Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster Press Conference

Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster

Press Conference – September 30, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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How does it feel to have former running backs coach Bobby Turner in the building?

“Oh, it’s great to see Bobby. He swung by the hotel in Denver. We got to see him there. It was nice to see him. And I had no idea he was coming back, so it was nice to see him.”

Were you surprised because he was supposed to be out for a season?

“I’d have to check with Bobby on that. I don’t know the exact details of what happened. And I don’t know, the surgeries he had things he needed to physically take care of, and that’s a personal matter for him, but I’m sure he’d be happy to talk to you.”

With his experience and your familiarity with each other, what does that do for your offense?

“Oh, it always helps. I mean, any voice in the building. I was here in 2019 as a consultant and really just had a back office. I wasn’t even on the field and was able to just contribute here and there. It’s another set of eyes that has familiarity with the system, familiar with [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan], the players to a degree. And it’s always helpful for that reason.”

You said a couple of weeks ago that you’d love to have the same five guys up front, but that’s probably not going to happen or doesn’t happen that often. Here we are without T Trent Williams, how do you feel about OL Colton McKivitz playing for him and, how does that change the run game going forward or the pass blocking going forward?

“It’s almost impossible to say you can replace Trent Williams. Trent is, I don’t want to say once in a lifetime, but I’ve been fortunate enough to coach a couple guys that are of his nature. But, it’s hard to replace a guy like Trent. We know that. I tell you what, I’m glad you asked that question because there’s two things about Colton that I want to say that really impressed me. The first one is that after last training camp a year ago, we released him and then signed him back to our practice squad and I think that really put a sense of urgency in Colton that I’d never seen in him before. An urgency to really improve, take every day seriously, really take the reps at it. At college, it’s sometimes hard for the college kids to grow up and to really feel the urgency of, oh my gosh, my lifetime dream is getting ready to end his urgency in the way he played throughout the year, prepared him for when we needed him at the end of last season where he played really well. That really showed me the kind of guy he has in character, that was step one. Step two was when he played in that last game of the season, the 17th game against the Rams, he got beat for a sack with two minutes left in the game. [Buffalo Bills OLB] Von Miller sacked him and that it should have ended. If they would’ve gotten a first down in the four-minute drive, it would’ve ended the season for us and it didn’t. We punted the ball, our defense stopped, we got the ball back and then we proceeded to have, I think it was like 14 more plays to tie it in regulation and then in overtime and Colton, that was the last time anybody got near the quarterback on him. So, it’s not easy in the game of that magnitude to step in, make your block, get beat at the most critical time of the game – we’re getting ready to go on a two-minute drive and we get a sack and we have to punt with 2:02 left or whatever the time on the clock was. So those two things with Colton, you feel really good about and he continues to be very professional, hardworking, does all the right things. He’s the right kind of guy and has really worked hard for us and did a great job this camp. It’s just hard to replace Trent and that’s going to be his charge and he’ll have to come in and do the best he can.”

How much can you go back and look at that tape from Week 18 last season and just pick some stuff up and apply it this week?

“Well, it’s all over. I mean, yes, you can apply everything. You just don’t know what pieces they’ll use against us. What going to change, what are going to be the little tweaks or little differences so yeah, we use it all. You can go back as long as they’ve been running this style of defense when, when [Los Angeles Chargers head coach] Brandon Staley was there and then [Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator] Raheem [Morris] took it over. Those players on defense that they have are outstanding. The job that Raheem and [Los Angeles Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] have done with that defense and the rest defensive coaches is really outstanding. There’s always just a little wrinkle, something, in what they do. But this defense is becoming really a staple across the league. A lot of teams are employing it. And so you just don’t know what you’re going to get on a given Sunday or Monday in this case, we’ll see.”

 How does Los Angeles Rams LB Bobby Wagner kind of change the equation for them at the second level?

“I think the few games is the best way to say it. It’s hard to feel yet, especially the Arizona game. They’re just such a different style of offense and how they play Arizona is different. So you’re looking at the first two games and why you see Bobby is still an outstanding player and does a great job. To feel that fit in that system is really hard to make a solid evaluation. But that’s not saying he’s not impacting the game. He is. It’s just hard to really make a true evaluation after two games, three games.”

As far as WR Deebo Samuel’s modest rushing numbers from Sunday, Kyle was saying that he thought that there were some opportunities in there as a matter of execution here and there. Did you see the same thing and what was the difference with him not really getting going in that game?

