Offensive coordinator Greg Roman joined the KNBR Morning Show on Wednesday to discuss the ever-changing 49ers offense, a unit which has added a number of talented weapons this offseason.
For Roman and the 49ers coaching staff, this offseason signals the first opportunity for the coaches and players to start at “square one” so to speak.
An emphasis on fundamentals has been prevalent in the team’s offseason workouts. Roman said the position coaches put together lists of tiny details each player can improve on prior to the 2012 season.
Nonetheless, Roman has been impressed with the work ethic displayed by his players.
“Guys are really pushing each other to get better at what they do,” said the coordinator who guided San Francisco to being the league’s eighth-best rushing attack in 2011, averaging 127.8 yards per game.
Roman began his interview by describing what the players would be going through on a Wednesday in the team’s Football School sessions. The coordinator said the players start to fill the parking lots early in the morning so they can do individual things like watch film or get treatment. Later in the day, the players begin an organized schedule which includes weight lifting with the team’s strength staff, football meetings at 11 a.m., on-field work and occasional conditioning work.
“Guys are really taking advantage of it,” Roman said. “It’s our first offseason here and it’s great to have this time with the players.”
Roman was asked about the emphasis Alex Smith has put on his quarterbacking mechanics this offseason. Roman said he applauded the 49ers quarterback’s decision to work with Tom House, a longtime pitching coach who’s worked with a number of high-profile clients which include Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
“It’s a great example of somebody doing something at a high level and trying to get better,” Roman said of Smith. “There were a few little things he was able to take from it and he’ll apply it because Alex is such a sharp guy.”
Motion and efficiency of motion are some of the things Smith has sharpened since his time working with House, and as Roman pointed out, “It’s a great time in the year for quarterbacks to focus on their mechanics. Once 11-man football starts, there are too many other things to be thinking about.”
Asked to comment the other quarterbacks on the 49ers roster, Roman said he was pleased with the competitiveness between Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien.
“We’ve got four quarterbacks that are competing to get better every day and it’s exciting,” Roman said.
Besides quarterbacks, Morning Show host Brian Murphy wanted to know about the wide receiver additions to the offense, most notably Randy Moss and rookie first-round pick A.J. Jenkins.
Roman said he’s liked what he’s seen from both players in the brief time they’ve been working together.
“I’m starting to see what a smart football player he is,” Roman said of Moss. “Love the energy that he brings. So far I think he’s done a marvelous job.”
As for Jenkins, the OC sees his young perimeter weapon adapting just fine in his early days as an NFL player. Being around players like Moss, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree doesn’t seem to be changing Jenkins’ mindset.
“I don’t think he’s overwhelmed, I think he’s looking at this like it’s a chance to be around successful players,” Roman said. “I’m sure those guys will take him under their wings and try to elevate his game.
“It’s a really good situation for everybody, but for A.J. Jenkins in particular.”
In closing, Roman discussed a few more 49ers rookies, second-round pick LaMichael James and undrafted Stanford wideout Chris Owusu.
Roman said the Oregon running back, the same one he faced in college while coaching for Stanford, plays bigger than his 5-foot-9, 195-pound frame.
“He’s got a very unique skill set,” Roman said. “He has a very low center of gravity which is a positive. He’s a tough player and he’s shown that. He’s got a lot to learn on this level, but so far so good.”
As for Owusu, Roman said the Stanford wideout has a leg up from knowing the basics of the 49ers offensive system.
“Chris is a really good football player. Obviously, he’s fast,” Roman said. “He comes in understanding our system, there are some changes, but he’s a guy definitely to keep an eye on in the preseason.”
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Chris Owusu, Colin Kaepernick, Greg Roman, Josh Johnson, LaMichael James, Randy Moss, Scott Tolzien
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