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49ers vs. Cardinals transcripts: Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and more

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and numerous players took to the microphone to discuss their 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals. We have all the transcripts. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Talk about that final touchdown drive, 18-plays, why it was so successful and what it meant to this win?

"It was huge to the win. Grinded some meat. Definitely, the game could have gone different ways through the course of the game, but I thought our players really toughed it out when they had to. And that was an example of that in this ballgame. Important third down conversions. Great catch by [WR] Kyle Williams and [QB Colin] Kaepernick, and then controlling the clock and getting that touchdown was huge. All of the guys, there was a lot of guys. D-line was, somewhat lacking. I mean, they were hurting and that bunch of guys just toughed it out."

Bo Schembechler would've loved that wouldn't he? That drive? Bo, yeah.

"Yes, he would have. He would have loved that very much. Somewhere he's up there smiling down. That was a line that was coming off the ball and [RB] Frank [Gore] was determined and the whole unit, they were determined to move the football and keep our defense off the field that had played so well in that ballgame."

Did you go into this game thinking that TE Vernon Davis might be able to get deep? Was that a prime thought about this offensive approach?

"Yeah, I mean, we knew it was going to be tough. We knew it was going to be a tough ballgame, tough moving the ball. They have a very good defense, very good run defense and they committed an extra player to the box and went with man-coverage and at times zero-coverage and that gave Vernon a chance to win and make the big play. And those were great plays that he made too. The three catches, I'm thinking the corner-route, especially on the boundary when he went up, climbed the ladder, went up and got that. I didn't think he was going to be able to make that play. And then the touchdown, that ball seemed like it got tipped, on the right side for the touchdown, great concentration making that play. Those are big-time plays."

When you were talking about that long offensive drive you said that we were ‘grinding some meat.' I kind of like it. I'm not exactly sure what it means. What do you mean by that?

"Playing tough, hardnosed football. Grinding out the running game. Pounding. Pounding the meat. Grinding the meat."

I know you had big expectations for S Eric Reid when you drafted him, but his play today seemed pretty good. What are the two or three things he's done to make himself fit in so well as a rookie, even as a rookie him doing what he's doing?

"Well, he's blessed with a lot of ability. He's very sharp. Learns very well. Doesn't repeat mistakes. He's not an err repeater. Once he does something he gets coached on you don't see that same mistake again. I think the other thing that's really important for him to continue to do is, a lot of times it can be easy to say, ‘I'm a starting player. I'm a first-round pick. I'm starting day one for the 49ers,' and you start to feel pretty darn good about yourself. And, I think he's done a real good job of continuing to know that he's got to work hard, improve and just keep coming. That's what I hope for."

How well has LB Corey Lemonier come along so far as a rookie?

"He's been good. He's been real good. Pass rushers in this game are hard to find and he's doing, it's exciting, seeing him do the job he's doing. And, he doesn't say a whole lot ever. So, but same thing for him, just keep coming. Don't feel good about yourself. Feel good about yourself, but feel like you can get better too."

Is it accurate to say that along with grinding meat you rattle molars? Is that part of that phrase or no?

"That's a different phrase. It's not rattling molars."

What's the molars part?

"There's nothing with molars."

I talked to your dad, I believe there's molars in there.

"No. You're referring to rattling fillings."

I don't know what the percentage was, definitely, Colin threw most of his passes to either Vernon or WR Anquan Boldin and has for some weeks now. Is that an all problem that you're not spreading it out or it's just because they're good enough, just keep throwing to those guys?

"Well, we targeted some other guys. [TE] Vance [McDonald], in this game, [WR] Jon Baldwin, Kyle Williams. And then Anquan, a go-to guy on a crucial play, makes the third down for us that was another big part of that long drive picking up that 3rd-n-2."

You mentioned that your defensive line was hurting there at the end. What is DL Glenn Dorsey's status and do you have to make some moves at that position?

"Well, we've got some guys that'll be in the mix this week, [DL] Quinton Dial and we'll see about [DT] Tank Carradine, but I think he's ready. I think both those guys are ready and can start practicing this week."

