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Postgame Quotes 9/27: Coach Joe Judge, QB Daniel Jones, DL Leonard Williams, TE Evan Engram, LB Blake Martinez

Head Coach Joe Judge

Opening statement: Real simple, I'll be honest with you up front, I'll obviously answer your questions, I'm going to reserve a lot of analysis for the game until I have a chance to thoroughly review the tape and go over everything we're doing. I'm going to work the rest of the night doing that. We're not going to go ahead and postpone anything we have to go get working on. But, obviously, we all have to do our job better, start with coaching better, and we got to make sure we're putting the players in the right positions. So, go ahead and any questions you have right now, I can answer, but guys, I'm telling you up front, there's a lot of things, details on the game, that I'm going to reserve until I watch the tape.

Q: Two more turnovers from Daniel (Jones), you didn't run a play in the red zone, (Nick) Mullens had a 108.9 Quarterback Rating, where do you guys go from here?

A: We go back to work. I know it's a simple answer, but that's really the solution. We go to work, we work on the fundamentals, we improve on what we do situationally, we keep grinding on a daily basis, and we work to see the results. That's where we go, we go back to work.

Q: Do you think that the offense's early turnovers are putting the defense in a really bad spot? It seemed like your defense, at least early, was holding them to some field goals, but the early game turnovers were putting you guys on your heels, would you agree with that?

A: There's enough things on all sides of the ball that we need to correct right now. We don't ever want to have turnovers, we don't ever want to have penalties, we don't ever want to have mental errors. Offensively, our job is to execute. Defensively, we don't choose when we go on the field, our job is to respond whenever we're put on the field, whatever situation. So, again, there's enough to go around. Starting with coaching, we're going to make sure we look at this, we get in depth with it, and we improve everyone across the board.

Q: Do you have any updates on Jabrill (Peppers) or Andrew Thomas?

A: You know, I do not. Andrew (Thomas) was obviously good for the rest of the game, that was obviously real late in the game. We'll kind of see where he's at. I don't have an update on Jabrill (Peppers). That's all I can tell you right now. Soon as we get something, we'll give you updates as much as we can.

Q: You're a team that focuses on day to day improvements, little steps forward, does today seem like a step backwards for the program?

A: I'd just say that I got to watch the tape now and kind of review everything thoroughly, starting with calls we made, our execution on those calls, individual breakdowns, what we got to work on as a unit. Our emphasis is on day to day improvement, we're focused on coming back in here this week, cleaning up mistakes, pushing forward, and we have a good opponent next week.

Q: On the 4th and 1 with the sneak that didn't go anywhere, would you rather run a more creative play there, and how close were you to dropping that red flag?

A: Well, I was looking at the replay to see if it was close enough to drop the red flag. The angle we had on the field, and the information I was getting from up top was giving me an indication that it would be a waste of a timeout right there, that's why I held it. Look, I'm not going to apologize for being aggressive. I challenge these guys to come out and be aggressive and fight. I can self-scout myself and see when it is and isn't time to go for it. But that moment in the game, I want to be aggressive. You look at me as a coach and say that might not be the best decision at the time, but I'm not going to apologize for being aggressive in that situation. I have confidence in our players, and I want to make sure that we play that confidence by letting them play aggressive. 

Q: I was actually asking about the play call, not the decision to go for it. A lot of the time on 4th downs, you'll pass it or do other things to try and find that yard.

A: Look, we consider all things. At that time, that's the best call we thought was in our plan right there. So, they made a play, we've got to go ahead and make the play.

Q: When you were hired, you talked a lot about how you wanted this to be a tough team that represents this area and be a blue-collar team. How do you explain how this game went in regards to how tough you want your team to be?

A: Yeah, I think about toughness and how you respond to things. Obviously we have some adversity right now that we have to respond to, but when I think about this area, you talk about blue-collar, people that work blue-collar livings, like my family did growing up, you just wake up every day no matter the circumstances and you go back to the grindstone, and that's what our team is going to do. We're not looking for excuses, we're not pointing fingers, we're not looking for shortcuts, we're working on building this thing, and building this thing the right way for this area, alright, for the families that this team represents, and we're going to come back Wednesday, and we're going to work our butts off and get this thing right moving forward. So, in terms of the people in the area want to know the direction this program is going, I can assure you that I take a great deal of pride, and I put a lot personally into this, to make sure the product they see on this field is something they can be proud of, and although they're disappointed with some of the things that have happened on the field, I can assure you we're working the same way they work every day, to get our butts back to work, to get it right, and to get it going forward.

