HOUSTON TEXANS vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12/10/17)
HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN (Transcribed by Chloe Delclos)
Can you talk to us about what happened to QB Tom Savage and how he’s doing?
“Yeah, he got hit on that one play in the end zone, I think, backed up in our end. Obviously, the spotter wanted him evaluated. We evaluated him. At that time, made the determination to put him, that he was – not me, obviously the evaluators made the determination to put him back in the game. And then he went back in the game and he came out and they evaluated him a little bit more just because of what they say. And that’s where it’s at. So, that’s kind of where it’s at. That’s all I really know about it.”
From your perspective, what was the situation where QB Tom Savage looked like he was trying to get back on the field a second time and looked very adamant about staying in the game?
“He doesn’t want to come out of the game, but again that’s in the medical people’s hands. They try to make the best decision for the player. Whatever they see and the testing that they do, they try to make the best decision with the player, and they weren’t satisfied with the results of the second test, so they decided to pull him and that’s when he went into the locker room.”
Can you talk about QB T.J. Yates and the two touchdown drives he had and then what happened after that?
“I thought T.J. (Yates) went into a tough spot. I thought he did some really good things. The ball got out, the ball came out. Thought we really struggled to run the ball today, did not run the ball and that really hurts. I thought T.J. made some really nice plays. We got a couple drives going a little bit, then a holding call. Any time you get behind the chains like that you’re going to struggle, but I thought T.J. did some good things today.”
Since QB Tom Savage did end up having a concussion, is it worrisome to you that he did go back in?
“Again, I don’t direct that. I don’t direct that at all. They just come to me, so that’s kind of where that’s at. I don’t have anything to do with that. Really, all I do is coach.”
Can you talk about WR DeAndre Hopkins and how he continues to excel?
“I wish we could’ve gotten it to him more. We tried. San Francisco did a good job of doubling him a lot, especially after the second touchdown catch. They really traveled two guys with him quite a bit and it was difficult. But, he’s a great player and we’re going to continue to try to get it to him.”
The 49ers had a number of big offensive plays, what did you see happening there from a defensive perspective?
“They did some good things, ran the ball, had some good runs. Carlos Hyde’s a good back. Their offensive line blocked pretty well. I thought Jimmy (Garoppolo) made some good throws. I thought our guys played hard. They play hard every week. We just have to go back to work and try to figure out how we can fix it relative to Jacksonville.”
How impressed are you with the way that OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney continues to play?
“He plays very hard. He’s a good player and it’s just one of those things. It’s been a tough year, but he continues to play hard and that’s good to see. That helps our team.”
People are going to talk about the injuries but also say you guys aren’t playing up to your ability. Where do you feel like the team is at and what’s causing this slide right now at this point in the season?
“Yeah, we aren’t very good. Not very good. It starts with me. Just hasn’t been good. If I knew the answers, obviously, it would be better. But like I’ve said every time when we don’t go out there and play well it’s a reflection on me and how I’m coaching. I coach the staff and coach the team. Just trying to figure out how to do a better job. It’s football. One team wins, one team loses and right now we’re not on the winning end of things and we have to figure out how to coach it better. There is football left here. Obviously, it’s going to be tough games, tough opponents. But, these guys will show up and play.”
Have you had a chance to see the video of the hit QB Tom Savage took?
“No. No. How would I see that? I just came in from the game. We’re not allowed to look at video during the game.”
Can you talk about ILB Brian Cushing’s return, you naming him a captain and what you saw from him today?
“From what I saw, I didn’t really, I wasn’t zoning in on him necessarily, but I thought he made some plays. I thought he competed. I think it’s hard when you’re off for 10 weeks. It’s hard to jump right back in, but I thought he played a competitive game.”
When QB Tom Savage gets cleared or you find out he’s not going back into the game, who do you hear that from?
“The trainer and the doctor tell me. It’s just the line of communication, just like with any injury process, I get info from our trainer and our doctor. Could be Kap (Geoff Kaplan) could be Roland (Ramirez) and then our doctor will just let me know he’s out or he’s good to go back in and that’s the process, that’s always the process.”
What were they doing to WR DeAndre Hopkins before that second touchdown where they only single covered him?
