courtesy of San Francisco 49ers:

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Game Notes

Thursday, October 6, 2016

 

Money In The Red Zone

  • The 49ers offense scored TDs on all three trips to the red zone vs. Arz. On the season, the team has scored a TD on 11 of their 15 trips (73.3 pct.) inside the 20.

 

Heavy Dose of Carlos

  • RB Carlos Hyde rushed for 78 yds. and 1 TD on 22 carries, marking the first time he has recorded a rushing TD in three consecutive games.
  • Hyde is the first member of the 49ers to have a rushing TD in three consecutive games since RB Frank Gore accomplished the feat in 2011 [12/11/11 at Arz.; 12/19/11 vs. Pit.; 12/24/11 at Sea.]
  • Hyde also registered a career-high 6 recepts. for 36 yds.

 

Kerley Shuffle

  • WR Jeremy Kerley tied a career high with 8 recepts. and finished with 102 rec. yds, his second career 100-yd. receiving game. [120 yds.; NYJ at NE (10/21/12)].
  • Kerley hauled in a 9-yd. TD pass from QB Blaine Gabbert, his second as a member of the 49ers and 11th of his career. Kerley has now registered a TD recept. in consecutive games for the first time in his career.

 

Down Goes Drew

  • LBs Nick Bellore and Michael Wilhoite combined to sack Cardinals QB Drew Stanton for the first 0.5 sack of their careers.

 

49ers Head Coach Chip Kelly

Press Conference – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

It kind of seems like the same thing that you’ve talked about in the past, the self-inflicted wounds. Why do these things continue to happen?

“Well, when you’re playing this team and you’re minus three in the turnover category, probably you’re not going to win the football game. It’s very rare statistically when you look at it, to be minus three, and think you’re going to win the football game and obviously critical times. We had moved the ball to get up 7-0. It’s inside two minutes when we turn it over on the tip pass to make it 7-7. Then to open up right in the beginning of the third quarter there and have the fumble on the kickoff and then I think all three of our turnovers occurred in the red zone which is even worse. It took them 41-yards to get 17 points out of it so against a good team like Arizona that’s just not going to cut it.”

 

Do you see any improvement in the offense? Have you guys taken any strides?

“Sporadically. If you look, there’s a couple drives that I think we did a nice job on, but not enough to win a football game. So, the entire offense, it’s everybody. I don’t think we protected well enough. I don’t think we threw it well enough. We had too many drops, too many interceptions. It’s the entire group.”

 

Did you expect this to be a transition year or is this frustrating to start 1-4?

“I don’t know about a transition year. I just got here, so I’m not transitioning from anything. We expect to go out and compete and play each week and there’s certain things that you need to do. We had two critical penalties that also really hurt us and good teams don’t do that. We’re not a very penalized team, but when the penalties occur, they are huge for us. We just had a first down, we got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. We’re holding a team to a field goal and then we get a roughing the kicker penalty that extends the drive and results in points. So, both of the penalties resulted in points also and that’s the part that, we can control that. We only had four on the day, but two of them were critical penalties for us.”

 

Last week you said QB Blaine Gabbert played well except for maybe a couple of throws. Would you say thing about this?

“No, I wouldn’t say the same thing. I don’t think anybody played well on offense. Nobody did.”

 

Do you believe in maybe a quarterback change just to get–?

“I don’t think tonight we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to go look at everything. We have a couple days off here in terms of getting ready for Buffalo and then we’ll asses the film and we’ll move from there. But, we’re not talking about who’s playing or whatever in a game that’s 10 days from now. So, I understand that you have to ask the question. I understand that, but right now that’s not a conversation right now.”

 

Players come in tomorrow?

“No, they’re off.”

 

They’re off until Monday?

“They’re off, yeah, until Tuesday. That’s the start.”

 

And will you be meeting with coaches about–?

“We’re working. Players are just off. That’s what happens. They had a real short week. You’re trying to play a game and obviously you played on Sunday. You have to play again on Thursday. They need some time and we’ll get back here on Tuesday.”

 

Saw a lot of the offense getting to the line and then looking to the sideline. Have you been doing that more this week?

“It was just who we are playing. Trying to make sure we get to the right place and checks that we have with them. We’ve done that in the past in every game that we’ve played this year. If a team is a little bit more multiple on defense, we may do it a bit more. Just trying to make sure we’re in the right look and can run a play that’s going to get executed. Trying not to run it into an overloaded defense, if they are in an overloaded defense, and kind of checking around doing a lot of different things that way.”

 

I get you say you’re not going to discuss the quarterback situation tonight–?

“I didn’t say I wasn’t going to discuss it. We’re not discussing it as a staff. Not that I’m not discussing it with you guys.”

 

Oh gotcha. Oh great.

“Great. Like we’re not having a staff meeting tonight after this. That’s what I meant.”

 

I guess over the course, at some point over the next 10 days, is that a position that you’re going to look at and assess?

“I think we’re going to look at everything. I mean, we’re 1-4. We need to make sure we’re going out there and giving us the best chance to win, so we’re going to look at everything.”

 

Was there any consideration to making a change tonight?

“During the game? No.”

 

The interception Blaine had to start the fourth quarter, what was your view of that one and was that–?

“It was behind the receiver and it looked like the DB undercut it. So, it was pretty good coverage by [Arizona Cardinals CB Marcus] Cooper on that play.”

 

Have do you improve stopping the run? It’s been an ongoing theme.

