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Singletary's Notebook: Nov. 30



On the injury report:**"As far as the injuries are concerned, [RB] Frank Gore, hip fracture. We're still having tests run today, see how that goes. [LB] Parys Haralson, ankle strain, that's a day-to-day issue. [G] David Baas, concussion, day-to-day. [WR] Dominique Zeigler, like Frank, will have tests throughout the day to see how severe or what the situation is there, it's a knee sprain. Let's see, [WR] Josh Morgan, shoulder, day-to-day. [CB] Will James, we'll have to continue to see how that goes."

On whether Gore could be ready late in the season or in the post season:"You know what, right now, we're just going to wait and before I make any speculation, just see what the tests say."

On whether Gore hurt his hip in a certain play or using it a lot:"Using it a lot? I don't know, I really don't know."

On whether he promoted RB DeShawn Wynn from the practice squad to the active roster:"Yes."

On how he created a roster spot for Wynn:"Well I think, you know right now we're looking at – I just think it's one of the possibilities. It's a possibility that he would be added to the roster. But the situation with the kicker, see how that goes, and that's a strong possibility there."

On K Joe Nedney's progress:"Nedney is coming along better, we're going to see today. I think he's going to kick a little bit today, but mentally he is in a good frame of mind and for kickers, that's 98 percent of it."

On whether he has gotten information on Gore that it is possible that he could come back:"Right now, the only thing that I'm going to do is wait until the tests come back and I don't want to make any speculation about his injury. Don't know enough about those types of injuries, and just see what the tests say."

On how the team moves forward without Gore since he is such a large part of the offense:"Well you're exactly right, Frank is a big part of what we do. Heart and soul, everything. He brings what you want. But thankfully, [RB] Brian Westbrook is a mature, experienced leader and you know, we just have to be careful about how we use him and how much exposure we allow him to see, and I think there will be a good mixture between Brian Westbrook and [RB Anthony] Dixon. We'll just have to see how we want to do that."

On what he means by being careful with Westbrook:"Be careful because of the past history with Brian, some of the injuries and things like that, I think it's smart for us to be careful about how we use him, how often we use him. He's a talented guy, but we want to be smart about that."

*On whether 23 carries in a game would be too much for Westbrook looking forward:    *"It could be. You know, once again, I think we have to take a step back and look at it and look at what he really should be and could be doing to help us win games and how we use him most effectively."

On why he didn't use Westbrook more in previous games:"We didn't use him more because number one, he was still trying to get some of the nuances of the protections down, and I think before last night, Frank Gore carried the load most of the time. And we felt it necessary to continue to let Brian learn more about our offense, how we're trying to work in protection and the whole nine yards. Last night was an opportunity that he had, obviously, and we used him more then."

On whether the injury to Gore signals a change in the offensive scheme:"Well I think, Frank has been a huge part of our offense, meaning that we try to establish the balance between running and passing. Sometimes we have to lean on Frank a bit more. But we just have to adjust. I mean, that's all there is, we just have to adjust. There's going to be somebody else that has to run for a bit, and we'll see how that works."

*On whether they adjusted last night or whether they did the same type of plays as if Frank had been playing: *"Obviously with Frank Gore, there's certain things that you do with him, so obviously we have to adjust some, and so there will definitely be an adjustment, we just have to figure out as we look at both the running backs that we have and what we do and just see who fits best where."

On whether he will have to limit Dixon's special teams duties:"I'm sure we'll have to limit it some, it just depends on the ratio between he and Brian Westbrook, but yes, most definitely we'll have to do that."

On how comfortable he is with Dixon in pass protection:"I'm pretty comfortable. I mean, obviously, he's not Frank, but he's gotten a lot better than when we first started. So we're getting to the point where we can trust him to be able to know exactly who he needs to pick up, and allow him to be able to do his job."

On his opinion on the league potentially going to an 18-game season:"It really doesn't matter. I think I try to be concerned about the things that I can control. We have to work around it. If they come up with an 18-game schedule, as coaches, as players, we have to work around it."

On how he would vote on an 18-game season:"It doesn't matter. No, I'm just saying, it doesn't matter. Whether I say, well I vote yes, well I vote no, it doesn't matter.  I don't even think about it."

On having a more educated opinion than most people on the 18-game season:"I do, but my opinion doesn't matter."

On whether he would have liked to play in an 18-game schedule:"Well I wouldn't have liked to have played a 16-game schedule."

On what he would have played:"It doesn't matter."

On why it doesn't matter:"You know what, in all honesty, I'm not going to change my answer. It doesn't matter. I don't need to get a call from the commissioner, so I don't need to go there. For me, the players play the game, coaches coach the game, the commissioner and everybody else that controls the league, they set the standard in terms of how many games. So it doesn't really matter about what I think about this or that, and that's where I'm going to leave it."

On why he prefers not to have an opinion about the matter:"You know what, the bottom line is this. It comes down to the league has to understand what's important. And you know, they make a huge issue about players safety. So I would assume that if they're going to go to 18 games, that they're going to give us enough time to recover. They're going to give the players enough time to get their legs back. So I would just have to assume with as much emphasis that they put on safety, that I would have to figure into, if they're going to do an 18-game schedule, then they have to, on this side, because of how much they care about the players. They have to on this side do something that makes sense for the players. So that's the only thing that I'm assuming."

On what that would be:"I have no idea."

On how he feels about where the team stands:"We've got a chance to compete this week and all I'm thinking about right now is Green Bay. It's a great opportunity for us, and we're going to get healthy enough to go up there, and try and win a football game. Other than all the other stuff, I don't really worry about it, it's behind us."

