The San Francisco 49ers head into Seattle facing a noisy crowd that will make their lives just a little bit difficult. Whatever you think of Seahawks fans, they can be fairly loud, and the weather protecting design of the stadium only boosts the sound level.
49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley conducted a conference call with national media earlier today, and we've got a transcript below. Staley was asked about the noise, and he briefly discussed the fact that the team works on silent counts and non-verbal communication throughout the season.
The 49ers head into this game with no false starts through their first two playoff games. They do have a pair of delay of game penalties, so that is going to be something to watch. And it will be particularly interesting to see how Colin Kaepernick is communicating with his center and the rest of the line once the huddle breaks.
Alex Boone had his weekly segment on KNBR, and he had a chance to discuss his job with Jonathan Goodwin and Colin Kaepernick. at the 3:05 mark of the interview, Boone talks about his work as the cadence guy and general middle man. When Colin wants to say something to Goodwin and the line, he'll apparently tell Boone, who tells Goodwin. I imagine it's because it's hard for the center to turn directly behind himself while holding the ball, while Boone is off-center and doesn't have to worry about holding the ball.
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offensive line will have their work cut out for them. If they can take an early lead and suffocate the Seahawks offense, it might quiet down the crowd. However, the early going will be tough for them, and could very well make or break this game.
I have a general question about how the 49ers are as a franchise, not so much like details on the field. But, it seems to be a really smart bunch of people running the team, right down to head coach Jim Harbaugh, and you have seen a lot of great results on the field. For you as a lineman, and just a player on the team, how much of a difference does that make for you and do you really palpably feel that it seems to be, again, a really well-run team?
"Yeah, it for sure is. We all pride ourselves on knowing the offense inside and out, and we work very hard every day. Everybody just sees what we do on Sundays, but we are here 60, 70 hours a week, sometimes more, taking the work home making sure we know everything inside out. It has been that way ever since Harbaugh got here and it will continue to be that way."
In terms of specific guys, like CEO Jed York or the President Gideon Yu, is that in your mind as a player or is it like you mentioned, like everybody has memorized the offense? Is that the focus or do you have a feeling that the guys running the team are, I guess, a good CEO?
"Yeah, we feel confident that our ownership is doing a great job. Our job is not to worry about what they are doing. Our job is to win games, and that is where our focus is. I never think about what they are doing. We just always have trust that whatever we do is in the best interest of the team, and go from there."
In terms of, obviously the Seattle defense is one of the best in the league, just like you guys have. Is there any particular preparation that you take beyond the fact that you prepare for Seattle? Does Seattle present anything unusual for you as an O-lineman, beyond the fact that, obviously, it is a pretty good defense?
"Yeah, just a very talented front. We have seen them every single year, twice a year. We have played up there every single year, so we know what to expect. We are not going in with our eyes closed or anything. So we know what to expect. But they are a good defense, play well within the scheme and what they are trying to do, and their gap control and all that."
And then everybody makes such a big deal about the crowd noise, and you are obviously quite familiar with it. Is that something of an advantage that you guys are ready? You have prepared for this crowd noise because you have been here. Is crowd noise going to be a factor?
"Crowd noise is always a factor when you play them but we have played there before. We understand that. We understand the noise level and how to communicate non-verbally. It is something that also we have practiced throughout the whole entire season. We are very familiar with going silent count, is what we call it, on the road. That is something that we have not just practiced for one week, but we have practiced for the last three years."