“Well, part of it is tackling. We have to do a better job tackling. I think there’s times when we’re there. The first guy to the dance isn’t getting the ball carrier down. And, we’ve got to do a better job tackling, first and foremost. That’s what I think the biggest thing that I look at and we’ll look at the film and see all the other things and kind of work through that. But, the first thing that I notice on the field is that we’re not getting guys down when we get there. We have to do a better job as a group tackling on defense and part of that is gang tackling, getting more than one guy to the ball. Getting off the blocks and getting there and then making sure everybody is running the football so we can corral the ball carrier.”

 

Seeing in the locker room now after four straight losses, how are the players reacting and how do you stop them from snowballing this?

“Well, I see a group that’s hurting because they’ve invested so much in this. So, I think sometimes you worry in those situations when you see a bunch of guys that seem like they just don’t care. If they don’t care then they probably haven’t put a lot into it. I think this group, since we’ve been with them, has put a lot into this and it’s very, very important to them and they work extremely hard at it. So, I see a group that’s hurting right now and as they should be. I don’t think anybody wants to be in this situation. I think we have a bunch of guys who want to be part of the solution not part of let’s blame somebody else for it.”

 

WR Torrey Smith has been targeted with just three passes with just one catch in the last two games, presumably your number one wide receiver. What’s going on? Why hasn’t–?

“I think part of it too, we’re playing against, I think in the last couple of games he’s faced a couple of good guys. But, we do have to get him involved more and try to get him the football more.”

 

Seven sacks is uncharacteristic of your team so far. What was the difference tonight?

“I think there was a little bit more twist game going on upfront and then we didn’t do a very good job of handling that, from where I’m standing. We have to go through that because a lot of those pressures that occurred on the quarterback occurred in a four-man rush. So, they have a lot of guys in coverage and there for the quarterback has to hold the ball a little bit to make sure that we’re getting the ball out to the right receiver and then he doesn’t have a lot of time because of the pressure that they got. But, they did a nice job in their twist game with four guys, just four men rushing, creating pressure on the quarterback. Obviously, mathematically, we should be up there. There’s five offensive linemen and four defensive linemen. We should be in a good situation.”

 

You get only so many opportunities in a game for a big play. Sunday, you had the one at Dallas, the interception. Early today you had a shot down field, it was missed. Is it more of a technique thing with Blaine? Is it more of a pace thing? What is it that he’s so off target with these deep balls?

“Yeah, I’d have to look at that one specifically. I know on the one that we watched in the Dallas game, he was behind the receiver and I think he kind of didn’t follow through on the throw. We got a chance to look at it in film and follow up through it. I don’t know, I can’t specifically say, I’m looking at a lot of things while it went on. I know I looked and the receiver was open and the ball wasn’t there. So, I’d have to look at the tape on that one. In the Dallas one, it was just setting your feet, having a good base, and following through on the throw and that’s not what happened in the Dallas game.”

 

You’re switching quarterbacks?

“I didn’t say that, so let’s not go there.”

 

When you guys discuss that, is that a coaching staff thing or a you and GM Trent Baalke thing?

“No, any decision that’s made with the current roster is a coaching staff thing. Trent has never come in and said, ‘This guy has to play or that guy has to play.’ Trent does a great job of acquiring talent and getting players on this football team, but he’s never once told me who has to play where and what the lineup is and all that.”

 

It’s been reported various places that Blaine is outplaying QB Colin Kaepernick in practice.

“Mhm.”

 

That in practice it’s been clear. Is that true?

“Yeah, Blaine’s done a really nice job in practice. Yes.”

 

Better than Kaepernick for sure?

“Yes.”

 

Is it safe to say that he hasn’t quite carried that practice performance over to games?

“Oh, obviously, yeah. For all of us. It’s the entire offense is like that. But, I would expect us to execute in practice. It’s a controlled environment. You’re in a lot of trouble if you’re not having any success in practice either. I think that’s what we have to make sure we can do is can we take it from the practice field to the game field and we’re not doing that right now on the offensive side of the ball.”

 

49ers QB Blaine Gabbert

Press Conference – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

You obviously heard the end of that and head coach Chip Kelly talking about not being able to carry over the practice field stuff to the game situation. How frustrating is that?

“Yeah. It’s extremely frustrating. I let this team and this organization down tonight and did not play good whatsoever and that’s on me. I had two crucial turnovers there that led to points for the Cardinals and that was the difference in the game right there. I got to do a better job protecting the football and leading this team to scoring more points and winning games.”

 

On the throw that opened the fourth quarter, what happened on that play where did you just not get enough on it or did the cornerback read your eyes?

“On which one?”

 

The interception to start–?

“I just got to get it out front. They’re in man coverage there and you know. It’s the constant battle, is he open or is he not open? He ran a great route and I just tried to fit it in there and [Arizona Cardinals CB Marcus Cooper] 41 jumped the route and caught it. That was a big play for them. I can’t let that happen, especially when we’re backed up in our own red zone. I got to find a way to protect the football and execute.”

 

On the one that was batted and Arizona Cardinals DT Calais Campbell came down with it, is there anything you could have done to avoid that?

“I’ll have to watch the film. Yeah, he just got a hand up there and that’s just the way it goes. He batted it and caught and you just got to live with that but we’ll watch the film on that play and see what I personally could have done. But, it is what it is.”

 

What’s your plan now until Tuesday? Players don’t have to come in here. What are you going to do this time off?

“Just keep working the way I’ve been working. Got to find a way to get a win next week. It’s a huge game for us. We have an extended weekend, but this is a weekend that we have to work and get our minds and bodies prepared to travel to the east coast and play a good football team.”

