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49ers 20 - Jaguars 3: Hidden Nuggets

I suppose that when you win games, the "hidden nuggets" are not quite so hidden.  We remember the positives and forget some of the negatives.  Nonetheless we'll keep people's spirits up with some of the positive minutiae from today's game.  Also, after the jump we've got a whole assortment of post game press conference transcripts.

Vernon Davis
Not so surprisingly we're starting with The Disease.  The tainted twosome (Davis and Crabtree) has been running wild lately, and Davis continues his breakout season.  With his 3-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, Davis tied the franchise-record for most touchdown receptions in a season by a tight end (9).  With 6 catches on the day, Davis set a new single-season career-high with 57 receptions. His previous single-season high was 52 receptions in 2007.

Pass Rush
The defense certainly found it's groove against a Jaguars team that just couldn't get out of its own way today.  The 49ers defense registered a season-high 6 sacks on the day, all in the second half. This marks only the second time since sacks became an official stat in 1982 that a 49ers defense notched 6 sacks in a half (vs. St. Louis on 9/8/96).  Manny Lawson sacked and stripped David Garrard, with the fumble being scooped up by DT Justin Smith. Lawson now has 4.5 sacks on the season as well as 3 forced fumbles, which tied a franchise record for most forced fumbles in a season by a linebacker. Lawson became the first 49ers linebacker to register 3 forced fumbles in a single season since LB John Johnson and LB Larry Kelm each recorded 3 forced fumbles in 1993.

Additional random nuggets:

  • The 49ers offensive line did not allow the Jaguars defense to sack QB Alex Smith on any of his 41 attempts. This marks the first time that the 49ers did not allow a sack since November 10, 2008, at Arizona (QB Shaun Hill - 40 attempts).
  • QB Alex Smith set first half career-highs in attempts (29), completions (18), yards (169) and he tied a career-high for touchdowns in the first half with 2.
  • The 49ers were only flagged for 1 penalty on the day for 5 yards. It was the first time the 49ers only committed 1 penalty a game since December 2, 2001, vs. Buffalo. Only 4 other teams have committed only 1 penalty in a game this season, which is the fewest in the single game in the NFL this season.
  • RB Frank Gore extended his career-long streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 5 with a 4-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. He is the first 49er to score a touchdown in 5 consecutive games since WR Terrell Owens from November 4, 2001, through December 2, 2001.

Don't forget, after the jump we've got post-game press conference transcripts.

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Game Quotes - November 29, 2009

San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Opening Statement:

"First and foremost, I'm very thankful. I thank God for our guys, I really do. I'm very thankful for how they continue to fight. I was very excited about this game simply because of the way we prepared this week. The thing that we wanted to accomplish - the thing that we have not done all year - is put a collective win together, where the offense is doing the things that they have to do, taking time off the clock, the defense holding them, or trying to get turnovers, trying to get something. Special teams did their part. I think today collectively it was getting headed in the right direction in terms of the way we have to win. It has to be a total team effort. We can't have the defense playing lights-out and the offense not executing. We can't have the offense doing a good job and our defense giving up big plays. We just have to continue to work together and, I guess, really come up with the team effort. That's what we're really preaching right now. That's the thing that we've got to have - a team effort. So, very excited about what happened today and our guys are working."

On whether if his season-long goals are still within reach:

"You know what, for me, all I know is everything is in front of us and we have an opportunity to continue to week-in and week-out just to try and win football games, just to try and find our formula as we go offensively and get in a rhythm. The best thing that happened this week... The absolute best thing that happened this week was I saw leadership on the offensive side of the ball in terms of, ‘Coach, this is what I think would work. This is what I think we need. Can we do this? Can we do more spread? Can we put it on us, the receivers. Not that we're going to lose our minds and throw the ball every down, but can we do that direction?' To me, that's leadership. That conversation could go to the parking lot, it could go in the bathroom, it could go to their homes, but it came to us. It came to me. [Offensive coordinator] Jimmy [Raye] and I sat down and talked about it, the offensive staff, the entire team, about what we need to do going forward. I think we just have to find our balance each and every week depending on what that team does. I thought today... I thought the offense handled it well. I thought our offensive line did a good job blocking for [QB] Alex [Smith], giving him the time that he needed.  I thought our receivers did a good job. We just have to continue to learn how to finish, just close it out, close the game out."

