They said it: 49ers vs. Packers

What the 49ers were saying late Saturday night after their convincing 34-6 victory over the Green Bay Packers in an exhibition game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, with comments from coach Mike Nolan, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, receiver Josh Morgan, running back Frank Gore, kick returner Allen Rossum and quarterbacks J.T. O'Sullivan and Alex Smith.


Opening Statement:
A win versus a good football team: I'm pleased with that. We do want to keep in perspective that it was a preseason game although preseason games are important, naturally, in the development of the offense, defense and special teams, and the cohesiveness of the group. Offensively, I was pleased with several things: consecutive drives in scoring, again, against a very good defense. They left their starting units in, as we did, for the better part of the half. We only had the one turnover. That was early. The defense went out and did a nice job and stopped it: we held them to three [points]. But I thought we ran the ball, we passed the ball effectively, I thought that was good. Some individual performances on offense that come to mind: Josh Morgan and Jason Hill both did some good things, made some plays, caught the ball, ran with the ball well after they caught it. Frank Gore did fine. All three quarterbacks I was pleased with. So that was good. And then, there were zero sacks so from an offensive-line standpoint that was a real positive. On the defensive side, I thought we played very physical defensively. We had several turnovers in the game. Some of it was our causing, some of it was their mistakes. Nonetheless, those were important. We kept the yardage down. Individual performances: I saw several players make some plays but I know one player that caught my attention on some plays was Ray MacDonald. He's working very well on the defense both on the base-downs and in the sub-package. He works closely with Justin Smith. The two of them are working together well as far as pass-rush situations, whether it's on the outside or whether it's the inside. They mix it up, both. In the special teams area, obviously Allen Rossum did a nice job with his return scoring the touchdown. So those were good. Other than that, those were the things I saw.

On whether he saw enough from his three quarterbacks to make a decision after this game on who the regular-season starter will be: Not at this time. I need to look at the film before I make any decisions. We do. Naturally, we utilize the evaluations of the coaching staff and myself. So there are meetings to have.


On his performance:
I feel good. The team got a win and anytime you can get a win in the W column, it's a great lift for your team.

On how he rates his performance in this game compared to his first preseason game against Oakland: I think I improved a little bit [since] Oakland. I think I got more snaps than I did [in the first game]. As the fourth quarter came, I started getting a rhythm and getting a feel for the game, so I was able to make a couple of plays in the fourth quarter. I feel I improved a little bit, but I've got a long way to go.

On how he and the team feels going into next week's exhibition game at Chicago: I feel good. Right now, the team is using this game to learn from. I think that Green Bay is a good team and Chicago is [also] a very good team, so it's going to be a great test for us on the road and we've got to keep gelling as a team.


On if it was difficult for him to come out of the game after experiencing some early success:
It's always hard to come out of the game. Once you get the rock and get into a rhythm, you want to keep going. You always want to stay on top of it. You want to be out there with the guys.


On scoring his first NFL touchdown:
It really feels great. It's a blessing from God. The cornerback tried to play me press and I beat him off the line. Our quarterback made a great throw. I just went up to get it.

On his performance with a game-high five catches for 114 yards: I'm just out there trying to make all of the plays that I can. The ball comes my way, I try to catch it and do something with it. I'll do what I have to do for the team.

On facing the Bears in five days: It's football. That's the way I look at it. It's football no matter where you're at. God put me here to play this sport. It's football, so were going to play football just like we play at home."


On how the offense began jelling late in the first half:
It is about everybody doing what they are supposed to do – trusting each other to be exactly where they're supposed to be, especially the wide receivers. Trusting the offensive line to hold up and protect like they did tonight. And for us [QB's] to put the ball exactly where it's supposed to be. When all those things and the running game are jelling, it is going to be really fun to watch this offense.

On whether he feels he has something to prove: I think everyone has something to prove in this league. Tonight I had another opportunity to go out and do it.

On getting the start and continuing to play with the first team: The thing about this league and the QB position is that there are a very limited amount of reps. Unless you are in a competition for a job, you don't get a chance to run with the first team very often. It has worked out that this competition this year has given me the opportunity to run with the first team during training camp. I am just trying to make the most of every opportunity I get.


On his first return for a touchdown as a 49er:
It feels great. I've got to tip my hat to the guys that were blocking for me. I think I was guilty of trying a little too hard in the beginning. The last one, I tried to relax. He had been giving me some good balls all day. I just followed my blocking as best as I could, and the rest is history.

On how it felt to score again after already having so many career touchdown returns: It just makes me excited every time I'm back there. I know how close we are. I know how good we could be. I just want to continue to work hard, securing every catch, securing the ball, then breaking tackles. It's just doing my part, and not trying to do too much and just getting positive yards every time.


On how he feels about his chances to be the team's starting quarterback:
I hope so. It is hard to tell. You're asking the wrong guy. I think so from talking to Coach Nolan. They talked about going into the third preseason game and battling it out until then. I just hope I get the opportunity to start.

On how he feels about playing in the Martz offense: The playbook itself is very unique. The demand and expectation level is very high. The overall style of the playbook I think is very different than most coordinators.

On his comfort level in the offense: It's getting there. Just with time and the reps, going over the playbook, trying to understand what we're trying to get out of the plays and what we are trying to do, the better I will get. So absolutely, I'm feeling more comfortable.

On assessing his overall performance: I think I did some things OK. But the things that stick out in my mind are a couple of missed opportunities. The long bomb to Josh Morgan and the high ball in the back of the end zone to Jason Hill.

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