past?

"Oh, yeah. I mean, there's always been protocols. But, you just see, again, now I'm talking about things that I'm not an expert on. But, just from a coaching standpoint, you see research. You see the work going in, the protocols being adjusted, that kind of stuff. It's just more knowledge. Get more knowledge and you act on that knowledge."

How's T Joe Staley feeling? It seemed like Sunday he wasn't playing up to his typical level and I know he's been dealing with a knee injury.

"Well, it was, one or two of those plays right there, maybe weren't all Joe's fault. There were some things in that game right there that you would be looking at the tape saying that was Joe. Joe's not late off the ball. We need to snap the ball on time. Joe's not late off the ball. You've never seen Joe late off the ball. So, there's a few things there that it's not all Joe. Now, Joe had a couple plays in that game he'd like back, yeah. But Joe's, that's every game, everybody. Joe's playing solid for us this year and continues to play solid. In terms of the leg, it's the same leg he's had for years, you know what I mean? We're just trying to make sure we stay on top of it and don't overuse it."

Geep was saying yesterday that Daniel Kilgore is going to be seeing some time at center. Is that a starting assignment or is that a game time--?

"No. The idea last week was Daniel's first game, and I think we covered it, but our idea is we're going to get Daniel in there and get him playing some center. You don't go from zero to 100 reps. So, that was the idea last week and then when we needed him to play at the tight end spot, obviously he's a guy that knows it, did it, boom. So, we just put him in there. And I really got involved in that conversation. If he's doing that, we don't need him doing both. Just leave him there and let's roll."

What do you like about LB Gerald Hodges' game and if he's able to start with Bowman this week, your thoughts on those two Penn State linebackers getting to play with each other?

"Yeah, I guess that's kind of neat, two Penn State guys. But, Gerald's got a lot of energy. He's got a lot of energy and obviously an athletic, good football player. We're excited to have him on our team. I like his energy. Every once in a while, I'm probably going to say please shh. But, you like that. He loves playing football and I'm really excited and happy that he's here."

He likes to chat?

"Yeah. He's just a ball of energy. You ever sit next to a guy where nothing can sit still? My wife yells at me for that whether I'm shaking my leg or moving my arm. He's just a ball of energy. You've got to make sure you keep that in the right place too and play within scheme and do those things. But, I like Gerald."

You mentioned Dial and Jerod-Eddie. Is that kind of an emergency-only type situations?

"No. I mean, we started that, if you remember back you saw it in the spring. That goes back to me, with [former 49ers and current Seattle Seahawks FB] Will Tukuafu, [former 49ers and current Seattle Seahawks DE] Demarcus Dobbs. You get those kind of body types playing on defense and they can run, they can catch, they can do all of those things. I always like those guys being trained. The fullback, [FB] Bruce Miller was a defensive end in college. Those two positions have some, there's something you can really use there and you've always got it. That's just always been my deal. Now, [DT] Ian Williams wanted to play fullback and we're not doing that. I just always think there's a good crossover right there where you can do it. And with our coaches, getting them in the meetings and getting them on the side. There's extra work on the players part. But, we've always done that."

With his height, would one day DT Arik Armstead translate to tight end?

"Yeah, I don't know that. It's just as we keep going we'll see. We're trying to master the D-Line there with that young guy right now. I haven't gone anywhere else in my brain with him."

Tony joked yesterday. He said he's the best tight end on the roster. Would you agree with that?

"One of the great things about Tony is he really believes that. And I'm not going to dispute it. I'll let the other tight ends, I'll let the everybody, they can all work that out. I'm sure they're in that locker room having a conversation on that right now. I'm sure he'll tell you he's got the best hands on the team, best vertical, best three-point shot. But, that's Tony. You know him, he's terrific."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers

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