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Singletary's Notebook: Dec. 16



Opening statements:**"Good afternoon. [LB] Travis LaBoy, knee sprain, [RB] Anthony Dixon, ankle sprain, [S] Dashon Goldson, finger, dislocated, [LB] Manny Lawson, thigh contusion, [CB] Nate Clements, ankle. Those are a few of the injuries. Obviously, as tough a loss as it was last night for us, there's still an opportunity ahead and the thing that we're going to do is focus on St. Louis and get ready to play a tough division foe next week."

On whether he watched the film and if he has come to any conclusions on the game:"Well, there are a number of reasons that it happened, but not really going to get into all of those things. For me, the quicker we put San Diego behind us, the better. I think as a team, as a coaching staff, we look at the changes, the things that we need to do, the execution has to be better; the coaching has to be better. We just have to do a better job. Obviously, we did not play well last night and we played a pretty good football team. But I'm not going to harp on that to you guys. I'm going to focus on St. Louis."

On LBs Takeo Spikes and Joe Staley:"I think they came out OK. They didn't further damage anything. I think they came out OK."

On whether he has a decision on who will be the starting quarterback vs. St. Louis:"We're looking at film and we'll handle it down the road."

On whether he considers what QB Troy Smith did against the Rams in the first game and whether that will factor into the decision:"I just think that right now as we look at the film and look at the things that we want to do, I think when I look at the Rams when we played them the first time, the Rams were a little bit different and I think we were a little bit different. There are some things that have changed since then and we'll deal with it accordingly."

On there being a pattern in the losses where the team plays close through one quarter before something bad happens and it unravels in the second and not recovering and why that is:"I just think as a coaching staff, we just have to continue to help our guys understand that when something bad happens, we just have to rally around it and get better. That's something that we have to do as a staff, and as our players continue to mature, that's something that they have to do a better job of."

On whether the coaching staff has done a good job of making adjustments at halftime:"I think there are times that we've done better than others. So, I think it's different in every game. Sometimes you go in at halftime and you make changes and you come out in the second half and they don't work they way you'd like them too."

On whether you have talked to the league about the DE Justin Smith ejection:"No."

On whether the explanation of "Justin coming at him and shoved him" was the way that he saw it:"You know in all honesty I did not see it."

On whether you have seen replays of it:"No, I did not see the replay of it. As a matter of fact I just knew that the players were saying that it was something with Justin and a possibility of him being ejected. The referee came over and talked to me about it and I asked him what happened and basically that's what he said. I wasn't going to go there so it's probably better that I didn't see the replay. My reaction probably would have been different, I've heard from several players about the replay and the call is what it is. As much as you'd like to protest it, as much as you'd like to go ballistic about it, it is what it is."

On his thoughts on whether there could be other consequences from what happened with Justin:"Well the bottom line is I think from what I have heard is that what happened last night, that's basically it, and we move forward from there."

On what you specifically mean when you mention you could have done a better job of coaching:"No, I just think that in a short week, you know there are a number of guys that couldn't practice, I'm sure that they had the same situation. In a short week, I think you know for us being a young team, the reps are very important. I just think that maybe we could have done a better job of practice or something like that. It was hard to get the reps that we needed because of the short week, because of the injuries. You know, they came at an interesting time, particularly our two inside guys. That really is the heart of our defense, so that makes it tough."

On what you thought of LBs Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes' play with broken hands:"I thought they did what they could. I thought they played like I thought they would. It's a difficult thing when you're playing with one hand, so yeah I thought they handled themselves and they handled the game fairly well."

On whether he was in that position as a player:"Yes I have."

On whether you have ever played with a broken hand:"No, I just lost a finger."

On what he means by 'lost a finger:'"Just, this finger here came off and had to stitch it back on and wrap it up and go out and play."

On whether that felt good:"No it didn't. No it didn't, but I could relate to what they were feeling. It wasn't quite that, but yes."

On whether he will pay attention to the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks games on Sunday since it could affect his future:"My future depends on the St. Louis game that we have coming up. My future, to me, I take it one week at a time, and I don't really worry about all the other things. But right now, my future focus is on St. Louis."

On whether he can choose either quarterback because the players are accustomed to both Troy Smith and Alex Smith:"Yeah, I think that's what it boils down to. The guy that I think is going to give us that best chance to win."

On how the players adjust week–to-week making a switch with different quarterbacks:"You know what, I think the players will be fine. I really do."

On what he meant when he said after the game that if he had switched from Alex Smith to Troy Smith that it would be 'horrific':"Because if – I meant that during the game. The number one thing is, when Troy was playing, it really takes a lot of time from him, because he missed training camp, so all of those calls and little things, you know, he has to get the reps in practice. If Alex is getting all the reps, he's going to be the starter. It makes it very difficult to put Troy in the game when he hasn't had any of that, the background, any of the work that he normally would have, the workload."

On whether he was unhappy with Alex Smith's play:"Let me just say this. I thought under the situation, under the circumstances, I thought Alex handled himself about as well as he could."

On why the pass-defense is not as sound as people had originally thought:"You know, I just think that for us, I just think we have to, as a defensive staff, continue to focus on the back end and make the necessary adjustments that we need to make in order for them to get better."

On whether the problems are on the back end and not in the pass-rush:"Well I think it's a combination. I think it's a combination of things. I think sometimes, obviously when you're on the back end, you always want there to be more pressure. When you're creating pressure, you always want there to be great coverage there on the back end. So it goes hand-in-hand, you know, it's a work in progress."

On whether he is referring to things in the personnel or the scheme:"I just think that as a defense, I think [defensive coordinator] Greg Manusky has done, and the staff has, for the most part, done a very nice job in terms of putting our guys in situations to make plays. I think sometimes that our guys are made to play and sometimes it happens. So, that's that."

On the first touchdown of the game by Chargers WR Vincent Jackson:"The guy made a play. He made a play."

On whether he can point to any certain reason why WR Michael Crabtree has been quiet during the last few games:"Can I think of; no, I really can't. I just think we have to do a better job of including him."

On whether he will consider adding another running back to the roster going forward, given both Anthony Dixon injured his ankle and DeShawn Wynn got dehydrated during the Chargers game:"It's possible, but hopefully both those guys will be back."

On whether he has an explanation for why certain players who were on the cusp taking big steps this season, such as S Dashon Goldson and LB Ahmad Brooks, have struggled this season:"No. I guess it's one of those things where sometimes you look for something and it doesn't happen for whatever reason. But I think all of our guys have made strides in certain areas; maybe not as much as somebody else would think they would, but, you know, it's been a work in progress."

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