Q: When you see how the 49ers were injured, missing eight starters, and you see how your offense struggled without Saquon (Barkley) and (Sterling) Shep(ard), does that concern you about the lack of depth that your team has on this roster?

A: No. We have players. We have players. Alright, obviously we don't want any of our players injured. But we have players in a position right now on our roster, on our team, that were on that field today that can help us win games. So, we got to make sure that everyone coaches better, we have to raise our level of play, and we got to take advantage of opportunities and not make mistakes that put us behind. 

Q: This 49ers team had, however you want to count, seven, eight starters that weren't playing today, they obviously beat you by the score they did. What does that say to you about where this program is in your mind, as a whole?

A: I think we're still in the same point of pushing forward every day. Look, I told the players, regardless of whether you win or lose, there's always things to work on and improve, you never play a perfect game. We got to focus right now on seeing the things that are putting ourselves behind, we got to push forward and make sure we make these improvements. But we're still in a phase right here that we would be at any point in this program, of moving forward on a daily basis, making improvements, making sure we give the players the best chance of being successful on Sundays.

Q: I know your defense was on the field a lot, and obviously you guys were in the game for a while, but it seemed like you had a lot of breakdowns in the second half. Wondering if you think they tired out, or if there was some other reason for the mistakes?

A: I got to look at the tape more thoroughly to give you kind of a full answer on that. Look, I think our guys played hard, I'm proud of the way our defense plays in terms of effort and toughness, that's a trademark these guys come to work with every day. So, there's some things we obviously have to correct, but let me look at the tape and give you a better answer later on.

Q: What was your message to the team after this one?

A: We got to come back to work. That's it. We got to come back to work, we got to stick together as a team, we have to coach better. We have to raise our level of execution as players, we've got to go ahead and keep pushing forward, improve on a daily basis. There's no magic formula to this, there's no magic wand, you don't go out there and just solve every problem in a day. It's a day by day process of putting things together.

Q: Can you just talk about the penalties today? The two in particular, on Darnay (Holmes) and the one on Darius (Slayton), the one that would've probably gotten you first and goal? The offsetting one.

A: You know what, to be honest with you, I was watching a different part of the field on that. I did not get a clean look at Darius (Slayton) on that one right there. I've got to see where his hand placement was on that and what happened specifically on that play. We don't want to have penalties at any time, the one on Darnay (Holmes), we got to play with clean technique to make sure we don't give an opportunity, in that situation, to extend a drive. So, something we work on on a consistent basis, we got to make sure we do a better job coaching those techniques and execute them on the field.

Q: Is it more frustrating that those happened not at the point of attack of the play?

A: I think anytime you have a penalty it's frustrating if it costs your team, whether it's right at the point of attack or if it's backside. So, to me, you got to play with good technique and awareness the entire time.

Q: You obviously have a young team that really hasn't experienced winning. Do you begin to worry at some point about these guys losing confidence or beginning to expect things to go wrong at some point?

A: No, I think winning is the result of preparation and then execution, it's that simple. It's not easy, but it's simple. Alright, so our focus has to be on the daily basis of what we need to prepare, put ourselves in position, and then we get into these games, these three hours once a week, that we execute as good as we can. We execute as coaches to put them in the right position, and we raise our level of play as players. But, right now, look, confidence is gained from practice execution, and then it's affirmed by game execution, so we just have to make sure we come back to work on Wednesday and put it together.

Quarterback Daniel Jones

Q: Was this loss deflating in any way?

A: It was definitely disappointing. I don't think any of us came in expecting this, but I think as a team now, we understand we can't let that affect our confidence going forward. I'm confident in the guys we have in the locker room, the mindset that we have. You take it and learn from it, but not let this situation define us and understand what we need to do moving forward and improve as a team.

Q: Leading into the season, the big discussion was how you need to cut back on the turnovers and you've talked about that a lot. Obviously, you've turned it over two times in each game now. When you hear that and you know that that's what's happened, how does that make you feel and what's going through your head when you know you haven't been able to cut down on those quite yet?

A: I think you look at each one of those individually and try to understand what happened, what the mistake was and move on from it. You know, I need to do a better job and that's something I'm focused on. I think those are costly mistakes and I certainly need to correct them.

