RE: Opening Statements:**
"Good afternoon. I'll take questions, if you have them."
RE: How strange does this feel for you to be speaking to us in this room as the head coach after, probably not, did you imagine that it would take place at this time?
"In all honesty, I've said it many times and I'll continue to say it for the next few weeks, it's very humbling. It's a little bit strange not to have Mike [Nolan] to talk to about different issues. That's a bit strange, but at the same time I know the promise that I made him and that is to take this team to the next level and so the responsibility that I have, I take very seriously and we'll go forward with that."
RE: You mentioned that a few times yesterday, about taking the team to the next level, how do you define the next level? What are you aiming for?
"Well, I think just doing the little things better. I think all of the things that Mike continued to stress, the detail in which we need to do things and the offense and the defense, the little things that we need to do that will make a tremendous difference in the game. Those are the things that I'm talking about and I think when you see the game it will be evident. Those are the types of things that I'm talking about, just the detail of it."
RE: This morning was the first time you really had the team together, is that right, in preparation for the upcoming game?
"Yes, we talked. I'll give you an idea. Last night I got the coaches together and we just talked about the vision of where we are right now and where we need to go and then this morning I got the players together, just the players, to talk to them about where we are and where we need to go and the expectation going into the next game. It's just getting everybody on the same page, getting everybody back from everything that's happened this week, and as crazy as it's been, bringing everybody in and getting everybody settled and ready to go forward. So to me that was the most important thing, to reset the agenda and the division and the vision and let's go from here."
RE: How involved will you be now with the offense? What percentage of your time will you spend, if at all?
"I'll put it this way. Mike Martz is very proud of his offense and I went in yesterday to talk to him and we we're going to talk about a couple things and he said, 'Well, what do you want to talk about, why do you want to talk about that?' But we had fun going through that and I'm enjoying him and we had another conversation last night and it's just a matter of he and I continuing to get to know each other, but more so than anything else, he knows that I trust him to do the things that he has to do, and the bottom line is I have full confidence in Mike Martz and the staff going forward to do whatever they have to do to get it done. How much influence would I have in that? I think the bottom line is, if I feel that something needs to be a little changed or adjusted, then I will meet with Mike and we will talk about it, we'll go from there, but other than that I think he's a great coach and I feel very fortunate to have him and I'm going to stay the heck out of the way and let Mike do his job."
RE: Is there any disappointment with Mike [Martz] that he's not standing here today?
"I'm sorry you mean Martz?"
RE: Mike Martz, yes:
"Is he a little disappointed?"
"I don't know. We talked about that a little bit. I think the most important thing for him is that we continue going forward together. I think whether it was, it could have been any number of coaches, but I think for him, it's just a matter of saying, 'Mike [Singletary], you know what? You're there, you're the guy, I'm going to support to you 150 percent, let's go get it.' That's what I needed to hear, that's what I needed to see and just a little while ago he came in with some information and said, 'Mike you need to think about this,' and I said, 'Hey, I appreciate it. I thank you and anything you can give me to help, I appreciate that.' So he's not the only one, but I'm very thankful to have him on the staff and they are on board and ready to go."
RE: How have you, as a defensive player your whole life and a defensive coach, how have you crammed to get ready for the game management and clock management part of your job?
"I think everything comes down to preparation. It is not just now that I thought about being a head coach. This is something that I prayed about, something that I continued in the offseason to meet with people around the country – coaches, referees – just talking to them about the game and things that you need to do when that time comes. You just take it, file it away, put it away so it's not like all of a sudden I'm thinking, 'Well how am I going to manage the game? What am I going to do?' It's not like that at all. I'm very confident that everything will go smooth from a game management situation. And, I'm excited about that. We'll see how it goes."
RE: How would you make this team look? What will the Mike Singletary team ideally look like on Sunday?
"I think we've got to wait and see. I really do. I just know that these guys are excited. I know they're going to play hard. I know they're going to play fast. Both sides, the offense and defense, know the game plans – a great game plan this week. I had a chance to look at them and so I'm very excited about what it's going to look like. But I won't know that until Sunday."
RE: Mike Nolan would sit down with Greg Manusky and go over the defensive game plan. Is that something that you will do or will he have more carte blanche to scheme on his own?
"Well, keep in mind this: that Greg, Johnnie Lynn, Vance Joseph, Jason [Tarver], we all sit down and go back and forth on what we need to do. Jim [Tomsula] talks about what we need to do from the standpoint of how the blitzes need to be designed. So it's not just Greg and Greg is going to do this and Greg is going to do that. It's a team defensive staff putting it together, 'Let's go forward.' Yesterday I would go in and sit down for a few moments and say, 'Okay.' Go that way and come back for a few more minutes and go that way. But I got with them last night after it was done and just sat down and went through it. It's who we are. It's what we do. It allows us to play fast, and players know it and understand it, so we'll be fine there."
RE: Is your defense a 3-4 or a 4-3?
"We'll see at the game time. We'll see at the game time. We're kind of schizophrenic. We don't know what we are. But game day we'll figure it out. We'll see."
RE: Are you envisioning defensive substitution packages as Mike Nolan had?
"It depends. Every game is a little bit different. Sometimes you have to have a number of packages. Some teams, depending on what we're doing, if they feel that they match up against 11 personnel, 21 personnel or 22 personnel, however they feel the matchups are then that's probably what we're going to see more of. So for us, it's a matter of being prepared for each and every one of those and hopefully having a defense that we don't have to run back and forth and we're not playing catch up all the time. We can put a defense out there and say, 'This will matchup against 21, it'll matchup against 20, 12. It'll matchup against 11.' And at least get us out of that down. So I just think for us it's going to be a cat/mouse game. We don't know which quarterback is going to start. We just know that the rhythm is going to be there as it normally is, and we just have to make sure we're not caught off guard and we're prepared for anything that they come with."
RE: Yesterday on the radio, Scot McCloughan said that he talked to you about maybe getting some of the younger guys more playing time. Is that a priority for you? I'm talking about young players like Kentwan Balmer, who's seen more time, maybe Chilo Rachal getting in. What are your thoughts on that?
"I think whatever it takes for us to win. I think when you start talking about getting the younger players on the field when you're not doing very well and the season's over and, 'Let's see what they have,' I don't think we're at that point. I think we're at a point right now where we just need to play better. I think we just have to continue. Certainly Balmer – he was a first round draft choice this year – you want to see him in there at some point in time and have a chance to play and gain confidence. But I think he'll get his time. He got in the game a bit last week and had a chance to see where he was. We have to keep working here. We'll get there."
RE: Is it fair to say that the pass-rush and the play of the secondary have both been disappointing to various degrees?
"Disappointing is the wrong word that I would use. I would say 'inconsistent'. We have to get more consistent in both those areas, and I would just say defense. We have to be more consistent. And we will be going forward. Gentleman, I thank you. Ladies, I thank you for your time."