Geep Chryst didn't sugarcoat anything when speaking with the media on Thursday.
The first-year offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers walked up to the podium and got right to business.
"I really want to open it up to questions right away because there's a lot of questions out there," Chryst said in his opening remarks. "We can try to answer them honestly without giving up state secrets."
The majority of the questions posed to Chryst centered on Colin Kaepernick's four-interception performance in a Week 3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Reporters wanted to know what the OC saw as the biggest question mark entering a Week 4 home game with the Green Bay Packers.
Chryst said he wanted to see how his players would respond to the adversity. Chryst showed the offensive players examples of how the team responded positively to interceptions Kaepernick threw against the Packers in the 2012 playoffs and the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2014 regular season. The 49ers won both games.
"We showed as much the reaction on the sidelines by both teams as the X's and O's of the plays because that's as real to the outcome of the game as, you know, play-by-play," Chryst said. "We can break it down as coaches. We enjoy the coach's tape. There's always a reason why (turnovers happen) and at some level, they all stand on its own. Each play had a rhythm to it. Each play had an outcome to it, and then you move on to the next play."
San Francisco will look to move on against an undefeated Green Bay team on Sunday. In particular, Chryst is preparing his team to face a Packers defense that ranks third in the NFL with 11 sacks in three games.
The coordinator said Kaepernick, and all NFL quarterbacks for that matter, should expect to throw in a crowded pocket on a weekly basis.
"The office for a quarterback on Sunday is always a little bit edged," Chryst said. "There are great quarterbacks and great players who have to manipulate in the pocket, and there are other quarterbacks who are frustrated because that's just the way that it is.
"Kap is no different than a lot of others in that you would prefer to throw from a clean pocket. But the office of a quarterback in the National Football League right now is always going to be at some level, a little bit edged."
Even so, Chryst continued to show support for his quarterback, who is 3-0 as a starter against the Packers. Chryst said he doesn't see any issue of Kaepernick losing confidence based on what transpired in Arizona.
"You look at his whole body of work," Chryst said. "He had gone, I think it was five games without an interception. He had gone the previous week where he put the ball up in the air an awful lot and he had some success. So you've got to come back to work. We all know Kap is a hard enough worker that he'll come back to work, acknowledge what transpired, try to answer to the bell and come back out."
Mangini on the Challenge of Stopping Rodgers
Like Chryst, Eric Mangini handled tough questions.
"We are full-go on Green Bay," the defensive coordinator said.
Mangini's group is coming off back-to-back challenging road performances against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cardinals. In Week 4, things don't get any easier as Aaron Rodgers, the 2014 NFL MVP, comes to town.
Mangini said he's looked at previous 49ers-Packers games to see what made San Francisco succeed in those contests. The coordinator said having Jim Tomsula on the staff for those victories has been a positive.
"You look at it from a scheme perspective and then you look at it from a personnel perspective and see where you can do the same things that were done before and where maybe it's not going to work out quite the same way just because it's different matchups," Mangini said. "But you do definitely try to draw on that."
A unique challenge in defending Rodgers, who has 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions this year, is trying to disguise coverages to throw of his pre-snap reads. Mangini said a quarterback like Rodgers is tough to defend because of his intelligence and quick decision-making skills. Changing up pre-snap looks will be essential, according to the defensive coordinator.
"It's your ability to make sure that he can't get to that answer until he's in his fifth step," Mangini said, "then he's got to see what it is."
The "efficient" Packers offense has racked up the ninth-most yards in the NFL this season (1,131) and the fourth-most points (96). When asked if it was possible to disrupt Green Bay's production, Mangini pointed to teams creating self-inflicted wounds as one of the many challenges that arise when trying to stop Green Bay.
"What I really respect about (Rodgers) is, where he catches you with 12 guys on the field or he quick counts you and then he comes back and he hard counts you," Mangini said. "There's an inherent discipline that has to go into whatever you play. ... For us, eliminating self-inflicted wounds, that's always going to be priority number one, whether it's cadence, whether it's missed tackles or any of those things that are under our control, that's a starting point."
Meet L.J. McCray
The second-year safety made an appearance on this week's "49ers Radio" podcast.
The undrafted special teams standout offered some interesting thoughts on how the 49ers are preparing for this week's game against the Packers.
"Every game is an opportunity," McCray said. "Every day is an opportunity, so every game in this league you have to take full advantage of. ... We're focused on that. We're focused on keeping it strong at home and having our fans support us. We're focused on tackling that next challenge and wanting to be great. Everybody here doesn't want to lose. Everybody is focused on winning. We just look forward to displaying that on Sunday."