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Tyrann Mathieu discusses why Blaine Gabbert is better 49ers option than Colin Kaepernick

The Arizona Cardinals safety chatted with 49ers media on a Wednesday conference call. He had some interesting comments about why Blaine Gabbert is a better option for the 49ers offense. We have a full transcript. You can also listen to audio here.

On differences in 49ers offense with Gabbert running it:

Yea, it does. Not to take anything away from Kaepernick, but it seems like Gabbert, he has a little bit better grip on what's going on. If he gets in a situation, he knows where the ball needs to go. He's a hell of a passer. I think he's underrated when you talk about how well he can throw the football. And obviously, he ad 40-some yards with the Seahawks, running the ball. I think he gives them a better option going forward. It seems like the wide receivers are more involved. So it looks like they're doing all right.

On being able to bait him into throws like with Kaepernick:

No, I don't think so. Seems like he takes care of the football, like I said, way better. If he gets into a situation where he feels pressure, he's not just going to give the defense an opportunity to make a play. They run a lot of boots, a lot of different things to get him on the edge, like I said, seems like he can run the football pretty well from times I've seen him run it. And he has a pretty nice arm as well.

On big win over 49ers propelling them:

Yea, well, coming into the game we felt we were playing a pretty good team. A team that historically we haven't done well against. Then, on top of that, it's a big-time division game. I think it was important for us to get off to a fast start. Probably better than we expected, defensively, with those tow interceptions for touchdowns. I think that kind of put the game away a little early. So I'm sure it's going to be different this time around with Gabbert, and the way he's handling the football. You know, putting points on the board, getting the wide receivers involved, so year.

On studying for 49ers, and looking at past film:

Well, you want to look at the two games he started for the 49ers, but I think you want to look back earlier in the year as well, some of the things that Kaepernick may have not done well. Those are things that Gabbert does well. You just want to look at the whole picture, and see if they're going to sprinkle a little bit of what they try and do with Kaepernick, and put it on Gabbert's shoulders. Like I said, the only thing you probably change for them is the read zone. They don't run that as much. But like I said, Gabbert can use his feet. Ain't no telling what those guys will do against us, but you want to look at the whole picture. You want to look at the entire season, and like I said, things Kaepernick didn't do well, the things that Gabbert does well, and you just want to see if you can combine those two and get something out of it.

On if Cardinals had Kaepernick's number:

Well, we just knew Kaepernick's tendencies. We knew what he liked to do. We knew which way he wanted to roll out. We knew what side of the field he liked to read to. And you don't pick up those same things from Gabbert. Like I said, he's better in the pocket. He has a better feel for coverages. It seems like he can get to the line, see a coverage, and then go to a different play. Or see a coverage and not throw the ball. You can see Gabbert's maturity, and obviously, the different things that he does well that, let's say, Kaepernick doesn't do well.

On if he knows where Super Bowl is being played:

[Laugh]. San Fran, right?

On if that comes up with team:

No, I mean we don't talk about that too much. I think the biggest thing is, our coach pointed out to us, we haven't won in San Francisco in seven years, I believe. I think the last time we won there was 2008. So, it's a tough place to play. The history of this team, and just lately, it seems like the team is fighting a little bit more. Special teams, defensively, offensively, they're not giving up. It's going to be a tough place to play, especially with our division history. We know those guys are going to come out to play. They know us just as well as we know them. We know it's going to be a tough football game.

On how fun it is with team succeeding and having big crowds:

It's been fun. We got off to a pretty good start this year. And just one game at a time. You just want to take it one game at a time. We got two big divisional games this week. Games we're not going to overlook, and we finish up with some great teams. Got the Vikings and Green Bay and Philly and Seattle. So it's a tough stretch for us, very important stretch for us. If we can just keep our same philosophy and our same thought process, and just take it one game at a time, and make the plays we've been making all year, I think we'll be alright.

On importance of making a statement in those two games in particular:

Yea, absolutely. We like to look at ourselves as the SEC of the NFL. And even with the Rams, it's a tough division. We're all super talented offensively, defensively and even special teams-wise, we all have dangerous return men. It's a complete team, if you talk about the division we play in. If we want to talk about Super Bowl and talk about playoffs, we knew that we were gonna have to play the 49ers and play the Seahawks twice a year. We were going to have to get through those games before we could even talk about being a champion, or making it to the playoffs. So, we knew how important it was for us to get off to a fast start, especially within our division. Like you said, this has been a bad boy division with the Seahawks and the 49ers so, we just try to come in and play our style of football, fit in with those guys, and hopefully have some success, have the type of success that those two teams have had over the past couple years.