On whether the 49ers are a better passing team than a running team:

"I would say, right now, I would think as far as the run is concerned, I think we have more playmakers in the passing game. I think for the first time in a long time we have a lot of playmakers that we can throw the ball to, as well as [RB] Frank [Gore]. I think if we continue to do that, the run will still be there. Like I said, week-in and week-out we have to find a balance that works for us and not go out there and lose our mind and put it all on Alex and the receivers and say, ‘Let's go get it done.' So, I think we have to be smart and every week to figure out exactly what we have to do to win football games."

On who was showing leadership on offense:

"Well, [TE] Vernon [Davis] would be the number one guy, Alex a close second. Even the young kid, as much as I hate to say it, [WR Michael] Crabtree. I keep telling him he needs to be quiet, but he's getting there. Good kid. Those guys are leading the pack."

On RB Frank Gore's value as a pass-receiver:

"Well, I think Frank definitely has good hands and he can catch the ball and hopefully more times than not he can make that first guy miss and make extra yardage.  I think you when have to look at a [WR Michael] Crabtree and [TE] Vernon Davis and [WR] Josh Morgan down the field, then it certainly opens up an opportunity for Frank coming out of the backfield in check-down situations. So, I just think it all works together and our offensive line continues to be a work in progress. But we will be able to run the ball. Before this season comes to an end, we will be able to run the ball and we're working on it. But right now, we're trying to open it up as much as we can right now so there's not an overload somewhere else and make it work."

On TE Vernon Davis tying TE Brent Jones' record today:

"Vernon has been spectacular all year. You know, today, last week, week before that. I mean, pick a week. Vernon continues to work his tail off. He continues to stay after practice and do all of the extra work. He's still an excellent blocker. The thing I like about it is he's not all of the sudden becoming a good go-to guy. He also continues to work on his craft in terms of blocking. And, to me, he's still the best blocking tight end in the league. So, I'm very excited about where he's going."

On QB Alex Smith's performance today:

"I thought he did a good job. I mean, obviously, there are some plays he'd like to take back. It's a work in progress, but I'm very proud of what he's been able to do and the decisions that he's been able to make. He and Jimmy Raye continue to work together, continue to build a relationship. Alex continues to let Jimmy know, ‘Hey, this is what works. This is not as good.' So, I'm excited about that, because the more that relationship develops, the better our offense is going to become. So, I'm excited about that."  

On how players are developing on defense:

"You know what, I do [see that]. [LB] Manny [Lawson] stepped up. I hate he missed the one ball. He had it, he was running before he had it, obviously. But we have a few guys on defense that are playing well. [LB] Takeo [Spikes], it was good to see him back this week. He adds a lot to our defense, he really helps [LB Patrick Willis], great mentor, but he's the guy on that defense that really makes it go. So I'm very excited about what he was able to do. [CB] Dre' Bly I thought did a nice job today. You know, a lot of experience, he has a better grasp of our defense. Going forward, he adds a lot to what we're doing."

On whether the defenses' season-high sacks were due to the hard work this year:

"You know, it happened for a number of reasons. Yes, those guys upfront have been working their tails off. I think [defensive coordinator] Greg Manusky, [defensive line coach] Jim Tomsula, [pass rush specialist] Al Harris, everything that comes down to the pass rush and trying to figure  out the protection and how to get guys to the quarterback. They just continue to work at it. I think they have a great system in place, breaking down protection. [LB] Ahmad Brooks, I think, you'll see more and more of, getting him in the mix. It was great to see Manny Lawson just come off the ball and explode and make the play he did in the fourth period. [LB] Parys Haralson has been applying pressure all year. But I'm excited about what we're able to do and the other thing that makes it great is our offense was able to chew up the clock so our guys were fresh when they were going out there and that makes all the difference in the world."

