It’s been a rough go for the San Francisco 49ers this season not only with the record being what is, but with the extra scrutiny brought to the franchise as a result of the actions/movement started by Colin Kaepernick. One of those conditions alone can be a cause of a fissure within a team. Case and point, running back Todd Gurley’s statements after the Rams lost their ninth game of the season, prior to the firing of Jeff Fisher.
“Coaches aren’t out there playing, coaches don’t have nothing to do with it. This is us. We are on the field.” Then when he was asked if his teammates were giving sufficient effort he replied, “I don’t. I really don’t. Just going through the motions, I feel like everyone is just playing to get through.”
Credit to the players and coaches of the 49ers for keeping it together and not pointing fingers at all through this disaster of a season. Linebacker Eli Harold spoke after the game about how the team is sticking together through this challenging time.
[A]t the end of the day we just have to stay together. We always breakdown on ‘family’. We have to have each other’s backs. All in all, it’s all of our fault. We can’t blame it on one guy.
Safety Antoine Bethea expressed similar feelings:
We went 2-14 in Indy. It’s one of those years. As a team you stay together, you stick togther, continue to build one another up, don’t worry about what the media or anyone outside the locker room has to say and just keep working.
Here’s Harold’s full transcript:
Head coach Chip Kelly said that the offense’s inability to put a drive together really hurt the defense. And it looked like you guys were missing some tackles, and obviously they came back. Did you feel that? Were you guys more tired in the second half because of the way the game was going?
At the end of the day we have to execute no matter what situation we’re in, up by 30, down by 30. No matter what the offense does we have to do our job. The adversity, it’s going to happen every game. So, at the end of the day we have to do our job.
Were you frustrated, as a unit, with some of the tackling today?
We have to make the plays when they needed to be made. It takes all 11, even the guys that are subbing in and out. It’s a team effort. At the end of the day, like I said, we have to execute.
The pass rush was very strong today, especially in the first half. Did the New York Jets do some things strategically to take you out of some of that in the second half?
They threw it a little quicker in the second half. I feel like being at the point of the game where we were in the first half, they were on their heels a lot. So, we took advantage of that. In the second half, like I said, we didn’t execute.
Obviously, all of these losses are hard, but where does this one stack up in a game that was there for the taking?
It hurts. But, at the end of the day we just have to stay together. We always breakdown on ‘family’. We have to have each other’s backs. All in all, it’s all of our fault. We can’t blame it on one guy. But, this loss hurts. We felt like this is one we could have gotten. It wasn’t going to be easy. No game is going to be easy. But, we really thought we could win this one.
You say that you have to stick together, is everyone sticking together?
Oh yeah. That’s our whole mantra, family. Every day we breakdown on family and that’s what we’re all about.