“It’s like every time you don’t have success, you can say, Okay, whatever you were on, third down, whatever you were rushing, whatever you were in protection, you can always pick those three or four plays where you’re like, Gosh, if Trent just would’ve done this, if the running back, if the blocker would’ve just, if the receiver just would’ve got that push crack, that’s going to be the play that went for 25 against Chicago. It goes for two. We don’t quite execute a block in this one instance and we do something on the third down when we don’t quite get a guy. It was going to be another explosive run, similar play to what we ran against Chicago before half where Deebo broke out. We ran one in a similar situation, backed up, and we were off by just a step on blocking the inside linebacker or he’s going to beat to the unblocked corner. And we all know what happens when Deebo can get in the secondary with not many players to tackle him. Those are all just excuses. We didn’t get it done and the numbers are down cause we didn’t execute properly.”

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that you’re playing a team that plays essentially the same defense two weeks in a row? Are you worried that one team is kind of learning off of the other, or are you able to sort of learn from your mistakes?

“Well it’s a two-edged sword, but it is for us, because we do have a, for me personally, we do have a younger group. So their experience getting to see it again and then see it again for [OL] Jake [Brendel], for those young guys, I remember last week we screwed that up. Let’s get this one right. So there is a benefit to that. But you’re right, the other side of that sword is that they’ve seen how we attack them and there’s only so many ways to attack this style of defense, so how can we dress this up again? They’re going to be preparing for this, so what are the wrinkles can we have and what did we not do against this team that maybe we can use this week? That’s always the juggling act that you have, especially when you play a team in division, like last year we played them three times. It’s hard for both sides to decide how you want to attack it.

PFF has OL Aaron Banks as the sixth best guard league after three games. I know it’s a short sample size, but what has he done really good throughout three weeks? What can he improve?

“Aaron, we always liked Aaron in the running game. So his number one area of improvement is pass protection. I don’t know how they grade him and what they do. I mean, I’m not questioning how they grade him at all. They have a different set of grading system. What I see in here, I look at his fundamentals. I look at his body. I look at how he’s handling himself in protection. I can see things that maybe while it’s productive, it may not be good in four weeks when he starts developing a library of plays that people can study. You’re like, Dude, if you don’t fix this stuff now it’s going to be a problem. And there are those things. Everybody has them. You’re constantly picking at the guy. Trent, it’s like, Trent if you don’t fix this, you know this is going to become a problem. Is it going to become a problem against most guys? No, but when you get against that elite guy on the road with a silent count, that’s going to be a problem. Same thing here with Aaron. Same thing with every guy. They all have their little things or I could probably punch list three things for every guy that says, work on these three things in practice every single day and you’ll be a lot happier with our production going forward.”

How difficult is it to run zone blocking schemes against defenses that put five on the line and create all those one-on-one matchups?

“Yeah, you can still do it. There’s a lot of different things you can do without talking in too much detail. You have to work harder to create, where are we going to get double teams in combination blocks and how are we going to do it? Everybody’s beginning to see, there are different ways to do it. Even when they put six guys on the line of scrimmage, there’s still a way to create a combination block somewhere or cut the defense in a way that even though that’s six one-on-one blocks, there’s still a place where we can create some space. It can make it harder, but then penetrating four down fronts can make it hard. Eight-man boxes can make it hard. I mean, there’s always a challenge to every single defense. They have a way they want to stop the zone running game. There’s a thought that those five or six on the line of scrimmage, they’re just trying to keep it from having too many combination blocks. But still, if you can find one, you can run off that one and then you have a chance.”

Is RB Tevin Coleman in a place where he’s ready to play?

“I think Tev’s ready to roll, man. I can’t say whether he’s going to be up or down. I don’t know any of that. I just know that he’s been practicing and working his tail off, like I say every week with those backs. They all run hard, work hard. And it is nice to see Tev out there. I mean, Tev has that explosiveness to him that he can really hit it and go and really enjoy the way he can do that, so it’s good to have him back that way.”

He still has that at his advanced age for a running back in the NFL?

“You still see it, man. He hit a play up the sideline the other day and you just saw the acceleration. It was nice to watch him accelerate up the side. He’s still got it.”

Last week we asked about RB Jordan Mason. You said you still need to see if the game’s too big for him, the bright lights. He had one carry.

“Lights are still bright, man. Yeah, they’re still bright. Like I said, he continues to work and it’s all a process. You’re out there, you get on the field, you warm up, you do the whole process and still it’s going to have to be the banging away and all of a sudden, [Rams DT] Aaron Donald jumps on your back and throws you to the ground and talks smack or whatever happens, and you have to live through that. Or somebody pulls the ball out the pile and you’re trying to hang on, he has to go through all that and, but there’s nothing that says he’s not ready and he is been working hard and deserves the opportunities he’s getting.”