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Falcons 45 - 49ers 10: Notes and Quotes

We've got a whole host of notes and quotes from today's game.  Before the jump are the notes, after the jump are the quotes.

Forcing The Issue

  • LB Patrick Willis registered 2 forced fumbles in the third quarter. The 2 forced fumbles were the first of the season for Willis and the fourth and fifth of his career. It marked the first time that a 49ers player registered 2 forced fumbles in a single game since DE Chris Doleman recorded 3 forced fumbles vs. Carolina (11/8/98).
  • LB Manny Lawson stripped RB Jerious Norwood on a swing pass in the second quarter and the fumble was recovered by S Michael Lewis. It is Lawson’s 3rd career forced fumble and second this season. For Lewis, it is his first fumble recovery of the season and 9th of his career.

Long Play

  • The 61-yard completion from QB Shaun Hill to WR Josh Morgan is the longest career play for both players. Hill’s previous career-long was a 50-yard completion to WR Isaac Bruce at Arizona (9/13/09). Morgan’s was a 48-yard touchdown reception at St. Louis (12/21/08).

Career High

  • QB Shaun Hill rushed for a career-high 53 yards. His previous high was 45 yards rushing at St. Louis (12/21/08).

First Career Touchdown

  • RB Glen Coffee scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard run in the first quarter.

NFL Debut

  • S Curtis Taylor, a seventh-round draft pick by the 49ers, made his NFL debut.


Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Game Quotes – October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On whether he saw CB Dre’ Bly showboat:
"No, I didn’t see that. I just saw him basically not take care of the football. Not showboat."

On what he says to the team after a game like this:
"I’d say we have to go back and look at the film, obviously, as a staff. In a game like this I think our coaches, all of us, have to do a better job preparing the guys. Obviously, they were not prepared. Our players have to take their share of it as well. We did not play very smart today, so that’s basically what I say."

On whether today’s game makes him reassess his bye week plan:
"No. If I told them we’re going to leave, that’s when we’re going to leave and we will do the work that we had planned. We will do that and we’ll go from there.  We’ll certainly look at the film and do some evaluation and make some decisions based upon that."

On whether he saw the result of this game coming:
"Absolutely not."

On what his message to the team was during the first time out:
"It was basically… We were sort of on our heels up to that time. Didn’t change the rest of the day, but I  thought at that particular time, ‘okay, guys, let’s settle down. We’ve had a chance to see what they’re trying to do. Let’s do a better job preparing for that.’ Did not work."

On whether he thought the team was beyond this kind of result:

On whether this game is a setback:
‘You know what, I wouldn’t say setback I think, because we’re going to handle it the right way. The biggest thing for us is, when you don’t play well, when you’re not doing things on offense that you know you have to do against a team like this, when you’re not playing smart football on defense, a game like this is going to happen. So, yes, I think it’s one of those things that I did not think that we were capable of doing. As far as the setback is concerned, I wouldn’t use the word setback, I would just say it will be a wakeup call for some of our guys. Just as I said before the season started, we have to play great football. We have to execute on both sides of the ball. We cannot give the ball away. And at the same time, we have to execute on the defensive side of the ball. When we don’t do that against a good football team, this is going to be the result."

On whether this loss takes some luster off of the 3-1 start:
"Well, I’ll say this: the most important thing now is to do what we have to do after looking at the film, make the adjustments, make the assessments and get ready to go when we come back."

On why he was animated on the sideline:
"You know what, I’m not going to go into it. I won’t even go there because, it was just… Number one, I should not have done that. Even though the player was talking to me, I should not have said what I said. And it wasn’t anything bad, it was just something that shouldn’t have happened. As a coach, I just needed to overlook that and move on, but you get caught up in the heat of the moment."

On whether he thinks he needs to keep his composure better:
"I wouldn’t disagree. I wish that I was more… I wish I had more coaching etiquette, okay? I don’t. I love my players and when someone responds about my players in a particular way, I may do some things that I shouldn’t do. I have to get better at those things as time goes on."

On whether he knew the Falcons player he talked to from the sideline:
"No. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. I don’t know the player. It was something I shouldn’t have done. We move on."

On why he used the timeout after the long WR Josh Morgan play:
"I can’t remember that. You’re talking about the play where [Glen] Coffee came on late? I don’t know what he was doing at that time. I don’t know where he was. I don’t know if he was getting something checked or whatever, but he was late getting on the field."

On what he thinks about S Michael Lewis’s concussion:
"Well, once again, this whole concussion thing is new to everybody and I think we just have to continue to evaluate and look at it for what it is and go forward from there."

