They said it: 49ers on their preseason opener

What the 49ers were saying from the San Francisco locker room after their 17-13 loss to the Denver Broncos in Monday's preseason opener:

Coach Mike Nolan: "I'm disappointed with the loss, as we always are, because we do play to win, even though it's a preseason game. Winning is a habit and you want to win as often as you can. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game. We got down there and turned the ball over the one time in the end zone and another time was driving in the two minute and I was hoping to get at least three points out of that. But, nonetheless, we did lose the game, but I was pleased with the opportunities that the defense created for the offense and the offense did get the ball down in there. I would say that those are some of the positives of the game that come to mind. I said that when I took the job that it was going to be critical that our offensive line is good. I'm pleased with what they've done so far. They will get better, but I am pleased with the group we have."

LB Tully-Banta Cain: "It was good to get our first time out in a game-type situation. We got to work on our communication and flying out to the ball. It is a good way to knock the rust off. Guys are out there trying to make plays. Everybody was real excited. As we got into the flow of the game, things started to slow down."

QB Trent Dilfer: "Our offense is really striving for balance. That's what we had to do, due to losing our star running back. That gave us the opportunity to work on some areas that we weren't as sharp on as last year. I didn't play that great, but I felt like I liked what people were doing around me. We got a lot of plays in, and that is what you want to do in the preseason, run a lot of plays. We had the ball for about 18 minutes in the first half. We ran our plays well but we have to finish better."

C Eric Heitmann: "In preseason games like this, we have a limited amount of series as an offense and what we wanted to do was just come out fast and play physical and be able to move the ball in the running game, and everything works off of that. Today as an offensive line we wanted to be physical and I felt like we did that today. We made some strides and some improvements and we have to carry it in to next week."

RB Maurice Hicks: "Just getting the opportunity to come out here and show the coaches what I can do was good. We do have depth at running back with me, Frank (Gore) and Mike (Robinson). It seems like we were able to get a couple of long runs early and set up some screens. The O-line did a great job. Everyone, the tight ends and the fullbacks did a good job blocking and making the holes."

S Keith Lewis: "Everyone had to get out there and get their bugs worked out. Everyone got to make their first mistakes and work past it. It was good to get out there and get a feel for how everyone plays. There were so many positives to take away from the game. We had a lot of scoring opportunities that we didn't take advantage of. That's only going to go up and up. Further down the road we are going to make those plays and make those tackles."

QB Alex Smith: "It was nice to get out there and it felt good out there. It feels a little unusual when you haven't been out there for eight months. I really liked the tempo. We were running up to the line. We were really playing down hill. We kept the rhythm going. It is something that we have not done in the past."

LB Patrick Willis: "It was faster than I thought it would be out there. I was nervous at first but was able to settle down. You can practice all day, but when you get out there on the field, everyone is out there is moving a hundred miles an hour. Everyone is fighting for their jobs and nothing is for certain. I think we came together today a bit better as a whole. We still have a lot to work on. But that is why we play the preseason, so hopefully down the road we won't get a lot of big runs against us."

Niners Digest Top Stories