Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: How did Rashad Jennings look?
A: He did a good job again, practiced, took a lot of turns. Did pretty well.
Q: Realistically, can Rashad Jennings take a full load despite the fact that he's been inactive for the last four games?
A: Well, I don't intend that he would take a full, full load. He and Andre (Williams) will no doubt share the load. I think, after having worked the way he has for a couple of weeks, if we can get to the game and be in the same shape we're in right now, that he'll be able to work.
Q: Did Cullen Jenkins have a setback with his rehab?
A: Well, late in the game, he did. That's why he is like he is. He had some swelling.
Q: How do you prepare for Aldon Smith and the potential of him possibly playing since he has not played this year?
A: Well, we expect that he will play. He's conditioned and studied and been in meetings with the team throughout. I don't think there's any doubt that if he's ready to go that they'll have him in. We have tape from years gone by and we look at that and we project.
Q: How much does he change the look of their defense? **
A: He's a very, very good pass rusher, obviously. You have to prepare for that.
Q: You talked yesterday about the effort that Jason Pierre-Paul has given, how aggressive he's been. When he is one of your premier pass rushers, at some point do you need that effort to become sacks and is there anything he can do to help that happen?
A: Yeah, he's working on it. We work with him every week on helping his technique and studying the opponent and knowing when to do what he does. We certainly need for it to become that way, yeah.
Q: Time is starting to run out on Geoff Schwartz and making a decision. Do you have a better feel for where he is and whether or not he can contribute?
A: I think at the end of the week we will. All eyes are on him this week. His load has been increased again.
Q: What's making it so tough for him to get back to where he needs to be?
A: The severity of the injury.
Q: Do you spend more time on the zone read this week than you had maybe last week?
A: We spent the whole, we spent a lot of time on it last week, so yeah, we're working it, a lot of it. We've obviously practiced it, we've done jog-throughs and so on and so forth. We work on that aspect of it, yes.
Q: Is it a big part of San Francisco's offense or is it just sort of like a supplementary thing for them?
A: It is something that's used a minimum number of times, but it's always there, so it always must be prepared for.
Q: Do you find in situations like this that one win can turn a season around?
A: It's certainly better than the alternative. It would be a tremendous boost for all of us.
Q: Jacquian Williams has handled the tight end a lot this year. If he can't go, how do you face a good tight end?
A: They have three tight ends, they're all good tight ends. One is a very renowned deep threat, as well. You end up with safeties and so on and so forth.
Q: Do you feel comfortable with Devon Kennard in coverage? I know he's a rookie and plays mostly on the strong side. Do you feel comfortable in that role if he needs to be?
A: If he has to be, no doubt. I don't think comfortable is the right word, but yes, I'm confident that he can do the job.
Q: Across the season, is it fair to say that Josh Brown has been a consistent bright spot?
A: He's been very consistent, yes. He's delivered the ball of the touchback variety time and time again. His ability to utilize the onside kick or the mortar kick gives us some different versatility than we can use in that spot. He's been very dependable.
Q: With Michael Cox out, are you going back to Quentin Demps on kickoffs?
A: We have a few out there that are working. Demps is one.
Q: Will you use Odell Beckham in that situation?
A: At this point in time, no, I wouldn't. If it was something that came down to something, I might but at this point in time we're happy with him being involved in the punt return.
LB Devon Kennard
Q: Are guys like [Frank] Gore and Colin [Kaepernick] anything like what you have experienced in the past in your college career?
A: I would like to say I played against some talented guys at the college level, but obviously this is the NFL and at an even higher level. They are a really talented duo, quarterback and running back.
Q: From the limited time you have had, what have you seen that makes you believe you are going to be okay in Sunday's game? What have you done well that you like?
A: I am confident. I am confident in myself. I know what to do assignment-wise and I am going to go out there and play hard.
Q: What do you have to do personally responsibility-wise against the zone-read?
A: I'll have responsibility on the dive a lot with the dive fake and depending on the defense, sometimes the quarterback, if they do that. It just depends on the defense and what we are trying to do.
Q: Do you feel comfortable at this point in coverage?
A: I feel comfortable. I am excited for the opportunity and it is something I have been working towards all camp and everything and all this season so far. I feel ready for the opportunity.
Q: What is the biggest challenge in that regard that you had to deal with?
A: You are playing some talented guys. It is just a matter of being in the right position and knowing what to do so you can play fast.
Q: How do you prepare to face Colin Kaepernick if you were to find yourself one-on-one with him on the edge? How do you prepare for that kind of speed?
A: You have to know your assignment and be in the right position. I am going to make sure I am in the right spot when I do have him per se. I am going to make sure he doesn't have 10 yards of space around me when he gets the ball, if I do have him, for instance. Those are the types of things, like knowing what to do and if I am ever on him, putting myself in a positon where I can succeed.
Q: I would imagine even in coverage when you are a linebacker, you could end up with a mismatch that does not favor your skills? Is it just about assignments…Can you cheat a little bit when you know who you are dealing with?
A: At the end of the day, players have to make plays. That is what it comes down to at the end of the day. Understanding the defense, knowing what your assignment is, knowing what you need to do, you can help yourself by putting yourself in the most favorable position. That is what I am focusing on this week – making sure I know everything, what to do and where I need to be, so I can put myself in the most favorable position.
Q: Would you like a matchup to be more physical with a smaller guy or for a tight end, do you get to use your quickness?
A: I am most definitely going to use the assets I have. I feel like I am a physical player, so as much as I can, I am going to use that to my advantage.
Q: How do you guys trust each other after you have had so many disappointments recently?
A: The trust is good. Obviously we have to prove it on Sunday in how we play and what we are doing, but I think we are moving in the right direction. It goes back to knowing your job and not worrying about anything else but doing your job to the best of your ability. That is what I am focused on. I am not getting overwhelmed with anything. I am looking at what the coaches ask me to do and watching film constantly and putting myself in the best position.
Q: Knowing you may have multiple responsibilities depending on the defensive scheme… Is that even more film study to know what you are doing when they are asking you to do because you will be asked to do so much?
A: Yes, most definitely. That is essential. That is the first. You have to know what you are doing in the defense and where to align. You can help yourself succeed. That is what I am focusing on. I trust myself and my ability from there, but if I could put myself in the best position and know what to do assignment-wise, then I think I will be successful.
Q: Conceivably you could be put in a situation where one play you are responsible for the dive and the next play you are supposed to be containing on the outside….
A: Yes, depending on the defense and what we have going on. things like that can happen.
Q: Have you noticed in practice that you are going from one to the other to the other?
A: There usually is consistency and usually if we do switch, everybody is on the same page.