Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: I want to take a second before we start today to offer up my thoughts and prayers to James White from New England and his family for what he's going through. Obviously, he's had some tremendous losses and a tough battle. Our hearts are with him today. There are a lot of players who voiced the same thing. I wanted to make sure we got that out there.
In terms of the 49ers, obviously, we're playing one of the greatest historical franchises in the National Football League. This is a team that obviously dominated through the 1980s and have had continued success throughout. They had success in the 90s as well as the 2000s. They play a very explosive brand of football. Kyle (Shanahan) does a tremendous job offensively of really building this team to expose your weaknesses. It's one of those deals, you watch Kyle's games, you can tell right away what he thinks about a team based on how he game plans and goes at you early in the game. This is a fast-start team that doesn't wait to start putting points on the board. They're very explosive off the bat scoring on the first drive. They do a tremendous job of that. Their running game sets up the play action pass and the explosive passes down the field. But really, it all starts with the run with these guys, and they do a tremendous job of that.
Defensively, this is a very talented group. They do what they do. They do it extremely well. They get after you, they call it aggressively, and they pose a lot of threats and problems for anybody they play. We'll have our hands full with them this week.
Special teams, this is a unit that really starts with some of the best specialists in the NFL, with good, experienced returners. They have a physical core, made up of linebackers and some offensive players, but they have explosive penetrators at the gunners that also help on the kickoffs. This team right here on their kicking units, they do a tremendous job of setting field position, starting with the specialists, finishing through their core players. They're very well coached with (Richard) Hightower, who worked with T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) back a few years ago, so they're very familiar with our schemes and systems. This will be a very good game for us in terms of who we have to match up against. We'll spend all day today, tomorrow and Friday getting our players ready on the grass for it. That being said, I open it up to questions for anyone right now.
Q: You've come out and said the MetLife Stadium turf has been fine with your guys. Just having heard the 49ers complaints, did you take a second look at it? What has the NFL said to you in terms of the field conditions?
A: I've had no conversations with the NFL on the field. I'll let them take care of that. We've been fine with it.
Q: Your time with Jimmy Garoppolo, we don't know if Jimmy is going to play this week, but what was your relationship with him while in New England? How well did you get to know him? What did you think about his approach to the game and in that situation, learning as much as he could for the opportunity when it arose?
A: Jimmy is a tough dude. One thing that stuck out to me about Jimmy early on was he never backed down from any competition. He's a guy, it didn't matter what room he was in, who he was competing with, Jimmy was always trying to get on the field and make an impact. He's a guy that obviously I was there for a couple young years with him where he was really learning and developing. He was running the practice squad, he was getting minimal reps with our 1s on offense, but he was always preparing himself and doing extra. 2016, we started the year out with him. I'd say there was a very high confidence level in Jimmy. He's a really good player. He has a tremendous arm, he can make all the throws, he can beat you with his legs, he's very mobile. He's tough, man. He has those older brothers who would always show up at the game, the typical Midwest meathead family. They were always a lot of fun to have around. I'd just say Jimmy is a dude that was one of the guys. You'd see him around the offensive line a lot, the defense would gravitate to him a lot, he was very popular in the locker room. He was a guy that when he stepped in the huddle, there was an immediate confidence around him. It's no surprise the success he's had in San Francisco. I think a whole lot of Jimmy. Jerry Schuplinski has had a lot of experience working directly with Jimmy and his development throughout his career. Obviously, Kyle has done a phenomenal job with him. Again, there's no surprise the success he's had. He has a lot of talent, but he has a lot of gusto to him as well in the way he plays.
Q: How has the 49ers defensive scheme kind of evolved over the last three years? In particular, has the defense created any type of identity in regards to their coverages or anything?
A: I'd say we've been more focused on recently through 2019 and this year based mostly on their personnel and how they're using it. I'd say the identity to us with those guys and the way Robert (Saleh) sets it up is it's a 'do what they do' deal, but they do it really, really well. They know all the coverage beaters you're going to try to run on them. They know how you're going to try to go ahead and get at their front in terms of scheming up the run game. They're a very good penetrating front. Really, it all starts up front with these guys. They're very disruptive. This is a turnover team, this is a penetration team, this is a pressure-on-your-quarterback team. It gives opportunities to the secondary and the backend. The linebackers are extremely fast. These guys can really move and flow behind that front in front of them. They're very good in the pass game, they're very effective in the run game. They don't give up explosive plays. That's the biggest thing. This team makes you commit to being a disciplined team and execute down the field, play after play after play. You watch them, they do a great job of just sitting back, letting you check the ball down and then tackling the ball in front of them. This is a tough opponent. You really watch their identity, I'd say their identity is how they fly around on tape and how they stand out at you with the physicality they play with.
