Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster Press Conference

Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster

Press Conference – December 29, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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How did RB Tyrion Davis-Price do to kind of get back in the mix last week?

“It was good. It was good for him. He had a really good week of practice last week. He really was starting to have the level of intensity that he practiced with, his attention to detail. He knew he was going to have some opportunities that week, so he really performed well. There’s always stuff that you have to clean up, but we were really happy with his performance.”

What kind of problems does a guy like Las Vegas Raiders DE Maxx Crosby present you guys?

“He’s one of the best players we faced all year. I think Kyle might have mentioned earlier in the week that [Los Angeles Rams DT] Aaron Donald and this guy probably present the most problems. He presents problems rushing the passer. He presents problems in the run game. He rushes the passers as well as most of those elite edge rushers in the league. He presents a unique style. He’s hard to get his hands on and in the run game, he’s kind of like [Arizona Cardinals DL] J.J. Watt a little bit in that he can swim around blocks and still make plays. It’s not only that he’s really talented and really good, it’s unconventional, so you don’t see it every week and that does create issues for whoever has to block him, so you have to come up with plans and things you want to try to limit the amount of opportunities he has to exhibit all that stuff.”

You’ve been playing against a lot of great defensive ends, pass rushers, does DL Nick Bosa remind you of any specific guy?

“You know, he doesn’t, because Nick’s so unique, his size and everything, you guys see him walking around. He’s not this imposing figure, but his lower body strength, his flexibility, how hard he works at his craft, his attention to detail and everything that he does. He doesn’t really remind me of anybody. I guess know that I think of it, he doesn’t rush like those two guys, but when you saw [former Indianapolis Colts DLs] Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, they’re not these giant guys either, so I won’t say he’s like them, but from a stature standpoint, he does remind you a little bit more of those types of rushers. It’s just really hard, I was just asked about Max, it’s hard to get your hands-on Nick and he doesn’t stay blocked for very long, so he definitely is right in that class of all the elite rushers that I’ve seen through the years.”

Are shorter pass rushers more difficult in a way because they can get underneath a taller blocker and have better leverage?

“That is theirs. That’s where [former Baltimore Ravens OL] Jonathan Ogden had trouble with Freeney is that when he would dip down at the top of the pocket, Jonathan was 6’9. It was really hard for him to get his hands down that low and then there’s other reasons why being shorter isn’t as good, but Maxx is long and lean and has great length and makes it difficult to get your hands on him in a different way. Each guy’s a little bit different, so they take advantage of whatever their size, stature, skillset is.”

From the time that you first got your hands on T Mike McGlinchey to where he is now, how has he adapted most and how do you feel about just the progress he’s made and where his game is now?

“Mike’s continued to work really hard at getting better. We’ve talked about it before, Mike can be Mike’s worst enemy. And that’s where I’d say the most improvements occurred. There have been some bad plays and usually one doesn’t stack upon another. Sometimes they do, but for the most part, Mike’s been able to reach a level of consistency that even though there are some plays he’s not happy with, I’m not happy with, he has improved greatly from his first year until now. He works really hard at getting better. Is it perfect? It’s not perfect by any stretch, but he’s made gradual improvement every year and my thing I’m most happy with is he’s able to come off the field, I think last week was probably the exception, he was pretty upset with himself after the false start penalty and then having another one after that was not good, so that was probably the only time this season that it was probably a little bit more like it’d been in past seasons, but for the most part, Mike’s done a really good job of working through that and that’s allowed him to play more consistently. As much as the game’s a physical game, it’s a mental game and you have to be able to understand. [T] Trent [Williams] has said it before, I’ll never forget when we were in Washington and we played against [former 49ers LB] Aldon Smith here in San Francisco, and we played him back in Washington and Trent got beat for a sack and everybody was making a big deal and Trent said, Aldon Smith’s a great player and he’s going to beat me sometimes, it just happens. [Former 49ers OL] Joe Staley would always say, if I blocked Aldon one out of 10 snaps in practice, it’s the same thing with Mike. No matter how good Mike is, they’re good rushers on the other side. They’re going to do good things and last week’s group was a really talented group, so it has you on edge throughout the game. You have to stay calm and understand each rep lives and dies by itself and you learn from it, you build and you go on to the next rep and see how you can improve and get better and not let the bad overwhelm you and that’s where Mike’s really improved, I would say more than anything.”

