Singletary's Notebook: May 18

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Opening statement:
"Hello. Very excited to have our guys in, most of our guys anyways. Practice today, not where it needs to be, but we'll get better. We know we have to get better going forward. Any questions?"

On the importance of OTAs for the younger players:
"OTAs are important for everybody: coaches, young players, veteran players. Obviously, the younger players for the first time they get a first chance to make an impression. It means a little bit more to them, simply because they need to let us know who they are. For the veterans as well, 'Where are you? How you feeling? How are you doing? What have you remembered from last year? Coaches, 'Hey, this is my style.' So, it's just a combination of a lot of little things, but a lot of good stuff."

On establishing a tone as a head coach:
"You know what? I'm going to be me. It's just a matter of coming out here, and I think the players know me well enough to know it's all about getting better every day. And, if we're not getting better, then that means we're going backwards, and we can't do that. So, that's where that's at."

On what was lacking about today's practice:
"Everything. Everything. I don't even want to get started because I don't have that much time. But, everything. It was not good. It is not the 49ers, where we're planning to go, the things that we have in mind, this is not it. We cannot come out here, even though it's not the regular season, even though it's not training camp, but at the same time, it is an opportunity. And we didn't do that. We lost a day today."

On if anybody was an exception to that:
"No. To me, it's just, and I'm speaking to one part of the team, then I'm speaking to everybody, including myself. We just have to continue to get better as a team."

On if it accounted for the lengthy address with the team after practice:
"I don't know. I really don't know. I'm sure I would have said some positives. Hey, there were some positives things today. I don't want to say the whole day was awful, because it wasn't. But, it just wasn't what it needed to be. And that's really the bottom line."

On determining a starting quarterback:
"I will say this: Jim [Raye], Mike [Johnson], all three of us, Jimmy Raye, we're all communicating, continuing to communicate on the quarterback. And, they're going to tell us when that decision needs to be made. I don't think, you just, 'OK, it's that guy.' They're going to come out here and they're going to compete, and at the end of the day, we'll know when that decision needs to be made. And that's when we'll do it. Hopefully sooner than later."

On if Alex look healthy again:
"Yes, he does. He looks healthy. He's making some good throws. Obviously, a little rusty, but at the same time, I think he and Shaun [Hill], they just have to continue to compete. But, at the same time, not so much against each other, but against the best quarterbacks in the league, because that's what it's going to take for us to win."

On if the quarterback will have a short or long leash when given the job:
"You know what? I really think we continue to decide, basically, the quarterback continues to go forward. Obviously, when you give a guy, you say, 'This is your job.' You don't want to, 'If you don't play well, now, I'm going to take you out.' You're saying that, 'I believe that you're the guy.' So, you're going to give him time to go ahead and make the throws and do the things that he needs to do and give him time to take ownership of this team. So, it'll work itself out. And, once again, I think it will show."

On if drafting Michael Crabtree has ignited the young receivers:
"I think it's a very natural thing. You drafted a guy at this position, but I think, not only that, but it adds some excitement. They are excited about, 'Hopefully we are going to make some plays out here. So let's get on the ball.' But, Jerry Sullivan is not going to let those guys rest. So, we're just going to continue to develop those guys, and, at the end of the day, it will all work itself out."

On if he's seen anything different from them:
"I think there is a sense of urgency in some of the guys. Jerry [Sullivan] and I talk on a continuing basis, of course I'm talking to all the coaches all the time. Jerry is pleased with what he has seen from some of the younger guys and they're just continuing to develop."

On his decision to release Jimmy Williams:
"Right now, we just felt it was the best thing to do. It is a numbers game. We feel good about the guys that we have and wanted to give it a look and see how it would work out, and just felt like, 'You know what, right now is the best time to make that decision.'"

On if that means Reggie Smith is going to be permanently at safety:"It means that's a strong possibility."

On not having some of the top-tier wide receivers here and if it affects the team:
"This week is, once again, it's a voluntary thing. For those guys that aren't here, I trust that they're doing the things that they need to do to get better: talking, communicating with their coaches. So, the bottom line is, we'll see when we have out next mini-camp what they look like and we'll talk about some things."

On if there is room for Mark Roman on the roster:"There has always been room for Mark Roman on the roster. We've talked to Mark and let him know he's important to what we're trying to do. There was never a time that we said, 'We don't want Mark. He doesn't matter to us.' We want him and we're very interested in keeping him. And, that's not something that's a secret to him."

On if the hill is serving the purpose that Coach created it for:"We'll find out as the season gets underway. I think they'll see a difference once the season gets underway, but it's definitely given Duane Carlisle, strength and conditioning coach, some flexibility and some alternatives instead of just running straight ahead all the time, and he appreciates that. So, it's meeting a need."

On the pension plan for coaches and if it could be a deterrent to putting a future staff together:"There is so much to that, that whole thing. Who's doing the pension plan? Who's not doing the pension plan? To what degree are they doing the pension plan? I think we're just going to let all of that stuff work out. I think we talked about it as coaches. The most important thing we have to do is to focus on these players out here and get them ready to play and all that other stuff will work itself out."

On if the assistant coaches expressed anything about the way things are heading:"We've talked about it as a staff. Certainly, there are teams around the league that respond one way or another. Any time you've got 20 coaches, you're never going to have everybody saying, 'Hey. Way to go. Great.' Everybody has their opinion, but at the same time, it's all about winning. And we do have a pension in place, it's just a little bit different than what we had before. So, we'll just go forward with that."

On his expectations for the offensive line to improve:
"Have to be. Have to be. If we're going to be successful, our offensive line definitely has to respond. They know that. That's no secret. I'm very excited about our offensive line and the possibilities of what they're going to bring this year. The continuity and all of those other things, very excited about that."

On talking with Frank Gore about not taking as many carries this year as he has in the past:
"Frank is smart enough to know that taking every snap, getting injured in the last couple of years – a little nick here, a little nick there – it helps to have somebody in there who can give him a break, share some of that load. So, he's smart enough to know that that's going to help him as well."

On if Mark Roman was asked to stay away or if not attending was his decision:
"No, not at all. He's welcome. He's continuing to come. He's with the coaches and gets his treatment and things like that. But, he can't do much anyways. He's still a little bit injured. He still has the pin in his ankle. Bone spurs and things like that. He's working on getting healthy. Roman's a professional and he'll deal with it the right way."

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