On having an offensive template of power running and a certain role for the quarterback, and whether that is what they should expect to see for the rest of the season:"I think you should expect us to do whatever we need to do to try and win the game. You saw last night it worked, that's what we did, and created a win by it. But however we have a chance to win the game, we're going to do that."

On the team being emotional before the game and how he manages the emotions:"You can't tell a player not to be emotional. I mean, what do you do? It's like the guys that you see that are emotional, they love the game. That's how they get about the game. And the thing that you can control is that when that game is over, just making sure that they get off their feet and they get their rest, and it's the thing that they're doing away from the game. But before that game, right before that game and during the game, I mean, it's on. And every player handles it different, every player handles emotion different. But I just have to make sure that I manage what they do during the week and that's about the best I can do there."

On whether he liked to see the emotional ownership that some of the guys took before the game:"I think our guys are really having a tremendous experience this year. It's been a growth experience for our guys, in many different ways. And the best thing that I can say about our guys is the way they work. And the way they continue to believe. So I think, being in this situation where we're fighting for our lives every week, it's really stretching our guys. It's making them be more accountable, it's making them stretch a bit more, and I think for us, I think it's been a good thing."

On whether he gets emotional watching his players get emotional:"Oh yes. I do."

On how he expresses that emotion:"I don't know, I mean."

On whether he started crying:"You know what, sometimes. See, to me it, when you're playing the game, I don't know if you ever played a sport that you really love, but when you do things that you love it brings out passion and everybody shows it in different ways. I can be standing with another guy and he is just as passionate as I am but he doesn't show it like I do and I may cry and he may not show one tear. But the most important thing for me is not to judge him and say, 'Well, why is he not crying?' And I think the bottom line is just how that player plays the game."

On who hid Gore's helmet, where they hid it and whether he told them to hide it:"No, I didn't tell them to hide it, I just said it was a great idea. Someone that I, I think [Jeff Ferguson] Fergie, our trainer, came up to me and said, 'Mike, I think we hid Frank's helmet. He wants to play.' I said, 'That's a great idea. That's the best thing we could do.'"

On what tests Gore will have today that will help him determine his status for the rest of the season:"All I know is it's a test that will give us a better understanding of where the hip is and what type of fracture, how big, how small, and going forward, how do we address it, if it's something that's more serious than we thought. Hopefully it's not, but we just have to wait."

On QB Troy Smith's performance against the Cardinals and whether he regressed:"I don't know about regressing. I thought he did enough to win and to me that's the most important thing."

On whether he has cried after the losses this year:"Every one of them. Well, with the exception of maybe one or two, just every one of them, yes."

On whether he cried in the immediate aftermath of those games:"You know what, I think as a coach, for me anyways, you know, you go through the season, a season sometimes it's tough and you feel like you're ready, you're prepared, you go in. It's mostly really the close games, the ones that come down to the last minute, the ones that come down to the last field goal. And those are the ones that really frustrate you. But you know, I've done that all my life. But the most important thing is what you do after you wipe the tears away. It's not the fact that someone cries. It is extremely important what they do after that, after the disappointment. So that's the thing that I think separates, you know, when you continue to move on and get better or you stay where you are and listen to the circumstances around you."

On what allowances he makes for preparing for another game during a short week such as this:"Well the biggest thing, we have to do everything that we can to get the guys' legs back. We have to rest them and at the same time get the most mental reps we possibly can. Right now, being later in the season when guys get really banged up in a Monday night game, the best thing that comes out of a Monday night game is who wins. At least the emotional part of it that can help you heal a little bit; you feel better the next day or after the game. And believe it or not that goes a long way in the healing of guys and making them feel that much better toward the following week. So, I think that's a huge part of it. The next part is just making sure that within the short week that the guys are really getting their rest and really understanding the significance of having their legs in this Green Bay game because it's going to be a war, it's going to be a tough football game and we have to be ready emotionally. We have to be ready physically and mentally."

On whether he is doing anything different from the first short week after the Monday Night game against the Saints earlier in the season:"I think it goes back to the comment I just made. The fact that we lost that Monday night game I think sometimes as coaches and players, you wrestle with that maybe a day or two longer than you should. Where in a situation like we had last night where we win the game, it's very easy to put it behind you and get right on to Green Bay and move on. Learn what you can from that game that we played last night, you feel good about what happened, and make the necessary corrections and move on."

On whether he has to sit Baas down for the upcoming Green Bay game because he had a concussion last night:"Yes. Wait a minute, do you mean the game last night? [Response: 'No, the game coming up.'] No. it really comes down to how severe. There are certain tests that they have for the severity of the concussion. As with one of the players last night for Arizona; I assumed he wasn't going to play, [Cardinals WR Early] Doucet I think. I think he had a concussion the week prior and I thought it was a severe concussion because of what I saw, but he played last night. So it all comes down to the testing mechanism that they have and we judge from there."

On the performance of the offensive line against the Cardinals and what he also saw from the 49ers defense:"It was good to see our offensive line really put a solid performance together. But the most important thing is what we do this week, and I think they understand that. We had a nice game last night and it was great and everything else, but this week we've got to take that and build on that; take it into this week and let's see how we fare. On the defensive side of the ball, I just think that our guys were able to be effective after a while knowing that they were going to get away from the running game, and it kind of made the game one-sided so we were able to get after the quarterback a little bit more and kind of dictate some things."

On wearing his sunglasses during the game:"Yeah I did. I wore them out before the game and really felt comfortable in them and it was pretty well-lit in there, but I kind of liked it." 

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