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49ers vs. Panthers post-game transcripts

The San Francisco 49ers met with the media following their 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers. We've got a host of transcripts for you. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

Why do you think your offense just wasn't able to get going today?

"There's definitely some situation circumstances where we had opportunities and we didn't get it done, made the key mistake or didn't make the play."

There was a play where you had fourth and one from the two. Why did you decide to go for the field goal rather than go for it?

"We really were out of a couple personnel groups that we would have liked to have been in at that situation, both [TE Garrett] Celek and [TE] Vernon Davis were out. And we needed some time to move some personnel around to accommodate that situation. But, that factored into it."

Any updates on Vernon, S Eric Reid and DT Ray McDonald?

"Just saw them in the locker room and they seemed as good as could be expected."

Did losing Celek and Davis mean that you couldn't do the power running that you're normally able to do?

"Yes. That took us out of the two tight end packages."

And you had G Adam Snyder coming in?

"Yeah then we made the adjustment at halftime to get Snyder into that role."

Did you sense anything from this team coming out of the bye that maybe you had the long trip and then the bye and that maybe they weren't as prepared, or mentally prepared?

"No, I did not sense that. I thought they played with great effort, especially the defense. Great plays. And then Carolina made more plays. They made mistakes. We made some mistakes. They caused mistakes. We caused some mistakes. And in the end they made more plays."

What was the plan for LB Aldon Smith? He played 11 snaps. Was that about right at what you were thinking going into this game?

"Yeah, we were set to use him in the nickel situations."

How do you think he played?

"(I'll) go back and look at it. I thought our defense played extremely well."

On a positive note, how do you feel about WR Mario Manningham coming back? He made a big catch on that third down situation?

"Yeah, he made a couple of them. He made a couple big plays. Good to have him back out there. It's just a sinking feeling right now. You didn't get the job done as a team. And we'll bounce back. We'll come storming back"

QB Colin Kaepernick was sacked a lot, I don't know how many times. But, how did you feel about his play overall and his decision-making? And what were the protection problems?

"Moving the ball wasn't coming easy for us today. I thought there were plays to be made, and he made some really good ones. And we all put our fingerprints on that. Don't feel good as a coach. It's not a good feeling when you don't prevail, especially when you had multiple chances to get it done."

At this point, would you expect most of those guys to play next week, just generally? Vernon, Reid, McDonald?

"We'll see. It's tough to predict that right now."

How do you feel about the general state? Obviously you've won five in a row, you lose this one, you've got to go to New Orleans. You don't like the word ‘satisfied' or ‘comfortable.' Where do you feel this team is right now?

"We'll do what we do, bounce back. Regroup, refit and reorganize and come back this week."

How do you think Aldon Smith did in a limited role? How would you evaluate how he did?

"My initial feeling, I think he did fine. We'll look at it."

There are always questions about bye week from us. Did you sense anything?

"No, same question there. No, I didn't sense anything. Didn't sense any bye-week rust, no. I thought they came out playing hard, playing fast, playing with great effort and I didn't sense that."

QB Colin Kaepernick
Press Conference - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

Can you talk a little bit about some things that the passing game struggled with today?

"We have to execute better, all around. We just have to go out and be able to make plays."

What happened on that last pass? Who was the ball going to?

"We were trying to take a shot down the sideline. It's desperation mode. We're trying to get down the field to be able to kick a field goal."

WR Anquan Boldin said they didn't show you anything that you weren't expecting, and he said it was all a lack of execution on your offense. Do you feel that way? Did the defense surprise you at all?

"They didn't surprise us at all. We didn't execute."

How much did the loss of TE Vernon Davis impact you guys offensively?

"Vernon changes defenses. He makes them adjust differently. He makes them do things that they don't normally do. He's a big loss."

Can you take us through the 4th and 1 situation? The two, you went up there and called a timeout, settled for the field goal. Were you going up there expecting to call a play or was it you weren't going to run it no matter what?

"No, we weren't running it."

Did you try to make a case to run it and go for it?

"That's not my call."

Was this one of the tougher defenses you've faced?

"They're a good defense. But, today was more our lack of execution than what they were doing."