 

In the past, coach Kelly has slammed the door on making any sort of quarterback change. Tonight, he just said everything’s going to be looked at in excess. Do you think that’s fair and do you understand?

“Yeah. I got to play better. There’s no question to that. I got to do a better job leading this football team, executing this offense, scoring points, winning games, the whole nine yards. That’s just the way it goes. I got to play better.”

 

Early in the game, you had WR Jeremy Kerley open a lot on that drive where he scored and then I don’t think he did much in the second half. Did they adjust to that? Were they taking away that–?

“I’ll have to watch the film. But yeah, he did a great job there working the coverage, getting open on some routes and we were clicking. We were rolling there on that drive. We just got to find ways to kind of stay in that mode. It starts with the quarterback. I got to deliver the ball. I got to make the right reads. I got to deliver the football on time and accurately for us to be successful as an offense.”

 

Did you hear the crowd chanting for QB Colin Kaepernick in the third quarter?

“I did not. I’m focused on leading the 11 guys on the field. When you’re in the game, when you’re in a situation like that, you’re focused on that play. That specific drive. So, we’re all locked in and that’s it.”

 

What would you say the mentality of the offense is at this time? I mean, it’s been a tough stretch.

“Yeah. It’s been a tough couple games. But what I can say is the group on offense, we’re tough, competitive, we’re going to get this thing right. There’s no question in my mind that we’re going to approach the rest of this season as must-win games. And every game in the NFL is a must-win game but the guys that we have on the offensive side of the ball are tough, gritty competitors and I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else. We’re going to right this ship and start winning games.”

 

49ers LB Nick Bellore

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

It seems like getting guys lined up looked pretty good.

“Yes. I did it sparingly during the preseason, but we drill it all day in practice. So it is something that I am used to doing for my whole football career. That is the easy part, then we just have to execute. Everybody will tell you that we didn’t play our best ball tonight. We just have to make the plays that we know that we can make. We have to play within ourselves and we will be fine.”

 

Is it difficult to be in your role with a short week?

“Everyone needs to play on a short week. Obviously this is my first start. We were prepared for the game. I thought we did a great job in meetings. We made great use of walk-thrus. You don’t have the physicality just because it is such a short week and you have to get your body back. I thought we did a great job of focusing. We just have to execute better on game day. We are set up to win, we just have to go out and make the plays.”

 

How do you think the team is? How do you think you guys are surviving this rough spot?

“This team is unwavering. We come to work every day. The whole team will be in here tomorrow. We are off for the weekend but guys will be in here the entire time. This is not something that we are okay with. We have to get it corrected, whatever that takes we have to do it. There is no second guessing. We just have to execute and do what we are coached to do when the time comes to play. If we do that we will be fine.”

 

Was it more of what Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton was doing or more of what the defense was doing?

“It is tough to tell you have to look at the tape. Once we review that, I think that there was a lot of stuff that they did a great job offensively. There was a lot of things that we could have done better defensively. We can get it corrected. The encouraging thing is that it is all correctable. It is nothing that we cannot fix. We just have to execute it, when it is time to play.”

 

49ers RB Carlos Hyde

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

Are you seeing any improvement in how the run game is progressing and how you are fitting into it?

“Yes. As the game goes on, I feel like I get better. I just have to stay at it. I hurt my team today. I can’t do that. I got a penalty, I let my emotions get the best of me and I can’t allow that. We just have to stay at it. We have to stay focused and keep working and don’t give up. It is still a long season and we just have to keep fighting. Things can turn around. We can get one win and the next thing you know, you go on a streak. We just have to stay at it and keep pushing.”

 

Can you talk about 49ers WR Jeremy Kerley that can really pace this offense, it seems like when he gets going this offense gets going?

“He does a good job of getting open. He does a good job of getting that YAC. He is a good player.”

 

How do you see yourself benefiting when he gets open?

“Usually when he is rolling, we are getting close to the red zone, and usually when we get close to there, my number is about to get called soon and I get excited. I am about to score a touchdown.”

 

This is a divisional game, one that you want to win, to drop one to Seattle and then to Arizona today, can you put that into perspective what that means to the team at this time?

“Losing those divisional games are not that good. We just have to stay focused. We just have to keep working, keep pushing and don’t give up. We just have to keep fighting, always fight until the clock hits zero just keep fighting.”

 

Easier said than done?

“I think that it is easy. I like to compete, so I am going to compete all the way until the game is over. I don’t care if we are up by 30 or losing by 30. I am going to keep playing, keep doing my job and try to help my team to win.”

 

49ers C Daniel Kilgore

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

What was the issue you guys ran into?

“There’s no issue. No issue or confusion. We know exactly who we were supposed to block, we’ve just got to block them. It’s as simple as that. I say it’s simple, but they get paid too. It’s the NFL. It’s the Arizona Cardinals. There was no confusion, we just have to block them.”

 

How frustrating is it to have a game like this where there’s so many self-inflicted wounds?

“Absolutely, it’s very frustrating. We put everything in, in the three or four days that we had. We put everything in that we had every day. You come into work to get better. You come into work tonight and when things don’t go the way we want them to, it’s very frustrating.”

 

It feels like these are games that are there for the taking, especially these last two, that you let slip away through your own mistakes?

“Yeah, we definitely didn’t help ourselves, especially up front. We’ve got to protect better to open up a crease for [49ers RB] Carlos [Hyde]. Again, it’s just frustrating.”

 

You guys are 1-4, what’s the vibe in the locker room and what do you need to do from a mental standpoint?

