What's the status of Bryan? Can you comment on Bryan Mone at all?
“Yeah, Bryan is a great kid and a great player for us. We really like him.”
If he’s not able to play how does that affect how you use Hurst? Do you use him more at the nose tackle spot?
“A great thing about our team right now, when you go through camp, is that we’re building depth at all positions. That's what this time of year is for is find where we’re strongest at and where our depth is and so I think across the board you've done a good job of that. We've developed some guys and we've got depth at all positions.”
So how do you expect to use Hurst then?
“Mo Hurst? Mo is definitely part of that depth up front and he can play all the spots too. Really he can play inside [or] outside, so he's a guy we’re counting on. He'll play a lot for us.”
What were some of the positives that you took away from Saturday as far as the defensive line is concerned?
“I think it was good. I think the biggest thing is probably that was the first time we were out with crowd noise and it was good seeing them communicate on their own. You know, coaches, we like to– either you're standing out and you cheat a little bit, you're yelling and you're kind of helping the guys out because you're into it, and we weren't able to do that. That was the first time they were out there on the field on their own, no one out there helping them make checks, and they really communicated well and for the most part were assignment-sound.”
What's the most interesting thing you’ve learned about your secondary in these last 2 1/2 weeks?
“The best part is we’ve been finding out the competitors, because there's good competition back there and we've put them in a bunch of spots where they’ve got to show up. And they know its competition. We've moved guys around a little bit and so I think it's been great. You find out the guys who really thrive in that type of environment.”
What do you like most about your defensive front?
“I think just their work-type mentality: blue-collar. We've brought it every day. This has been a tough camp, and they've responded every day. I mean, they've been locked in in meetings and done well on the field. There've been a few instances where I could say it wasn't that type of mentality, but really when you look at the whole grand scheme of camp they really brought it. They've done great.”
[After THE JUMP: I ask about the secondary and someone asks about Freddy Canteen. Also Jabrill, because there’s always a question about Jabrill]
MGoQuestion: Who are some of the guys you've moved around in the secondary?
“It's really more a question of who haven't we. We've tried to find out – you know, we like to play multiple packages on defense so we're trying to find out who can do what right now. This is the time to find it. You go through a season and you get a guy banged up or something, you want to know that a certain guy that may be playing corner can play safety or vice versa so we've bounced them all around. We're shuffling that and now getting closer to honing in on who's playing where.”
How has Chris Wormley looked the last few weeks?
“He's done really well. Worm’s a guy who has played some end, played some tackle; he's got that skill set and for a big guy, a 300 pounder, he moves really well, so we’ll use him for both. He can do those things for us.”
How close are you to having guys settled into the roles where you want them?
“Getting there. We're getting there. We’re really starting to get into the game week and into Utah prep, so as you're doing that with the game plan you start to hone guys in on what they're focusing on. So we're getting to that point as a staff.”
Is this a little later in the process than you normally get there if you had been here for a while?
“No, I think it gets stale. You're working on one thing for so long, I think the preparation get stale. Our main thing is to focus on us and getting better. Going good-on-good and getting full-speed looks and now you’re into a game week before a game week right now.”
As far as guys settling into their roles, is this later in the year than you would normally have that?
“I think it helps guys learn the defense. I think it helps with versatility. I think you're really not thinking well if you think you can make it through a season and not have guys injured and have to move guys a little bit. Now's the time to find who has the ability to do it both mentally and physically, and that's all we're trying to do.”
Camps are tough to get through and there's a lot of hard work involved, but can you feel the excitement building now, since a week from tomorrow you'll be on a plane going out to the game?
“Yeah, our guys, they enjoyed practicing together, playing together– they enjoy one another. It's been good, definitely. As you get into the middle of camp there's no light at the end of the tunnel. I think they’re starting to get that now and we're starting to back off a little bit, like I said, getting Utah prep, and I think they're ready to go.”
Who are some of the guys who have really evolved as pass rushers for you?
“Up front it's been good bouncing guys around. I think we mentioned Mo Hurst earlier; I think he's really helped us inside. Wormley is a guy who can play both inside and outside. Mario [Ojemudia]– he's doing a great job on the edge for us, so I think all those guys right there. Willie Henry is another who can help us both inside and outside. I think we’re versatile up front. I think we’re deep up front, and that's going to help us do several different things.”
Have you talked with these guys about the elevation difference at all? Has that been a topic of conversation?
“Yeah, it has, but there's nothing, other than talking to them about it, that you can do to prepare them for it.”
Is there anything extra that goes into conditioning or do you guys feel like it's even going to be an issue at all?
“Yeah, it's one of those things you've got to be aware of and prepare for. We’ve conditioned well all summer and we’re conditioned at the end of practices, so I think coach Tolbert and his staff did a great job with our guys.”
Allen Gant is in the mix at outside linebacker. Has he looked good the last few weeks?
“Yeah, Allen's had a good camp. He's done a good job at the outside backer spot for us. He's continued to improve. He had a good spring and he built on that through camp, so he's definitely a guy that you'll see that can help us.”
How has Peppers distinguished himself this camp?
“Jabrill is, as always – he brings it every day. He's one of the hardest workers on the team and he's very talented. There's a lot of things he can do to help our team. It's a matter of us figuring out where we need him most and where the best spots are for him to help us. But he's been great. He's been practicing every day and doing a great job.”
Has that changed practice-to-practice and day-to-day where you think the best spot is for him?
“No, it's just an ongoing discussion amongst the staff. He's great about whatever we ask him to do he goes and does it and does it 100 miles an hour. Doesn't ask why or how or what about that, he just goes and does it and he's very talented.”
As a coach, what's the residual effect of this bunker mentality?
“I think it's really brought our team together. We've only been with one another all day every day. There really hasn't been breaks in the action for them either. We're over here in this building all day. If we're not practicing we're meeting or we’re walking through or doing something together, coaches and players alike. I think it really has brought everyone closer together.”
Is there any kind of message that it delivers, whether that be to the players or the outside or whomever?
“I think that, what I just said, that’s the message of it. We’ve got one another and we’re in this together and you’ve got to be accountable.”
Have you ever been a part of anything like that? The submarine talk, the bunker mentality, have you ever been part of something like this at a prior job?
“Every camp you go to this time of year is somewhat similar, but no, nothing- it’s been unique to any other experience in a positive way.”
What’s the most unique thing about it? What’s stood out most to you?
“Coach Harbaugh really is always thinking outside the box. I think he’s always on the cutting edge in the way he views things and does things, and so a lot of the ways we’re doing things is done differently here than anywhere else. Again, I think it’s all been positives. Our players have responded really well.”
Is Freddy Canteen working exclusively on defense?
“You know, we have a lot of guys that work both offense and defense, and like I said, we’re trying to find the best fit for everyone as a team. That’s what this time of year’s for and why we’re doing it.”