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Jim Tomsula talks “Coach Trent,” Anthony Davis, more

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:26 PM



Opening comments:

"[LB Michael] Wilhoite, [RB Shaun] Draughn, [G/T Alex] Boone and [C Marcus] Martin will be out today. I expect everybody else to be participating. So, that's the injuries."

You're not ready to say those guys would be out Sunday?

"No. No, sir."

With Draughn kind of still day-to-day or up in the air, your two healthy running backs going into the game are RB Kendall Gaskins and RB DuJuan Harris. Would you bring up a third or how would you go into that game?

"I think I know where this is leading. And your constituents down under; [RB] Jarryd [Hayne] is doing a really good job. He is getting better. But, we're going to see where everybody is and we'll let you know from there. I don't have to make a decision on any of that until Saturday."

Would you go into the game, would you consider going into the game though with just two guys?

"I mean, I think you have to consider everything. Yeah, we've considered going in with two guys, with [FB] Bruce [Miller] being able to handle things. But, we've considered going in with three or four too. We're working through all that."

Can WR Bruce Ellington line up back there in a pinch if you needed?

"Yeah, you saw him do that in the offseason. Yeah, he knows those things."

You had New Orleans Saints RB Travaris Cadet here and I assume had gotten familiar and more comfortable with the playbook. Was the decision to release him and bring in Harris just because Harris has a little more versatility in his game?

"Yes. You're exactly right. And Cadet, I don't have anything but really good things to say about him and the way he handled himself here and the way he learned. He's a talented running back, but we were just looking for a different style of running back."

Obviously, I assume you were familiar with Harris from his days with the Packers. What is his style?

"Well, I mean he's a thicker guy. He can run inside there, but he's got the quickness. So, just what you said, the versatility. He can do things in space, but he's got a thickness to him and he's comfortable running inside between the tackles."

In previous weeks, you talked a lot about, particularly for road games, the defense bringing the energy on the road. Have you had to address that again this week?

"Yeah. You know, the facts are the facts. So, yes. We talked about it again this morning. So, we've got to focus all the way through the game, 'til the buzzer finishes at the end of the game and get after it. Again, case in point, we just got out of a game where four minutes and twenty-three seconds in the second quarter. Every minute and every second in a game counts. They all count. So, we've got to play all 60 of those minutes together as one."

T Joe Staley made the Pro Bowl earlier this week. He's got a nice, tough assignment this week in Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah. How has Joe played and what has he meant to the offensive line which has seen a lot of fluctuation this year?

"Well, Joe's been steady. Joe's been what Joe's been. Joe and I, I've been on the sidelines with Joe for every game he's played and I feel like I know Joe really well and I have a lot of respect for Joe. Joe has a steadiness to him. Joe's one of those guys that it means something to him, means a lot to him. He's going to be prepared, week-in and week-out. Day-in and day-out, Joe's going to show up and get to work and grind. He's obviously extremely talented. So, that's how I would explain Joe."

Do you sense the eagerness from him in weeks like this where he does have an interesting matchup with a young guy?

"Yeah, all those guys. Every week you have, they're all good. You see that in, to me, in those kind of players. They kind of, there's an energy about them. It's good. I wouldn't say anything changes. His preparation is the same. He does all of those things the same. Joe does the same things and practices at a high level and prepares at a high level. So, I don't think any of that changes. But, I think that when you get to game day, there's an excitement."

You've seen enough offensive tackles in the league, besides just this team but the whole picture. Is there a scarcity of top-flight offensive tackles?

"I wouldn't say that. Off the top of my head right now, no, I would not. What makes Joe different, in my opinion, is Joe's got that athleticism. The guy can run. Flat run. Bend. He has all those physical tools. To me what makes him unique is, and it's something that people don't talk about a lot because he is so athletic, is his strength. He is a strong guy. Usually you look at a guy and you say, 'Well, that guy's a mauler,' and 'This guy's got good feet, he can move, he can play left tackle.' Joe Staley, to me, has the strength to play right tackle and do those things and the agility and the ability to play left tackle. That's what, to me, makes Joe different."

Another one on Joe. Not just this week, but in the past he has said he's not really big on individual accolades and he's very disappointed about this season. A lot of guys say that. You look at him after losses, I mean, it seems like he's pretty genuine about that--?

"Very genuine. Very genuine. No, he is. That's an accurate statement on Joe Staley. Joe's about the team."

One more tackle question. Former 49ers T Anthony Davis, obviously not on the roster this year, but he is under contract with this team. Do you keep up with him at all, any sort of communication?

"No. I just keep up with the guys that are here. We're in season and I keep up with the guys that are here and 100-percent of everything I have is with the guys that are here."

Do you plan on in the offseason, rekindling?

"Yeah. I'm not, that's an offseason discussion."

How has RB Mike Davis looked at practice?

"Mike has been running around here pretty good. Obviously it was a hand. So, he's done training, he's done all of his lower body stuff, he's been running. So, it looks like he's in shape. And yesterday at practice took the lion's share of the scout team reps. Got him in there a couple of times with the other guys. He looks to be, you know it's a hand. The ball-handling was fine and he seems to be doing alright."

So, there's not, obviously he wouldn't be back out there, but I would imagine there's not a ton of risk and his hand isn't susceptible to maybe getting re-fractured?

"Well, that's the whole point. And we won't, he wouldn't be in practice if it was. Our guys won't put him out there. That just won't happen."

We've written a fair amount of stories this week about general manager Trent Baalke's coaching during practice. As the head coach, is that something that he's done in the past?

"I've never seen Trent run a drill. He's never run a drill. Trent's, just like I think all general managers, is at the practice. When he's in town he goes out to practice. Personnel guys go out to practice. I mean, we're all in this together. When [vice president of Communications Bob Lange] Bobby was briefing me on that, there's nothing there to be made of anything. You guys see him out there."

I know DB Jimmie Ward and S Jaquiski Ward just talked about Trent coaching them.

"Well, I mean I don't know what he's, 'Defend the ball' or 'Great play.' You know what I mean?"

I don't know. That's why I'm asking it.

"No. It's we're all invested here and I don't see anything to that at all."

You guys are flying out Saturday, correct? Are you worried at all just how they can get adjusted quick and--?

"Well, I'll tell you what we did was we went back and we are mimicking the schedule. I was laughing with [vice president of football affairs] Keena Turner and [running backs coach] Tom Rathman when they used to go, what did they have 18 wins, 18 road wins. Isn't that still a record? Yeah, they left at nine o'clock in the morning on Saturday. Had their meeting and got on a bus and left. That's the way they did it. So, we're mimicking that. And we are looking at it. I'll be honest with you. But, if changeup on how we do things on road games, this was a great opportunity to do that."

Do you mean for next season?

"Well, yeah we're going to look at it. Why not?"

You've got a lot of east coast trips next year.

"Yeah. I mean, again when you play or coach for the Niners, you're going to be going that way quite a bit."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers
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