“Well, I think they were mixing in some doubles. But, I think eventually they just committed to basically doubling him. I don’t know if they did that every play, but I think after that second touchdown, they committed to doubling him, for the most part. And it was difficult to get him the ball. We have to do a better job of moving around, trying to move around. We just didn’t do a good enough job.”
It seems like CB Kevin Johnson has been a little bit inconsistent this year. Why do you think that’s the case?
“I don’t know. There’s been injuries. He’s had some injuries he’s had to deal with. I don’t know.”
OLB/DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY (Transcribed by Evan Dunbar)
What did you think of San Francisco’s QB Jimmy Garopollo?
“Oh, Jimmy (Garoppolo)? He’s good. He nice. He made some nice passes, some accurate passes, got the ball out of his hands fast. He’s doing his thing.”
How frustrated are you right now?
“I’m very upset. Man, we’re 4-9? I don’t know. I’m upset about that. We’re a lot better than what our record says we are.”
There’s nine losses on the season. This will be the first losing season under Head Coach Bill O’Brien.
“Bill O’Brien is a good coach, man. Don’t bring him into it. He’s a good coach. You’ve gotta look around the locker room. We ain’t got everybody. Not trying to hold that just because of that, but it is what it is and we got to go with what we got. It isn’t like we haven’t been in games this year with what we got. Because we’ve been in situations to win games, but we haven’t been making enough plays out there on the field.”
You know it’s never one guy, but WR DeAndre Hopkins is over there taking the blame, saying it’s on him.
“He’s the head guy, man. He’s the reason why we were in the game. He was catching everything. You know, he made one turnover. I think that was his first turnover all season, which he don’t do that a lot. I don’t think he should take the blame, that’s on the whole team. You can’t give up 26 points and expect to win games on defense.”
Did you feel any rust and if so did you knock it out fast?
“Yeah, its football. I’ve had time off. But, it comes back kind of quick. It’s one of those things that you remember pretty fast once you get out there and like you said, you knock it out pretty quick.”
Is it a bittersweet day because you want to win and that’s first and foremost? But, you were back doing what you like to do and making some plays?
“Yeah, that’s definitely the most important. But, it’s frustrating when you can’t get that done, but at the same time like you said its bittersweet and just being out there is a pretty good feeling.”
You looked very active early. Were you jacked up and ready to go early?
“Yeah, it was a combination of that and the new position. You know it’s something I haven’t done in probably seven years as far as scheme position. But, it’s natural and it’s comfortable and be able to fly around a little bit.”
WR DEANDRE HOPKINS (Transcribed by Cole Thompson)
You had 11 catches for 155 yards or whatever, none of that matters right?
Does this burn you a little more because this team is fighting so hard and you’re all in the game and you have a chance there and that play gets made?
“Yeah, man. They put the ball in my hands, I got to make a play.”
Does it hurt anymore losing to a team that only has two wins?
“No. It doesn’t hurt more than it would if they were undefeated. We got close to winning.”
What are your thoughts on how QB T.J. Yates played, to come in and help you guys out?
“T.J. (Yates) played good. To come here and not get many reps with the starters during the week, late notice like that, I think he stepped up.”
What about QB Tom Savage? He wanted to be out there, but couldn’t be out there – what did you think of all that?
“That’s Tom (Savage), man. That’s the heart he has and passion for the game. He’s a football player, he plays hard because this is his job. So, of course he wanted to be out there. ”
Not knowing exactly how that went down, were you surprised to see QB T.J. Yates in the huddle?
“I’m not shocked. You see the doctors out there holding him. I’m not sure what happened to him. I just saw the doctors holding him on the sideline. That’s all I know.”
This year with injuries, it seems like you guys have been affected a bit than more than a lot of teams. Is it just hard to grasp how bad it’s been?
“Yeah, man. I’ve never been a part of a team like this with this many injuries. I mean guys they go out back to back, so it’s not something I don’t think anybody in this locker room has dealt with before.”
CB KAREEM JACKSON (Transcribed by Nicholas Williamson)
What are your thoughts on today’s game?
“We just have to play four quarters. We start out good, something happens and it just kind of goes downhill for us. Some plays that we have to make. I just think it all goes back to playing a complete game. We still have yet to do that. That’s what I think it is. In all three phases, we have to play together as a team and put a complete game together.”