“The vibe is frustrating. We’re 1-4 going down this path again. It sucks. That’s the vibe. What we’ve got to do is come into work and get better. We have a long weekend now, some days off to get your body healed and come back ready to go. We’re 1-4 but it’s still a long season. 16 games, so we have to come back to work ready to go.”

 

You think these days off will be big for this team, just to step away and hit the pause button?

“Hopefully. Hopefully the guys respond to it well. Take some time, get the bodies back, get their minds right, because it’s a long stretch. We’ve got to come back to work next week and be ready to go. It starts up front with us. Blame me. I’m the first one to touch the ball. Blame me, I don’t care. We’ve just got to be ready to come into work next week.”

 

49ers S Eric Reid was saying some players are pressing on the defense, meaning you want to make the play, being over-aggressive, getting back to fundamentals. Do you see players pressing on the offensive side of the ball?

“I don’t know if that’s the case. I said earlier, we know what to do, we’ve just got to do it. We’ve got to block up front. We’ve got to catch the ball. We’ve got to throw the ball. The game sounds that simple, but it’s huge, especially against the Arizona Cardinals. That’s a great chance, a divisional opponent. We’ve got to do the small things. If you don’t catch the ball, if you don’t protect well, we got three turnovers and we’re at home too. You look at the statistics in the NFL and your odds of winning with three turnovers aren’t good.”

 

Do you see improvement from this offense every week?

“I mean, yeah, we make strides, for sure. It’s not all negative. A couple weeks ago we put an emphasis on third downs and we improved on third downs. Again, up front wise, we’ve just got to play better. We’ve got to protect better, protecting our quarterback [49ers QB] Blaine [Gabbert] and we’ve got to make holes for [49ers RB] Carlos Hyde.”

 

49ers S Eric Reid

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

Coming in against a divisional opponent with a 1-3 record, this is a win that really could have launched this team. How do you put this loss into perspective?

“When you turn the ball over like we turned it over and you get the penalties in the situations that we had, you’re not going to win the game. Two penalties that gave them points, two touchdowns. Like I said, you’re not going to win the game when you put yourself in that type of situation.”

 

The defense definitely played on a short field with both of those turnovers early. Also, it’s the fourth straight game that the 49ers defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher. Are the numbers what they seem? What is the issue there that you see?

“I think we’ve just got to be more disciplined, stay in our gaps, trusting that the guy that’s supposed to be there is going to be there and that he’ll make the play. It gets frustrating when we’re losing games, so I think guys want to fight harder to make a play. Doing so, guys can get out of position, myself included. I think we’ve just got to get back to basics, stay disciplined in what we do when the coach makes a call and trust the guys around us.”

 

I think even when a team is losing, as long as there is improvement that is something you can build on. Are you seeing improvement week to week?

“Yeah, there’s no doubt. Speaking from a defensive standpoint, there are some drives where we’re very dominant. We go three-and-out and get off the field really quickly. Then we come back and we get a penalty or we give up a play and then we start getting undisciplined and then more plays happen. Like I said, we just have to get back to basics, stay disciplined in playing defense, and we have a long break ahead. We need to look at the film and get better.”

 

49ers CB Rashard Robinson

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

What did learn from playing against those receivers over there, did they show you anything that was unexpected?

“No. It was just going out there and watching film. That is one thing film study, using your keys and techniques that coach teaches you every week. When you do that so much, you become a student of the game and it is like second nature. You do not panic and play ball.”

 

I know that LSU wins a lot and I don’t know if you high school team won a lot, so you probably haven’t been in a situation like this in a while. How are you handling that?

“It is one of those things that you hate to lose if you are a competitor. You just have to suck it up and keep it together with those guys, your brothers who you are going to go to war with every time to get everything situated. Get down to the mash potatoes and the gravy and just sort everything out, to find out what is the main problem. Then you can fix it from there. It is just being a pro.”

 

Overall defensively, how do you think you guys played?

“We had some good plays and we had some bad plays. It is a part of the game. We are going to have some ups and downs. We just have to focus on the positives and keep pushing. You have to have a short term memory for stuff like that.”

 

WR Torrey Smith

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

How do you put this loss into perspective?

“It’s just another loss. I don’t know how many losses we have. We’ve got to do better, but we have time. No need to panic yet. I know we’re not playing the way we should be.”

 

Do you see improvement on this offense?

“I think, up and down, it’s inconsistent. In order for us to win, we’re going to have to be consistent. You saw at times that we were working the way we wanted to. Then there were other times we weren’t. You can’t turn the ball over. You can’t have penalties. When you’re trying to win games you can’t really shoot yourself in the foot. I think there were some positives, but obviously there were a lot of negatives because we didn’t win.”

 

Obviously the turnovers were the difference in this one, but it seemed like everyone had a hand. How do you stop that?

“You’ve got to adjust as a team. You win as a team. You lose as a team. We know what we have to do. It’s easy when you know it’s self-inflicted. You can just go to the film and get back at it. We’ve got a few days off to clear our minds, come back and get focused on what’s next. We’ve got to get our minds right for another tough team on the road.”

 

49ers T Joe Staley

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

There were a lot of mistakes made, but how correctable are these mistakes?

“Dropped balls, we got penalties, we got sacks. These are things we work on in practice that are very correctable. We had turnovers. You can’t lose the turnover battle three to nothing, whether you’re at home or on the road. We put ourselves in a hole right there. I thought when we were executing, we we’re moving the ball down, we had two drives that were really good, and we had our tempo going and everything was clicking. But, those turnovers, quick three-and-outs, you put yourself in a hole when you do that.”

