What was working, especially on that first drive that got you down field so quickly and why did it stop?
“We executed really well on that first drive. We got in a rhythm. Everything clicked for us. We got that first first down and got rolling. We made some good plays.”
“We just got out of sync. Once again, it was a situation where early in the game we got into a rhythm and we lost that and we didn’t execute it as well as we did at the beginning later in the game and that’s something we have to be able to do a better job of is playing that full 60 minutes and stringing all those plays together.”
You’ve been in the league for a few years now, what causes that when a team can be good in stretches and then just go downhill in other stretches?
“It’s a tough thing to really put your finger on and say it’s one thing. It comes down to execution, not shooting ourselves in the foot and making plays. On our two touchdown drives, we had players making plays on the field and we have to be able to continually do that throughout the game because defenses are talented. Things are going to be close and we have to be able to make those plays and that’s ultimately what’s going to be the difference in these games.”
Head coach Chip Kelly mentioned that they played a lot more man than they’d been playing. How did that change things for you, the way you had to approach that defense?
“It’s a lot of one-on-one matchups then. You have to win on routes. You have to be a lot tighter with your throws. You’re not throwing into windows. You’re throwing against one man. So, ball placement is key and also it opened up some running lanes.”
How do you think you played? How do you think you threw the ball?
“I have to be better. Throwing, I think we threw for about 100 yards. That’s not going to win in the NFL. We have to be able to do better on that and ultimately, we have to string this together as a team and play well as a team for 60 minutes to get wins.”
Do you want the opportunity to throw the ball down the field more?
“I think that’s something that the game dictates. What the defense is doing, how we’re playing offensively, how we want to attack them. So, it’s not a matter of what you want to do. It’s what’s going to work against that defense.”
The word mindset comes up a lot for this team, like after a big play if the defense gives it up, they don’t have a mindset to come back and recover. Do you see that? Is that missing throughout the team, you think? Just kind of having that dog mentality for lack of a better word.
“We have to be able to overcome adversity. A lot of times in games, things aren’t going to go your way. There’s going to be bad plays, things of that nature but you have to be mentally strong enough to say, ‘You know what? That’s a bad play but we’re going to come back from it. We’re going to come back and make a play and that’s going to be the difference in the game. And that will trump the bad play that happened earlier.’ As a play, we have to do that. When we make good plays, we have to be able to continually make those and capitalize on those.”
Chip, talking just generally as you go into games, what does he want you to be thinking about?
“Me as a quarterback or me as the team?”
You as the quarterback.
“As a quarterback, to make good decisions. Stay true to our progressions. Make sure we’re on the same page. We know the looks we’re going to get. We practice those all week. So, staying focused on what our reads are and executing.”
This past week, there were some stories about the ratings in the NFL having gone down 11% and there were a couple surveys where people tried to assess what’s going on here and couple of the survey’s showed that people are reacting to your protests and not watching the games. How would you respond to that?
“No, I don’t know much about ratings and how they’re affected and all of those things. But, I don’t understand why ratings would go down fighting for justice for people, to try to stop oppression, especially in a league that’s predominantly black. Want to say about 70%.”
49ers co-chairman Denise DeBartolo-York came up to you right before the anthem. Gave you a little hug, little kiss on the cheek. What does that mean to you? Just generally, what did she say to you?
“Denise as always been great. She’s a great woman. I’ve always had a good relationship with her and to have her support, her backing, really means a lot.”
Also, you led the pregame huddle there. Is that the first time you’ve ever done that and what did you try and communicate there?
“That’s the first time I’ve done it this year and what I want our team to know and what we have to be able to do is stand behind each other and be able to fight for each other and fight through the adverse situations that are going to come up in a game and be able to play that 60 minutes because right now, we haven’t been playing 60 minutes. We’ve had good spurts. We’ve had flashes. But, we haven’t been able to do that on a continual basis.”
How has Chip Kelly responded to the team? How has his message to the team been during this losing streak?
“That we have to fix this as a team. We have to correct this as a team and we have to turn this around as a team because that’s ultimately what it’s going to take. It’s going to take all of us. It’s going to take all of us doing the right things on every play to go out and get wins.”
A lot of people have talked about him being the same guy but when you’re losing like this, maybe do you guys need more fire? Do you need more passion coming from someone in his position?
“I don’t know if it’s fire or passion. What we need to do is we need to be able to go out and make plays on a consistent basis. Ultimately, it comes down to the players on the field being able to go and out and execute every play and that’s something we haven’t been doing on a consistent basis.”
Asked when you broke down the huddle, I remember you saying that you didn’t necessarily feel comfortable doing that. Do you feel more comfortable doing that now?
“I’ve always felt comfortable doing that. For me, that’s an opportunity to let your teammates know where mindset is at and give them that confidence that we’re going to go out and get this win together.”
1-6, is that hard to believe, that you’re 1-6 right now?
“It’s not a position we want to be in. We work hard every week, we go through our preparation, we’re on top of everything but we have to go out and execute better. Where our record is right now, we have a bye week coming up. We can get some corrections, get some people healthy, come back and try to make a home stretch run.”