On whether the team was overconfident:
"Overconfident… You know, the line between overconfident and confident, I think either you’re confident or not. But overconfident? I don’t really know if that makes any sense. When you get right down to it, if you’re confident to play a game and you come up short, and it’s just one of those things where, once again, when you play a team like today and you don’t execute. It’s going to come up."

On how he feels about QB Shaun Hill’s performance:
"Well, number one, I thought he was running for his life the whole game. I thought he did okay."

On whether he thought TE Delanie Walker was down on the kickoff return:
"I’ll just say this: sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you. I thought I saw him go down and the  ground caught the fumble, but it’s all about game managing and if you don’t have a timeout to challenge it, you just have to let it go."

On why he used his timeouts at the end of the game:
"Yeah, I’ll tell you. To me, we may lose the game, but if I got three timeouts, I’m going to take every hit I can get – every one of them. Even though we didn’t hit the way I would like for us to hit during the game, I’m going to finish the game. That was basically the mindset. Whether it’s right or wrong, I don’t know about that, but I had them up there and if I could take one more time to hit somebody, I’m going to take that."

On whether he saw any lack of effort from his players:
"No no no no. I saw a lot of guys just not executing. But lack of effort? That’s something that we don’t do. We’re going to fight. We’re going to run the ball, but we did not do a good job executing that’s really the bottom line."

CB Dre Bly
Post-Game Quotes - October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On if he thought his interception was a touchdown:
"I wasn’t sure where Roddy White was.  When I catch a pass like that, and I get a head-start, when it’s just me and the quarterback, I was gauging if I was going to cut back on the quarterback.  And that’s when the dude stripped me."

On if he was showboating on the return:
"I did it when I caught the ball.  I’m going to be me—that’s who I’ve been.  I like to have fun when I play the game.  When I make plays, I’ve made a lot, I express myself.  But I had that ball tucked, and he got the ball.  That was a great play by Roddy."

On if he knew Roddy White was behind him:
"I didn’t know where he was.  I knew that I had to get on my horse, but I didn’t know he was that close to me.  But when he stripped the ball, it wasn’t like I had the ball up here.  The ball was right here, and the ball came out as I was coming to the ground.  The ball was out when he hit my hand, and it came out.  Like I said, I’ve made a lot of plays in this League, I have fun when I play, and that’s who I’ve been.  I fumbled the football, I’m mad that I did, but I’m not going to beat myself up.  I’ve just got to move on and get ready for next week."

On if Coach Singletary spoke to him about the fumble:
"He just said, ‘high and tight.’  We work on fumbling drills in practice, tucking the football and causing fumbles, and I fumbled the football.  Predominantly, when I throw the football, I throw left-handed, but when I run with the football, and when I return punts, I always keep it in my left hand.  So, probably the better thing for me to do, probably was to put it in my right hand.  But, he made a great play.  I have to give him credit.  He was able to cause a fumble, and the ball came out."

On if the celebrating had anything to do with the fumble:
"I feel like if I would’ve had the ball like this, if he hit my arm, it wouldn’t have even been close, because I felt like I fumbled the football as I went down to the ground.  Like I said, I’m going to be me.  That’s who I’ve been my whole life, that’s who I was in college, I have fun.  Dre is going to be Dre.  I felt like I had the ball tucked at the time, and he made a great play.   I’m going to be me.  Like I said, I’m going to be me.  I’m not going to change who I am."

RB Glen Coffee
Post-Game – October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On whether the disappointment of the loss outweighs his first career touchdown:
"Yeah it is because when I think about it I think about the loss instead of my touchdown. That is something that you have to watch the film then go back and correct the mistakes and try going forward."

On what went wrong with the offense:
"I don’t know. It was a lot of things. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot of times. It is something we have to evaluate tomorrow and just go from there."

On whether this is a setback:
"I don’t believe in setbacks. There are bumps in the road and there are things that can slow you down, but there are no such things as setbacks. You always improve. You can always take something from a loss. So it won’t be a setback."

On what he learned:
"A lot of things. I can’t specifically tell you right now, but there are a lot of things I can learn from today’s loss."

TE Vernon Davis
Post-Game Quotes - October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On the lack of composure for the team in today’s game:
"As far as preparation I think that we did a wonderful job. We prepared as much as we could all week long. The defense looked good, the offense looked good and we were ready for the game but we came out here and made a few mistakes and they got the momentum and the whole game changed. We started getting penalties. It was a lack of focus, we lost our focus and we can’t do that. When the game changes like that we’ve got to do the same thing that we did in Minnesota – keep on trucking, keep on going, the offense has got to click, and the defense has got to click. We just have to be as one. "

On wishing that he could play instead of having a bye week:
"I wish that we could play. I’m ready to play, I don’t want to take off, I’m sure that most of my teammates feel the same way. I’m sure that they don’t want to take off, they want to play because we lost – it’s as simple as that."

