To hear Greg Roman tell it, it wasn't a pretty sight at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, Ohio at 3 a.m. this morning. There were a bunch of grown men, unshaven, sitting around in white t-shirts trying to crack one of their toughest challenges yet, the Jets defense.
"I think it's positive because there are no distractions," Roman, the 49ers offensive coordinator, said about being stuck in a Holiday Inn 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," he said. "It gives you chance to be real isolated and to put our collective minds together to come up with the best plan."
Frank Gore admitted that he, too, was getting more study time this week. 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 last night to look at film of the Jets and to work on protection schemes.
"Back home, we'd get to go home and do our own thing," Gore said. "Now it's basically all football."
In that sense, both Roman and Gore said that the week-long stay in Ohio was particularly 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 they send in a lot of different personnel groups and play a lot of different 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. They rank 28th in rushing defense (giving up 148.7 yards a game) and last in the league on third downs. Opponents have converted 55.8 percent of their third-down attempts.
Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether Ryan can give quite as many multiple looks and be quite as aggressive without his best player, cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is out for the season with an ACL tear. The Jets often left Revis isolated on a receiver, freeing his 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.
-- Matt Barrows