They said it: 49ers after win over Bears
HEAD COACH MIKE SINGLETARY
Opening statement: I thank God. I thank my family. I thank these coaches. I thank the players, and I thank our fans. Our fans were outstanding tonight. They had the place rockin'. It really makes a difference, so I'm very excited about that. As far as the team is concerned, just very thankful that we were able to go out there and do the things that we needed to do on the defensive side of the ball. Greg Manusky and the staff really did a great job coming up with a plan that was effective enough to get turnovers. We talked about turnovers all week. Turnovers on offense we want to eliminate. Turnovers on defense we want to encourage. I think we just have to continue. It's a work in progress. I think, when I look at the offensive side of the ball, we did not come out and do all of the things I thought we could, or hoped that we could. We thought we'd be able to run a little bit better — did not. We did just enough on the offense to win the game. I think the one thing that we did do well, towards the end of the game, I think our offense put a drive together and came up short at the end of it. But put a drive together and took a lot of time off the clock, gave our defense a chance to game-plan a little better and make some adjustments on the sideline before getting back in the game. Overall, good win and glad we were able to come away with it."
On what it means to him personally to beat the Bears: "You know, in all honesty, and I mean this, the first time that we played the Bears when I was here and we went down there and got the snot kicked out of us, that was an overwhelming feeling. But for the Bears to come in here today and for us to beat them, in all honesty, looking at our schedule and the next team that we have, they're just another team on that schedule and I'm very thankful that we could beat them."
On whether he thinks his young team has come of age: "I think, for us, we took a step. Anytime you're in a game against a good football team… I think we hung in there, we fought, we didn't lose our poise, we did some dumb things at times with the penalties. We have to continue to work to eliminate those because great teams don't do that and that's what we're aspiring to be. We just have a lot of work to do and I just think that our young guys did step up and I was very pleased with the way they fought and finished it."
On whether it was a relief to get his first win in five weeks: "I'd hate to use the word relief, but trying to think of another one is kind of hard right now. So, I will say, yes."
On how much the short week affected the offenses: "You know what, I really don't know. I can't answer that question, because I could say a lot of different things and it still would not be right. So, I don't know. I just think that both offenses had their issues, but it affects the defense as well. So it goes both ways."
On whether one can coach for five interceptions: "You know what, I just think that, when you get five interceptions in a game… I think the thing that we talked about all week is the execution on defense and on offense, but I think in order to make those plays when you're getting interceptions and getting those kinds of plays, I think guys are doing little things. Sometimes, the offense just makes a bad play, and then there are other times when the offense… you're holding the ‘two shell' long enough and the guy thinks that he has something that he does not and when the ball is snapped we get a good pass-rush and all of the sudden, he's throwing the ball to a certain player because he thought it was cover-two and it was cover-three and he throws the dice. So, little things like that I think we have to continue to get better on."
On the fortitude of the defense at the end of the game: "I was talking to one of the coaches in the locker room, and it's just the opposite of Minnesota. It's almost the same situation, almost the same play, but the outcome was different and positive on our side. So it's nice to have something fall for you. I think the guys are working their tails off and a lot of times when you're doing that, trying to make good things happen, then good things happen."
On whether what happened in Minnesota affected what happened at the end of this game: "No, I don't think so. I don't think anyone was thinking about Minnesota, I think everyone was just thinking about winning the game."
On whether anything that they learned against Minnesota affected the end of this game: "Not really. I think the only thing you can learn against Minnesota is that you really have to be flawless in that situation. When it comes down and you've got 12 seconds left in the game, the only thing you learn there is that everybody has to be where they need to be and when you get there, try to make a play. But tonight, it was just a matter of guys hustling, working their tails off trying to be in the right place at the right time and it worked out."
On what he was trying to do with this defensive game plan: "I just think that in every defensive game plan that we have, the thing that you want to do is take away what they do best. They‘ve got some really quality players in the tight end, the Olsen kid [TE Greg Olsen] that they love to throw the ball to, [WR Devin Hester] is really dangerous, the rookie they have, number 13 [WR Johnny Knox]… In crucial situations, just trying to recognize, get our guys to recognize, this is when they're going to run the screen, this is when they're going to run the hitch. The screen is a huge play for them and we finally began to make some plays on that thing. I just think in every defensive scheme that we have, it's just trying to take away what they do very well and make them beat you left-handed, so to speak."
On whether he was happy with the running game at the end of the game: "That was very good to see, because that's exactly what I'm talking about, we just have to do it more effectively. But our offensive line is continuing to gel and I'm excited to get back and look at the film and look at why we couldn't run some of the other times in different personnel settings. Those guys are fighting and just really beginning to gel and continuing to work together so I'm excited to see that tonight."