On the impact of this loss continuing into the season:
"It’s definitely a gut check. We have to come out from the start, we’ve got to be clicking and we can’t take any plays off, can’t get penalties, we’ve got to be cautious of the mistakes, protect, block and do everything that we’re supposed to do to get the play done."

C Eric Heitmann
Post-Game Quotes – October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On what head coach Singletary told the team at half time:
"That we just need to wake up and play 49ers football, that is essentially what it was. We weren’t getting it done. One of our goals as a team is always to start fast, and we weren’t doing that. That is something we had to correct, and we had to correct it right at that moment. I think for a while we responded. We had another setback, and apparently we couldn’t come back from it. We have to do a better job of keeping our composure when we fall behind."

On the first-down struggles:
"I can’t really say that until I go back and look at the film. All I can say is that I think we are inconsistent on first down. Sometimes on first down we were able to get a completion, we were able to run like how we ant to run; other times we were stopped. We have to be more consistent on first down. We also have to keep the game tight too. If we are not able to do what we want to do on first down it is tough for us too."

QB Shaun Hill
Post-Game Quotes – October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Hawks

On whether there were other things besides the score that agitated him during the game:
"I was not agitated with my teammates or players or anything like that. I was agitated with myself at times. I was agitated with myself at times, agitated with the way things were going perhaps. Most of that frustration was towards myself."

On what he could have done better:
"When we see the film, I’m sure we’ll find more, but I know I left a few plays out there. When you lose a game like this, you’ve got to look at the quarterback first."

On why the team wasn’t in many third-and-short situations:
"Any offense wants to play ahead of the chains, without a doubt. Third-and-longs are difficult to convert in this league. That’s something we know, and that’s something that we strive hard to get ourselves into, manageable situations on third down. Today, it was difficult to get into those situations."

On whether the fact that the team has not scored two offensive touchdowns in the same game is a red flag:
"We’re always concerned about mistakes. That’s the way we play. I don’t think there are any red flags, no. We’re going to continue working our tails off and keep doing what we’ve been doing. We have the right mindset. We have the right work ethic. These things, we’re going to get fixed, without a doubt."

On what he was able to take away from this game:
"Hopefully, everybody has a bad taste in their mouth and won’t forget that. We, as a team, made some uncharacteristic mistakes that we haven’t done most of this season. We came out of character a little bit today, and we know that’s something that we need to fix. I hope, like I said, people have this taste in their mouth and won’t forget it."

On whether this loss puts a damper on the quick start to the season:
"Accomplishments, I don’t feel like we’ve – it’s five games into the season. It’s a 16-game season. There are no accomplishments handed out after five games. What we’ve accomplished is we’ve come together as a team, nobody can separate us, we fight and we’re going to play 60 minutes. Things didn’t work out for us today. Like I said, we made mistakes today that we haven’t made earlier in the year. We’ll continue to stay with that. We’ll be a team. We’re going to come together and continue to work hard."

On late hits:
"I don’t know. That’s part of the game. When you have two groups going at it like that, that kind of stuff is going to happen, without a doubt."

On whether him being agitated with himself affected his performance:
"If I get agitated, I get agitated for a short, brief moment. I’m able to let things go like that. Generally, I do a pretty good job of hiding frustration. Unfortunately, today, it came out once or twice. Those are things, obviously, that you guys saw and noticed. So, I need to do a better job at that because those are things I don’t want to show."

On his confidence in being the quarterback of this team:
"My confidence is high. I know that this game was uncharacteristic for us. I know what we have in that locker room. I know the talent. I know the ability. I know the intestinal fortitude of this team. I have a lot of confidence in us and what we’re doing here. This game will not shake my confidence in this team at all."

On whether the Atlanta front seven did anything differently that caught the team by surprise:
"Luckily, for us, [QB] Alex [Smith] and I and [QB] Nate [Davis], we started looking at some of the stuff they’ve done last year. Coming into this game, we knew it was a bye week for them. We knew that they were going to give us something that we hadn’t seen. We looked at that stuff. I know the o-line looked at a lot of that stuff. They brought a different game plan in here today than we’d seen in previous games, and we kind of anticipated that and we had answers for it. We had some miscues. There was a different guy a lot of times, like I said, including myself. We had an idea of what they were going to do and that they we’re going to do something different, and the things that they did we have actually seen."