Q: The 49ers use a lot of their fullback (Kyle) Juszczyk on various plays, including the 21-personnel. I'm just kind of wondering what do you see from him? What does he bring to that running game and the passing game, too, because he's also involved in there?
A: I think the first thing you can't forget about with Kyle is this guy is a really good receiver. He has the ability as a fullback, plays more like a tight end as far as how he can stretch it down the field vertically. You put the ball in his hands in the flat or on a check down, he has the ability to have some run after catch and get vertical. I think one of the things I noticed about Kyle early when he was in Baltimore, this guy was a key player in the kicking game and he was a space player. A lot of fullbacks don't translate to the kicking game that well because they're more straight line thumpers, whereas Kyle really had a different dynamic to him in that I thought he always moved in the kicking game more like a linebacker, with athleticism and the ability to redirect in short space. The more he grew on offense, he obviously has that tough mentality of a fullback to be a good lead blocker. That presents a lot of problems in terms of getting lead schemes up on your backers or wham blocks on your front. But I'd say when he has the ball in his hands, he's a threat as well. You can't fall asleep on him for handoffs. But really in the passing game is where he really shows up.
Q: If I may follow-up on that real quick, given the injuries the 49ers have at the running back spot, is this a guy who can basically pick up that load and be just as effective?
A: I don't know exactly what they'll do. I know they have a lot of talent on that roster, both in practice squad players they're going to elevate along with having other players on the roster currently. But he's definitely a player that can carry the ball, and we have to account for him in there, yes.
Q: I heard you got Devonta Freeman. What do you think?
A: Yeah, we're excited to get him on the grass today and start working with him right there. We just got him in the building, so today will be a day of trying to catch him up and build him into the game plan. Obviously, he has a lot to learn going into Sunday. But we're going to do our best to get him ready for Sunday if we can do that.
Q: Do you think he has a lot left? His numbers haven't been as high as they were the last few years.
A: He had a good workout for us yesterday. We watched his tape from the past few years. Obviously, we have familiarity, Jerome Henderson was in Atlanta with him. He really spoke highly of the character he brings to the team, the kind of teammate he is in the locker room. I think he's got some juice left in the tank. We'll give him the opportunity to prove that.
Q: One thing I wanted to clean up from Sunday. Obviously, Saquon's knee injury with all the attention, is his hand, wrist, arm, whatever it was, is that okay?
A: I've heard nothing on that. Obviously, he took a shot to the arm. I've heard nothing more on that. He was back in the game pretty quickly, he kind of shook it off. I really haven't focused much on the arm.
Q: With Shepard going on IR, I know there's three-week rule because of COVID this year. As a coach, how do you feel about that rule going forward? I'm assuming you would appreciate that.
A: I'm all in favor of it. I think we want all of our players to play as much as they can. I'm sure other coaches in the league feel the same way. The way the circumstances have happened with the IR situation of getting players back, I think it's in the best interest to have players playing. Fans want to see players play, I'm sure owners want to see players out there that they are paying, playing. Coaches want to see guys on the field. I'm all in favor of it personally.
Q: Have you felt the need to have any conversation with Daniel Jones after the loss of Saquon Barkley? To tell him there might be a narrative out there that it's all on you, but it's not all on you. Or do you think it's all on Daniel?
A: First off, I had the conversation with every one of our players that it's not all on any single player. Everybody has a role, everybody has a job to do. We all have to do our job a little bit better and eliminate mistakes that put us behind early in the game. I talk to Daniel on a daily basis. The one thing I will tell you about him, he comes to work every day with the right approach, the right mentality. I know he's putting himself in position to do everything he can to help the team. He just has to be himself and do what he has to do. Everyone else has to play their best as well.
Q: Is Devonta going to be ready to roll this Sunday? How do you envision your backfield shaping up with Dion Lewis and him together?
A: At this point, we have to get him on the field and see where he's at. We had a brief workout with him yesterday. Obviously, there is a difference in working out shaping and playing shape. We'll have to see where he is physically and then we have to see mentally how he is with all the things we're putting in this week. We just want to make sure we put him in a position where he can be successful. We don't want to throw him out there and have him not be prepared because of lack of time. We're going to do everything we can to help catch him up.
