SANTA CLARA -- Jim Tomsula said on his weekly radio appearance Tuesday that he held a “pointed” and “heated” team meeting following the 49ers’ 17-3 loss to the Packers, then turned the floor over to the players.
“The biggest thing I said to them was, ‘Guys, it’s like an Italian dining room table,’” Tomsula, who has Italian and Hungarian roots, said on KNBR. “’Everybody’s sitting around the table and sometimes it gets heated, dishes get broken, people leave. (But) everybody’s got to come back to the table to eat. And when it’s all said and done, we’re hugging and kissing and we’re eating good food again.’”
On the Tuesday after the loss to the Packers, Tomsula called a team meeting in which he spoke and some of the coaches shared their thoughts. After that, the coaches left the room and the players took over. CSN Bay Area reported Monday that the atmosphere became animated during that portion of the meeting as well with one player calling out quarterback Colin Kaepernick and another coming to his defense.
“That does happen in this business,” Tomsula said of such meetings. “When you become 2-5, that starts to become headlines. But it was a very productive meeting. It was a meeting where it was truthful and dealt with facts and reality.”
There have been two national reports in the last week and a half that painted a picture of Kaepernick being isolated in the team’s locker room. He is in the midst of the roughest season of his career, and he was at his lowest point following the Green Bay game in which he finished with a 55.4 passer rating.
Tomsula, however, disputed the notion that his quarterback was “on an island” as Fox Sports reported over the weekend. “There’s not a lot of people he connects with,” network personality Jay Glazer said.
Tomsula said he looked out his window Monday while Kaepernick and others were working out. “There were a couple of o-lineman with him there, and they’re all out running around and lifting and sprinting and racing each other,” he said. “Very good to see.”
The 49ers did not win the week after the Packers game, but the offense showed dramatic improvement in a three-point road loss to the Giants. Kaepernick, for example, threw two touchdowns and finished with a 107.1 passer rating.
After the game the players struck a decidedly hopeful and confident tone, which seemed odd at the time considering they had just lost their fourth straight game and the defense had allowed 525 yards to the Giants.
The clear-the-air meeting that preceded the game -- as well as Kaepernick’s performance -- likely contributed to the positive atmosphere. After the Giants game, receiver Anquan Boldin said he told Kaepernick in the run-up to the game that he didn’t want him to put pressure on himself.
“I told him, ‘Just put it on us,’” he said. “’Let us make a play for you. Take the pressure off yourself. Go out and have fun. Let it rip. And he did a great job of doing that tonight.”