Coach Singletary had a pretty direct answer in responding to a question regarding the play of Barry Sims.
“Outstanding. It’s a pleasant surprise,” the 49ers head coach said of the 11-year veteran who has filled in nicely at left tackle for injured tackle Joe Staley. “I think he’s done a great job. I’m really excited about what he has been able to bring to that position. I think he’s done a phenomenal job.”
Outstanding, check. Great, check. Phenomenal, you can check that too.
Definitely some high praise for Sims, who has given up just a half sack in two starts this season. Sims practically had three starts, considering that Staley was injured on the first play of the game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Sims’ experience (129 starts in 159 games) has been a big plus in helping the 49ers offense the past couple of weeks.
Upon learning that his coach had called Sims’ play ‘outstanding,’ quarterback Alex Smith agreed with his coach’s opinion.
“I think just that, he stepped right in and hasn’t missed a beat. He has played really well,” Smith said of his fellow University of Utah alum. “That’s hard to do, come in and play left tackle in this league where you are getting matched up every week against big-time pass rushers; the way he’s played has been great. I don’t think twice back there, I trust those guys up front.”
The rest of the 49ers offensive linemen also have a lot of trust in Sims.
“He’s a salty vet, so he knows what it takes to be successful,” said left guard David Baas, the man who lines up directly next to Sims on the line. “That’s what we expected out of him and we’re glad he’s doing well. We trust each other a lot out there, so that’s a good thing.”
“He’s been doing a great job of executing his assignments and he’s been communicating well with the tight ends on certain blocks that we have to accomplish,” Walker said. “He’s been doing a great job. He’s been a leader for us.”
Walker said one of his favorite things about playing with Sims is how the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman enjoys what he’s doing on the field.
“He’s the same guy; he doesn’t change on or off the field. I think that’s what makes him a great person,” Walker said. “He goes out there and does what he has to do. I like to see how he acts, I’ve seen him on the field smiling after a big play and I think when other players see that – it puts a smile on your face.”
Losing a player like Staley might have damaged the mindset of some teams, but the 49ers felt confident in Sims, knowing they had a player who has experienced practically everything a player could experience in the NFL.
“It’s tough replacing Joe, because Joe is a great tackle and a big part of this offense,” Walker said. “But I think Barry stepped in and has done a great job. We know he could do it because he had been doing it for a long time. Nobody doubted him, we knew he was going to step in and take care of the big shoes he had to fill.”
More Tuesday Notes:
-Singletary announced on Tuesday that rookie running back Glen Coffee will return this week after missing the Bears game with a concussion. Defensive tackle Demetric Evans will also return to action against Green Bay after missing the last few weeks with a shoulder injury.
-Other injury news: Takeo Spikes is still day-to-day with a hamstring injury. If unable to play, linebacker Matt Wilhelm will step in as Spikes’ replacement. Only Staley (knee) and cornerback Nate Clements (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
-Singletary said that veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce would return to action this Sunday after missing the Bears game (ankle), but would be behind Josh Morgan, who will start opposite of Michael Crabtree against the Packers. The 49ers head coach was non-committal in naming Bruce as his No. 3 receiver, citing that the coaching staff would have to determine the usage of receivers based on the personnel package.
-Asked if having the weekend off was a good thing for his players, Singletary answered: “I think any time you have an extra day or two for guys to get their legs back underneath them, some of the pounding that they’ve taken, to heal and use it wisely, I think it can do nothing but help us.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Barry Sims, David Baas, Delanie Walker, Demetric Evans, Isaac Bruce, Joe Staley, Josh Morgan, Matt Wilhelm, Nate Clements
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