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    • Skins Quotes 10/17/19: Callahan, Manusky, Keenum


      October 17, 2019
      Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan

      Opening statement:
      “Today we just really focused on third down, really worked on a lot of different situations and scenarios within that situation. We need a lot of work at it, hopefully the work that we did today will translate to the game, but that’s certainly one of the areas that we’re working on to improve. Our team did a pretty good job working at it and like I said we gotta translate it into the game. That really was the main focus today in practice, just trying to get better in situational football, whether it was mixed downs or whether it was third down. That was really the gist of it. I thought that the team responded well and got a lot of good work.”

      On if QB Case Keenum returned to practice today:
      “Yes.”

      On if CB Josh Norman was unable to practice today:
      “Correct.”

      On if there is an update on RB Chris Thompson:
      “No, same – day-to-day.”

      On what he envisions FB Michael Burton’s role being:
      “We can utilize him in a 21 personnel package or a 22 personnel package and just find different ways to feature the running game and the passing game and we think [FB Michael] Burton is the type of guy that can fill that role. It’s an added grouping that a defense has to prepare for, I don’t think that’s any secret, so what we try to do is just find an inventory of plays and packages that we can utilize and go forth with it. We had quite a few situations in training when we had 21 personnel and when we had a fullback and that was good work for us and we kind of like it. You can run the ball a little bit more physically inside in terms of your lead type run actions and run plays. I just think it gives you a total different dimension. It’s good to have a fullback on the team and let’s see if we can utilize him successfully.”

      On what is bothering Norman:
      “We’re just monitoring him day-to-day and just backing him down so he can get full speed by the end of the week. Pretty hopeful that he will be that way.”

      On if he is comfortable with potentially only have two running backs versus San Francisco:
      “We’ll see. We’ve got a little time. A lot of those decisions are made at the later part of the week, as we all know. There’s always a chance that we bring somebody up or stay right where we’re at with Chris’ situation. It’s fluid.”

      On RB Craig Reynolds's progression:
      “I think as a practice squad player he’s done a nice job and we acquired another practice squad player the other day in [RB] Josh Ferguson. It’s good to get a little bit more depth at the position, of course with adding the fullback too. So, we’re interchanging all those guys, not only in the running game, but utilizing these guys on special teams as well. They’ve got values in all areas. To answer your question, [Reynolds] has done well, Ferguson has done well. Reynolds is an interesting back because he comes from a small school, he did flash in camp. All we wanted to see was more consistency out of his play and I think he’s shown that in the last month and a half. He can catch the ball well, he’s solid in protection, he’s good as a zone runner, [we] can also feature him in the gap game as well. I think his versatility, I like what he brings to our club. There’s always that possibility that he could come up if needed.”

      On the development of G Ereck Flowers Sr.:
      “I think [G] Ereck [Flowers Sr.] has come a long way. I remember going back to OTAs when he came in, we wanted to feature him as a guard, and we had a number of injuries at the time that prevented him from being in that slot. Of course, we were missing tackles at that time as well. We started him out at left tackle, and he received probably about 90 percent of the work in OTA at tackle. Then we went into training camp and he continued to work at tackle and so it wasn’t until late in training camp that we really actually got him true guard reps on a consistent basis. So that has really helped. It helped in that sense to get him the work, but he was still behind and so the strides he’s made from the end of training camp when we returned back to Ashburn until where he’s at right now has been really, really good. He just hasn’t had all the opportunities that we would have loved to have him had back in the early days in OTAs and summer where we could have really trained him and where he would have gotten more experience. So I guess what I’m trying to say is he’s come a long way in a very short period of time. To his credit, he brings a lot of versatility, physicality, brings a lot of size at the position. There’s a couple plays at the Miami game you see him pull off tackle, he did a great job coming around the edge, picking up the backer and finishing him off. He’s getting better in the screen game, he’s getting better in space and that’s always hard for a big man. He gives you that dimension of pass protection where he’s wide, he’s square, he’s long, he’s got range and he’s getting more of a feel for that position playing it quicker and faster. When you go from outside to inside, things happen so much quicker, so much faster, the players are so much more active that he’s matched up against. It always presents that challenge. Like I said, he’s come a long way in a short period of time, and he continues to get better and hopefully we can still develop him to be one of the top guards in this league. I think he could be as he moves forward.”

      On if he would have preferred that they brought in a player to get reps at tackle prior to the season:
      “I think the way it all played out, we’re satisfied where we’re at. The other contingency with [G] Ereck [Flowers Sr.] was that he could always go back to tackle. So we felt that if we ever got in a pinch, we could always put him there as well as the scenario we’re in right now. If we ever felt that we needed an emergency fourth tackle that we would play [T] Geron Christian [Sr.] first, but if we ever got in that scenario if we needed another tackle, if a player went down and got injured, that we’d still feel good about Ereck fulfilling that role. I think he has pretty good understanding that we would bump him up there in the event of an emergency.”

