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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, DL Leonard Williams, OT Evan Neal, RB Matt Brieda

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: In a week like this, it's all walkthroughs, right? I guess you're outside for the walkthroughs, right?

A: No, we go inside. We go in the indoor at Arizona State.

Q: It's not going to be 100 degrees in San Francsico so it's no reason to do that I guess is the reasoning?

A: Yeah, it's 100 degrees outside so we go inside for the walkthrough.

Q: What do you look to see in those things because they're walkthroughs? You can't do anything physical with these guys, obviously a day or two after the game. What is it all about preparing for a Thursday night game?

A: You start out with special teams walkthrough and go through all the phases of that. It's really mental because it is such a short week. It's hard on these guys, obviously, they're taking care of their bodies. Then we go to offense and defense and spend I'd say quite a bit of time on going through our game plan and some of the looks that we'll see, albeit a slowed down tempo pace but it's really a mental week of practice to get ready for a Thursday night game. On top of that, they're in the training room, they're doing their prehab, they're doing all the things that they need to do to prepare their bodies to play in a short time frame.

Q: Do you feel as a coaching staff that you can put everything into a Thursday night game that you can as a Sunday game? As far as "we've got to stick to this." Do you think you can unload it all in that much time?

A: Well, you plan – you know when you're playing and you plan accordingly throughout the offseason, towards the end of the offseason, through training camp and you put things in that you know you're probably going to use in a short timeframe. Done that kind of everywhere I've been. The plays, it's not like you're adding 1000 new plays, you don't do that to the players. You want them to play fast and make sure they know what to do. But certainly, there's always a game plan element to it and the coaches, there hasn't been a lot of sleep but that's the way it goes on these types of games. Make sure you can put together something that those guys can go out there and execute, know what to do, play fast with and then for them to take care of their bodies and do what they need to do to get ready to play in a short time frame.

Q: I wanted to ask you about the run defense. It looked like last week in particular against the Cardinals that guys were not just winning at the point of attack. When you look at it, what are you seeing and assuming that my observation is correct, where does that rank in priority to fix it?

A: We're going to try to improve really every area of our football team where we're at but again, run defense is really team defense. It's controlling the line of scrimmage, it's making sure we have good run fits and run support. It takes all 11 guys. Just like really every play whether it's run defense, the pass offense, the screen game, whatever it may be, it just comes down to executing your responsibility for the collective part of the unit.

Q: I know you've been playing a lot of two-man defensive line fronts. Would you consider changing that up a little bit? Especially going up against (49ers running back Christian) McCaffrey?

A: I'd say we play a lot of fronts. (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) has pretty much every front you can have. Again, each week we sit down, we talk about the things we need to improve on and put together a plan we think will work for that game and then we've got to go out there and execute it.

Q: What makes (49ers Head Coach) Kyle Shanahan's offense so challenging?

A: He's done this for a long time. He has a ton of experience. He has, I'd say, a number of plays that he's run throughout his past and he's always evolving. That's what I appreciate about Kyle. He's a heck of a football coach. He creates, I'd say, a lot of issues, whether that's run force issues, whether that's making plays look exactly the same and setting things up. He's a timely play caller. He's an excellent coach.

Q: As far as (running back) Saquon (Barkley), I don't know if you care to share anything on his timeline, but obviously he's going to be out for at least some time.

A: I wouldn't count on that, not just yet.

Q: Okay, safe to say he will be out on Thursday night?

A: I'm not saying that he's out yet. He's a quick healer. I'm not saying he's in, he's out. We are going to take it all the way up with him to Thursday, but he feels a lot better today. I just talked to him. So, we will see where we are at.

Q: If he wasn't ready, how comfortable are you with (running back) Eric Gray particularly in pass protection? I know that's always a big thing for rookie running backs.

A: I'd say the three guys that we have behind Saquon, they are all here for a reason. We are comfortable with all those guys. Whether that's run or pass. Certainly things that we could all improve on, but they are all here for a reason and if he's out there, we have confidence in him.

Q: Especially given the personnel that you have up front, does your lack of sacks surprise you and what can you guys do to try to get more pressure and get a few sacks moving forward?

