Head Coach Ben McAdoo
November 8, 2017
Opening Statement: Excited to go out to the west coast and play the Niners. They’re a hungry team. Play with a ton of effort. Came up short in a lot of close games. Five by a field goal or less. Two of them have been overtime ball games. Offensively, they’re very multiple, effective at moving the ball in the open field. They generate a lot of big play production there. They have a good one-two punch out of the back field and (Marquise) Goodwin is a speedster who can blow the top off the coverage. (Aldrick) Robinson is a (Kyle) Shanahan favorite at the receiver spot and has an 18.3 yard career-catch average. (Garrett) Celek is an experienced throwback tight end. He’s a good player for them. (C.J.) Beathard is going to make his fourth start out of Iowa and (Jimmy) Garoppolo is waiting in the wings. You got to be ready for him.
They’re coordinated by Robert Saleh on defense. He’s a Pete Carroll disciple. So, we’ll have a chance to take a look at that defensive structure again. They’re a talented, ascending defense that features a bunch of key guys and contributors in their first and second year. They have a lot of speed and size. (DeForest) Buckner is a handful at the defensive tackle position. He can be a one-man wrecking crew if you don’t know where he is. (Solomon) Thomas, (Elvis) Dumervil, (Aaron) Lynch and (Dekoda) Watson are all part of their rush line of choice. Good rushers. (Brock) Coyle has taken over for NaVorro Bowman and he’s flanked by (Reuben) Foster and (Eli) Harold. Speedy (Adrian) Colbert will make his first start at the safety spot and he’s a good special teamer as well. (Ahkello) Witherspoon is a long and physical rookie playing at the corner spot and (Eric) Reid is a fixture in their secondary and has been for a few years.
Special teams – we all know Robbie Gould. He was here last year for us handling the kicking duties and Victor Bolden was forced into return duty from last week and he’s a whirling dervish, has a lot of speed. He’s very tenacious at the position. They have a couple guys in the mix that are among the league leaders. (Bradley) Pinion does a nice job for them in the punt game and the third running back, 31 (Raheem Mostert), does a good job in coverage teams for them as well as Watson. They’re among the league leaders in net punting average. With that, let’s open it up.
Q: Why did you decide to reinstate CB Janoris Jenkins?
A: He served his suspension, came back. We had a conversation and we welcome him back.
Q: Do you expect his role to remain the same?
A: Yep. His role remains the same.
Q: What’s your overall message to the team now going forward starting this week?
A: Message to the team – I’ll hit you with it. Let’s go into it. Alright, I talked to the team about getting back to our identity. Sound, smart and tough. Committed to discipline and poise. That’s something I haven’t been talking enough about and we got back to it. Talked to them about we’re disappointed where we are. We’re not discouraged with where we are. Everything is fixable. We have a lot of pride. We have a lot of fight in that room and they responded as well. We talked about doing simple better. We hit that before. We made it an increased emphasis this week. Coaches – asked the coaches to come up with a sound plan this week. Sound plan – doing simple better to teach and demand. Ask the players to study the plan. Prepare. Do a good job studying it. Prepare this week and be ready to go out and perform at a high level. Asked the Frasier’s in the group to lead. If they need me for any reason, I’m available to them. Asked the ‘IF’ players, the young players, to step up. It’s time for them to grow up and be men. You know, Sterling Shepard is a guy that comes to mind. Evan Engram. Dalvin Tomlinson. All played at a high level for us so far this year. Even Avery Moss last week. They’re young players who can step up and help us lead. Talked about let’s begin again. That was really the message for them. Don’t buy into the lies. The lies that your feelings are telling you. This thing is not about feelings. It’s a decision and let’s make the decision to begin again. We talked about, you know, you may think I’m a little bit out there, but I believe we have a run in us. I believe to the core we have a run in us. We have to be hungry. We have to get our football right. We have to be disciplined. Be where we’re supposed to be when we’re supposed to be there. Do it as well as we possibly can and do it all the time and it’s between our ears. In the locker room, if you’re in a pro locker room, whether you’re a player or whether you’re a coach, the word ‘legacy’ shows up quite a bit. It’s important to all these guys and it all starts between the ears. So, that was the message to the players.
