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49ers vs. Giants: Jim Harbaugh, players discuss complete team loss

We take a look at some of the various comments from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and various players following their 26-3 loss to the New York Giants.

Brian Bahr - Getty Images

The 49ers had their asses handed to them on Sunday as the New York Giants blew them out 26-3. The 49ers had their chances early, but adjustments by the Giants, a lack of adjustments by the 49ers and generally poor game-planning and execution doomed this team.

Plenty of people are blaming Greg Roman, and the offensive game-plan left plenty to be desired. However, there is a laundry list of issues we can take with this game. The special teams was abysmal in virtually every respect. The defense was put in a tough position at times, but that doesn't make up for the secondary getting beat deep so frequently. The rush defense struggled as well, but some of that blame can lay on falling into such a big hole. The real issue in the rush defense was looking entirely defeated late.

The 49ers met with the media after the game and as would be expected, there was really not a lot to be said. Thankfully we didn't get a "We gotta look at the film" line from Jim Harbaugh (although Vernon Davis dropped it), but he definitely did not have many answers for what went wrong on Sunday. With a short week and a strong Seahawks defense coming to town, the offense is going to need to get their act in gear.

Below we've got transcripts for Jim Harbaugh, Alex Smith, Tarell Brown, Vernon Davis, Dashon Goldson, Larry Grant, Carlos Rogers, Delanie Walker, Donte Whitner, Kyle Williams and Patrick Willis.

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - October 14, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Is there anything you can put a finger on why this happened today?

"Thinking about that right now. We didn't do enough. Put ourselves in a position we couldn't come back from. More turnovers than we're accustomed too. Plan wise, obviously it wasn't the right one. And you try to figure out what the next one will be. But yeah, tough loss for us but we have to bounce back fast. We have a game coming up Thursday night, and no time to hang the head. Got to bounce back."

You've done so well protecting the ball, passes. Did they mix something up with the coverages to get those picks?

"I think for sure one or two really great plays on their part. But, I can't say for sure if there was a mix up, if they mixed up the coverage."

Was QB Alex Smith affected by his sprained finger?

"I don't think so, but don't know for sure."

Normally stingy against the run at home. What was the difference today?

"Well, I felt our defense was in bad situations. And was able to get off the field with just the field goal in the second half. That was a result of stopping the run in those critical situations. But, not our best game."

You guys have given up a lot of yards in the return game. The second half it seemed the momentum really switched with that play that started the second half. What's happening with your guys' coverage units?

"What's happening? We gave up the big play, no question, coming out of the half. And then things continued to get worse from there in the beginning of the second half. What's happening with the return yardage exactly? I don't know."

T Joe Staley suffered a concussion in the third quarter. Do you have any update on his condition or how it happened, and what he was feeling?

"Yeah, been briefed on it. That's all in the hands of the doctors. Exactly what he was feeling, no more information to add on that."

K David Akers was practically automatic last year. Do you see anything different in his mechanics, or in snap or hold or anything that's giving him trouble?


Certainly QB Colin Kaepernick in the two previous games, very successful plays. Is there ever a fear that by putting him in too much you disrupt the flow of the offense?


Do you think that could have been an issue today?

"Perhaps. The plan wasn't the best plan. And we'll work to make a good one this week. Wasn't a great day for any of us."

What's the lesson you learn from a game like this if there is one?

"I don't know that I have the lesson learned right at this moment. But, we'll think through it and see if we can't get it corrected. Then you take, the Giants played a heck of a ball game."

The offense was rolling in the first two series. Obviously, they only came away with 3 points. Did the Giants adjust after that? Or what was the difference after that?

"Well, there was definitely times that we were moving the ball and we weren't able to finish the drives or convert points from them. And did the Giants play a very good game? Absolutely."

Did you speak at any time with any of their coaches about some of the stuff that was said late in the week?


WR Randy Moss had the secondary beat for a very long pass.

"Wait, I'm sorry?"

Randy. Randy Moss. He had a 55-yard gain. Is there any reason why you didn't give them more of a dose of that? Or is it not part of the plan? I'm not sure.

"Yeah, as you can see, it was in the there. It was in the plan."

I'm wondering why we don't see that more. Is there a reason?

"I can't give you the reason. The why didn't you throw it deep? Why didn't you run it? Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that? Don't have all those answers for you right now. The ‘should've, would've,' is undefeated. Go back and say, ‘why didn't you?' ‘Should have done that.' That's an undefeated way of looking at things. So, we'll see if we can't bounce back real fast and get ready for this ball game Thursday night."

