Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Chris Foerster Press Conference
Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Chris Foerster
Press Conference – October 26, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
A lot of people thought OL Jaylon Moore would struggle. I don’t know how you felt, but it seemed like he stood up pretty strongly. What was your evaluation?
“Jaylon had a really good game. Jaylon and [OL] Aaron [Banks] both played very well in the game on Monday night. We talked about it last week, I said he improved and I think I said, but you still have to go out and do it and he did. He went out and had a nice game and they even flipped 99 [Minnesota Vikings LB Danielle Hunter] over there a couple times and he held his own over there and did a nice job. I was happy with Jaylon’s play and I was happy for Jaylon. He’s always been in that role where [T] Trent’s [Williams] been down a game or two and he’s had to play and some games better than others. It was good for him.”
Is there a common theme that you guys need to do to kind of spring that running game and get it going again?
“It’s a little bit of everything. [Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] talked about the Cleveland game, just how everything was long yardage, every single time. Whether it was a run, whether it was a screen pass, whether it was a penalty. You just end up behind the eight ball and you can’t ever generate, you can’t ever get in that rhythm of run, first down, run, run, first down, just that rhythm of a long-sustained drive where you’re able to keep getting runs and pop one. We just haven’t had the big breakout run recently and then we just haven’t been able to sustain as much. We moved the ball, we punted one time, we turned it over, but turnovers, penalties, negative plays, they all stop you from really establishing a run game. I don’t think it’s anything more than that. You just can’t get into a rhythm of this call leads to that call that sets up off of this play and give the defenses credit. Minnesota and Cleveland did a really nice job and we didn’t execute as well as we could have.”
RB Christian McCaffrey in particular, he was so dominant the first four games of the season, the last three starting with Dallas, his yards per carry have been down. What are you seeing with Christian in particular?
“I think it’s along the lines of what we’re talking about. I do think that if teams do come up with a mindset that they’re not going to let him go, they’re going to do whatever they can – shoot the first play of Dallas game they try to rip his head off. There’s that feeling of we’re not going to let this guy run. Secondly, is we just haven’t established. We haven’t given him the lanes that he needs. We haven’t given him the space he needs. The space that we did in the first couple games and that the last couple games, it just hasn’t been there. You create that space by blocking him better. You create that space by having more throws, that opens up the running game a little bit more which allows him. I mean, he opened up the Cleveland game making about four guys miss and having a nice 34-yard, whatever the run was, and they tack the 15 on at the end of that. But again, it just wasn’t there consistently throughout the day for all the reasons I stated a little bit earlier. But it’s not anything they’re doing. It’s not anything he’s doing. We’re just not as productive these last couple games and that’s in all areas.”
There’s a lot of speculation outside the building that after QB Brock Purdy did the sneak, maybe that’s where he sustained the concussion and about how his play might have changed after that. After watching the film, what is your opinion?
“Yeah. I don’t know anything about it. I can’t speak to when it happened. I don’t know anything about that. I really don’t. I’m not in that meeting with the medical staff and then all the things like that. So, it’s hard for me to say that. I’m sorry.”
The Eagles really dominate in that tush push, whatever you want to call it, quarterback sneak, everybody’s loaded up. You can substitute freely in the NFL. Have you guys discussed the possibility of putting your best personnel power-wise, maybe a OL Corey Luciano, maybe a FB Kyle Juszczyk. Maybe you take the quarterback off the field and all the different things that you potentially could do in a quarterback sneak scenario to give yourself the best chance for success?
“Our sneak rate has been productive. We had the one sneak where we jumped the ball and tried to run it. That’s the one we’re talking about where we didn’t get it and I think he took the hit on that play. I’m not sure though. I think that was it. And then, we ran another sneak the very next play that was more advantageous. We’ve been all about running advantageous sneaks and not just saying, hey, here we come, we’re running a sneak. With [Las Vegas Raiders QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo], we could do that a little bit more. I think each quarterback’s different too. Through all my years of coaching, there’s, I always refer to [former NFL QB] Peyton [Manning], but Peyton was not a sneak guy where [former NFL QB] Steve McNair was a better sneak guy, or [former NFL QB] Trent Dilfer was a good sneak guy, whereas some other guys weren’t. So, there’s always that thing of some guys are better at it than others. I think no matter how you did it with the guy from Philly, they’d be good at it. There is that play right now that’s going around that everybody’s been working on and doing, some with success, some that haven’t had as good of success. And so, I just think it comes back to your guy and what your philosophy is on third and one. It’s been a pretty productive third and one year for us up to this point, knock on wood, we have to keep it going. We had a miss last week on that play. But we were able to get it on the fourth and one, with the sneak again. So, we’re a little bit more about not so much saying, hey, here we are, we’re running sneak. Everything in our offense is about you do this, it builds, and then we can have this and we take advantage of what you do and kind of build things off each other.”
Christian McCaffrey has three fumbles, it’s not normally something that he does. Is it kind of a fluky thing or is it something in particular that’s going on?
“Yeah, I would say that there was one that I would say he wasn’t probably – and he was pretty good with the one in Dallas. But it was just taking the guy on head on where the ball was. He was trying to secure it. He’s excellent with ball security and sometimes it just happens. They hit the ball just right. Obviously, they’re coming after him trying to get it out. And he really, this one was fighting for extra yards. He’s going down. It’s hard to see that he wasn’t securing the football properly. He just got hit just right this past week. I would say that was kind of the same way in the Dallas game.”
