The 49ers moved their record to 9-3-1 with a 27-13 win over the visiting Miami Dolphins. 49ers Public Relations presents the following notes and quotes from the Week 14 matchup.
With a Win…
- The 49ers evened the all-time series against the Dolphins at 6-6 and also tied their all-time home record vs. Mia. to 3-3.
- The 49ers extended their streak of consecutive home victories in December to 10, dating back to 12/15/07 (20-13 vs. Cin.). The 10-game December winning streak is the longest in franchise history and 2nd longest active streak in the NFL (New England – 19).
- San Francisco remained perfect in games following a loss under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Since 2011, the 49ers are 6-0 in games following a defeat. The 49ers are one of just 4 teams that have not lost back-to-back games since 2011 (Atlanta, Baltimore and Green Bay).
- Harbaugh improved his regular season record to 22-6-1.
- Under Harbaugh, the 49ers improved to 6-1 against AFC opponents and 3-0 against the AFC East.
- The 49ers reached 9 victories in a season for the 24th time in franchise history and 2nd year in a row. This marks the first time that San Francisco has won 9 or more games in back-to-back years since 2001-02.
Aldon Chasing History:
- With 2.0 sacks on the day, LB Aldon Smith has now tallied 19.5 sacks on the season, setting the new single-season franchise record, surpassing HOF DE Fred Dean (17.5 sacks in 1983).
49ers Single Season Sack Leaders
- Smith’s 19.5 sacks on the season rank t-9th in NFL history.
- Smith leads the NFL this season with 19.5 sacks.
Gore Reached 1,000:
- RB Frank Gore rushed for 63 yds. and 1 TD on 12 carries. Gore now has 1,035 yds. rushing on the season, marking his 6th career 1,000-yd. season, the most by any player in franchise history.
- Gore’s 6, 1,000-yd. rushing seasons rank 2nd among all active players (Rams RB Steven Jackson -7),
Gore Ties TD Mark:
- RB Frank Gore registered his 50th career rushing TD on a 1-yd. run in the 3rd qtr. He is now tied with HOF RB Joe Perry and RB Roger Craig for the most rushing TDs in franchise history.
Most Rushing TDs in 49ers History
- Gore now has 60 career TDs (50 rushing; 10 receiving), ranking 5th in franchise history for the most career TDs.
Most TDs in 49ers History
- QB Colin Kaepernick completed 18 of 23 pass atts. for 185 yds. and a QB rating of 100.2, marking his 2nd game in 4 starts to have a QB rating of 100+.
- Kaepernick capped of the final score of the game with a 50-yd. TD run, his 5th rushing TD of the season. The 5 rushing TDs are the most by a 49ers quarterback since QB Jeff Garcia had 5 rushing TDs in 2001.
Most Rushing TDs by QB in Franchise History
- The 50-yd. TD run is the longest TD run by a quarterback in franchise history. Kaepernick also tied the franchise record of 50-yd. run by a quarterback that he set just last week at StL.
Crabtree Ties Career High:
- WR Michael Crabtree tied his career high with 9 recepts. for 93 yds.
Boobie Hits Paydirt:
- RB Anthony Dixon notched his 2nd TD of the season and 6th of his career on a 1-yd. TD run in the 4th qtr.
Spillman Sparks Scoring
- S C.J. Spillman notched his first career FR on a muffed punt by Dolphins RB Marcus Thigpen. Spillman recovered the loose ball on the Miami 9-yd. line, and RB Frank Gore recorded a 1-yd. TD run two plays later.
Akers Surpasses 100:
- With 9 pts. on the day (2 FGs, 3 PATs), K David Akers now has 104 pts. on the season. The 104 pts. mark his 12th career 100-pt. season, including toping the century mark in each of the past 7 seasons.
- With 2 FGs vs. Mia. K David Akers has now made at least 1 FG in all 29 games as a 49er, extending the franchise record for consecutive games with a made FG.
Making Their Debut:
- WR A.J Jenkins and RB LaMichael James each made their NFL debut.
- James finished the day with 30 yds. on 8 carries and added 1 recept. for 15 yds. He also averaged 26.3 yds. on 3 KORs.
Extending Their Streaks:
- TE/LS Brian Jennings has now played in 205 consecutive games.
- DT Justin Smith has now started 184 consecutive games, dating back to his rookie season in 2001. Smith’s consecutive start streak ranks 3rd among all NFL players, behind Ronde Barber (212) and London Fletcher (196)
- TE Vernon Davis has now started 88 consecutive games, which ranks 3rd in the NFL among TEs behind Tony Gonzalez (98) and Jason Witten (96).
- C Jonathan Goodwin has now started 67 consecutive games, the 5th most among centers.