 

How big of a momentum changer was the second half where you get the kickoff and it gets fumbled and they get the ball right away?

“Yeah, coming out of the locker room, anytime you have a turnover like that on special teams, it kind of swings the momentum there for a little bit. They would get seven points off of that. We have to be able to rebound and come back. We were able to come down and finish the third quarter right and make it a one-score game. We have to execute better.”

 

Was there anything that you could specifically look at that you had done really well? Protecting the quarterback, giving up sacks, was that just falling behind?

“No, I don’t think we did particularly well protecting the quarterback, especially on third down. First and second down I thought we did a good job, running a lot of play-action stuff, but they were running a lot of blitz packages. I’ll have to go back and watch. I felt like it was kind of just a blitz-scheme thing. We have to do a better job when we know they’re blitzing on third-and-long. Everybody has to know exactly who each guy has.”

 

Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians

Press Conference – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

Opening comments:

“Obviously it was what we needed. We had to run the football offensively and protect it. I thought we did a very, very good job of that. Disappointed in our third downs, I thought we had some. I thought [Arizona Cardinals QB] Drew [Stanton] was playing a little fast early in the game. He is so smart sometimes. He knows where he’s going with it. He’s got to let the play develop, but I was really pleased with the running game, and especially the last drive. Defensively, did a great job I thought stopping the run and getting the turnovers in critical situations. Obviously, started the game with a great kickoff return. Didn’t get any points out of it, so we sure didn’t score in the first quarter again. So, you can write about that, alright? You’ve got something to write about. And other than that, I’m pretty dang happy.”

 

Pressure on the quarterback tonight–?

“Yeah, our front four. We don’t have to blitz, you know? We do blitz still, and we expect to get home when we do, but the front four did a nice job.”

 

How much better has Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden gotten from last year?

“Oh, he’s lightyears ahead, because he understands what he’s doing. He’s gotten better. He’s got better guys around him, and he’s been a force since he’s been here.”

 

Arizona Cardinals DT Calais Campbell had a huge game tonight–

“Yeah, he needed one. He had a lot of help. He got, [Arizona Cardinals DT] Corey Peters drove the whole line back in for that safety. He got to make the tackle.”

 

Did you talk to Drew after that start, you know, tell him to slow things down?

“Yeah, it’s hard to do, you know? It’s hard to do when, you know, when you haven’t played in a little while and you know where you want to go with it. And it’s like guys were turning around and pft there’s the ball, you know? And so, I didn’t want him to play any slower, you know? But, I was very pleased with his effort.”

 

Thirty touches for Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson. I imagine the game plan going in was to ride him pretty good today?

“Uh yeah, not really. I was hoping to get [Arizona Cardinals RB] Andre [Ellington] some, but he was hot, you know? And it never really wore him out to where he tapped out once, and Dre did come in, and did a nice job getting a few yards and got that short-yardage play for us and I like that one-two punch.”

 

It seemed like the O-Line did a really good job in both run blocking and pass protection?

“Yeah, I thought we, you know they blitzed us a few times, and especially when we were empty. And we, that’s when we played too fast because he had more time than he thought to hit those guys. But yeah, overall I was pleased with it.”

 

Your two backup guards who came in, I know it’s hard to see from the sideline, but did it seem like they held up pretty well?

“Yeah, they did a heck-of-a job in that long drive running the ball, you know? And I’ll be very pleased to look at the film and see how well they played.”

 

A little scary situation having Arizona Cardinals T John Wetzel having to go in there and it’s not his natural position?

“Well, now he has played a bunch of guard for us, so that’s one of the things he brings is position flexibility. But you know, we’ll see how long [Arizona Cardinals G] Mike [Iupati] and [Arizona Cardinals G] Evan [Mathis] are out.”

 

I was going to ask, is there any early idea of how long they might be out or what happened?

“No, no. Evan’s got the same foot, but we don’t know how severe it is and the x-rays are still a little cloudy on Mike’s leg.”

 

What did David show you tonight about putting the team on his back?

“That’s what we expected of him the whole time, you know? He doesn’t have to do it all, just take what’s there. He left a few yards out there, but you know, big third down catch. Everything he’s capable of just, he did put the ball on the ground one time and we hurried up on a third-and-six so that they couldn’t review it. And it cost us, we had to go for a field goal, but we would have probably lost it on a challenge.”

 

How important was that Arizona Cardinals TE Ifeanyi Momah strip and fumble recovery?

“Oh, that set the whole tempo. We talked about it at halftime. The defense doesn’t start the second half, it’s the kickoff team. And we were going to kick it deep to make them return it. And Mo, I gave the whole kickoff/cover team a game ball for that. That turned the whole game around I thought.”

 

Special teams has had some rough weeks, but it seemed like overall they were pretty good tonight.

“They were. I thought we punted very well. Snap, hold and kick were good. I thought our punt coverage was good and yeah, I thought the special teams we won that battle.”

 

Does the locker room seem kind of relieved after this win?

“Oh they’re happy. It’s hard to get wins in this league. You better enjoy them when you can.”

 

Is this the type of game you guys need to turn everything around?

“I don’t know about everything, but just one at a time, you know? You’ve just got to start putting some wins together. We’ve got two big ones at home now.”

 

Did you, you obviously liked the matchup of Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald against maybe some other young DBs?

“Yeah, you know, Larry he plays more outside receiver than people give him credit for. We felt like we could double move him. I thought Drew put it in a great spot for him though, to get physical, make a catch.”

 

The term that’s been thrown around for you guys was a desperate team tonight. Is that accurate do you think?