On whether [LB] Ahmad Brooks has replaced [LB] Manny Lawson as starting nickel-pass rusher:

"He did start today, but it's one of things where you wanted to see what he had as a starter and I think it'll go back and forth. They'll both play a lot at that position."

On how good the 49ers defense was today:

"Well, obviously when you have a team like Jacksonville and they have three points coming in here with a lot of confidence, I think the defense did very well today. Of course, going forward, we want to continue to keep the pressure on and do all of the little things we have to do to keep them from marching down the field, and clamping down later on. I thought the defensive plan was really good today."

On whether the line judge didn't see him when he was trying to call timeout:

"I was going to go all the way to the huddle. I tell them that, ‘Whatever I have to do...' I mean, I'm yelling on the sideline and they always say, ‘Mike, just come all the way and do whatever you got to do to get our attention.' So, I was sprinting out there. So, whatever I have to do to do that, I'll do it every time."

On the Arizona Cardinals loss:

"That is very exciting. One of the things that I don't want our team doing is looking at what Arizona is doing, but you can't help but... If a situation works out like that, that's fantastic. We just have to make sure that we earn the right to look at what they're doing and we've got to take care of business on our side."

CB Dre Bly
Post-Game Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

On his first start with the 49ers:

"It felt good. The first half, I didn't get much action or get dirty. I wanted to get going, just get a tackle to get going. But for the most part, it was good. Defensively, we played well. We were flying around, pressuring the quarterback, forced turnovers-and that's the 49ers defense that everybody have seen.  And that's the defense we expect to be. We played well."

On the difficulties of playing the Jaguars offense:

"They had long drives, and they were trying to keep us off-balance, going no-huddle and trying to catch us in different personnel defensively. And throwing screen plays, getting the ball into [Maurice] Jones-Drew's hands, those little bubble screens to the receivers-all those things were trying to keep us off-balance. But, when our backs were against the wall...this is what you want as a defense, when your backs are against the wall, don't fold. We were able to keep them out of the end zone when they got close, and unfortunately for them, they missed that field goal-fortunately for us. The key is, trying to keep them out of the end zone, we did, and giving up three points-that's reaching all defensive goals at the end of the day. I don't know what the yardage looked like, but we have to feel good about the points we let."

WR Michael Crabtree
Post-Game-Quotes -
November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

On being able to spread the offense against Jacksonville:

"We really did the same plays that we did last week, we just did a good job of executing our plays and just came up big when it was time to make big plays."

On talking to WR Isaac Bruce on the sidelines when the offense was making adjustments:

"Isaac is like my big brother on the field so I'm always going to talk to him about anything, every play, and every release that I did. I'm always going to be talking to Bruce.

On what he felt he contributed to adding to the team leadership on the field today vs. Jacksonville:

"Just by playing fast at practice is something that I preached to my teammates in college, so I just carried it on and brought it up to the NFL and it's working."

On describing the team's intensity and execution in today's game:

"I think that all three sides of the ball played good today. That's what it takes for a team to win and we did a good job."

On whether he feels that the team is in the playoff hunt with a 5-6 record:

"We just have to take one game at a time. This next game we really need to be focusing on that and trying to win. One game at a time."

TE Vernon Davis
Post-Game Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

On the performance of the offense:

"Our playmakers made plays-we got the ball in the hands of our playmakers. And we've got a lot of them-you could see [TE] Delanie Walker made some plays. And that's what it's all about.  Green Bay, when we played them, I saw how they got the ball in their playmakers' hands.  Everybody had some nice stats. That's what you need in order to win."

On if he senses a change in the offense:

"I am, I am. But I still think we have to run the ball-we have to keep Frank [Gore] involved, because he is one of our playmakers as well.  Everything will be all right from there."

On the playoff picture:

"We have five regular season games left. Our goal is to win each and every game.  We can only do that by practicing hard and staying together. It's not over, we're still in it.  Anything can happen."

On going for it on fourth-and-1 play in the second quarter:

"Coach [Singletary] believes in us. We always talk about how good our offense is, and we believe in him.  So, it's fourth-and-1, he called a play. Then we have to go make it."