Q: With Devonta and the running back position, how much in general is it easier to get guys ready? It would seem like you could use him in a specified role at that position.
A: I'd say anybody you bring in in this kind of situation, who's new to your program and you bring them in mid-week, you've got to focus in on what they're going to do in that direct game plan. You can't try to give them the entire play book at once. You have to make sure they understand the basics of the language and they understand what their role in that game is. That's what we're going to focus on right now with him. Just try and get him ready for whatever role we're going to have for him on Sunday. As much as he can carry, whatever kind of load that will be based on this short week of getting him caught up, we'll obviously try to put it on his plate. We don't want to overload him too much that it slows him down.
Q: What do you lose without Sterling Shepard and how do you sort of fill that role?
A: I would just say Sterling is going to do everything he can to get back. He's a tough dude. I have a lot of respect for him, the way he tried to go in the other day early in the second half playing through pain. We've got good players on our roster. We have confidence in those players. Everybody has to come out and execute. We have to put them in the right positions as coaches to make sure they can make plays. I'm looking forward to when we get Sterling back out there working with the team. He's definitely a guy that brings a lot of juice on the grass at practice. He's a guy that competes 100 percent for us in the games.
Q: With Sterling out, guys like Damion Ratley and C.J. Board are going to move up a little bit. What do you like about their skill sets and what they bring to the table that's different than what the other guys do?
A: I think they're both different than Sterling. Everyone has their own individual toolsets. These guys both have decent length and a lot of speed. That's the first thing that really steps out to you. Damion was new to our program a couple weeks ago. He's made a lot of improvement these last couple weeks. Stepping up for us, making plays in practice, it gives us a lot of confidence to put him in the game. CJ's had production as we've worked. I would hope that would improve based on how he's picked up on the offense and what he's been able to do. He's also had some impact for us in the kicking game. Both those guys have contributed already.
Q: How helpful is it having somebody like Evan Engram, who can obviously go out in the slot and you can use him in creative ways? To fill the void with Sterling out.
A: I think we have to use all of our weapons. Whether that's running back, tight ends, receivers. That's any game plan, regardless of who's up and who's not. Jason (Garrett) has to put some ways to get Evan out there and get him the ball. They're working hard on that right now. We want to be creative but at the same time we've got to make sure we're playing within our offense. We're not just trying to invent something for the sake of doing it.
Q: You're facing a team this week where you're not 100 percent sure which quarterback is going to play. Does that complicate your preparation? Just your thoughts on Nick Mullens if the 49ers have to go to him.
A: First off on Mullens, one thing he does an extremely good job of is you can spread the field out with him. He gets the ball out of his hand extremely fast. He's a guy who turns two, as we say. The ball hits his hand, ball is coming out and he's getting it to the receiver. He has very good anticipation, he does a good job pre-snap really reading the defense, knowing where his receivers are going to be. He's a tough, gritty dude. He obviously had some success for them in the past when he's had to play. As far as if it's Jimmy or Mullens, to be honest with you, you have to have a little bit of a plan for both. What they may do may be dictated based on who's at the game. These are conversations that we're having as coaches, that we are putting a plan together for the players. You want to kind of get it to them in basic increments that you're not double installing everything at once for the players.
Q: How important was it to bring somebody in like Devonta? Just to show inside the building and out, that with Saquon down you're not raising the white flag on the season.
A: We're not going to raise the white flag on anything. Our guys are going to fight straight on through. We have a job to do regardless of the circumstance or outcome of the previous game. Our job is to get ready to go out there and put the best product on the field we can on a weekly basis. There's no white flag here, we're going out there to fight every week. In terms of Devonta specifically, it was important for us to just add a player who gave us some ability in the backfield to add to our backfield already. We have a lot of confidence in Wayne (Gallman) and Dion. We are going to get Devonta caught up as fast as we can to get him rolling.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: Take us through the last few plays of the game. The play before the last play you throw a little check down to Dion Lewis. Was that a designed play or did you have the option of taking two shots to the end zone?
A: There were certainly guys running deeper. The situation there was an opportunity to get the ball closer to the end zone and get out of bounds and give us a better shot at getting in the end zone. The way those last plays work with the defense able to kind of zone off the end zone and spread everyone out, it's a much better look for us to be closer and do it. To have the ball on the 10, we gave ourselves a good chance at that last play.
