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DE Justin Tuck


Q: How important is it for this team to finish strong?

A: We have been in this situation before where we have started out the season pretty well and we just want to take it one game at a time. We don't want to get caught up in the fact that we are 6-2. Nobody is going to remember what our record is in November but they will remember what we did in January and hopefully February.Q: You not being on the injury report means you are healthy?

A: You can take that however you want to.

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Q: How do you feel?

A: I feel like I am ready to play on Sunday.

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Q: Is this the healthiest you have been all year?

A: Close.

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Q: What do you see from Alex Smith this year?

A: He is a guy who they are trying to keep out of position to win the football game. Obviously, with a back like Frank Gore and the O-Line keeping them in third and short situations and even if it is third and six or seven, they still feel that they can pick it up running. I think they are asking Alex not to lose the game. He is playing decent with 10 touchdowns and two picks. He is not putting them in situations where they are going to be pinned back or their defense is not going to be put in bad situations. If they get in field goal range, they are going to run the ball and make sure they come away with some points. If they are not in, they are going to run the ball and make sure they punt to put their defense in good positions to stop the offense.  

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Q: Is it your job to make Alex Smith win the game?

A: That makes sense.

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Q: How hard is that to do?

A: How hard is it to stop Frank Gore? There is your answer. No one has really stopped him and the tape we watch, the best team was Dallas and that is a 3-4 defense. We are different. We have a huge challenge slowing him down. He is a great running back and he is running really hard. Q: What is the key to slowing him down?

A: I think it is gap integrity. We need to make sure that he shuffles his feet. He is a back with great vision and once that crease opens, he is hitting it 100 percent. Watching him on film, it is like he knows where it is going to open and he is sitting there waiting for it and waiting for it. When it opens, he hits it. I think it is gap integrity and making sure it is bundled up and he doesn't have any alleyways.

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Q: Is the run defense getting better?

A: It is getting better but it is not where we want it to be. We made some strides and we have a big challenge this this week. We will definitely see where we are after this one.

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Q: This is two weeks in a row right?

A: It doesn't get any easier and we are not worried about that. We are worried about the 49ers.

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Q: How big is this test?

A: It is a huge one, it is our biggest test thus far.

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