This is the transcript from Jim Tomsula’s formal media session today in Indianapolis. Note: He had a more informal session with 49ers reporters afterward.
Jim Tomsula: Good afternoon. We'll try this again. ... Glad to be here, excited to see you all, and looking forward to the questions.
On his initial press conference in December:
JT: I didn't do a good job. Bobby (49ers director of communications Bob Lange) was trying to get me to go to bed that night. I didn't. So anyway, I'm driving him crazy. He called me three times last night to make sure I'm in bed. So we'll get better at that.
Never miss a local story.
I hope he didn’t wake you up.
JT: No, I was good.
What can you do better in this kind of setting?
JT: Well, again -- you’ve seen me in social settings and more private. So, just getting used to it.
How do you go from standing in front of eight guys to standing in front of 53?
JT: Oh, that's fine. I've done that. I do have experience doing that in the Europe league. When I'm up here I have to watch my manners and watch my language and try to make sure that I'm nice and polite. That's what I've got to get better at.
Did you watch your earlier interviews in an effort to get better?
JT: No, I didn't. Bobby sure did have me practice. As a matter of fact this (the mic) is in the wrong place. It's supposed to be down here so it's not in my nose.
You avoided talking about schematics in your first press conference. What kind of defense are you guys going to run?
JT: Well, again, I didn't want to get into a lot of things until we got a coaching staff together. I wanted us all to get in their and watch the film. the schematics on defense -- a 34. Our personnel is set for that, and we'll continue in that way. Offensively, we're going to use the players that we have. We have some dynamic players, and we're going to use those guys. But obviously, we're going to run the football.
Your team has used the expression, "Winning with class." Is there a more strict standard on the type of players you bring in?
JT: I think as a whole -- league-wide and everywhere in society -- with everything going on. We've got to tighten up and look at things. And it's very diligent. Our personnel staff is extremely diligent in what they do and how they research and look into guys. But it's not perfect. And we're still dealing with human beings. And people make mistakes, and we've got to be able to address those mistakes, find out how we can prevent them in the future and put plans in place. I know that we're going that with the 49ers.
On attempts to re-sign Frank Gore.
JT: Yeah, that's going on right now. I mean, Frank Gore -- we talk about all the things that he has, you mention the passion and the leadership and all those things -- but let's not overlook that he is a prolific running back in the National Football League. I'm a big Frank Gore guy. So I know those talks are ongoing now, are starting this week, Along with all our free agents.
Have you spoken with Justin Smith?
JT: Yeah, “Justin’s come around to bust my chops; that’s the way he does things. What we usually do with Justin, me personally, probably for the last thre or four years, “He’s earned the right to make decisions on his terms. The guy’s had an unbelievable career. He’s brought so much to the people he’s been around, that’s he’s work with and for and alongside. Out of respect for Justin, I’ve told him that I will not try to talk him into anything. And I will not try to talk him out of anything. He's earned the right to make the decision on his terms. We've said that for the last thre or four years. I usually talk with Justin after the combine. When I get back, that's when he and I shoot the bologna.
So this is nothing new when it comes to Smith?
JT: Oh, yeah. This guy’s played a lot of football. It’s probably been three or four years that we started had those talks.
On an amended workout/practice program for Smith.
JT: You're there all the time. You see how we do with Justin. And quite frankly, I let the guys know: When you have a 15-year career in the National Football League, we'll look at doing those things for you. Now he's begrudging to go along with that. But that's what makes Justin Justin. He's grinding, he's into his art. He's working out every day now. That's who he is. But in terms of practice reps and practicing, I'm always looking for ways to take some steps off of him. And the ultimate goal here is game day.
On Tomsula's staff
JT: I take full responsibility for the results of the coaching staff and the team. And game-day results.
On transitioning from Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell
JT: Well, I mean there’s always transition. Those guys, specifically the two names you brought up, I worked very close with and those guys are tremendous football coaches. We’ve had a lot of success. So, there’s a transition. That’s life. But e’ve got a group of guys that are ready to handle that. And just as you’re thinking through the names in that room and those guys, it’s an even-keeled group when it comes to that stuff. These guys have been through a lot. The older guys, we’re talking eight years ago. They’ve been through some stuff and these guys are well equipped to handle that. So there is transition, but we’ll be fine.