Q: Just to follow up, that last play with the four receivers, was that four routes in the endzone or was there somebody coming underneath?
A: Everyone was in the endzone.
Q: One of the things some of the coaches mentioned yesterday when we were talking to the position coaches was the lack of explosive plays. You're obviously going to be missing two of your most explosive players. How do you find those big chunk plays now that Saquon and Sterling are out?
A: Tough to see those guys goes down. Those guys are both great players. I think when you talk about how we're going to generate explosive plays, it's the same process in executing our stuff. Regardless of who it is, I think you create those opportunities through everyone doing their job and the ball going in the right place against certain coverages. We have guys to make those plays. It's about executing, it's not about doing anything special. Those plays will come. Guys will break tackles, guys will beat guys in man to man and find ways to make explosive plays. We have to keep working on that and create some of those opportunities for us as an offense.
Q: You've had some very long drives this year in terms of play length. Do you need those explosive plays or can you get by with those 10 ,11, 12 play drives?
A: We can do it that way and we've shown the ability to move the ball. We've had some long drives, lots of plays, moving the ball down the field. That's important to be able to do that and execute. You also need to be able to have the chunk and create the explosive plays. That helps an offense as well. Being able to do both of those things, being able to consistently execute and have those explosive plays, get those chunk plays, is a big part keeping a defense on their heels.
Q: People tend to reduce big pictures into little ones. With Saquon out, I guess the little picture would be the Giant offense is now Daniel Jones. How do you look at it?
A: We talked a little bit about generating explosive plays as an offense and everyone doing their job. I think that's the way we're going to do it. We have a lot of guys who can make plays. It's about everyone doing what they have to do to execute as an offense. That's the way we are going to be most effective. It's not any one guy, it's not a couple guys. It's all of us executing to put the ball into position to score points to make those explosive plays and keep drives going. It's not one guy or two guys, it's the group stepping up and I'm confident we'll be able to do that.
Q: What was it like to see Saquon on crutches? Did you have anything for him that can kind of help ease his pain a little bit? Any words of wisdom? Does a quarterback need any time to get comfortable with a running back like Devonta Freeman or do you hand the ball off to him and don't worry about it?
A: It was tough to see a guy like Saquon go down. Someone who works as hard as he does, he does all the right things on and off the field in preparation to play. I think coming off the field and coming back to the locker room, he was the first guy we saw in the locker room waiting in the tunnel after he just had a devastating injury receiving some real tough news. He's the first guy welcoming everyone in and encouraging everyone after a tough loss. I think that kind of gives you an idea of the type teammate he is, the type of leader he is. It's obviously tough to lose someone like that. We'll all support him and confident in his ability to attack this process and come through it a stronger player. That certainly wasn't easy to see but he's a fighter, he's a tough guy. I'm sure he will come out of it stronger. With Devonta, he's a great player. He's played in this league for a long time. Just getting with him and helping him learn the system, making sure we're on the same page and able to go out there and execute.
Q: I know Eli is not here anymore and he doesn't necessarily know this offense. I'm just wondering what that relationship is like at this point? How much have you used him as a resource even dating back to the spring and the summer and into now the fall?
A: I still stay in touch with Eli fairly regularly. He's someone who I've learned a lot of football from. Like you said, it's not necessarily this offense, but he's been in a number of them and obviously knows the game, knows the position real well. He's a guy I can talk to and ask questions. He's been extremely helpful in that regard. He's someone I have a good relationship with, and he's certainly offered his help and something I've used and certainly appreciate.
Q: Those two plays you made with your legs on the 95-yard drive. How much are the coaches encouraging you maybe to do more of that and to create. Especially the flip you made to Dion, that improvisation. How tough are those plays to make and how naturally do they come to you? That's two games in a row now where you have had long drives extended with your legs.
A: You said it, I don't think you can force those plays. Letting them come naturally and taking advantage of what the defense gives you, whether it's getting flushed from the pocket or things breaking down, down the field. Getting a sense for that and making plays. I'm not sure it's something that I'm necessarily being told to do. It's expected of me to sense and have a feel for.
Q: Just wanted to go back to a response you had earlier about how everybody needs to step up and do their thing on the field to make up for the loss of Saquon. What about the off field stuff, the leadership, the comradery? Do you feel like you have to take on a bigger role or do anything more than what you're already doing?