- K David Akers has now played in 118 consecutive NFL games, the 3rd most in the NFL among kickers.
- P Andy Lee played has played in 141 consecutive NFL games, 3rd most among NFL punters.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference – December 9, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins
That final, well kind of the game-sealing play, QB Colin Kaepernick’s 50-yard run, the read option. Can you just kind of talk about I guess that kind of slight of hand he had to RB Frank Gore?
“Yeah, great call by [offensive coordinator] Greg [Roman]. And it was a big third down conversion. We’d been struggling on third downs. And to get that one to pop and get the touchdown was great. So, it was better than having to punt it back to Miami at that point.”
He didn’t run it much. Is that his call throughout the game in that play, he was handing it off most of the time on that? Was that totally his call throughout?
“It did vary. Sometimes it’s a called run, where he’s just going to hand it off. Sometimes he’s got the option to hand it off or pull it, or throw it.”
Can you talk about the spark that RB LaMichael James seemed to give your running game and your offense in general?
“Yeah, I thought he was fantastic. Did a great job running the football. Thought he made the positive yards that were there. Plus had a little bit of extra burst through the hole. I thought it was really good. Great debut by LaMichael. Thought he acquitted himself really well.”
You mentioned, positive yards that were there. Was that an issue for him early on when he first got to the 49ers? Trying to make too much and not taking the positive yards that are there?
“No. This is really his debut. So, I think we’re just seeing him for the first time. I thought it was a fantastic start for him.”
But, the question is, why are we seeing him for the first time in week 14?
“Yeah, that’s a good question. Frank Gore is also a tremendous back, if you hadn’t noticed that. Frank had another phenomenal game. The screen, the run he had on the catch and run was huge. We ended up making a fourth down conversion on that. But, that run I think it was about a 20-yard pick up by him. Some great running throughout the game. Another great effort. Blocking, everything that Frank does.”
Until the end, the offense did have some struggles getting on the board. Were you happy in general with the offense, or were there some issues there?
“These games are really hard. Miami’s a heck of a team. We knew that going in, that they were going to be tough to move the football on. At some points you’ve got to stay patient. But, we also took our shots. And thought our offense played winning football.”
Frank got 1,000 yards today.
“He’s a football player. Let me just reiterate this, Frank is a football player.”
What’s the secret to his endurance, or the two or three factors in endurance that allows him to do that 1,000 yards year after year?
“He’s got tremendous ability and great heart. And probably the thing that I just, wow, this guy is a real, real football player. And also, just how important it is, the assignments, the technique, to him. He’s just on everything. He goes into every one of these games, he’s just so on it mentally.”
He’s durable. What makes a running back durable?
Can I quote you?
“What makes some guys more durable than others? I don’t know.”
What is the latest on TE/DT Demarcus Dobbs?
“Dobbs, we’ll see. We might have dodged a bullet. He may miss some time as well.”
What did you like best about the defense today?
“A lot of things. We gave up some yards and drives. But, this was a good Miami offense. And got the stop when we needed it. Thought we tackled well. Got the big turnover.”
On special teams.
“On special teams, yeah.”
Your offense was pretty quiet in the first half. Your offensive coordinator seemed to make adjustments in the second half. Was it mostly going to that pistol?
“That was part of the plan. We used that in the first half. I thought Greg called a great game. He always does. And we had a good plan. Our guys believed in the plan and they executed it well.”
What happened at the end of the first half? The way that unfolded. Were you trying to do something different when you settled for the… The clock was running down. You could barely stop the clock in time to get the field goal. How did you feel about how that transpired?
“Well, I thought Kaepernick did a great job throwing the ball away. We had a timeout. So, we took a shot at a play that we were going to try to hit a corner route for the touchdown. See if we could get that. Kap had thrown those very well early in the game. But, then as the clock ticked down, especially when we snapped the ball it was like 11 seconds. So, had he thrown that ball and completed it in bounds, we wouldn’t have gotten the timeout. So, he did a great job of throwing the ball away. Understanding where we were at with the clock.”
His decision making, were you happy with that throughout the game?
“I was. Yeah, thought he did a good job. His ball security was better in the pocket, even though he did fumble one time. But, I thought that was an improvement. Thought he managed the game well. Thought he did a good job in general.”
What was happening on those sacks? Was he holding onto it looking deep? Should he have maybe taken off, or what was happening to get four sacks on him? It seemed a little unusual.
“We got beat a couple of times. Just got beat up front. And one time for sure he got fooled by the coverage. So, there are three of them that I can think of.”
A lot of timeouts with the clock running down. Were there communication issues? Was it sometimes that maybe the new quarterback was adjusting a little bit to this?
