49ers-Rams final score: Post-game transcripts

The 49ers improved to 8-4 with their Week 13 win over the St. Louis Rams. We've got the post-game 49ers transcripts for you.

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

What were you especially encouraged to see today from your team?

"I thought they played really well. And, they did what was necessary to win in all three phases, which is very encouraging."

WR Michael Crabtree got about 38 snaps I think. How'd you think he was moving, obviously had gotten the big play on that one?

"Yeah. That's one of the, I think it was one of the longest of his career. He had another catch earlier on a third down. I thought he played well. A lot of guys to highlight. [TE] Vernon Davis was exceptional. I thought this was one of [QB] Colin's [Kaepernick] better games. The defense was, I'm going to start with [DL] Glenn Dorsey, because I'm really excited just to watch the tape of him. There was one play where he played a wham and he defeated three blockers. And he had tackles. And he had a hurry. I think it starts in there. [DT] Ray McDonald really sucked it up. I don't know how many snaps he played, but he played really well. [DT] Justin [Smith]. The two inside backers, [LB NaVorro] Bowman and [LB Patrick] Willis looked like they played extremely well. I know they each had gotten a sack. [S] Donte Whitner. The defense combined. I don't know how many three-and-outs there were ... maybe five. Six, or seven series where there were five plays-or-less and got the ball back for our offense without any points being given up. So, I thought it was just outstanding there. Special teams, I thought they really rose to the challenge. This is a tough team to play, special teams-wise, to contain in coverage. They're very explosive. And we did that today. And stopped a fake. A lot of really good things there. [P] Andy Lee, one of his better games. How he got that punt off was really a heck of a play. And the other one where he pinned them inside the five. That sums it up I think."

Do you give Vernon Davis hurdling lessons?

"No. He was on his game, though. He was on his game and made the plays that only he can make. He really had to. [TE] Vance [McDonald] sucked it up as well. Vernon took on a bigger load today. He responded. A lot of guys responded. A lot of the guys that answered the bell and play big in big games. And they did that today."

Did you notice the Rams playing you differently with Crabtree's presence out there? Did it open things up for other people?

"I can't say that I did notice any major difference. They did a good job containing the run. And we made plays in the passing game. Colin moving. We had a lot of big plays off the scramble. Either him running it or moving to create space, and I thought he did a great job throwing the ball in those scramble situations. And a terrific play that he made to Vernon on the naked, on the naked bootleg. A couple, three weeks ago, we played Carolina and it turned into a big negative play. He really learned from that and responded in this game. They pressured exactly the same way, off the edge. He got depth, he retreated with dignity, and feathered the ball, laid it in there for Vernon to make a big play. I think that was the first one that he hurdled a man on. That was really encouraging."

You talked about December football being for the tough. Do you characterize this as a tough performance?

"No question about it. That was a tough opponent, and all the pressure of the high stakes of this time of the year. I thought our guys answered the bell on that, and played really well."

Did you know what to expect from Crabtree physically going into this? Did you assume he was 100 percent, or did you not know until you saw him on the field?

"I think you don't know for sure. But, he is a, he's one of those, he's always been a big-time game player. If there is a thing, he is that. So, you anticipate that."

What have you been told about T Joe Staley's physical condition?

"We'll see. I don't want to make any rush to judgment, or repeat anything until the tests have been run."

How do you think the reshuffled line did after he went out?

"Good, in a lot of areas. People had to step up. And the offensive line was the biggest case. [RG] Alex Boone moving the left tackle, I thought he did extremely well. It also appeared [G] Joe Looney did a admirable job. One holding penalty, but other than that, I think he owned his job."

Do you feel that you have the right momentum going again now with this team after you have two wins in a row and now you have Seattle coming in?

"It's just by whatever means necessary. We're gonna go to the next game prepared and know what the stakes are. Know what the pressure is, what the task is. That's life-giving energy to a football player, to a team. And, we're in a position we're in and we control our destiny. And, here we go."

