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“We can’t be the target. We can’t be the laughing stock.” - Eli Harold

The linebacker was impassioned in the locker room after the team’s 7th straight loss

Another tough loss for the San Francisco 49ers, another somber locker room, with the exception of Eli Harold. The linebacker was upset and spoke with passion while drawing the largest crowd around his locker room following the game.

Harold believes it’s execution that’s the problem for the defense, not the scheme. He believes that it’s truly inches here and there, defenders being out of place that allows running backs to have space to make big plays. It was his frustration that was the most striking part about his interview. It seems he just can’t wrap his head around how they can work so hard during the week and not have better performances on Sundays.

Harold spoke about not wanting to be the target or the laughing stock of the league and feels that other teams circle the 49ers on their schedule when it comes to being able to have success in the run game. The 49ers allowed Mark Ingram to be the 7th straight 100 yard rusher this season.

Here’s Harold’s entire interview:

You ok?

Yeah, yeah. I took a little hit to the head but I’m fine. Thanks for asking.

It’s the same thing, week after week. What’s the emotion with teams gouging you in the run game?

Man, I gotta say man, it’s real frustrating because we put such an emphasis on it and we work our tails off week in and week out at practice, man, and the game plan gets simpler, and simpler, and simpler, and the ball just doesn’t bounce our way, man. We just, I don’t know, it’s unexplainable. You know, it sucks dude, but you’ve got to swallow it and go on to the next week.

How are you personally handling losing seven straight?

Well, I’ll just say I separate work from home. I’ll stress here if I need to stress, I don't want it going into my relationship, you know what I’m saying, so I just separate work and home, but I feel like I’m handling it well, growing.

The game plan is simpler? Could you elaborate?

I wouldn’t say, well I’ll rephrase that. I feel like each and every week it’s just little things that, I’ll just say we trimmed the fat. Guys are doing whatever they’re good at. Putting guys in the right spots. I feel like week in and week out we’re doing that. We’re just not executing and making those plays that we need to make to stop the run.

Do you think other offensive coordinators know how to attack this defense?

I know all of them say we’re going to start running the ball until they stop us. They should, it’s their job. I just feel like every team circles us on their calendar and that’s something we gotta get better at, man. We can’t be the target. We can’t be the laughing stock, you know what I’m saying? Each and every person has to do whatever they need to do to stop the run. It starts up front and I’m one of those guys. Whatever I have to do, taking coaching, watching tape is critical, and it sucks, when you lose and you go back and watch the tape because it’s inches. You know if I was here, two inches to the left or to the right, maybe he wouldn’t have made a big play.

Do you feel like you’re being put in a position to succeed?

Oh man, yeah. We’re pros, this is our job. I feel like no matter what’s called, you should execute it. It all falls back to technique, reading your keys and doing all of the little things that made you successful up to this point. Like I’ve said since Day 1, I love [San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Jim O’Neil] J.O. I love his scheme and I still feel that way. I truly and honestly believe that it’s not the scheme.

What are the breakdowns up front? People being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Yeah, I feel like that’s the main issue. Like I said, being a tad bit too fast or a tad bit too slow. That’s been our issue.

How do you correct that issue?

Take your coaching and trust what you see. Like I said, It all goes back to technique.