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49ers 24-Jets 14: Postgame Notes and Quotes

We've got some quotations from the various players who stepped up big today including Aubrayo Franklin, Tarell Brown, Shaun Hill, Bryant Johnson and even DeShaun Foster.  First, some interesting notes from the game:

  • In nine games of significant action, Hill has now had five games with a passer rating of over 100 and seven contests with a passer rating higher than 95.0.
  • WR Isaac Bruce has had three consecutive productive games. He caught eight passes for 125 yards at Dallas, five receptions for 67 yards at Buffalo and then had six receptions for 70 yards against the Jets.
  • The Jets had just 10 first downs and had possessed the ball for only 20:11.
  • RB Frank Gore gained 52 yards on 14 carries before leaving the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. He now has 978 yards rushing and needs 22 yards to become the first 49ers player ever to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He had a team-record 1,695 yards rushing in 2006 followed by 1,102 yards in 2007.
  • Gore’s 52 yards rushing pushed his career total to 4,383 to move pass RB J.D. Smith into fifth place on the 49ers all-time rushing list. RB Garrison Hearst is in fourth place with 5,535 yards.

49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary
RE: How do you feel about the way your team finished today?
“I’m very thankful. In fact, the first thing I want to say is I want to thank God for all of our players, our leaders, our coaches, our coordinators. I praise God for them. This group of men that is willing to come together and work their tails off in difficult situations and still believe. Still working, still dreaming. So I’m excited about that.”

RE: You ran the ball more than 30 times against a team that going into the game ranked fourth against the run. Was that the game plan heading into the game?
“Going into this game, it was a little perplexing early on because yes, they had done a good job against the run prior to playing us. But, there were some other intangibles in there that allowed that to happen. They’re a good football team. But we just thought going into this game we really were not sure how much we would run. We knew that that would be the foundation of what we wanted to do, but once we got a lead then it made it…I guess it made it better for us to do that – the opportunity to run more once we got a lead.”

RE: Any word on Frank Gore?
“We’ll just have to wait and see. I know right now he’s sore, but we’ll just have to see.”

RE: You opened up with an onsides kick. You go on fourth-and-one a couple of times. Do you feel that in this game you wanted to take some chances?
“Yes. We knew we wanted to set the tone from the very beginning of the game and just let them know; let our players know, because they didn’t know we were going to do an onside kick – our players. It just let the Jets know and let our guys feel it. ‘Hey, you know what? We’re going all out. This is our game. We’re approaching it that way, and you’ll see it from the very beginning.’ Because there were a few defensive guys looking around saying, ‘Who did that?’ I say, ‘Let’s go get it.’ And it worked out well.”

RE: When was that decision made? Was it made earlier in the week?
“It was made pretty much yesterday.”

RE: Is this how you’d like to have this team play for the remainder of the season? Is this your vision of how you’d like this team to play?
“Anytime we go out and fight. Anytime we go out and, I’ve got to be honest, in terms of running the ball, I’m not just so gung-ho on running the ball. I want to run the ball. I think that is the game of football. But when it comes down to it, I believe that you have to do whatever it is that helps you win the game. To me that’s smart football. So I think going into this game, as I said before, we really didn’t know how much we were going to run. We didn’t know how much they were going to play an eight or nine-man box. We really didn’t know that. It just worked out that way. But when you have a game like we had today, and you finish like we did, it’s definitely a game that says a lot about our guys.”

RE: Dominating a first place team like you did today in December, how much does that add to the victory?
“Once again, it says a lot for our guys. It says a lot for our coaches. They’re working their tails off. It says a lot about our guys. It says a lot about what we’re trying to do and the statement that we’re trying to make. We just have to continue to go forth and with the three games that we have left just taking them one at a time and let the chips fall where they may.”

RE: Isn’t it becoming more clear that this is your team and you’re probably winning this job?
“For me, the thing that I want to say is this: I won’t say that it’s my team. I won’t say that it’s becoming my team, because I’m really trying to help it become the players’ team. We’ve been trying to find out for a while what is our identity. I think it’s very important that the players take that and they make the decision on who are we? What are we trying to [do]? What statement are we trying to make? So rather than it being my team, it’s going to be their team and then our team. My team would be the third. That would be the third team. It’s going to be their team first. Then it’s going to be our team with the coaches. It’ll be my team last.”

RE: Then what is the identity that’s emerging?
“When you take the few games that we’ve played, I think one thing that jumps out right away is that we play hard. The next thing that jumps out is we play fast. Then the other thing that jumps out is we play pretty physical. Now we’re not…We’re still not playing as smart as I would like for us to be. But we’re getting there. We’re getting there. Even when we make mistakes, we’re able to come back and deal with them on the spot, let them go and then, ‘Let’s go ahead and build off of that. What did we learn?’ Rather than getting down and pointing the finger, blame, whatever. We’re not doing that. We’re not going there. You make a mistake, ‘Hey, we know that we’re trying to do it as best we can. So let’s pick it up, let’s encourage each other, let’s move on.’”

CB Tarell Brown

RE: How did it feel to have an increase in playing time today?
“I feel like every game is a big game. It’s hard to only get an opportunity when a guy like Nate [Clements] goes down, and you have to demand a lot of yourself. I demand a lot out of myself. I just want to play well and show everybody that I am a young up-and-coming corner.”

RE: Where is this team headed after two straight victories?
“I think for us, we have a new attitude. With Coach Sing [Mike Singletary] coming in, we make sure everybody is accountable. We’ve been holding everybody accountable for what they do on and off the field. Demanding a lot more from each other in practices has helped us out a lot.”

