Run Game Coordinator/ Offensive Line Coach Chris Foerster Press Conference
Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Chris Foerster
Press Conference – November 16, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
What did you see in OL Jon Feliciano when you were scouting him before he came here, that made you know that he was going to be a good fit for your system?
“Well, what’s funny with Jon is Jon came when I was coaching at the Dolphins; John came to our local pro day and he was like a fringe guy that you’re like, ah, this guy’s got something to him and you liked him at the University of Miami too. He was rough and just the same guy as today, a gritty, tough, hardnosed very good player at The U. And then, he comes in the league and so when we scouted, we’re at that point where we’re counting on a lot of young guys, so let’s keep looking and seeing. And just like with our system it’s not a lot of people run as much outside zone and things that we ask our guys to do in little bits and pieces. And so you have to look hard to say, okay, I see it there and how, then how can he do it? Can he do it a lot? And with him, we were scouting him a lot and they actually didn’t run any of that stuff really in New York, but they pulled him on the toss crack plays and you could see when he pulled, you’re like, oh, there it is. There’s that little bit of quickness, there’s that little bit of something in there. It was the same thing with [OL Aaron] Banks. We got Banks out of Notre Dame. It’s like [T] Trent [Williams] looked and said, this dude’s a monster. He’s not going to fit in our system. But then all of a sudden you saw him go out on a screen and you saw him pull on a power play and you’re like, no, it’s there. But what you have to do is you have to then drill it every day to get it out of him. And you saw it in Jon, so he was already a good pro, hardworking, smart, tough, gritty, all those things. But then you saw just enough of what he needs, the skill set he needs to play in our system. It was there.”
You’ve been around Trent Williams since the beginning, basically. Was he really only 75% the other day?
“I think that’s probably a pretty accurate assessment of where he was. Seeing how he was on Friday and then how the guys managed the pain going up to the game and everything. So, there’s always a – they get to a certain point and they know that they can probably make it through. [Former NFL OL Jonathan] Ogden, I always referenced these other cats, but Jonathan Ogden was the same guy. I remember it was the first time I heard it, we were in Baltimore and he goes, yeah, the guy I’m playing today, I can play at 75, 80%. Now if we were playing [former NFL DE] Dwight Freeney, I don’t know if I could go at 80%, 85%. I don’t think anybody is playing at 100% in this league. Everybody gets hurt, right? And so, playing at 100% once the season starts is really hard. To say you feel fresh as a daisy and all that is not probably it. So, I would say that’s probably what he was but it didn’t show. I think there were certain plays. It wasn’t like the championship game a few years ago against the Rams where he wasn’t anywhere near that and then it showed out almost every play.”
How has OL Colton McKivitz looked at practice this week? And who do you have most confidence in at right guard, right tackle if it’s not Colton?
“Colton looks fine right now. Well, right now he’s doing well. I don’t know the extent or all those things. Like I said, I’m really hard pressed to comment on anything on injuries other than the fact that he looked fine at practice today. Right now, we’d go with [OL] Matt Pryor. But, [OL] Jaylon [Moore] did such a nice job at left, you’d think if Matt stumbles or doesn’t do as well, if something were to happen to Colton that maybe Jaylon would go in at that spot. We have that flexibility. Same thing at the left. If for whatever reason Jaylon’s not doing well, Matt could go to the left, they both can play both sides. It’s just that with having them up that way they can focus on one and it does help them in prep instead of having a swing guy.”
What was your impression of Kyle at the end of the game force feeding RB Christian McCaffery?
“Yeah, I think you can always get to the point where you’re like, risk of injury, I get it. I called [Miami Dolphins head coach Mike] McDaniel. I said, dude, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to break the scoring record. This is an unbelievable record here. I think it’s the right thing to do personally. I think it’s the right thing to do. I could be wrong, but there’s too many times – like I’ll never forget we’re playing the Tennessee Titans when I was at Baltimore and we came in at halftime and they were kicking our butts. I mean, up and down. I came and sat down and we were talking about plays to run the second half. I said, hey, did we have a first down? And somebody looked at the stat sheet and said, no, well, we got one, but got called back by a penalty. I said, that’s the first time and it was like 15 years. I said, I’ve never played an NFL game and not had a first down at halftime. So, I like those firsts because I know for it to be a first in the NFL is a big deal. So, to be able to score that many touchdowns, that many consecutive games is a really big deal. The New England Patriots, all of a sudden before the kickoff, I’m in Miami, were playing the Patriots, [former NFL K] Olindo Mare’s the kicker, and he comes up lame in pregame warmups, and all of a sudden [former NFL WR] Wes Welker becomes our kickoff, our field goal kicker, our receiver. So he kicks a field goal, he kicks off and makes a tackle on a kickoff. He kicks extra points. He scored, I think he might have had a receiving touchdown. I didn’t realize all this was going on. I was actually the offensive coordinator. I would’ve handed him a run to get him in, but his shoes ended up going the Hall of Fame on Monday. We lost. But you realize this was a pretty special moment. They took his shoes, and they sent them to Canton because nobody had ever done all those things in one game. I think it’s a really special thing. And it was something worthwhile.”
What did McDaniel say to you when you reached out?
“I texted him and Mike doesn’t respond to texts during the season, so I got to a couple other people in the organization. I said, dude, I would’ve gone for it. They were like, we didn’t think so, no way. I said, it’s 70 to whatever it was. Like, dude, come on. I mean, another seven points, it’s over. So go for it. But I get it. I get both sides of that story.”
McDaniel big timed you?
“He did not big time me [laughs]. Mike does not respond to people during the season, he’s very hard to reach. He’s been that way forever. It’s kind of a bone of contention with everybody. He doesn’t. Then Bye Week, he did send one text, which is nice.”
This Tampa D-line, what do you see? They got a lot of different kinds of players.
“As always, the defensive line is a very talented group. [Tampa Bay DL Vita] Vea is talent, man. He’s a beast and does a great job for them. 94 [Tampa Bay DL Calijah Kancey], the young kid from Pitt, does a really good job. The edge rushers are good. I mean, this is a talented rush group and you have to be on point and we’ve had to be every week. I mean, these guys are, it’s nice to have them at home. When we played Cincinnati, not a great game for us, but protection wise, we held up okay against those guys. And it was because I think you get them on the grass, you have the cadence, you’re not going silent count. All those things add up to help us at home. Now that doesn’t mean they don’t come in and just run us over too. They’re a good rush group and [Tampa Bay head coach] Todd Bowles is not afraid to pressure and make it really hard on everybody. So I think they’re a talented group and another group we have to be very well prepared for.”
Looking at what they’ve done this year, have they blitzed as much as they normally do?
“I don’t count those things because I think it’s all statistical. One, it’s what are they going to do against you? You know what I’m saying? It’s like it’s a one-game. We could say it’s a trend, but why were they blitzing Philly? Or why were they not blitzing Philly? And then why were they blitzing this team and that team? So to me, I don’t really look at it that much. Todd Bowles has been coaching forever. He’s got every blitz in the book known to man. And kind of like when the guy from the Giants [defensive coordinator Don Martindale] came in here, it’s all there and it’s just what are you going to see? And why he would decide to do it, to stop you. And even though you look back, you say, okay, well he did this to Kyle here, he did this to us at this other spot. And then you’re like, there’s a whole other bag of tricks. And then he looks at the season this year and sees maybe we have something that needs fixing that they could pick on. So who knows?”