A: Obviously, we want to create some negative plays, whether that's negative run plays or pass plays. We got to do a good job of getting them to those pass situations, controlling first down so they can't play the game on their terms.

Q: I was wondering if you would address the challenges that are Christian McCaffrey and also (49ers defensive lineman Nick) Bosa on the other side of the ball, obviously.

A: Yeah, well I'd say just on both sides, those two guys are heck of a players, they've got a lot of good players on their team. A team full of Pro Bowlers or All-Pros, whether it's McCaffrey, (49ers wide receiver) Deebo Samuel, (49ers wide receiver Brandon) Aiyuk, Bosa, (49ers defensive lineman Javon) Hargrave, (49ers linebacker Fred) Warner, I mean the list goes on and on. I'd say their team is well constructed. (49ers General Manager) John Lynch has done a great job along with Kyle and there is a lot of challenges with this team in a number of areas.

Q: With (running back Matt) Breida, I understand what you just said about Saquon, I assume at some point we will still see Breida Thursday night, likely, possibly. What do you like about his game? You had him in Buffalo, you now have him here, clearly you like the player.

A: Yeah, I mean he's a pro. He knows what to do, he knows how to do it, he's done it for a while. He's got speed, he's got some quickness about him. He's had some productive years as a runner, he was at San Francisco. He's just a pro and he knows our system well and we have confidence in him.

Q: I'm curious if Saquon was unable to go, how much more does that put on (quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) shoulders? Obviously, Saquon is a big part of this offensive scheme, you've run a lot through him in the past, does that change much, what you need from Daniel in that case?

A: Look, Daniel has got his job to do, just like the running backs have their job, the receivers, the offensive line. It's individually taking care of your responsibility, whatever that maybe and doing your job at a high level.

Q: I know you didn't want to rule Saquon out. Does the fact that you have 11 days between the games, how much does that factor into how you guys handle him?

A: I think it all factors in, but ultimately I go back to the player and see where he's at. He's made considerable progress, just in a day and a half or however many days we've been out here. Again, we will go all the way up there to the start on Thursday and see where we are at.

Q: I just wanted to ask about (inside linebacker) Micah (McFadden), he was added to the injury report yesterday with a neck injury, what happened and how's he doing?

A: He's good, he will be fine.

Q: Will he be available for Thursday then?

A: Yeah, he should be. He should be ready to go.

Q: Did anybody ask you why you lined up for two down eight before the penalty on (wide receiver) Parris (Campbell)?

A: No, they didn't.

Q: I know that's an analytical thing. What's the math or thinking behind that? Is it that you get two-point conversions more than one out of every two times, so if you don't get it, you have a second chance to get it? What's the math and the thinking behind going for two down eight?

A: You answered it.

Q: It's really that? One out of two is better than 50 percent?

A: Yeah, if you get the two, then you win it with an extra point. If you don't, you still have another opportunity to go for two again and tie it up.

Q: And math suggests that you're going to be successful at least one out of two times?

A: Yeah, I mean, that's something that I talk with (Director of Football Data and Innovation) Ty (Siam) and (Offensive Assistant/Game Manager) Cade (Knox) about. We actually go through that situation quite a bit each week. And this week, where we were in the game, how the game was going, we felt comfortable with that decision.

Q: Is it relative to time in the game too?

A: I'd say all that plays into it. All that plays into it.

Q: I guess this is probably a good problem to have, but if you have seven healthy receivers, can you have all those guys active? Or does somebody end up as an odd man out if (wide receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) is able to play?

A: No, we can have them all active.

Q: In terms of the week, we know how challenging it is for you guys to put things in to get ready for San Francisco and obviously physically for the players, and mentally. But the flip side of that is you guys are spending all this time together out here on the road. Is there any part of this trip that as challenging as it is may galvanize his team a little bit and bring you guys closer? You kind of had that last year when you went to London. I'm just curious for something out of the ordinary, do you like seeing things from your team that you may not see when you're home?