“Well, it just seemed like it took a long time to get the play called in the huddle. And then get up to the line of scrimmage, we had a shift and then a motion. Probably, we just didn’t have enough time to get it all inside the 40-second play clock. So, had to use a timeout. Not good. Not good. Not the way you want to use your timeouts.”
What would you say about the way Kaepernick played in this game after what happened last week in St. Louis? How much do you see as far as improvement and just obviously his overall development?
“Again, acquitted himself very well in this game. Made some big-time throws. And ran the offense. Did a good job of running the football. And his reads were very good for the most part. I think he was high completion, 18 of 23. But, he did good. Acquitted himself well.”
Getting back to Frank Gore, he hasn’t had a 100-yard game since October. Is that a concern at all?
“No. It’s not. He’s had a couple of his best games where he didn’t get 100 yards this year for us. He’s an amazing football player.”
Can you talk about CB Chris Culliver on the back end?
“Yeah, great to bring that up. He made some big-time breakups. Made a great play on the deep ball there when we really needed it. I thought all our guys really handled the important game, the big game, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy. But, finding a way to get the win. So, press on.”
Did you have the view of LB NaVorro Bowman’s penalty at all? Did you see that?
“I saw it on the replay board.”
What did you see?
“It didn’t look like he lowered his crown. It looked like his head was up, so. You’re talking about on the personal foul?”
“Yeah. I couldn’t tell if it was helmet to helmet. But, it did not look like it was with the crown of his helmet. What did you see?”
Well, it happened so fast. Well, you really care what I think?
It happened so fast. It’s a tough call to make and it’s a tough thing for the player. It’s an impossible situation in the NFL. What do you think?
“I’d be interested to see what those guys say about it, NaVorro. But, I’ll let you talk to LaMichael and all those guys did a great job.”
QB Colin Kaepernick
How would you assess your play today?
“I think we did pretty well. We got a W.”
How about yourself? Are you pleased with the way you played today?
“Yeah, wish I had a few throws back. A few different decisions. But, overall, yeah.”
Can you tell us just what happened on that 50-yard touchdown run, how it came about?
“The end crash, had a great block by [TE] Garrett Celek coming around the corner. Great fake by [RB LaMichael] LaMike [James]. And a great block by [WR Michael Crabtree] Crab, and cleared it up.”
LaMichael, talk about him a little bit. Does he kind of open things up for you with his speed and everything?
“He’s a great player. Very shifty, very fast. So, he opens up a lot of things for this offense.”
How natural does that feel with you and your background, that sort of offense and LaMichael as well? How have you guys been able to click without a whole lot of practice time?
“I think it’s something we’re both very comfortable with. So, it doesn’t take a whole lot for us to practice that.”
Can you talk about your struggles in the first half, like how long it took for you to really get it going?
“We just had a few bad third downs where we didn’t convert, things like that. But, we knew we had a good game plan. We knew we had good plays. We just had to go out and execute.”
Did you feel like you had the WR Randy Moss touchdown there on the throwback? Did that feel like that was going to be made?
“It was a play we thought we were going to have six on. We just didn’t come up with it.”
Can you talk a little bit about your comfort level now compared to the beginning of the season and maybe even when you got drafted?
“I think my comfort level is about the same as the beginning of the season. I’ve been comfortable this whole season with everything. Compared to last year, I think I’m a lot more comfortable. Moreso with the offense than what defenses are doing. Our offense has a lot of volume and that’s something that just takes a little bit of time.”
With the speed of the game, too, is the game slowing down for you at all, or has it always been at this?
“I guess you can say it’s slowing down. I’ve been comfortable this year. So, things kind of look the same.”
In these four starts, have you seen any defensive wrinkles that you haven’t been ready for?
“Defenses always do different things to our offense. Different formations, things like that. That’s just a part of playing defense. They’re going to scheme us up.”
What did the Dolphins do today that maybe you hadn’t seen from the Rams last week, or the Saints the week before?
“Well, you really can’t compare it. They’re completely different defenses, different schemes. So, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.”
Do you get a greater appreciation for RB Frank Gore being out on the field and seeing what he can do?
“Yes, a lot greater appreciation. I always knew Frank was a great running back. Being out there on the field and seeing some of the cuts he makes and how he protects in pass protection, I don’t think there’s another back like him in this league.”
You talked about the game on the field, off the field between the games, everything you do now, whether it’s your turtle or anything else that happens seems to be news. How are you adjusting to all of that?
“I’m not. I don’t pay attention to it. I’m focused on football and focused on trying to win games.”
Obviously the W’s important. But, are there any other things you judge yourself by statistically? Do you look at third down conversions, turnovers, what are things that you’re focusing on?
