Q: It's shaping up to be a big weekend for you?
McGinnis: I think it's a big weekend for both teams because we got the same record. We haven't gotten there the same way. We recognize the fact as to how good a football team that Mooch has out there, the 49ers. We're a very young football team that has found a way to win some ball games. But we've got to get better. We're going to have to be able to score much more points than we've been scoring because of what that machine out there in San Francisco has going, as far as scoring points. I just know that continuing to play as hard as we are, things will happen for us. This is a big game for us.
Q: Do you see yourselves as the 49ers were last year where they kind of came in under the radar and then all of a sudden they're 12-4?
McGinnis: I don't know how much under the radar we are now because the way this league is, every weekend, something starts to shake out. All of sudden it's fruit basket turnover … it looks completely different. I knew that going into training camp that we were going to be a very young football team, but I felt like we were going to be an energetic team. If we could stay healthy, I felt like we could do a decent job of putting a pretty good product out there on the field. That's kind of what has happened. We haven't been able to stay completely healthy and we've found some unusual ways to win some ball games and we are by no means a finished product. The only thing that counts in this league, the only thing that matters in the seventeen years that I've been doing this, is on Sunday if you are able to find a way to have more points than the other guy. We've done that to this point and now this week is going to be a hell of step for us.
Q: Are you encouraged by the fact that your offense hasn't played that well and Plummer hasn't really lit it up, yet your still 4-2 at this point?
McGinnis: Well, that just goes to what we were just talking about earlier. It is that you just find a way to win and believe me…we are trying to do everything we can to hit on all cylinders, on all three phases of our game. But there is never going to be an idealistic game in this league. I've been it too long. I've seen too many things happen. The other team is trying to beat your ass too. That has a lot to do with what goes on with your football team also. All I can do is to prepare this football team and hopefully stay concentrated and focused and not look any further ahead, or not look behind at what happened. We must stay focused Wednesday to Sunday and then we'll throw it out there and see what happens.
Q: Could you have expected to be in this spot…battling it out for the division lead in this new division with so many unknown factors probably going into it for you guys?
McGinnis: No, I'll be honest with you. Any team I've ever coached, especially now as a head coach, I don't expect to be in last. That is not what I expect at all. But I do expect the football players that I gather around me, as well as the staff, to be working for success. Now we've had a little success, just a little baby success. We haven't had any big-boy success yet. We're just trying to stack some wins together. I expect my football team to play hard and if they do that, I will take whatever comes out on the end. Right now, six weeks or seven weeks deep into it, we've played ourselves into this position. We've got a hell of a game to play this weekend to find out what will happen after this weekend.
Q: Would you expect much of a different offensive approach if Hearst is unavailable to play with that hamstring?
McGinnis: Not really, I don't think so. If Garrison's hamstring is bothering him, I think Barlow is the guy, who has proven that he is the real deal. I thought that he was the real deal coming out of college. To me, he looks like a back that can break your heart on defense. So I don't expect them to change a whole lot though.
Q: It seems like Jake Plummer has put up the same kind of performances and numbers for several years in a row and has not really taken that step up. Has he been improving a lot as a quarterback?
McGinnis: Well, I think the next step has to do with everybody involved on this football team. You don't take next steps individually in football. Football is the consummate team concept and is a consummate team game. I think everybody around him needs to take those steps. A quarterback's success is dependent on a lot of things within an offense. Believe me, Jake Plummer is my quarterback. He's the leader of this football team. There is nobody out there on that field fighting any harder to get it done, believe me.
Q: Is there pressure for a guy like Jake, to put on themselves when they are in a contract year and things can kind of get weird at the end of the season?
McGinnis: I don't think so. I know Jake very well and I don't think that is factor. There is pressure in this league. There is pressure on me. There is pressure on the guy down there striping our field. There is pressure on everybody involved in this business because the only thing that is acceptable is to win. So, I don't think that is any factor.
Q: Quarterbacks in the NFL have a pretty quick hook, how has Jake avoided that?
McGinnis: He's my quarterback. He's the quarterback here. I just never have seen and I don't think I ever will agree with the hooking of a quarterback. I just don't understand that. Especially when you got a guy that has taken you and won ball games for you. Again, that is the way I'm going to run my football team. Whatever anybody else does with theirs is fine with me, but that's not going to happen.
Q: Every coach in the league wants their players to play hard. You've been able to do it week in and week out. How have you been able to accomplish that?
McGinnis: I have the right people in my locker room. It's not all about me here. That is something that is very important. It's about the type of people that you surround yourself with. It's my job, as a head coach here, to bring the right type of people into this locker room because I refuse to have good people in my locker room and then bring a jackass in and put him on a stool next to him. I just refuse to do that. I think that the quality of people that you surround yourself with will bear out. I really believe that heart and character win in any league. This is the highest form of football and I believe you need the highest quality people to play it.
Q: You have a killer schedule coming up for the rest of the year. What do you have to do to live up to that schedule and be competitive on a weekly basis?
McGinnis: We got to win. We got to stay healthy and just prepare to win on Sunday. This is the schedule we have and believe me, I keep hearing about it. I really don't look far into the future. We've got a killer game this weekend. It's a good football team we're coming out there to throw out with this Sunday and that is where I'm looking. I'm going to keep this football team tunneled from Wednesday to Sunday and then we'll see what happens.
Q: Are you convinced that the organization is committed to winning and getting where you want this team to get?
McGinnis: I am totally convinced of that. I sat down with Mr. Bidwill 19 months ago. He and I talked about what my vision was and what our vision was for what's going on here. Believe me guys, I am in this for one reason and that is to win. That to me is the most important thing and I know that I have that support here.