Is it embarrassing losing to that team with two wins, or if that’s not the right word, what is the right word?
“I wouldn’t say embarrassing. Every team in the league is capable. You go out and you play like (expletive), anybody’ll get you. That’s just what it is. I wouldn’t say it’s embarrassing to lose. They’re an NFL team too. You go out and you’re not playing at the high level the way you’re capable of playing, you’re going to lose.”
As good as WR DeAndre Hopkins played, he’s still over there taking the blame for the loss. What can you say about that?
“You can’t blame DeAndre (Hopkins), and he can’t put it on himself. Every man in this locker room, we have to look at ourselves and just think about what we can do better, what more can we do to help the team, what can we do in certain situations to help us be successful as a team and get a win. DeAndre can’t blame himself.”
How shocked are you that you guys are in this situation?
“We’ve been in this situation for some time now, so I wouldn’t say it’s shocking anymore. We just have to continue to stay together as a team. Everybody’s going to have the worst to say about us, but who cares. For me, the only people that matter are the people in this locker room. I couldn’t give two (expletive) about everybody else. We just have to continue to play as a team.
Are you guys better than your record?
“No question about it. Easier said than obviously what the situation is, but if you go back how many games have we lost with the ball driving to either win the game or put ourselves in a winning situation. So, I think that speaks for itself. You can’t take anything away from your opponent. But, if you lose five or six games within five or six points I think you’re a good football team. We’re finding ways not to close the game out or we’re losing on three or four plays here in the game. You know obviously that is not an excuse here for us. We have to find ways to win those games. But, that is what the situation is here.”
Is it hard to believe on how much bad luck and injuries and tough things to have happened to this team this year? Have you ever seen anything like this in your career?
“Yeah, every year somebody this year just happened to be us the Houston Texans. And you look around the league every year, teams are going to battle injuries you know. I think this year we just got hit with the injury bug. Horrible that it’s a part of football. That’s why you build your teams up for guys that’s filling in for those guys to be ready to step up and when those guys getting their opportunity have step up to play at the same level as the guy before you.”
As a veteran is there anything you can do to help the team when they’re going through a tough time?
“Just keep fighting. Obviously it’s tough to fight when you’re losing these close games like this. But, that’s what the NFL is all about. It’s an 8-8 league everyone has the same advantage when they hit the field. Teams battling through injuries, coaching changes just whatever it may be in the situation they put us in. So, you can’t look at it and have self-pity. It means that the leaders and everybody else in this locker room have to lead by example.”
RB LAMAR MILLER (Transcribed by Cole Thompson)
When QB Tom Savage came in that series after he got hit, did he seem different to you, did he seem OK?
“I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything. They just told me, well they didn’t tell me, but I just saw T.J. (Yates) warming up and that’s when I asked what happened.”
What did they say when you asked what happened?
“Well I asked T.J. (Yates) and he just said Tom (Savage) just might have a concussion. I wasn’t sure.”
What did you think of what QB .T.J Yates did today?
“I think he did a good job. He took advantage of his opportunity. You know he got us going when Tom (Savage) went down. You know, we drove down the field and we scored points. So, you know, he just kept running the offense and just try to help us win.”
Did you see anything from your perspective during the game regarding QB Tom Savage’s concussion?
“No. He got back to the sideline and seemed fine and coherent. My main thing was to try and start throwing some footballs and getting ready to get back in the game, but no, I didn’t see anything.”
Can you talk about your two touchdown passes to WR DeAndre Hopkins?
“Obviously, getting into the game that’s the guy I am going to be looking for. That’s a guy I’ve been throwing to before in my career. I’ve worked with him before so I have a good rapport with him. It’s a good idea to get him the ball as much as possible. That was the main focus just trying to get me comfortable and just get me going by trying to find him.”
Talk about how WR DeAndre Hopkins was double covered after the second touchdown.
“It’s tough. You can’t really force him the ball when they are bringing a safety down, bringing a safety over top, trailing him from behind. They were doing everything they could to put two and sometimes three guys over in his area. We’ve got to do a better job of distributing the ball around, because if they do that to him then there should be other guys open.”
After the first two touchdown drives, was the change in play what they were doing to you or what you guys were not doing?