On what Atlanta did today that it hadn’t done earlier in the season:
"They played a lot of man early. They brought some pressures that we haven’t seen from them much this season. The big play to Josh [Morgan], that was a pressure we haven’t really seen much of. We saw it in the San Diego game, preseason game. Saw it last year in a game.  I believe it was the San Diego preseason game, but it was also in the San Diego game last year. I may be mistaken on the preseason game it was in. But, like I said, we’ve seen that stuff. We were prepared for it. We were prepared for something different than they played in the first three games. We just weren’t able to attack it enough and execute well enough against it."

On whether the bubble for the team burst:
"No. It goes back to what I said about our confidence. Our confidence isn’t shaken. Our bubble has not burst. We knew coming in, as a 3-1 team, that we weren’t all the way there. We knew that. We know that it’s a 16-game season, and we have to continue to improve every week. We know that. Those things aren’t going to change, no matter what our record is, no matter what happened the week before. Those are the things we live by, and those are the things that we’ll continue to do."

LB Manny Lawson
Post-Game Quotes - October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On how the Falcons were so successful on offense:
"I think they took our minds off things, with simple motions, kind of mess with our keys and whatnot, and they just exposed it."

On if the Falcons are the best team they’ve played this season:
"You know what, I don’t…they’re a good team.  They’re a good team."

On if the team lost their composure:
"Yeah, we lost our composure, as far as Dre [Bly] showboating, I don’t think he was showboating.  I think he just made a good play in getting the ball out.  And Coach Singletary getting into it with Harvey Dahl, I mean, that’s just a coach looking out for his players.  I don’t blame him at all."

WR Josh Morgan
Post-Game Quotes - October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On whether or not he was in sync with some of QB Shaun Hill’s passes:
"Yes. Of course he has to throw some of them quickly because of the pressure. I don’t think that I was ready for them but, everything else we were pretty much in sync."

On head coach Mike Singletary’s message to the team during the time out in the first quarter:
"He just told us to pick it up. We came out here and we started slow and he just told us to pick it up and come together as a team on defense and offense. He told us to pick it up and go out here and play 49ers football."

On whether or not he was surprised on how slow the team came out to start the game:
"You’re always surprised, but you don’t really want to make any excuses. We just have to do better. We’ve got this bye week coming up so we’ve just have to work harder in practice and get this thing back on track."

On whether a loss like this was expected:
"No, not at all. We expect to get better every week so, we came out expecting to build on last week, we didn’t do that. We came out here and probably had the worst game mentally that we could have had. We just have to get back in the film room, get back to practice, stay together as a team, and get better."

On whether having a bye week so soon may be detrimental to the team for the remainder of the season:
"I look at all of it as positive. I try to turn anything into a positive so we’ve got time to fix things and work with things. I think it’s better that we have time to let this sit in our minds because when we come out and play the following game, we’re going to be angrier when it’s sets that much longer. You’re not going to dwell on it but you’re going to remember that feeling –we got embarrassed today, so you never want to feel that way again."

LB Takeo Spikes
Post-Game Quotes – October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On how he evaluates this game:
"I didn’t even have an idea, never saw it coming. Whatever could have gone wrong, it did times two. One bad thing happened and then it started compounding on top of each other and before you knew it you blink and you look up and we were up by two touchdowns."

On whether he thought head coach Singletary calling them over to the sideline would help:
"He just told us to settle down and understand that we have to take it play by play and this was the type of game that it was going to be. He felt that and we were just trying to make a play and we never could."

LB Patrick Willis
Post-Game Quotes – October 11, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

On what they did on offense:
"They came out and they did what we thought they were going to do with formation shifts. They did a lot of things to keep us thinking and anytime you are thinking about it, it slows you down."

On how physical their offensive line was:
"I give them credit, they won the game. We can’t take that away from them. As far as them being physical, I didn’t think they were the most physical team we played. They played well, but at the same time there was a lot of cheap stuff in there. I feel like that’s football and that’s what it is. Sometimes you see that much stuff going on, you say, ‘Wow, where was the unsportsmanlike conduct stuff.’ But, they won and that’s what it is."

On how difficult it was to contain their offensive weapons:
"They have a good offense. They have some special players on that offense. If they get the opportunity to make the plays, then they are going to do it and I feel like today we gave them the opportunities. That’s something that we can’t do as a defense if you want to be in the top three and we gave them opportunities and they took them and made things happen on them."