From the locker room

The play of rookie wide receiver Josh Morgan and quarterback Alex Smith were popular topics as the 49ers give their takes on the game after their 24-21 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon.

WIDE RECEIVER MICHAEL CRABTREE

On how it felt to finally be out there:
"It felt good man. It's football. It felt better to be out there on Sunday instead of Saturday."

on the speed of the game: "I worked on that all this week in practice. It came kind of easy today because we did such a good job of preparing. I'm looking forward to next week."

On how he played with quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Alex Smith: "Both of them have the same timing. They are both good. My place is to run routes. Whoever is throwing the ball, it is my job to catch it. I like them both."

On his performance: "I have to watch film. I can't really remember everything I did. I will watch film and give you that later."

On his emotions going into the game: "I was kind of calm. I kind of practiced on being calm and coming into the game knowing what I'm supposed to do and executing plays. I think I did a good job and I think I have some more work to do."


WIDE RECEIVER ARNAZ BATTLE

On how he felt Alex Smith performed:
"It's a long time coming. He's gone through a lot. He has overcome injuries; he has had to compete for a spot. To see him go out there today and play well I was happy for him. Hopefully even though we lost we can build on this especially as an offensive unit and come out swinging earlier in games."

On how the sun was a factor in today's game: "It was. The one I muffed had a great hang time on it. I felt like I was right under the ball. I was in great position. Actually when it came down it shifted on me. There was a defender right there and I could feel him. So as I went to my side and tried to catch it I bobbled it and they were able to recover it."

On what a defender does when trying to catch a punt: "They say things but you try to block that out and focus on the ball. I felt like I was focused on it. I felt like was in great position. It was just one of those kicks where the ball shifted on me. Since I stepped into the role it's been tough. It's been some tough games. I really haven't had the opportunity to get things going and have kicks where I could catch it and have room to work and make something happened. Right now I would say I have to continue to work at it. Hopefully head coach (Mike) Singletary is not down on me and I could have another opportunity. Just continue to work at it."


QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH

On what it was like to get back on the field:
It was nice to get that first play over, I'll tell you. You really wouldn't like to come in in a situation like that, but you have to take advantage of your opportunities. Unfortunately, we didn't come away with the win.

On being able to make throws he couldn't in previous years: I'm definitely not even close to the same player I was two years ago, and I mean that in a good way. Even though I've had some injuries, I feel the progression I've made is pretty big. I think not it's just a matter of getting back out there and getting experience again.

On what he saw on his TD passes to Vernon Davis: He's such a matchup problem, especially when you get down there in the red zone. He gets vertical so fast that he creates a lot of problems for defenses. He gets on top of them fast and they weren't taking him away. You take what they give you, and it was Vernon all day.

On his decisiveness in making throws: I'm better at seeing things, better at understanding what we're doing against their defense, kind of that chess match. And I think I'm better at taking what they give you. I think there's a lot to be said about that in quarterbacking. Don't try to force anything, don't try to create anything. Just be patient and take what the defense gives you, and I think I'm probably much better at that.

On chemistry with WR Michael Crabtree: "You know, I think he played really well for a young guy only being in a couple weeks, going out there and playing like that. For a guy that's only been here a couple of weeks, to come in and play that fast, that meant a lot. He played a lot of 1-on-1 against some good corners. He played really well, competed against a lot of man coverage and played really well. I just went out there and made my read and threw the ball. I wasn't trying to think about anything else."

On delay of games and technical aspects for backup quarterback: "It's been a while, but that's beside the point. Obviously we have to push up the pace, and can't let it happen again. That's the key. We can't keep going out there making the same mistakes. We had some sideline game problems a few times today. Those are things we have to get fixed."

On whether he thought this would happen today: "I wasn't sure. I guess I was ready for anything. I was ready for anything to happen."

On getting time with first team in practices: "Yeah, during the bye week. I didn't look too much into that. (QB) Shaun (Hill) was banged up a little bit. I think that's pretty common. You know, we only had one day with the weather out there. So, I certainly didn't read into that at all I was just trying to take advantage of it. I just tried to stay ready."

On if he was nervous when he was told he would be entering the game: "No question. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't. Absolutely. You know, especially just because it had been a little while since I really took some game snaps. So there's no question. I mean it's nice to kind of get sweating and not be thinking about it anymore."