      On if his situational periods in practices are week-to-week or set for the season:
      “We look at it week-to-week. Whatever we need to get better at, that’s really the focus. We’ll always work on third down, it’s just a matter of how much we want to increase the rep count. Whether we want to focus on six reps or maybe we need 10 or even 12 for that matter. Whatever increment we’re not doing well in or we need to work on or there’s a focus on the opponent where we need to work in a certain situation against particular fronts and coverages, we’ll make it that focus. I hope I answered your question.”

      On if he wanted to sign a fullback all along or after his first game:
      “I thought we needed one. I like having a fullback. Every place I’ve been, we’ve had a fullback. I like the two-back running game, I like all the different types of things you can do with it, whether it’s the play actions, run actions, it just gives you a different dimensions. I think it’s easier to see the coverages that way. I think a lot of people play single high, post safety. When you’re in a two back, they load up the box. They’re going to play an eight-man box, generally speaking. You have lead block elements to it that can help your leverage in the running game, but it also helps your passing game. You get a lot of one-on-one opportunities outside on the perimeter with your receivers. So, in a nutshell, the route concepts that come off of it lend itself to big plays or possible chunks. It just really isolates two really good receivers. Also gives you an opportunity to mix in a lot of different actions. Whether it’s the boot action, iso action, whether you have split flow actions. I think you do as many things as you can to keep the linebackers at bay, keep them honest, make them bite on the run a little bit heavier and then open up your passing game and vise versa. Then you have an opportunity to play hard ball every now and then. So, there’s a lot of dimensions to that question that you’re asking. But I like the two-back running game, I always have. Then you can get into some 22 personnel with two backs and two tights and diversify your attack from there as well. There’s a lot of options, there’s a lot of chalkboard we would say for those discussions.”

      On LB Shaun Dion Hamilton’s progression:
      “I think [he’s progressed] really well. This morning we came out of the special teams walkthrough and I grabbed him and was visiting with him because I was impressed by the play he made in the Miami game. He didn’t make the tackle on a pursuit play on a screen, but he came out of left field and you could see him flash across the screen. If you get a chance to watch that play, you’ll see it. It’s an impressive looking play. You can see his talent, see the speed, the range and the playmaking ability. So those are aspects that he has, just becoming a more consistent player and becoming a more productive player with his opportunities, I think he’s taking advantage of that. As well as special teams, he’s been big for our special teams for us. That’s a lot to ask, but that’s kinda the role of a backup linebacker and I think he’s improving, and he’ll get better as we move forward.”

      Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky

      On first three quarters vs. the last quarter:
      “I think we keep on building. I think the first three quarters we kind of got behind, [Miami Dolphins QB] [Ryan] ‘Fitzy’ [Fitzpatrick] came into the game and he played well. He’s just a veteran guy that knows where he’s going to go with the ball. They drove the ball down—I think two times and one time we did stop them. So, over all I think it was a good performance for our defense. We got to make sure at the end of the game that we tie the knot and get out of the game which we did for us at the end of the game.”

      On drawing up a more aggressive game plan for Safety Landon Collins vs. Miami:
      “No, I think just overall there’s some game plans that we have him going at time and other times we don’t. So, overall it depends on who we’re playing. He’s such a very good player—of course in the coverage and from what I’ve seen him do versus the pass rush. So, just in that situation he let it go and got a sack.”

      On linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton:
      “We got three guys that are rotating inside basically with [LB Jon] Bostic, with [LB] Cole [Holcomb], and then Shaun Dion. So, I’m excited about all three of those guys.”

      On Defensive Lineman Tim Settle:
      “Tim’s still a young guy. I always say the second year, you start figuring out a little bit and then all of the sudden your third year you start figuring it out a little bit more. He’s been doing a great job, across the board, out in practice. We got the confidence. [Defensive Line Coach Jim] Jimmy [Tomsula] does as well that he can get it done. So, looking forward for him to play some more.”

      On preparing for San Francisco:
      “You got to be physical. They’re a running football team just like you said. We got to be physical upfront and be physical on the edge. We got to be physical inside and they’re going to play-action to try to get up the field with the wide receivers. So, we got to protect both ends. They’re a very good offense.”

      On if there is more of an emphasis on takeaways:
      “No, the more you can get the better off you’re going to be, but [Cornerback Quinton] Dunny’s [Dunbar] been playing very well, I’m excited about him. Last couple weeks since he’s been back, he’s been making plays and he understands the game now. I think a couple of years ago he was a wide receiver initially coming in and then now from a DB’s perspective, it’s unbelievable how a guy can grow into a system and have success.”