Q: Since you've been here, you've been a pretty accurate passer. Today it seemed like you were a little off the mark more often than usual. Can you pinpoint exactly why that was, just as far as accuracy and where you were trying to get the ball to?

A: I'd like to take a look at the tape and look at each of those plays, look at those situations and what I could do better. I wasn't able to do some of the things that I wanted to do today. As an offense and as a team, we didn't perform the way we're capable of doing, so we've got to look at the tape and correct those things.

Q: On the fourth-and-one, were you surprised at all to be going for it on your 30-yard line when you got that call? And on the actual play itself, you couldn't find anywhere to stretch out the ball?

A: No, I wasn't surprised by the call. I think in that situation, I appreciate [Head] Coach's [Joe Judge] confidence in us and giving us the opportunity to convert that. I've got to do a better job of finding the opening there and getting the yards. I appreciate the confidence he had in us and we've got to execute that play and make sure we convert there.

Q: What happened on the first turnover, the pitch to [Tight End] Evan [Engram]?

A: Just a poor pitch and something we worked on all week. I've got to do a better job there.

Q: What about the interception late in the first half? Take us through what you saw there.

A: Poor decision in that situation. You can't afford to turn the ball over and force the ball to [TE] Evan [Engram] there, so I'll look at the tape and learn from it. Certainly a costly mistake.

Q: To piggyback off of the interception, I'm wondering what in general you saw from their pass defense that prevented you from taking a step forward as an offense?

A: They're a good defense and you've got to give them credit. What they do in their scheme and in the backend is good and we've got to execute better, I've got to hit the open guys and keep the ball moving forward.

Q: It sounds like you had a long conversation in the locker room after the game – maybe it was less of a conversation than a speech or a monologue. What was the mood in the locker room after this game?

A: You know, I think for us as a team and for everyone in the building, it's important that we correct the things that went wrong. We understand what went wrong and we'll improve from this game, and not to let it define us as a team. We know that we're capable of playing a lot better than we did today. I think there were a lot of things that happened that were uncharacteristic of who we are and what we can be. As a team, we need to understand that, we need to move forward and go back to work determined to play better and to fix the things that have gotten in our way these first few weeks. We're not going to let it affect our confidence, we're certainly not going to let it affect how we work and how hard we attack this week, how hard we attack the preparation towards the Rams. I think we have the guys in the locker room to do it, and that mindset and that approach this week will be key.

Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Q: Does the fact that you guys were on the field so much in the first half and for the game, especially with the early offensive turnovers, set you back when you're able to start well early, but then you're constantly on the field?

A: I think if we're constantly on the field, we have to look at ourselves to be able to get off the field a little bit faster, get more work on getting three-and-outs and getting takeaways to get off the field. I don't think we can point fingers at any direction and blame anyone for why we're on the field longer.

Q: [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] talked a lot last week after the Chicago loss about how tough you guys are and the toughness. So how do you explain the fact that you guys were in this game at halftime and then come out and get outscored 20-3 in the second half? How do you reconcile that?

A: We did come out fast. We started fast and we fought hard. I do think we do have a really good team and a tough team, and I never see any quit in this team. I believe that we're right there and we just need to fix a few pieces and a few little gaps here and there and stop beating ourselves. It's already hard to beat a team and it's going to be harder when we're making mistakes on ourselves as well, so I just think that we need to overcome a few of those mistakes that we've been making and just keep playing hard.

Q: If there's one thing you would point to for the third down deficiencies, what would it be?

A: I guess myself. Like I said, I don't want to point fingers at anybody on this team, so one way we can get off the field on third downs is if I can get to the quarterback faster, if I can get my hands up when the ball's coming out fast and bat some balls. At the end of the day, we've been good on first and second down and we've been putting ourselves in a good position on third down. We just need to do a better job of executing when third down comes and getting off the field.

Q: In a normal year, we'd be in the locker room. We're obviously not. What is the mood in the locker room – is there anger, are guys yelling, is it tough love, is it silence? What is the locker room like after a loss like this?

A: I think right now, everyone was just listening to what the head guy had to say. [Head] Coach [Joe] Judge talked to us for a while, so everyone else was just pretty silent and listening to what's going on. At the same time, I don't think guys are hanging their heads down. I was looking around while Coach Judge was talking and I made a lot of eye contact with people and people still seemed to have a lot of fight in them, as we should. The last two games before this one, we were in it and the first of half of this game we were right there in it. I just think we need to close that gap and execute when we need to, and I think that's going to take us there.

