Baas in lineup to stay?

The 49ers have been grooming David Baas to take over sooner or later at one of the interior positions along the offensive line, and now the time has come after a shoulder injury ended Justin Smiley's season last week. Here, Baas talks about joining the lineup and what the 49ers need to do to get back on track during Monday night's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Q: What's the feeling now that you're moving into the starting line on a regular basis now that Justin Smiley is out for the season?
Baas:
I'm real anxious. The guys that are in there trust me to do my job, so I'm really happy to get in there and real excited.

Q: Is there something to be said about you and Adam Snyder moving into the starting lineup together here as we go forth?
Baas:
It's unfortunate there was some injuries and some different things, but it's nice to know that we all can trust each other, no matter if it was Adam and I or whoever's going to be out there, that we're all playing together and going out there to win.

Q: After what the Seahawks' defense did to you guys and Alex Smith at the end of September, is there a sense of pride to go in there this time and say, ‘Hey, we're not going to let you get to our quarterback?'
Baas:
You know, we need to do our job and make sure that we cut out any mistakes and bring our ‘A' game. We know what it's like to play up there. It's a tough place to play and it's going to be noisy. But we have to make sure that we're on top of everything, and keep Alex clean and make holes for Frank (Gore).

Q: How important do you think this game is for Alex after playing only three snaps last time before he got hurt? Do you sense that he really wants to be out there and lead this team?
Baas:
Alex is a great leader and he's a great quarterback. And I think we just to give him the time so that he can show that and make the right plays. That's our job, to give him time.

Q: How is that the Seahawks were able to split gaps right upm the middle with their pass rush during the September game?
Baas:
Well, there's a lot of times, if we're in the shotgun or something, it's the back's responsibility. There's a lot or adjustments, so it may seem that they're coming clean, but that's where we have top of our game, to know whether or not the guard or the center has to pick up the guys in the A gap, or if it's the running back's job.

Q: What can the line do to help get Alex back on track, help get the running game on track and help the overall effort on offense to get going?
Baas:
I think we just have to make plays. When they're available, we just have to make those plays. I think that comes down to us, giving Alex time to make those plays and then opening the holes so the running backs can get yards. Because we do need to get it going, both pass and run.

Q: How important it is it to have that balance?
Baas:
It's very important for us. I think it's our time to establish something. And they're a great defense; I'm not taking anything away from them. So it's definitely going to be a challenge.

Q: Even though you're obviously taking over now that Smiley is hurt, did you see yourself starting to gravitate toward a more involved role anyway before he was hurt?
Baas:
Yeah, I was preparing myself every single week to get a lot of playing time. So, even if he wasn't hurt, then I was ready to step in at whatever position it may be. I was getting a few snaps here and there, but now it's a much larger role, and I just have to be accountable to my guys and go out there and do my job.

Q: How much does it help that you've had that occasional playing time and aren't just coming in to the lineup cold turkey?
Baas:
I think that's good that I'm just not being thrown in there. But also, like I said, I had to prepare myself every single week to be a starter. So that way, if something did happen, then I'd be ready.

Q: How much does it help to have a guy like Vernon Davis emerging in the offense?
Baas:
It's always good. It lets us create kind of a different game plan when we have some other key players in there. But even if we didn't have him, we have to go out there and execute with the guys that we have. That's the main thing.

Q: What is it that Vernon does well for you guys out there?
Baas:
He's a great speed guy, and linebackers can't cover him. He blocks well, so he's an all-around athlete type football player. He's definitely a threat, so they have to account for him.

Q: Does this game have added importance because it's a division opponent and, obviously, you guys have a six-game losing streak?
Baas:
Absolutely. We're on a skid, it's a divisional game, and there's still a lot of opportunity out there. So this is a very important game.

Q: Is there a sense that this is kind of where it starts for you now, that you could be cemented in here as a starter for the of your career?
Baas:
Right now, I'm not focusing on that. In the long run, I'm sure that's a possibility. But right now, I'm just going out there and doing my job, and we want to get a win.


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