LB Parys Haralson
Post-Game Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

On whether that was the cleanest game the team has played:

"I don't know if that was the cleanest game, but I know that we won and that's all that matters to me."

On whether it was the most mistake-free game:

"I guess it was a mistake-free game. Like I said, we've emphasized that during the week, not beating ourselves. We always emphasize that, creating some turnovers and not turning the ball over, getting off the field on 3rd down even though they are making some plays on us and basically just keeping them out of the end zone on defense and the offense scored some points to win the game."

C Eric Heitmann
Post-Game-Quotes November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars


On starting fast offensively:

"We talked this week about being more explosive as an offensive unit. We did spread it out a little more and put the game in the hands of the playmakers and they did some amazing things for us today. They made some really big plays for us. As an offensive line, we knew we had to pass protect. We knew they were going to be coming, going to be blitzing and we had to give Alex [Smith] time to get the ball into the playmakers' hands. Everybody stepped up today. It really was a great win all the way around."

On holding a large lead at halftime:

"We had a nice cushion going into halftime, but when you come to halftime you know that any NFL game can turn. So for us, the score was 0-0. We knew we had to come out in the second half, be physical, run the clock, make some more plays. I think we did that. The defense played great, the special teams played great and it was a great win."

On the importance of not turning the ball over:

"You have to play mistake-free, flawless-execution football if you want to win in the NFL, and turnovers are huge. If we are going to be successful as an offense, you cannot turn the ball over and we did that today. That's one of the main reasons why we won this game."

QB Alex Smith
Post-Game Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars


On if he felt that today was his most complete game ever:

"I don't know about that. Probably the best I felt out there. I guess I don't know, specifically speaking, it was the best I felt out there. Seeing things, reacting to it, making good decisions, and being accurate."

On his role as a leader:

"Yeah there's always been open communication, especially with [Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye]. I've always said that from the beginning. I think, it's just one of those things, the more you play the better grasp you have on what we're doing. As the quarterback, there is a little more insight that you can put in to talking with Jimmy on what we're doing and what I like and things like that."

On  specifically  what he likes:

"I mean we're talking details here, of things, you know, things we have in the game plan. Whether or not they're up or down and what situation you may like them in or not, things like that."

On his confidence level from earlier in the year:

"I was confident that, and this the NFL, confident that my opportunity was going to come at some point. That's just the way it works. I didn't know when it was going to come, how it was going to happen, the circumstances of it. I was confident that, yeah, this is the NFL and at one point or another I'm probably going to step out on the field and help the team win. I didn't know when it was going to happen but the important thing is that you're constantly ready, constantly standing ready because you don't know when it's going to happen."

On the plays:

"I don't know. I don't know if it's my bad, I think it's the open communication. You know, it's not that I'm marching up there like, ‘hey this is how...' it doesn't happen like that. It's just open dialogue. You're talking, ‘I feel a little better about this, and maybe that.' It's not like I would walk up there with a list of things I don't want."

On whether not he told Raye he wanted to emphasize certain plays:

"No, not like that. It's always changing. You know? It's based on what we see on film and what we like. It's a fine line there. Ultimately it's my job to go out there and play well. The little input I can have, that's up to Jimmy whether or not he wants to."

On if he backed Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye into a room:

"No, I can sense that and that's not how it happened. I can definitely tell you."

On if he felt that his input was well received and used:

"Absolutely. No question. Jimmy's always had an open door and I think, like I said, it's a combination of the more I play the more we're growing as an offense I think that the more input you have. The more comfortable you feel talking to him about things. Whereas before you're just trying to get your job done."

On whether or not he's more confident than before:


On why and how he shows his newfound confidence:

"I just feel better about seeing what I see out there. Understanding it, trusting it and pulling the trigger. If that makes sense, you know. Reading and reacting. What are they doing? Seeing it and pulling the trigger. Before, when I was younger, sometimes you don't see things clear, don't trust it and hold on to the ball a little longer. You're tentative, things like that. I have a better grasp of seeing things, reacting to them and cutting loose."

