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Singletary's Notebook: Oct. 18



Opening statement:**"Good morning. I'll give the injuries. [CB] Nate Clements had a leg contusion; day-to-day kind of thing. [LB] Manny Lawson, rib contusion, day-to-day as well. [WR] Josh Morgan, thigh contusion. [LB] Parys [Haralson] had a calf bruise. [TE] Vernon [Davis], knee. He'll have an MRI later. I think [DT] Justin Smith had a cut on his hand. He should be fine as well. Any questions?"

On whether Davis' knee injury happened on his touchdown:"I think so. I'm not certain about that but I think so."

On whether Davis returned to the game after his injury:"I think he did."

On whether he considers Davis' injury serious:"We just want to make sure we're smart about it and get the MRI and make sure everything's stable."

On whether getting the first win of the season is a relief:"I mean, yeah; it's always nice when you get the win, particularly the first win the way things have gone this year. So, yes."

On whether the game against the Raiders was the formula for success, including the low score:"Well, I don't know about the low-scoring game. The bottom line is if you don't turn the ball over and play good defense then you're going to have a chance to win the football game."

On QB Alex Smith's decision to throw the ball away in pressure situations:"Well, that's something that I think is a tremendous growth for him. I mean, it was maturity, 'Don't even think about it. Just get used to it.' And that's good."

On Smith's interaction with the offensive line and whether it is part of his maturity:"I think so."

On whether the Raiders reverse to WR Louis Murphy was a teaching point for S Taylor Mays to hold the edge:"Well, it really wasn't Taylor, it just caught the defense. I just think that teams know that our guys go to the ball, they run to the ball and yes, we do have to have better discipline on the back end. But Taylor Mays did a good job of catching up to it and making sure it wasn't a touchdown."

On the communication and penalties committed on special teams:"First of all, I think we have some young guys, quite a few young guys, rookies, on our special teams and sometimes we're trying to get some of them rest or whatever the situation is and it wasn't properly communicated throughout. Everybody involved did not get it. I think as coaches, we have to do a better job knowing that we have rookies, a lot of rookies, on our special teams and just making sure that everybody is on the same page; and we'll do better with that."

On protection breakdowns on the offensive line:"Well, I think early on - the offensive line, actually when I look at the film, our offensive line did a pretty good job the whole game. I just think that we had in mind, in the offensive plan, was to get some rollouts, to get some bootlegs, things like that, to make sure that they knew that they had to respect it because Alex would still have the ball. And if he was keeping it then that meant that as we were trying to run inside that we could do a better job of running ourside and they had to respect it. So I just think that early on that was part of it, and it looked like there were breakdowns, but really there were not."

On the unblocked men on bootlegs and rollouts:"There were guys that were coming on blitzes and guys that were unblocked on the backend and it looks like the tackles aren't doing their job and that's really not the case."

On the Raiders defense not biting on the play-action fakes:"Well, until you run the ball effectively, it's tough to get people to bite on play-action."

On DT Isaac Sopoaga playing fullback late in the game:"It's something we talked about early on in the season; particularly in fourth-and-one. When we feel that we're in the red zone and it's four-down territory and we want to make sure that we put a bigger body in there and lets' go downhill. We have fourth-and-inches or what have you, let's put a bigger body in there and let's do it. So that's kind of where it started. With Isaac being such a good athlete, it just kind of evolved that, you know, even some of the third downs we put him in there. So it's just something that we tried and it worked pretty well."

On whether putting Sopoaga in the backfield was inspired by his former Bears teammate DT William Perry playing in the backfield:"No. I mean, you got to remember; the whole 'big guy in the backfield' started here with [former 49ers head coach] Bill Walsh and [former 49ers offensive lineman] Guy McIntyre, and that's really where Chicago got it from. I just think we wanted to get a big body in there."

On whether the team was having fun and lifting spirits when Sopoaga went in the backfield:"Football should be a fun game, but it's only fun when you win. I think when things are going well and there's something different in the game, guys tend to make light of it or what have you. But it was good to see the guys have fun at any point yesterday. That was a good thing."

