The 49ers left Nashville pretty quickly after their 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans, but not before meeting with the press. The Titans media folks were kind enough to compile transcripts of the 49ers media sessions and I just stumbled across them late yesterday. Here they are for your enjoyment:
49ERS HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH
(on the story today)
Right off the bat, special teams were outstanding. They were just playing with fire. Coverage teams gave us good field position in the first half, and the dream play by Darryl Morris and Kassim Osgood is one you just lay awake at night and dream about. It looked like an arrow going through snow. That was 4.3 speed and Kassim Osgood, the veteran that he is, capitalized on a mistake. It was a great play.
(on Darryl Morris playing well)
He's been very good. He started as an understudy on the practice squad and just ...he made other plays in this game. I believe he had two tackles before that play so he's really coming into his own. It happened at a great time for us.
(on using the read option)
Sometimes you bring it out. When we put it away, we will bring it back out. It's such a great tool to have. It's such a club in our bag.
(on Colin Kaepernick taking hits)
He's doing a very good job of getting ... he took some licks and Kap's (Colin Kaepernick) a tough guy, and you protect him as much as you can. You have to catch him first though.
(on Colin Kaepernick's struggles early and coming along)
He continues to get better every game since he's been playing. I gave him the game ball last week. He was very effective again today, both running and throwing. I can't say enough good things about him.
(on winning today on the road)
This was a big game. We were treating it like it's the biggest game of the season. This was Game 7 for us, and we treated it like Game 7 of the World Series, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Now the next game, be it Game 8, we will treat it just the same, as the most important game of the season.
(on what pleases him about having Kaepernick at quarterback)
I can tell you a lot of things. The competitor that he is, he has a wonderfully competitive heart. He's very talented both from a physical standpoint and from a mental standpoint. He's extremely smart, quick thinker, reacts to things. He can juggle many concepts in his mind, memorizes things extremely well, so it's a pretty long list.
(on having Patrick Willis back and NaVorro Bowman)
Two of the best in the game. He's a great leader for our football team. Respected by everybody in the organization. That speaks volumes. He was playing like himself again. Last week was good but there was a standard that Patrick (Willis) set and so has NaVorro (Bowman). I thought they were playing at their high level today.
(on Colin Kaepernick thinking it was a fumble)
He thought there was a possibility.
49ERS QB COLIN KAEPERNICK
(on having the read option work effectively this week)
It is just another part of our offense. Week to week it is going to depend what we do with it.
(on if he anticipates using it more moving forward)
It is going to depend on what the defense is doing.
(on what the Titans' defense did to allow the read option to work)
They were just giving us that opportunity with the looks they were giving us.
(on Frank Gore's performance and his block)
Frank (Gore) was huge coming back and getting that block. Everybody had huge blocks on that. They made my job easy.
(on his comfort level at this point of the season)
I am very comfortable, very confident in what we are doing. I feel like I know what the offense is trying to get done and how we are going to get it done.
(on taking numerous hits in the game)
I am a football player. You are going to get hit regardless if you are a quarterback, running back or a linebacker. You are going to get hit.
(on if the second quarter in today's game was the best quarter of his career)
I really don't pay attention to what quarter we are doing what in. I am worried about where we are at in the game and trying to put points on the board.
(on if this team is in mid-season form)
I don't know what you want to define mid-season form as, but we have strung together a few wins and we feel pretty good about what we are doing right now.
(on if the game is fun to him when he played like he did today)
Football is always fun to me. When you feel like you are playing well and doing things well it is more focus than anything.
(on the receivers making impressive catches and the lift it gives the team)
It's huge. When your players go out and make plays for you, you feel like you have to return the favor and make plays for them. When you have an offense that is doing that, normally you have an offense that starts rolling.
(on if he was expecting to run the read option a lot this week)
We have it up every week. It is part of our offense. It is just going to be determined by what the defense is doing. We thought we had that opportunity.
49ERS LB PATRICK WILLIS
(on how pleased he is with the win)
I think for the most part, most of the game we played really well. I think towards the end we got a little bit out of our game and got a little bit uncharacteristic of our defense. One thing we talk about all the time is finishing and I think we allowed them to get in our head at the end. They had a good play there with the screen and they are a good football team so they are going to get some plays, but I think some of them we could have prevented. That's the only thing that I'm not satisfied with is that we allowed them to score some points as at the end.