QB Alex Smith
Press Conference - October 14, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Can you put your finger on how things can change so quickly? Last week, from 621 yards to this week?

"It's a fine line. They are a good team, good defense. They don't give up anything easily. We forced some things tonight. I feel like I forced some things. We, uncharacteristically, turned the ball over. Any time you turn the ball over like that, it's tough to win. When we did get down to the red zone... in that first half, we thought that we were moving that ball down the first two drives but ended up kicking field goals. You can't do that all the time."

Was your finger an issue?

"No, it was fine."

In the interception was it them cutting into the route, or you just not seeing them?

"They were all different. On the first one, I stepped up in the pocket and didn't have great visibility but was trying to let [TE] Delanie Walker make a play, and they made a play on the ball. It was a force, trying to get a shot down field. The second one, on the third down, I believe the second one was on the slant. The ball just got up on me. I was trying to work [WR] Mario [Manningham] on the slant there, I felt like he was getting grabbed, try to make the throw to see if he can get the call. All of a sudden the ball gets up and picked off. The third one, yeah, they got me in a good play, coming down, stepping in front of [WR Michael] Crabtree. Once again, third and long, you're trying to make a play and forcing it."

How much did the Giants pressure affect you?

"They are tough. They are good up front, so you can't be back there just hanging out. You have to be efficient, get the ball out, be good in the pocket. They are good, they get their hands on balls. First half, a couple tip balls. I mean maybe I rushed a couple. Hindsight makes it easy to say that."

Was this game surprising, the way it went?

"It's tough to speak on any other facet. We made it tough on the defense tonight. Short field a lot of the time. But as far as offensively, yeah, for sure, they are a good team. They played well. They made some great adjustments to us. I think we will have time to learn from it. It's a short week so I don't know how much we're going to get done, maybe after the Seattle game. But it didn't get done in a lot of areas, you're right."

Is it hard, when you're playing from behind?

"Eventually, you do get to a point where you have a make or break point there. You have to force some balls and throw some balls. It's tough to always figure it out and gauge that."

On the third interception: 3:17

"Yeah, the safety made a really good play on it. They kind of okie doked me. Kind of looked like Tampa 2, Mike [Crabtree] was running high, he held his depth until I came back to throw it, and jump the route. It was a good play. I didn't see it."

Are you still adjusting to playing with backup QB Colin Kaepernick?

"Yeah, when it's working, it's great. It's like everything when we're winning. He's coming in to change up, for the most part, I don't know about today. Part of this is that it had been efficient. With Kaepernick going in there, he had been playing well."

There was so much buildup about today, did you feel that there was too much?

"I know a lot was made of it, for sure. I think at the start of the week, obviously, pretty jacked up. But at the same time, it was another game. It wasn't a playoff game. It was a conference opponent. It was a chance to get another win. I think there is a little more in the sense that two things, one you played them twice last year so you're pretty familiar with them and then they're the defending Super Bowl champions. I think anytime you play them, it's a chance to say something. It didn't get done today."

Did it feel flat?

"It's tough to get up when you're not executing. I think that's what comes first. I didn't feel flat at the beginning of the game, I don't think anyone did. It was more of a sense of, when things aren't going well it's tough. You're out there grinding, you're out there trying to make things happen. When it's not working and you're not playing well, it's not easy to be up."

CB Tarell Brown
Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

It's a tough loss obviously.

"Yeah, it's definitely a tough loss. They came in and started fast and we couldn't jump back on them."

What do you think of the matchup on the receivers? WR Hakeem Nicks played, he played well. WR Victor Cruz played, he played well.

"We didn't win our one-on-one battles. We won a couple and they won a couple, but we have to win more and we understand that. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as defensive backs and we have to do a better job of winning our one-on-one matchups."

QB Eli Manning made some great throws in this one, was it more his accuracy or their ability to get separation from you guys?

"His accuracy, he's a great quarterback. He puts the ball in places that are hard to get to as a defensive back or defensive player. A lot of times you can have good coverage, but the ball's in the right place. We just need to go look at the film, bounce back and we have a short week so we need to come back and play against Seattle.

Would you rather have a short week on a week like this, after a loss?

"At the end of the day, it's our job to come back and bounce back, so we understand that. It's one loss, we will try to learn as much as we can from this film and get better."

I know it's a short week for you guys so obviously you have to look at the film, but what do you take from this loss going into Thursday?