“No, I think we’re a hungry team. You know a team that knows that we dug a hole for ourselves and we had to win this game. If that’s desperate, it’s desperate.”

 

Having said that, what’s it like to see your team respond in a short week, starting quarterback’s out?

“Yeah, I was very pleased with our defense. It is a very hard offense to get ready for in walk-thrus. You know, just the tempo of it and assignment-wise, I thought we handled the option extremely well. You know, quarterback got out once or twice, but other than that I thought we handled their option game pretty well.”

 

Is it nice now that you get that little extra break between the next game?

“Yeah, you know I gave them off until Wednesday. We still have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to get ready for a Monday night game.”

 

Cardinals QB Drew Stanton

Press Conference – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

I’m sure it took a little longer than you guys would have liked to get going, but it seemed like once there was a little bit of a rhythm, after Arizona Cardinals DT Calais Campbell’s interception, you guys seemed to find something there to work with?

“Yeah, we got the momentum going. Unfortunately, I think that it’s one of those things as an offense you’re waiting to make a play or doing stuff, and we got that spark from the defense. Then to come out in the second half and get the ball right there was huge. I think also, what we were able to do on the ground was phenomenal.”

 

How does it feel to come out and deliver a game that makes your team happy?

“Yeah, it feels great. This is a huge team win. This is what we needed. That was my mindset all week. I felt good about it. I really liked the game plan. It’s tough going through a walk through because you’re trying to visualize everything that’s going on, but at the same time I really liked it. I was on the same page as B.A. [Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians]. Once I got a chance to settle down and feel good about everything I was very comfortable.”

 

How nice is it to have someone like Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson to just hand the ball to and let him do his thing?

“Yeah, it’s such a blessing. I was talking to [Arizona Cardinals C] A.Q. [Shipley] and A.Q. did a phenomenal job of ID-ing so much of those fronts. We had a lot on our plate, especially him. For him to be able to do that, relay that to those guys. It’s a testament really to that whole offensive line, to have some injuries, come in and not miss a beat. Obviously, David is a luxury to have, and so is [Arizona Cardinals WR] Larry [Fitzgerald], some of those other guys too. I just kind of do a better job of trying to get them involved and allowing them to make plays.”

 

You went to Larry a few times early and it seemed like it kind of settled things down. I know B.A. wanted you to slow down a little bit. Did going to Larry help?

“I think just throughout the course of the game you have to find that rhythm. I haven’t been out there for a while in a game of this magnitude. At the same time, it’s a two year break since I was out there. Also like I said, in my mind seeing the game unfold, it just took a little bit of time to do that because I didn’t have the luxury of having a full week of practice seeing things and doing that. And that’s on me. I have to be able to do it. But like I said, my whole goal this entire day was to come away with a win. We did that and I feel very good about accomplishing that goal.”

 

Can you talk about the way you guys won? You throw two touchdowns, Johnson runs the ball well, the defense sacking the quarterback, special teams causing turnovers.

“Yeah like I said, that’s an ultimate team win. That’s what we are going for every Sunday. I think that was my mindset of being smart with the football, almost a little bit too smart because I was trying to get the ball out and whatnot. But, the plays started developing and getting us in a rhythm. When you run the football that well it puts such a premium on them trying to stop the run, and they did a lot of good things to try to stop us, but at the same time, like I said, having those guys that can make plays is huge for us.”

 

When you saw the game plan, B.A. said some of it was moving Larry, playing outside more and some double moves. What were your thoughts about that? Did you think there would be opportunities?

“Yeah, I think with how good we can run the football people have to respect that. We have a two way go on that. The system is so quarterback friendly in that regard, and I love doing the play action stuff. He dials up some tremendous things. Depending on what coverage we saw we can get to so many different things. We’re constantly talking about that. With me and [Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks coach] Freddie [Kitchens] on the sideline communicating with B.A. And having Byron up in the booth is such a luxury as well.”

 

Wins are always hard to come by in the NFL, but when you’re coming in at 1-3, how big is this particular win?

“It’s huge because it’s the next one. I think that for us, we didn’t have a good September, and I was a part of that. I wanted to come in here and start October off on the right note. That was something that we emphasized, putting that first quarter of the season behind us. And now we just need to go back, and like I said last week, respect the process. That’s what B.A. has preached since day one of being here. That’s what’s allowed us to get better each and every year. Focus on that and next week we have to worry about a Monday night game against a really good New York Jets football team.”

 

Cardinals DT Calais Campbell

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

On the safety and the other sack, last week you weren’t happy you didn’t get to finish off a few plays. Were you happy to get these opportunities tonight?

“I still missed some opportunities this game. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. But we got a win. It felt good to make a play or two to help the team.”

 

Did it feel like when you made the interception that things drastically changed in the game?

“It put us in good position to score a touchdown. The defense made an awesome play. [Arizona Cardinals QB Drew] Stanton came through and made some big time plays for us. That was a heck of a play.”

 

How big was it for you guys to get this win?

“It was huge. Anytime you lose a game and lose back-to-back, it’s hard to get that first one again. You just get one and take it from there. We come in here on the road on a Thursday night, have things stacked against us and have a backup quarterback. The biggest thing was whatever it took to get this win. Find a way to get it done and try to figure it out from there. It’s huge to get that first one and now we have to take it one game at a time.”

 

You guys got seven sacks tonight. You guys set a tone.

“[Arizona Cardinals LB] Markus Golden; you have to tip your cap to him. Guys like [Arizona Cardinals NT] Corey Peters made huge plays that opened it up for other guys. [Arizona Cardinals DT] Frostee Rucker got in there and made some big time plays. [Arizona Cardinals LB] Alex Okafor made things happen so that we could put numbers on the board. I don’t know if they got any numbers, but it was a group effort. Everybody stepped in and made some big time plays.”

