Q: Jason Tarver talked a little bit about his time with the 49ers. What did you take away from your time there?**
Coach Olson:"It was my first time in the Bay area, No. 1. That was when Steve Mariucci was just in the beginning stages of getting through the salary cap situation. We had a real successful year the year that I was there, so there is nothing but good memories of the York's and the entire organization. It was a good year for me."
Q: Latavius Murray has flashed a little bit in limited action. Is there an element of curiosity of what he might be able to do over a longer stretch?
Coach Olson: "Certainly. I think we're all excited to see him now that he is healthy again and give him the opportunity to carry the football this week. There is some anticipation, and I think there is some excitement this week seeing him out on the practice field. We're excited to see him play."
Q: You're running pretty low at tight end. Do you have to get creative with blocking?
Coach Olson: "Certainly. Brian Leonhardt was doing a good job developing as our blocking tight end. Now, there will be opportunities for younger players to show up, and obviously we'll look at the scheme and what we're doing schematically to aid us in running the football. We'll still continue to utilize the tight end in those situations, but it was a shame for Brian Leonhardt because he was developing this season."
Q: Having 27 passes short of the first-down marker on third downs, are there times when Derek Carr has a guy open that he's not seeing or is he making the right throw based on what he's seeing? I'm sure it's a mix of both.
Coach Olson: "It's a mix of both, I think, and when you look at it and get a chance to look at it. That's why I think experience is so important for him, and so where you can show him times where he can hang onto the ball, hang in the pocket a little bit longer and give the downfield route a chance. So, some of it's schematically, some of it's personnel based. Some of it is based on blitz or hot reads for him. There are a lot of things involved in it, but I think, again, his best way to see that is to experience it and he's getting a chance to experience it and he's getting a chance to go back and watch it after some of those situations and then watch maybe other quarterbacks that are running the same scheme and see that here's an example of the schematically what we're doing here and here's an example of a route breaking free downfield. It's a little bit of both though. Again, I just think he'll see it and he'll get better as he moves forward."
Q: You're seeing progress in that regard?
Coach Olson: "Yeah, I am."
Q: It may be nitpicking with a rookie quarterback as he's avoiding sacks and turnovers …
Coach Olson: "Yeah, you're right there's a fine line there. Certainly, you don't want to be leading the league in that category. I really believe though that what he's learned though in terms of handling the protection calls. There are times when he's made checks, many times, where we've given him the freedom and part of his development is being able to recognize things and possible get to a check, whether it be a route, for instance in the Kansas City game, the game-winning check there for the touchdown. He made that check. In other times, he's checked to maybe what we would call a smoke route or you'll see some teams that run little bubble screens or some of those times. He may have made the check and it didn't work, but he can now see, 'I didn't realize that guy can close that fast on a route like that.' So I just think it's experience. Unfortunately, it's coming at a time in the season, a season to forget somewhat, but I think that that experience will help him going down the road."
Q: Do you ever wish you had something in his helmet telling him to take a sack, don't take a sack?
Coach Olson: "When you look at it, it's the importance again, experience the offseason training for him will be critical here next season going into his second season and having a chance to go back and look at it. Again, to be able to study the other players more freely than he's been able to just coming out of the college season it's difficult to study the rest of the quarterbacks in the league. We're always finding examples of similar schematically of what we're doing and giving him a chance to look at it. I just think it will be good for him. I just think that the experience of being in there and playing will really benefit him down the stretch."
Q: Is it difficult standing on the sidelines anticipating him making a mistake before he actually makes it?
Coach Olson: "It's not hard because I know he is a young quarterback. I think it's hard on him. Sometimes he will come back and look at the pictures on the sidelines and he'll say, 'Ah, I could have hung on that and made that throw.' Again, it's learning. I think he needs to continue to get better, he knows that, and I think the organization knows that. He's got to get better, but we've also got to continue to build players around him. That'll help him as well."
Q: How is Latavius Murray in pass protection?
Coach Olson: "He's been good. No, that doesn't play into our ability or inability to play him on third downs or play him on first or second downs. I think [Interim Head Coach] Tony [Sparano] has explained it the best as he was really out for an entire season last year, so we never really got a chance. When we did see him when he came here as a rookie, he kind of walked like he had bunions or there was something wrong with his feet when he came in. Then he finally explained it, 'Coach, there is something wrong with my feet. I don't run like that.' So, then we got a chance to see him in that Seattle preseason game was really the first time that he jumped out and we got a chance to see him in some of the scrimmages when we went down and scrimmaged Dallas and did some of those things and thought, 'Alright, this guy, we may have something here.' We're excited to see him, but he's still a young player but he's an intelligent player. He's a young player. There have been some mistakes, but it's not something that we would fear putting him because of that."
Q: Would you characterize Derek Carr's season as a roller coaster or a steady climb up?
Coach Olson: "It's been pretty steady. I think, again, we ran into a really good defensive football team last week. We'll run into another good one this week with the 49ers. They are a big test for him, a huge test. I think there will be times like that. You look at it last week, if you look at it just statistically, obviously it was the worst game of the season, but I believe that he's getting better. I think most people that know football and watch football within the organization and outside of the organization see that there's development there going on with him and there needs to be continued development with him. But, again, he has been a very good learner and a real work in progress. The guy has gone through a lot as a rookie, when you look at what he has had to do here. To me, to face the adversity that he's had in this season and the way that it's gone, I think he's handled it like a pro and I think he'll get better. I really believe he's still on the rise."
Q: What is the most frustrating thing about your offense this season?
Coach Olson: "I think running the football, again, that's been a frustrating part to not be able to run the ball as well as I'd like to or as well as we'd like to at this point. That more than anything, I think, would be the biggest disappointment."
Q: Denarius Moore has been a healthy scratch and hasn't seen a lot of snaps on offense. What do you need to see from him for him to get back in the mix?
Coach Olson: "Right now, the little bit of individual time at practice and the performance at practice right now is what it will be. Again, with Rod Streater coming back possibly being up after this injury, he has a chance to be up, so that room is getting a little bit crowded so there is still a lot of competition that goes on on a daily basis and you always have to compete out there at practice with the rest of the wide receiver room."