On his decision to go for it on fourth-and-one: "You know what, I will say this, that was not a very good decision. That was a bad decision on my part. So I'll say that first. Now, to answer your question, I want my offensive line to know that if we have a half a yard, I expect them to get it. So when I'm on the sideline contemplating, ‘should I go for this?', and I'm looking at them and I get the body language, ‘go for it, go for it', okay let's go. But after that play, I told them, ‘I believe in you and I want to know if we have a half a yard in the red zone and for whatever reason we decide to go for it, I don't see any reason in the world that I shouldn't expect for us to make it', but we're not there yet so that was bad on my behalf."
CORNERBACK TARELL BROWN
On the importance of the win: "It was definitely important. We had to get over that hump. It was important to come out strong in this game right here and like coach said, we had to take a step and that was the first step. We just have to keep it rolling and we just have to keep going."
On his interception that he had in the second quarter: "He ran a double move, stutter comeback and I just tried to jump the route and slipped coming out of his break. I was just trying to make a play and do the best that I could for the team."
On the physical nature of the game: "Two physical teams. We take our hats off to the Bears. They came out here and fought. We both were in a short week, by playing this Thursday and we both came out and fought hard. Nationally televised game and it was definitely a must-win for us and we got it."
On whether he thought he was going to take it back: "I was just trying to make a play, like I said, the guys told me I should have stayed to the left side, but I was trying to bring back my running back skills."
TIGHT END VERNON DAVIS
On whether it was tough to put an offense in on such a short week: "It was tough because we didn't really have time to prepare like we wanted to, so we just had to dig into our pockets and use plays that we used in the past."
On his exchange with DE Adewale Ogunleye: "I was just trying to get my team fired up. I just told him to get ready because we are coming hard and we are coming to win."
On whether there was a sense of relief getting this win: "We have a lot of momentum now and that's what we wanted going into the next game. We wanted to win this game, get some momentum, get our confidence level high and continue to win."
NOSE TACKLE AUBRAYO FRANKLIN
On the importance of winning the game: "It was real big. We were on a four-game losing streak and we needed a win to get us back on track for a run to the playoffs."
On his interception: "That was real big. I was pretty tired out there, we had been on a long drive. Luckily, God blessed me to get the pick. I tried to run with it but I didn't have any legs left to go anywhere."
On whether this win can spark the team going forward: "Yeah, I think so. I think we got back to doing the things that we were doing to them earlier in the season on defense. We played like we did the first half of the season, creating turnovers and getting good field position for our offense. We had five turnovers and we came out with the win."
SAFETY DASHON GOLDSON
On his interception: "We were in a man coverage. It was a combination route and I knew what they were going to run based on the alignment and I just made a good call. The nickel and I were doubling on the slot receiver, he released inside and I picked him up. [QB Jay] Cutler made a mistake throwing the football and I picked it off."
On the five turnovers generated by the defense: "We came out there and showed what this defense is made of. In the beginning of the year in training camp, we stressed turnovers and every day we practice turnover drills. Today was a great opportunity for us, coming out at home after four losses in a row. We know what we can do and we showed it out there."
On the final possession of the game: "After that penalty, I was telling them that we need to tighten up on D. We needed to win this game and to do that we needed to tighten up on defense at the end."
RUNNING BACK FRANK GORE
On the importance of the win: "It's a great win. Both teams needed the win and we fought hard and we got a W and I'm excited about that."
On his touchdown run in the second quarter: "Our line did a great job. I read it right and I scored."
On the physical nature of the game: "It was physical. It was real physical. They came to play, but we kept fighting. When we needed to make plays, we made plays."
On the defense on the last drive: "The defense did a great job. The defense did a great job all night and we won."
CENTER ERIC HEITMANN
On the importance of winning the game: "I think coming into this game this was definitely a must-win game for us. Our backs were kind of against the wall. For us to get back in the hunt for the playoffs, we had to win this one. I think as an entire team – special teams, offense and defense – we really came together and put a big win up for us today. It feels great to have a total team victory and I am going to enjoy this one tonight."
On the play of the offensive line: "I thought we did well. But that fourth-and-inches play was very upsetting for me and the rest of the line. Overall though, I think we handled their pressure pretty well and we did some good things. Again, it was a total team effort today and I am proud of the way this entire team played."
On his thoughts while watching the Bears final drive: "I had total confidence in our defense. They had been doing a great job all game and it was exciting to see them perform in the clutch. It was an exciting drive to watch and it was even more exciting when we got that interception."
SAFETY MICHAEL LEWIS
On winning the game: "It feels great. These last couple of games we've gone into halftime with the lead, then somehow, someway, we lose the game. Those things hurt, and all week Coach Singletary was preaching, ‘Just take a step. We are a championship-caliber team, we just have to believe in one another and just go out there and execute.' And we did that today."