After last year with the two fakes here at Candlestick, was that something that you guys were talking about throughout the week that a fake punt could be something that you'd see this week?

"Yeah. [Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator] Brad [Seely] practiced one similar to the fake that they ran, with the multiple laterals, on Thursday I believe. And then leaving our defense in a couple times to anticipate the fakes. I thought our special teams did a great job. I thought it was something really to be highlighted, the way they played."

WR Anquan Boldin is always intense.

"Thanks. Boldin. Wow."

He seemed particularly into things. Any difference, just as far as he punctuates some catches, he was flexing his biceps? I don't know if that's typical stuff, but did you notice any difference in him?

"He's made great plays. Strong catches. Run after catches. Doing what was necessary to pick up the first down. There was a lot of big-time plays made by Anquan Boldin. He's one of those guys that you just anticipate's going to step-up big in a big game, and he did. He's done it time and time again. He's done it for us this year. This was a heck of a ballgame by him."

LB Aldon Smith didn't have the sacks he did last week, but he did a whole lot against the run. What does it mean to have him fully back to this defense?

"Very good. Very good. I thought he played with a lot of energy, a lot of strength. Speed and his power looked like it was there. And, he did an outstanding job. So did [LB] Ahmad [Brooks]. So did [LB] Dan Skuta. Again, Donte Whitner, the things he does for us. Big-time players. You look to kind of predict who it would be in this game. All those guys that have done it in the past stepped up again today. You just kind of take your hat off to them. It's really good. It's amazing. But, they answered the bell. They played well. They step up in big games. A special place in your heart for guys like that. And, like I said, I can't wait to watch Glenn Dorsey too, because I think he did some real special things out there."

QB Colin Kaepernick, WR Anquan Boldin and WR Michael Crabtree
Press Conference - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

You seemed to be talking quite a bit to some Rams' defenders. Were those guys talking to you?

[Boldin] "Yeah, they were talking. A lot of teams try to build themselves up, and they were one of them. But, you do all your talking on the field."

You were always particularly intense. Were you even more into this, given the back and forth. You seemed particularly fired up.

[Boldin] "That's the way I like to play. If you want to play physical with me and do all of that, I'm all for it. Just be prepared to get knocked around a little bit."

Michael, how did you feel out there physically, did you feel like you had your legs?

[Crabtree] "Yeah, it felt good. It's good to be out there."

How about that 60-yard play, how did that feel?

[Crabtree] "I wish I would have scored. It'll be like that sometimes."

You came off of that like you were grimacing a little, or were you just upset because you didn't score, or were you in any pain?

[Crabtree] "Yeah, I was supposed to take that to the house. But make the most of my opportunity."

Do you think, if you didn't turn around, you probably would have smoked them both?

[Crabtree] "I had to stiff arm him to get him off of me. I tried to make it happen and came up short, but it was a good play."

Colin, how did it feel having Michael Crabtree back, and basically having all your offensive weapons at your disposal?

[Kaepernick] "It feels great. I mean, it's always good to have these two [Boldin and Crabtree] at your disposal, on the field, to make plays."

Anquan, did you feel like some of the pressure was off you with Michal on the other side?

"Definitely. You know, it's about time he gets double-teamed now. It feels good. Like you said, when you have a guy like that on the other side it definitely relieves pressure off of you. It frees you up to just go out and play ball. It's good to have him back."

Michael, you had two penalties pretty early. Was that just a weird way to start this, or what were you thinking during that?

[Crabtree] "I had to get those jitters out, you know. I haven't played in a long time. So, I was just all over the place today. But, like I said, I was happy to be out there. I had fun today."

Do you think you had your full speed, were you 100% speed wise?

[Crabtree] "I was at game-speed. I probably wasn't 100% but I was trying to make everything happen. Anything he threw my way, I was trying to make the most of."

Colin, you were limited to just a field goal in the first quarter. What changed in the second, to really get the offense going?