On how this resembled his days in college:

"I'm getting there. I look back on college and it's different. I think you're headed there. That feeling you get when you're in the center of, people talk about things slowing down but, for me it's really understanding what you're seeing, trusting what you're seeing and cutting the ball loose. Not second guessing yourself, not hesitating and trusting what you see and letting it go."

On how he'd like to play the offense the rest of the season:

"I'm a pretty firm believer that there is no formula, like that to win. You got to do what it takes to win the game and each week is different. Next week we might come out of I formation and run the ball forty times to win the game. If that's what the defense is giving us and that's what we think we can expose them doing then we got to do that. We've got to do what it takes to win the game on offense and I don't think you can say, concretely ‘this is what you have to do every single week to win a game.' Every defense presents different problems and we have to find a way to attack them and expose them where we think we can."

On the cause and affect between your input and the game plan:

"I don't think so. No."

On what Jacksonville's defensive did that dictated this style of offense:

"We just thought - we felt like that. Their starting corner was out, [Rashean] Mathis was out. We knew they were banged up back there with some young guys, and we felt like we could do some good things throwing the ball. No doubt about it."

On what he thought about TE Vernon Davis' catch and run on fourth down and the play call:

"I love both of them, looking back. I love it. I think that's the mentality you start to grow into on offense too. The more comfortable as a unit we get, the more confident we are. We want it. Let's throw the ball on fourth-and-short. Let's get after it. Vernon made a great play, a great play on the sidelines. That's this offense growing and being more confident."

On whether he smiled when he received the game plan earlier this week knowing the offense was going to be more wide open:

"We talked about it, but you still don't always know what that's going to look like come game day, how things are going to unravel, how the play calls are going to come out and the circumstances you might be in. I thought we did a great job today, top to bottom. I thought [Offensive coordinator] Jimmy [Raye] called a great game. We did a lot of good things out there. I still think we left a lot out there. That's for us to take a look on film and improve on."

On how much stringing wins together counts with Arizona losing today:

"To be honest, it's not really about putting - it's about winning one game at a time. You can start getting ahead of yourself thinking about streaks and doing too much. We were thinking about beating Jacksonville. I think that singular focus, that's one of the reasons I think you saw success today. When you start looking down the line in this game, you're in trouble I think. So, now it's move on. We've got to learn from this game and we play Seattle. So, it's moving on from there."

On whether he feels either meek or humble:

"I don't feel meek. I think that's a good thing to be humble, in my opinion. I don't think that's a bad thing. I don't want to be cocky, if that makes sense.  You want to be confident, step out on the field and play the game, feel good about what you're doing. But, I'm always going to be humble. I've been through too many ups and downs to understand what it takes to win games in this league, and it's not about you. A lot of things have to go right. There are a lot of pieces in place around you to have a chance at success. You learn that along the way."

On how it feels to be starting again:

"It's been great playing again, no doubt about it. To sit out the amount of football I did, you lose that feeling. You forget it. You miss it, what it's like to go out there and compete on game day, to work together all week as a team for one goal on Sunday to go out there and play well and to be tested every week. You miss that feeling, so it's great to be back out there."

On which was his best throw today:

"It's hard to say from where I was at."

On which throw he was most proud of:

"I don't know. It might not have even been a completion. I thought maybe the ball in the corner - I didn't get to see it very well - the ball in the corner to Michael Crabtree. I got it up on time and I thought I put it in a good place. At this point, it's hard to say."

On whether he was hit at all today:

"No idea. No idea, handful of times I guess."

On whether the players comfortable telling the coaches what they see during a game:

"I think it's a fine line there. Coach is a coach. Player is a player. That's a big deal. That's what it is. I think, this week, you maybe saw some guys go up there and voice their opinion, but in the end, we're not putting the game plan together. We didn't call the plays. It's out job to go out there and execute them and make them work. It's that partnership, that relationship, that I think leads to success. I think you saw we had some more input this week, but in the end, I think it's our job as a unit. Coaches have got to put their game plan together and what they think we can do best to go out there and win. And, we've got to go out there and make it work. As players, it's our job to go out there and play well, in the end. As much input as we have, it doesn't mean anything if we don't make it work."