A: They spend a lot of time together obviously when you're on the road, but a lot of that is meetings and we go from 7:30 to late afternoon, call it, early evening. I'm sure they spend time getting a meal together, but it's really dialed in right here. You have such a short timeframe to do all your preparations. It's kind of like it is back home, if you will, relative to the meetings, we do the walkthrough, kind of like we do the walkthrough, maybe a little bit more extended, come back, have position meetings, and then instead of those guys going home, they spend some time together in the hotel or out to dinner.

Q: Any knowledge yet on whether (tackle) Andrew Thomas is going to go, or (outside linebacker) Azeez Ojulari, (guard) Ben Bredeson, those guys?

A: I would say Azeez and AT (tackle Andrew Thomas) are kind of in the Saquon deal. We'll take that right up all the way to Thursday. And Ben, I don't think Ben will pass protocol in this short amount of time. So, I'd say he's leaning more towards out, if you will.

Q: Just clarify on Saquon. There were some reports that he was going to be out three weeks, two to three weeks. Are you saying that those timelines are not accurate?

A: I just think with every injury, until you're with the player, you see the player… I don't know, you might heal a little bit different than I heal, I might heal a little bit different than another player heals. So, again, Saquon is, I'd say he's a lot better than maybe I thought he would be, or some other people thought he would be today. So again, he might heal a little bit different than another player, if you will. So, we'll just take it day-to-day with him and if he can make it, great. If he can't, we'll see if he can get better by the following week, and we'll just take it one day at a time.

Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux

Q: What's been your take on what's been going on defensively?

A: I mean, it's still early. But when you talk about—we've given up a little bit too much. We obviously want greatness, and we strive for the best. I don't think as a defense as a whole we've been playing to the standard we seek for ourselves.

Q: Can you walk off the field from that game at least feeling like, 'Hey, the defense we think we can be showed up for at least the last quarter?' Were the situations also more manageable because it's a close game at that point?

A: You mean after the game?

Q: Yes.

A: I think you're always happy as a defense when you can contribute to a win, obviously. We were able to get three kills at the end of that game, or three stops at the end of the game. We call it a kill. But once we did that, it did breed a little more confidence in us that we can execute at a high level.

Q: You didn't have a tackle in that game. What do you make of that?

A: Did you guys watch the game?

Q: Yeah…

A: So, if you watch the game, they—it's all scheme. Once (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) kind of got hurt, you understand that you're kind of left in a situation of being on the back side. So, I was on the backside a lot of those plays. Granted, they were getting the ball out quick and once you kind of go down in a football game, they don't really run plays. They're not trying to win the game with the plays that they're running, right? So, it's a lot of just short runs. A lot of other guys were making plays, so for me, it's really not about the stat line, especially in the game of football. I think football is probably the only sport where you can contribute to a game without having any stats. So, when you go back and watch that tape, a lot of the balls were ran to the other side. Even with them doing that, towards the end of the game, when they did start to run my way, it was about setting the edge. It was about kind of doing my part. I know teammates before previously have talked about just being able to handle your job. My main job is to set the edge and to make the runs go back inside so that my linebackers and other players can fill gaps. So, just being able to contribute to a win felt pretty good.

Q: How would you assess your pass-rush productivity in the first two weeks?

A: The first two weeks, again, when you start to really break down football, when you go down, I think in the first game, teammates talk about situations, in the first game, we didn't get on the field until it was about 14-0 or 16-0. So, looking at that, teams aren't looking to drive the ball down the field. They're looking to run the ball. And when you don't stop the run, you don't really have any room to pass rush. So, I think when you look at us as a team, we haven't been able to get those numbers because we haven't really buckled down on what we need to do as far as handling situations and stopping the run.

Q: You're asked to drop in coverage more in this defense than edge rushers are in other defenses, and everyone judges you by sacks. How have you accepted that? How do you feel about that?

A: I mean, there are a lot of social media GMs. There are a lot of people who want the game and want to coach, and they want to create narratives. But as long as I stick to the game plan, and my coaches and my team are happy with what I'm able to do, whether it be drop back, whether it be hold the edge, whatever it may be – I'm just happy to contribute.

