Q: What's your feeling about the way your team ended the season today?
Singletary: I am very thankful that we won the game, but this is not the style of game that we wanted to have, this is not the way we wanted this game to go. Nevertheless, I am thankful that we were able to come back out in the second half and put some drives together and make some plays. I thought our defense played well for the most part all day. I thought they really got after them. They really got after the quarterback and that was a good thing. I think we got eight sacks and Justin Smith had 3.5 and that was a career high for him so that was great.
Q:What seemed to be the problem offensively in the early going?
Singletary: I think during the first half our offense struggled a bit trying to put some drives together. Apparently, it looked like they had a few zero blitzes, which is difficult to pick up. They just decided to go for broke on a few of those blitzes and obviously if you don't get the ball out your going to get sacked and it is not going to go well. I just think for the most part that I am thankful that we are able to come out of this game and get the heck out of here and the heck out of St. Louis with the win. I am thankful that our guys hung in there and stayed together and put a win together.
Q: What's your feeling about the way Isaac Bruce went out today with a tribute as a starter?
Singletary: I just wanted him to know something that he already knows, that I really appreciate him as a player. It is not very often that you find a player that is a tremendous player, a Hall of Fame type player and at the same time his character far exceeds the type of player that he is, for that alone I think he should be commended.
Q: What was your feeling about the other wide receivers coming to you and wanting Bruce to dress for the game?
Singletary: I'm very thankful that our receivers came to me and addressed it. Because, honestly, I think Isaac was fine with it, and I was fine with it, just kind of letting it ride out. But it's only appropriate to do what we did today, and I'm just thankful it worked out well. The guys understand that you have to contribute to be here. This is the time of year unfortunately that you have evaluate things and what players are going to help us and what players are going to fit into the scheme of what we are trying to do. I think they understand that and they know I am going to be honest in the evaluations of the coaches, management and the whole nine yards. We have a whole lot of work to do this off-season. I am very excited to evaluate and go from there.
Q: Was your patience tested by the way the team started so slowly today?
Singletary: Absolutely, to the 10th degree. I just think it's one of those things where you come in, and you hope that you're able to play the game and get some of the younger guys in the game with a chance to play. But it didn't work out like that. It ended up being one of those games where you have to look at the character of your team one more time in the last game of the year and say, ‘OK, what are we going to do here?' Are we going to come out in the second half, are we going to fight? Or are we going to continue to stumble over ourselves and stay in our way and alleviate the chance to win the game?
Q: Michael Crabtree made some key catches today. What's your viewpoint on the progress he's made since he joined the team?
Singletary: I think what Michael Crabtree has been able to accomplish this year is short of just absolutely astounding. Ever since the first day that he came into camp, to be able to come in and start the first week, and start throughout the season, and not really have any setbacks, but to grow and grasp an offense, to try and get the timing down of the quarterback, to try and earn all the little idiosyncraticities that a receiver has to learn, which is one of the toughest positions to try and come in late... I'm really amazed when I take a step back and look at what he's been able to do.
Q: What got into Justin Smith and the rest of the defense today?
Singletary: All of our guys on defense, whoever it might be, they would all tell you that one of the biggest reasons they are able to get back and make plays is because Justin Smith is taking on two or three guys over there.
Q: How close is this defense now to being a legitimate playoff-caliber defense?
Singletary: As far as being a playoff-caliber defense, we're not far at all. We might be right there around the edge, around the corner. We just need a couple of players. And we're going to get a lot better.
Q: Has Dashon Goldson's development at free safety allowed Greg Manusky to be more aggressive in his defensive play-calling?
Singletary: Absolutely. When you have a young safety who is not just a smart guy, but is a head-hunter that can cover and run and has range that he has, it's going to be very interesting in the future to see how that works out.
Q: Vernon Davis may have lost his hair, but would you say it looks like he hasn't lost his speed?
Singletary: I teased him a little bit. I thought he was a little slow looking over there. It looked like the monkey jumped on his back around there. But he's doing just fine. He works his tail off, and that was a great catch and run.
Q: What about Frank Gore, who ended up tying a franchise record with his 20th 100-yard rushing game?
Singletary: Frank is another guy that should be given a lot of credit. He's had to have patience both on the field and off the field. He has watched the offense totally re-create itself, and at the same time get back to how do we make sure that we use everybody and still get Frank back in the attack. Any offense that we have, if Frank Gore isn't a big part of it, it's not going to be very successful.
Q: Not a bad way to end the season, huh?
Singletary: Well, it's nice to start the season with a win on the road, and end the season with a win on the road. It's very gratifying, and it's something we can take into the offseason and go from there.
Q: What's your feeling about the 49ers Faithful finally getting a year to look back on that didn't end up as a losing season?
Singletary: I just want to say that I'm very thankful for all of our fans, all of our supporters. And hopefully next year, when we're at home or on the road, our fans become a really, really huge part of why we're successful, because we've got to have them, and we want to make them proud of who we are and what we're doing, and being the 49ers Faithful.
He said it: Mike Singletary on win over Rams
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