 

Cardinals RB David Johnson

Press Conference – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

What’s the feeling of this team? I know you guys remained confident through those four games, but what’s the feeling right now that you win a second game?

“Yeah, I feel like we got a little momentum going. But, [Arizona Cardinals S] Tyrann [Mathieu] said it best at the end in our huddle. He said, ‘Don’t settle. We were supposed to win this game. If we come out and do our job, do what we were told and play our game, we’re going to come out with a W.’ This is still the beginning of the season. We just got done with a quarter of the season, so we still have a long way to go.”

 

How would you describe what it’s like when you get in one of those zones where you just get hot and you pick up all those chunk runs?

“I feel unstoppable, basically. Especially with the help of the guys blocking, the tight ends, the receivers and, obviously, the O-Line. It helps me get going. It helps me get into the flow of being able to break some of those tackles, being able to get the yards that we needed.”

 

How much does it mean to get the lead that you had and then you’re able to run the ball and put the defense on its heels, so to speak?

“That’s good. That’s really good to do, especially in that type of situation. That’s when you’re supposed to run the ball, run the clock out and we were definitely able to do that.”

 

What does it say about you guys, coming in here on a short week without your starting quarterback and you were able to get a win?

“That’s good, because we have confidence in [Arizona Cardinals QB] Drew [Stanton]. He’s a great quarterback. He’s been with me, he’s still coaching me on the field and everything from last year. We were ready to go. We had a couple of guys banged up, but that’s how it is in the NFL. I’m definitely glad we came out with a W.”

 

Did you feel like they were going to rely on you a lot coming into it having Drew in there and feeling like if you can get the running game going it makes it easier for him?

“[Arizona Cardinals head coach] B.A. [Bruce Arians] didn’t talk to me much about the running or getting more carries. He was just letting me know, as much as I can, to prepare like a normal week of trying to help out the team and doing my best, especially with the blitzes. San Francisco has so many different types of blitzes with different types of coverages and everything like that. So, that was the biggest thing I think where I was focusing on.”

 

Coach said you didn’t get tired at all.

“No, I didn’t get tired as much as I normally did in the beginning of the season. I felt good. I felt really good today. And it helped out that those guys were blocking. They’re always blocking. It’s usually me. I miss a hole or I miss a jump cut or I slip and stuff like that. It felt good to come out and run the ball like we did.”

 

How comfortable are you in that role in putting the team on your shoulders like you had to do tonight, keeping the ball on the ground and just going with it?

“I’m continually growing and getting more comfortable, especially with some of the vets on our team. [Arizona Cardinals WR] Larry [Fitzgerald], every time I run the ball, he’s jumping on my back and getting excited. That pumps me up. Just to see [Arizona Cardinals TE] Jermaine’s [Gresham] passion on the field, the way he gets after guys. He’s always talking and telling us to run it on his side. He’s demanding us to run towards him. That definitely pumps me up and keeps me going.”

 

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

Bet that one felt pretty good.

“Yeah. It was good to get back on the winning track. Getting to 2-3 is a lot better than being 1-4. So, I think on all three sides of the ball, special teams, offense, defense, we made plays today and we fed off each other and that’s what it’s going to take for us to get wins.”

 

When Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson gets going like he did, what does it do for the rest of the offense?

“I mean, Dave, you know, he’s the catalyst. He makes it go offensively. When he starts getting his groove, teams start coming down into the box. It gives us opportunities to make some plays behind the defense in the passing game. So, some of the cuts and some of the things he’s able to do on the field, I mean, you just don’t see that too often. He’s truly a special, special player and person for that matter.”

 

What can you tell us about Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton? Short week, manages the game, helps you guys get the victory.

“Well, Drew did a great job today of getting us in the right plays, being a real sparkplug, inspiration in the huddle for guys. We really fed off his energy. He made some great throws. He got out of duress a couple times when things broke down. He was able to extend some plays. So, he really did a great job of managing the game in terms of not turning the ball over and when things weren’t there, just throw it away and our defense played outstanding.”

 

Did Arizona Cardinals DT Calais Campbell high point that pick correctly?

“Yeah, he did a great job. Calais has been right there you know so many times this year and to see him have the big game he had today was great. The guys, [Arizona Cardinals LB] Markus Golden with three and [Arizona Cardinals CB Marcus Cooper] Coop got another pick. So, it was really fun to see those guys out there at a high level.”

 

You gave Arizona Cardinals G/T Earl Watford the hardest hit of the game–?

“Yeah, Earl always thinks he’s like a phenomenal athlete. So, I always tell him, whenever I score, I’ll meet you down there and we’re going to jump as high as we both can and he’s never even close and now he fell down too. So, that was real bad for him. I’m going to stay on him for that.”

 

Think he’ll get on SportCenter’s Not Top Ten?

“Yeah. He will be no there. He’ll be on there. Yeah.”

 

Did you think you’d be the only one to have a pancake–?

“No. Pancakes, you can count them when they’re on your teammate.”

 

What did you see on that first touchdown pass from Drew?

“Drew just did a great job of waiting for me to kind of get open. We got the look that we had anticipated. It was a post-corner route and I did a good job of getting a little separation at the top and Drew put it right on the money for me. He was pinpoint accurate with that throw.”

 

Does head coach Bruce Arians like going after it after getting a turnover like that and making big chunk play or a touchdown–?