Q: There was a video posted of you sitting alone on the bench, while a lot of the rest of the team was celebrating. I'm not insinuating anything, I'm just giving you a chance to respond.

A: What part of the game was that?

Q: I think it was at the end after the field goal. It looks like it in the video.

A: After the field goal, so that was the last play…I think when you play this game, you start to realize, and I'm only answering it like this because I know that there's videos and there's always narratives put out, but when you're in a situation where the fate of the game lands on one drive or one situation, and you're kind of those people, right? The defense are the guys who are looked to to answer that. The only person I look to is God, right? So, I'm sitting in that moment, and I'm praying, and I'm kind of, I guess you would say meditating and visualizing what we're going to do as a team to go out there. For me, it's kind of like there are too many people that wake up and want to put negativity out there. For us to come back and win a game, it's nothing but positive. For a defense, everybody just wants to be able to make that play when the time does come. I think it's more of a visualization and a meditation thing that, hopefully I don't ever have to answer something like that in the future.

Q: (Defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams) said that as a group, you have to stop worrying about these numbers, the sacks, the takeaways, and just do your job, because that's something people are asking about. How important is it to not listen to that?

A: The thing is, every fan just wants to be a part of a winning team, right? So even early in that game, our own fans are booing us. They're giving up on us. And then as soon as we start to win, now, everybody's cheering and everybody's excited. Everybody wants to get a jersey signed and this and that. It's a tough situation, but when you start to realize that the only people that matter are the people in the room and the only people who are really here for us, is us. As long as we continue to focus on that and continue to control the narrative and keep pushing forward, we'll be alright.

Q: Is a fast start vital for this game given the opposition, especially if you let them get out to a big lead?

A: Definitely. I mean, football, it's all about complimentary football. As a team, we've been trying to work on that, and starting fast is everything, whether it's defense going out there getting a three-and-out or it's offense going out there and putting some points up. We definitely just want to do our 1-11 and go out there and execute.

Q: Has your confidence waned at all individually?

A: No. I'm excited. We've got a big matchup this weekend. Every game is a big game. So, being that this is the next one, I feel like the team is primed. We've been consistently making gains and I feel like it's going to be definitely a good matchup.

Q: What do you see in (49ers quarterback Brock) Purdy?

A: He's a great quarterback. I actually played him way back when when he was in college in a bowl game. He's the same guy. He's obviously gotten better, but when you talk about his poise, when you talk about him just being able to deliver the ball and he doesn't really get off balance. He likes to really focus in, and he knows where to get the ball.

Q: And he had that back then?

A: Yeah. It was hard for us to get him. He was able to deliver it and put it on the money.

Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams

Q. What's your sense of what's been going on defense so far?

A: I think overall we've given up too many points. There's definitely areas that each player and each position group wants to tighten up and get better at but at the same time we know it's a lot more involved that we have to pay attention to on film and getting the job done. I think it just starts with execution though. I think we need to just focus on our own individual job as an individual and just lock in on the details.

Q. How do you feel about your individual production so far?

A: I don't think I've been in a situation to make too many plays so far. I think – like I said, a lot of it has to do with the situations that we've been put in. Yeah, I don't know.

Q. What do you mean by not in the situation to make play?

A: I think we've been talking a lot about complimentary football and a lot of times when you're playing from behind or, the first two teams we played have been getting the ball out pretty quickly. Even when we get good rushes or something like that the balls coming out. Overall, like I said, if we're not stopping the run, they're not going to be doing too many drop back passes if they're having a good running offense. I think, like I said, it just goes back to stopping the run, focusing on our details and that's when plays for individuals will start opening up.

Q. How surprising is it not to have a sack, for the team to have a sack or a turnover?

A: For the team? I thought you were asking individually.

Q. Just when you look at it. It kind of stands out not to have that. I know you said obviously you we're way behind in the Dallas game and…

A: I think those type of things come in bunches. I think if we keep focusing on our technique, focusing on our details, and executing our plays individually, like I said, then those plays will start coming. I think it's going to be bad if we start to chase those type of plays because we're hearing about it from the outside, hearing about it from fans or media or stuff like that that we need sacks. That will cause the pressure to force guys to do something outside of their realm to try to chase a play when really, that can affect the whole defense. I think those type of plays come more when you lock in and dial in on the details of the defense and play within the scheme.