On having no sacks, no interceptions and throwing crisp passes:

"Well, I think it's a part of the growth of this offense. In the NFL, you have to be balanced. You have to be able to do it different ways to find ways to win. You're never going to be able to always impose what you want to do on a defense. You play good defenses in this league, and if they want to take away one thing, they're probably going to be able to take it away. You've got to be able to find another way to get it done. That's just the way it is. So, you have to be balanced. You have to be able to do things, have multiple looks, different personnels and you have to be able to attack defenses a lot of different ways in this league. I think that's part of the growth of this offense. I think we're taking a step, be able to throw the ball a lot , ball control and make good decisions and execute better in the passing game."

On whether this team could have done this in the season opener:

"I don't know. I have no idea. I wasn't back there. That would probably be a better question for Shaun [Hill], but I think we're fully capable of it. There's a learning curve with it. First year together doing things there's always going to be some type of learning curve."

On what he was thinking on the fourth-down play:

"Exciting, thinking about where I was going to throw the ball. To come up in the look they gave us, bringing pressure. They had a man on Vernon [Davis].  We took the shot. We liked the call. Obviously, at the time, I liked the call and I was going to be aggressive."

DT Justin Smith
Post-Game-Quotes November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars


On picking up a game in the division:

"We just have to take it one at a time. We can't really control what happens with them, we can only control what we do. Now we have to come back and get ready for next week."

On the defensive effort today:

"They just went to their no-huddle offense. Usually anytime a team goes to that you play a little deeper and they are able to move the ball. They did move the ball but when we really had to, we made the plays. They are a talented offense and we were able to get off a couple times and make them pay for it."

On the pressure the team applied on QB David Garrard:

"I think everybody got pretty decent pressure today. We mixed it up a little bit, but the biggest thing was getting them into predictable situations where we knew they were throwing the ball and that a screen or draw probably weren't a possibility, which have hurt us all year. So that was good."

T Adam Snyder
Post-Game-Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars


On the offensive line playing together in unison against Jacksonville:

"It's nice to have the ball in your hands at the end of the game and be able to kneel on it. It's something that we haven't been able to do the past eight or nine games, so to finish it out like that was nice."

On QB Alex Smith's performance against Jacksonville:

"I thought that he played great. He stayed clean and got the ball out when he needed to and we did well up front protecting him. Our backs were also good in protection. That's what we have to keep focusing on which is  to keep getting better as an offense."

On the offense not beating themselves with penalties and turnovers:

"Those are huge when you win the game, you can see how it affects it when you don't have many penalties and turnovers. You get to keep the ball in your hands and keep moving  the chains. It's a good thing for the offense."

LB Takeo Spikes
Post-Game Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

On the pressure they were able to get on [QB David] Garrard:

"We had the opportunity to beat the 1-on-1s. We got 1-on-1s a lot and that's what it boils down to. All sacks are not going to come free so we have to beat the 1-on-1s."

On the team's mentality knowing that Arizona lost:

"It's truly a one at a time mentality. One eye is focusing on the next game and the other eye is focusing on the big picture. If we continue to do that, I think at the end of the day when we look back in December it's going to take care of itself, I guarantee you that."

LB Patrick Willis
Post-Game-Quotes - November 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

On what led to the win:

"Our coaches during the week put in a good game plan. We knew that No. 9 [QB David Garrard] and No. 32 [RB Maurice Jones-Drew] basically ran their offense. We knew that we had to tackle well against No. 32 when he gets the ball and we knew they were going to try to come in and run it on us because that is what they like to do. We knew we needed to stop the run and once we stopped the run our offense started putting up points and we knew they had to throw the ball then."

On LB Takeo Spikes' post-sack dance:

"That means we are out there having fun. When he did that, I just knew the game was almost over. It is something the coaches talked about, don't go out there saying, "We have to win we have to win.' Go out there and have fun and let the chips lay where they are going to lay. Just go out there and have fun and that's what we were doing."

On tackling Jones-Drew:

"He is stout. When you tackle him you have to grab him. If you can get to his legs and stop his legs then you have him, but if you grab his upper body and have no leverage he is just going to keep on running."