From the locker room

What the 49ers were saying late Sunday afternoon after their 10-3 upset victory over the Buffalo Bills, with comments from linebackers Takeo Spikes and Manny Lawson, quarterback Shaun Hill, running back Frank Gore and cornerback Nate Clements.


On getting a victory in that fashion:
It was a long time coming. Being an inconsistent team, the way that we have been, we always felt that like our record really didn't indicate what type of team that we have. In reality, we are what we are. But we continue to fight and coach Singletary continues to keep the confidence year in and year out.

On being prepared for the weather of game: Yeah, you can be prepared if you've played in it for four years. I knew what type of game it was going to be. A lot of the guys were checking the weather early in the week and I said there's no need to do that because one of the things you have to understand when you're playing teams in this area is because of the lake effect you never do know what you're going to get -kind of like Forrest Gump. The guys did a good job, the guys up front, Aubrayo Franklin, especially him, the defensive line they did a hell of a job today.

On how it feels to come to Buffalo and hold the Bills to three points: Oh, it's big. I'm going to tell you before you even get into the playoff teams. It's big to come into an environment like this to win a football game. The way that we did it, and then you add on top of it that this is a potential playoff team, closer than ever. So, I think this really shows our true character. Week in and week out we come in, ‘oh we gave them this and we gave them that.' I had to stress to the guys before the game, for this one time and one time only lets hold each other accountable. I don't want to worry about next week, let's do what we're supposed to do just for this one time, and we did that.

On the red zone defense: I think its preparation, preparation by (defensive coordinator) Greg Manusky. We actually get two days of red zone work in, somewhat on Thursday and our true red zone day on Friday. His ability to be able to teach us the little nuances. He can tell us what they're going to run, but a lot of people don't tell you why they run it versus certain stuff. And for him to be able to put us in that position, that's the reason why we're going to be effective in the red zone. With certain calls you're going to get certain stuff, and when you're able to teach certain guys that, and then you understand why you can take it to the next level. You can know where you can cheat; you can know where I can't cheat at, you can know when I can depend on where my help is going to be at, and that's what happened.

On the big win in Buffalo after playing here before: It's a big emotional win, very big. Big in the aspect that my best years on a consistent level came here in Buffalo, and I'll never forget that. I miss the environment, just coming back, I truly miss the environment. I can't explain it to you, it's unexplainable.

On whether or not this win will change how the team plays from here on out: I hope so. We'll only know that in reality from what we do from this point forward. But I'll tell you one thing, we're going to enjoy the next 24 hours. We'll build off it, because it is confidence knowing that you could make a play here and there, but at the bottom line if you get into the red zone, that's our zone, we will not let you in, at the worst we'll give up three points.

On beating a team with a winning record for the first time: Confidence, it's confidence to be able to beat a team with a winning record. Like I said earlier, to come into this type of an environment, to beat a team with a winning record, a playoff team, it's a team that potentially has the chance to go to the playoffs.


On seeing much of a difference when quarterback JP Losman came into the game:
Not really. I know the one thing that we wanted to do is that when JP came in, everybody knows he has a strong arm and wants to throw it deep. So we as a secondary had learned that he was in the game and that they may take some shots so just play on the top of everything and make them beat us by the dinking and dunking.

On what was on the line for this team: We just wanted to come out and compete. Every Sunday we prepare ourselves. This week we practice hard and studied and we did a lot of hard work this week so we wanted to come out and make a good showing and get a W.

On spoiling the Bills playoff hopes and preventing the Cardinals from clinching the division: We're just looking at it to make a statement and take a step forward.

On what kind of statement the 49ers made: That we can compete. That we come to play. We come to win. That we're not just coming for a moral victory, we're coming to win games.

On coming back to Buffalo: I don't think it really hit me until I stepped on the field and got into the game and the crowd screaming and everything. But just to come back and get a victory, it just feels good. It's an emotional victory for me and it just felt great.

On if he targeted this game: No. I didn't prepare any differently. I stayed with my same routine and just played the way I normally play.

On if his knowledge of the Bills receivers helped the team: It definitely helped me. You can say that it helps them because we go up against each other all the time. So I just play within the defense and took care of my responsibility to try and make plays.