Q. What's the greatest challenge about playing this particular team? They're obviously very good.

A: They have a really good offense. I mean, it starts with some of their skill players, (running back Christian) McCaffrey and (wide receiver) Deebo (Samuel), they do a good job of playing in the backfield and being a wide receiver at the same time. They have a pretty good offensive line, (tackle) Trent Williams is a really good left tackle and I think (quarterback Brock) Purdy's been doing a good job of stepping up as a quarterback. We've been describing him as like a point guard type of quarterback. He gets the ball out quick and knows where to go with it.

Q. This team, this defense has its own identity within the locker room. With this kind of challenge, what do you expect from you guys with what you've seen over the last couple of weeks?

A: Knowing my guys and knowing my defense I think we invite this type of challenge. We know it's been tough the first two weeks so far but that doesn't define our season. That doesn't define who we are as a team or as a defense and I think it's never too late to show who we are. What better way to do it (than) against a big challenge like this.

Q. Anything particular about McCaffrey that stands out?

A: Like I said, it's just that fact that he's a dual threat. When he's out there wide as a receiver, you have to treat him as a receiver and when he's in the backfield you have to treat him as a running back. Also, in space he does a really good job of breaking tackles, so we talk a lot about running to the ball and making sure that we gang tackle.

Q. What was (Defensive Coordinator) Wink's (Martindale) demeanor this week? What was his primary message? What was he stressing to you guys?

A: I think his demeanor hasn't changed. I think nobody's demeanor on the defense has changed. We're all the same, we show up to work the same. I think his overall message is just showing us that this is a good offense that we're about to face and it's a challenge and I think he's inviting us to take on that challenge. Not shy away from it and not let those last two games define who we are and it's time to rally together.

Q. I think you, (safety) Xavier (McKinney), and (inside linebacker) Bobby (Okereke) have all mentioned taking care of your own job as players. Are you seeing on the film of the first two games guys trying to do someone else job and playing outside their assignment? Is that why you're saying that?

A: Not so much yet but I think in times like this when people are talking about where are the sacks, or where are the takeaways, I think guys will start trying to play outside the framework of the defense and chasing those specific plays. Like trying to get a strip or trying to get a sack and then now you're not doing what you're supposed to do because you want to try to get this play to get people off your back or something like that. I think that's not the time to do that. I think if we just tighten up the details of our defense and our individual work that we have in front of us, those type of plays will come, like I said.

Q. You usually talk about how much you play. How has it been adjusting to having more rotation and not being on the field as much?

A: It's been nice, actually. We've been having good rotation and it's nice to be able to trust the guys that are going in behind us and it's nice to be able to rotate and keep guys fresh.

Offensive Tackle Evan Neal

Q: What do you see when you watch (49ers defensive lineman) Nick Bosa on film?

A: What everybody else sees, man. He was the defensive player of the year in the NFL for a reason. Just a really elusive pass rusher. Great technique, great bend, he has good strength, so it's definitely going to be a good test for me and I'm up for the challenge, I'm ecstatic.

Q: How are you approaching that challenge, in getting ready for the week, preparation, just having to go against him specifically?

A: Just approaching it how I approach any other week. Just analyzing the film, watching the film, making sure that I am honed in on the game plan, especially being on the road. We have to take more mental reps now because haven't been able to get a chance actually go out there and practice and hit guys and things like that. So, just taking the mental approach a lot more serious, just watching more tape, just trying my best to see any tendencies or anything like that.

Q: How does this sort of stack up for you? You've played against other pass rushers, you know the (Cowboys linebacker) Micah Parsons' of the world. How does he sort of stack up, what's different about him, what's the same about him?

A: I mean, with guys like that, when you talk about pass rushers like Micah Parsons, Nick Bosa, I mean all those guys have a knack for getting after the quarterback. Both are tremendous players, high motor guy. I feel like Bosa has a different style than Micah Parsons, they don't move him around as much. He is a true hand in the dirt, outside linebacker, edge rusher. Tremendous player and I am excited for the challenge.

