SANTA CLARA -- The promotion of Jim Tomsula to head coach this week was met with enthusiasm from some of the team’s key players.
And that’s understandable because Tomsula said it is a priority for him to get the players excited about their jobs.
[RELATED: Harbaugh: Tomsula 'as passionate, high energy' as anyone in NFL]
“I want people to have fun playing football,” Tomsula said Thursday during the press conference to introduce him as the 19th coach in 49ers history.
Here’s how some of the 49ers reacted, through statements released by the team, to the selection of Tomsula to replace Jim Harbaugh
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick: “I’m very excited that he’s going to be our head coach. I think he’s a tremendous coach, as well as a great guy, and I know he’s going to help us win. He is always upbeat and fun to be around. I can’t wait to get a playbook in my hands.”
Tackle Joe Staley: “Jimmy has been the only coach that has been on the staff since I’ve been in the NFL with the 49ers. He’s been a tremendous coach for the staff and just the passion he brings. I remember when he was head coach for that one game (2010), how much energy and excitement he brought and how much the guys loved playing for him. I look forward to working with him full time as a head coach. I’m excited to get started with him.”
Linebacker Patrick Willis: “I was excited when I found out he was going to be the next head coach. Jim and I have been here since my rookie year. We went through our downs and had our ups, but we’re looking forward to bringing it back. We know coach Tomsula and we know what he’s about, and he knows the players on this team. So we’re looking to come in and hit the ground running. No sitting back and waiting. We’re going to hit the ground running.
Willis added, “Coach Tomsula, I’d like to say, he’s a players’ coach. He’s a players’ coach to the degree of he knows how to connect with his players, whether you’re a DB or whether you’re a linebacker, you’re a defensive lineman, and even the offensive side. He just knows how to touch your players in the right way and I think it’s positive.”
Linebacker Aldon Smith: “Obviously, he’s somebody who I’m comfortable with because he’s been here since I was drafted and has been my coach. We’ve already got a great relationship, and I’m looking forward to the direction he’s going to lead us. One thing he taught me was that I was able to do things, and not only make myself better, but make the defense and the team better. He helped me elevate my game.”
Guard Alex Boone: “I’m excited. Jimmy T is going to be great for this team. I think it’s a step in the right direction. He understands everybody. The one thing that I’ve said about him is that he understands the trench game. That’s the big part of this game is understanding what happens in the trenches. Once you understand that, you really have a grasp on the game. He’s a great guy, a great mentor, a great friend, and I’m excited for him.”
Safety Eric Reid: “I personally couldn’t be any more happy for him, knowing his past to where he’s been and how he’s gotten here. It’s just great. And to make it even better, he’s a great person and I know that guys will love to play for him. I think I can speak for a lot of guys when I say that we all love to play for him. He’ll do great things with this team.”