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Singletary's Notebook: July 28

Posted Jul 28, 2009



Opening Statement:
“Hello, first and foremost, before we get started, I would like to express, from the 49ers organization, my condolences to the Johnson family and the Eagles family, from the 49ers family. Everything that I know about Coach Johnson, is he is from the old school. He had a way of doing things and some of the people, players, coaches that know of him, speak very highly of him. So I just really wanted to say that to begin with.”

On if he knew Jim [Johnson] well or not:
“I met him a few times at various coaching conferences or whatever. He wasn’t a guy that I got to know very well.”

On the status of Michael Crabtree:
“I’m hopeful, but the situation – it’s one of those things where I’m going to say this and hopefully it’s not one of those things I have to say everyday. I don’t know what the bottom line is in terms of the status. His agent and our people are negotiating. The thing that I must do and I have to do, is to look at our team and continue to go forward and we are not looking back, waiting. We aren’t doing any of those things. We are going forward. I’m very excited about the fact that we have him and am hopeful that at some point in time, he’s here. And at that particular time, we will move forward.”

On how important training camp is for a rookie, especially with Crabtree since he missed OTAs as well:
“I know it all.  It’s the same way every year. It’s important for the rookies to get in, but I know that’s the business side of it that they have to handle.  But my side always stays the same, and it’s football, and it’s winning and it’s developing our guys.  I’m going to continue to go forward with that.”

On whether he every missed training camp time:
“Absolutely.”

On the longest time he missed:
“Maybe three weeks.”

On whether it was his rookie year:
“My rookie year, I was drafted in the second round and felt that I should have been in the first round, so yes I held out for a week. The second time I held out was after my fifth year. Actually, it was before my fifth year. It was the year that we went to the Super Bowl. The general manager and myself had a conversation during negotiations and it worked out totally different than he thought it would. I’m a guy of principle. I was prepared to sit out for the whole duration, but it worked out and I thank God for that.”

On if he understands if there is a holdout:
“As a coach, I think every situation is different. I don’t know his agent. I don’t know all the other stuff. I do know that we have been fair. I do know that we are hopeful about getting it done and in some point in time it will work itself out.”

On whether he is ready to go, physically, if he is signed immediately, as you understand it:
“Yes, he’s ready to go.”

On how he falls in, once he comes in, even though he missed OTAs:
“He’s a football player. When he gets here – he’s been working his tail off after the OTAs. He’s been out here. He’s been catching passes from Alex Smith. They’ve been studying, they’ve been working together, watching film. He’s been running routes. He’s been doing all the things that he has to do. So, in terms of having a guy here and a guy missing some time, it’s just a matter of can the guy play football? That’s really the bottom line, can he play football? And we’ll go forward from there.”

On what players can expect from the first Mike Singletary training camp:
“I don’t know. We are just going to work. I don’t think it’s anything different from what they already know. We have a destination to get to and right now we are behind and we have to catch up before we can even begin to be in the conversation about being a great football team, being a good football team. So, it’s just a matter of knowing what’s coming and I told them that at the end of our last practice at OTAs. Please be prepared when you get back because we got to go. We have a long way to go and a short amount of time to get there. They can expect that and they know that.”

On if it will be more old school, more hitting:
“I don’t know about old school. Old school, new school, we are just going to work. We are just going to get it done.”

On what he hopes to accomplish before the first practice in next few days:
“I think the biggest thing is coaches getting back together and getting their game plans together, getting their ideas together, looking at the schedule, making sure everybody is on the same page. The rookies that are coming in, the quarterbacks, the injured guys, making sure the injured guys are ready to go. Making sure the quarterbacks are ready to go, making sure the rookies understand their role going forward and getting prepared for the veterans to come in and making sure that we have the infrastructure in place to go forward and once we are geared up and understand we are on the same page.  Then, we are going to go.”

On the players that are not ready to go physically:
“I would say right now, Ray McDonald is still progressing, progressing nicely, but at the same time, he’s still working at it, getting better. So, it may hold him back from going forward and there’s one other guy, Marvel [Smith], we are going to make sure to keep our eyes on him and try to watch that situation and just move forward.”

On if he expects McDonald to be the only person to be put on the PUP list:
“There may be one or two others, but off the top of my head right now, that’s it for right now.”

On whether that means Marvel Smith will not be a full go when he gets the pads on:
“That just means we are going to keep our eyes on him, be smart about it.”

On the quarterback situation:
“The only thing that I’ll say about the quarterback situation is I’m very excited to have the situation we have. That is, we’ve got a guy that has come off the bench and won some football games. We’ve got a guy that, really in my mind, hasn’t had the opportunity, the right opportunity, to excel and find out how good he can be. So, looking at both of those guys, I’m very excited about what we have. I’m very excited about which one is going to come out and lead this football team forward. We are just going to continue to work at it, continue to do the things that we want to do to make sure that we make the right decision at the right time.”

