Q: How much of a challenge is it to go back to San Francisco after you beat them last year?
A: Yeah, there’s no doubt that this should be a circled game for them on their calendar. They’re definitely a tough team to beat. We know our work is going to be cut out for us, but we’re going to rise up to the challenge. That’s what we do.
RE: assessment of San Francisco
A: I think that’s what you see when you watch them on film. Defensively, they have a tendency to get in a mode where they can control offenses and their offense is very effective. They run the ball well. They get on the perimeter, but they can also throw the ball. So both sides of the ball, we’ve got to make sure that we play our strongest game.
Q: What has allowed them to run the ball so well?
A: It’s a combination of things. Up front, they’re solid. Their backs are obviously the main story there. They block well for each other and then they have the play action that they run off of it, which makes people kind of unsure which way they’re going to go with it. So I’d say… Especially their O-Lineman, everyone is talking about running the ball, but they have great running backs and they also can run that play action, so it’s a combination.
Q: Do you feel a little slighted as a team that everyone looks at you guys as the underdog, but you’re the Super Bowl Champions?
A: Not at all. We’ve been in this situation before and it doesn’t matter what people say going into the game. The only thing that matters is how your guys come out of it and we know that if we go in there and get a win, we’re putting ourselves in a good position to repeat, which is our main goal.
Q: Is this the longest your front seven have gone with not imposing your will consistently on teams?
A: It’s a problem that we have to get corrected. I don’t know if it’s the longest we’ve gone. I know that we’ve had… There’s going to be games when other phases or other people on the team are going to step up and carry us, but we don’t want it to be something that’s happening for a long time. You look at a guy like
Q: What needs to be corrected technically?
A: It’s little things for everybody. By the time you get to this level and at this point in the season when we’ve been playing together for a long time, you’re not seeing major breakdowns. It’s not like people are thrown out there and not knowing what they’re going to do or what they’re supposed to do. I think it’s more a matter of an individual maybe going outside of the frame of the defense trying to make a play. It’s all effort stuff. Guys are trying to make plays. When you start straining and start doing somebody else’s job and you vacate your position and your job, offenses find that. So we’ve got to be able to trust everybody and make sure everybody plays hard.