(On getting to work on the things he wanted to work on today)
"Yeah, we modified the Monday. They came in. Everybody came in. They kind of watched it on their own. So, the coaches are…we got an opportunity to look at the tape in detail and then got an earlier start on our next week’s opponent. So, that looks good. Tape was good. There was a lot of good things in the tape. There was a lot of things that we need to improve. It’s just like any other coach that stands up on Monday after a game, win or loss, is you had some good things and you’ve got some things you’ve got to get better at. Good things: defensive play. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any turnovers. But, we got off the field on third down, tackled well, pressured the quarterback well and played the run pretty well. Offensively, the run game got going in the second half. But, third down is an issue. I thought special teams guys played well. (P) Johnny (Hekker) misshit one kick and they had a decent return. But, beyond that, he was placing it really well. Field position was good. We played with a lot of energy on special teams.
"The two glaring things, the two errors that we must improve on is our third down on offense and reducing the number of penalties. We had nine last week and 12 this week. That’s too many penalties. We had seven defensive offsides in the last two weeks and that’s at home. As we start playing good teams on the road here, we’re going to have to learn from that and play with more discipline up front on the defensive line. Offensive holdings and some of those things we’ve got to get corrected. The third down thing is this: the statistics show that we’ve converted two first downs in the last two games in 21 attempts. Realistically speaking, I’ll subtract four of those because we had one where we ran it with the intention of kicking the field goal. Then, we had three where the offense was instructed to run it in the four-minute situation. Still two-for-16 or two-for-17 is not good. We had two third-and-14s and 15 and 17 and 18 which are hard to convert. But still, you look at those numbers closely, we’ve got to do much better there. We can’t win games, especially at this time of the year, where we’re not converting third downs on offense. That’s just a matter of practice. Our approach to it, doing a better job against man coverage. We didn’t give up any sacks which was good. The pocket was clean. (QB) Nick (Foles) had time. His deep throws were accurate. Again, it’s nice to have discussions with the staff and the players over the last two weeks when you score 51 points and you give up 12 and you’re being very, very, should I say, ‘constructively criticized.’ And we want to get better. That’s what this is about."
(On the instruction that changed to throw the quick pitch to WR Tavon Austin instead of run the ball)
"Well that wasn’t a run. We’ve been running the ball effectively and we just had a sense that...what’s happening is with (RB) Todd’s (Gurley’s) production and then Tavon’s production outside with the sweeps and things like that, defenses are kind of constricting. So, when you create the one-on-ones outside, you need to take advantage of that. You really need one block. You get one block to get the play started. Then, our guys did a good job down field. So, we have to continue to utilize that play because it’s an additional way of getting the ball in Tavon’s hands."
(On if he’s concerned with the dropped passes during the game)
"No, I mean, the guys are…they don’t drop the ball on purpose. If it keeps happening, you have to start making changes. But, I’m not concerned. The guys are practicing well. They’re catching the ball consistently in games. They’ve become more glaring in close games. Obviously, (WR) Kenny’s (Britt) was a huge play. It was a huge opportunity for a big field position change and then (WR) Tavon’s (Austin), which in essence they considered a fumble, was is kind of in between. It was a fumble-drop. Obviously, we have to do a better job of that. But, it’s not an epidemic right now."
(On if he thought Austin had possession of the ball before he fumbled it)
"They did apparently, yeah. Yeah, it was kind of that bang-bang thing. They usually call incomplete, but they felt like he had possession. Apparently, he must’ve done an act associated with the game. Turn up field or do something where they considered it a fumble."
(On if he thinks his team is mature enough to not be satisfied with the success they’ve had thus far)
"Their mood after the game was good. They weren’t…I mean, you’ve been in a lot of different locker rooms after wins and been in locker rooms after losses. Just was not an overtime victory against Seattle in the opener type of feeling in the locker room. This was, ‘Okay, we got through it. We won it, but we have to play much better.’ I mean, I think that’s the sign of a team that’s moving forward that understands that it has potential. It has opportunities, but you can’t be satisfied."