“A little bit of both. Obviously, they started to take DeAndre (Hopkins) away as much as possible. We got back to making those mistakes that were killing us whether it was passes dropped, turnovers, stuff just kind of not going our way. We’ve got to do a better job of keeping that momentum we had at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half just to keep it rolling.”
HEAD COACH KYLE SHANAHAN (Transcribed by Hannah Pietsch and Stephanie Weaver)
The way QB Jimmy Garoppolo stands in there and takes hits – is that something that you saw in your analysis of him before you all made this trade?
“Yeah, definitely. If you don’t as an NFL quarterback, you can’t be successful. You’ve got to have guys who are fearless, who hang in there, keep their eyes down the field. He does that very, very well. But, he also has the foot quickness and the agility to get out of there too and extend some plays, which could get some off schedules going for us.”
What settled the quarterback down?
“Just staying on the field a little bit longer. We missed a few explosives early in that first quarter. Everyone kind of had their turn missing them. I was proud of our guys because usually when you miss some ops (opportunities) like that – we knew we would have them, we came up a little short, guys kind of get down. But no one hesitated in the second quarter. You know Jimmy (Garoppolo) made some big plays. Juice (Kyle Juszczyk) made a huge play. (Garrett) Celek made a huge play. Marquise (Goodwin) made a number of them. Those guys rebound and come back. We knew it was kind of feast or famine versus this defense because they are a very physical defense. They do a lot of stuff. But sometimes you’ll get your opportunities, and we were fortunate enough to come down with them.”
You talked a few weeks ago about how you’ve never been blitzed this much, and you had to make teams pay. There was the pass to RB Carlos Hyde that was the right throw, but just a little bit incomplete. There was one to FB Kyle Juszczyk. Is that what you are talking about when they are in those situations and you have those opportunities?
“Yeah, definitely. You have to show people you have the ammunition, for lack of a better word whatever it is. You’ve got to show people you have the ability to attack them where the weaknesses are. If people are blitzing you a bunch, you’ve got to scare them some way. If they are playing off a lot, you’ve got to be able to run the ball. It’s the type of offense we hope to have and we try to have. You study the defense you’re going against and you attack wherever their weaknesses are, and you just keep hammering until they adjust.”
Throughout the season, you’ve mentioned learning how to win. You’ve gotten two on the road. Do you feel like that’s a sign of progress?
“I do. We haven’t won a lot this year, and to win these last two – I believe that’s three of the last four, I think – it’s definitely exciting. You can feel it in our building. Guys are gaining that confidence. Versus Chicago, by no means did everything go perfect, and by no means did it today. But that’s what you like, guys that aren’t affected by how things go early. They are on to the next play. They play every single play the same. And I do believe, especially these last two weeks, we’ve done a much better job of doing that. It’s led to good things when the clock’s ended.”
Does any part of you think that if QB Jimmy Garoppolo had been here earlier the season would have been different?
“Yeah, I don’t really think that way. You go through an off season and stuff, you prepare them a lot more for the year, and who knows. That’s not stuff I would think about very much.”
Earlier this week, someone said one of the most exciting things about QB Jimmy Garoppolo was that he elevates the play of those around him. Did you see that again from him today?
“You never know exactly why. You can ask those guys who made those plays, but I think we’ve made in the pass game, whether it’s our fullback, our receivers, or our tight ends, especially today but even so last week, I think our guys made some plays that we haven’t made early in the year. You’d have to ask them why that is, but I thought we’ve done a good job with some of those throws, especially the one to Juice (Kyle Juszczyk). I promise I didn’t call it for that exact coverage, but he gave him a chance, and Juice showed him that it was the right read. Then we got Marquise (Goodwin) on a number two, and (Garrett) Celek to get another 60-yarder. It was pretty impressive. The guys have played better. I think they have done better as the year has gone. They’ve done great these last two weeks. I think when you’ve got a guy like Jimmy (Garoppolo) who has been making some impressive throws, who’s been doing it on the practice field and he’s carried it to the game, I think guys always know they’ve got a chance, and they lived up to it.”
How was the defense able to turn it around in the fourth quarter?