“Obviously you don’t want to turn the ball over. For me, it’s should I have made a different decision on the play? Should I have made that throw? Things like that. That’s what I really base my performance on.”
Upset about the fumble there a little bit?
“Yes, the fumble and the throw to Crab on the going in, I sailed it a little bit. And those are two things that stand out right now.”
Were you surprised that you had so much room on that 50-yard scamper?
“A little bit I was.”
G/T Alex Boone
Patriots next week, is it a big game for just the media or is it a big game for the guys in this room?
“I think it’s a big game for everybody. We have to continue to win if we want to go where we want to go and this is a big stepping stone for us. We have to be serious about this game. We have to focus in, dial in and be read to be physical again.”
Last one, quick one on QB Colin Kaepernick. From the beginning where he’s throwing 22-yard outs to the late fourth quarter run, he was doing it all today?
“Absolutely, did a phenomenal job making adjustments on the field, off the field. He’s a great player and a great leader to have out there.”
CB Tarell Brown
It seemed like they were moving the ball, but you were able to hold them to two field goals and a touchdown.
“Yeah, it was good. They were getting a couple of yards, spreading us out, dink and dunk and running a lot of screens. They did a good job of moving the ball, but we kept them out of the end zone and that’s the most important thing.”
LB Aldon Smith sets the record. How huge is it to have a guy like that in front of you?
“Anytime you have a player of his caliber make plays game-in and game-out is special. We tip our hat to a guy like that. But we have an amazing D-line and do a great job in putting pressure on the quarterback.”
It seemed like you were making the big plays at the right times. What were they doing and what were you doing to stop them?
“Just focus. Guys really have a determination on this field and on this team. We were focused out there. The main thing is everyone was playing outstanding football.”
[QB Colin] Kaepernick gets another win for you guys. What do you see in him?
“He’s special. He’s a young guy doing a great job for us. He’s got to just keep on doing it.”
They didn’t bust any big plays on you guys. That’s one thing they haven’t done much this year. Did you realize they weren’t getting behind many players on defense?
“We were just out there trying to make plays. We were just trying to keep guys in front of us and make plays. Sometimes, certain things happen. But the game of football is an error game. We just went out there and fought as hard as we could and just kept playing. They just spread the ball out a lot more than we expected. They tried to get [RB] Reggie [Bush] on linebackers and stuff like that. They haven’t done that this year. A lot of teams are going to show us different looks than what they show on film.”
CB Chris Culliver
Next week, national TV, Patriots QB Tom Brady, give us your quick thought on the matchup with the Patriots next week.
“Good quarterback, good offense, we’ve just got to come play.”
How about cold weather, you’re an SEC guy, do you like playing in the cold weather?
“No, not really but we’ll be cool. But it’s alright, like I said, we play cold, rain, sleet, snow, stil have to play the game.”
How important was it for you guys to get the taste out of your mouth after the loss to the Rams and get this win today?
“Any wins that we get, we definitely cherish them. Nobody wants to lose. We definitely got the taste out of our mouth and we’ve got to keep moving forward to the Patriots.”
RB Anthony Dixon
How cool was it to see RB LaMichael James, all three of you guys contribute to the rushing attack today?
“That was great to see. I said the first week of the year, I feel like we have the best backfield in the league. We have a lot of talent, we are super deep. I know coach has a hard time trying to figure out what to do with all of us. It’s a good problem. We just try to feed off of each other.”
How cool is it to see LaMichael finally get out there and make his debut? What did you think about that?
“That was great because I know what he’s been going through this year. Coming from college, he’s really a great talent, just watching him everyday work on the practice field. So to see him get out there and do that, I was happy for him. I was happy to see him finally get his move on, his groove on.”
You tried to jump, looked like it was on that first carry left side, you jumped for the pylon. Did you think you had a chance to get there?
“I would have had a chance if I was a little more forward. I kind of went up to high. They said, ‘You jumped two yards.’ My teammates were giving me a little trouble. I thought I floated a little farther. We are just all out. We have been talking about being all out and getting back to the way that we do things. We did and this was a must win for us and all the rest of them are too. That was just an all out effort, all in.”
So RB Frank Gore had a nice run where he got down to about the 1-inch line. Do you feel like the coaching staff rewarded you giving you the carry on the goal line? Do you appreciate that?
“Yeah, definitely. Anytime I get any work I am appreciative of it. My number just happened to get called. I’m always waiting, I’m always in the wings. I was just happy for my number to get called.”
It’s the return of the forgotten man. Do you ever feel like, ‘Hey remember 24?’