A: I don't think so necessarily. I think I'll certainly continue to try to lead and try to help us move in the right direction. I think it's everyone stepping up, like it is on the field with our execution on the field. The football aspect of it, in terms of the team comradery, I think it's a similar approach. I think we have a lot of leaders on this team. There's only a few people who are necessarily captains but a lot of guys are leaders and a lot of guys are comfortable in that role. We'll continue to rely on guys and guys will continue to step up and do that.
Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: First half against the Bears, you guys had a problem getting off the field on third down. What was the issue there?
A: Players weren't executing. Allen Robinson made a pretty good catch on the first one, and we just didn't execute. We didn't start fast. The noon kickoff, we didn't come out ready to go. That's uncalled for, and we're working to start faster, we're working to fix that. But all you can do is go in at halftime, make adjustments and make a decision. Pack it in and lose by 40 and head home early, beat the crowd but there's no crowd obviously, so there's no crowd to beat, or you can come back and fight. I think we did a good job of fighting in the second half. That's all we can ask for and try to build from there.
Q: If I can follow up on that, you said coming out not ready to go. Did you mean execution wise or intensity wise?
A: Execution wise. I don't think we executed our defense. The calls are the calls, and third down is about rush and coverage. Anyway you put it in this league, it's about putting your pass rushers on the field, putting your best coverage guys on the field, and for whatever reason, we didn't do our job collectively and we didn't get it done in the first half. But we responded well in the second half, execution wise.
Q: I wanted to ask you kind of a general question. Obviously, you've been around a long time. When a team has a devastating injury such as Saquon Barkley's, a player who was basically such an essential figure. How does a team kind of regroup? People tend to look at guys picking up the slack, but how does a team regroup mentally from all of that?
A: There's only one Saquon Barkley in the world, I can tell you that. He's a special talent. We know that. But we're football players. I've been playing for a long time, all of us have been playing since we were kids, and injuries happen in football every single year. Every single year I've played, a really good player on my team has gotten hurt. The severity of that changes. Obviously, some years are healthier than others. It's a collision sport and injuries 100 percent happen. I think we're used to players getting hurt. The answer I'm going to give you is the answer you're going to hear from the whole team, but it's the truth. Everyone has to do more to replace Saquon Barkley. There's not a backup we can put in that can just replicate that production. But the offensive line, the quarterback, the receivers, the running backs, myself, I need to make more plays on defense to mitigate the Saquon Barkley loss. The 49ers, they're losing some transcendent players, too. Like I said, it's tackle football and it happened unfortunately to Saquon. But I know he'll come back stronger than ever.
Q: This is kind of unchartered territory for you, starting 0-2. When you look around the building and after the game on Sunday, what gives you confidence that you guys are going to be able to turn things around, especially with such a tough schedule coming up?
A: I don't even know the schedule coming up, honestly. I know we have the 49ers and they're a tough team. It's a work ethic. It's the practices. It's how hard this team works, it's how close we are. But we need to finish. We need to start better. It's putting four quarters together. This team is working hard. They're not outworking us, I promise you that. It's just executing better in the game. I don't know if I've been 0-2 before, but I was 2-4 last year and was in the AFC Championship. So, I do know something. If you have a strong locker room, if you have strong leaders, if you have guys that love to play ball and love to practice hard, you can dig yourself out of some holes here. 0-2 is horrible, but I think we're a game out of the division here. It's not like our division is world beaters at the moment. We're a game out from being a division leader. It's football. You have to keep playing the games. You have to get over the tough losses. The beautiful thing about Tuesday and Wednesday in football is you turn your page to the next week. We're focused on the 49ers, who are coming off of some bad news on their side of things. They're coming through some adversity as well. I'm excited to go out there and get a win. Period. This game is one that I want to win really bad, and I'm doing everything in my power to lead the team in that way.
Q: How close do you think you guys are on defense to getting over the hump there, and what do you think that's going to take?
A: I don't know what the hump is collectively. We had two turnovers in the second half and we didn't let up a point. We want to play like that this game. The last two quarters, I want to continue to play like that. I want to continue to punch the ball out. I want (James) Bradberry to continue to pick it off. I want to find ways to get sacks and find ways to play better on third down and in the red area like we did in the second half. The great Dick LeBeau once told me, 'we didn't lose the game, we ran out of time.' Last game, we ran out of time. It's a loss, but hopefully, with four quarters of football, we can play like we did and we can win this game.
Q: How's the house hunting going?
