49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

August 27, 2008
More from the Martz Q&A ...

Here's a little bit more of the Mike Martz media session from earlier today. Transcription courtesy of the 49ers PR staff ...

RE: How big is it to get the receivers out here and work with J.T. [O'Sullivan] and guys like Bryant Johnson and Ashley Lelie. Is that necessary?
"It's very necessary. We've been behind the eight ball there [and] that's hurt us. We need that desperately. That will affect us. I'm concerned about it having my head in my hands a few days. [Bryant Johnson's] been real good. We need to get them in that environment as much as we can. We're behind the eight ball. But to their credit, they've stayed with it, they don't make [any] errors when they've been out there. They have not made mistakes so I feel good about that. But just the connection between the quarterback and the receivers ..."

RE: J.T. [O'Sullivan] was asked the same question and he takes it from the mindset of it's doesn't matter who the receiver is I need to throw it in certain spot, the receiver needs to be there no matter who the receiver is. Where does the quarterback [and wider receiver] chemistry become important?
"It's not so much of a chemistry [issue] as it is a trust issue. If the receivers are all supposed to be twenty yards and they're all twenty yards that makes the difference whether he runs [the play]. Just developing that trust and knowing that that guy is going to do what he's supposed to and that doesn't always happen that way so that's why some of those guys are out there in front and some of them aren't because those guys who are not consistent you can't trust, they just don't make it. So were trying to get that group of guys that we can trust and be consistent and that the mindset that he's at. My mindset is a little different from that because I need to see. When you do the game plan you create things for these guys. You want to see who can make a play, make the most out of something and that's not where J.T. [O'Sullivan] is. He's just going to play his game. My deal is 'alright Arnaz [Battle], what can you do with this' or 'ok [Bryant Johnson] here you go, what are you going to do with that' kind of thing."

RE: How do you go about arranging your starting line up for the regular season when you haven't seen these guys [play] all that much?
"It's hard. It'll be hard, that's what's scary. But we'll move on with it. It's hard with Josh [Morgan] because he's a rookie. The tempo of a regular season and preseason game is substantially different [especially] to play under that pressure all of a sudden if you're a rookie that's assured. The timing not really like it was in the preseason because you're panicky. There's that growth process for those guys that you've kind of got to fight through so to say that Josh is the guy that's going to start excelling at stuff, he's in obviously but we're really kind of depending on [Bryant Johnson] to step up now and be healthy and ready to go."

RE: Is it fair to say that this is a high risk, high reward offense that leaves your quarterback vunerable [to get sacked]?
'I think that my one stay in Detroit was pretty much like that. It was kind of by design. When I went in there they wanted to throw the ball a lot with what they had. We had some personnel issues up front. We had a guy rotate through at tackle. We really didn't have a group in the offensive line that had been together. We had a lot of injuries and lot of different guys come in that we thought were [okay] to play and that will affect you. But other than that, no. Shouldn't be different than any other."

RE: You don't think it exposes the quarterback any more than any other offense?
"I think when you go back and look at years prior that it doesn't."

RE: Do you have a sense of...I remember when you took this job you said, 'Frank Gore is going to be the central figure of this offense, the focal point.' Having seen him now through the couple months in the offseason and training camp, do you have a pretty good grasp of what this guy can and can't do and what's your feeling now on how's he going to be used?
"I don't think there's anything that he can't do. I haven't seen anything that he can't do. I would say that we're very pleased and he's kind of what we thought he would be and more. His work habits have been really good. He's tied into what we're doing. He does not make mental errors. He's in good shape. If you look at the preseason game last week, although it was a preseason game, I'm really pleased with his run, his vision, his cuts and all that stuff. So he's really ready to play. He's ready to go. He's that kind of a player to build an offense around."

RE: How would you compare him to Marshall Faulk?
"They're different players. It's unfair to anybody of his stature...he's an elite player and so is Marshall. It's just unfair to both of them to compare each other. They're dissimilar in a lot of respects. They can catch the ball, they're both outstanding runners...all those things. But they're just different, you know what I mean? Frank has a little bit more of a physical, powerful back inside and yet Marshall is very elusive. So, they're very elite players that can accomplish a great deal in all areas of their game. They just go about it a little bit differently I guess."

RE: What about Vernon Davis, Coach? Would you like to see him get a little bit more involved?
"Well, he will. I think that the numbers for Vernon, in terms of receptions, may or may not be there this year. It may fluctuate during the season. But what we expect from Vernon are big plays. He's a very, very substantial blocker, which really allows us to a lot of good things in the running game. There's no question about that. But, when we get him the ball we'd like to get him the ball down the field or get him the ball in the shallow routes and let him take off with it, so to speak. Sometimes the defenses will dictate how much you get the ball to him. He's done a very good job out here in practice and we haven't done a whole lot with him in the preseason games but we certainly practice him a lot."

RE: Is he the guy you might move out into the slot if the receiver injuries dictate it?
"Sure. We've already done that in practice. We've moved him around a little bit. But it takes away from some of the other things that he does really well. The hard thing about Vernon is that he's a very talented guy. The more you do with him, then you have to be careful about not doing anything really well. And there's some things that he really does exceptionally well and we want to keep him grounded to that."

RE: What about Delanie Walker? Is there any thought about moving him into a wide receiver position?
"No, Delanie is a very physical guy that can play at the point on the line of scrimmage, which is really unusual for a guy of his size. And yet, he can be in the backfield. He can carry the ball. He's a receiver. He could be a lead blocker. He does that well. That's the guy we put a lot hats on and move him around. He affords us the ability to do a lot of different things and the combination between he and Vernon is pretty good."


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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