“Of course, because I feel like I can go out there and be a stud, but I’m a team player. I just do what I can for this team and that’s special teams until I get my number called on offense. It’s a bit stressful at times, but getting rewarded like that today makes it worth it.”
S Dashon Goldson
Can you talk about how physical it was out there and how the defense rose to the occasion.
“We knew they were going to come out and give us their best shot. It seems like every team that we’ve faced so far wants to be physical. That’s how we play and we accept those challenges. They did a good job starting off the game and hit us with a couple of fancy plays. But we settled down and started playing football.”
You guys were able to bounce back after last week. You’ve been able to do that all year. Can you talk about the motivation to come out here and show what you guys can do.
“In this league, you have to have a short memory. This team does a good job of letting things go and moving forward. We have to do things like that to get these Ws. You can’t dwell on the past and it showed that we moved on from last week.”
The division race and the playoff picture is tight. Do you guys look at the scoreboard or do you just know you’re in position and just go out there and try to win every game?
“We just line up and play football. We don’t let that playoff talk affect us. We just go out there and do what we have to do week-in and week-out.”
Are you happy with the development of [CB Chris] Culliver? It seems like he’s coming into his own right now.
“Definitely. Culliver is a baller right now. He’s one of those guys who can come in and play every down for us. Unfortunately, we’ve got some guys in front of him. He plays his part and does a good job at it.”
They put [RB] Reggie Bush out wide today. Do you have any thoughts about that?
“I guess they saw some film and thought they could go 1-on-1 with our linebackers. They did a good job of adjusting, knew that was coming and put a DB on them. We got the best of that.”
When the score was 20-13, the defense seemed to tighten up after that. Was there anything said amongst the defense after they scored the touchdown to get close?
“Not at all. It was just settle down and play football, play our game, tackle, line up and play the next down. Those guys did a great job of making their plays count. We came out on top.”
RB Frank Gore
How much do you enjoy running the zone read plays? Does that show more versatility of what you can do?
“I don’t like it. [Laughing]. No, it’s good. Kap [QB Colin Kaepernick] did a great job reading it. Our O-Line did a great job with it. It’s hard to stop, like you saw towards the end of the game. Kap made a big play. He read it real good. Everybody came to me and Mr. Everything did his thing.”
Two big milestones for you today. You had your 50th career rushing touchdown and your sixth, 1,000-yard season. Can you talk about what made you so consistent over your career?
“Just the way I prepare, all season, just loving the game. My O-Line does a great job for me. My receivers do a great job downfield blocking and I’m out there just having fun.”
How different is this offense, working in different stuff, obviously the read option. Is this defense a lot different than it was five weeks ago?
“It’s the same. We can just do more with Kap because he can run with the ball, very athletic. But basically it’s the same, just a little bit more read option.”
Until you got the TD, the offense had gone something like a game-and-a-half without scoring an offensive TD since your TD against the Rams. Why do you think it’s been so tough to score?
“I guess the defense has been doing a great job. They’ve been doing a great job, but we didn’t know that. I didn’t. As a team, we’re just happy with the win. We just want to stay hot in December and try to make this run.”
Another 1,000-yard season. Not many running backs have had as many as you have. What do you think is the secret to your endurance, your toughness? Where does that come from?
“Our coaches do a great job during the week and like I say, my offseason. I train. I train. I train. Every year, once I get older, I want to probably become lighter, like a pound or two lighter. And, I just love the game of football. I’ve been playing it since I was four and I’m just having fun. We’re winning, having another great year as a team and just having fun.”
What did you think of RB LaMichael James debut today?
“Happy for him. I saw LaMichael when he first got here. The offense was kind of tough for him. Camp was going kind of rough. He wasn’t used to playing in small spaces, but he did a hell of a job. Our [offensive] coordinator G-Ro [Greg Roman] did a great job putting him in a great situation what he’s used to doing in college and he kept me fresh. Kept me fresh.”
How important is that?
“It’s great, especially towards the end, the last three games. [RB] Kendall [Hunter] was a big part of our team and LaMichael can do similar stuff as Kendall, and that’s good.”
With all these weapons, do you feel good about this offense heading into the last few games
“Feel great about it, feel great about it. We just need to keep working, getting better every day, taking the practice field and just keep going. Every day we just keep getting a little bit better. I think we can get to the dance.”
Can you actually tell if you’re two or three pounds lighter? How do you know?
“We weigh in.”
No, when you’re playing out there, can you feel you’re a little bit lighter?
“I feel great, getting in and out of my cuts. Still got the explosiveness. When I see something, I go get it. Our weight coaches do a great job with what we do in the week in the weight room, keeping me strong and we’re ready to roll.”
Can you talk about the depth of this team? It seems like every position has quality players.
