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Monday’s Locker Room Talk

Posted by Taylor Price on November 30, 2009 – 6:19 PM

Moments after Mike Singletary thoroughly explained how several members of the offense met with him last week to express opinions about the offense’s direction – players in the locker room were also asked to comment.

But according to quarterback Alex Smith the matter was blown out of proportion.

“This is not something that is new. It’s always been there,” Smith explained. “I know a lot has been made of this – I just think with the more you play in an offense – the better you play in that system.”

Smith said that Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye’s office doors have always been open for players to express themselves. Those visits picked up, ever since the 49ers used more of a shotgun attack in the second half of the Green Bay game. From that point on, the offense grew increasingly excited about its potential in a spread attack.

With players communicating that with the coaching staff, Smith said it spoke volumes about the steps the team has taken recently.

“I think the more comfortable we get with things, you’re going to get a little more input to maybe what you like, maybe what you think you can do. I just think that comes with growth, with experience.”

Tight end Delanie Walker also felt those discussions were critical.  

“It says a lot. Our philosophy is that we’re a family. We’ve been a family since training camp. Now it’s just bringing us together even more. You tell a couple guys something. Then one of them goes up there for the offensive team. Then a change comes around and we have a great change and can win games in the spread offense. I think it brings us together closer.”

More Monday Notes

-Singletary announced the following injury report at the conclusion of his press conference, something he normally opens with. “[WR] Josh Morgan: Hip contusion, taking it day-to-day he should be fine.  [DT] Kentwan Balmer: Right shoulder sublex, his shoulder went out, went back in and that’s day-to-day. [LB] Parys Haralson: thumb contusion and [S] Curtis Taylor is having an MRI today: hip strain.

-Singletary again was pleased with the play of his quarterback. “Alex Smith, I thought, did a very nice job,” he explained. “I thought he took a big step yesterday. This is an offense that he talked about and envisioned and was able to step in and not just talk about it but produce, find receivers, have a blitzing linebacker or end coming right at him and still focus downfield and make a throw.”

-Singletary said Smith’s two best throws were on a fourth-and-one pass to Vernon Davis for a 30-yard gain and an incomplete pass to Michael Crabtree in the back of the end zone. “He made some really nice throws yesterday. The one throw to Vernon on the fourth-and-one was outstanding. He didn’t even break stride. Of course, the possible touchdown to Crabtree, that was an outstanding throw. So, he’s really doing some things that are very nice to see.”

-Singletary was asked again about his philosophy in using a spread attack, to which he replied, “I just feel like going forward, it’s just a matter of continuing to look at our offense and look at what helps us win. I think there are a lot of philosophies out there. I’m hearing a lot about, well, the philosophy should be to throw the ball more. Sometimes, it’s run the ball. The only thing I can say is this: My overall philosophy is to win.

“I think that’s the thing that I’ve said from the very beginning. I want to win. I think it’s one thing when you look at this is what I’d like to do, but I think you have to look at what you have and go with that, make the most of it, and be excited about having it. To me, that’s what I am. I talked many times about when we run the ball, I want to run the ball. I don’t want to tip-toe. I don’t want do any of those things. I want to hit people. I want to go forward and I want to run the ball. When we pass the ball, I want to do the same thing. I want to see our receivers going downfield and adding on, hitting somebody. Don’t just look at the guy. Run with the ball. Go hit somebody. To me, that’s what it’s all about. That’s football. So, that’s not going to change.”

-Singletary complimented the play of offensive line which gave up zero sacks against the Jaguars. In particular, he singled out the right side with guard Chilo Rachal and tackle Adam Snyder and left tackle Barry Sims.

-Lastly, Singletary said that starting left tackle Joe Staley will begin running and weight lifting this week. Singletary is hopeful that Staley will return for the 49ers home game against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football in two weeks. As for the status of cornerback Nate Clements, Singletary hopes to have the veteran defensive back healthy be the season finale at St. Louis.

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