RE: You made a transaction today? Why add a fourth tight end to the roster at this point?**
"After talking to Coach [Mike] Martz, he needed a tight end that he felt was a physical guy that could be a tight end/fullback. We talked about running the ball and being able to have Frank Gore do some of the things he needed to do. He needed that kind of guy. Scot McCloughan and myself talked about it and tried to find that guy and felt that we did, and so we brought him in."
RE: Is this in any way a reflection on Vernon Davis?
"Absolutely not. This was a decision that was made way before then, something that we had talked about much prior to then. The thing I want you to understand about Vernon Davis; he and I talked again today, I want you to understand that Vernon is not a bad guy. OK? Vernon is one of my favorite people, one of my favorite players. He's just misconstrued. I'm very excited about Vernon and I'm excited about the things he can bring to this team. Just understand that what happened on the field, that's it. That's all it was. It's over."
RE: Do you envision Sean Ryan lining up as a fullback in the offense?
"That I'm going to leave up to Mike Martz in whichever way he chooses to use him. I just feel that it will help Frank Gore and whatever we needed to do in order to get somebody that could lead and run an effective lead play, a power play. Whatever that is then, hopefully, he's the answer for that."
RE: Did you guys need this bye week to regroup?
"It certainly came at a great time. I will say that it was very welcome. I'm very thankful to have had that first week prior to the bye week to give me something to have and be able to reflect upon and be able to look at throughout the rest of the season as I thought about different things that we needed going forward. I'm very thankful that I had the first week."
RE: You've been on the job for two weeks now and it's been eventful to say the least. What have you learned so far about being an NFL head coach?
"I learned that being an NFL head coach, you certainly have your share of media time. Definitely learned that. I've learned that anything in the organization as it pertains to the players, and this is not something I learned; I knew, it's just that the players, their issues that they might have or questions that they may have, that's something that I really welcome in terms of helping them work through some of the things that helps make them better, so that, in turn, we can be better as a team."
RE: Did some of the players bring questions to you during the week?
"All week. All good. All good. In terms of looking at where we have to go, what our goals are going forward and just striving to be the best football team that we can possibly be in the second half of the season."
RE: You've gotten more than your share of media attention this week. Are you concerned at all that the constant replaying of the Vernon Davis incident or the section about what you did at halftime to be a distraction for your team?
"No because I'm not going to let it be. The most important thing for us is we have to focus on the things we have to focus on as a football team, and that is getting better and winning football games. And all of the other things, they may continue to go on outside of us, but here, we're going to continue to focus on the task at hand."
RE: Are you surprised that it's taken on such a life of its own and kind of become one of the dominant stories in the NFL?
"I guess there's not a whole lot going on elsewhere in the NFL. I'm pretty amazed that it is but I guess if you take a step back and look at it, it's just one of those things. It happened and the attention came and everything else, but for me I'm really excited and looking forward to the second half of the season and what this team is all about, and going forward with that."
RE: You had mentioned in a radio interview in Chicago that you planned to find out who the 'leak' was. Is that still a priority for you?
"Even in the interviews that I said, 'I'm going to find out who it was,' that's simply because we as an organization felt that this is something that shouldn't have happened. We need to find out who it was and be able to deal with it so that going forward there is no more sabotaging, or whatever. But I think for me the best thing is to just let it go. I'm not going to really look at, 'Who did it? Who said it?' Because it's kind of like someone that…something happened and you're never really going to know why. You're never really going to know exactly… It's not going to be one person so it really doesn't matter because I know that the most important thing right now is not to try and find that person. Because if it wasn't the locker room, it would have been somewhere else. If it's not this, it's going to be that. It's the nature of the job. The most important thing for me is to make sure that I focus on this football team and that's why I was so excited to get back because that's what I'm here for. I'm not here for anything else other than helping this football team be the best football team that we can be the second half of the season. And whoever did it, I'm a firm believer that whatever happens in life…whoever did it I feel bad for them because it'll always come back on the person that did it. I really believe that anything that happens to me it'll be for the better."
RE: You used the word 'sabotage'. Are you concerned that it was something that was sabotaging or undermining you personally or just that it might have been random gossip going around the league?
"I don't know. I don't know. Hopefully it was random gossip, which wouldn't surprise me at all. But hopefully that's what it is. Or that's what it was."
RE: Are you concerned at all with how this played, or is going to play, with the ownership?
"I am not. Absolutely not."
RE: And why is that?
"Because I know what the intent was. I know when it was done. How it was done. And any player could tell you the context it happened in and whatever. But right now, that's not something that I'm thinking about. The biggest thing, I kid you not, the biggest thing that I'm thinking about is Arizona right now on Monday night."
RE: Coach Nolan had what he called his shop captains which allowed him to kind of keep breadst of the concerns within the locker room. Do you sort of have the same thing? How are you gauging what your players are thinking, that sort of thing?
