Earlier this week, the St. Louis Rams media got a chance to chat with San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive tackle Justin Smith. This was the source of "Chuck Norris calls Justin Smith, 'sir'", and the notion of the media rumors being "like warmed oatmeal". Neither had a ton to say, but they're worth a read.
October 9, 2014
(On how the team refocused after the 1-2 start)
"Well, we did some things that allowed us to do improve, our players are improving in areas. We're just excited about the next game and understanding the task in front of us and challenge it that way."
(On the current two-game win streak)
"Like I said, good things. Team plays extremely hard, very competitive. They've been doing a better job in areas of our football. We're not really answering too many questions about that, more questions about ourselves. We attacked today's practice and meetings and have a great day of preparation. That's where our focus really is."
(On DE Justin Smith's value to the 49ers)
"Everybody respects Justin. He is a ‘football player.' That's everything that you could possibly say good about a football player and a person, that is Justin Smith, a stalwart. A man everybody truly respects. Chuck Norris calls Justin Smith, ‘sir.'"
(On RB Frank Gore's ability to improve every season)
"Great competitor. He keeps himself in great shape and he's just always been good. He just keeps doing it and doing it and doing it. He has done it and done it and done it. He plays the game at the highest level and continues to do so."
(On what problems QB Austin Davis and the Rams offense present)
"He's an exciting player, ascending player. He's shown that through the first part of the season here, he's getting better and better. I'm sure he's coming into this ball game with a very high level of confidence. Was quite a thing battling back from 34-7 and making throws that were there. They could've won that football game. It was exciting to watch, I've got to be honest. I was watching it on the film which was probably not as exciting as you all watching it. There were some sparks flying, was very impressed."
(On if the rumors about his future are a distraction)
"No, that just seems like warmed up oatmeal to me."
(On what has allowed the run game to be a strong part of their offense)
"The players do a fantastic job. Our assistant coaches on offense do a fantastic job. Some thing we strived to be good at. Again, to answer your question, we're still asking the questions. How can we have a chance in this game coming up? Against this defensive front, against this front seven, is one of the best in football. We have great respect for the team we're playing this week. That's the questions we're asking ourselves, how are we able to do it this week? It's a big task.
(On if he's surprised with their defensive success without some key starters)
"We've got good football players, talented players. Guys that have been there before and great competitors. I can give you the same response I did about our offense. Our expectations are to have a great day today in preparation, meetings and practice."
October 9, 2014
(On the 49ers defense and how they have been able to overcome injuries)
"Last year was a little bit like this year. We had some guys banged up, hurt. Our philosophy's just next guy up and everybody that stepped in for those guys have done a heck of a job."
(On if his shoulder feels better)
"Yeah. That always helps."
(On what he sees from the Rams' offensive attack)
"I think they're a team a little similar like us. They want to be a running football team. First, second down, they want to get three four yards get that third down and short and manageable. Play good special teams and defense so, we got our job cut out for us on stopping their running attack."
(On if having injuries the last couple of years have been frustrating)
"You really can't get frustrated about it, it's part of it. But, it's just part of getting older I guess."
(On how long he plans to keep playing )
(On what he sees from Rams QB Austin Davis)
"I see a guy that's running the offense really well. Getting them with the right checks with the running game and then when he's called upon to take shots they like to match-up and take shots. He's been able to hit quite a few of them, put up quite a few yards in the last couple games. With him in there, they're looking pretty good."
(On what they have to do to combat the Rams offense)
"We've got to stop the run, so we can play with two high safeties or else you have a single high safety on him. He's going to take his shot and they're going to be available to him. We've got to stop the run."
(On if he likes being low profile)
(On if he's always been a low profile player)
(On if the team went back to a basic style of football after their first two losses)
"I think the last couple years it's kind of been the M.O. with us. We've come out gone one and two and then we kind of just settle back in to fundamental football. Basic old school football. Smash mouth running style, stopping the run, and playing really good special teams. (49ers kicker) Phil (Dawson) is kicking four or five field goals a game and they're not chip shots, they're from ways out. That's been our formula and it looks like it will continue to be our formula. "
(On if he's the guy that takes on the dirty work and will take down two guys)
"We're just trying to win that's all. We're just trying to win and get in the playoffs and see what happens. I mean, that's our goal every year."
(On if him being from Missouri makes the Rams game special)
"Not really. I haven't lived in Missouri in over 14 years. So, it's just another game on the schedule."
(On if anybody is coming to see him play)
"I think a few people. I haven't really verified yet, but I think a few people will be there."
(On if he still has the golf course near Jefferson City, Mo.)
(On if their strategy is to keep the Rams down and move forward)
"It's the next one of the schedule. We need another win. Arizona and Seattle's in our division and St. Louis is a team that can beat anybody. The way they run the football, the things they can do as a team. We're not taking this one lightly at all."