From the locker room

What the 49ers were saying late Friday night after their 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos in their exhibition opener at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.


On what the team did well on the field:
"We were able to move the ball and we had a big conversion on third down. That last sack kind of hurt us. That was completely on me. The offensive line did a great job out there. So I'd like to have that play back and I feel like we could have gotten seven out of that."
On his comfort level with Vernon Davis tonight: "Vernon's had a great camp and he continued to come out tonight and do a good job. The first ball, it was kind of a tough ball for him and he handled it well, turned up field and got some yards."
On the running game when he was on the field: "It was OK. The run game is funny. Sometimes you have to wear them down before you can pop a few, but we're doing a good job in all facets right now. We just have to get some more drives going and put seven on the board."
On what he can improve upon going into next week: "That sack I took down there on first down. I need to get off my first read quick and get to number two and throw it away if that's not there."


On the execution of the defense:
"I think that guys were just relaxed out there, taking chances, trusting and believing in what they saw. We weren't really out there worried about what they were going to do we were more focused on what we could do."
On his interception: "I saw the route and played my responsibility and he threw it. When an opportunity presented itself, I just made a play on it."
On the Broncos first offensive drive of the game: "They were more efficient at executing than we were and that's why [they] had the long drive. We had that bend but don't break philosophy and they came away with zero points."
On what they can improve on next week: "Just starting fast and just executing more efficiently on a regular basis."
On having two other defensive backs get interceptions: "I like seeing all of our [defensive backs] get interceptions and just making plays because we're game breakers."


On the interceptions and the play of the defense:
"All camp, they were emphasizing creating turnovers and trying to get our hands on the ball. We were able to put together some good coverage. The defensive line was able to put some pressure on the quarterback and he was able to throw us the football. That's what we pride ourselves on, making big plays and we were able to get three which was huge."
On what it was like playing against his old team: "It's sort of odd because a lot of my friends are on the other side. I had a chance to chat with Champ [Bailey] and Brandon Stokley, he was one of my good friends, covering him in the slot. It's like a rivalry, a fun rivalry, but at the same time I'm out here competing and I never thought I'd be in this uniform, but I'm here and I'm blessed to be here. It's a good situation, a good head coach, but it's a football town and I'm just glad to be a 49er right now."
On what it's like playing opposite Nate Clements: "I had a chance to play opposite of Champ and Nate has had a good career also, going into his 9th year. He has played in Pro Bowls, made a lot of plays and I think just having a chance to come and add what I can add to the secondary, good things are going to happen. Nate has had a great career and hopefully we can both benefit from playing in this secondary."


On his assessment of tonight's game against Denver:
"It was an alright game, we didn't do as well as we thought we were going to do. We held it down for the most part. It was our first game together and we pulled out the victory."
On finally being able to play for the first time with the 49ers: "I felt good. I was held out from playing for the past two seasons and it felt really good to get my feet back on dirt."
On what he thinks the defense needs to work on against the Oakland Raiders: "We definitely need to be stouter on stopping the run. [The Broncos] were pretty much doing anything that they wanted to do. They were doing a lot of quick passes and they were also getting big yardage on the run game so we definitely need to step that up."


On the excitement of getting out there:
"Yes, it was exciting. It's just a start to a big future with this team, this organization. We're definitely going to come out and win a lot of games this year. We definitely have the talent. There are a lot of guys on this team that can make plays, so it's just about getting it done."
On his comfort level out there: "You're a little rusty when you first get out there, but after a few snaps, you get back to the way it used to be."
On whether he's looking forward to getting balls like that all season: "I'm looking forward to getting balls like that all season.
On how it feels to know that he is going to be utilized in the offense: "My thing is, I'm just going to take it one game at a time, one practice at a time and just continue to grow. I'm not worried about whether I'm being utilized or not. I'm going to take it slow and take it one game at a time and whatever happens, I'm going to do my job and take care of what I have to take care of, and let everything flow the way it needs to flow."
On whether he thinks this game is an extension of this spring and training camp, and how he is going to be featured in this offense: "Most definitely. [Offensive Coordinator] Jimmy Raye is known for utilizing his tight ends and that is what you'll get out of him. You'll see him throw his tight ends the ball. That's what he believes in, especially if you have a playmaker, you'll get the ball."


On rating his performance:
"It was great. It's always nice to get out there and play. We had a nice scoring drive there in the 4th quarter. The defense did a nice job in the end. There was a goal-line stand. So it was great. It's something for us to build on."
On his touchdown pass to FB Brit Miller: "They had a blitz on and I just kind of drifted back and got it out into the flat, and the fullback made a great play for me. It was a lot of fun."


On how it felt to get back on the field for the first preseason game:
"It felt good. It felt good. As soon as the offense starts clicking, as soon as you get those plays, you'll always get those jitters, no matter how long you play. As soon as you get those first couple of snaps out of the way, you realize it's still football. It felt good out there, especially going against Champ Bailey."
On how he felt about matching up against Champ Bailey: "It felt good. I was really looking forward to going against him. He's one of the best corners in the game. I was really looking forward to that. I feel as though I did a good job."


On the excitement of getting out there:
"It's great to be out there playing in a game again, not watching. That was nice. The preseason is about us, and it's about us doing our job and going out there executing and getting better. You've got to learn from it. There are a few plays out there that I'd like to have again, but you've got to get better and not let them happen again."
On his comfort level: "It was good. Obviously, I was raring to go when I got out there. It's been a long time for me, so I was pretty amped up. It's nice once you get to settle in a little bit and get that first completion."


On the interception that he had during the Broncos drive:
"I was dropping into coverage and I saw [QB Kyle Orton] looking my way and I thought it was a deep route because I saw the receivers going behind me and so I just kept backing up and he just threw it and I just lucked-up and ended up in the right spot and got the interception."
On how the defense performed as the game progressed: "We came out kind of slow but we got better as time went on but we've still got a lot of work to do, we still have a lot of stuff to do. Some of the things we did were just mental busts. We've got to be smarter and more technically sound."
On the secondary play of the 49ers defense tonight: "It makes me feel good to see us perform well. It makes me feel as if all the work that we're doing at practice is paying off. We're out there ball-hawking right now and, hopefully, if we can carry that into the season that would be great."
On what he feels the 49ers secondary needs to work on getting ready for the Oakland Raiders: "We need to work on talking and communication. We need to communicate and make sure that we get our calls right. Sometimes we mess up so we need to get our communication right."


On whether he felt good to play in a game:
"It felt good. The first preseason game is always the most nerve-racking for me because it's the first game of the season. It's good to get out there and play against someone besides ourselves every day. I thought we did some good things as a first-team offense. We were able to move the ball a little bit on that first drive, some things to build on. But, it's early. We know we've got a long way to go. I'm pretty excited."
On how he rates the play of the first-team offensive line: "I thought we did good. I'm going to have to watch the film to see how we really did. We were giving the quarterback time. We had a couple of nice runs there early. The film doesn't lie. I feel like we didn't have any breakdowns, so I feel that we did well."

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