[Kaepernick] "These two started making plays. We had Vernon make a few plays, our running game started going, our offensive line play well."

Did you get to see Vernon's two hurdles? Were you in a position to check it out?

[Kaepernick] "Yes."

What did you think of those?

[Kaepernick] "Very athletic."

Colin, did anything change for you when you had [RG] Alex [Boone] move to left tackle and Joe Looney comes in and you have some shake-up. Was it just seamless? Did you have to take any more on you?

[Kaepernick] "It was very seamless. They came in, they did an amazing job. With Looney coming in, not really being someone that played, he did an amazing job."

How do you guys feel, Seattle is coming in now next week. Are you guys ready to take this head on?

[Kaepernick] "Yep." [Boldin] "Definitely." [Crabtree] "It's a football game."

Anquan, you've seen how this team has evolved over the season. This is going to be a big game next week, are you guys playing at the top level you've been at all season?

[Boldin] "I don't think we're playing at our top level. I don't think we've played our best football yet. I still think we have some things that we have to clean up. I do think we're getting better each week. Our communication is getting a lot better, our confidence in one another is getting a lot better. We're not where we expect to be."

Anquan, you've played with the Ravens, known as one of the toughest teams in the NFL. Do the 49ers this year have some of those similar type qualities as the Ravens?

[Boldin] "Definitely, all across the board, offensively and defensively. And on special teams we have guys that are physical and hard-nosed. Across the offensive line, our running backs run hard, our receivers are tough, big guys outside. And defensively, they hit anything that moves."

Michael, Donte Whitner was just in here talking about how, the last two years, your playoff positioning was sort of set. You had a bye week... it's so different this year where each game matters to your positioning. What does it mean to you to be back playing, as you go into a stretch run, into such an important situation?

[Crabtree] "Just win, you know. It means a lot to be out there contributing to the win. But, like I said, whatever position we are in for the playoffs, we are just taking it one game at a time right now. Next on the schedule, that's how I take it."

With you two guys and Vernon healthy and ready to go, do you guys ever come back to the huddle and go to your guy and tell him that you want the ball?

[Crabtree] "All the time."

Does he listen to you?

[Crabtree] "Sometimes."

What did you think of Vernon's hurdling move?

[Crabtree] "Very athletic." [Boldin] "Stay on the ground."

Anquan, you know it's going to be physical against Seattle, where as Arizona you're division rivals. Are the penalties worrisome? This is the most the team has had since Week 4 against St. Louis.

[Boldin] "No, we are not worried about that. You know, whenever you're in games like that, you have to keep your head. You can play physical, you can play tough, but you don't want to hurt your team. Guys just have to be mindful of that."

Colin, when you let the ball go on Michael's big play, did you think that was probably going to be a touchdown?

[Kaepernick] "Yeah man, he was supposed to score." [Boldin] "We'll give him a pass on that one. Thanksgiving was this week." [Crabtree] "He's the one that fed me all that turkey. It's all good."

Colin, you tried one read option today and it was a bit of a bobble. Was that play close to breaking for you?

[Kaepernick] "Yeah, it would have if I didn't bobble it. Our offensive line did a great job, [FB] Bruce [Miller] came around, the running back came back, it should have been a big play."

Colin, there has been scrutiny about the passing game for weeks. Did you feel like things were in a nice groove with your receiving corps in tack now, Michael back, and build off these last couple of games?

[Kaepernick] "We've just had more opportunities the last couple of games. It was something we thought we could take advantage of. We'll throw it when we feel like we can make a play doing that."

Since you guys are doing a press conference together, are you going to get together tomorrow and watch the Seahawks play?

[Crabtree] "Yeah, and eat some more turkey.

TE Vernon Davis
Postgame Quotes - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

How do you feel after today's game?

"I'm feeling great, feeling good."

You had not one, but two high hurdles over players today. Is that something you've seen from defenders, that they'll try to hit you low and you can basically go over them?