Q: To follow up on that, what was Coach's message to the locker room?

A: He just said now is not the time to reinvent the wheel. He believes in this team, he believes that we work hard and fight for it. That's basically what we're going to do when Wednesday comes. We're going to watch film tomorrow, put this game behind us and go on to the Rams next week. Just nonstop working hard and one day it's going to come through.

Q: This is a team that lost the first two games, but there were a lot of positives to take from those efforts. Does today feel like a step backwards for this program?

A: I think, like you said, even with those two losses, I think we had a lot of positives going for us and I still believe in that today. We obviously got beat worse in the second half than the first, but that first half we started really fast and I think that's something that's good to look at as well. I think we just need to work on finishing and executing when we need to on important downs and knowing the situations.

Q: Last week, it seemed like the run defense fell off late in the game and at the end of the second half today it seemed like things started going in the wrong direction. How do you guys put it together for 60 minutes and what do you think is going wrong in that regard?

A: I'm really not sure, that's something that I'm going to have to watch on film tomorrow. I think in the first half, we were playing really good against the run. We knew that this was a running team that wanted to come out and start fast in the run game, and I think we had a good answer towards it. I think we're put in good positions to play the run and I think we just need to finish when it matters.

Q: You guys gave up 36 points and [QB Nick] Mullens had a 108.0 passer rating today. How does the defense respond to this? What do you guys have to do and how do you bounce back from this one?

A: Like I said, I think we just need to not go outside of our realm right now. I think it's time to just go back on Wednesday and keep working hard. Just clean up the small details, I think that's mainly what's holding us back right now, just a few small errors and a few small details that we need to clean up and get clicking.

Tight End Evan Engram

Q: What happened on the end around with the fumble?

A: Just didn't execute it. Worked on it all week. Got the ball moving early. Just shooting ourselves in the foot, not executing.

Q: When you work on something like that to unveil it and you wait for the right time to pull the trigger on it and it doesn't work, is that a little deflating?

A: Yeah, it was an offensive play that we didn't execute.

Q: We just spoke to Leonard Williams and he was saying he thinks you guys are right there, that you're close. There's just a few small details that need to be cleaned up. I'm curious, do you agree with that? You just lost 36-9 to a team who obviously suffered a lot of injuries.

A: Yeah, that's our mentality. We can't walk around here and come to work each and every day not feeling confident about ourselves and not coming in with a clear mind towards getting better. Today didn't end up the way we wanted it. Obviously, there are things we have to clean up and be better at. We're not going to feel bad four ourselves. We're definitely not going to doubt ourselves. We're going to continue to work and answer towards this adversity.

Q: You didn't run a play in the red zone. Once you got in field goal territory, why did you have such trouble finishing the drives?

A: Comes down to execution. Comes down to winning our situations. Winning first down, winning third downs. Keeping the mistakes down, the penalties. We just didn't execute.

Q: You've been here in your career before, probably too often, with a couple different coaches, a couple different teams. Does this feel any different? Is there more optimism that you guys can get this turned around than last year, the year before, the year before that?

A: That's just how this team is built. That's how I'm built. Like I said, there is no feeling sorry for ourselves for this team. We still have opportunities left. We have a new opponent next week that we can come out and answer again. That's our focus right now. We're going to watch the tape, clean up our mistakes and continue to work and try to get this thing going.

Q: At 0-3 coming off a loss that feels a little bit like a step back, how do you keep a young team from not feeling sorry for itself?

A: Honestly, I think that has to do with the locker room. The leaders in the locker room. Coming to work each and every day, it's a new page, a new opponent. We have to throw this one in the trash. Like I said, we're going to learn from the mistakes. Learn from the things we didn't do well today. Continue to work and continue to keep a positive mindset at work and get better each and every day.

Q: As one of the older guys in that locker room, what do you say to the young guys? What's your message to keep guys invested with another 0-3 start?

A: It's adversity. Every single one of us throughout our career and paths to where we are now has experienced adversity. We all know it's an opportunity to grow, it's an opportunity to get better, it's an opportunity to overcome whatever obstacle is in our way. We have an obstacle in our way right now. I think all of us can relate to continue to stay the course and working hard to overcome adversity that presents itself.