On what makes it so difficult for a player to excel at quarterback:
“I don’t know if it’s a difficult thing. I don’t know if sometimes we make it a difficult thing. I really don’t know. I think the most important thing for us is to makes sure that we know who it is that we are playing with at quarterback and making sure they understand the responsibility that they have in leading our team and making sure that they take ownership of the things that have to be in place in order for them to be successful. I know Jimmy Raye and Mike Johnson are going to continue to do a great job developing the quarterback, everybody being on the same page, making sure of the trust factor with the receivers and the quarterback. That’s a huge thing. Vernon Davis is continuing to excel and continue to make huge strides, in my mind. I’m very excited about all of those things and of course, being able to run the football is going to help that situation and it comes full circle. One thing creates the other.”

On if he imagines the quarterbacks having a straight split in time with the first team offense:
“It depends. We’ll talk about it and make decisions as we go and that’s kind of the way we see it now.  But right now, there is no set in stone agenda in terms of this is how we are going to do it, this is how many reps.  As we see fit, we’ll make those decisions as we go.”

On if they are lined up equally:
“Well, one of the things that I said earlier today, where they are right now is insignificant because I don’t see this, but the most important thing is the day that we make that decision, that they know as well as the coaches and the players, that we all know who it is. And it’s not one of those things where, ‘Man, we’ll go with that one.’ We are not going to guess at it. There will be a way to do it and we will make the intelligent decision and go from there.”

On when he hopes to have that decision by:
“I don’t know. Hopefully, the target will be the third game, something like that, in the preseason. But I really don’t know. We’ll make it as soon as we can.”

On his official statement on Michael Vick being available:
“The whole thing with Michael Vick in terms of the 49ers, I will say this; it is a dead issue right now for us, in terms of Michael Vick and the 49ers. It’s not happening. That’s where that deal is.”

On giving him a chance given what happened:
“My general feeling is that everybody deserves a second chance. Everybody. There are certainly people in life that have done worse things than that. I’m not saying that this is not a bad thing. There are certainly people in life that have done worse things than that and I always say to myself, if we would all be honest at some point in time, we have all done something that we wouldn’t want somebody else to know about. He got caught and he wasn’t the only one, but he got caught and he had to pay the consequences. I think at some point in time we all reach a place where we are all to be allowed at some point in time. Timing is the thing that we have to look at. When is the right time? But I think everyone deserves a second chance.”

On if he could have started training camp earlier:
“Maybe a day earlier.”

On why he didn’t maximize his training camp time:
“One of the things that I will say is this; I don’t think at the end of the day, I don’t think at the last game of the season, we are going to say, ‘Man, we should have taken that one day and it’s really going to make a difference.’ When we hit the field, we are going to be ready to go. But right now, I think it’s really important for us to really get to know each other. It’s important for us to really understand. I like things to be spelled out very clearly and I want to make sure that the players understand their roles. I want to make sure the coaches understand their roles.  I want to make sure each guy knows the guy to his left, the guy to his right, the guy behind him, the guy in front of him. I think it’s important for us to really take some time to get to know each other because when we are out here, that is all we have and we are going forward with that. Our practices are going to be challenging. We will get the timing that we need. There are 31 other teams out there that are going to get it a jump on it. They are probably trying to get out there today, but I guarantee you, we are going to get all the work that we need.”

On if he feels by the time they get on the field, the players are going to be energized, after leaving all their meetings:
“That’s always the case. The guys are always excited. When you first get back and the rookies are energized, the veterans are energized, you want to know what you have, you want to know who’s who and you want to know who’s going to take a step up. So that’s always the exciting day. The toughest day is the third day. The third day is always hump day. If the guys can get through third day without feeling like they don’t really want to play this game again, then we are doing okay and that’s what we have to work towards.”

On whether his padded sessions will be in the mornings or in the afternoons:
“The first couple of weeks, the first 15 days, those mostly will be padded practices. Both.”

On where the quarterback competition and Damon Huard leave Nate Davis in his mind:
“It leaves him as a guy who is trying to learn the system. It doesn’t change anything for him. I’m excited about having him. I’m excited about the potential that he has, but I think it would be a little premature for me to say, ‘Well, I’m going to throw Nate Davis in the mix, too.’ No, he’s got to learn how to play. He has to learn this next level of football. There’s a whole lot of things that are involved other than just dropping back and throwing a football. He’s got to read defenses. He has to understand the plays. He’s got to understand routes. He’s got to understand all of those things, but he’s coming around nicely and I’m excited about that for him.”

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