They're ready to move up to the 53?

"We'll see, yeah. Yeah, we'll see. But, they're ready to start practicing."

On the challenge, on the second challenge on the spot, were you aware that even if they were incorrect on the spot, if it was short of the first down, you were going to get charged with a timeout?

"Yes. I thought it was worth it to get that first down there."

Move it closer?

"Not move it closer, but get the first down. Wanted the first down. I knew, yes I knew that if we didn't get the first down then you're charged with a timeout and a challenge."

On the TV coverage, at one point, it was maybe the fourth quarter, there was a shot of a pretty animated conversation that I think you were in the middle of or trying to serve as a Judge Judy sort of with G/T Alex Boone and Kap. What was going on there?

"I wasn't serving as anything. I was just advising Boone not to retaliate. He got kicked in the face and he retaliated. For some reason in this league it's only the retaliation part that seems to get called the most often."

So, he was upset at a Cardinals player that kicked him?


It wasn't clear from the TV.

"We've had too many of those, too many of those plays where we retaliate to something and get a personal foul and it needs to stop."

How much was it nice to see the balance on offense today, I mean, a little bit of everything?

"Yeah. I just thought it was a gritty, determined win by the football team. I thought, really everybody was contributing. This was another real good team win."

Their two-point conversion try, they ran a gadget play I'm guessing you hadn't seen that particular play much. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you happy with the way your coverage held together for a play that ran a long time?

"Very happy. In fact, saw that this week in practice. Our defense, [49ers defensive coordinator] Vic [Fangio] and his staff had seen that, had put it on the cards and our defense, our scout team ran it and executed it in practice and did a good job defending it in the game. So, the credit to those coaches for preparing us for that."

Did it score in practice?


The team had 39 penalties in the first four games and only seven in the last two. What do you attribute that drop in penalties to?

"I think our team is a disciplined football team and we're doing a good job of playing that way. We can get better at it."

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Press Conference - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

How much did the offense feed off of TE Vernon Davis making plays down the field?

"We knew he'd be a mismatch, he always is. He came to play today, he did a great job out there."

Did the offside penalty on that deep play change your thinking?

"That was still our thinking, but it gives you more freedom to throw that pass."

Vernon himself talked about your chemistry and that it wasn't quite there last year, do you feel like its progressed, or is he just getting open and you're throwing it to him?

"Vernon's open most of the time. So, the more we get the ball in his hands, the more we let him use his speed, the better."

Going back to that play, did your eyes immediately go downfield or did you know you had a free play?


Will you talk about the 18-play touchdown drive and what it meant in this one?

"It was huge, we drained a lot of clock on that drive. We had a lot of third down conversions, had the big fourth down conversion, it was huge."

FB Bruce Miller got the call on fourth and one, what was the feeling in the huddle before that?

"I think everybody has full confidence in Bruce. He does everything for this offense and he is someone that if we can get the ball in his hands, and give him that chance, we are going to."

Vernon's with the over-the-head catch, were you afraid that [inaudible]? It was pretty spectacular.

"I'm going to get Vernon his chances when I can. He's a great player that makes a lot of great plays."

How does Vernon get open? Is it speed, moves or is he physical?

"Vernon is someone who has all of those tools. So, every route it is going to vary for him, but he uses those tools to his advantage."

Can you go back to the long drive, it was late third quarter, it's a two-point game and you get the ball deep in your own end. What are you saying to your guys? Obviously at that time, a long drive that eats up the clock and results in a touchdown, it is precisely what you're looking for.

"Yeah, that was what we said in the huddle. We have to go down and score right now."

What is Vernon telling you when he's hot like this? Does he say anything to you?

"Vernon, when he plays like this, he doesn't have to say anything. Everybody on the team feels it, I know it, the coaches know it, we've got to put the ball in his hands."

The interception that they got on their one-yard-line, is that a throw you want to have back, or was it just tipped and fell into their hands?

"No, I think it was a touchdown if it didn't get tipped. Bruce made a great play to come back inside, but it's a tipped pass. That's my fault, I have to find a throwing lane."