“If you look at our roster, we’re deep at every position, receivers, running backs, probably have the two best tight ends in the league. So, every week it can be anybody’s time, anybody’s time to shine. We’ve just go to stay as a team and keep working and pulling for each other. If we do that, the sky’s the limit.
Does 1,000 yards mean something more at this stage of your career? You’ve been so durable and to reach that mark at this stage.
“It’s a blessing. When you see everybody say, ‘When you turn 29, 30, you can’t do it anymore,’ when I got to 29, I told myself, I’m going to overcome that. And, it’s all about training, offseason, working, being smart during the week. That’s one thing that [running backs] coach [Tom] Rathman does a great job with me. And staying strong, lifting weights with [strength and conditioning] coach Uye [Mark Uyeyama] and just working when I get my opportunity.”
You had that 19-yard reception when you threw a lot of Dolphins defenders. T Joe Staley said, ‘G Alex Boone actually tackled you.’
“He tackled me in Minnesota, Seattle. I’ve got to ask him what he’s got against me.”
Did you say anything to him today?
“Yeah, I told him. I told him, ‘You’ve got to stay off me man. Let me get another touchdown.’ But it’s a good play, good play.”
Did you grow up a Dolphin fan?
“I just told myself, I had this before the season. I know we had the Dolphins on the schedule. I’m not a planner, so I said, ‘We’ve got to flip them upside down when we play them.’ I was a Niners fan.
RB LaMichael James
On making his NFL debut:
“It’s been a long time, but great things come when you’re being patient. I’m just happy that I have the opportunity to go out there and compete and help the team win today.”
How did the experience match the expectation?
“Oh, yeah, definitely. There’s a lot that I still can learn. I’m still growing and each and every day I’m going to try to get better.”
Talk about the speed of the game being, maybe a little quicker when you were out there, but you are an awfully quick guy. How did it compare to what you would have imagined it being like?
“It really wasn’t that fast to me. It really slowed down. I was really calm. I wasn’t nervous, and I just went out there and played.”
Have you ever been this fresh, this late in the season?
“I’ve got those fresh legs. That’s 100 percent true.”
That could be a big deal for the rest of the season and the playoffs.
“Oh yeah, it’s definitely a big deal. At this level, those guys have been pounding for two or three months and today was my first day ever getting tackled, so I’ve got a little bit of an advantage, and I’ll take it.”
Before you got that opening kickoff, were there butterflies?
“I didn’t have any. That really surprised me. I really wasn’t nervous at all. I just went out there and I just played. It was stress-free.”
Do you get inspiration from Gore performing as he is after all the carries, all the games in his career?
“I have tremendous respect. Not just for football, but on and off the field. If you’ve ever seen him practice, he practices the same way. So, I see it every day. When you come on the field, it’s kind of second nature. Nothing he does really surprises me because he does it every day in practice.”
LB Aldon Smith
Is there anything you feel like you can’t do out there? In a game like this where you got a couple [of sacks], was there a couple more you could’ve got?
“I could’ve. I could’ve played better.”
How do you feel when you have one of those that gets out of your grasp at the last second?
“You can’t let it happen twice. You have to make up for it on the next play.”
On your first sack, that was a serious power rush. Were you just able to get leverage on him?
“This game is about power, speed and power. It was a combination of that.”
Was it similar to some of those you had against the Bears?
“I’m sure it was.”
On the first one, you knocked the guy on his back. Did he say anything to you throughout the course of the game?
“There were some words exchanged.”
Were they nice, like “take it easy on me”?
“We’re competitive. We’re out there competing. Nobody wants to get knocked down.”
Your bull rush was quite devastating. Is what you do pretty much predicated off the bull rush?
“Like I said, this game is about speed and power. I try to mix it up and make them respect both of them.”
Did you expect to get the league record?
What would it mean for you to be the MVP of the league if that came about?
“That would be a dream come true. You work so hard and everyone wants that title. It would be a dream come true.”
Did you watch a lot of extra film on their guys since there wasn’t a lot of film on their tackle?
“He played a lot in the New England game at left tackle, so I watched a lot of that. I’m just out there playing. I really don’t pay attention to the guy I’m going up against. I have to be a complete player.”
DT Justin Smith
Where does LB Aldon Smith rank with young guys that you’ve seen come up through the years? Obviously he’s got to be at the top but who does he remind you of?
“Right now he’s number one isn’t he? I mean nobody has been on pace for that. So, right now he is the guy, he’s that guy, can’t rank him with anybody really.”
So it begins with him?
“I guess it begins with him right now, it should.”
Just as far as bouncing back after last week, how ready were you guys to play this game, how excited were you?