Q: Would you prefer to have the full week where you do get to be physical and out on the field than to what you are dealing with here?

A: I mean that would help, but I can't control that. What we have is what we have and like I said I'm just excited to go out there Thursday night.

Q: You've been around (quarterback) Daniel Jones the last couple of years. How would you describe how he played in the second half on Sunday?

A: Daniel played lights out in the second half. Did a great job of rallying the offense and just getting us to follow his lead for sure. Definitely proud of Daniel, he's a hard worker, one of the hardest working guys that I have ever been around. He definitely put together a great performance.

Q: How do you describe his kind of outward persona, which is kind of very lowkey and when he gets excited like the headbutting when he scored a rushing touchdown and stuff like that. How fiery is he, that we don't see?

A: He's pretty laid back around us, but football is an emotional game. When you're out there in the heat of the moment, 20-point comeback and offense is rolling, it's kind of hard not to show emotion so it's good to see that out of him for sure.

Q: When you talk about Bosa not moving around much, are you just expecting him on you pretty much the whole game?

A: I mean he primarily lines up on the right side, that's where he takes the majority of his snaps, but he does line up on the left as well, just not as much as the right.

Q: What's your mindset, obviously the Dallas game was a lot of criticism and all that stuff. How do you respond, how do you feel going into this game after having that Arizona game under your belt?

A: Just flush it, man. Next page. Criticism is what comes along with playing this sport, you know what I'm saying? I'm not doing it for the critics, I am doing it for myself, my teammates, my family, the ones that believe in me. I am going to go out there and put together the best performance that's possible for my teammates.

Q: What was it like having (offensive lineman) Marcus (McKethan) next to you on Sunday instead of (guard Mark) Glo(winski)?

A: It was great having Marcus there. His first NFL start, and he handled himself really, really well. It was great playing next to Marcus for sure, really proud of him. He went through a lot of adversity, having to miss last year and things like that. Coming out for his first NFL game and he played a really good game, so I'm really happy for him.

Q: I know you guys practice those lineups, but are there any intricacies and details having to go with a new guy in a game like that?

A: I mean, not so much. We are all a part of the same o-line, we are all a part of the same scheme, we practice on the same practice field, we are on the same team and Marcus is a professional. He knows how to get his job done and he did it well.

Running Back Matt Brieda

Q. What's this opportunity like for you?

A: I just want to go out there and play for my team. At the end of the day, I'm grateful to still be playing in the NFL, you know I came undrafted, so just to be here I am blessed and whatever my team needs me to do, I'm going to do.

Q. I am sure you have communicated with (running back) Saquon (Barkley), what were those words like?

A: As far as I know, it's a game time decision, so I guess we will see on Thursday.

Q. No, I meant did he talk to you, as running backs, you talk.

A: Oh, I mean we always talk, every day. I mean, me and him got each other's back, you know what I mean? Even, the whole season, we've got each other's back, just like (running back) Gary (Brightwell) does and (running back) Eric (Gray) does, whenever he needs a break, we go in. It's one of those things where I feel like we've got a great running back room and whoever is out there is going to do a good job.

Q. It's been a few years since you've kind of been a number one back, do you feel ready if you have 20-25 carries?

A: I mean, yeah. Like I said, I came into the league, I was fifth string, and then I was a starter at one point, so this is nothing new to me, I've been playing. Football is football at the end of the day, you go out there and play, so it's nothing new.

Q. Saquon had an extremely high percentage of the snaps in that game the other night. Is that something that you feel you can step in and do that, or do you think that if Saquon can't go, it's going to be more of like a committee thing?

A: Like I said, whatever they want me to do, I'm going to do. If I've got to play 80 snaps, 100 snaps, like I said I've been a starter before so it's nothing new to me. At the end of the day if he can't go, we are all ready to step up and do our part. Like I said, he's a game time decision so we will see.