Did you sense any Bye week, rust is a bad word, but just kind of kind of hard to get back into a rhythm after that? Was there any of that?

"I don't think that was it. We had a good week of practice. I think everybody was ready. We just didn't execute when we got on the field."

You and Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly had a tough bowl game here in San Francisco three years ago. How do you remember him back then and having to go against him today?

"He's a great player. I remember when I played him in my senior year. He was all over the place making plays. He's a good linebacker."

What was the discussion about when you got called for the facemask penalty? What were you arguing for?

"They called forward progress on me. I was trying to argue that it wasn't."

WR Anquan Boldin
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

Coming off a bye week, you guys were on such a roll. Do you think having the bye week and all of the travel had any effect--?

"No, that had nothing to do with it. We just didn't execute today offensively. Point blank."

Is there anything you can put your finger on? 46 yards passing as a team.

"Lack of execution. Like I said, defensively, played a great game. Gave us a chance to win. Held the opponent to 10 points. Offensively, we didn't get it done."

How much of that goes to what the Panthers did defensively?

"That's all on us."

Is that just a standard approach that you look at?

"That's just what it is. We didn't get it done."

With the weapons you have, how disappointing is that?

"It's unacceptable. We have a number of weapons on offense. We just have to do a better job of making it happen."

Did they do anything that took you by surprise?

"Nothing at all."

Without TE Vernon Davis, how much did that change the offense?

"It didn't change anything. We got exactly what we saw on film. We just didn't execute offensively."

Did it surprise you that the execution wasn't crisper coming out of the bye with this coaching staff?

"Yeah, because we had a couple extra days to prepare. So yeah, it is surprising."

LB NaVorro Bowman
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

You've got to feel like you did a good job against Panthers QB Cam Newton today.

"We kept him contained for the most part and he got the ball out of his hands pretty fast so as a defense we played well."

Did you think you had him picked off on that one play where you leaped up and got a hand on the ball?

"Yeah, I pushed a button on my cleats so I could jump a little higher. I knew that he had a low trajectory with his ball, but I just have to jump a little higher."

The last time guys lost you went on to win five in a row afterward. Will you be looking for something similar when you bounce back?

"Oh yeah, we're always going to bounce back. That's the team we have. We just can't keep giving wins away. They didn't beat us, we gave it to them and I'm going to leave it at that, but we're definitely going to bounce back."

Was it good to have LB Aldon Smith back?

"Oh yeah, having him back out there means there's less to worry about. He can handle his job and we can handle ours. Like I said, the defense all around we played well on our side."

LB Ahmad Brooks
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

On LB Aldon Smith:

"He's motivation for me to do a good job. He's probably the best pass rusher in the NFL, to be honest with you. You got to accept it, that's just how it is. He makes me a better player. I get a chance to watch what he does in practice, I get a chance to watch what he does in the game and just try to implement that in my game as much as possible."

CB Tarell Brown
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

That was a real physical game. When you see S Eric Reid down, when you see TE Vernon Davis go out, what are you thinking?

"Somebody needs to step up and make plays. I think we have a lot of depth on our team. We have a lot of guys that can make plays. But when someone goes down, the next guy has to step in and play like a starter."

Was it an extra physical game out there?

"Oh yeah, it was definitely a physical game. We understood that. Two great defenses, two good offenses. We understood that it was going to be a battle."

Where do you feel this team is? Knowing you've got New Orleans and some tough games ahead, do you still feel good about things?

"Yeah, we're never going to get our head down. I think at the end of the day, we've got to collect our thoughts, see where we made mistakes, guys made mistakes, we all made mistakes. Correct them and get ready for next week."

What did it mean to have LB Aldon Smith back in the mix?

"Oh it's special to see a dominant player like that back. We welcomed him back. Had limited snaps, but I think his snaps will increase a lot more this week."

Could you tell there was a little more pressure with him out there?

"I really couldn't. I was too busy on my man. I really didn't see all of that. When I watch film, I could tell you a little more. But having that presence out there with 99 on the field is always something special."

C Jonathan Goodwin
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

You really pride yourself on playing a physical game. Was it a little surprising to come out on the losing end of a game like this?