“I mean they’re always tough fought games, this one’s no different. They came in ready to play. They’re a pretty good team on tape, they had a couple losses in overtime, we knew we were going to have our hands full and we did today. We’re just glad to get of there with a win.”
A very fierce game obviously in the trenches all the time, but particular it seemed like Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was able to get out of harm’s way a lot and really stretch the field.
“Yeah he made some plays with his legs, that’s what good, young quarterbacks do and we saw that coming on tape. There’s only four D-linemen rushing, there’s a lot of gaps out there. He decided to pull it and run and he made some good plays today.”
S C.J. Spillman
Talk about about the way the coverage units kind of played. What’d you see on the punt, it just kind of kind of fell to you, you happened to be right there, right?
“It’s something we practice every single day, so it’s just me going out and executing what we do in practice.”
How big was just getting this win overall? You guys have avoided losing two in a row and obviously you guys avoid that once again.
“Most definitely, we always want to come out with the win. This was a big win for us. You want to finish strong in December, I feel that we’re trying to come in and do the right thing.”
Are you guys looking at the scoreboard now? The final couple of games, Seattle is just a game and a half back.
“We’re not looking at that. We’re just trying to take it one game at a time and go from there.”
T Joe Staley
On San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo:
“Best beard in the business. He’s got a great hair cut, just overall great style.”
How cool is that to have him come in here and be like a little kid?
“That’s perfect, excellent. It’s really great. I haven’t gotten to talk to him yet. He’s cool. It’s fun when we win, we have a few celebrities coming in here. We had Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Now we got Sergio Romo, today’s a good day.”
So both those guys were already in here?
“Earlier, not today, different game. They were after the Lions game I believe.”
You guys got so Hollywood, you lost the next week.
“Thanks for bringing that up.”
What kind of spark did RB LaMichael James give the offense today?
“He did great today. He really stepped up, played well when his number was called. I’m proud of him. We got off to a slow start today, came out throwing the ball. I think we mixed up the run and the pass a little bit as the game went on. We got into a rhythm, slowed up their pass rush and LaMichael played great. It seemed like every time he was getting the ball it was a good chunk of yardage.”
Has he made some pretty big strides over the course of the year? Would he have been ready to do this in week one?
“No, I don’t think so because our running backs are expected to do so much as far as pass protection as well. It’s not just running the ball, they have to know everything. As a rookie coming in pass protection is a lot different than college. It’s not just one guy. You got to have a lot of different keys, a lot of different reads. So, he made great strides. A credit to him, credit to [running backs coach] Tom Rathman coaching him up and I think he made a statement here. He’s ready to go and when his number’s called he’s ready to play.”
S Donte Whitner
The slam that you had on RB Reggie Bush, is that going to be the new highlight reel everyone’s going to be bringing up?
“We just want to be physical anyway we can. When you’re physical as a defense, it gives the offense something else to think about. Not just your scheme, not just the pass rushers. But, they’ve got to think about protecting themselves when they’re around the football. And that’s the way we play the game.”
Did it bug you at all that the Dolphins came back to 20-13 with the # play drive? Does it get under your skin?
“No, it doesn’t bug us. That’s a team that’s better than their record. They’ve got a good coaching staff over there. They’ve got a bunch of hungry guys. We’re getting everybody’s best effort. It doesn’t matter who we play. We’re getting everybody’s best effort each and every Sunday and they use us to measure themselves. And St. Louis did the same thing. Every team we’ve been playing all year has been giving us their best shot. So, these next three games aren’t going to be easy.”
Can you talk about CB Chris Culliver today and talk about his great pass deflection?
“Culliver’s getting better and better each and every week. He’s playing like a top corner in the National Football League. He’s a big guy. He’s 6 foot plus, almost 200 pounds. Wants to be physical. Really starting to study and become a student of the game. So, he’s just going to get better and better each and every week.”
How excited are you about the challenge that’s coming next with the Patriots? You’ve faced Patriots QB Tom Brady obviously a lot. What does that do for you?
“Well, we’re going to be able to see where we are as a defense. We understand who’s going to have to win that football game and we think it’s going to be the defense. And they understand that their offense is going to try to control the football and get some big plays and put points on the board. And we can’t allow that. So, we’ll be ready.”
QB Ryan Tannehill was fairly efficient in the first half, not much in the second half. What did you guys do differently, or what did you see differently?
“Well, we got a little lead and they started to have to run yards longer than 10 yards. Routes longer than 10 yards, if you look at their offense, they’re really a get the football a lot, not make him read too much. They don’t want him to make the mistakes. The second half you get up two touchdowns, they have to hold the ball a little longer. Go to five, seven step drops. Try to get the football down the field and our rush was able to take over.”