Do they play a lot of games up front with their defensive line? What stands out when you watch the film on the Bengals?
“Bengals defense from the pass rush standpoint is the two ends with great effort. I mean, 91 [Cincinnati Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson] is a great effort. He is a great bull rusher. He’s a great edge rusher. He plays with outstanding energy and effort. He’s got great, get off the ball, which is a pretty consistent theme of all good rushers. They get off on a snap, whether you see them at their home stadium, where they’re having the advantage of the team in silent count or whether they’re at your place. They just have great get off. They study the film. [Cleveland Browns DE] Myles Garrett was the guy, great get off. That’s part of his game where he’s a half a step ahead of you before you even can get out of your stance. Both those guys and then the guy [Cincinnati Bengals DE Sam] Hubbard on the other side, he gave us fits when we played there a couple years ago with [former NFL OL Tom] Compton. He got after us really good. We had to help over there and do some things to stay in that game at the end, both those guys. The inside players are good solid rushers. They have a very solid good rush plan, whether it be their different double A gaps their fronts that they get and things like that on third down. Games, pressures, it’s very well-thought-out, very well-coached. So, you not only have good players doing it, you’ve got a really good scheme to go with.”
It seems like this locker room took a lot of responsibility for the loss. I mean, each player took responsibility for their own particular mistakes. Is that special about this locker room even more so than what you’ve experienced in the past?
“Yeah, these guys are all, we all, I think the thing about it is, it starts with our head coach. Kyle is about football. And so instead it’s never a woe is me. It’s about coaching football. And you’re going to look at the game. You’re going to say, hey, coverages, you’re going to look at blocking schemes, you’re going to look at production, you’re going to look at reads, you’re going to look at everything. You’re going to say you’re going to coach football. I think the players are that way as well. You’re going to say, hey, I didn’t do as I was coached to do. [OL] Colton McKivitz would say to me, he goes, yeah, well, if I’d just done what I was supposed to do, I wouldn’t have had the problem, but I didn’t. I did X, Y, or Z and I didn’t pick him up. They’re very accountable that way, that we all work together. And it’s not like, well do what I tell you, or that’s it. It’s everybody knows exactly what we’re supposed to do. There’s a good understanding of our offense, our defense, our special teams. So, when it doesn’t work, it’s never about he said, she said, it’s very definable, it’s very football driven, it’s very schematic driven. It’s, hey, this is what it is. It’s never about effort. Our guys, they play their tails off every single week. It’s going to be about the execution of the fundamentals or not recognizing something that we worked on consistently through the week, or maybe we didn’t give them enough reps and it’s our fault that we need to give them more reps at it so they can see it. But they’ll always take the accountability. I can think of a number of plays from the last game where it’s just, we should have done this and we just didn’t. And why we didn’t do it heck, reps. We just didn’t see it, we hadn’t done it enough. Whatever it was, I can’t tell you.”
There’s not a lot of feelings in football. Coaches are direct with players, coaches are direct with coaches. Kyle came out and said that defensive coordinator Steve Wilks messed up a call on the podium. How does that sit with coaches when a coach criticizes you publicly and kind of directly? Is that just part of the territory? Is that something easy to deal with? Hard to deal with?
“It is for me. I mean, it’s easy to me. It is what it is. The hardest thing is, well, nobody really understands when you say that because you really don’t know. It’s hard to explain to people that aren’t inside working it every single day. There’s a lot that goes into it, but in the same sense, you can’t hide and say, well, there’s nothing wrong. And so, you just admit it and you live with it and you understand that the court of public opinion is going to be what it’s going to be. Some will understand and have a good understanding of what you’re talking about. Others won’t. And that comes with the territory, with the job. You know, the more people sit out here, the more people fill those stadiums the more people on the internet, all the things that go on with it. I know that one thing happened through the course of that time is salaries have gone up. And with that salary comes, you have to take the heat for the job that you do. And you have to stand and be accountable for the things that you do. Because there are more people interested, there are more people that are analyzing you on television and radio and everywhere else. And it comes with the territory. It’s what it is. And you have to understand that you control what you control and what you do control is the job that you do. And whether somebody appreciates the job you do or doesn’t. And when the head coach, if he wants to stand up and say, the offensive line didn’t play well enough, he’s the head coach, he’s in charge. Does it bother me? We didn’t play well enough. So that opens it up to you guys to then look at it and evaluate the film and say, God, they did stink that game. Well, we did or we didn’t, however it is. And that’s a fact. And you just have to live with them. The guys have to live with it. You have to come back and play again. I like it. You can tell when I talk to you guys, I like, everybody gets to learn football. Everybody gets to know football. It’s a cool game. It’s a cool sport. It’s a great team sport. It’s so hard, 11 guys working together to get this thing to go and it’s really cool. And when it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. A lot of times you have to take the heat for it and the players have to take the heat for it. That comes with the territory. But, it’s still the greatest thing to step out there. I tell those players, I get to be as close as I can be to what I love about it, but you guys got the greatest thing of all, they get to step across that white line. They can compete every single Sunday. It’s amazing, the level of competition, the level of talent, how hard it is and how everybody has to be on point. If you’re off just a little bit, just a little bit, all of a sudden you’re down 14-0, or you’ve got three tackles for loss or you’ve given up two sacks. he margin of error is so small and it demands that. And that’s why when somebody says, hey, you didn’t do a good enough job. Yeah, we didn’t, because you have to be on point. And that’s why you just accept, in my opinion, you accept it and you roll with it.”