Q. Do you find it interesting that you are going back in this situation to a place where you began your career?

A: Yeah, I mean I've already played here before after I had left. It's always good to go back, you know, some of my old teammates (49ers tight end George) Kittle, (49ers wide receiver) Deebo (Samuel), (49ers defensive lineman Nick) Bosa, all of them over there, so it'll be good to see them. I think it's going to be a good atmosphere, the guys will be ready, so it's going to be a good game.

Q. Do you think most people that you led that team in rushing one year?

A: Probably, yeah. I have people still coming to me these days talking about they had me on they fantasy team and stuff like that, which I don't care about (laughs), but no, like I said, it's a blessing to be able to go back and play at the place where I started. It'll be a good night.

Q. You were in that offense for a few years, what makes it so effective?

A: I think the players and then the coaching. (49ers head coach) Kyle Shanahan, he does a good job of with a lot of the motions and stuff. A lot of it may look different, but a lot of it is actually the same stuff and I think he is able to move guys around and guys are so versatile. When you have guys like Deebo and (49ers fullback Kyle) Juszczyk, that can play multiple positions, it makes hard for defenses to stop.

Q. What it's like for you, playing under (head coach Brian) Daboll, having obviously been with him in Buffalo as well?

A: It's awesome. Dabs is a players' coach. I think there is a reason why you see players fight until the end. It's been like since he's been here, it's been like that in Buffalo. We believe in him. He is very real, very raw and I think that's what a lot of players need. They've got to believe in the coach if you want to win and everyone here is bought in and I think you've guys saw that on Sunday when we played the Cardinals. I don't think anyone thought we were going to win that game and we came back and won.

Q. Do you think you were going to win that game?

A: Of course. I mean, if we've got a shot and there's time on the clock, with this team we're going to do everything we've got to do to win. It's been proven last year and then obviously on Sunday. Anytime we've got a shot, we're going to keep fighting.

Q. You mentioned as far as Saquon as a game time decision, that's how you've been treating it. As far as game prep this week, has it been any different with the run game and what's that looked like?

A: No, it's been the same. Like I said, I think we have the guys and the right guys in the running back room to step up if he does not play but hasn't doesn't changed anything. I don't think anyone's in here panicking. It's a long season, I think we'll be okay.

Q. Have you talked to Saquon? In terms of, it sounds like he wants to play…

A: Of course, Saquon's a competitor. If he can be out there, he's going to be out there. I haven't really talked to him too much; he's been in a lot of treatment and getting ready for the game but if he can be out there, I know Saquon's going to play for the team, so he'll be out there.

Q. What do you see when you watch (49ers linebacker) Fred Warner on film?

A: Oh man, Fred's my guy. Me and Fred used to have one-on-ones and stuff like that so he's probably arguably the best linebacker in the game right now as far as coverage skills and being able to diagnose plays. You've just got to be on point. Like I said, it's going to be a tough game especially because they've got (49ers linebacker Dre) Greenlaw over there, too. They've got a good defense, but I feel like we've got a good offense too, so it should be a good game.

Q. You're a veteran, obviously in this league. Will there be butterflies Thursday? Is that factoring in a little bit?

A: I still get butterflies before every game I play. If I didn't get that, I think I'd be done playing at this time. Football is one of those game that, like I said I'm blessed to be everyday to be able to play this game. I'm blessed to be able to play this long in the NFL and of course I'm going to have butterflies before the game. This is where I first played at. Nothing's going to change. My routines going to be the same, it's going to be the same, I've been here before. It's going to be exciting.

Q. What have you seen from Eric?

A: Eric Gray? Oh man, he's been definitely reliable, dependable. They've got him back there returning punts for a reason because you need a guy back there you can trust. I feel like the coaches all trust him. He gets in the game, he's going to do his thing. He's a great player and I think he'll play a long time in this league.

Q. How important is blocking against this team, for running backs?

A: Blocking? Like our offense blocking?

Q. Yeah.

A: Oh, extremely important. They've got a good defensive line, backers, safeties. I think everyone's got to be locked in on point, this defense doesn't make a lot of mistakes, so we've got to just be on point the whole game and I think we'll be fine.

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