SF 49ers Coach Dishes About Cardinals

The San Francisco 49ers gave the Arizona Cardinals a run for their money twice last year. San Francisco coach Mike Singletary says the pivotal game against last year's NFC champions couldn't come soon enough. Here are the rest of his pre-game thoughts, which includes how CB Nate Clements should hold up against WR Larry Fitzgerald, what makes Kurt Warner so good and more.

On whether playing a pivotal game against last year's NFC Champion comes too early:

"It couldn't come sooner. But, to be honest with you, I really don't care who it is. I don't care what the situation is. I think the most important thing for us to do is, I think, what we've strived to do all offseason. Any team we play, and the better the team, I think, the better the opportunity. But, the most important thing for us is to focus on who we are, make sure we're doing all the things we need to do and giving ourselves the chance to win football games. So, the better [the opponent], I think, the greater the opportunity."

On what makes QB Kurt Warner so good:

"I think he knows the game, No. 1. He really understands the game. If you're going to try and blitz him, you better make sure that you can get there because if you don't, he's going to make you pay. I think he really understands defenses. A lot of quarterbacks are looking for the open guy, whereas I think he's a guy who really understands the nuts and bolts of the Cover 2 and the Cover 3 and the Cover 4 and the mixture of defenses, where he's looking out there and he knows where the open guy is going to be. So, right away, when he comes up with the ball, he's moving guys. When you can move guys with your eyes, that's a great asset, and that's what he's doing. You're thinking he's going over here and all the while, he's trying to move the safety over to the side he's looking at and go right back there.

The receivers, he's got great receivers to throw to. So, you can be a Hall of Fame quarterback, but if you don't have great receivers to throw it to, it doesn't matter very much. He's got tremendous weapons in his receivers. I think everywhere he's been there's been great receivers, so that always helps. And the offensive line, I think they do a good job protecting him."

On how he thinks CB Nate Clements will do against Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald:

"As I've said before, I think the most important thing going forward is we just have to make progress as a whole. You talk about Larry Fitzgerald, or whatever, I just think we have to get our there and compete."

On what Clements has to do against Fitzgerald:

"He's got to play better. It's as simple as that. He's just got to play better, and he will."

On his emotions going into the season opener:

"There's not enough room around here for me to show you what my emotions are. I'm very excited, but I'm really excited about our team. That's what I'm excited about. I'm excited about the guys. There's been a lot written, a lot said, and I just want them to have an opportunity to go out and play the best football that they can, and let's see where we are."

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