COURTESY OF SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Just curious, given that the situation with the in-stadium noise is still up in the air, how are you guys going about preparing for that in terms of the signals, maybe switching up calls, just what’s the approach been so far?
“Yeah, well, I think nothing’s set in stone right now. So, we’ve been kind of mixing it up with trying without noise, trying with the noise at different levels. We’ve been in the stadium a couple of times trying it, so we’ve gotten into a pretty good rhythm of it. I think we’ll have to be ready to go for both of them though. Whether the home team wants it or doesn’t want it, we’ll be ready either way.”
With all the kind of moving pieces you guys have had at right guard and center, I’m just curious how, what kind of challenge that’s been for you in camp and how have you seen kind of things coming together in those two spots?
“Yeah, I mean, it’s always difficult when you’re mixing and matching like that, but in training camp in the past, we’ve done it before where we were mixing guys in and out, especially up front. Just dealing with injuries and you never know what’s going to happen throughout the season. I think it’s good to get into that early and get experience with different centers, especially with just the relationship and all the calls that we have to make together. It’s just, there’s a lot that goes into it, but we’ve handled it well. I thought all those guys, whoever’s rotating at center or guard, even the tackle spots, they’ve done a phenomenal job so far.”
T Trent Williams talked about how it’s not really knocking the rust off as much as kind of calming his nerves. He doesn’t seem like a guy who would be nervous at all. He seems very relaxed. I mean, he’s ginormous. What is it about him that, you know, you can kind of see him progressing towards Week 1 and then also, how does he change what you can do on the offense?
“Trent’s been so solid since he came in. As far as guys getting nervous, I think that’s a good thing. You know, when guys get nervous, it means that the game means something to them. There’s more emotions involved then, and you don’t want to lose that. And so, you love to hear that out of Trent. He’s been so progressively better and better every day, just with the system and learning all the little things that go into it. It’s been impressive. And so, you tip your hat to him and he’s just going to keep being the leader that he’s been this whole training camp for us.”
In regards to the other Trent, WR Trent Taylor, how have you seen him come along through camp the last couple of weeks and is he different from other receivers in that he just loves getting grass stains and getting dirty and getting down on that?
“Yeah, I mean, we’ve got a couple of guys like that. [WR Kendrick Bourne] K.B. likes to mix that up too, a little bit. But, Trent’s been so consistent throughout this whole camp, just the little things that he does, the way he communicates to me, just the pictures that he’s seeing out there, what he’s feeling from the DBs. It’s been impressive. And so, to have a guy like that, a guy that you know where he’s going to be, you can count on him, it makes my job a lot easier.”
The other day, TE Jordan Reed said that he’s having the most fun he’s ever had playing football in his life. Do you see that from him, a guy out there who’s just really happy to be out there and having a good time?
“Yeah. You see it from a lot of guys. It’s kind of the atmosphere in the building that we’ve built here and it’s contagious. You get Jordan out there and he starts making plays, I’d be having fun too if I could run routes like that. He’s a pleasure to throw to, he works hard, puts the time in. You love having guys like that, guys on every part of the team, it’s just fun to be around.”
Maybe one of the few areas of your game that’s been critiqued is your deep pass accuracy. Do you feel like you’ve improved there this offseason?
“I think it’s, it’s one of those things you’re always thinking about it. You’re trying to improve different aspects of your game, whether it’s the deep ball, just being accurate on every throw really. I mean, you want to go for the completion every time, but you’ve got to take it at the time and place when it presents itself. But, as far as the deep ball, I don’t think it was anything out of the ordinary. I like where we’re at right now.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned the interceptions that you threw to CB Richard Sherman earlier in camp, that Richard just might be on a different level mentally. And obviously he goes against you guys a lot so he has a good understanding of the offense. But, do you ever talk with Richard about those things and why he might be anticipating some of the things he is on the field and things like that?
“Oh yeah. All the time. All the time. Sherm plays DB, but he sees the game kind of as a coordinator, offensive and defensive at times. Whenever we have a play like that, or if he jumps a route and gets his hand on it, whether it’s asking him what tipped it off, did we do something? Did he hear something? And he won’t always tell you, you know, he’s a competitive guy at the end of the day too. But, those are the competitions you love in training camp, and it’s only going to make us both better. And so, I always pick his brain whenever I can.”
I was wondering just on WR Brandon Aiyuk, what was your scouting report when he was on the field and what do you think he brings to the table that wasn’t on the team last year?
“B, when he’s out there, he’s ready to play. He’s always ready, always prepared mentally, physically. He’s able to bring an element to the game, it’s unique. He’s so long, his catch radius, you can put the ball anywhere around him, he’s going to make a play on it. And so, it’s nice having a guy like that. That little comfort blanket, who he’s going to make the tough catches, the contested catches, and make you look good doing it.”
I’m just curious as to the difference in the approach. Since there’s no preseason games, how different is that for you in your approach to the game? No real contact or anything before actually getting started?
“Yeah, it’s definitely different. Thought about it a little bit before training camp and all that. At the end of the day, all 32 teams are going through the same thing. You’ve tried to prepare yourself on the practice field and make it as game like as possible. I think our coaches do a great job of that, letting guys thud up, going full speed. Obviously, we’re not getting hit, but you get the feel of the game. And, I think Week 1, it’s going to be here before we know it. So, got to be ready for that.”
I’m wondering if you, from a quarterback’s perspective during camp, I know the interior defensive line with DL Kentavius Street, DL Kevin Givens, DL Solomon Thomas, even DL Kerry Hyder, all those guys had really good camps, as that defensive line rotated in depth-wise did you feel any more heat than in past camps with them? I guess, what I’m getting at is, I’m wondering if we can expect this defensive line on the interior to be a little bit deeper this year?
“No, you definitely feel them. I’ve felt them throughout all of camp, felt them my previous camps. Just kind of one of those things, you’re glad they’re on your side. Our D-Line gets after it. It’s every play in practice, every play in the game. It’s impressive, but that’s why it’s always a battle with them and our O-Line. You love to see it during camp and that stuff transfers over to on the field.”