      On safety Troy Apke playing more:
      “It was just packages that we usually have based upon who we’re playing. With [Safety] Deshazor [Everett] going down, that’s why he stepped up and was put in a place where he was and he was successful.”

      On having ones play against ones in practice:
      “It’s just a lively situation where you get four or five plays and go against each other. It’s not so much scheme, as so much just getting after guys which is fun. That’s what football is.”

      On if its different situation and downs each practice:
      “Yeah, basically that’s what it’s been. Different situations based upon versus second down, third down, or just individually. See who can win.”

      On if he was surprised Miami was going for two point conversion:
      “I’m always prepared for it. If they did, they did.”

      On if you thought it was coming:
      “Yep.”

      On if he was surprised, the Dolphins tried it again after calling a timeout:
      “It was a situation where we saw what they had and then from a situation that we had planned going into the game. We played pretty well.”

      Quarterback Case Keenum

      On what stood out to him about the Miami game after watching the tape:
      “I think in a few of my progressions my eyes were in a bad place. They mixed up some looks, did some stuff, disguising some things, but still that’s no excuse. I need to be sharper, especially on third down. The way we were able to run the ball and get to the third downs we had, making sure we convert and stay on the field – our defense is playing like that, we’ve got to keep them on the sideline and let them come out and get a three-and-out, or whatever it is, a turnover. We’ve got to make sure we score and put points on the board when they do what they do.”

      On whether he’s ever played with a rookie like WR Terry McLaurin:
      “I’ve played with a lot of guys that are really talented. [Broncos WR] Courtland Sutton was one of those guys, a rookie. [Texans WR] DeAndre Hopkins, I played with him as a rookie. Yeah, he’s special, [WR] Terry [McLaurin] is. He’s right in the group of really, really talented receivers in this league, not just rookie receivers in this league. We’re fortunate to have him and I enjoy throwing him the football.”

      On the challenges of having a ‘revolving door’ at the tight end position:
      “It’s tough, but I think those guys we’ve got going have done a great job of stepping in. I mean, you hate it for [TE] Jerome [Cunningham] – he came in with the little time that he had and had a big impact on a lot of plays. It’s unfortunate, but it’s another guy’s opportunity. That’s how I got my first opportunity in this league was through an injury. You hate it for some guys, but for some guys it’s a great opportunity for their careers and for their lives, so I’m excited for those young guys that are now getting a chance to get going.”

      On the status of his foot:
      “It’s good, it’s a lot better. I think that was part of the plan of yesterday, so I think coming up with the games we have here being healthy is paramount. It feels a lot better.”

      On what his reaction is to getting a rest day:
      “I like to practice, I really do, but I like feeling better on Sundays, so I think that’s important – working smarter as well as working harder. I’ve gotten a lot of mental reps in this league and have been able to play on Sundays. I know that’s a lot of what the game is about.”

      On being listed with a shoulder injury on the injury report:
      “Yeah, from the game. It’s a combination of things. I think when you’re not feeling right somewhere else on the chain, it tends to get overworked. It was a good day to get back to 100 percent.”

      On whether he and the team are acclimating to Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan’s practice regimen:
      “Yeah, the second time through. This is our second Thursday practice with him. I think we can know what to expect a little bit more when we go out on the field, so there’s that and I think that creates some comfort. I think it’s good.”

      On the importance of practicing and preparing to go against a top pass defense like the 49ers:
      “It’s going to be very important, not just on Sunday, but out here on the practice field too all week. It’s been really, really good. They’ve got some guys on the backend that can cover and have been doing it a long time. I’ve played against a lot of them at different places and they’re very sound. They’ve obviously ranked in one of the tops in the league in pass defense, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us in the passing game.”

      On what the 49ers defense has done so well this season:
      “They do what they do and they line up and play. They obviously can put a lot of pressure on the passer, they’ve got a great front – [DE Nick] Bosa, [DE] Dee Ford, those guys up front can really get after the passer, so we’ve got to be on alert for those guys and be ready to get the ball out when it’s time to get the ball out.”

      On how difficult it is to prepare for a defense that regularly disguises its coverage:
      “It’s kind of a combination of that each week. They have a couple of coverages that they can line up and run. It is different every week though. You try to come and try to get a feel for what’s going on, what they’re doing, what they want to do, but also be ready to adjust because, being a game plan team, teams come in here and can decide to run a whole different deal or focus on one part of their defense. I think we’re ready for all aspects of it though.”




      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 10/17/19: Callahan, Manusky, Keenum started by Boone View original post
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