October 9 – Head Coach Brian Flores

Friday, October 9, 2020 

Head Coach Brian Flores 

(Do you have anyone going on IR, and do you intend to have T Julién Davenport play left tackle in place of T Austin Jackson on Sunday?) – “We’re placing Austin on IR – Austin Jackson on IR. So he’ll be out. The other move was we’re bumping up Salvon Ahmed (to the active roster). What was your other question?” 

(If you’re going with T Julién Davenport at left tackle on Sunday.) – “He’s definitely in the mix, I would say that. We practiced a few different combinations throughout the course of the week. I’ve got to watch today’s practice film before I make that determination, but Julién played well last week and he’s certainly in the mix.” 

(Is T Austin Jackson a situation where he’s done for the season or do you foresee him coming back?) – “This is a tough kid. He’s a hard-working kid. I don’t like to put timetables on injures. Obviously you guys know with the IR rules changing this year, we can bring a player back as early as three weeks. Again, I don’t want to put a timetable on this one, so we’ll see.” 

(But you foresee T Austin Jackson coming back?) – “Again, injures are – they’re tough to sit here and say, ‘it’s going to be this, it’s going to be that, it’s going to be six weeks, it’s going to be 12 weeks.’ Let’s just kind of take it one day at a time. That’s always my approach instead of trying to predict the future here, obviously in this climate. He’s a hard-working kid and hopefully – I think he’ll do everything he can to get back as quickly as he can.” 

(Does having him out at least three weeks change maybe how you go about replacing him compared to maybe if it was just one week?) – “Yeah. I would say you’re looking for a long-term replacement, but we’ve got to get those conversations turned into, ‘hey, well what if so-and-so goes down?’ What are we doing then? I think we tried to work a few different combinations with that in mind this week. So we’re confident in Julién. We’re confident in Jesse Davis. We’re confident in Robert Hunt. We’re confident in (Michael) Deiter and really everyone in that o-line room. (Adam) Pankey as well. So again, we’ve worked a few, a number of different combinations this week and we’ll put out the best five or the group that we think is our best five offensive linemen.” 

(Is there anyone else that you expect to be out or doubtful for Sunday?) – “Yes. Shaq Lawson, he’s going to be out. Durham Smythe is going to be out. No one else doubtful there. Jakeem (Grant) will be listed as questionable. He’s out with an illness today, not COVID-related.” 

(Just if 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is able to go on Sunday – I know you’ve talked about your history with him – what are some of his character traits that have led him to his success and how difficult is he to defend?) – “I expect Jimmy (Garoppolo) to play. He’s tough. He’s a competitive guy. If he’s close, I think he’s going to be out there. It sounds like he’s close. I expect him to play, but we’re preparing for all three quarterbacks. Jimmy – look, he’s tough. He’s competitive. He’s got a quick release. He’s got some mobility, athletic ability to step up, slide in the pocket, pick up yardage with his feet if he needs to. He’s accurate throwing the football and he’s got good leadership. I think those are the qualities you’re looking for in really any position, but especially the quarterback position. And it’s not just Jimmy. They’ve got a lot of talented players offensively from Deebo Samuel to obviously George Kittle to (Raheem) Mostert – he’s closing in on coming back also. The same thing defensively. They’ve got really good players over there as well, so it’ll be a tough test. We’ve got a long flight this afternoon and we’ll try to get acclimated to the time change and hopefully go out there and play a good competitive team football game and try to come out of there with a win.” 

Friday, October 9, 2020 

CB Nik Needham 

(There have been two games where you played on defense and two games where you haven’t played on defense. What do you think is contributing to that? Is that game plan or do you think it’s your practice performance? What’s going on there?) – “To me, I think it’s game plan specific. I just come in every week and try to do what the coaches ask me to do, and if they don’t need me out there, that’s fine. I’m going to sit and support my teammates and just play my role.” 

(What does the secondary have to do right now? You’re giving up opposing quarterback ratings of like 108. What does the unit have to do to tighten up?) – “We all have to be on the same page and execute. That’s what it comes down to. There has been some lack of communication out there. We’ve been working hard at that week in and week out. I think if we come out, communicate well and execute, we’ll be fine.” 

(You were primarily on the boundary last year and adjusting to the slot this year. Have you split time in practice between both this week, or has it still been primarily in the slot?) – “I’ve been getting a little corner reps as well; but I’m just moving wherever they need me. I’m always ready. I’ve just been trying to stick to that.” 

(San Francisco has a bunch of strong yards after catch guys. WR Brandon Aiyuk had that crazy play against Philly. How do you go about defending receivers like that?) – “Just swarming to the ball, that’s the key thing. Even if one guy missed, if we have 11 hats to the ball, that really won’t matter at all. Just finishing our tackling and coming with violent effort, that’s really what matters and how you contain a YAC-type of receiver.” 

(I wanted to ask you about the return of CB Bryon Jones. There is an expectation that he’s going to play this week. What do you think he can do to help the secondary?) – “Like you said, he’s a veteran. He has great experience. He knows exactly what receivers are trying to do. He’s a very smart guy. He’s deep in the play book and I think he’s ready, physically ready, and he communicates well as well.” 

Friday, October 9, 2020 

DT Zach Sieler 

(Head Coach Brian Flores just talked about DE Shaq Lawson not playing in this game. Do you look at this as an elevated opportunity to sort of prove what you can do as an NFL starter?) – “With Shaq and his situation, I think it just – me as an individual and as a team, we’ve got to step up and help fill that role. He’s obviously a great player for us. No matter what, we’ve got to show what we can do, we can do.” 

(I wanted to ask you about the 49ers’ running game. They’re really well known with Head Coach Kyle Shanahan for that wide stretch zone. I just wanted to get your take on some of the ways to best kind of defend that powerful running game that they have?) – “Yeah, obviously they motion a lot and guys are moving around. Ultimately, I think the key to us stopping the run game would be everyone on the defense reading their keys, striking their man and doing their job, and not trying to do too much.” 

(Just kind of piggybacking on that, you talked about all of the motion they run. They do a lot with their receivers as well. When you guys have contain assignments or edge assignments, how does that change maybe your keys and what you’re taught to do this week against a team like that?) – “I think really it’s just all there to mess with your keys, obviously; but at the end of the day, you’ve got to know your responsibility and don’t let that mess with your eyes or mess with your vision, and just stay on your man.”