How do you feel about this winning streak here, do you feel like everything is back together, do you feel good about things?

"It's another win for us."

Early on when it's rough, are you thinking it's going to right itself at some point, or does frustration just set in?

"No, there are things you always have to work through in football games, whether it's early, middle or late. You have to figure out what their game plan is."

Was any one of Vernon's catches today your favorite?

"His touchdown catches."

When you get RB Frank Gore rolling with 100 yards and Vernon doing that, do you feel like that's the way you want it scripted?

"As long as we come out with a win, that's a good script to me."

WR Anquan Boldin
Postgame Quotes - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Today you reached 800 yards and were the 4th fastest player to do that. What does that mean to you?

"Nothing. We've got to win. That's all that matters."

Could you talk a little about the defense? They started really strong. How important is that for this team?

"It's real important. Defense has been playing great, especially in the last couple weeks, taking the ball away and giving the offense the ball in good field position. Hopefully they'll continue to play that way and we see the end result."

What does the offense need to do to convert those third downs in the red zone?

"Just execute. That's it."

LB NaVorro Bowman
Postgame Quotes - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

It really felt like the Cardinals had a lot of momentum there in the third quarter and then he forced a fumble of Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald to kind of turn the tide. Was that a significant play in changing this game?

"Yeah, any turnover is significant. It gives our offense a chance to put some points on the board. I know it made [LB Patrick Willis] Pat feel good to get his feet back out there, but any turnover is good for us. It gives us a chance to go up on the team."

Speaking of turnovers, you guys have forced 10 as a defense in the last three games and just three in the first three. What has been the difference?

"I think we're playing now. I think we're back to the way we play football. Used to the new guys, the new guys are used to us. I think we're just playing 49er football and that's something that we add to our game is just turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. It's starting to pan out for us."

How do you define 49er football?

"Be on edge at all times. Be ready no matter the team's record. Give it your all for 60 minutes."

Beginning of the game, it was all defense, both sides, and you guys kind of set the tone with some of your hard hits and finally the turnovers started happening. Talk about the start.

"Yeah, I think as a defense we started off pretty fast. As you see with this team, if we can get offense and defense clicking at the same time, we're dangerous. But, if one's clicking early in the game, best believe the other's going to come around. Us as a team, we know that. We just have to play from the beginning of the game no matter what the offense is doing and we'll be fine."

TE Vernon Davis
Press Conference - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

QB Colin Kaepernick was saying that nobody has to say anything when you're on like this, it's just find TE Vernon Davis and get the ball to Vernon.

"That was sweet of him."

Was that one of those days where--?

"It's just one of those days, like you said. When you're in the zone it's like you're on a high and you can't come down. It's a beautiful thing. He was able to find me several times, we started to click and we were on the same page. Because that's what it's about, it's about being on the same page and just having that chemistry with your quarterback. It was beautiful, but we can't stop here. We have to keep on going, keep on ascending."

Nobody would choose to have a teammate like WR Michael Crabtree out for an extended period, but do you think his absence has helped you and Colin sort of come together and get in a rhythm more?

"Never really thought about that. I would rather have Crabtree, rather than be out there with Kaepernick and I'm making plays. I would rather have Crabtree out there helping us because he's a tremendous player. He really helped us last year, we miss him and we would definitely rather have him."

What percentage would you say your hamstring is right now?

"Not sure. I can't put my finger on it at the moment."

Are you 100 percent?


Head coach Jim Harbaugh wasn't sure you had that catch on the sideline there. When were you sure your timing was perfect on that one?

"I didn't think about it. I just ran the route, got open, made the play. I did everything that I was supposed to do, made sure I was right there for Kapy [Kaepernick] and I just caught the ball. Same thing I've been doing all week in practice. We rehearsed it several times and I came up with the ball."

Your over-the-head catch, what's the degree of difficulty on that?

"Very difficult, but that kind of catch is something that I work on every day. Every day that I'm in practice I work on that play. And that catch, you want to work on it because it's difficult. You really have to keep your eyes on the ball, you have to focus and just wait for it to come down."

