49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 11, 2008
Martz speaks: Happy (mostly) with offense

He didn't like the turnovers. And he thought the wide receiver play was a bit rusty. But other than that Mike Martz was pleased with what his offense was able to do Sunday against the Cardinals. "We made some real good plays in that game. In about a half a dozen other plays we were just a hair away from big plays. Just a little here, a little there. So we're making progress." One of those plays was J.T. O'Sullivan's interception on a pass intended for Arnaz Battle. Martz said Battle broke the route off too early. Another came on O'Sullivan's first fumble when the ball was knocked out of his hand as he was winding up to throw. The pass was intended for Isaac Bruce in the corner of the end zone and likely would have resulted in a touchdown.

Other Martz tidbits:

  • He said that not having all of his receivers (whether by injury or other reason) through much of the preseason hurt the 49ers. "We weren't always on the same page, so to speak. That'll get a lot better each week. Having those guys all together is a big deal."
  • He said that the problems with the receivers wasn't a chemistry issue. "Just the discipline of what we do in the passing game needs to get better. JT... is remarkably further along than what you'd expect."
  • Martz said there were "probably five or six plays" where Isaac Bruce was the first choice on a passing play. "We were trying at times to give him the ball and it just didn't work. Sometimes that happens."
  • Martz called the third-down draw play to DeShaun Foster deep in Cardinals territory "an unsual call." "That was kind of a guess for me. I really felt like they were going to be in coverage. ... We just missed a block on a safety otherwise (Foster) was taking it in. he certainly would have had the first down. If that makes it, then it's not an issue."
  • Martz gave good marks to the pass protection and even better ones to the run blocking. He said Frank Gore and the running game were the highlights for the offense.
  • On J.T. O'Sullivan: "I thought he played exceptionally well for his first start." He said he has been impressed with O'Sullivan's mobility. In fact, he said he's more mobile than Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, Jon Kitna and his other prominent pupils.
  • He said he embraced crowd noise in places like Seattle. "That's the NFL. Half the games are going to be like that. You better get used to it. ... It's kind of nice when they're loud. To me, it's what the league's about. It's exciting. It's loud. I kind of like it."
  • Martz said that Zak Keasey needs to do a better job of securing the football. But aside from the fumble, Martz said Keasey did a "magnificent job in the game. He was outstanding in what we asked him to do."
  • Martz acknowledged that the offensive timing was off at the beginning of the game. "The timing of all these plays when you get into games is a little different than in practice. So they're getting used to all those things."

-- Matt Barrows


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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