“I think we switched up some coverages a little bit. Adjusted some personnel there too. We had a rough first drive coming out in the third quarter. They went down and got that touchdown right away. And then they kept them out the rest of the game. (DeAndre) Hopkins is a very good player. We knew he was going to have his. I thought we did a good job for the most part. I know we gave up that big, it looked like a seven-cut, to him there at the end, which we shouldn’t have in that coverage. But T.J. (Yates) made a good throw, and he dropped it in to him. Just thought we played them better the rest of the game. We didn’t let them get by us. Caught a few things in front of us. If you can bend but don’t break against him, then you’re usually doing a good job.”
Do you have an update on CB Dontae Johnson?
“We’re going to have to MRI it tomorrow. I know it’s possibly part of his knee. I don’t know enough information, so we’ll see tomorrow.”
CB Dontae Johnson had a rough day.
“From what I saw, I thought (Greg) Mabin came in and answered it very well. I know Dontae (Johnson) had a rough drive opening up that third quarter. It’s tough. He started out with an early PI on him. Once you get a PI on him, then you want to stay off him a little bit. Then you just get a little bit out of whack. We got (Greg) Mabin in there to give him a chance. From what I saw live, he did a good job. I’ll see it when I get on the plane. But regardless, Dontae’s (Johnson) done some good things for us this year. I was excited (Greg) Mabin was able to come in and get some experience. That’ll help him. He helped us today and that’ll help him going forward. We’ll get on the plane and we’ll find out exactly what happened tomorrow.”
Is a win like this more special because of your history with this team?
“No, not at all. When you coach. It’s – I moved around a lot when I was a kid. I moved a lot being the son of a coach. I’ve done it throughout here. There’ so much turnover in this league. I think there’s only one player on the team here, in (Brian) Cushing, that is still here when I was last time. I got to coach T.J. (Yates) when I was in Houston for the offseason. But no, it’s not much different.”
Do you feel that the last few games have validated the hard work?
“That’s the biggest thing. I’ve kind of said it all year. I do believe our players have fought very hard all year. There’s been a couple games where, I look back to the Indy (Indianapolis) game, maybe the second half of the Seattle game, the third quarter of the Dallas game, there’s a few times I was a little disappointed that we just weren’t going as hard as we could. But I thought for the most part our team has really competed this year and done everything I’ve asked them to do. Guys do that for a long time, and you want them to be rewarded. They’ve gotten that three out of the last four weeks. You can tell the guys really enjoy it. It makes it a lot more fun coming to work. I think it will lead us into really looking forward to next year too.”
Do you see your defense get excited when they get a two possession lead?
“Yeah, definitely. I mean, momentum works both sides. When they get a turnover or they get a big hit or a big sack, a three and out, the sideline feels different. I think when we get explosive plays, and we can get in the end zone, and we can get touchdowns and not field goals, I think they get juiced up too. In football, there’s a lot of highs and lows to the game, and people feed off each other on your team. It’s not just offense and defense, it’s special teams too. I thought all three phases did a good job feeding off of each other today.”
On the 51-yard play, was TE Garrett Celek the number one option?
“He was number one. It was designed to get a first down, and he got a lot more than that, so he made a hell of a play. I think they got a little bit screwed up in coverage with a slight motion. I think three guys ended up guarding the back, when we scattered them out of the backfield. They left Celek free, then he did what he’s been doing lately and had a lot of yards after the catch. Did a hell of a job making a big play for us at a huge time in the game.”
How did your tackle do today?
“From what we won and from the fact that we won and able to move the ball like we did, I’ll still get on the plane and watch the tape harder, but I know how big of a challenge (Jadeveon) Clowney is. They got a lot of other good personnel out there too. Especially Zane (Beadles) stepping in. He’s been great for us all year. He’s backed up really every position. I had to use him at tackle today and that is not an ideal spot to put him in. He’s definitely much more of an inside player. Zane doesn’t hesitate. He loves the challenge. He will go out there and battle anyone. That’s why he’s a guy we love going to war with because you know you’re going to get your best and he’s someone you can count on. I know all the players believe in him.”
Did you know that OL Trent Brown wouldn’t be able to go last night?
“I kind of had a feeling last night just watching walk through, but didn’t know for sure until today when he came in and let us know today.”
Is it a larger issue than a week to week injury?
“It’s been a week to week the last three weeks. I know Seattle he didn’t, Chicago he did, today he didn’t. We’ll take a look at it tomorrow. So, hopefully we’ll have a plan for next week and see if he’s got a chance to go. If it continues for him not to then obviously we’ll end up having to shut him down.”