“I wouldn’t say that’s an emphasis but if he feels, he’s got the most unbelievable feel for play cals that I’ve ever been around. He just has a knack for knowing what play to call in the right situation. It’s just uncanny. He’s got a great ability.”

 

You talked about how 2-3 is a lot better than 1-4. Would you say you guys were desperate going into this game, that you can’t afford to lose this one?

“There’s only 16 games in a regular season. I mean, you know that after four games, you got 12 and the wins start to become much, much more important every single week. We understood that getting into a 1-4 deficit this early in the season, that’s really tough to climb out of that hole. 2-3 is tough to get out of but it gives you a fighting chance.”

 

What does it say about this offense to be able to put up 33 when basically you and David put the offense on your shoulders?

“It definitely wasn’t just me and David. We had some guys really step up today. I mean, Drew hadn’t even had a snap all season. This week of practice was all walk-thru. He didn’t have a chance to throw to us and get the ball out. Everything was walk-thru. Unfortunately, we had [Arizona Cardinals G] Mike [Iupati] go down with an ankle injury. Earl came in. He’s played before but stepping into a starting role. Then we had [Arizona Cardinals T John] Wetzel come in, never been in an NFL game in life. Finally got an opportunity to play. He’s been playing tackle. He moved to guard and did an outstanding job. So, I mean, there’s a lot of guys who came in. [Arizona Cardinals TE Ifeanyi Momah] Mo just got activated two weeks ago. Had the big strip-fumble recovery coming out of half. So, we had a lot of guys, [Arizona Cardinals WR Brittan Golden] Britt made an outstanding play on the hands team, just was activated. So, we’ve got guys who are getting their opportunities and making the most of it and it took everybody.”

 

You’ve been around the league a long time. What is this kind of mini bye week like? I think BA said you guys are off until Wednesday.

“Man, you have no idea. These old legs, man, I get four or five days off to get them back and get ready for these next few tough games we have. We got a tough stretch before the bye and it’s very important that guys get healthy because we’re kind of banged up right now. This is a great break for us and I hope guys utilize it.”

 

Cardinals LB Markus Golden

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

Tell us about the pass rush and what was working?

“We have to give credit to the coaches. All of them called the right calls today. We were able to get after them up front.”

 

We saw Cardinals LB Chandler Jones move around the defensive front last game. We saw a little bit of Cardinals DT Calais Campbell. You guys are getting a little more dynamic up front?

“Yes, we are moving guys around. I think we just have a great mentality. Guys are getting after it. Calais is a great leader. If you follow him, you are going to put yourself up for success. All week he was saying we have to get after the quarterback. We got to do this and we have to do that.”

 

One guy gets a sack, then another guy. To what degree does it become a feeding frenzy up front?

“Everybody is competitive. You wouldn’t be in the NFL if you were not competitive. Everybody just wants to get a sack. Everybody wants to make plays to make the team win and we did that tonight.”

 

You shut down a running back for the second straight week. San Francisco RB Carlos Hyde had a few moments, but for the most part their running game didn’t hurt you guys. What was most important in that regard?”

“Doing my job, playing our assignments, doing our job knowing what you have to do and getting out there and capitalize. We were able to do that. I give credit to our coaches for calling the right defense. We have to keep it going.”

 

A lot of guys are saying ‘we are the same team, but the players are not making the same plays as last year.’ Is this a turning point? What do you think triggered all this?

“We just have to step up. We can’t depend on one player to make plays at one time. We have great players on this team. Like myself, I know I have to help more too. I know I can do that. This is a team sport. One player can’t win the game. Everybody has to make plays.”

 

Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

Real team effort tonight, Cardinals RB David Johnson runs the ball, special teams causing turnovers, and the defense coming through.

“I think that is indicated in how we can play. Offense, just score points. Special teams, just make those splash plays. Then defensively, just find a way to come up with turnovers and get off the field. It was definitely a group effort today. If feels good.”

 

How did you feel moving back to the slot and playing more corner?

“I felt good. I felt like my coverage was sloppy at times. I hadn’t really practiced covering. It was pretty much my first time covering. At times I felt sloppy, but there were times in the game it felt pretty good. So, overall it felt good in coverage. It felt good moving laterally.”

 

How long does it take you to get in coverage?

“We were on a short week this week. Everything was pretty much a walk-through. I think the more I do coverage in practice, the more it will come back to me.”

 

Cardinals T Jared Veldheer

Postgame Quotes – October 6, 2016

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

 

The meaning of tonight’s win?

“We’re able to get a win tonight and search for another one next week. It meant a lot.”

 

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said you guys weren’t a desperate team, but a hungry team. Is that how you guys see it?

“Absolutely. Yeah.”

 

How do you feel things went offensively with Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton behind center?

“Drew did an awesome job. It was fun out there. His energy is awesome. It’s infectious. He’s spreading it throughout the offense. To be able to get the run game going and establish that was great. It was a physical game, the kind of game we wanted to make. It was a good win.”

 

You guys seemed to capitalize off turnovers tonight?

“That’s huge to be able to synergize like that as a team. Not only the defense but special teams gave us the opportunity to score at the beginning of the second half. We played a great team game tonight. This is the kind of team we have to be from here on out. That’s what we strive for every week and as a result, we got the win.”

 

Talk about the job that Arizona Cardinals T John Wetzel and Arizona Cardinals T/G Earl Watford did?

“They did awesome. They’re true professionals. They know what to do, know their job and they’re ready to roll. It wasn’t any lost-in-the-headlights look. They both went in there, rolling, running the plays and having good success.”