On offensive schemes working against the Texans defensive schemes in the second half: "I just think they were giving us that. The plays we had called—that's what came up. I wasn't trying to force anything to him or do anything like that. He's (TE Vernon Davis) an extremely talented player and creates a matchup problem. And they gave us some looks down there where he came open, and he did a great job getting open and catching the ball."


WIDE RECEIVER JOSH MORGAN

On how the offense improved in the second half:
"I envision the offense scoring every time we get a chance. We have to execute a little better. I think with the talent we have we should score on every play. Every time we get the ball, every drive at least."

on the delay of game mix up: "I think we just got the call real late. Nothing really happened just got the call real late."

On how surprised he was of QB Alex Smith's performance): "He's a pro. He came out there and did a good job. That's what we do, that's what we suppose to do. They call on you to make plays no matter how long you've been out."


TIGHT END VERNON DAVIS

On the chemistry he and QB Alex Smith have:
"Yes, we had a lot of chemistry me and Alex. We haven't been working together but still have chemistry. Me and Alex always had chemistry no matter what, whether he's practicing or not."

On if he was surprised by QB Alex Smith's performance: "I wasn't surprised, I knew what he was going to do."

On how the offense played better in the second half: "First you have to get moving. If you don't get moving it's hard to get going. You have to be that first catch for somebody to get the team going or that first run what ever it is it has to be something."

On what the mood of the team was as they began to move the ball: "Everyone was getting excited. They started to believe. That's what it's about. You have to get going. If you don't get going it's hard, the game is flat and you don't have that momentum especially when the team is betting you. Once we get going we going."

On what head coach Mike Singletary said at halftime: "Coach talked to us and told us that we got to be moving. We knew that and we believed in it. Once we get going plays are going to pick up. When we are not doing anything it's hard."

On who he would think will be the 49ers starting quarterback next game: "I don't know, it's up to the coaching staff. It's not my decision. Either one can run our offense. I like both of them. I don't have anything against Alex or Shaun."


OFFENSIVE TACKLE BARRY SIMS

On how the offense came out in the second half:
"We were coming from behind so we had a long ways to go. We just wanted to try and keep getting first downs and moving the chains. When you do that you are able to put yourself in good position to score touchdowns. We started catching a little momentum there, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time to continue."

On QB Alex Smith: "Well, from what I can tell, he can get rid of the ball quick. When there was pressure, he was able to scramble out and get positive yards. It was good to see him out there for a little bit. We will see what happens."


RUNNNING BACK FRANK GORE

On him sending a message to the offense during their slow start to the game:
"I was telling them that we can't win like that. We kept going three an out and we kept the defense on the field. I just told them that we had to get going. I just brought them all in and told them we got to get going."

On the team now being 3-3: "We're going to be fine. We go down to Indy and we got to clean up all the mistakes we had today. Offensive wise, we need to pick up were we left off in the second half today and try to get better."

On WR Michael Crabtree's play in his first NFL game: "He did great. Like I said man, I told him he would be fine. I told him as long as he knew the plays, he would be fine."


DEFENSIVE END JUSTIN SMITH

On the overall team performance:
"It's pretty hard in the first half when you are down that big of a hole against a team that can move the ball like that. A couple of times we get the ball down the field and then turn it over. In the second half I think we played a little bit better, but it wasn't enough. We have to be able to hold people to three, six and nine points. We didn't get that done today. "

On the performance of QB Alex Smith: "He did real well. He came in and moved the ball with confidence. He looked like he did well."


CORNERBACK SHAWNTAE SPENCER

On the defensive performance:
"The last three out of four games we have just been beating ourselves. I don't really know what's going on. I've got to look at the film. I don't want to make any assessments up on what's going wrong with our defense without seeing the entire film of this game. This is the National Football League. We can't go down 21-0. If we don't go down like that then it may be a different ball game. We made them go all the way down to the wire for 60 minutes. Being behind 21-0 put a lot of pressure on our offense."


QUARTERBACK SHAUN HILL

On being replaced in the second half:
"I'm pretty adamant about it. When the offense isn't going you have to put it on the quarterback. He gave us a spark. Obviously I wasn't giving us that."

On the play of QB Alex Smith: "Alex played a great second half. He had a great second half out there. I'm very proud of the way he played."

On playing with WR Michael Crabtree: "Obviously he showed you guys a little bit of what he has. He is going to be great player for us."

On his first pass attempt to Crabtree: "We just had miscommunication. More than anything it was a lack of inexperience. After that he knew exactly what had happened and he's ready to move forward. He played a great game."


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