Do you have one of the guys throw it to you?

"I do. I have [assistant athletic trainer] Nathan Breske, our trainer. He's been there for me since he got here and we've been throwing like that for five years now. And he's been a blessing for me."

You're allowed to call him Kapy if you have 171 yards in the first half?

"I call him Kapy every day. I don't know if he likes it, but he's going to have to accept it."

Did their coverage against you change at all in the second half or did the play calls just go a little different?

"Well, they started banging me around a little bit up front. I know their linebacker [LB Karlos] Dansby came down a couple of times and tried to put his hands on me to slow me down, but I expected it. But when they do that it's hard to get around that and get out into your routes, especially on corner routes."

RB Frank Gore keeps doing this, and we're saying he's 29, when's he going to slow down? He has a game like today and just keeps pounding away. Any comments on what it's like to be with him and watch him?

"It's always a pleasure to watch Frank, and definitely playing with him is a treat because he's one of the best backs I've ever seen, in my opinion. He's one of the best I've ever seen. And not only is he a good running back, he's also a great person, he has a good heart. He wants to be great. All the time I hear from him if I'm not blocking, if I miss a block he'll come up to me, ‘Why didn't you get that block? Why didn't you get the block, come on.' I was like, ‘Alright Frank, don't get mad at me, I got you.' But it's always a pleasure playing with him."

How big is this kind of win when you guys don't play you're divisional opponents that often and you guys are able to get a win like this and take second place in the west?

"It was very big, very big for us. Anytime you can get the lead early in the season it's always great because you don't want to play catch-up, it's hard. It's hard when you're behind trying to catch-up on some wins, it's extremely tough. So, to get this win and come out with a victory is an amazing thing for us. We just have to move on now and get ready for the next opponent. Take it one game at a time, continue to practice hard and put in a good game plan."

RB Frank Gore
Postgame Quotes - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Has it been frustrating to you when the touches weren't coming in the past?

"Whatever is working. If we've got to throw the ball; and we did in the first half when [QB] Kap [Colin Kaepernick] and [TE] Vernon [Davis] connected on some big plays and [WR] Anquan [Boldin] and [WR] Kyle [Williams] made some big plays on third downs. When it got to running, the O-linemen and I had to get the job done and we did, especially against that type of defense because they're a great defense."

Is there something clicking with you when that time comes?

"I just get going. When I get in the rhythm I just feel like I can do whatever I want. When my O-linemen are doing their job I'm good and when my fullback is doing his job I'm good."

Did you ever feel like you got into a rhythm in those two losses against Seattle and Indianapolis?

"I didn't. Those were different types of games. But whatever our coach feels like is the best for us to win then I will try my best to do whatever that takes. If it's throwing the ball then I'm going to try my best to block, if it's running the ball then I'm going to try my best to run hard. That's all I can do."

Is there a sense of pride when it's winning time and they put the ball in your hands?

"It felt good, especially when their defense knew that we were coming to run the ball at that moment and we did it. Our O-line made good blocks, our fullback made a good block, the receivers outside made good blocks and I ran hard."

There were reports that maybe you aired some grievances to Head Coach Jim Harbaugh that maybe you wanted the ball a little more. Is that true?

"No. That's not me. I‘m a team guy, I respect my coaches and I respect what they do every week. Since they've come here we've been winners so I know that they know what they're doing."

How impressed are with you with TE Vernon Davis' performance?

"He can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I'm not surprised at all. He's big, he's strong. You can't put a safety on him, you can't even really put corners on him; that's a 250-pound guy running a 4.3 [40-yard dash]. He's probably one of the fastest guys on the team. So I'm happy we've got him as a look that can go deep because now people can't just put guys in the box because we do have deep threats."

What do you see from QB Colin Kaepernick when this offense is struggling?

"He's balling. He stays poised. He doesn't get frustrated and when we have a young quarterback that doesn't get frustrated that's good for our team."

