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Singletary's Notebook: June 11


Opening statement:
"Good to have another day under our belts. This is our third day of practice where I felt like we put three practices together and we got a lot of good work out of it. So, that was good to see. We're just continuing to make strides, continuing to learn how to work together where when we are working together, the defense and the offense is getting something out of it. So, very excited about that. We're getting into rhythm and that's where we want to go with it."

On what he didn't see from the team Monday that caused him to stop practice and what kind of tone he was trying to set:
"I think each and every day we come out here, I think the most important thing for myself, as well as the guys, is we're going to come out here and we're going to get better. And anytime I think we're not getting better, then we need to take a step back and look at what the heck we're doing and redirect some things, and rethink some things. I just wanted our guys to understand that I'm not going to let them compromise. I'm not going to compromise because there's too much at stake. We have too many good coaches, too many good players to not come out here and get better."

On his view of the last three days:
"The last three days, I think we built on each practice. We had good tempo. Practice moved really fast. There were not many mistakes. There were not many offsides penalties. Everything kind of flowed. We still have a long way to go, but the three practices we had are more of what we need to build on going forward."

On the play of the quarterbacks being sharp the last three days:
"Well, everything starts with the quarterback. But, at the same time, the more the quarterbacks learn the system, the more comfortable they get in learning the technique that they have to have and not so much thinking about how many steps they're taking and how many different techniques that they have to use, the better they're going to get. And the better our offense is going to get. So, I see us making strides there. Like I said, on defense, I think we just continue to communicate better. And all of those little things that we have to do as a football team, I think we're making strides to do that."

On General Manager Scot McCloughan's thought that Alex Smith looks better now than when he was drafted and whether he agrees:
"I think what I'm seeing from Alex is good communication between he and Mike Johnson and Jimmy Raye. I think they're handling him well, they're handling Shaun [Hill] well and really creating a very competitive environment. But at the same time, being accountable for the technique, the philosophy of playing the quarterback position and all the things that go along with it. So, I think there's consistency across the board, in terms of what our quarterback needs to do and be able to do taking our team forward."

On whether that is translating into better throws:
"When you look out here, certainly it looks at times that he does, but at the same time, nothing means anything until he's out there facing some live bullets. All of a sudden, all form and technique and everything else goes when you've got guys coming at you. So, I think it's important to look at it and compliment him where compliments are needed. Both of them. But at the same time, when those bullets start flying, there's not a whole lot of information that we know."

On whether live bullets means preseason games and regular season games:
"I'm talking about preseason; I'm talking about [pre-season]. Absolutely."

On whether there's a time frame for making a decision on the starting quarterback:
"No. I think we're going to go into preseason. I've said it all along. The sooner the better. But, we're going to continue. I'll talk to Coach Raye. I'll talk to Mike Johnson. We'll just continue to look at it, and when we feel that a decision needs to be made, then we'll make it."

On whether the quarterbacks will get any more leeway to call audibles in Jimmy Raye's system:
"It depends on how much control they have, how much command they have of the offense. The better they understand the offense, the better they can be able to audible and do those things. But, I think, first and foremost, is having every facet of the offense down and knowing it very, very well, and then they can gain the trust to be able to do those things."

On when he first met Mike Johnson and whether his background in fundamentals was the reason for hiring him:
"First of all, I talked to several guys around the league about a quarterback coach. Mike Johnson's name came up time and time again. There were some guys that I talked to who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. And then I remember talking to Dan Reeves about him, and Dan Reeves had a lot of really great things to say about him. Of course I was excited at that time to meet him. Our interview – the interview that I had with Mike Johnson lasted about 15 minutes – and I knew that he was the guy. He thought something that went wrong when I told him, 'OK. I got it. That's Enough.' He said, 'Wait a minute, I'm not done yet.' I said, 'I've heard enough. Let's go.'"

On how many questions were asked in the interview:
"I can't remember how many questions. I just know that he talked with such passion and such command about the position – he talked about the development and the progression of the quarterback position. The way he explained it, it wasn't so much just the knowledge that he had, though he was very knowledgeable, but, it was the way he talked about the position. I just know, I knew from that moment, when you have passion for a position, and at the same time you have the knowledge of a position, something great is going to happen."

On how Mike Johnson thinks the quarterbacks are coming along:
"Day to day it's getting better. I think from the very first day, you come out here and you kind of sit back in a chair and go, 'Wow. I've got to work on this. I've got to work on that. With Alex, got to work on this, got to work on that. And with Shaun, we're just going to continue to move forward.' So, I talked to him just about every day, 'Where are we? What do you see? What's happening? What do we need to work on?' It just continues to get better. The biggest thing is the attitude of both of the guys is tremendous, so that's a lot to work with to begin with."

On Michael Crabtree's progress:
"As I talk to our training staff, everybody is excited about what they see. I think he's excited. He's got a little more bounce to him. I remember the first day we came out here for mini-camp and he was over there running routes, 'Well, what the heck are you doing? You're not supposed to be out here. Who told you to come out here?' We got that straight, but he was almost in tears. I said, 'I've got nothing against you. I'm not angry or anything. I just want you to know, you have to do everything the doctors want you to do so that you can get better.' I said, 'I'm not worried about what you can do.' I said, 'I know. We drafted you at No. 10. We know what you can do. We just want to make sure that when you come out here, you're ready to go.' So, he's done the things that he needs to do, spending a lot of time with Coach [Jerry] Sullivan. I know Jerry is excited about what he's seeing as well."

On whether running is a big step in his rehabilitation:
"I think, more than anything, it's a confidence builder. I don't care what anyone says, when you're injured, coming back and being able to put weight on that injured spot, being able to make cuts – so, it's one step at a time. The more he's able to do and the earlier he's able to do it, the more confidence he's going to gain. The biggest thing is, from being such a competitive guy, I'm looking at him, I'm watching him very closely as he's running, he's competing against everybody he's running against. That's a good thing, but at the same time, I want to make sure that, 'OK, you don't have to win every race. I just want to make sure you're going at the level that you need to go at, so that when we come out there for training camp, you're ready to go.'"

On whether not being able to do all the conditioning means that the team has to be cognizant of Michael Crabtree's workload during training camp:
"We definitely have to have a plan in place. Not just waiting for training camp, but how we monitor these next five to six weeks in between. What he's going to be able to do. Keep our eyes on him and monitor that progression, so when he's able, when he comes back – I anticipate him having some tight hams, having some little ins and outs. It's the nature of the game. He's missed a lot of work. But, at the same time, I'm very confident in our staff and knowing those things, so, being able to bring him along accordingly."

On whether the team will go up to Napa to train with the Raiders during training camp again: "Yes, sir, we will."

On whether a date for that has been set:
"Pretty close. We've been talking about it, and hopefully it comes to pass."

On why that is such a useful exercise:
"You come out here and you practice against each other, and guys get tired of practicing against each other. You try to love each other, but at the same time, 'I'm tired of seeing this guy every day. I want to go against somebody else. I want to go against somebody that I don't know who can make me work a bit.' In a strange kind of way, it gives you another team to work against, and you come away from that judging who you worked against, what did you get out of it, how far away are you, how different are you than the other team, what areas do you need to grow in – all of those things. The Raiders, I'm very excited about the opportunity because they have a tremendous amount of talent on that team. So, I think, if it comes to pass, it's going to be a great opportunity for us."

On why the Raiders don't come to Santa Clara:
"Just the way it worked out."

On whether he's settled on a start date for training camp:"As of right now, we're looking at the 30th."

On whether that's the earliest the team can enter camp:"Yes."

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