After the jump we'll hear from DeShaun Foster, Aubrayo Franklin, Shaun Hill, Bryant Johnson, Takeo Spikes and Joe Staley.

RB DeShaun Foster
RE: How did it feel to get more carries after Frank Gore left the game?
“It was good to get in there and help the team get a victory. Our line did a great job and we won out.”

RE: Where is this team headed after two straight wins?
“The sky’s the limit, basically. We’re believing, and we’re playing hard. We just have to continue to win and improve, and we can end the season on a good note.”

DT Aubrayo Franklin

RE: Can you talk about how the defensive line performed against the New York Jets?
“I think we did a good job today. We went out there today and took it upon ourselves to stop the run and get after the passer. We knew that if we gave Brett [Favre] a lot of time that he could beat our [defensive backs], so we went out there and put it on our back and tried to make it happen.”

RE: Could you also talk about what you saw from the 49ers offense?
“I don’t know how much time they had the ball in the game…about 40 minutes? That’s a great job of giving the defense time to rest ourselves so we could watch the game. Applause to the offense.”

RE: What’s the focus now on Miami with this win?
“Yeah, they’re the next opponent so we have to take it one step at a time and our goal is to try to finish out 8-8. Miami’s the next team on the schedule.”

QB Shaun Hill
RE: Do you consider yourself more than just a game manager?
“I don’t know where that term comes from. As far as I know, it’s a compliment. Any time you win, they always talk about the quarterback managing the game. I promise you in the games we lost, I was considered not to be a good game manager. I hope it’s a tag I never lose because I think it goes with winning.”

RE: How big of a step was this win?
“I think it was a big step for myself and this team. Obviously, there’s going to be mistakes that I made and I’m going to try and correct those. For this team, this win is huge, to beat an opponent like this and to go back-to-back and get victories against two good opponents. This is really big for our program.”

RE: After this win, do you feel that you’re becoming more of a team?
“I believe so, absolutely. The games that we have won have been total team wins. I do believe that we are coming together as a team and we are a better team now.”

RE: Your feeling of going for it on fourth down at midfield?
“Loved it, absolutely loved it. I feel like our offensive line was giving a great push and had confidence on both of those fourth downs. We were able to do it.”

RE: Your feeling of the team losing the football during the first half and overcoming adversity?
“There were a few things out there when the ball bounced our way which was very fortunate. At the same time, whenever situations did present themselves, whether it was a first and long or coming back after my interception, we bounced back and were able to convert first downs. When we got the ball back after my interception, we were able to go down and score. So those were big steps for us and very exciting to see.”

RE: What happened on the interception?
“Isaac [Bruce] and I were just on a different page. I tried pulling the ball back and it was just kind of too late. It was just sitting there in the air for the guy [David Bowens] as a gift. The more we play together, the less those types of things will happen.”

RE: Your feeling of competing against Brett Favre and walking away with a victory?
“I downplayed it all week. I really didn’t think about it all week. I just shoved it away in the back of my mind. When I got in the locker room after the game, I was able to kind of take a step back. That was really neat to play against him and for our team to come away with the win. That is something I’ll be able to tell the kids and grandkids way on down the road.”

RE: What is the motivation for this team?
“We have a lot of champions in that locker room. Nobody wants to lose. I’ve said all along how great our locker room is, how great of competitors they are. It’s our job to go out there and play hard every week. That is our job whether we’re in the hunt or not. Who cares? It’s our job to go out there and play hard and we’re doing it.”

WR Bryant Johnson
RE: What happened on your touchdown reception?
“We got man coverage like we wanted, and we had a double move on. I was able to get open, and Shaun [Hill] had the confidence in me to let the ball go.”

RE: What does this momentum do for the team?
“It feels great. We were able to come home and play a tough opponent, and we were able to put two wins in a row [together]. We went to Buffalo and we were able to get a win, and we came back home and got a win. It feels good, and it builds confidence for our team.”


LB Takeo Spikes
RE: Can you talk about the game?
“This is a big win for us. A big win in the aspect of building confidence. We keep doing everything that Coach Singletary’s been telling us to, and when you get results like that it’s showing that guys are buying into what’s being sold.”

RE: How do you feel about your performance, especially on the inside line?
“The [defensive] line played great, especially in particular Aubrayo Franklin. He came off. He had a hell of a game. He controlled one series by himself. Several guys played good. The back end played great. [Patrick Willis] played well. I’m all about winning. So I could care less about individual stuff.”

T Joe Staley
RE: Can you talk about the win today?
“It was a big win. We wanted to come out and be physical, and I thought we were able to do that. We were able to run the ball with success. I think Eric Heitmann did a great job against Kris Jenkins today all day. I didn’t really hear his name at all. We were able to execute. Shaun [Hill] had a big day. And I was really happy to score my first touchdown.”

RE: How did it feel to score that first touchdown?
“I was just running after…We’re always told to get downfield once the ball is thrown. You never know what’s going to happen. I was sprinting towards the receiver and saw the ball fly out. I jumped on it, and when I was down under the pile I knew I had it so I was excited. I wanted to just throw the ball so hard.”

RE: With this win, you’re looking at Miami. What’s going on?
“We’ve got a lot of momentum. We’re playing well right now. We just have to continue to do what we’re doing right now. Miami is going to be another great team that we’ve got to go out there. They’re a good test of this team’s character to see if we can make it three in a row.”