(on if it's emotional playing back in the state of Tennessee)
Like I said early in the week, each time I go out and am blessed to be on the field and perform, I want to play my best football. Whether that's in California or no matter where it is. Being in Tennessee, I'm blessed to have family and friends being in the home state that I played in, I just want to go out and play the best football that I can play.
(on how many family and friends he had at the game today)
I'm not sure. I know that my brother and sister came up. My foster parents, they are here. I saw my aunt, right at the end and I didn't know that she was here. She happened to be right there on the right side of the sideline as we go into the tunnel. It's always fun to see her here and she is my dad's twin. That was pretty cool. I'm going to see her when I go outside.
(on how special Colin Kaepernick is to this team)
Well he is our quarterback. When you have a good quarterback on your team, your quarterback is your centerpiece of your football team. They are the prima donnas, but Kap, he is a heck of a player. He is a tough player. He didn't start the way he wanted to, but he is certainly getting back there and our football team is climbing and we just have to keep pressing forward and not look back. Just take it one game at a time and just trying to win them.
(on how Colin Kaepernick handles criticism )
I think he handles it really well. It one of those things where he is mentally tough and he has been through a lot from college to getting here to the pros. He has done a tremendous job with that and I know that he is going to continue to be a professional and continue to work as hard as he has been working and continue to get better each week.
(on if there is a natural tendency to let up when you have a 24 point lead)
I don't think so. I think Donte (Whitner)got a little banged up in there and I don't want to make no excuses. No matter who is out there on the field, we have to play a complete game and we have to finish. Knowing Coach Vic (Fangio) the way I know him. We played some good defense early on, but I know that he's nowhere near satisfied the way we let that game end. I feel him on that as a player and as a captain of the defense I feel like we could have finished that game the way we did. The most important thing is that we got the win and now we have the long trip to London and we have to get back to work and get ready for the Jaguars.
(on his matchup with
I feel like it went well. I know that Delanie is a heck of an athlete and he is a playmaker. He caught a pass on me. He caught one pass. Its football and it's going to happen and I hate that it did. The rest of the game I feel like I played him pretty well and as far as I know I think he has one catch when I had him in man and I was able to tackle him in the zone coverage. That's over with now and who knows when we will see him in the future, until then he had one catch on me.
(on being from Tennessee)
It means a lot. I am very thankful for my town and very thankful for people that came up and supported and thankful for the ones that watched on TV and to the ones who tweet me week in and week out. I just want to continue to do all I can to make us all proud and continue to be the best role model that I can be. I just smile and am thankful for where I am today. I wouldn't be where I was if I didn't have a lot of those friends and family back home.
49ERS WR ANQUAN BOLDIN
(on the offense working well today)
I think we did a great job of mixing it up. I think that the best thing we did was not turn it over. Anytime you play on the road, those are things that can kill you. We have been taking care of the ball as of late, and we have been winning.
(on his two big plays)
It was a check that we had. We saw some things on film that we thought we could take advantage of. That was one of the plays that we had when they went man across the board. I was able to get free. Kap (Colin Kaepernick) threw a great ball and I was able to make a play. I came back and it was the same situation where we had two plays called in the huddle. Kap got us in the right situation and made a pretty good throw.
(on if the read option loosens up the defense)
Yes. It makes defenses declare. Are you going to bring eight guys down in the box to stop the run or are you going with seven guys? It definitely clears some things up for us and allows us to throw outside as well.
(on how often they have two plays in the huddle)
I have no idea. It just depends on the situation. Even if we don't have two plays called, Kap has the ability to get us into a different play.
(on Colin Kaepernick)
He just brings a different skill set as a quarterback and does things that most quarterback can't do. I think that he doesn't get enough credit for how good of a quarterback he actually is. He can throw with the best of them and can make any throw on the field and when things break down, that's when you really see how special he is.
(on treating the London trip like just another week)
I think you have to make it as normal as possible. Although you are out of your elements, you have to try to stick to your schedule. You have to continue to do the things that you have done up to this point. It's a task because we are going across seas. For myself and a lot of the guys, I think we will try to stick to our routines as much as possible.
49ERS RB FRANK GORE
(on running tough today)
Yeah it was tough. Tennessee's defense plays hard and plays well. The main thing is we got the win.
(on winning four games in a row)
Well we are taking small steps, but we are taking them in the right direction. We are taking baby steps and we just have to keep doing it and keep finding ways to win.