"You have to start fast and just mental errors. You can't go out there against a team like that, that's so experienced, that can make so many plays off of errors. As a team we need to go in and try to limit those errors and limit those mental mistakes."

TE Vernon Davis

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

TE Vernon Davis, you talked all week about redemption and that you guys wanted to get some revenge from last year's loss. How bad does this one hurt?

"It hurt, it hurt a lot. We expected to go out there and get the win, but we couldn't pull it off for some reason. I have to go back and look at the film, but I'm sure we made a lot of mistakes and we cost ourselves the game. But we're looking forward to Thursday. We have to put this one behind us and just move forward."

Turnovers certainly hurt you guys though, so when you go back and look at the film what can you take away that will help you in the next game?

"We can't allow turnovers. We can't allow it, we can't allow it to happen. We have to go in with a clear mind and handle our own responsibilities and make plays to help this team win. That's my job, I'm here to help this team and we look forward to winning games."

QB Alex Smith wouldn't make excuses, do you have any sense of whether the finger was bothering him? Did you notice anything different on the throws?

"I wouldn't put the finger in it. I just think we did this to ourselves. I don't think it's Alex, I don't think it was his finger. We went out there and shot ourselves in our foot, so we have to bounce back. We don't have time to play around. We have to go into practice and get ready for the next one."

Vernon this offense has been good all season long, what did you guys learn about yourselves today?

"We learned that in this league, everybody's good. When we lose a game we have to take it in and pretty much accept the simple fact that we lost and keep it amongst ourselves. When we win we just have to give thanks and move forward."

It hasn't happened to you guys much here, is it frustrating for you, the clock's running out late in the game and it's mostly Giants fans in the stands going ‘let's go Giants.' Does that get under your skin a little bit to see that happen?

"I don't think it got under our skin. I think it just hurts so much because we are so use to winning, especially since last year, and to lose it just hurts. As a team we have to learn how to deal with this, with the losing and that's pretty much it. Just dealing with it and bouncing back and I think that's the main concern, just learning how to handle it."

What did you see from this Giants defense to get the best of this matchup?

"Their front line, their front was coming off the ball. They were trying to get to Alex and they were relentless. I think they did a great job. I think their secondary did a great job as far as trying to maintain the tight ends and taking us out of the game. I think they did a good job with that. Pretty much they beat us, fair and square."

This team brought in some weapons in the offseason to try to help this offense a little bit. It seems to have done a pretty good job until at least today. How has that affected you? You were the heart and soul of this passing game.

"I'm excited. I'm excited about the guys we brought in. I don't think it affects me. What it does is it actually helps me when you bring a guy in like [WR] Randy Moss and [WR Mario] Manningham, who's been making plays for a very long time. It helps me. Sometimes I'm going to get the ball, sometimes I'm not. They might game plan to take me out of the game. I'm going to see that. I just have to keep moving forward and look for the next one."

S Dashon Goldson

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

On the game:

"They came out ready to play. They had a good game plan. They stuck to it and they just won. It's hard to really say what they really did, but they just came out and fought hard and played the whole game."

Why do you think the Giants were able to make more plays in the passing game than a lot of teams usually do, plays downfield?

"The receivers did a good job getting open, got in our corners blind spot a little bit today I felt and came up big on a couple of third-downs. They had a nice play action in the red zone to get that touchdown, their first touchdown. It was a good play."

RB Frank Gore

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

On the short week ahead:

"I know as a team that we have a short week. We have a tough Seahawks team coming in, pretty good team. We have to watch the film and get better off all our mistakes."

Was the defense that good?

"They played good ball. We beat ourselves on a lot of stuff out there. We didn't play San Francisco football today. They played great ball today. They came in and got a win."

LB Larry Grant

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Special teams last year was totally dominant, this year not so much. Is there anything you can put your finger on, why the special teams coverage units have regressed a little bit?

"We got a few new guys. We're still trying to find our niche and gel a little bit better. Of course, everybody can see from top down that we've got to do better on special teams in order to win games, especially big games like this. The good thing is, everything is put on film, we've got to go in tomorrow and check it out and see where we have to get better."

Quick week this week, you get the Seahawks Thursday here. Would you rather have that quick turnaround because you're coming off a loss and get that taste out of your mouth quicker?

"Definitely. The good thing is we get right back to work tomorrow, and get ready for Seattle."

CB Carlos Rogers

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Having WR Hakeem Nicks in there, were you off balance at all?

"No, practiced for him all week. We knew he was going to play."

Is this kind of a humbling day for you guys?