"Over pretty much my whole career, any time that I get the ball in my hands defenders are coming for my knees and my ankles and things like that. But it was just in the moment. At that moment I said, ‘I'm going to jump over that guy.' I think my first time doing it was in New Orleans. I just did whatever I could do to make a play."

How did it affect the offense to have WR Michael Crabtree back?

"It felt great. Anytime that you can get a guy back who contributes heavily it's always a great thing. [WR Michael] Crabtree is a special player. He brings a lot to this team so we're extremely happy to have him back."

Was there a little more space out there with WR Michael Crabtree running around?

"Things felt different with him out there. I have to get back in and watch the film on how those guys were playing us today because I can't really call it at the moment."

It was a good win for you guys today but there were some penalties shared. How can you put the penalties in perspective?

"That's something we have to get corrected. We have to get back in, watch the film and get back on the practice field and correct some of those things because they can hurt us. It's December and we all know that December is about winning. You have to win and you have to finish strong and get a good spot in the playoffs. So we have to get in and get those things corrected."

You obviously played a divisional rival today and next week you're going to play another divisional rival in the Seattle Seahawks. Do you think your emotions are hard to contain as a team?

"Well we definitely have to control our emotions because if we don't they'll get the best of us. We don't need that to happen and guys know that. We have a mature team; guys know how to handle themselves and how to control their emotions. With that being said, going forward we have to do everything we can to help this team."

As far as this game being pretty gritty out there, how did the team respond today?

"I think the team responded well. We always do well when we face adversity and when things aren't going our way we always seem to just hang in there and keep fighting. I thought they did a tremendous job as far as their fight."

After getting this win are you able to look ahead to the Seahawks coming into town next week and that they're the team to beat next with everything that's building up to it?

"One game at a time, we don't want to jump too far ahead. We just take it one thing at a time and I think that's how we take things around here, taking it slow, going at a slow pace and just doing whatever we can to get things done."

Are you getting excited knowing that the Seattle game is next though, that you don't have to look two or three weeks ahead of time? It's finally here.

"Yes, it's here. We look forward to the match but we just can't get overwhelmed with it. As much as we want to beat Seattle, we can't get overwhelmed. We have to keep our composure and go into it just like we go into every other week."

You scored your 50th career touchdown pass today. Were you aware of that and what does that number mean to you?

"I'm definitely aware of it and it's a blessing. It's a great honor but it doesn't stop here. I have to keep on going."

RB Anthony Dixon
Postgame Quotes - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Obviously you've had some experience with them with fakes before. Were you on high alert?

"We already knew the Rams were that type of team. Coach [Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seely] just had me tackling the ball. He said, ‘Go get the ball A.D. Your job is simple this week. Go get the ball.' And when he did that, I knew that's what I'd do."

Did you practice against that specific type of fake? Was that specific fake something that you guys had your eye out for?

"Yeah, we do all types of fakes. I don't know if we did that exact fake in practice, but we've pretty much practiced against every type of fake and they chose that one. We sniffed it out."

Did you know something was up on that play?

"We figured something. It's the Rams. That's what they do. We were just on alert. Everybody was on high alert, ‘Watch the fake, watch the fake.' I had the ball, I was playing the ball and I saw the ball didn't go where it's supposed to go. I looked and saw the fullback had it."

TE/DT Demarcus Dobbs
Postgame Quotes - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

How does this 49ers defense compare to the 49ers defenses that you've had over the last few years here? Do you think this defense is the best you've had over the last couple years?

"We've been playing good football. I don't really know all the statistics for the past couple of years so I couldn't compare them in that way for you, but we have a lot of guys who are stepping up to the plate. There have been guys going down, guys getting hurt, we've had some guys leave with signing some big contracts, but we've had a whole bunch of guys stepping up and doing their jobs. We're just trying to get wins, that's what we're most focused on."

