The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots will face-off in a nationally televised game Sunday night, something that seems quite insignificant in light of today’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn. The 49ers expressed condolences to all those affected by the senseless act and will continue to honor those who lost their lives along with the Patriots. Football is not the most important thing at this time, but when it comes time to play, the healing process will continue with a showcase game for many of the top players in the National Football League.
To discuss this week’s 49ers matchup, we welcomed one of those of the laundry list of talented players, special teams standout C.J. Spillman, to this week’s Niner Talk podcast.
San Francisco’s talented coverage units are highlighted by Spillman’s play, a big reason why he leads NFC Pro Bowl voting for special teams play. Spillman’s role on the 49ers comes into greater focus this week with his appearance on the Week 15 edition of Niner Talk.
In the interview, Spillman discusses the camaraderie on the special teams units, his relationship with Randy Moss and his passion for Kentucky basketball
For the New England Patriots perspective, we welcomed Andy Hart, assistant editor of Patriots.com, to hear his thoughts on New England’s impressive season and key matchups to Sunday night.
Click here to listen to the Niner Talk podcast, which is also available on our 49ers Gameday live App.
Here are some of the highlights from both interviews.
[1:45 – Spillman’s thoughts on facing one of the best AFC teams this late in the season.]
“It’s always a great feeling to play one of the elite teams in the NFL that have had a great winning tradition. Over the past few years, I think it’s a great task in front of us to go out and show what we can do.”
[8:40 – Spillman’s explains his unique relationship with Randy Moss, a fellow Marshall Football alum.]
“I was very excited and happy to have him as a teammate, to learn from him, and also to talk to him and see about different things whether on the field or off the field. With him being on this team, he’s really and truly helped me and brightened my vision to see things in a different light.”
[18:40 – Hart summarizes the Patriots locker room’s thoughts on Randy Moss’ return to New England.]
“They’re going to downplay it. They’re going to pay him his respects, because they loved him here. (Tom) Brady loved having him here as a playmaker. (Bill) Belichick always lauded Moss’ football intellect, his preparation, work ethic and all that. I think there’s still a lot of respect for Randy Moss and certainly a lot of gratitude for what Randy Moss did when he was here.”
[10:50 – Hart’s thoughts on Steven Ridley’s increased role in 2012.]
“They came in this year wanting the running game to be more complimentary, it wasn’t very good last year. They’ve had years where the committee worked, but last year it didn’t really work. Opposing defenses just simply didn’t respect the running game and it’s not to say they’re a run-first offense now. Obviously, they’re not, but they do have a 1,000-yard running back and a guy who not only takes advantage of his carries, but maximizes runs… Ridley continuously breaks off 10-yard, 14-yard, runs. He struggled a bit early on against the Texans. They were bottling him up, they were getting him in the backfield, but he still found ways.”
Tags: C.J. Spillman, Randy Moss
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