"No. You want to go out and be physical, but you still have to execute. You can be physical and still lose a game. You want to be physical, but it's all about execution at the same time."

You guys came out on the first drive and ran the ball very effectively. Had about a 50-yard drive and kicked a field goal, then didn't have another drive like that all game. Did you just get out of rhythm?

"Yeah, maybe a little. We still did some positive things, but then you have a negative thing that kills a drive. The one thing about offensive football is if you have one negative thing, it can potentially kill a drive. We have to eliminate those if we expect to sustain drives and put points on the board."

They were very effective with their blitzing today. Do you feel like they did anything you hadn't seen on film? Anything that surprised you?

"Without seeing the film, I don't really think so. But like I said earlier, it's definitely a good defense and they played well today and their offense scored more than us."

You guys have played without TE Vernon Davis for a game or two here and there, but what difference did it make not having him in that second half?

"I'm sure it's a huge difference. Those guys don't have to worry about Vernon's speed in the passing game. Vernon's a rare tight end that can stretch the field, so I'm sure it helps them to not have Vernon out there."

Did you feel like everyone was clicking well through practice this week?

"I thought we had a good week of practice. You can have a good week of practice, but you have to execute on Sunday and I don't think we executed enough."

WR Mario Manningham
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

Kind of getting one dimensional with the run game, only 46 yards passing today? What do you have to do to change that?

"You have to execute, come back stronger. It isn't anything we can't fix, we just have to execute harder and finish plays."

How tough was it for you to get in the game with your knee? You had to see how it was with the adrenaline?

"I'm cool, but I would have felt better if we would have won. I'm cool, my knee's cool, it held up, but I would have been better if we would have won. So, just have to come back stronger next week and do what we have to do to win."

Part of the excitement of having you back was getting more targets on the field. Then you lose TE Vernon Davis, you lose TE Garrett Celek real early in the game. How much did that hamper your offense?

"It isn't the end of the world, stuff happens, injuries are part of the game. So, that's stuff that you have to deal with, they got them and we got them. So, we just have to come back and do what we have to do to execute."

Big game next week?

"Same game as this week. We aren't about to say it's a big game, every game is the same. Some teams might be a little bit better than the other one, but we're going to prepare like we've been preparing all week."

FB Bruce Miller
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

You guys lost TE Vernon Davis and TE Garrett Celek in the game. What does that do to your offense?

"Guys have to step in and keep up. Luckily we had guys in positions that knew what they were doing. I thought we still executed our offense well, we've just got to quit turning the ball over. On short-yardage downs we have to be able to get those. But I don't think that really slowed us down at all. Those guys are great players but other guys stepped in and I thought they played really well."

From a physical standpoint was that right up there as far as any game you've played this season?

"That was a tough game. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew they have a physical, solid defense and they play well together. They complement each other well and it was a physical game."

LB Aldon Smith
Postgame Quotes - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

How did it feel to be back playing for the team today?

"It was good. Being back on the field was good."

What was the difference out there? It was a pretty tight game, where do you think it lost its way?

"I think they capitalized on opportunities. They came out and played a good game. We made mistakes and in a game like this with two good teams, especially teams with two good defenses, you've got to capitalize on mistakes and they were able to do that."

Did you expect to have such limited snaps? Were you aware of what your role was going to be going in?

"Yeah, I was aware that I wasn't going to play too much."

And were you okay with that?

"Not really. I'm a competitor and I want to be on the field, but whatever works. The season is long so we'll see how it goes."

Was that more just to get your conditioning back or for disciplinary reasons?

"I don't really call those shots. I just put my clothes on, put my cleats on and play."

What kind of workload do you think you could handle right now? Can you handle playing every down again?


How frustrating is it for this to be your first game back and have a loss like this?

"It's definitely something that I wish would have worked out differently, but we'll take it in baby steps and hopefully next week we'll get a win."

You guys have a couple of more high-profile games here in a row. Can you talk about bouncing back and what it will take to get things going in the right direction again?

"Really, bouncing back is getting a good week of practice and getting back on the road to winning. We've got a couple more games left and we need to finish it with a bang."

And how are you feeling personally in terms of your health?