Linebacker Blake Martinez

Q: Does today feel like a step backwards for this program after the first two losses, when there were some positives to take out of it?

A: I think I can't really dive into that too much. Obviously, it sucks to lose, but I kind of want to see the tape to see certain moments. I think it's going to still come down to the same things we've been talking about the past two weeks, just fundamentals and making sure we're in the right spot leverage wise, not making stupid mistakes, and just not hurting ourselves.

Q: Was there any common denominator to those two touchdowns that they scored, the end around and the screen, getting the ball in open space?

A: Yeah, that was just one of those kind of moments working together and being able to see those plays, and I think, once again, I want to look at it on film. But when we see it, it's just going to be a small, little fundamental thing. Whether it's being able to tell when you beat a block too cleanly on a screen play, having the forced presence, whatever it ends up being that could've went wrong on that play.

Q: You come from a program where there weren't a lot of three-game losing streaks, how are you handling this?

A: I think any competitor would handle it in a very professional way, is the best way I can put it. Just knowing's not good enough. And we have to be able to show up every single day and put the work in and keep chopping wood, and knowing that what we've been doing isn't it. And when we come back on Wednesday, we have to kind of step that level up even more, and know that what we're doing out there, every single person is on the same page, every single person knows what we're doing, every person understands situations, and just getting everything right.

Q: You guys seemed to be playing well early, but your offense couldn't stay on the field and you end up playing 40 minutes as a defense. Isn't it impossible to play well if you're on the field 40 of 60 minutes?

A: I mean, any competitor would say there's nothing that's impossible. I think for us, we work in situations whether it's sudden change, whether it's backed up, whatever ends up happening in a game, we've worked it. We've done the conditioning, we've done multiple things throughout training camp, the ramp up period, everything you can think of that has given us the ability to go out there no matter if we play all 60 minutes, or if we play one minute of the game. I think it's just what it's going to come down to, once again, all across the board, is making sure we're in the right positions, we understand what they're trying to hit on us, we understand what they've been doing throughput the game, and just making those adjustments, and then, like I said, not shooting ourselves in the foot when, kind of, big opportunities to switch momentum come to us.

Q: You guys lost 36-9, they were without a bunch of starters, you're now 0-3. When you look at it, where do you think this program is overall in regards to its progression?

A: I think anybody who looks at it, you know we're in the position of needing to get better, needing to improve, needing to come together as a unit, not getting in our feelings, and we just need to push each other to that next point to make sure we don't keep this streak going.

Q: Piggybacking off of that, you're a captain, you've won a lot of games in this league. What do you tell some of the younger guys and how do you keep people invested in this thing at 0-3 and the wheels kind of falling off today?

A: I think every single week is a new week. I think the biggest thing that you can tell the younger guys is that it's really hard to win in this league. No matter what week it is – you could be playing a team that's 15-0 – you go out there and play a better game than them, you're going to beat them no matter what your record is. I know the type of guys that we have in this locker room are the kind of guys that we need to kind of weather this storm. I know that we're going to come out on top of this. I think, obviously, a lot of people on the outside are going to look at this as a negative, but for all of us, we need to take this as a positive and basically show how we need to go moving forward.

Q: In terms of the defense bouncing back from this, do you have to challenge each other? Is it something you take personally watching a backup quarterback have the kind of day that he had against you guys?

A: I think you go out there and obviously have 36 points given up, you need to take a step back, look and see what needs to change, what needs to improve, what do we need to add in – whether it's player-wise – to make sure we understand how we can get off the field in two-minute, how we can do things in the red area, what we need to communicate, make sure we just do our 1/11th and have that mental capacity of just making sure I'm focused in every single play no matter if it's the first play or the 70th play of the game.

Q: [Head Coach] Joe [Judge] talked a lot after the last game about your toughness and resilience as a team. I think fans would look at this game and see you got outscored 20-3 in the second half, so where is the toughness, where is the resilience, how would you answer that?

A: I mean, it's something that we've kind of instilled in ourselves. I think no matter what the score is, what happened throughout the game, I know I can look at every single one of our guys and know that we played extremely tough for all 60 minutes on both sides of the ball. I think people look at it more as a fundamental mistake, as a lack of toughness, and I think at the end of the day, it's more making sure that we dial in on the little things that are hurting us. That's the biggest thing I can take from this game.


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