On everything clicking:
We played great. We came out hungry. Shaun Hill did a great job. Isaac Bruce and all the other receivers. O-line was holding up real good. We just kept making plays.

On being healthy: I'm good. It was just real cold out there.

On it being the coldest game he has played in: I think so and then it started raining.

On being able to stay warm during the game: On the sideline I could, but out on the field it kind of got cold.


On coming back after Dallas dominated the 49ers defense last week:
I think one of the things that we harped on from that game was keeping our poise. We jumped out on them early and kind of lost our poise and they made some big plays and kind of ran with it. So this week we mainly focused on doing what we're doing and when we get it done and everything is in our favor, keeping our poise about it.

On how they did a good job keeping their poise: I mean really just all our red zone stops. You know within the 20 yard line, even when they moved the ball all the way down the field, they still couldn't put points up and so that was huge. That was keeping our poise. And on offense, running the ball like the way they did, making big plays, guys in huge pressure situations stepping up catching the ball. Our offensive line was blocking great and giving the quarterback time to check down or make sure he got all of his counts. I think today was an excellent game of keeping our poise.

On the Bills switching quarterbacks: Well, we were keying on that we know that when (JP) Losman came in that he was a good quarterback that did even more scrambling. He's quicker and I mean we really had to be on our toes as far as when he came out scrambling.

On Takeo's comment that the team was really prepared for this game: Well what we call the level's route, they come in and everyone's crossing and that's one of the toughest routes to pick up and I think we picked it up especially by making the quarterback throw the ball away. And really just identifying run/pass reads and run/pass situations. Whenever it was run, stop the run and whenever it was pass, get after the quarterback and make him rush his throws.

On the offense setting the tone on its opening drive: I think that's huge. I think that's a huge statement in itself. I mean marching the ball all the way down first of all. I mean knowing you didn't get any big plays or huge plays, you know just plays that were like wow. But still they marched the ball, took time off the clock. I mean whenever we got back out there, all we had to do was stop it was my mindset. So I'm saying that the offense did their job. Seven points and no interceptions will be enough. Of course to win this game it's on us now.


On scoring on the first drive of the game:
The first drive was the only drive that we had of the night, so it was definitely a good thing we were able to go down and get a touchdown there because obviously after that the weather kind of changed, and it made things a little bit more difficult.

On the effect the weather had on the game: Obviously it does make things a little tougher. Like you said, it's hard to catch the ball and sometimes when you're getting the ball out quick it's hard to grip the ball well. It's part of the game though, and both teams have to deal with the same elements. We handled them better today.

On the defensive stands in the red zone throughout the game: The defense played great. Obviously keeping them out of the end zone and at the end of the first half getting us a turnover and getting us three points. It came up big all night, stopping drives and holding them to three points. That's a pretty good unit they have over there, Buffalo does on offense, so our defense played great.

On whether or not he knew the first touchdown would be the only TD of the day No, no, I certainly didn't think that. Obviously we had other drives, we just stalled at times for whatever reason. But all I was saying was that was the best weather we were going to have all day, so it's a good thing we took advantage of it. Obviously that's not to say that we shouldn't have come up with touchdowns later in the day because there were opportunities.

On the first win the 49ers have over a team with a winning record: It's great to beat a good team, and Buffalo is a good team. We've been in ball games with good teams this year, but for whatever reason just weren't able to come away with wins. Obviously this one was big for us to be able to come out of here with a victory. Obviously you add on top of that the things that people have been talking about with the weather conditions and the travel all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast. So there were a lot of obstacles to overcome, but this team has a lot of heart and a lot of determination. We were really hungry for this win.

On Coach Singletary's reaction to the win: He was happy. He was very happy with the win. Obviously when we come into work tomorrow and take a look at the film there's going to be things that we need to improve on and mistakes that we made, but he was definitely happy about the win. Obviously it was an ugly win, but I learned a long time ago that you never apologize for a win that's for sure. They're just too hard to get. Just with all of the things that we had to overcome today, we'll take it.

On taking the sack before the two minute warning trying to stay inbounds and keep the clock ticking: I kind of got flushed. You throw a ball to a tightly covered receiver, then the clock stops. If I run out of bounds the clock stops. If I take a sack, then we'll go ahead and the clock will run down to the two-minute warning. So, yeah that's why I took the sack there instead of throwing it away.

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