BOARDMAN, Ohio To hear Greg Roman tell it, it wasn't a pretty sight at the Holiday Inn here Thursday at 3 a.m.
A group of grown men, their faces unshaven, sitting around a table in white T-shirts, were trying to crack one of their toughest challenges yet, the New York Jets' defense.
"I think it's positive because there are no distractions," Roman, the 49ers' offensive coordinator, said about being stuck at the hotel all week with fellow assistants, including running backs coach Tom Rathman and offensive-line coaches Mike Solari and Tim Drevno.
"It gives you the chance to hole up in a hotel room and, rather than play cards, we're studying film. It gives you a chance to be real isolated and to put our collective minds together to come up with the best plan."
Running back Frank Gore said he has had more time to study this week, too. Instead of going home in the evening, which he'd do if the 49ers were practicing in Santa Clara, he stayed up with backup center Daniel Kilgore on Wednesday night to look at film of the Jets and to work on pass-protection assignments.
"Back home, we'd get to go home and do our own thing," Gore said. "Now it's basically all football."
Roman and Gore said the weeklong stay in Ohio was well-timed because the Jets' defense requires a lot of work.
Rex Ryan's unit is the defensive equivalent of the 49ers' offense in that it uses a lot of different personnel groups and formations.
Roman called it "multiplicity."
Said Gore: "They play a little of everything. They bring pressure. They're big, they're athletic. They play good defense."
Through three games, however, the statistics have not been good for New York's defense, which ranks 21st overall. It ranks 28th in rushing defense (giving up 148.7 yards a game) and last on third downs opponents have converted 55.8 percent of their third-down attempts.
Furthermore, it will be a challenge for Ryan to give opposing offenses as many looks and be as aggressive without his best player, cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is out for the season because of an ACL tear. The Jets often left Revis isolated on a receiver, freeing teammates to do other things, such as blitz.
Third-year player Kyle Wilson, a high school teammate of 49ers tackle Anthony Davis, will take Revis' place.
Et cetera One of the visitors who braved the rain to watch the 49ers practice at Youngstown State was Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, coach Jim Harbaugh's brother-in-law.
Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga (ankle, knee) missed his second straight practice and is unlikely to play against the Jets. Look for Ricky Jean Francois to take his place.
Linebacker Patrick Willis went through a second straight practice on his injured ankle and figures to start Sunday.