On where things stand with Michael Crabtree
JT: The speculation side of things, I don’t go there. Absolutely. And I know that those talks are happening this week. I don’t have the checkbook. So I’m not in those particular conversations, but I do know that leaving San Francisco, heading to the airport the other day, that everything was lined up to talk to all of our people, the guys that -- our guys.
On Carlos Hyde
JT: Carlos Hyde is a heck-of-a football player. You’ve seen it in college, but then you’ve seen it translate to the pro field. And you’ve seen the plays. You’ve seen the guy run. His vision, his feel. He can plant, redirect. I mean, the guy’s got some stuff. I mean, I like his speed. I like his burst. So, I’m really excited about Carlos Hyde.
On Vernon Davis being on the team and having a more focused offseason this year:
JT: Yeah. Again, I mean you’re talking about guys that I’ve been with for a long time. I’m a huge Vernon guy, you know that. Vernon’s work ethic and the way Vernon works, the last year I know Vernon wasn’t here in the offseason -- things like that -- but Vernon was working. Vernon showed up in shape. Vernon showed up physically fit. So, those things are happening and you know that with Vernon. But Vernon’s a great football player and he’s still a great football player.
Has QB Colin Kaepernick been in contact with offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and quarterbacks coach Steve Logan?
JT: Yeah. He’s been in touch. I’ve been in touch with him. Geep has been in touch with him. [Steve Logan’s been in touch with him. But there’s a fine line there. We’re not getting into a lot of schematics. And again, we’re still, as a staff, we’re still going through everything. So, it’s really not the appropriate time to talk about any of that from our standpoint staff-wise. We’re still in the middle of that. But also with the CBA and things like that, you don’t want to get into all of that.
Why isn’t the entire staff here?
JT: Well, we’ve got a lot of guys, some of the guys are in now and we’ll have a few in. But I personally made that decision because we’re trying to crunch, and we’re trying to get this thing put together. And instead of coming in with an already-made playbook and lay it down and flip through the pages and whiteout one team name and put in another name, I really wanted to look at, wanted the staff to look at the players and build this thing around what we have, you know?. And that’s obviously cumbersome. So, there’s a lot of film getting watched that way and a lot of meetings going on and then you get the drawings and you get the different things you’ve got to get done, making the cutups. So that’s what we’ve got going on right now and we’re in a tight window. And these guys are going to have a lot of work to do looking at tape on the draft-able players. I mean, everybody will be here next year. That’s just simply the reason.
So the first phase is self-assessment?
JT: Absolutely. I didn’t want anybody brining any playbooks in the room or any of what I call reference material. Let’s leave that in the office. Let’s turn on the tape. Let’s look and see our guys, and then let’s get the perspective from each coach at the position that they’re responsible for and let’s look at how we do things and what each player does best, and then let’s put it together.
On Tank Carradine and Chris Borland
JT: Sure. They’re really good. I mean, Chris Borland was put in some situations this year and really, obviously, had a great season. Just did a great job. Really excited about that guy. And Tank Carradine, Tank obviously coming out of Florida State was a position change. He had the knee injury. And that was a tough year and a half for him. And just watching him battle through that and seeing where he’s at right now -- Tank’s in the building every single day and working like crazy. He’s gotten that stuff behind him and he’s moving forward in the weight room and he’s really doing all of the heavy squatting and things right now -- so he tells me. I’m really excited about those guys. And there are other guys. And we’ve got some young guys that can really play football.
On Colin Kaepernick and his recent Twitter battle.
JT: Well, first thing is, yeah, I heard about it this morning. I haven’t seen it. To be brutally honest, I’m not a Twitter guy. I don’t tweet or look at tweets. I’m not real good with all that stuff. I’ve been advised on the walk over here that I need to get better at it. So I need to look into that. But obviously all that back and forth, I mean, I don’t know enough to speak about it.”
What are some qualities that Steve Logan will bring to your staff?
JT: You obviously know Steve -- there’ve been a few people that have tried to get Steve out of retirement over the last couple of years and he just decided not to. I worked with Steve over in the Europe League. And I mean, obviously the quarterbacks that have played for him in the college level, at the college level that have moved on, there’s obviously nice success there. But where I got to see Steve, which was most impressive to me, was on the field in Europe. Obviously a developmental league, so you had different quarterbacks every year. And to watch Steve change his approach with each different guy and to really evaluate, you know, the mechanics and the traits of each guy and then coach them to those strengths, that’s what’s really neat about Steve Logan. I’m really excited about him, along with the whole staff.
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