"I'm good. I'm happy to be back, happy to be out here and just be back on the team."

Do you feel like you'll be unleashed next week now that you've got a game under your belt?

"I'm hoping so, yeah."

What was it like facing Panthers QB Cam Newton? Today you seemed to contain him pretty well in the first half, but in the second half he managed to get a little more opened up.

"Cam's a good quarterback. Cam is a guy who can hurt you with his arm and his legs. We were able to go out there and limit his running but he came out with the win today."

LB Patrick Willis
Press Conference - November 10, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

Did this loss surprise and stun you guys?

"I think any loss comes as a surprise because, your whole mindset the week going into it is to win. Our goal is to win every game we play and today was a tough one. We didn't get the W and that's what we work for."

How much of a blow is it to lose S Eric Reid, and with a concussion he might be out for next week?

"Yeah, Eric has been playing some amazing football for us. And to see him go down today, it's unfortunate and I pray that he'll be okay. But, also pray that he does the right thing and take the kind of time you need. I think this is his second time going down like that. So at the end of the day it's about your health."

Did you get the chance to talk to him after the game?

"No I didn't. I haven't had the chance to see him. I'll probably shoot him a text and hope him well."

This is his second concussion this year. Does that concern you, knowing what you know about concussions now that a guy has two within seven games?

"It's certainly, with everything that's been talked about it and what not, you don't want anybody to have them. But, it's football, it's a part of the game. Like I said, it's just unfortunate, injuries period."

Just overall, how do you feel like you guys played as a defense?

"I felt that the defense, our goal is to have 17 points or less. And, we reached that goal. But, us as a defense, we don't want to give their offense anything and we let them go down the field before halftime and score. Coach talked about, and talked about before, that two minutes before the half, we have to really get stops because those points, they gain points, if they gain points it could come back and get you. Them scoring that touchdown made the difference. So, that was a letdown on our part."

Giving up 10 points and losing the game, next week you go against a team like the Saints. Do you feel that there's more pressure on the defense to step up next week?

"I think, like I said before, pressure is when you're not prepared. I feel that we have the best defensive coordinator in the game, the best defensive coaches. So, we're always well prepared. It's just up to us to go out there and execute. The only thing we can do is put this game behind us and stay together and continue to push and win the next game."

LB Aldon Smith played sparingly. Can you talk about the games LB Dan Skuta and LB Ahmad Brooks had?

"Yeah, Aldon came back and got his feet wet. I'm sure he'll gradually get back even more, but those guys that are in there, Dan and [LB] Corey [Lemonier], they've been playing good football for us. It's good to see. Anytime you can build depth it's always a good thing. We're just about playing team defense. So, whoever's out there, we're counting on them to help us be a better defense."

How much do you take a look at the NFC and kind of calculate where you are in the standings? I mean, it's getting to the second-half of the season.

"It's tough. I once saw, I think it was the Patriots, who went like 11-and-something and they didn't make the playoffs. It's kind of like, wow, they win that many games and they didn't make the playoffs. It's not good. But, at the end of the day, the only thing we can do is just control us and go out there and play football and win as many games as we can and at the end of the season we'll see where it lays, but it's a loss. It's no fun, but it's part of the game, there's adversity. We have the team to fight it and get through it."

You've seen your team's offense all through training camp. You've gone up against, WR Anquan Boldin in there said that what the offense did was unacceptable. Are you surprised that your offense was held to only nine points today?

"I learned a long time ago, it's one of those things, you just control your field. You worry about your side of the ball and that's all we can do. I know the offense today was not happy with their performance, but there's going to be times like that. There are times where they were able to, we didn't play so good at times, and they were able to pick us up and get us out of those situations. Today, I just wish we were able to do a little bit more on defense maybe score on defense, or something. I don't like pointing fingers. Like I said, we're a team. We win as a team, we lose as a team and we'll continue to fight as a team."

Personally, you've dealt with some injuries this year. Do you feel like you're all the way back now?

"I wish I could stand here and say yeah I'm perfect. I'm still battling, still feeling, but like I said before, when I'm out there on the field I don't want any excuses. I just want to be productive and give my team the best that I have. So, that's what I want to say when I'm out there on the field."