FB Bruce Miller
Postgame Quotes - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Do you guys get into a rhythm, ‘Here's comes another run, here comes another run?'

"I think we really start feeling good when we're moving the chains like we were doing and we're moving the clock down, continue to hold on to the football. But, the big thing was finishing with a touchdown to make it a two-score game on them. I think that was huge for our defense and our team."

Head coach Jim Harbaugh refers to that as grinding some meat. Are you familiar with that term?

"I'm familiar with it. We use that quite a bit with our guys up front. I think especially on that drive, they just dominated the line of scrimmage and it works its way back. It's easier on me, it's easier on [RB] Frank [Gore] and those guys up front are just unbelievable the way they push the line of scrimmage."

S Eric Reid
Press Conference - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Can you explain your interception?

"With that particular coverage, they have the field and I'm given the freedom to read the quarterback. I got a pretty good break on the throw and I caught it this time, trying to make up for last week."

Did you think you could have had a pick six last week?

"I don't know, it looked pretty good and I got a little excited and didn't catch the ball. It's the one that got away, so I guess I'll never know."

Your defense has had eight takeaways in the last two games, is that what the defense wants to do?

"Coach Vic (Fangio) has been preaching that since training camp, getting back to the basics of being physical and getting turnovers. The more our offense has the ball, the more opportunities they have to put points on the board. As many turnovers as we can get, that's what we like to do."

Can you describe your fumble recovery in the third quarter?

"I didn't know he fumbled it, I just saw it squirt out, so I just ran and jumped on top of it. It's another turnover and I think we got some points out of that, so that was good."

How far do you think you have come since being drafted?

"I think I've come leaps and bounds. That's credit to our coaching staff and the veterans around me, especially [S] Donte [Whitner]. I say it every week when you all ask me. He's taken me under his wing, he's constantly coaching me on the field during practice and he's taught me how to be a professional football player."

How big is this win for you guys, given it is a divisional win and you guys came in here with the same record as the Cardinals, to get separation and take second place?

"It's huge, every win is huge for this organization. You need your victories to get where you want to go at the end of the year, so this one definitely counts."

You said Donte taught you to be a professional football player, can you go into specifics on what you mean?

"I don't know if you all are watching us at practice. I'm always next to him, he definitely taught me how to work and the NFL is so much different than college. I'm always one for routines and being organized. He showed me how to get to that next level, so I give a lot of credit to him."

You say college is different than the NFL, what's the difference?

"Everything is different. Everybody's good, everybody's big, fast and strong, so I think the biggest difference is the quarterbacks with me being a safety. I've been taught to use my eyes better and I just am always trying to improve in that area. There's a lot to read and I've been taught how to go through that progression."

Looking at their two-point conversion play, is that something you've seen in practice?

"On that play, we knew that he [RB Andre Ellington] is supposed to reverse back out, and we expected it. We had tight enough coverage not to converge and we did our job. The coaches knew he could throw, from his draft profile, they knew that he could and we all knew he was fast, with the ability to reverse field so we needed to keep tight in coverage."

T Joe Staley
Postgame Quotes - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh referred to the 18-play drive you guys had as "grinding some meat." What does that term mean to you?

"It's tough, physical running. Grinding some meat is a blue collar job and that's what we were doing out there."

Is getting back to that then the key to winning these last three games and reestablishing your identity as a tough, physical, grind-it-out kind of team?

"I think we've been that the whole time. Obviously we're getting more carries so there's a bit more opportunity to run the ball and have success. But that's what we've been the whole time. We've never not been a physical team. If you watch the film from any of our games we've been a physical squad and in these last three games we've had a real opportunity to show that and have success with it."

Is it fair to say that RB Frank Gore can get better as the game goes on, especially if you keep feeding him then you'll see him build on what he's done earlier and get better?

"Yeah, that's the thing with those early runs, those two-yard runs, those body blows that he throws. As we keep feeding him, those are going to turn into bigger runs for us and that was a great example of it today. He was able to turn out those eight-yard, 10-yard runs as the game went on. He's a great running back and it's just unbelievable what he can do back there, how tough he is and all the intangibles he leads for this football team."

