Parrish curt, unfazed by starting speculation

Tony Parrish appeared unfazed about any speculation his starting job at strong safety might not be safe with the 49ers, as coach Mike Nolan suggested Sunday. The ninth-year veteran showed little emotion or elaboration early Monday afternoon while facing a barrage of question regarding his play this preseason and his status as a regular.

Here's a question-and-answer session with Parrish before Monday's practice:

Q: How's the competition going at safety?
Parrish:
That's the nature of the game, right? You go out, you perform. Everyone is always competing - nature of the game.

Q: Coming back from the broken leg that ended your season last year, do you feel any slower at this point?
Parrish:
I don't feel like I'm any slower. There's still some small things that I'm working on. I'm coming off a broken leg. I feel good. I'm preparing myself. I'll be ready.

Q: How do you feel about the way you played Saturday against the Cowboys?
Parrish:
Obviously, especially when you're not winning games, as individuals you really harp on things that you could have done better to help out the effort. But I definitely have a couple of plays in my mind where I think, ‘Man, if I could have just gotten there, I could have helped.'

Q: Have you talked to coach Nolan about your play?
Parrish:
I haven't talked to coach about that.

Q: What is the reason you feel you weren't able to get over in coverage like you would have liked to on some of those deep balls - the 28-yard touchdown to Terry Glenn and the 52-yard deep pass to Glenn?
Parrish:
I have nothing to say on that. Maybe you need to take a look at that.

Q: You weren't in two-deep coverage on those two plays?
Parrish:
No.

Q: How sharp do you feel out there right now?
Parrish:
I feel fine. I feel fine.

Q: Do you feel as good as you did before the injury?
Parrish:
Like I said, I feel fine. I feel fine. There'll always be some small things in your game that you're working on trying to get to the level that you want.

Q: Do you see the possibility of there being improvements on this defense from a year ago, considering the guys you lost?
Parrish:
Definitely I do see possibilities of improvement. It really just comes down to execution and everybody just understanding where we're fitting and how we're fitting, and how important each one-on-one battle is.

Q: How difficult is it on the players to have an unsettled lineup in the secondary this close to the regular season?
Parrish:
I think as players, you just play. We've all seen a decent amount of time together. You just continue to play and continue to work on how we can be successful.

Q: After a strong preseason start against Chicago, do you feel you've regressed defensively the last two games?
Parrish:
Any time you're not getting the victories it's easy to say you've regressed. What we go into these games wanting is a win - always. There's definitely points - I can only speak defensively - where we're not stopping the run as stout as we were and that's the type of thing we were breaking down this morning.

Q: Tackling-wise, do you feel you're back where you were before the injury?
Parrish:
You have to go out there and tackle. I don't have a problem with tackling.

Q: What's your diagnosis of the problems the team had tackling on Saturday?
Parrish:
We want to be a solid tackling defense. It's yards after the catch and yards after the contact that are things that defensively they kill you as far as the extra yardage goes. So that's always an emphasis defensively. Tackling is just one of those things that, there's technique to it, but tackling is something you'd call an outward expression of an individual's desire. You just have to want to do it, want to get them down.

Q: How much does this young defense depend on top effort from you in particular, since you've been a mainstay here in recent seasons?
Parrish:
I think we depend on top efforts from each other. When you're playing defense, everyone fits of each other, and your responsibilities are affected by the guy next to you, and what you do affects the guy on the other side of you. So it's definitely something that all fits together.

Q: How do you deal with worrying about keeping your position?
Parrish:
You just play. You just do what you do. As a player, we're all professionals in our own life. In our mind, we're trying to get it right every time we're out there.


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