(on running the read option more today)
I guess it was whatever G-Row (Greg Roman) was feeling. He was feeling mixing it up and showing different things and it was perfect. I am happy that our quarterback got in the end zone like he did last year. It should help us in the future.
(on getting involved in the passing game today)
Whatever it takes. Like I said, we thought that they were going to do a lot of blitzing and I was surprised that they were playing zone and sitting back. I guess it was seeing Vernon (Davis) last week killing Arizona. That kind of helped us and made them stay in the zone. They called the play and I was open. It was a good job by Bruce (Miller) sealing the man off and letting me be free.
(on the block he had on Colin Kaepernick's touchdown run)
It happened in practice, coach (Tom) Rathman said that if you don't get it, if you get the chance go outside and get the safety and that's what happened. He saw the look in practice and it happened in practice the same way and Kap got the touchdown.
(on getting two rushing touchdowns today)
It's great to get touchdowns. As a team, we do whatever it takes to win. If it's me running or Kap (Colin Kaepernick) throwing or Kap running or Anthony Dixon running or Kendall (Hunter) running, as long as we get the W, that's what it's about here. We are not selfish and we just take it one game at a time. One game at a time and take small steps, the right steps. We just have to take small steps and when the time comes and everyone gets back, I'm sure that we will be that explosive offense that we had last year. It's coming. We have a lot of key guys out, but this team is special man. This is the first time seeing the main guys not playing and seeing the other guys step up. We are talking small steps. Once Mario (Manningham) and Crab (Michael Crabtree), our gangsters come back, the guys who are here and have been playing, we are going to be crazy.
49ERS OL JOE STALEY
(on Colin Kaepernick's sense of humor)
He has a great sense of humor. He's is a great dude. He's real fun and I think football means a ton to him. I think his profession means a ton. He's super competitive, and when he steps on the football field it is all business. I just love the way he plays.
(on the road trip, including the upcoming trip to London)
We have done it before. This is our second trip to London, and we also went to Youngstown for that week, too. Everybody here is used to the long trips, and I think it is beneficial. Everybody gets to spend a lot of time together as a team. We are just all excited to get over, and we basically just pack more clothes than usual. But right now we focus on the Jaguars and that London trip. We weren't really thinking about it until after the game.
49ERS DT JUSTIN SMITH
(on the victory)
It always works together-the offense putting up points. Pressuring them and getting them in situations they don't want to be in. Having them throw the ball and now you are able to make some plays. It's big to come on the road and get a win against who we felt like was a pretty good team. It's good for us.
(on being on the road for 11 days)
It's no big deal. You hop on the plane. You either fly east or west. We'll make it. You deal with what is in front of you I guess. It shouldn't be a problem.
(on the offense helping the defense control the game)
Starting the game, they controlled the ball for the whole quarter. It was big. It's what our offense can do. It's what we expect them to do, and they did it today. It's big on the road. We are a physical football team stopping the run. Anytime we do that, we win. There is a pretty good reason today why we won.
(on giving up a big touchdown run to Chris Johnson)
It's just one of those things. Going against a guy like that, he's a home run hitter. He hit us. He made a hell of a play, but we don't want to give those up.
49ERS TE VERNON DAVIS
(on the 49ers having a balanced running and passing attack)
I believe it all started in practice for us; that's where it always starts. It's all on how you perform in practice. If you come to practice and you have a sluggish day, then chances are you are going to have a sluggish day on the field Sunday. I think we had a great day of practice. Coach Harbaugh kept harping on it. He said you guys look great on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I believe. It shows. What you do in practice you are able to carry it over and do it in the games on Sunday.
(on Colin Kaepernick being decisive in read-option situations)
Week to week usually is all on the look that we get from watching film and in practice. We had the look in practice. We saw it on film, and we went with it. Fortunately, (Colin) Kaepernick was able to get in the seams and make some plays.
(on the catches made by Anquan Boldin)
I am not surprised because Anquan (Boldin), that's what he is known for. He's always going to make that circus catch. You don't know when, but you have to expect it. He's a great player. His hands are unbelievable. I love going to war with Anquan Boldin because he brings it each and every week.
(on the next step the offense needs to take)
I think the next step is being consistent. We have to develop consistency because that's the key in anything you do. I don't care what it is. If you are consistent, then you will have success. We have to really think about it as we go into the game because if not, it's going to hurt us.