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Singletary's Notebook: Oct. 27


RE: Opening statements:
"Hello. Go right ahead. Questions?"

RE: Have you had an opportunity to speak with Vernon Davis?
"I have not. I will. I'm not in a rush to do it, but we'll talk today."

RE: The swiftness of your reaction to his foul, it seemed like –you had some feelings about Vernon Davis beforehand?
"My experience with Vernon [Davis], it's just a matter of – I've talked to Vernon a couple of times. There's been a few outbursts, whether it was an offensive or defensive situation. Whether it be a game situation, I'm just going to say, 'I'm going to go talk to him and try to help him understand that you can't do that.' Vernon and I had a conversation just last week, and I was talking to him about how he needs to step up and I'm really looking forward to being a leader and really taking it to the next level in his play. He sat there and he said, 'I'm ready, coach. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to do it.' So, we get into the game situation, and the very thing I was just talking about a few days ago, you do. Not only that, you come off the sideline and it's like, 'What's the problem?' It just hit me wrong. One of the biggest things we talk about on this team is respect. I'm really big on respect. I don't mean that you have to be a Marine, or you have to be in the Army or anything like that – Lord knows, that's not where I'm going with this thing. But, I do believe in really understanding that we all have to respect what we're trying to do, and the team is the biggest thing that we have to pull together. If we're going to have success, and we will, the team has to be intact. In order for that to happen, it starts with respect because if I respect you, I may not like you as a person, or whatever, but if I respect you, I'm going to listen to you, and maybe we can exchange ideas and we can get better. But if I don't respect you, I'm going to have a difficult time having a relationship with you, a working relationship with you where we can exchange ideas, get better and we can talk about things in the future that we aspire to do together. That's what the team is all about. It's not about Vernon [Davis]. What happened yesterday, if it were anyone – I don't care who it was – if they had done what he did, he crossed the line. And to him, I'm sure it's not a big deal, but he crossed the line. I just did what I would normally do. If I had to do it over again, I would do it over again. Hopefully, it wouldn't happen again. I just feel that going forward, if we're trying to build a team, then everyone has to understand that no one is above the team, including myself."

RE: What would it take for Vernon Davis to get back into your good graces?
"It's not that he's out of my good graces, not at all. I don't have a dog house. I don't have one of those things where I'm not going to talk him. I see him, 'Hey coach.' [And I say,] 'Get out of the way.' It's not like that at all. He just crossed the line and he needs to understand it. We'll have a conversation – a very short conversation – about it, but I just want him to understand that it can't happen. It can't happen. It's really as simple as that. I won't play games with a dog house and I'm not talking to him. I won't do that."

RE: Have you given any thought to the starting quarterback?
"Coach [Mike] Martz and I looked at the film together this morning and pointed out some things about both quarterbacks. We're going to continue to have conversations about that. We have some time to really reflect and decide how we want to look at it going forward. We'll make the right decision. Whatever's best for the team is what we're going to do."

RE: Mike Martz has said that he thinks J.T. O'Sullivan is the best quarterback for this team and said last week that J.T. will be a very good quarterback in this league. Was he wrong?
"No, I won't say that he was wrong at all. When you look at what J.T. [O'Sullivan] has and the capabilities and the arm strength and all of those things, you'd say, 'Hey, maybe that guy gives us the best chance to win.' But you know as well as I do, if you look around the league, there are guys that are very, very talented. They can throw the right ball. They can throw every pass. They can throw every route. They're very talented, very smart. They're all of those things, but they can't play quarterback. J.T. has done a good job, he's just been inconsistent. Mike Martz's assessment was correct. But, I think sometimes you go back and you look at, 'Where is the team? Where is my quarterback situation? We have got to make the best decision to make the right fit.' I think right now, that's what we're talking about."

RE: Do you think that it's tough if a coordinator favors one quarterback to force the other quarterback in the game?
"That I would force another quarterback?"

RE: Is that what it takes?
"One of the things I talked about yesterday in our conversation was I don't want to do anything to inhibit the relationship that Mike [Martz] and I have going into – coming out of the bye week and going into it. It's not like I'm going to go in there and say, 'Hey, this guy is going to be the starter, like it or not. That's the way it's going to be.' That's not going to happen. We're going to come to a decision, and it will be unanimous and we'll go from there."

RE: Your message to the quarterbacks all week was to manage the game. Do you think J.T. O'Sullivan has done a good job of that?
"If he had done a good job of managing the game, then we wouldn't be talking about what we're talking about right now. I just think that J.T. [O'Sullivan] sometimes, maybe like a lot of quarterbacks, sometimes you get yourself in a situation where you want to win, you want to make a play, you want to make things happen and sometimes you do too much. Players, not only quarterbacks but players in general, it can happen to anyone."

