October 8, 2015
Q: There’s obviously a big statistical difference between your run defense and your pass defense. Is that sustainable for success throughout the season?
A: Well, we've got to get better, obviously, in the one that you’re referring to as not being that good. And I think we will get better. In the meantime, if we can stop the run and then our pressure on the quarterback continues to build, we’ll get better in the secondary as well.
Q: Will you have Jayron Hosley and Trumaine McBride this week?
A: Hosley is going to work today. He can’t have any contact, but he’s going to move around and extend himself from what he did yesterday. McBride, not today, but we’ll see.
Q: Will you get anyone back that didn’t practice yesterday?
A: Hosley. How’d I do there?
Q: How about Robert Ayers?
A: No, he’s not going to work.
Q: Devon Kennard?
A: Kennard’s not going to work.
Q: The last two weeks you’ve kind of learned how to win. Is there a next step in the sense of putting wins together, stringing them?
A: Well, I hope so. There’s plenty of next steps, believe me. But the next step is the continuation to execute well, the continuation to play well together, to understand the opponent. The one thing that we did a good job was going into a hostile environment with an electric personality in the stadium and lining up and performing right away. It didn’t take us long to get going. So I was pleased with that. We can grow from that as well.
Q: A lot of people will look at the 49ers and say, “1-3, they’re not as good as they used to be.” Do you have to worry about that?
A: I don’t believe in buying any of that. If you look at the Green Bay tape, they’re there twice. They’re right at the goal line and they misfire and they have a ball that should have been caught in the endzone, they have sacks, and they back out of there. But they’re there, and they do a nice job defending Green Bay and causing some issues with the quarterback and so on and so forth. So they played very well in that game, they didn’t win. A play here or a play there and they are in position at home to win. So you do have to be aware of those things, but I don’t pay any attention to that. They’re 1-3 and they’re desperate to win. And we’re desperate to win.
Q: What do you do if Kennard’s not there? What are your options?
A: We have linebackers ready to go. We’ll be okay there.
Q: Are you alright with Jonathan Casillas being on the strong side? Not the biggest guy.
A: It may be him. He may continue in his role and someone else may play there. Depends on the set, the personnel, who we’re defending.
Q: What’s impressed you with Kerry Wynn the last two weeks?
A: You know, I really like his motor. He plays hard, the kid plays hard. And he’s in the right spot and he’s smart. He’s a tough guy.
Q: He’s a quiet guy.
A: I like them like that.
Q: He’s also very disciplined against the run.
A: I like them like that, too.
Q: What’s the difference in making corrections or trying to improve following a win versus following a loss?
A: Well, you can smile and point it out. You’re not all up in the air about the emotional circumstance the next day. It’s just easier for everybody. It’s easier for the players. The players come in, you congratulate them, then you start talking about what you need to get better at. I think you can put it in such a way. This group has been pretty good. We’ve worked hard on the sensitivity thing, and these guys are pretty good about it. They’re not sensitive.
Q: They can handle--?
A: They can handle constructive criticism, yes.
Q: I know I harped Sunday on the fact that you’re relentless and play hard, so I’m going to do it again. When a group prides itself on that, how far can it take you?
A: A long way. A long way, in my opinion. If that’s the identity, I’ll take it, because you can work with the other phases of the game.
Q: How do you view making that your identity? How do you get that done as a defense?
A: As a team, I’m looking at it as a team. Special teams, defense, offense. Do it over again. Do it until people recognize that’s who you are.
Q: Have you ever had a player that you’ve been able to use in three facets the way you’ve used Nakita Whitlock?
A: No, not at this level.
Q: What is special about him?
A: Well, he came from that defensive line temperament. He got into the league, primarily for us—for me anyway, somebody may argue, as a special teamer. And then as a fullback, he grew and learned and he was physical and that type of thing. He’s got all those aspects to fall back on. We started to use him in the capacity you’re referring to as a pass rusher, basically. His quickness has been his forte.
Q: Is that a hard sell for you? Is it out of necessity?
A: To sell him?
Q: To use him. No, for him to sell you that he can be used.
A: Not if he makes plays. I’m good with that, I like playmakers.
Q: Did you anticipate using him this much on defense? I know you knew he could do it.
A: I anticipated using him, we’ll see about the numbers.
Q: Is less more with him, in terms of his defensive snap count?
A: Well, pick your spots. You’re talking about a guy, he’s a tough hombre, but he’s not very big.
Q: Going back to the question about the run and pass defense disparity statistically, there’s been some suggestion that it’s more important to be good at one than the other.
A: I like to be good at both. But we’re started in the right direction. If we can stop the run against these really good run teams, force them to do things that they don’t normally rely on, now you do have to step up and make some plays. You've got to make some plays in the secondary. But along with that may come the aggressiveness in terms of our rush. Although our numbers are not in favor of that, we do have some people that can get in there.
Q: Does Victor Cruz do anything physical at this point?
A: Inside, but he’s not doing anything out here yet. He’s not doing much either. They’re watching.
Q: Is there a way for him to keep the knee strengthened now?
A: Oh sure, yeah.