JTO ready to bounce back against Patriots

After his worst game of the season, 49ers quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan looks back at what went wrong against the Saints and forward to Sunday's pivotal game against defending AFC champion New England at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Q: What is your self evaluation of last week's play against the Saints?
O'Sullivan:
I felt like we moved the ball. We can't turn the ball over like that, especially in the red zone.

Q: That was the offense's worst performance of the year. Was it a combination of everybody?
O'Sullivan:
I don't evaluate it like that. I just try to look at my performance. I felt like we moved the ball, just like what I said already. I felt like we moved the ball, but to have a chance to win against a good team, you've got to score touchdowns and you can't turn the ball over. You can never turn the ball over in the red zone.

Q: Is that your inexperience maybe?
O'Sullivan:
Bad decisions. I don't know if… Experience and inexperience had nothing to do with it in my mind. I should make that throw all the time.

Q: Against the Lions, you seemed to have a good sense of where the pass targets were when you scrambled out of the pocket. What was different in the Saints game? You didn't seem to have that sixth sense that you had a week earlier.
O'Sullivan:
I would guess you're talking about the fumble. It's about when I escape out of the pocket, I need to go full speed until I feel like I'm away from those guys. I can't break the containment, throttle down and try to make a play downfield. I've got to try and get out. I need to make sure I'm safe first and then I can look my eyes down the field.

Q: Did you try to stay in the pocket longer?
O'Sullivan:
I'm trying to play each play. If I feel like I have to take off for it to be successful and for us to have a positive play, then I will, but I'm definitely not looking to do that by any means. I'm looking to hang in there as long as I can and make the throws down the field.

Q: Are there times when you think you should have dumped the ball off or if you had taken a half-second it would have made a difference?
O'Sullivan:
In the sacks? I didn't look at it like that. I felt like the ball came out on time, when it needed to it was there.

Q: You said after the game that the Saints were jumping some of those slant routes. Is that something that you'll expect to see from here on out?
O'Sullivan:
Until we prove that we have an answer to it, then I think all offenses can make adjustments and the defenses will be aware of those adjustments. We're going to still try and do what we do, we just need to do that better and then prepare for them to make the adjustments to be able to see how things have changed.

Q: Can you talk about New England quarterback Matt Cassel from your time in New England?
O'Sullivan:
When I was there he was the two, so it was just his level of professionalism. I felt that he was always ready to play. He practiced hard, all of those things, I mean everything you would want out of someone who wasn't playing, Matt would do it.

Q: New England runs the three-four [defense] and I know that you do in parts too. Does that kind of give you a little bit on an advantage seeing that in practice each day?
O'Sullivan:
A little bit, but most quarterbacks would tell you that they don't love the three-four just because there's an extra guy standing up, but once you're around it, you understand the scheme that it's football and they're trying to do certain things with their front. We're trying to do stuff with our routes and protections. You get a little more comfortable with it. I think you'd rather see seven guys standing up than eight guys standing up.

Q: How much more time do you have to put in with this defense, and as you say kind of deciphering what they're doing, than with a team that plays pretty basic?
O'Sullivan:
I feel that I put in just the right amount of time every week. I don't feel like I'm out there trying to over-analyze what I'm seeing. I'm trying to recognize what I see, and react to it. If something doesn't make sense to me, I'll spend a little extra time in a certain situation if they would be complicated in a red zone, third-down situation football, I'll do that sort of thing. Wednesday is our mix-down day of understanding what they're trying to do, understanding how we're trying to take advantage of it and go from there. Sure, there are situations they do a lot of things here, they do a lot of things there. You need to spend extra time to make sure you see it, but there's a fine line with being out there and overanalyzing stuff and understanding that still the most important thing for us is to make sure we do as well as we can.

Q: With that said, how do you bounce back from a bad performance?
O'Sullivan:
Come out here and have a good performance today, have that transfer over to tomorrow and make sure we're doing the things we need to be doing this week to give us a chance to win. We understand that this is a very, very, very good team, so we're going to need to play well to have a chance.

Q: On Sunday they're going to honor Steve Young. You mentioned the other day that he was trying to track you down. Have you guys talked yet?
O'Sullivan:
Just a little bit of phone tag over the weeks, but I have nothing but respect for how he played. I don't know him personally that well other than a short conversation on the phone, but when I grew up watching the 49ers he was the quarterback that was playing. Everything that he did was kind of my introduction to pro football, so I have nothing but the highest respect for him.

Q: In comparison to Steve Young, you haven't had as many games but you're a right-hander and you have escapability…
O'Sullivan:
I wish I was that fast. [Chuckles] But that's a pretty high honor. I think that's way beyond where I'm at. He did it for such a long time and handled himself with such class. When he wasn't playing and then to come in and play so well and elevate his game even more in the highest game. Watching from afar, you can't think anything but that's the ultimate competitor.

Q: As a kid did you get his autograph?
O'Sullivan:
Sure. Multiple times.



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