Following the overtime win over the Bears, Jim Tomsula talked about the team's emotions and finally getting that much needed road win.
Injury report: Vance McDonald - concussion, Michael Wilhoite - that same ankle, it got dinged there. You all saw that. Lynch - concussion. I just saw both of those guys and they looked fairly well. Bowman left the game, he had to get checked to make sure he did not have a concussion. He was obviously cleared, they brought him in and checked him by all the doctors, protocol and did a great job there, and it was determined he was ok. Other than that, had some bumps and bruises, you saw us moving some people around through portions of the game but everybody else went back in.
Can you talk about the final play and how it was executed?
It was executed well, the way we would like it to be executed. It was a heck of a throw and a heck of a route and catch. Those guys were playing off the shell for most of the day. I thought it was good timing of the call and the way it was called, the way it was done, it was a great time and place to be for that.
Your emotions after thinking you lost the game, can you talk about that?
There's what did happen. We were going to go block a field goal, that was it. That was the emotion on the sidelines. That was the thing that was really neat to see in the guys. That was the chatter and the mindset on the sidelines - we have to go block a field goal.
There's been issues with the team starting games slow on the road. What did you do different this week?
Quite honestly, we started the week talking about it. Whatever we do individually, and we talked about it. Not over talked about it but brought it up. The way to fix something is identify it and then we talked about it yesterday. We were going to wake up and we were going to make a conscious decision and I felt like the guys did that.
Can you comment on Torrey Smith not getting a deep pass until overtime?
The way they were playing with the coverage and the way they were playing their looks, they did a nice job. They have to pop the speed and things like that. You can bang your head against the wall all day or you can keep working and keep trying to find other guys to step up and make plays.
Did they do something different on the last play?
I thought maybe they closed the middle but I'm not definite on that. I thought that's what it was but they were disguising.
How has Blaine looked now that he's gotten more games under his belt?
I think that we have continued since Blaine has been in here every week and he keeps stepping up and the group is stepping up with him. That's really encouraging. Again, we have a long way to go and we have a lot of improving to do. Today, with Blaine, obviously he had a big play with his feet and got us in there to get the thing tied up. And obviously a big throw at the end to win the game. For a quarterback those are big moments. To me, you just keep adding those on top of each other and it just keeps progressing.
Can you explain getting your team to make a conscious decision?
Just wake up in the morning, last night we were talking about it. You don't need to play the game on Saturday night. You need to think about the game but emotionally, you can't sleep. The big deal is get your good night sleep and when that alarm goes off, let's go. Each person make a conscious decision: Hey look, I'm going to have some energy today. I'm going to have some fire. Just waking up thinking that way. That was the talk at breakfast, and excitement. Just a conscious decision.
You took Blaine aside before the final regulation drive. What did you say?
Enjoy this. Enjoy it. Blaine Gabbert has been playing quarterback his entire life. You get opportunities like that, you have to enjoy them. That's why they play the game. All these players in the NFL are amazing athletes, amazing inpiduals and you get into a moment like that - enjoy it, savor it.
Were you enjoying it?
I enjoy it for them. The whole thing is for them. This whole game is about the players and to see them in there with a smile and enjoying each other is why I do what I do.
Has Blaine made those type of scrambles in practice?
Yes, Blaine can run, he'll take it if he gets a crease there. If there's good coverage and a there's a crease, he'll get a burst. He's a good athlete.
How have you coached him in regards to scrambling?
If he's got it, use it. If it's there. To me, you can coach somebody into the ground with something like that. If the window is there, take it.
Did the final play have any adjustments from the earlier play that didn't go to Torrey Smith?
There were some adjustments going on and I'm not going to get into all of that. And again, I don't want to tell you exactly what the coverage was because as I was looking at it, I know that they were disguising. That's all I have to say there.
Does this win bring much needed relief?
Wins are always needed. You play the game to win. In terms of me, relief, I don't work in that world. I tell them all the time: Don't worry, work. Worrying doesn't do anything for you. Worrying accomplishes nothing. Working accomplishes what we make, so don't worry, work. And they come to work every day. A night like tonight is why I really do it for them.
Do you think Kenneth Acker got into Robbie Gould's vision on the missed field goal?
I don't know that. I wouldn't want to speculate on that. I will tell you that I have a ton of respect for Gould. I think he's does a great job and I have a great amount of respect for the guy.