Do you feel a lot more comfortable in this defense now and does it take a good two or three years to get fully comfortable?

"Any defense takes a little time to get used to. But being in it for three years now you start to see what's really going on, not only at your position but in all phases. You get a more clear sense of why you fit in the gaps that you fit in and why you play the calls the way you play them, because you start to get a sense of what the linebackers are doing and what the defensive backs are doing and everything like that. But [DT] Tony [Jerod-Eddie] has only been here for two years so I can't say that it takes three years because he's been doing an excellent job this year. He has stepped up majorly to the plate. You've got [DL] Glenn Dorsey coming in for his first year here and he's been doing great things. So I don't think there's really a one- or two-year thing. I just think it's more about the mentality that you have and I think we have a room full of guys with great mentalities."

G Joe Looney
Postgame Quotes -December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

How many different positions can you play?

"In preseason I was playing center and guard. I work hard and will play where ever coach wants me to play."

You were taken out after the holding penalty, did they say why they took you out?

"I think it was because the half was ending, but I don't really know."

And they told you obviously at half time that you would go out for the second half?

"Yes they did."

Do you look at this now as possibly that you are going to be a long term starter?

"If that happens then it does, but I am just going to prepare every week and try to get better. I'm going to continue to look at guys like [G Alex] Boone, [G] Mike [Iupati], and the film to continue to get better every week. Whatever the team needs me to do, I will try and do."

Is it such a blow to see one of your offensive captains go down with an injury. Was anything said at that point like we have to focus on the game or do our jobs? Also, how did you guys react when [T] Joe [Staley] went out of the game?

"Yeah it is terrible when you see a guy go down, especially Joe Staley who is a pro bowler. But we have leaders on this offensive line and their focus was on winning the game. Everybody felt bad that Joe went down, but we had to focus on the game. It was the best thing to do for the guys who got hurt."

How do you come out of this game? You had to have mixed emotions and Staley got hurt, but you did have a good game for your first ever outing. Do you feel good about your performance?

"Yeah I do. I am just trying to keep doing whatever they call on me to do."

Is it frustrating at all that your entire rookie season with the foot injury and this season with not even putting a uniform on till today?

"I just looked at it as a way to get better, study in the classroom and take advantage on watching the guys on the field."

DT Ray McDonald
Postgame Quotes - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

Did you guys play about as well as you could play right now?

"I think there's always room for improvement. There's always areas we could improve on. It was a great team win for us and we'll go in and watch film on Tuesday and correct our mistakes."

It's always good to be playing this well at this time of the year.

"Yeah, they say December and January is when you play championship football. Hopefully we're just hitting our stride, we're going to keep getting better and better every week and we continue to win ballgames."

How'd it feel getting back out there today?

"It felt good. I was a little sad being away from the fellas. It kind of feels like you're disassociated from everybody and it kind of sucked, but it felt good to be back out there."

Head coach Jim Harbaugh had said that coming down the stretch, this was the toughest part of the season physically and mentally. Even though you missed two games healing that high ankle sprain, how much better overall do you feel just having those two games off?

"Yeah, the rest of my body does. As far as the ankle, it's a little sore, but that's to be expected. As far as the rest of my body, I feel pretty good."

DT Justin Smith
Postgame Quotes - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

One touchdown the last two and half games, which was the one at the end of the game.

"Yeah, you know this time of the year you have to be playing pretty good defense. I think we are starting to step it up a little bit there and playing good defensive ball when we need to. We have a lot of tough tests ahead of us, so we've got to take them one game at a time. We have to win them on out from here."

Head coach Jim Harbaugh said December is only for the tough. So, is this team built for tough guy football?

"I guess will find out. We've got Seattle coming in here and they are sitting on the top of the division. So, we are going to be ready for those guys and give them what we got."

G Adam Snyder
Postgame Quotes - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

T Joe Staley is so durable and is such a leader on this team. Is it hard to watch a guy like that walk off the field hurt?

