Check out a few highlights from today's media conference call with new running backs coach Tom Rathman.
Q: What are your feelings on rejoining the 49ers?A: It was great walking in that front door and looking at those trophies. There's a lot of tradition there and it's great to be back with the organization and trying to get that re-established. To be part of that solution, I think that's huge. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity.
Q: Is it unique to come into a situation where you don't know who your offensive coordinator is going to be?
A: No, because it's still football. I don't care what scheme you run, if you don't coach it well and
your players don't execute it, you are not going to have success. I don't think really the scheme that you are running, the x's and o's, it's part of the game, but the bottom line is getting your players coached up and winning every snap.
Q: Have you ever coached in the digit system?
A: No, I've pretty much been all west coast verbiage.
Q: What are your thoughts on working with a player as talented as Frank Gore?
A: I've been fortunate to coach a lot of talented running backs, so I would hope that he does everything that every other guy who I've coached has been able to do and that's really to execute and approach every snap the same. That approach would be to try to win the next snap. I'm big on that. I think he's a talent, no question about it. He ended up breaking the single season rushing record for the 49ers and there's been a lot of great running backs come through the organization, so he's a talented guy. I'm just coming in to help him be a better football player, and whatever I can do to help, I'm going to be willing to do that.
Q: What did Coach Singletary say about the style he wants to have on offense?
A: I think the same thing that you've all heard. He wants to be a smash mouth football team, a tough, physical football team. That's always what I wanted my group to do, as far as running backs, be the toughest guys out on the football field. So his approach to the game is very similar to my approach to the game, and that was one of the big selling points of coming to the 49ers.
Q: Do you have aspirations to be a head coach one day?
A: I could see myself being a head coach, certainly I could, but what really drives me and the reason I'm in the game right now is to get back to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl. That's the number one selling point right now as far as why I'm in the game. I still have a great desire to coach, I've got a great passion for the game, and I still have one objective left and that's to get my third ring.
Q: What do you see in Mike Singletary that makes you want to come here?A: The first thing we talked about was his approach to the game, that was the selling point to me. I've always wanted to work for a guy who was very similar to my approach to the game because I think that's the way football is played. I think that is the way you have to coach football, that's the mentality you have to have when you are in the game of that tough guy image. Everything I've seen from Mike Singletary, from the time he took the job over to the end, and then going in and talking to him, it's obvious what you are getting.
Q: What can the players expect from you?
A: I just get up there and have fun and enjoy doing what I do. I have a great passion for it, and I try to put it out there for players and hopefully they respond to it. I'm the same guy as when I played, nothing has changed. My standards are the same as when I was a player, and those were really the 49ers standards. I try to instill that in all of the guys I work with. As a coach, I would like to see the players I work with win every snap individually. If you get 11 guys across the board winning every snap, you are going to have some success. At the running back position, you can win every snap when it is all said and done. Some snaps are more important than others but you can win every snap, and that's a big emphasis that I throw on these guys who I work with. It's the standard and the approach you have to have.
Q: Was there any discussion about the lack of continuity on offense here in San Francisco in recent years and you being an heir apparent at offensive coordinator one day?
A: We never even talked about the coordinator position, as far as who is coming in, who was going to do it, what scheme we are going to run. Really it was a sit down talk and it was about the approach to the game, what the vision was, and how we are going to get there. And like I said, everything I believe in, everything I try to emphasize to the players I work with, is exactly what Mike Singletary put up on charts. He pulled out three or four different charts and I bet 80% of the words that were on the charts are words that I emphasize. That's the big thing right there, that everyone is on the same page, and there is some direction, and there is that personality of what you want your football team to be.