On how close the game against the Raiders is to where he wants the team to be:"Well, you know, I think the biggest thing is we do want to have a balance. The more we create that balance, the more our guys settle in, the more that we cannot turn the ball over and play good defense, it gives us a chance to not always have to play on edge and just go out there and execute. I do think that's the formula, and it's not really just the formula for us. I think when you look around the NFL, it's the formula for the NFL. Whether you pass the ball or throw the ball, just make sure you don't turn the ball over and you're playing good defense, you have a pretty good chance. Somewhere at the end of the game, you're going to have a chance to win the game."

On whether that formula follows the blueprint he wants:"Yes."

On whether the players understand where they are and that they're not out of the woods:"Yes, absolutely. I think it's important for all of us to understand, all of our players to understand where we are. You know, we have a chance to do something very special. We're fighting for our lives right now and, you know, the vision that we have, we still have that vision. It's very much alive. We're just going to take it one at a time and we'll go from there."

On whether he will do anything different this week, given the 10:00 a.m. start in Carolina next Sunday against the Panthers:"I think the week of Atlanta, the formula that we used for that game, the time schedules, we're pretty much going to use that. That worked pretty well for us."

On TE Delanie Walker's timetable for getting back on the field:"Well, I think this week he may be a doubtful, maybe next week questionable. We'll kind of see how it goes."

On how he feels about the four guys that he has in the outside LB rotation:"I think they're doing a good job. I think they're applying pressure, they're winning some of the one on one battles. But I think they're doing a good job overall."

On whether he would be looking to upgrade at that spot with a veteran:"I mean, you're always looking - if there's something out there that makes you better, you're always going to look at it, but I like our guys right now."

*On why we haven't seen more consistency from LB Manny Lawson with regards to interceptions and flashy plays: *"I don't know. Manny is a guy that he continues to get better and I saw him yesterday do some things, win some of the one-on-one battles. I mean, he was violent yesterday on some of the rushes that he had. That was really nice to see. But, I think he's just going to continue to get better. Sometimes it takes guys a little longer than others, but he's continuing to make good progress."

On telling guys not to be overconfident against Carolina:"I would think if – well, I'll just answer your question. I think we will not be overconfident. We just have to work our tails off. Right now where we are, we've got to work. And we've got to do everything that we can to stay focused and keep going in the right direction."

On whether he was close to telling QB David Carr to warm up again:"No, it was just continuing to tell Alex to just stay focused and make plays when they're there. Just be patient. Just stay focused. It will be okay. And that's really the bottom line."

On whether Smith was pressing too much:"I just wanted to make sure that - I'm sure that he hears the chants and everything else. I just wanted to make sure at the end of the day that he remembers we're just here to win. We're not trying to please anybody. We're not trying to do anything else. We just want to win. If we do that, then you'll hear something different."

On whether he was on the field with Guy McIntyre:"Yes."

On whether he was ticked off when Bill Walsh put McIntyre in the backfield:"No, I really wasn't. I thought it was a heck of an idea. And Guy McIntyre wasn't nearly as big as Fridge. Guy McIntyre was an undersized guard, and there were some guards in the league at the time that weren't quite as big as he was, but Guy moved pretty well, he was a heck of an athlete. It made sense to me."

On whether McIntyre hit him:"I hit him. No, we hit each other. I'm a middle linebacker, he's a fullback. Sure we're going to hit each other."

On whether they talk about it today:"No, not at all. Not a whole lot to talk about. He won his share and I won mine. But we had some good times."

On who brought up the idea of putting Sopoaga in the backfield:"I did."

On who he proposed the idea of putting Sopoaga in the backfield to:"(Former offensive coordinator) Jimmy Raye."

On whether there is any clarity from the intentional grounding call:"We're going to reach with very firm arms and try to get an idea what the heck is the rule, because I'm a little bit perplexed on that now."

On whether he proposed the idea to Raye in 2009 or this season:"No, it was to Jimmy Raye earlier this year. We talked about it."

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