"I don't think so. I just think coaches always let us know that, we aren't the king of the NFL, the Giants are. They won the title last year and they are still the team to beat until somebody else wins the Super Bowl. Another week, another game, we have to go back to work like we do every week and it's a quick week."

It seems like you kind of took a challenge with WR Victor Cruz in the second half, was the part of the gameplan?

"No, it was still the game plan. Same calls, same stuff we were working in the first half. I guess it was just tighter coverage."

We're waiting for you guys; obviously you play on Thursday night. What do you take from this game that you can build on for Thursday?

"We've got a lot of work to do. Basically, we've got a lot of work to do, on every phase of the game, offense, defense and special teams. We can't go in and just think we are the 49ers and that's good enough to get a W in the column. We just need to go out and work and get ready for the Seahawks. This is going to count more. This is our division to win, this is the NFC."

TE Delanie Walker

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

On the first quarter interception, the ball seemed like it was a little behind you.

"Yeah, the DB made a great play, but at that time, just where you've got to become a defender, should have batted it down, but it was just a little too hard with me running full speed and trying to get back."

There aren't a lot of games like this where you're not connecting.

"The Giants played a great game. Their defense had a good scheme for us and they ran it well."

What did the Giants defense do?

"They did a lot of rotation. They did a lot of coverages, they disguised them well. Their disguise was great and like I said they just played great."

S Donte Whitner

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Hard to put this one into words.

"Yeah, it's pretty tough. We lost the ball game. We didn't get any turnovers on defense to help our offense out. We still had some opportunities. But we have one on Thursday, we've got to bounce back real fast."

Was there anything they did offensively that caught you guys by surprise or caught you off guard?

"No, they ran their offense. They had a couple big plays downfield in the passing game. But other than that, we just have to keep them out of the end zone. Especially when they're working on the short field. We just have to keep them to three. It was a tough game for us, we're going to regroup, bounce back. Right now we're 4-2. We have another one on Thursday, a quick turnaround to get this bad taste out of our mouth."

It isn't often that teams are able to run against you guys. If you look at just the numbers it would seem that they were able to run pretty well on you, how much of that do you chalk up to after the game kind of got out of hand?

"They had a couple where they gashed us, a couple of times. And that's why we have DB's back there with good tackling skills, to get the guy on the ground. Our front is one of the best fronts in the National Football League, especially stopping the run with seven. So today they found a couple of creases but it's nothing to worry about, we'll get it fixed."

Are you guys already looking ahead to Thursday? You don't have much time to dwell on this one.

"Yeah, with four days until kickoff we have to move on to Thursday. If we let this one linger, it can go into that game and we don't need that, we don't need two in a row. So we have to quickly forget about this one. We're going to get in tomorrow, watch it and get started on the Seahawks."

WR Kyle Williams

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Do you like having a short week like this with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night?

"I don't know that you rather, but it's a challenge that we're taking on full steam and we're not really worried about how many days we have to prepare or anything like that. We came out of this thing healthy for the most part and we'll be ready to take the on Seahawks on Thursday."

Are you surprised that you guys didn't play better today?

"Yeah, with the guys we have in here and the way we've been playing, it's just one of those things where this is the NFL and you've got to come ready to play every single week and they came out and they got us today. It's not going to sway us in any way. We'll be right back on Thursday ready to go."

What was going on with the passing game? It just seemed like after the first two drives, the Giants had all the answers at that point?

"It's tough to say without looking at the film. That's one of those questions we'll have to answer for ourselves tomorrow. But, again, they came out, they executed, they played well and we've got to play better."

I could see on the returns you were really trying to establish good field position for your team. Tell us what was happening out there today.

"They're flying around. Always, as a kick returner you want to give your team the best field position, the best chance to go ahead and go down the field. It's just one of those things, in all facets of the game, they just came out on top."

You took that first kickoff pretty deep. Were you just intent on taking it out no matter what?

"There wasn't a lot of hang time on it, so just read it and felt like it was good to go."

LB Patrick Willis

Post-Game Quotes - October 14, 2012

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

On the game:

"Everything's not going to go our way. We just have be mature about the situation, mature about what happened and stay together like we always do."

With all the emotion of last year's NFC Championship game, coming into the week, there's a lot of talk about getting revenge and so forth. Do you think that had any kind of effect on what happened today?

"No, I don't think so. Before we even started the game all this week, we're not talking about revenge. Sometimes revenge can get you out of the mindset of what you need to do. For us, it's a new season, new game and we just wanted to come out and play great football. But unfortunately, we didn't get that done today."