"Well, for me it is not only the captains, but I just kind of catch guys point blank and kind of ask them what they are thinking. I've got a relationship with several of the guys and I just believe in, 'Hey, how are you doing, what's going on? How are you feeling? What do you think about this, what do you think about that?' I believe in communication, I believe in open and honest communication and that is something I've done since I've been here."
RE: You mentioned the players that have come by your office in the past week and stopped by for a conversation. Are they coming by to ask questions or to make suggestions or a little of both?
"Actually, they came by because I asked them too, most of them. Any player that I've had come by. It's like I always do, 'Hey, I want to talk to you or I need to talk to you.' Whatever it was and there are a few players that hey, want to come by and just talk about…'Well coach, what do you think about this, coach what do you think about that.' There are some guys that I meet with that I just mentor and have been since I've been here. So that's really what that is."
RE: Is there going to be an attempt Mike, during the second half of the season to involve more players on the roster than have been used in the first half of this season? Is that something we can expect to see?
"You talking about younger players or different players?"
RE: Anybody, anybody that is on the roster. Is that possible?
"I want to make sure I understand. You are talking about bringing more people on the roster or changing around the current roster."
RE: No, no, the current roster. Players that maybe haven't been used:
"Yeah, I think going forward, one of the things that you always want to do is make sure that you…first of all understand who's on your roster. You understand what the potential is and then going forward, if they certainly can help build into what you are trying to do, obviously win, then yes, we want to give people an opportunity that we feel that they've been growing and making the most of opportunities, they've been showing different things in practice, progress. So when the opportunity presents itself, yes you want to give them an opportunity."
RE: Mike, do you have an idea heading into this game which players you won't have available to you due to injuries?
"As of right now, Dashon Goldson is the only one, right now that is currently out of the picture that will not be available."
RE: He has the knee injury?
RE: Is there a ligament issue there?
RE: Is it a long-term issue?
"No, I think it's a matter of weeks from what I understand."
RE: Do you expect Jonas Jennings to be ready to play?
"Yes sir, I do."
RE: What plans do you have for him once he is able to play?
"Well, it just depends on how healthy he really is and only he can judge that. Once he gets out on the field, we'll see how much he can do and that is something he's eager to find out, so it's a wait and see situation. How strong is the shoulder? How strong is the joint and be ready to go?"
RE: Do you envision him starting at any point in the second half of the season?
"Well, obviously Jonas is an important part of the football team and as we go forward and as he continues to get stronger, if he feels like, 'You know what, this is working well.' If the trainer and the doctor are feeling the same thing as we go forward, then obviously at some point in time that could be a strong possibility."
RE: Do you envision him starting at any point in the second half of the season?
"Jonas [Jennings] is an important part of the football team and as we go forward, as he continues to get stronger, if he feels like 'you know what, this is working well'. If the trainer and doctor feel the same thing as we go forward, then, obviously at some point in time, that could be a strong possibility."
RE: I was wondering how you spent your Sunday since you didn't have a game to play.
"Well, I was in Waco [Texas] with my family. My daughter, my son are at Baylor [University] and so my wife and I and our children, we all went to Waco [Texas] and just enjoyed the weekend. It was homecoming and so it was a good time for the family to be together."
RE: Heartbreaking loss?
"Yeah, it was a tough loss for them. They were fighting for their lives and came up a little short."
RE: Coach, you had mentioned last week about Ahmad Brooks getting a look at him as a pass rusher on third down situations. Where does that stand?
"We won't know until we get into practices and have a chance to see how he moves with the rush game and things like that with the other linemen and see if what we've seen in practice and by him being on the practice squad now if he has an opportunity to be on the 53 or the 45 man active roster. It's just a matter of 'okay, let's see if he can do this against our No. 1s, let's see if he can do this on a constant basis, let's see if he can do this when it really counts'. And so we'll put him in situations we'll really have a chance to see just how much he can help us as a rush end."
RE: I don't know if you've had a chance to watch the film from yesterday, but how have the Arizona Cardinals changed from the first week of the season when you guys faced them?
"To me, I can say one word, it's just confidence. They're playing with confidence. I think Kurt Warner is doing a good job finding receivers. The wideouts have always been a challenge. They've got a great receiving core, and I just think that when I look at them that's the one word that I would use that they're playing with confidence. They won some big games and the momentum is in their favor. Everything seems to be going right for them. That's what I see when I look at them."
RE: You mention the word confidence, how confident are you in your defense to hold up to what is expected to be quite an offensive show for the Cardinals?
"I think our defense will do just fine. I think our team will do just fine. I think that obviously the Cardinals are clicking right now both offensively and defensively and special teams. I think they're really doing a good job, but I don't expect us to go out there and be overwhelmed by anything. I think that we'll go out there and we'll do a good job and I think that we'll compete and we'll see where the chips fall."