(On if he would call his defense the ‘Jeff Fisher defense’ where it’s the kind of defense that he likes and has tried to get with all of his teams)
"I was teasing (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams) this morning. I wouldn’t have left the receiver uncovered out there inside the 10 yard line when I was coordinating defenses. (laughs) So, that’s on Gregg, not me. But, we’re getting there. The thing I like about the defense right now is that (LB) Alec Ogletree was playing really good football. We’ve been able to not replace him but get by. (S) Mark’s (Barron) playing really good ball right now, as is (LB) Akeem (Ayers). He made a lot of plays. So, we’re plugging and play. When (DL) Ethan (Westbrooks) comes in, there’s no drop off. (DT) Nick’s (Fairley) playing good right now. When he comes in to substitute for the tackles, there’s no drop off. (DE) Will (Hayes) stepped up in (DE) Chris’s (Long) absence and (DE) Eugene (Sims) can play when (DE) Rob’s (Quinn) not in. So, we’ve got depth. When we’re moving people around, we’re still getting the production. (CB) Tru (Johnson) comes off for one play and again, (CB) Marcus (Roberson) comes in for one play and makes the play. (S) T.J.’s (McDonald) out for two or three and (S) Maurice (Alexander) makes two or three really solid tackles. So, the depth is showing up and that’s a tribute to Gregg and his staff and what they’re doing on the field and preparing everybody from top to bottom to go out and just to be prepared to go out and play when called upon."
(On if the depth he has at defense now is something maybe he didn’t have two years ago)
"We didn’t have it. No, I don’t think we did. We do now. Guys that haven’t had a chance to play many snaps or any snaps on defense, for example, like (S) Cody Davis. No reservations whatsoever of Cody going in and playing defense for us based on what he’s doing on special teams and what I’ve seen on the practice field. So, we’re good. It’s just somebody goes down for a few minutes or for a series, somebody goes in and there’s no drop off. So, it’s not like you’re concerned about him or you have to protect him or you’re concerned about an offense attacking that position."
(On what he’s seen in the consistency of the defense’s tackling)
"The tackling’s been good the last couple of weeks, the open field tackling. Not only has it been good, but there’s contact. That’s what we like. Guys are using really good angles. They know where their help is. Because of that, they’re able to really fire. When they do, there’s contact. There’s a lot of contact out there, but we haven’t had any big misses. We’re asking the corners to do a lot outside - a lot of man-to-man, a lot of one-on-one stuff. When the ball’s caught, boom. The receiver’s down. We haven’t had any make you miss type things and big plays down the sideline."
(On what he would like to see the defense do better)
"Like I said yesterday, ‘12 points in two weeks is too many.’ That’s the approach you have to take from a defensive standpoint. You strive to play that perfect game. So, we had balls flying around, bouncing around. We had DB’s breaking. (CB) Janoris (Jenkins) in two instances was breaking on balls. He read routes and the balls were deflected or knocked down or he’s going the other direction with it. So, those are things that we look at as positives, as potential big plays on the defense that hopefully will continue."
(On what ways he thinks RB Todd Gurley can be better)
"Well, we have to be better around him. We have to block better for him earlier in the game. I mean, we’re doing a good job offensively making adjustments based on defensive schemes and things like that and approaches, defensive approaches to our run game. We’re adjusting. So, we’re getting those creases, changing the run game ever so slightly. But, we need to do a better job early in the game with the run. You saw it. It was two yards or three yards or one yard, a tackle for loss, then all of sudden we hit a crease and things start to open up for us. Then, he gets the game-breaker."
(On if he’s seeing production from Gurley that he didn’t expect to see early on)
"No, I mean everybody game plans. Defenses game plan, you base it on formations and things like that and personnel group. So, you have to get a sense for what they’re doing. Then, you adjust."
(On Gurley not being a finished product and if he thinks he’ll get better in terms of what he sees by being on the field more)
"Yeah, I mean, one would think because of where he is, probably a year off the injury right now, that in time he’s going to become more and more explosive. But, so far so good."
(On if he thinks the offensive line got better as the game went on yesterday as far as the run game)
"I think they adjusted well, yeah. I thought they pass protected well in a sense. But, keep in mind that in an effort to be realistic, the 49ers are very well-coached. (49ers Defensive Coordinator) Eric Mangini is a good defensive football coach. They’re not real sophisticated. They beat you with consistency. So, we, for the most part knew what to expect. It’s not a complicated scheme. So, you should get production out of your offensive line when the complication level is a little bit lower, and it came as the game went on. I thought both tackles did a decent job with the edge rushers. We were decent inside passing off the inside games. (RB) Benny (Cunningham) is as good as there is in protection. You’re going to have to look hard around the league to find a back that’s better than Benny Cunningham when a linebacker’s rushing him."
