COACH TOM COUGHLINCOUGHLIN:
Good afternoon. I tried to point out to our team today right off the bat how long our game is, and how things change and how they can happen. Even looking at the second half, there were two circumstances which could've turned the game around. The ball was unfortunately on our 27-yard line and our 30-yard line. On the one hand, we forced them to kick a field goal and on the second hand, we made Blackburn's big interception. Those were huge factors in the ball game and the way the game came about. The other thing that took place that we always strive for and we work hard at, but doesn't always come to the surface is our four-minute offense. We held the ball, finished the game with the ball in our hands and did not have to give the ball back to Cleveland. I thought that was a plus. Our running game was much better; much has been discussed, you don't need me to comment on that. Statistically, we did very well with that. We had a number of big-play runs, which was very instrumental in our victory. I didn't think our special teams played as well as we've been playing. I think our return game and our cover game goes to show that. The veteran kicker did move the ball around on us a little bit. I didn't think our angles were very good when we brought the ball out. I thought that their speed and ability to out maneuver our blockers was apparent. We didn't get the ball to where we wanted to get the ball in a continuation to having played well the week before with our kickoff return team. We obviously didn't cover well, that's not to take anything away from (Josh) Cribbs, he's an outstanding return man, powerful. A lot of low-target tackles were missed against him. We've recognized that. I thought defensively, unfortunately again for us, was a little bit of 'two different halves.' The one thing that I would comment on would be the missed tackles from a standpoint of our defensive side of the ball. I would again remind you that Cleveland has played everybody very, very tough this year. One week removed, or ten days removed from playing Baltimore very tough, in which they threw a pick-six. If that had been a touchdown, it might've been a little different story in the game. They are a good team; a physical team. They came in here with many, many stats. We did have a good day from the standpoint of our offense, with regard to that. However, it wasn't all the way around, and we're still searching to play all three phases in harmony with one another. Questions?
READ MORE >>SAFETY ANTREL ROLLEQ: How much better do you have to be on Sunday than you were this week?
A: We've always got to get better. That's the way we play, that's the way we live, that's how we approach the game. We always got to get better each and every week and never be complacent.
Q: Can you not get away with some of the mistakes from yesterday against a team like the 49ers?A: We won't know that until the game is played, but our goal is never to go into a game with mistakes but, obviously, they're going to happen on both sides of the field and we just got to get better each and every week, prepare and come out to a faster start and an even better start.
Q: The best way to describe the way you played is good spurts and some not so good spurts. Is it the injuries and the substitutions that are creating that or is it just still trying to figure it out?A: We don't hang our head on injuries. It's just as far as execution. We've been an up and down team, it's not something that we're proud of, but we're 3-2 and trying and looking to get better each and every week.
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LB CHASE BLACKBURNQ: How much are you guys, defensively, taken on your shoulders going into this week knowing that?
A: Just like we did in the playoff game, we know we have to play well. We know that it has to be a defensive struggle. They can't put up a lot of points because who knows how much our offense will able to move the ball and score and we just got to have a good game this week.
Q: Have you taken note of what the 49ers have done the past two weeks offensively?
A: Yeah, you definitely have seen it. They put up big numbers beating the Jets like that and Buffalo. Played well, played balance as far as running the ball really well and the passing game to go with it – the play action pass and the big deep threats that they have. Obviously, they have played really well.
Q: Can you get away with some of the mistakes you guys made yesterday?
A: Definitely not. Not very often can you get away with mistakes like that and overcome them the way we were able to yesterday, but fortunately, yesterday, we were able to. The fact of the matter is we don't want to start in that 14-0 hole very often.
CENTER DAVID BAASQ: You guys haven't always been working at the same speed between Ahmad and the offensive line.
A: I don't know what it was, but we need to build on that and we need to continue to do that. So whatever it was that helped us do that, we just got to continue to work towards that and have that same rhythm and we know it's going to be a challenge going out there. They have a really good defense, but having guys like Snee play next to me, it's just an honor.
Q: The two games you played out in San Francisco last year looked like it was as a physical game that you played all year long.
A: We need to go out there and do a better job. Last time, they did a… They have a good defense. You got to give them credit and they touched Eli way too many times, so that's something that we got to focus on and they pride themselves on stopping the run. So we got to build on what we did yesterday and get prepared and just do the right things this week that way we can go out there… We have to execute our game plan.
Q: Were those poor performances by the offensive line?A: I'm not going to say anything like that. They're over with; they're last season.