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Singletary's Notebook: June 7



Opening Statement:**"Good afternoon. I guess the first thing that I want to say is in concerning [former UCLA basketball coach] John Wooden yesterday. I guess news has continued, I'm not sure which day it happened whether it was Thursday, Wednesday, I'm not sure. He's a man to me, in this field of coaching, that deserves all of the credit in the world. I think he did a tremendous amount of mentoring at every level. He's the kind of coach that what he did reached boundaries outside of basketball. I had a chance to meet him, visit with him, talk to him on the phone. He was very nice to me whenever I had the opportunity to meet with him. I'll forever be indebted to him for the things that he talked about."

On the time and circumstances of meeting Wooden:"A couple of years ago we were in the same place during the offseason. He was speaking and I was there basically to help honor some of the athletes that were awarded. I think it was academics that were there. I was there and he was speaking. After he spoke I just ran down and found him and had a chance to visit with him. I had talked to him on the phone previously, just simply because I was intrigued by the amount of success he'd had. When you have that kind of success in any field, it's really a phenomenal feat. He is someone that any coach would want to follow in those kinds of footsteps."

On any advice Wooden gave him:"What he did was give me a card that had seven things that his father taught him and carried over into coaching. Those seven things I have in my wallet at all times. Other than that, it was just whatever you do, just be yourself and don't shy away from things you believe at heart."

On whether he has the seven things memorized that Wooden gave him:"No, I don't."

On whether his first call to Wooden was out of the blue:"He is someone that I have always admired and wanted to meet. He's just one of many guys I've been fortunate enough to sit down with and talk with that have been generous enough to spend that time with me. He is one of those guys."

On whether he spoke with Wooden after he was hired as head coach:"I did not speak with him after I got the job here. Everything was before I got the job."

On whether he spoke with Wooden when he was going around meeting with other people:"Yes sir. Yes sir."

On having LB Joe Staley back on the field:"More than anything, it's just really good to see his attitude pick up. Pat is not a very good guy to be around when he can't do things. He just worries you do death. He just keeps asking questions, what about this or when do you think this is going to happen? So, I'm saying, 'When are you going to get dressed? When are you going to get out of here?' Give all that information to someone else, it's just nervous energy. He hates not being with the team. That's just who he is. It's just great to have him out here. He's excited and his energy carries over to the team."

On Willis standing by him during team drills:"You know what? I just think it's great to see him out here. It's great for the team and so it's an exciting thing and he's only going to get better."

On whether S O.J. Atogwe is being considered by the team:"Right now, we're going forward with what we have. We're happy with the safeties that we have now and I'm just going to leave it right there."

On whether QB Nate Davis is coming along and how he is doing in the classroom:"He's coming, not as fast as he would like, not as fast as the coaches would like, but he's coming. I think the biggest thing with Nate is to figure out how he learns and get that burning desire to whatever it takes to be out here and to get it done. I know he can do it, it's just a matter of him doing it. Time will tell."

On how much attention he is paying to the stadium vote tomorrow:"Obviously, it's really important for all of the people that are excited about it or are thinking about it. It would be tremendous if they would get out and vote because it is important. I think it's a tremendous step for the organization, I think we all know that. Everything that Santa Clara, what the people here have done has been great. Now, it's just following through and getting out and voting. Hopefully, we'll have the opportunity to have a stadium."

On how he would chart the progress of T Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati:"I think every day they're making progress. I'm very thankful to have [offensive line coach] Mike Solari and [assistant offensive line coach] Ray Brown working together to help get those guys, as well as the other offensive linemen, [T Alex] Boone and some of the other young guys that we have, ready. I think the coaches are doing a tremendous job with those guys and they're responding. I think the upside is tremendous."

On Davis and Iupati getting some reps with the first-team offensive line:"I just think the coaches are trying to get them all of the reps they can, whether it's the first team or the second team or whatever. They're just trying to get them more reps."

On how he would assess RB Glen Coffee with RB Frank Gore absent:"Glen is a work in progress. He continues to work and do the things that he needs to do. He's competing. He's competing with [RB] Anthony Dixon and trying to be that guy when Frank comes out, that guy that goes in. It will be interesting to see the progression of both he and Anthony Dixon."

On what he will remember most about WR Isaac Bruce's career with the 49ers:"I just remember him being the ultimate professional, what a classy human being. He is a great guy, well respected. His credibility preceded him before getting here. I just think everything he did while he was here, the professionalism, the work ethic, the candor; everything about him was what drew all of our receivers to him. Anytime you can go somewhere and you're supposed to be a great player, you're supposed to be this and that, you can go somewhere else and guys can understand why you're that and you don't have to blow your own horn or anything like that. You just live it. That's what he was. I'm very excited about him. I'm excited about the whole transaction that's taken place. He's going to retire a Ram and that's what he deserves."
On whether QB Nate Davis' learning disability has anything to do with him learning the offense:"I'm sure that has something to do with it. I think it's a continuing progression in terms of the coaches, the doctors, Nate, everybody involved continuing to work as hard as they can to get him to where he needs to be."
On whether he has talked with Raiders head coach Tom Cable about practicing together this summer again:"No, have not."

On whether that is because there is a regular season matchup between the teams:"I just think this year we're going to stay among ourselves and continue to get better. Everything we need to do, just do it amongst ourselves."

On QB Alex Smith's performance in the first eight OTA practices:"The most amazing thing to me about that whole deal with Alex is you take a guy like [Colts QB] Peyton Manning, who's had the same offensive coordinator for 10 years. You take a guy like Alex, who's never had that. The only question to ask is what if? You have a 'what if' there. To me, going forward, that 'what if' will begin to answer itself. I'm excited about what Alex is doing. I'm excited about his leadership. I'm excited about how he's directing traffic and doing all of the things that we hoped he could do. I anticipate great things for him going forward."

On whether the offense as a whole has improved compared to last year:"I think so. There's a comfort zone. Coming out and not knowing who the coordinator is, it leaves a lot of questions and it leaves a lot of uncertainty. I see a flow and I see a progression so that's only going to improve with time, so we'll see where it goes."

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