Does it work that way for an offensive lineman too, that you can build on what you did earlier and feel stronger as the game goes on?

"Yeah, we felt good. As an offensive line it's about getting the job done. It's about taking it one play at a time, doing what we have to do out there, not getting too high and not getting to low. I thought we did a good job of staying with it. It was frustrating early on because we weren't getting the movement or the yards that we wanted, but we stayed with it and our defense played terrific ball and kept us in the game and we were able to pop in on that long drive."

Can you talk a little more about the defense? They came out so strong today. How impressed are you with your defensive side?

"They're playing terrific football, especially in the last three weeks but the whole season really. They're getting turnovers, playing really physical, making life hard for the quarterback back there. We've had a lot of injuries back there too and a lot of guys have stepped up. There's a ‘next man in' kind of mentality and everybody is excited to get out there and play."

There were a couple of times today that they got you guys in the red zone and you had to take field goals. What's the next step for the offense to convert those?

"We've got to convert those opportunities into seven points. Luckily those didn't come back to bite us in the butt today, but down the road they could and we definitely have to get better in the red zone and convert those opportunities because those are precious opportunities down there. That's something that we're definitely focused on going forward."

S Donte Whitner
Postgame Quotes - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

This defense has forced 10 turnovers over the last three games. I guess they come in bunches?

"Yeah, they come in bunches. That's our game. Playing physical, getting turnovers, not allowing teams in the end zone. We had two big plays out there that we allowed that everybody's thinking about. We have to go in and correct it and we will. But, other than that, I feel like we did our job. We held them off late, got turnovers when we needed them and that's how you win football games."

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer just talked about what you did to disrupt him specifically.

"Disguise. All good quarterbacks, we want to show them one thing and play something else. If you allow them to read your mail pre-snap, then they're going to know where to go with the football and they're going to have a great day. So we all know that as veterans in the secondary and our linebacking corps and we do our best to show them something and then change it up post-snap. That's why we've been successful against good quarterbacks in this league, because we all understand that concept of not showing them what they want to see and then changing it up and then they throw the ball to us sometimes."

How much fun was it for the defense to watch what TE Vernon Davis did in the first half alone?

"It was a lot of fun. Vernon is a world-class guy, especially at the tight end position. Nobody that ever played the game that played tight end could run faster than him. Not many corners can run with him and definitely not many safeties or linebackers. He's a special player and when we need him, he comes up big. So, that's Vernon Davis for you."

I bet you're glad you don't have to cover him.

"I had to deal with that all through training camp. Lining up man-to-man with a guy like that all through training camp, when I get out in a football game and play other tight ends, it makes it a lot easier. I know firsthand what he can do and today is just a small glimpse of what he can do. He's a number one threat on any offense he plays on."

LB Patrick Willis
Press Conference - October 13, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

How'd you come out of it physically and were you hampered at all during the game physically?

"I came out all right. The whole game, probably from the start to the finish, I felt it. It was one of those things that the intensity is not the same as it is in practice as it is on the game day. Once I got out there and started moving around I was like, ‘Aw shucks. I didn't know it was going to feel like this.' But I was able to push through it and was able to go. Certainly still something I need to continue to work on and get better."

Did you really say shucks?

"What's that?"

Did you really say shucks?

"Yeah, I try to substitute words sometimes so that I don't say the bad words."

When you forced the fumble on WR Larry Fitzgerald was that something that you had scouted, the way he holds the ball, thought that might be an opportunity--?

"We do what we call ‘Takeaway Thursday' and [secondary] coach [Ed] Donatell gets up and we just go through each player, the guys who have the ball, quarterback, receivers. And it was just one of those plays where I was just able to get my hand on the ball. And what was funny was earlier in the game, I have known Larry Fitzgerald for a long time, a good friend, and he kind of bumped me, came out of nowhere and bumped me and I didn't know who it was. I was like, ‘Wow, he really bumped me.' He was just joking, but he kind of bumped me on purpose. And once I got my chinstrap broke I don't like friends, I have friends after the game. So, I told him in the second half, ‘I haven't even tackled you yet. I'm going to have to get you, I'm going to have to tackle you at some point.' So, it was a good play on the ball and [S Eric] E Reid did a great job of getting to it and picking it up."