He had the first false start, then he had the second, did he get it back together after that second?

“He was fine after that, yeah, he was good, but he was down. It wasn’t the same. He was really down on himself and the game was pretty much in hand at that time, so it wasn’t terrible after that. It could have maybe been a little bit better, but it wasn’t noticeable after the second one. The first one was just purely jumping early. The second one there was a little pause in the cadence. It’s not excusing, it’s nobody else’s fault, but Mike’s, nobody else jumped, but again, there was with the motion, there was a pause and there was a little bit more reason for it, but that was my point to him. You were a little on edge from the first one and so the second one, it was just get yourself back to zero. Let’s go and let’s get started. It’s a challenge and every guy has it, [OL] Aaron Banks has it in different ways. It may not show up in a false start, but it may show up in a way he sets for the next two series, and I have to remind him, ‘Hey dude, let’s get back to square one. Come on. Remember what we talked about all week.’ Same thing with [OL] Spencer [Burford], all of them, even Trent, I’ll say, ‘Hey, Trent, now you’re starting to look like this thing we talked about in the offseason that you didn’t want to do, we have to get out of that.’ And everybody, that’s what the process of the game is. That’s why I think one of my roles besides, helping with the play calls and the things like that is to keep the guys on point, to look at the pictures, to watch them during the game, to see what they’re doing, to talk about the fundamentals, to keep them on task so that we can continue to do what we plan to do during the game.”

When you say look at the pictures, are they still images?

“Yeah, still images. You can get them any way you want, but it’s usually a snapshot just before the ball is snapped and then just after the ball snapped, so you can see the lineup just before they snap it and then once the ball is snapped, you can see the start of all the blocks. You start to see, were you on that guy or not, you can kind of piece it together. I’m standing there and I’m watching it anyway, then I’ve got [assistant offensive line coach] Joe [Graves], one of my assistants standing next to me and I holler at him, ‘Hey Joe, the left guard.’ Then we pop up and look at the replay board while we’re listening to the next play call and see the replay board. Oh, shoot, write down McGlinchey, we have to talk to him about that in that series. Then you confirm it with the pictures, you confirm it with the guys, you try to piece it together. I love when we get on the plane after road game, you’re going to watch the game. No, I’m going watch a movie. I’m going to eat ice cream and a hamburger here, because I just watched the game. I was out there for four quarters and we pretty much pieced it all together. I’ll wait until tomorrow to grade it, I’ve just lived through it.”

Do you miss the days of the Polaroids coming down on the fishing line?

“It’s the same thing. It’s just now all on our Surface. Yeah, everybody get a Surface.”

Do you go through that when the defense is out on the field?

“Yeah, we go as fast as we can. Unfortunately, with our defense, if we have a 10-play drive, it might be a three-and-out and we won’t have time to do it. That’s happened a lot this year, I’ve really had to speed up the process. Our defense gets off the field pretty quickly. That’s kind of how it was when I was in a couple places, Tampa and Baltimore, the defense was so darn good that you barely have time to go through it, but I’m trying to go through it as quick as I can. The guy upstairs tells me what he sees. We’ve already pieced a little bit together. ‘Hey, [OL] Jake [Brendel], you did call the right guy? Yeah, I called that guy. What happened on you’re a-block? That’s what it looks like. Okay, let’s make sure we keep doing that. I think you’re not,’ whatever it is. I make the corrections.”

You mentioned a couple weeks ago, I think it was after the Miami game that you went up to RB Christian McCaffrey and FB Kyle Juszczyk and Christian’s first reaction was, man, I could have done better. I should have done better and you were like, relax a little bit. I’m curious with him in terms of coaching him, how often has he already identified what he needs to do before you can even tell him?