(On how he thinks G Garrett Reynolds is working out with T Greg Robinson on the left side)
"Garrett’s playing well. Playing solid. He’s finishing plays, getting down field, doing all those kind of things. I think he’s had a good impact on Greg. Greg’s been a little inconsistent at times. That’s just the nature of that position. Left tackle’s a hard position to play. So, I think Garrett’s been a good influence on him."
(On why T Rob Havenstein went out late in the game)
"Well, we wanted to get (T) Darrell (Williams) some reps, and good question. Rob was a little banged up. Yeah, he went in the game with a…he had a little flare up with his Achilles on Saturday. So, he was fine. We worked him out. He kind of woke up with it Saturday, so he was fine finishing. But, it was good to get Darrell in there."
(On if he has any concern about the concrete on the sideline when he’s coaching)
"Let me just say this, there’s been hundreds of games here and they haven’t had any issues with it. I don’t know whether it was different before I got here, but it’s been consistent. The organization, we have had discussions with the NFL league office and game office department to see if there’s something we can do. But, this is their deal. This is kind of out of my deal. But, player safety is of the utmost importance. We don’t want to have any issues. I’m not saying that it’s a coincidence that we’ve had…at least it’s been implied that we’ve had several issues here the last couple of weeks. We’re going to do whatever we need to do to make sure that we don’t have an issue with it."
(On if he’s coached his players to be cognizant of the cement)
"Never been an issue before. Not aware of it."
(On if he talked to the league office about it)
"I didn’t talk to the league office. The organization has talked to the league office to discuss and see if there’s anything that we can do."
(On if other stadiums have the same set-up)
"Many other stadiums have the same issue."
(On if the solution is simply putting something over the concrete)
"You know, to be honest with you, I really haven’t had time to get involved in that issue itself. Kevin (Demoff) and the guys were talking to the league office. I’ve been more into our team and Minnesota. I’ll keep you abreast since they’re not commenting. I’ll keep you abreast as to what’s going on. Again, player safety is the most important thing we’re dealing with here."
(On how he assess the change in the weekly schedule now that they’re midway through the season)
"From a player feedback and player standpoint, they love it. The Thursday, what we’re doing on Thursday is really good for them because they’re able to recover that much closer to the game. We’re doing a little bit more on Saturday. So, the feedback from the player standpoint is great. The coaches were a little apprehensive initially, but by Week 2, they really liked it. It gives them a chance to regroup on Thursday and look at what we’ve got in and change things. Thursday ends up being a really productive day for the staff because we don’t have player-coaches interaction. We’ve had 100 percent attendance on Thursdays, on their day off. They’re getting together on their own and watching tape because the gameplan is in. So far, so good. Obviously, we’ll have to modify it this week because of daylight savings time. We’ll move things up an hour earlier tomorrow, just so we don’t have to practice in the dark."
(On if he’s heard from other coaches for his opinion on the schedule)
"No, it’s the first time I’ve talked about it publically I think, so we probably will."
(On what he was told by the referees on the RB Benny Cunningham fumble play and why the team got the ball back)
"It was a loose ball and there was a personal foul. Obviously, it was the right call. They felt that Benny had a chance to recover that ball. We got the personal foul and loose ball, so they gave us the ball at the spot and enforced the penalty."
(On if the 49ers would have kept the ball, had they had possession at the time of the facemask)
"They could’ve given the ball, had possession taken place before the facemask. A post-possession foul versus a, you don’t like to say pre-possession because we had possession, but we had a loose ball. A post-possession foul probably would’ve given them the ball."
(On what it is about RB Todd Gurley’s personality that allows him to handle the success at 21 years old)
"He loves ball. He really likes his teammates. That’s what he’s about. He’s about winning football games and trying to contribute."
(On subbing S Maurice Alexander in for S T.J. McDonald and if he can elaborate anything more on that decision)
"No, it’s just some things we had to get straight with respect to what they were doing offensively. T.J. showed up. He showed how much he appreciated it on that kickoff coverage tackle."