The San Francisco 49ers suffered a tough defeat at CenturyLink Field for the 4th season in a row. After a very slow start, however, the offense put together a few drives that showed promise. They ended the day with 306 total yards, 247 of which were in the air. Red zone issues still remain a challenge, as the 49ers settled for two Phil Dawson field goals from the 27 and 25 yard lines in the third quarter.
Below are the transcripts. You can watch the videos here.
QB Blaine Gabbert
What was clicking for the offense today?
Guys were just making plays. The offensive line was doing a great job of giving me time to get rid of the ball, and out guys were having some big plays after the catch. They made some tough catches all day. But at the end of the day we just didn’t do enough to win.
Can you talk about Colin Kaepernick going on IR?
It’s a tough deal. I’ve gone on IR before and it’s tough as a football player knowing that you’re not going to play every week. So what ever he’s got to get done, he’s going to get done, and he’ll be around.
Has you mindset changed now that you’ve been named the starter?
The mindset doesn’t change. Like I said early on, it’s one week at a time, one day at a time, one practice at a time because that’s the only you can succeed in this league; focus on the details and just go out there and play good football.
Are you experiencing a new dynamic knowing you have more security in this role?
No. The mindset has been the same since I started last week. Just take it and run with it. You’re the starter for that week, and that’s how you have to approach things. Even when you’re a backup QB, you approach the preparation throughout the week as a starter because you are only one play away.
What do you think you can build on?
I think we had a great offensive plan. Guys came out ready to play, but we fluttered there in the red zone. You’ve got to get touchdowns when you’re in the plus-10 area, especially versus a good football team like that. You can’t come away with field goals, albeit all points are good, touchdowns change the game.
Are you more prepared for this role than when you were a rookie?
I think yeah, just the experience I’ve gathered over the last four or five years, it definitely helps.
Did you want to go for first downs on the two 4th downs late in the game?
I forget the down and distance but I think it was 4th and 13. It’s tough. Coach had to make a call and we’ve just got to roll with it. 4th and 13s are tough in the NFL, especially against a defensive front like that.
You’re 3-7. How do you not let this become a lost season?
You just keep fighting. We’re competitive people. Win, lose or draw, we’re going to come in Tuesday with the same mindset we’ve had since week 1, and that’s to go out there and win the next football game. We have a great team coming in next week and we have to prepare our tails off.
You didn’t throw to the end zone at all while in the RZ
It was just coverage that they were playing. You can’t force throws in the red zone because you do have to come away with points. You want a touchdown but if you have to settle for a field goal, you still get points on the board. I think they were playing a soft Tampa-2 there, and I think on the third down you’re referencing, just kicked it out to Shaun and see if he could make a play.
Does not being promised the starting role alter his mindset?
No. Just like I said a little bit ago, my mindset stays the same. It’s one week at a time, one day at a time, one practice at a time, because that way you can focus on the details. You can’t look ahead. You can’t get ahead of yourself. It’s really just step by step in the NFL.
Are you able to take more of a leadership role in the offense now?
I think when you’re the starting quarterback, the leadership part is there regardless if you’re the starter for one week, two weeks, three weeks. You’ve got to be that vocal guy in the locker room, in the huddle, on the offensive side of the ball because the guys have got to rally around you, and our guys fought their tails off today. Hats off to the O-line, running backs, wide receivers. They did a tremendous job, but we just didn’t do enough to win the game.
OT Joe Staley
Can you articulate what’s wrong with this team?
I don’t really know. I can’t give a that a good sound bite there. I know it’s frustrating. Even in the games we’ve won, we haven’t played a complete game. It’s either one side or the other carrying the team in those wins. and when we lose, it’s either one side or the other or both sides at the same time. There were games when all three weren’t executing like we wanted to, so we’ve got to put a full game together.
This seemed like an opportunity to change the course of the season.
This was a huge game for us. We’re only one back for second place in the division going into this game. A big opportunity. We knew going in, this is a hard place to win and teams have done it this season. We felt good with our game plan. We just didn’t do enough to win the game. It’s very frustrating and embarrassing.
Were you surprised to be punting late in the game down 16?
I’m not making those decisions. Those are coaching decisions. We were in a situation there when we were down two scores. Hopefully you get a quick 3-and-out with the ball back in better field position. If we don’t get that 3rd down, it was still a long way back for them, if I remember that correctly, and if we don’t get that, it’s basically game over. SO down two scores, hope for a quick 3-and-out, better field position and try to execute like we did at the end of the half.
Why did you use the word embarrassing?
This is not what we play for. We play for a record that’s, what are we, 3-7 I think? This is not what we play for. That’s it.
What have you seen from Blaine Gabbert?
Blaine’s our guy. I thought he did a great job today of moving the offense. This is a hard place to pass the ball, and I thought he did a great job of moving the chains and making plays when he had to.
TE Vance McDonald
Did it feel good to have some success as a pass receiver today?
It's not fun to playing down 20-0. That changes the way you call plays. But, we took care of the football, I guess we had success everywhere, receivers, Blaine, tight ends and yeah, we threw the ball well.
How did it feel to have your first touchdown?
It's never fun when you don't win along with it. I've never been a stats guy, or care about how may yards or catches I get but it was very fun breaking that seal...in the end zone...it was really fun.
On the touchdown reception:
That’s something that Seattle has given up a lot especially against the Bengals and Eifert. That’s just something that we have just gotten really comfortable with over the week and even last week too. It’s a great route for the TE, so unexpected but we executed it tonight.
Why didn’t you establish the TE game earlier in the game?
There’s lots of things that go into having a successful play. Seattle, we know, looking at the stats, has been unsuccessful guarding the tight end. A lot of teams have gone in and their TEs have left the game with multiple touchdowns, multiple yards. We took advantage of it tonight I thought, but I don’t know why not earlier. You could ask a lot of questions.