RE: I'm going to push you on this a little bit about J.T. O'Sullivan. When you took him out, people in the stands cheered. I think people were disheartened by him and were brought up by the bold move to take him out. It strikes me that it might be regressive to go him in the next game:
"The fans, just like you guys as well as the coaches, as well as the players, it's all about winning. Regardless of who is back there, whether it's J.T. [O'Sullivan], whether it's Shaun Hill, if we win, all is forgiven, and you go forward. Maybe he goes out there – you come back from the bye week, and he comes out there on the field and they 'Boo, boo boo,' and he throws a couple of touchdowns, and it's like, 'Go get them J.T.' We all know how that works. That's the least that I think about. The most important thing right now is that we come to a decision about what is best for the last half of this season, giving us a chance to get into the playoffs and fight for a spot. That's the most important thing."

RE: There are some that think Shaun Hill is not as talented a quarterback as J.T. O'Sullivan is, but maybe he's a better game manager:
"Right now, if you were to list – if everybody had a list of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, you would have Johnny Unitas on that list. You'd have Joe Montana on that list. You'd have some guys on that list that you'd just look at them and go, 'He plays what? In the NFL?' I remember watching Joe many times, looking at him when we were at the Pro Bowl together. I said, 'I can't believe that this guy is the guy that's beating us.' He's a small guy, and you look at him and you say, 'How are we letting – how are we letting this guy beat us?' But he was wearing our tails out every time we played him. He didn't have the greatest arm strength in the world, but Joe could manage the game and he could take the game where it needed to go. I look at the quarterback position, it's kind of quirky. It's kind of crazy how you try and figure it out, but you just need a football player. All of the other stuff is just for the scouts, but you need a football player who can do whatever you need to do for the team to win. That's what I mean about managing the game. I don't mean go in and throw two-yard outs and run the ball and then another two-yard out. I don't mean that. I mean that quarterback has to be able to fit where we are right now, given what our defense can do, given what our special teams can do, looking at using all of the tools on that offense. What can we do? As a quarterback, he has to be able to figure that out, sort it out and make the most of all the tools he has available to him."

RE: And you were clear yesterday, it's no secret with your personality, that you wanted to be a smash mouth football team. That's your No. 1 thing. Does that fit with what Mike Martz's offense is?
"When I say smash mouth, I want to be physical and when I look at – and I was talking to Mike Martz about this the other day. I want to be a physical football team. I don't want to be a finesse, a cute football team. I want to be physical. Now, do I want to do the other things? I love Mike Martz's offense. I really do, and when you look at his offense and what that offense can do when you have got all of the components to it, they are physical. They can be physical. It can be a physical offense. At the same time they can get the ball in the air as well and to be able to get a balance, a balanced attack at what you need at different times in the game given who you're playing, the clock situation, that's what you want to be able to have and right now, that is what we are striving to get."

RE: Can you be a physical defense or a physical team with the people you have on this roster right now?
"Can I?"

RE: Can your team be a physical team with what you have on the roster?
"There's no doubt. Yes, I'm looking at some of the film and some of the plays that our guys…some of the plays they are making. Offensively, the offensive line, I think yesterday, I sat down this morning looking at it with Coach Martz. I thought [David] Baas came in and he did a great job. He was hitting people in the mouth. [Tony] Wragge made some plays and we've got some backups. We've got Jonas [Jennings] coming back hopefully, but we have some young guys. The kid Chilo [Rachal] from USC. So we've got some guys with a physical presence. I just know that as we continue to put it together, we're going to have what we want. Is it going to be perfect? No, but I think we will have enough of the components in place where we can go forward this last half of the season and really make strides to do what we feel that we can do."

RE: Coach, how different did Sunday feel for you thus far as your role on the game day and are you going to be feeling your way for a period of time with clock management and various game day decisions?
"Yesterday I felt very comfortable. I felt very relaxed and thankfully surrounded with a lot of good people, but I felt very comfortable in the game. Very comfortable. I didn't foresee any problems or anything clock management wise or what have you. The game was pretty straight forward, other than trying to save the clock toward the end of the game, but other than that I thought it was pretty smooth."

RE: With your inexperience, frankly does that mean some personal growth and growing pains for you?
"Personal growing pain in terms of?"