“Most times he has. He realizes I missed that or I didn’t miss that. And sometimes he’s like, why was that not better? What could I have done different? He’ll ask what did you see? And then a lot of times it’s confirming. Again, I always tell these stories, but I remember with [former Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB] Warrick Dunn, with these running backs, you have to be careful because they see, that’s why they’re great running backs. They have great vision. When I was coaching Warrick, I was trying to explain to him, ‘Hey, Warrick, now remember we’re going to get on that guy,’ and we didn’t get a guy blocked. And I said, but we’ll get him next time, so just trust us and keep pressing the lane and I said, is that what you’re asking about? He says, ‘no, coach. I’m not worried about that guy. If you don’t block him, I’ll make that guy miss. I’m worried about the next guy.’ It was the next guy, I wasn’t even thinking about as a coach. As a coach, I’m thinking, well, we just have to get him blocked. And he’s already said, no, that one’s not tackling me. I’m thinking about, I’m going to make him miss, now what’s going on with that guy back there? That’s when I realized, man, you have to be careful with what you dive into with these guys, how much some of them can see and that’s the way it’s with Christian. You don’t want to over coach him and over analyze, but he’s hardest on himself and there are times where we can help him a little bit and there’s other times where he sees it already, he’s just looking for confirmation that what he saw was right or wrong.”

Are there some similarities between Christian and Warrick?

“There are some, yeah, they’re both slashers, they both have great quickness. They have good speed. Both great pass catchers. One of our best third-down plays was run four guys vertical and tell [former NFL QB Trent] Dilfer just dump it off to Warrick on third-and-10 and watch him make people miss and get a first down. Warrick was a great player and I really respect and I loved working with him. He was one of the sharpest, I say he and Trent Williams were the sharpest two rookies walking in the building. They had a football knowledge that was– they just saw the game at a pro level from the minute they walked in the building. Christian, I see the same things in him. A little bit different. I’m trying to remember Warrick back that far, but yeah, both really great players.”

WR Deebo Samuel back in practice, what does that mean for the offense overall?

“Every time these guys come back, it’s been great. It’s been unfortunate that they’ve been hurt and we’ve been fortunate to win some games while they’ve been out, but you have a chance with him coming back whenever [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] has an opportunity, if we can keep playing long enough that these guys get back in there. It just gives us more guys, you saw that [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud] has had an opportunity to shine and show what he can do and develop. Other players have had a step chance to step up with. We talked about Ty a little bit earlier and so these guys, it just gives other guys an opportunity. It’s given [WR] Jauan [Jennings] a chance to get more reps, so obviously we all know what Deebo can do. You guys have been here longer than me, most of you. And know exactly what these guys can do. Deebo is a real pleasure, when the time comes for him to play again, it’ll be really great to have him back.”

I think you said a couple weeks ago, you didn’t know tons about QB Brock Purdy because he’s in the shadows, but you’ve been doing this a long time. What have your impressions been as the weeks go on of what he’s doing?

“It’s awesome, we’ve seen it, right? The production has been outstanding. His demeanor, his poise, his leadership, his toughness, because of the injury he sustained in the first game he was playing in, all those things, he’s shown it all. It’s all of it. We’ve talked about other players, my guys before we’ve talked about is so now it’s what about what happens when you fail? [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] has said it before too. What happens when you get your butt kicked and what happens when you have the bad game? I hope that’s next year sometime, but whenever that time may come, you hope that the guys are able to play through it, that’s the hard part. And I’ve seen guys that have had great starts to their career and they end up having great careers, you have other guys that hit the rough patches, for whatever reasons, a lot of times it’s not even your fault or it is your fault and how do you bounce back from it? I think he showed a great deal after that interception last week, obviously he put the ball a little bit behind him. He’d say he could have been more accurate. Jauan probably could have caught it, but how do you respond from that? And I think he responded well and that’s going to be the true test, but everything you see, we all see the same thing. He’s productive, he’s running the offense effectively. He’s not messing up. He’s doing a good job and he’s an impressive kid.”