Did you think about the Super Bowl game at all today as that was your last game in this stadium?
“I didn’t until I walked in. Us coaches don’t think about much. I remember me and Bobby Turner were walking in when we got off the bus and walked across the field and that’s when I remembered. I didn’t get to come on the field during the Super Bowl. I was up in the box. But we came over and walked around in the pregame stuff. I got some feelings of that. Had some real good feelings in that game, not towards the end. Feelings today were definitely much better at the end.”
What opened up for the offense as the game went on?
“First, one of the things that was killing us was just penalties. That was really setting us back. We had guys open and we just need to take advantage of some stuff and in the second half we did. And then on my play, it wouldn’t have happened without Marquise (Goodwin). He had a great block for me. A lot of team effort.”
Did you think you were going the distance on that one?
“Yeah. I kind of did, and then I looked up and I realized I was getting hawked. So, I’m not as fast as I thought.”
You saw the screen?
“Yes, I did. I was looking up at it and then I realized two guys were hawking me down. So, I hurried up and chucked the ball away.”
Go through the touchdown as well.
“Yeah. I came underneath the offensive line, a little boot. And I just I saw the outside linebacker. He crashed down and right when I saw that, I knew right away I was going to get the ball. I kind of just walked in. That was an easy one.”
Does the offense have a different feel to it these last two weeks?
“Yeah. I think we’ve been playing a lot better. A lot smoother just all around.”
With all this hard work, what do these last few weeks do for validation to this team that you can maybe attain what it is you guys are shooting for?
“The first five games of the year, we lost, but we only lost by three points or less. And we all knew we were a better team than what we were showing. Things just weren’t clicking for us and now they are. Winning is contagious and we’re just going to keep getting better.”
DB ADRIAN COLBERT (Transcribed by Nicholas Williamson)
How did you make that play to save the win?
“We were just in a quarters coverage, and I’d seen the screen and attacked on it like I usually do. When I see something, I go full speed, and I saw (No.) 10 (DeAndre Hopkins). I was trying to hit (No.) 10 all game and I finally got my opportunity.”
Did you know that you forced the fumble and did you recover it?
“I knew I made a big hit. I really didn’t care if the ball came out, I was just trying to hit (No.) 10.
Did you recover it too?
“No, I hit him and then I got up and ran.”
What is it like covering Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins?
“He’s a great player. You see it on the film and you see the numbers. The guy is like somebody you kind of have to double cover. I don’t care who your cornerback is, you have to double cover the guy. He’s a great receiver, he’s always been a great receiver. He’s one of the premiere league receivers. Him and A.B. (Antonio Brown), those guys are really great players and you have to pay attention to them.”
How did you do on the coverage end against them?
“I did a pretty good job at working within the scheme, and doing my job staying over the top and making sure he wasn’t coming inside on plays like he usually does.”
LB ELVIS DUMERVIL (Transcribed by Tomorrow Huff)
Do you think you are heading in the right direction as the season is ending?
“Only thing you can do is control things you can control. Right now, we have what three games left? So, we try to do our best and close out the right way. We can’t really dwell on the past. Tt is what it is. So, we’re looking forward to whoever we play next week. ”
Is there a different vibe with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback?
“I think he’s doing a tremendous job. I think he brings a lot of energy, and kudos to the offense. They did a good job. Kept us rested a quite a bit. Got some points and we were able to try to keep the lead, and got two in a row, so that was huge.”
QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO (Transcribed by Tomorrow Huff)
How do you feel physically when you took a lot of hits today from sacks?
“Yeah, you know it’s football, nothing crazy. The o-line did a great job today. Especially, mixing and matching a couple guys in there, but I think all of them played great for me today.”
Did you get hit in the face today?
“Yeah, I took a couple. One of them got called, but yeah that’s just part of being the quarterback I guess.”
What’s the confidence level right now knowing that you will be able to pull that comeback off?
“It’s not something we want to get into. We would love to be ahead in the fourth quarter, but it’s finding a way to win really. I think week-by-week, we have a young group of guys in there who are learning how to do that. We’re figuring out different ways. I mean last week was a field goal, this week defense stepped up huge at the end for us. It’s just finding a way to win.”