On playing after such a short week: "It is very tough because Monday you're not as sore, but Tuesday is the day you feel the sorest from the game and Tuesday was a pretty tough day. Coach put together a great game plan and gave us an opportunity to get our legs back a little bit and got us prepared for the Bears."
On his interception: "It was one of those there where our defensive back coaches, Vance Joseph and Johnnie Lynn, did a great job of telling us that [TE Greg] Olsen is their go-to guy in the red zone and they like to take the vertical route. On the play before the interception he kind of got underneath me, but luckily the quarterback overthrew the ball."
On whether this was a must-win game: "It really was. Nobody was saying it, but we knew. These last couple of weeks the pressure has been on the defensive backs, and we took it upon ourselves to just step up and make plays. Every time we get a chance to meet together, we always talk about, ‘It's on our backs. It's on us.' No matter what happens in the front seven, it's always on the DBs to step up and make plays, and that is what we did."
SAFETY MARK ROMAN
On his interception and what he saw from his vantage point: "First of all, [S] Michael Lewis got a great jam on the tight end. The tight end was my guy and once I saw what he did, I got my eyes in the backfield and I couldn't believe he was about to throw the ball because I was in prime position to make the play."
On S Michael Lewis's interception at the end of the game: "It's just a great feeling to have the kind of game that we had in the secondary and to finish with a play like that. It speaks volumes to the guys that are in the secondary. We are resilient group of guys. It's just exciting to come out and end the game that way because we always want the pressure is always on our backs. We know the pressure is always on our backs and it's good to just respond that way."
On what the secondary was doing to QB Jay Cutler to force him into those mistakes: "You take your hat off to a guy like that because he truly believes in himself and as a football player, that's what you have to have. I wouldn't sell him short on that, but he was just trying to make plays at a time when you have to make plays. Our coaches put us in a great position to make plays and we made the plays. The calls were coming in, everybody was communicating well."
QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH
On how great the defense performed today: "Yeah, no question. Pretty self explanatory."
On whether or not the short week was an obstacle in preparing for today's game: "The short week is tough for a lot of reasons, especially that. You try to have a lot of carry over in a week like this and not throw in a lot new. You really have one-practice day, that was Tuesday. The rest is kind of walk-through meetings and trying to get in as much as you can. Get in as much film study. There are so many adjustments to be made on the field for anything—protections, route adjustments so that all multiplies on a short week."
On whether or not he was intentional in passing to WR Michael Crabtree early in the game: "I think that's just kind of the way the game went. For whatever reason, early on, I had some things up for him and you know, I think got away from it as the game went on. I don't know if it was a conscious decision, probably a better question for [Offensive Coordinator Jimmy] Raye."
On the offensive line: "They played well. It's hard without looking at the film, but I thought they played well, especially there in the fourth quarter when we were running the ball. They had looks with against the run and still getting it done, especially [RB] Frank [Gore] back there making people miss, breaking tackles, making something out of not much."
On how the team finishes: "I'd like to not have it that close at the finish, we did. I'm happy for the team, getting that done. Obviously, the defense played lights out. To do what they did in the fourth quarter to go four-and-out and get the holding call and do it all over again. They really played tough down there when the game was on the line. It was great to see."
On whether this was an example of the team finishing: "There at the end there, that's for sure. Definitely, that's part of it. You're happy. That's the biggest thing. You put so much work into this, so much time and effort and you invest so much of yourself, as a team to see that payoff is nice."
On whether this was a big win going into next week: "It's a step in the right direction. Now, I got that question earlier this week, that's the biggest game up to this point. This next week, that will the biggest game. That's how the NFL goes. It's a long season and a long haul. Every game is important. I think the important thing about tonight is getting us on the right track. Losing four in a row it kind of kills momentum. To reverse that and get us going back where we need to go is a big deal."
On his success with the hard count: "It's something I never did early on in my career. I'm just kind of learning. It's a tool that can help you in situations. It helped tonight. On the third-and-long, we got the hard count and got the offsides. All of a sudden, you get hit and picked, and you get to do it over again and that's off the stat sheet. Anything that can help you and put you in a position to win."
On utilizing many different formations: "I think the more you can do to give the defense trouble, run and pass, formation shifts. All of that where you have to give them to think about to prepare for."
On the 216 total offense yards: "Absolutely, no question. We have to get better. It is a win. That's the great thing about it. We're definitely not content with that tonight. That's not where we need to be, especially down there in the red zone too. We need to finish down there. I think that was something that could have really changed the game."
On the key to running the spread: "Run versus good looks, and when they come down you throw the ball, essentially. That sounds easy, but it's not that easy, especially in this league. It's a give and take. They're going to win some. You have to have patience and not waver from what you're trying to do."
On audible from run to pass: "We definitely have it in our game plan and had plays out there tonight. You guys may not have seen it, but yes, we're going from run to pass, pass to run and getting things done."
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