"Yeah, and [G] Mike [Iupati] as well. Any time you've got a guy that's a starter and a Pro Bowl-caliber type guy that's standing on the sideline, that's not a good situation. But his leadership, between him and Mike telling us what we're doing on the field, they're watching. They see everything we see from a different perspective. Getting information from them is good. Like I said, those are big shoes to fill for us, but we're excited about the challenge and the opportunity to step up. Hopefully it's a good outcome for both of them."

Is this the best depth that you've seen on this line in all the years that you've been here as far as being able to plug somebody in and just keep--?

"Yeah, I think it's been something that they make an important deal about having guys that can play different positions. It eliminates having to hold nine guys on an offensive line when you can have seven that can play all five. Being able to bounce around and stuff like that is an asset for an offensive line and we have that. And [G/C Daniel] Kilgore is ready to step in. He can play any one of those positions and do just fine. So, that's definitely an asset for us."

S Donte Whitner
Press Conference - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

What kind of lift did you get from having WR Michael Crabtree back today?

"Crab [WR Michael Crabtree] and [WR Anquan] Boldin, the things that they do, not just catching the football, but breaking tackles, third down, it gives us a lot of energy. So, it filled us with energy on the defensive side of the ball. Allowed us to go out make some plays, get some rest, first and foremost. Allowed us to sit on the sideline a lot in the first half, which allowed us to finish the game."

How eager are you to start preparing for the Seahawks now that you've got two wins in a row?

"We're very eager. They embarrassed us last time we were there. The quarterback likes to run around and make plays with his feet. They have one of the best running backs in the National Football League. But we feel like we'll be ready for the test and it's going to be a really, really big game and we're looking forward to it."

Why do you think you can beat them?

"First and foremost we're at home. We understand that it's a different ballgame when we're up there in their arena. We understand that when they come here it's a lot more difficult for them. They don't have the crowd noise behind them to mess with our offense. On defense we feel like we can matchup with them. All we have to do is stop the run and not allow the quarterback to run around and beat us. So, that's why I feel like we can win."

You came on the blitz and at some point, in a situation like that, do you just say, ‘I'm going to try to disrupt things as much as possible.' And then you ran into RB Zac Stacy and T Jake Long. Can you just talk about your assignment there and what you were trying to --?

"Well, my assignment there is to disrupt their blocking scheme and allow our backers to run free. A lot of times we run that play, I come free and make a play in the backfield on third-and-short. But on that play I was able to tie up three guys, allow [DT] Justin [Smith] to beat his guy and nearly get a sack. So, my job is just to cause as much disruption as possible. It's the same play that you see [Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy] Polamalu run all the time, where it's third-and-short, he's supposed to hit the B gap and he jumps and tackles the quarterback. It's the same type of thing. So, just to be disruptive."

Harbaugh talked about December football being different than September football or minicamp football, it's for tough guys. Do you think you guys are built for this?

"Yeah, I think we're built for this. Last couple of years have been pretty easy, 12-4, 13-3 going into the postseason, having bye weeks. This year we've faced some adversity. We know history says that the team that faces adversity, that gets hot at the right time has a good chance to win the Super Bowl. And we understand that. Right now we're 8-4, we have a big game this week and we're looking forward to it. Defense is playing really good, we have a lot of weapons back on the offensive side of the ball, so we're going to give them our best shot. We look forward to the game on Sunday."

Last time that you faced Seattle was back when this defense was giving up 28 points a game for a while. What's different now, you guys have been giving up about 12 points a game ever since then?

"We have our pieces back. [LB] Aldon [Smith] was out for a minute, [DT] Ray [McDonald] was out for a minute. Then you have [LB] Pat [Patrick Willis] miss a game here, corners go down, [CB Chris] Culliver goes down. Now we have everybody in sync. We have Aldon back. Guys are really out there communicating. It's all our third year in this defense. So, we know what to do. That's why we're playing football. We're getting turnovers again, we're tackling, we're playing 49er football. Before, we played some really good offenses, Indianapolis, the Green Bay Packers, they were all moving the football, teams that are really, really hard to stop. Now, we've settled in, played some offenses that are not as good as those and we're just making plays and we just want to get on the football field and be good and be great for this football team because we understand that it's going to go through the defense if we want to make that push."