LB Patrick Willis
CB Chris Culliver came up with some big pass deflections. Talk about how he’s stepping up lately.
“Yeah, he’s a heck of a player. I know right now he comes in our sub-package, but anytime he’s on the field, I think he’s going to make a big play or have a big pass break up or something. Just to see him come up and putting that shoulder in there is one of the things that [head] coach [Jim Harbaugh] talked to him a lot in the offseason and during training camp is, ‘We’re going to need to tackle’ In this defense, our corners have to tackle sometimes. So, he’s taken on that challenge and I think he’s doing a great job.”
Can you just talk about the mindset you have on defense following a loss? You hadn’t given up a touchdown in any of the previous games after a loss. You gave up a fourth quarter one today, but what is it after a loss that gets the defense so amped up to stuff touchdowns?
“Really, anytime we step out there on the field, we want to go out there with the mindset of, ‘We take from everything but give them nothing.’ We just love going out there, playing defense together. We love going out there and just hitting. Like I said, we don’t want any team to be in the end zone. We don’t want a team to have anything.”
What impressed you most about QB Colin Kaepernick tonight?
“Just his poise. I know at times, he had the clock got real low on him. I know there’s some things he knows he has to get better at, but just his poise, staying in there after getting sacked early in the game like he did and just make some big plays like he had. I think he’s doing a great job and I know he’s only to continue to get better.”
Can you share the view that you have of what you’re seeing LB Aldon Smith doing this season?
“He’s having an incredible year. To have as many sacks as he has right now, I think they talk about a record that he’s getting close to breaking. And for him, it’s not something that he thinks about. For us, he just goes out there and he says, ‘I’m going to play football,’ and he understands what we have to do in our defense. What I love most about it is, some outside backers, so D-ends in this league are straight pass rushing guys. Even if it’s a run, it looks like they’re playing pass rushing. For him, he does a great job for us in the run game and then when it’s time to get after the quarterback, he gets after it. And that’s credit due to the others guys up front too for being able to do some of the things they’re able to do to collapse the pocket, to work together with stunts, but really, he’s having an incredible year and I know he’ll only continue to get better.”
Do you want to see him get that record?
“Of course. Any time, in our organization program, on our team, we always talk about and coach [Harbaugh] talks about it. We’re proud of the other man’s success. For him to be able to go and do that and for myself and the other guys to be a part of that, that’s special. Anytime somebody can break a record like that and you’re a part of that that’s a big deal and we’re happy for them.”
How big was this win for you guys, given that you had to overcome a lot of adversity given last week in St. Louis? You guys made some mistakes today, but you were able to overcome that.
“Yeah. It’s hard to win in this league. I tell people all the time. We come back this season and we had the record we had last year was 13 and whatever it was. And everybody’s like, ‘It’s straight Super Bowl and this, undefeated this and blah, blah blah.’ They don’t understand it’s hard. It’s hard to win. Last year was a blessing, especially given the seasons we’ve had before. This year I told them, I don’t know if we’re going to win 13 games. I don’t know if it’s going to be pretty, but what I do know is we’re going to get to those playoffs and once we get there, anything goes. And that’s our mindset. Right now, we’re just concentrating on that next game coming up, but really, just focusing on winning the next game and setting ourselves up for something great when it’s time. But right now, it’s just taking one game at a time and we just want to get in. That’s the focus.”
What are your thoughts on the next game with the quarterback you’re going to face, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady?
“Oh man. A legend. A Hall of Fame guy. Their offense is very potent. A guy that can throw the ball, but at the same time, I love our defense and I love what we have on our defensive side of the ball, from DBs to linebackers to D-Line. So, I want to go to fight with our guys any day against any team. So, we’ll see. We have a great week of practice and we’ll see on Sunday night.”
Miami Head Coach Joe Philbin
“I want to give San Francisco credit. They deserved to win the game. They made the plays in the fourth quarter that decided the outcome of the game. Congratulations to their staff and players.”
Coach, this was another game where you came in knowing you were going to have to score touchdowns and put points on the board. You had opportunities but it just kind of got away from you early on.
“We wanted to play a game where we talked about winning 21-17. We thought it would be that type of game, a close physical football game. In a lot respects it was. But again, in the fourth quarter we had some opportunities to put some more points on the board but we didn’t. Obviously we were too generous. We gave them the ball on the nine-yard line on one possession. They took advantage of that. It was the type of game we envisioned. We told the team all week, ‘I anticipate that we’ll be in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter.’ I told them we had to play a clean game. This is a good football team, we had to execute well. We didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter. They did. They deserve to win.”
Posted in Announcements | 5 Comments »