What do you feel is the change with the team in being able to win?
“I’ve only been here for a short time, so I don’t know exactly what’s changed or what hasn’t. I think we got a little bit momentum with us right now, and we just need to keep plucking away day by day, and just keep getting better. That’s what it’s all about, especially this time of year. You know, we only have three games left now, so we just have to keep getting better and good things will happen.”
How do you think G Zane Beadles did today?
“I think all those guys. That was a tough group, a little tougher than last week, but very talented, Jadeveon Clowney is one of the best in the league at what he does. I think those guys played great today, I really do. You’re going to give up some things here and there, but overall I think it was a phenomenal day for those guys.”
Can you describe the throw to TE Garrett Celek and the 61-yard run, the punch down, and how they all went to sprints?
“Yeah, I thought he was gone for a second there on that long one. You know, he had the jets. I got a little yack after the catch, which is a QB’s best friend. Celek time is a fun thing. The locker room loves it for sure.”
FB Kyle Juszczyk talk about at one point during the season he said that he couldn’t ever remember getting blitzed as much as this team had earlier and at some point you have to make them pay. You had a couple of times like that where you were getting pressured you’d just check it like the one you threw to RB Carlos Hyde that was incomplete, but happens in there where you read those things and decide that this is what you have to try and go to?
“Yeah, the defense gave us some tough looks today. They did a good job on mixing and matching coverages, but that’s kind of the trust factor that comes into that. You know you find the guy you like in the matchup and you go to him and you trust him to make the play. Some of the times I didn’t even see (Kyle) Juszczyk catch that one on the sideline but I heard it was a phenomenal catch and he came down with it so that’s one of the things that we’re gaining. It’s only my second start so I’m gaining that trust in guys and they’re gaining it in me so I think it’s going in the right direction.”
If RB Carlos Hyde would have caught that one, you wouldn’t have seen that one either?
“Yeah, probably not.”
Not looking too far ahead but you get to come home after two road starts for your first start at home.
“Am I? Well, we’ll see what happens this weekend, that’s on Kyle (Shanahan)”
What do you mean? Are you not making your first start at home this weekend?
“I mean I don’t know. We’ll find out as tomorrow comes.”
This is one of the younger teams in the NFL, does it play that way or did you see them sort of maturing and learning how to win and doing what it takes?
“Yeah, there’s little things that go into winning like putting in the extra time in the film room, on the field, whatever it may be. I mean I can remember as a rookie if you don’t know something , you just have to see the older guys do it and kind of follow them as they go. So it’s a learning process but like I said before, I think we’re going in the right direction. We just have to keep working everyday.”
Jimmy to be clear, are you waiting to hear from Head Coach Kyle Shanahan if you will start next week?
“That’s usually how it goes.”
I saw in about five in a visiting city number 10 Garoppolo jerseys by people. They had to make those up pretty fast, are you kind of surprised about that phenomenon already this fast?
“I think that was my family. No, it’s exciting. I mean 49er nation, I said it in the locker room before it was loud out there. There were a couple of 49er chants that you heard. I was shocked this being the first time I’ve really seen that, it’s impressive how well they travel. That just makes it great and gives up that much more energy on the sideline.”
WR MARQUISE GOODWIN (Transcribed by Alison Chastain)
How are you and QB Jimmy Garoppolo able to get on the same page so quickly?
“First of all, I just want to give honor to God for the opportunity. Jimmy (Garoppollo) and I are able to click because we are professionals. This is what we have to do. That is why we are hired to come to this organization to make plays. Regardless of the time we didn’t have together, we have to find a way to make those plays.”
Do you see that QB Jimmy Garoppolo has elevated the play of everyone and how so?
“One hundred percent. Jimmy (Garoppolo) is a great guy. He’s a natural leader. He doesn’t struggle at any point in the game. When you see that in a position that he’s in, it gives you extreme confidence. When you look at him in the third quarter or in the second quarter and you’re down by one, you’re up by one, you feel that sense of hope. You feel that sense that I’m going to get the job done. At no point in the game do I ever feel like we are behind or we are slacking in that position because he’s led us the whole way from start to finish.”
What did you think of TE Garrett Celek’s jet speed?