RE: In terms of game day and just running a team?
"No, I don't think so. I think we go out there yesterday and do what we are supposed to do as in week in, week out. We don't give the game away. We don't do dumb things that we know that we can do and it's not really something that you are talking about. To me, clock management is important. Yes, it is important and you need to know how many timeouts you have. You need to know do I go for this right now. Should I go ahead and make that score right now, knowing that I'm going to get this team too much time to score right after us if our defense is not playing well and we can't stop them? Little things like that. Am I going to call a timeout at two minutes and thirty seconds left when I'm going to get right down to two minutes and that is my timeout? Little things like that, I'm cognizant of and I've got people around me that are constantly [saying], 'Mike think about this now,' but as I said before the most important thing for me, those guys that are out there on that field, is making sure that I'm in the game and the clock management and all the other things. I'm constantly…I have people assigned that are constantly feeding me information in the game, making sure I don't let anything take me away from how do I help these guys get better. Whether it is the defense on the field or whether it's the offense on the field. How do I help us get better, how do I help us overcome this setback we just had? How do I make sure this guy that just came off the field, who is lacking confidence right now, feel like he let the team down because he dropped the ball or whatever. How do I get him back in the game? All those little things. How do I get the offensive line to stay focused on what they have to do? We talked about playing physical, we have to do that. How do I let them know that I still expect them to do that, maybe they haven't done it up to this point. I still believe that you can do that and I want to see it. How do you do that and not be totally with that? So for me clock management, I'm not going to make it this huge thing. Certainly, there are some games where clock management is crucial because everything is tight and the score is just right there where you have to be on top of every second. You've got to be thinking strategy every moment. But the game really wasn't like that yesterday. We just played ourselves right out of it, and didn't give ourselves a chance to compete for it at the end."

RE: Your comments after the game yesterday received a lot of play in the various sports highlights shows. You made this team more relevant. I'm wondering if in the future post-game addresses do you anticipate speaking with the same fervor and volume?
"You mean at the press conference?"

RE: Yeah:
"Maybe I'll drink a little more water. Maybe I'll breathe a little bit. But I had a chance to talk to the players and coaches and when I came in there, pretty much that's my personality. Like I said, I don't talk a whole lot but when I am talking, I do know what I feel and I do know what I want to say. When I'm talking to you guys, I don't ever want to come in there and be a philosopher, an analytical… That's not who I am. What you see now, that is what I am. And that's not going to change any time soon."

RE: Talking about game management, is Paraag Marathe in the coaches booth?
"Paraag is there."

RE: Is that your decision?
"Yes. Paraag is there as a clock guy. He's constantly feeding me information when I need it. And that's a good thing. He and I talk before and after the game, as well as some in this offseason. The relationship is there and, no, I welcome that."

RE: If you wanted him out, could you take him out?
"Could I take him out?"

RE: Yeah. Of the coaches booth:
"If I wanted him out, I would think that would be my decision to do so. But right now, I think he's fine."

RE: There's a report that you addressed the team yesterday and you talked about that there were some cancers on the team. Do you feel that way?
"I think every team in the NFL has some guys on the team that may not be going in the same direction as the team is trying to go. And it's just a matter of how much of a role those guys play on that team. Are they guys that are starters? Are they main role guys? Are they guys that have a particular role on the team? But what's really important: every team has them, but it's how you deal with them. It's how mature your team is to be able to deal with those guys. It's how your leaders on that team respond to them. Sometimes it's not a big deal, you just shut them down. You know them well enough and you just say, 'That's enough.' Otherwise, those guys will continue to eat at your team until they eat at the very soul of your team. We are a young team. We are an aspiring team. We are a team that will be fighting with everything that we have for everything that we get. We don't need the distractions: the people that don't want to be a part of this, or really can't see the vision that's in place going forward. We need everybody on deck. Everybody. So my eyes are always looking around for those people that want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, who want to be a part of something special. That's what I'm looking for going forward."

RE: When you make such a public scene with Vernon Davis, is it difficult now to get him back?
"He hasn't gone anywhere. Vernon is not a problem. Vernon is not a problem guy. Vernon just forgets sometimes that the team is more important. Vernon is not a guy that doesn't come to practice. He's not a guy that…. You have to tell Vernon, 'Vernon, that's enough. Don't hurt the guy. That's your teammate.' He works his tail off. You don't have a problem with Vernon that way. What you have a problem with every now and then is some of the things, some of the decisions that he makes at crucial times. And you're going, 'Vernon, what are you thinking? That's not helping us here.' Those are the type of things. And you have to be able to separate the two. He is not a guy that is a distraction on the team. Yesterday that was somewhat of a distraction, but everybody knows Vernon and everybody on this team knows full well who Vernon is. I just did what I had to do so that he wouldn't be so much of a distraction. I didn't want everybody looking at him or he may say something. I didn't even want the possibility to occur. 'Just go in and take a shower and relax. That's it.'"