Jim Harbaugh had said this week coming down the stretch is the toughest part of the season physically, mentally. Is that a little reason, the score, why maybe some of the defensive starters were on that last drive for St. Louis?

"Yeah, we have a big game this week and as far as players, we felt like we wanted to stay out there on the football field. We didn't want to give up a touchdown, but we understand that it's a bigger picture. We have Seattle coming in here. We have four major games that are going to have playoff implications and we understand that if we want to make that playoff push, we can't lose a guy in garbage time. That's why it happened, but as far as players, we wanted to stay out there and finish the game and not allow a touchdown."

That touchdown ended a streak of almost 10 quarters, like 18 seconds away. What did that mean for you guys?

"It doesn't really mean anything. A lot of our backups were in there and they actually need some experience. But at the same time, we understand that as a starting defense, we haven't given up a touchdown and we don't want to give up touchdowns. We want to give up three, if that. So, we'll be ready this week against Seattle and it'll be a good game."

Is it harder getting emotions in check against a division rival down the stretch? The most penalties this team has had since week four against St. Louis, those can be critical.

"Yeah, it seemed like that was their game plan. To come out and get some guys ejected. It was a lot of chippyness out there. Not anything on our part, but on their part. Maybe that was their game plan, but it didn't work. So, we understand that Seattle's going to be the same way and we have to keep our emotions in check. Our coaches are constantly telling us on the sidelines, ‘Keep your emotions in check. If you get thrown out of this game, you're done for next week.' So as a veteran football team, we'll take care of that. We understand what teams will try to do to us. We just have to be smart on the football field."

LB Patrick Willis
Press Conference - December 1, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams

You eager to start planning for the Seahawks?

"You know what, right now I'm going to just enjoy this win, enjoy this win tonight. Wins are hard to come by and it's something that you don't take for granted. You enjoy them and then tomorrow it's on to the Seahawks."

What makes this one so enjoyable?

"It's enjoyable because it's a win. It's a win that we needed and we've talked about it all week. Every game from last week to today and so forth is going to be important to us getting into the playoffs. So, that's what makes it enjoyable is that we won."

Head coach Jim Harbaugh had said this week, this stretch run is the hardest part of the season for the body and mentally, especially when you're facing three more division rivals. Did you feel that switch today, emotion and physical nature of this game, just seeing what's at stake?

"Yeah, it's something that we prepared for all week. It wasn't so much about waiting until today to be in that mindset, be in that mode, we've been in that mode all week. And it's something I was talking to my friends about. They were sending me text messages and stuff like that and I just pretty much told them, ‘We've got five or six games, and for me it's all about selling out, giving everything I have. So that I don't look back and say I wish I would have gave more. So, I think that's the mindset of our team and that's what we're going with."

S Donte Whitner just said that the last two regular seasons have been kind of easy and you haven't had that much adversity. This year you guys have had a good amount of adversity. Does that serve you guys well, at this point, leading into the stretch run?

"I think so. It's one of those things that it's a test of who we are as a football team, a test of our character. It's easy to play games, it's easy to play them when you know you've pretty much have clinched your division and have a playoff berth. But this is a test of who we are as a football team. Our back is against the wall and every game matters. So, it's [inaudible], but you're nervous at the same time. You've got to make sure you go out there and get it done."

Can you remember the last time that your defense has played this well for such a long stretch?

"No, I really went back and thought about it. I try to live in the present because that's what matters is now, not about what we did last year or the year before, it's all about what we do now. So, that's just the mindset that we have. It's the mindset that I have, just staying focused on now and doing what you can do to be the best that you can be now."

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