“That’s silly time right there. That’s what we call it. And when it’s silly time, you know what time it is. Whatever that means. I know when it’s silly time it’s time to go. He turned on the jets. I think he’s been watching my film a little bit, watching my technique, my running styling. He had a wonderful day today. He made some key plays that ultimately helped us win this game and gave us great field position. This is something Kyle Shanahan had planned out this whole week and we knew that it would work. Running up the hash and running me up the hash and running him underneath basically from the other side of the field he made that catch and you know what happens next, Celek time.”
TE Garrett Celek didn’t credit you for the good block. How did the play with develop?
“I saw it develop. I wouldn’t say I blocked, I think I just got in the way of the defensive back. He set it up. He made the play himself. I was just out there just trying to do my job.”
How important is that feeling to validate all of the hard work you guys have put in this year to be going in the right direction?
“I wouldn’t say it didn’t feel the same way before, because the other quarterbacks we’ve had did what they could, and they did great. C.J. (Beathard), he’s a tough guy and he fought his butt off every week. He prepared himself like a professional, and it’s hard for a rookie to come in and do that. We always have a lot to look forward to. Each opportunity, each week is a different week. You just look forward to each day that you get. Sadly, some people didn’t make it today. Some people didn’t wake up this morning, so when we get that fresh breath of air in our bodies, we just really have to look to God and thank him for the opportunities. We’ll have many more to come. We have three games left in this quarter to finish the season strong, and I think we’ll do so.”
Does winning start to feel like old habit and become more businesslike?
“Winning is hard to do, especially in this league. We’re surrounded by such great athletes and good coaches, it’s hard to do. So, when you get one, and you get another back to back, it kind of becomes a habit. You want to form those good habits, especially leading into the end of the year, we want to finish strong and as a team, and have high hopes for next year. We’re getting the ball rolling, and things are starting to fall into place. I’m just thankful for that.”
Early in the game things were off, is there a confidence that things would start clicking?
“When a ball is dropped, a play is missed, or an interception is thrown you really can’t dwell on it. You kind of have to have a short memory and move forward. If you focus on that, you’re stuck in the past. This game moves so fast, you have to just move on to the next play, whether it be a good or bad play. When we start out shaky like that, you have a guy like Jimmy who’s like ‘Hey guys, it’s alright, but we can’t let it happen again. Let’s get it going.’ He does a great job at managing the huddle, and keeping everybody composed throughout the game.”
What were your teammates telling you after today’s performance?
“They were just telling me to keep my head up. He (DeAndre Hopkins) was going to beat us. And I can’t let my play affect the rest of the guys. So, I just tried to stay positive and help those guys as much as I could. You know, it was a tough game for me, but I’m just glad we got the win.”
Why do you think things didn’t go the way you wanted them to today?
“I mean, it’s just one of those things where, like you said, he’s (Hopkins) a great player. A few of the calls I thought were a little bit questionable, but at the same time you know, you’ve just got to compete. You know? He won the one-on-one matchup. Again, great player, good catch radius, great hands. Great player.”
Is this game something you take as a learning experience?
“Absolutely. You know, every time I step out there it’s a learning experience for me. I’ll chalk this one down as a performance that I would like to, you know, give back and redo it again. But, again, watch the film, learn from it and just move on.”
At the beginning of the game, there was critical fourth down play and you found yourself in the backfield making a stop. Take us through that play.
“It was just a lot of built up throughout the week and I was kind of glad they put me in that situation. It was like they were coming right at me down the middle. So, I had to show up. I’m just glad that I took advantage of the opportunity.”
What does it say about this team that you go on the road and things haven’t gone well for most of the season and then you go on the road and come home with two victories?
“It’s big. Our team is fairly young and it’s important for us to learn how to win, especially with young guys like the guys that we have. We have a lot of potential, a lot of talent. It’s all a matter of just figuring out the little things and just learning how to manage the game, take care of your responsibility and just execute when you’re supposed to. I think our guys are starting to pick up on it and we are doing a decent job of it.”
What’s it like coming back to Houston and seeing such a large 49ers contingent in the stands?
“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting that especially down here in Texas. It’s always that natural Texas versus Cali deal, but we have a lot of fans, a lot of people that appreciate us here at the 49ers. That’s just a tribute to this entire organization as a whole, the tradition that it has and it just goes to show that we have fans all over the nation.”