A: Breed restriction is lame. I don't know why people give me a hard time about having a Pitbull. But we did find a house. I'm not going to give you the exact location, but we did find a house and the family should be moving up here in October, so I'm excited to get the wife and kids back.
Q: Football topic. You mentioned James Bradberry. He was a guy who kind of maybe flew under the radar for fans. I don't know how much you knew about him before you were teammates with him. But what have you seen from him these first couple of weeks?
A: No, he didn't fly under the radar for me. I knew him in Carolina. He's an extremely big corner, great patience, physical. This guy was the number one corner in a division where he matched up with Julio (Jones), he matched up with Mike Evans and (Chris) Godwin, and he matched up with Michael Thomas every week. That's a tough job to play the number one corner in the NFC South, and he's done a good job with that. I knew he was a good player. I knew he was a good player studying him, practicing against him, playing against him. He's just a really good corner, and he's playing like that. We need him to be that to be good on defense, and that's what he's doing. The name of the game at cornerback is consistency. Just doing it week in and week out, and he's done a good job of that for two weeks. We all need to start playing like him, for him to be consistent and to be solid for us to allow me to move around and do what I do to allow our defense to be our defense. I think it's building and the chemistry with the guys is building, but I think James has definitely done his job. We just need to translate it to wins.
Q: You talk about starting stronger, starting faster and sort of executing earlier in games. How do you go about making that happen during the week?
A: Just starting the practice off strong. Coming out with energy, intensity. I think a lot of guys came in early this week. They got their workouts in early. I think a lot of guys were on the practice field early today, 30 minutes before practice, getting our warmups started early. I just think guys are ready to win. Guys are ready to come in the building and eager to win. Look, like I told you. I was on a team that was 2-4 last year and we didn't pack it in. There are years where the team doesn't start off so well and they pack it in, and some teams keep fighting and stick together. It's a long year. For us, I don't think we have guys that are packing it in, like I told you. Guys are just coming out, they're doing a little bit more individually to help the collective effort.
Q: One of the things when you watch the defense, it seems like you guys are doing a good job of keeping everything in front of you. Is that the goal?
A: Yeah, the quickest way to get out of the league as a defensive back is to let the ball get caught over your head. Collectively, we're trying to limit the big plays, limit the explosives. We played an explosive quarterback in (Ben) Roethlisberger the first week. The second week, (Mitchell) Trubisky is not so explosive but they do have some explosive pass-catchers and runners. We did a good job of limiting that. We did a good job of keeping it in front of us, we did a good job of taking the ball away. We just have to do a better job of stopping the run and a better job of getting better on third down, two-minute and red area. That's what wins and loses championships, that's what wins and loses games. That comes from repetition. This is a pretty fairly new group, and we don't have the excuse of saying, 'oh, well James' first year in the system, I've been here two weeks, Darnay's (Holmes) a rookie, Julian Love's first year in the system.' We don't have that time. We're putting that extra work in at practice to get that communication in on third down, get that communication on two-minute, and take it upon ourselves as players to play better collectively. But it's a process. Like I said, I liked our fight in the second half. It was better than the first. We're just trying to build from there.
Q: That second half, I know that last drive probably lasted a little longer than you guys would have liked. But did that feel like a lightbulb moment for this defense? Sort of how everything clicked?
A: I feel like that's what the defense should be. I think when you look at some of the talent we have, our defensive line is as talented as I've ever been on a team. Blake Martinez is a tackling machine, obviously. He's a really good mike linebacker. Our secondary, like I said, is new pieces of good players who are learning to get the chemistry to play together. If you ask anybody about the secondary, it's about being a brotherhood back there. We have the burden of if the ball is caught behind us, the fans hate us, the media rips us apart. You have to really build a bond there. That's what we're doing really hard, to build a bond quickly. I wouldn't call it a lightbulb moment, but I would call it a moment of what our expectations are. That's our standard that we're upholding, that we're practicing to, and it's coming to reality in the games. Yeah, we wanted the drive to end short. I didn't know the offensive lineman is going to catch the ball and fall forward. I haven't seen that one too many times. That's unfortunate, but we stood on the field and we get them to miss a field goal there at the end and give our offense a chance. That's all you can do in this league, is give your offense the ball and give them a chance to help win the game.
Q: You have to have better coverage on those guards.
A: Yeah, I'm a smart guy but I didn't think to cover the guard on that one. I didn't think about that one.
View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.