RE: The actual penalty, if you had a chance to look at it, didn't look like – it looked pretty harmless sort of a flick of the facemask. Do you take that into consideration, or do you see an unnecessary roughness penalty has something that he shouldn't be putting on himself?
"One of the things that we talked about, as a matter of fact I saw the whole thing and I thought Vernon [Davis] was kidding with the guy when he did it. But, the referee called it and another one of the things that I talked to the guys about [was that] if the referees make a decision, it's right. I don't want anybody arguing with the referee, that's not your job all your going to do is play. Am I frustrated? Is there something that I'd really like to say to the referee about the call or whatever? Yeah, I mean we all would like to say what we'd want to say, we all would like to choke them at times, but you know what, they've got a job to do. That's their job and I haven't seen yet where they change their minds. I just think it's better just to walk away, back off, move on [and] go to the next play. So to me that's what it's all about. It's not about 'Well see, he didn't do it hard', He did it and they called it so you live with it."

RE: If and when you say that some players are cancerous you're not including Vernon [Davis] in that list?
"I am not including Vernon in that list. No, absolutely not."

RE: If there are players that you decide that are cancerous some of them might make a lot of money, have a lot invested in them [as] high draft picks. Do you have the authority to lose those players?
"I want to answer that as carefully as I can. I want to do whatever it takes to make this team a championship team. Once again, it is not about Mike Singletary and the authority that he has and I don't like this guy and I want him out of here. It's either him or it's me. I'm not like that, I want to do what is best for the team. Now, do I have they authority? Yes I do. But I also want to do what's best for that young man. I don't want to take a kid- if there's a young man that we have that maybe misguided I want to do all I can to help him understand what were trying to build because it's going to be special. I want him to be here, I want him to be involved and if through avenues that we're trying [through] whatever we're trying to do doesn't work, if all else fails, then we've got to make a decision. But immediately, I'm not going to just tolerate anyone that is not respectful. I am not going to tolerate anyone that's taking away from the team. I'm not going to tolerate anyone that believes they're above the team. This is going to be a safe place, it's going to be a great place to come and work. It's going to be a clean place and it's really going to be something special and I believe when it's all said and done the NFL will look at the 49ers as a team and they will say 'wow, they're doing it right'. That's what I want to see here and I want the players to be proud of what's here. I want the fans to be proud of what's here because that's the way it should be."

RE: I just wanted to ask you two quick things about [will] [Greg] Manusky be on the field going forward and two, just to clarify, were you more frustrated with Vernon [Davis] about the penalty or his reaction?
"I think both. One just fed off the other. When I look at Vernon it was the initial reaction when he came off the field. Number one I just had to say 'what were you thinking?' didn't we just talk about that the other [day]?' that was going to it 'you know what, go over there and think about what the heck you did' and let's think about this, this is what we were talking about but we didn't get there. I was telling him 'Vernon, Vernon'. He was like: 'What coach? What did I do?' [Singletary] What did you do? What do you mean? Look out there. There it is, that's what you did.' So it was everything that happened after that and after that the conversation we had I said 'you're done, the refs said you're done.' And then when he sat on the bench and he started making some of the complaining – now you got to go and that's really all there was to it."

RE: You had four players injured yesterday, two weeks before the next game. What's the status of those guys?
"In terms of the injuries?"

RE: Yes:
"I just visited with [Jeff Ferguson], our trainer here, for a little bit. Later on, we'll visit again about the possibility of who's up and who's down. The X-Rays and MRIs and those kinds of things, we have to wait and see. It will be a little bit of a process before we know who's up, who's down and what we have to do."

RE: Did you have two coaches in the box yesterday?

RE: So Ted Tollner was on the field as well?
"Yes. He's always down."

RE: So Greg Manusky's:
"The only different is – the only difference in who we had on the field and who was in the box was Greg [Manusky] was down. That's it."

RE: What's the book that you carry?
"This book – I record every conversation. Every day, every minute of the day."

RE: So you'll go back to your office later and write a little summary of our conversation here?
"Yes. It reminds me – it keeps me up with myself. Sometimes you say something, sometimes you do something, whatever. It just a reminder – it's just a flow of where we are as a team, where I think we are as a team. Where were we yesterday. Where were we this time last week. That kind of thing. It just keeps me on track of where I need to be."

RE: How many times per day will you make an entry?
"Every time I have a conversation."

RE: So it could be four of five times:
"It could be 10 times."

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