He bumped you after a run play or do you remember that circumstance?

"I'm not sure when it was. I don't know if it was a run play or a pass play, I just know he bumped me. But he wasn't serious, but it was just one of those things that kind of caught me off guard were somebody slapped you and you're kind of just like, ‘What's up?'"

Did you force the fumble with your right hand?

"No, it was my left. No, it wasn't the hand that I broke. That's funny, I thought coming into this game it was going to feel perfect. But I got out there and started hitting and there was a couple of times where I went to shed a block and kind of like, ‘Man.' So, it's just one of those things as time goes hopefully it'll get better and I won't feel so much of it."

Reid got the recovery on that play and he got an interception earlier, how much did you know about him before the 49ers drafted him? I know you're an SEC guy and he's an SEC guy, did you know about him and what has enabled him to fit in so well as a rookie with this unit?

"No, I didn't know much about him. What I did know was that we had the same agent. And I feel that I have one of the best agents in the business and when he brings a guy on board I feel like it's more than just an athlete, he has to be a good person too. So, that was all good, but to see him come out and do what he's done so far to start this season, that's unbelievable for a guy, especially in the secondary, to be able to pick up that fast. But he's out there working with guys like [S] Donte [Whitner] and [CB] Carlos [Rogers] and [CB] Tarell [Brown] and those guys and it really helps. So, I hope he continues to press forward. "

How much pride do you have in the defense when they played so well in your absence?

"I have a lot of pride. It's one of those things, you come out today and we let some runs get out on us and some big plays. And it's just one of those things where I try to tell our guys all the time, ‘We can't go back, we can't now, we got to keep on pressing forward.' And sometimes it's hard. It's hard to stay consistent without having bad plays. They are going to happen sometimes in a game. I know I take responsibility for some of those run plays. I was telling [LB] NaVorro [Bowman], ‘I feel like a rookie again. My eyes weren't as good as I wanted them to be.' But we got the win and it's one of those things that the more I'm able to get back out there and get back into the game-flow, I feel like I'll get it back."

LB Corey Lemonier made a couple big plays today, how much has he developed since the first time you saw him?

"Corey, just seeing him in training camp it was one of those things where he had [defensive coordinator] coach Vic [Fangio] and [defensive assistant/outside linebackers] coach Pete [Peter Hansen] and [linebackers] coach [Jim] Leavitt, he's been with linebackers for a longtime. And from day one, he was on Corey, whether he wasn't dropping right or he wasn't rushing right. And he sees something in him and that's all that matters. And Corey has continued to get better and I know he's going to continue to work."

Did you have a final conversation with WR Larry Fitzgerald after the game?

"No, after the game he just kind of asked me about my injury as he was telling me about himself and whatnot, how he's kind of banged up a little bit and working through some things. But after the game we were friends again and I wish him all the luck until next time."

The time that you forced the fumble they kind of had the momentum in their favor. Did you feel like you guys needed to do something to shift it back onto your side?

"Well, it was one of those things that, once again, NaVorro and I were just saying that we have to come out here and make a play, we have to come out here and do something to change the game around. And I was able to get that strip and he was able to pick up a fumble that was huge for us. So, it's just one of those things, each guy on the defense just coming through and making a play. And that's what it's going to take from now through the rest of the year if we want to get to where we want to get to."

How much do you attribute the recent string of turnovers to this defense finding it's rhythm within this season?

"I think anytime as a defense that you can get turnovers it's huge. I think takeaways take the momentum from the other team and give it to us. I know we got some takeaways earlier in the game in which we could have capitalized on, touchdown wise. But we got some points off of them and if we just continue to get those takeaways than it lessens the chance of their offense being able to have the opportunity to score and more for ours. So, we just have to continue to go after the ball and get it."