Q: If you have a run in you, what is the end goal of that run? .500?
A: Win. And we can start this week. I believe we have a run in us. Like I said, I like this team. They haven’t flinched. They haven’t blinked. You know, we set our jaws. We had, again, we had another great day of practice. I look forward to playing again on Sunday and I believe we have a run in us.
Q: When you look at the team when you are addressing them like that, what do you see? Do you see the players listening and buying into it?
A: I have all eyes on me. They’re receptive. The players are receptive. They’re probably thinking a couple different things. When I go into a meeting like that, if each guy takes one thing, then it’s mission accomplished. Want to let them know I’m there for them, anything they need that I can do to help them as their leader. I’m behind them and I still believe.
Q: How do you prepare for a quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo) who wasn’t with their team two weeks ago and you don’t have any film on?
A: Yeah, I think that when you’re preparing for two players that are pocket passers, they’re both good athletes, but they’re both pocket passers, you know, in Shanahan’s system – I don’t think he’s going to deviate too far from their system. Especially with two similar-type players that play the position in the pocket. So, you’re going to get the system. You have to prepare for what you’re going to see in the system. They challenge you many ways in the system and the system really can fit any quarterback.
Q: Do you look at Garoppolo from New England at all?
A: We’re familiar with Garoppolo, and we’ll have a plan in place. Yeah.
Q: What makes you confident in the leadership of this team?
A: I see them work every day. I think seeing them show up, seeing them interact with each other, you know, seeing them lead, whether it’s between the white lines or whether it’s in the locker room or in the hallways in a non-structured type area. They’re a team that likes each other. They’re a team that plays for each other. If things haven’t gone well and guys have responded and they seem to care about each other.
Q: With injuries at linebacker, how important was it to bring back a guy (Kelvin Sheppard) who knows the system?
A: Well, it’s going to take some work for Kelvin, obviously. He’s been out of football for a little bit. But, he’s a football get-it guy. He gets ball. He’s a tremendous communicator. He’s a very positive individual, has great leadership skills and we’re fortunate to have him.
Q: When you say you got away from the message and motto, why do you think that was the case and why did it slip?
A: It didn’t slip. I just need to get back to emphasizing what I believe in and don’t try to complicate things.
Q: How do you think things got complicated with the first eight games?
A: Sound, smart and tough. Committed to discipline and poise. Write it down. You’re going to hear a lot of it.
Q: You mentioned the identity of the team. With all the injuries, do you have the personnel to find that identity again?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely. I believe in the locker room, in the roster. Had a good day at practice today and looking forward to cashing in on Sunday.
Q: As you work with the team through this week, is it more than just X’s and O’s?
A: They need to believe in themselves. They need to trust themselves. The players know what works. Players know what got them seats in the room. They know a lot of the questioning comes from, you know, sometimes it happens before the game film is even watched. So, when someone is questioning you, who hasn’t watched the game film and they’re not in the room, they need to make sure they understand that the biggest critics are going to be the critics you trust that are inside the room, watching the film together. That’s where the corrections need to come from.
Q: How tough was it to watch Sunday’s film when you guys did get together and watch it?
A: We couldn’t wait to get together and watch it. We have Monday’s off and then you have to sit on it for a day. So, you want to get in there Tuesday morning and jump on it right away. Have a chance to set your feelings, set your emotions aside and jump on the tape. Be honest. Be straightforward. Plain talk. Straight talk. And make sure we get everything fixed and move on.
Q: What was the players’ reaction in your estimation when you saw them watch the film of that game?
A: They were looking for corrections. They were looking for feedback. They want to get better.
Q: How urgent is it to start that run now?
A: Yeah. It’s right now. Right now. One game this week. Let’s go win it.