San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer spoke to the media after the teams loss in Indianapolis. Here is the transcript:
Before the fourth quarter when you guys were able to break through and get those touchdowns, what was the frustration level with the offense?
"Yeah, obviously there’s frustration when you’re not scoring touchdowns and you’re not really moving the ball. Especially being backed up, then you know if you don’t get a few first downs you’re putting your defense in a bad situation. But luckily we were able to do enough in the fourth quarter to at least push it to overtime and hit some big plays, some more throws down the field. It was crazy because the first drive we came out right away and went right down the field. Obviously, we’d like to finish with a touchdown. Then, after that, I think we really only had one drive in the first quarter. I looked up and we get the ball back and it’s the second quarter. So it went by really quick and like I said, you’re backed up and so you want to be able to get out of there and at least win the field position battle and we just didn’t. I’m sure we’ll look at the film and see plays that we could execute better.”
You guys hadn’t scored a touchdown on a Sunday all year until the fourth quarter. Did it feel cathartic at all to finally get into the end zone?
"No, I think it was just where the game was. We knew we had to score. Whatever it took, we had to get it done and there’s a few breaks. I think Pierre (Garcon) catches a ball that’s tipped. I was throwing to him anyways, I think he beat his guy, and the guy gets a tipped ball and he watched it flutter in the air which seems like 10 seconds. For him to come down with it, I think that got guys jacked up. You look at it like finally one bounced our way and go down and score and be able to do it again. Fortunately, we go to overtime again and just come up one play too short.”
Every week it’s the same sort of thing because it’s kind of the same game but you’re trying to get better each and every week. Do you feel like the progress is still there or has there been kind of a plateau? Where do you think you guys are at?
"Well, I think the one thing that is frustrating but also encouraging is each game it goes down to the last play. I think the one thing that we as a team have to do is stay together and say, ‘Look, we’re going to keep fighting each week. We know how close we are. One of these days, it’s going to go the right way for us’. When that happens, you just continue to build on that. I don’t see anyone in that locker room who is having conversations in the corner, blaming it on other people. I think that’s the one thing that I’ve been most proud of about being a part of this team, is each and every week we go out and battle until literally the last play. Sometimes it’s more frustrating. I hate to say it, but when you get blown out, you get blown out and you can say, ‘Well, they were a better team’. I don’t think we can say that about any of the teams we’ve played and that’s, I mean, like I said, that’s encouraging but it’s also really frustrating to come in that locker room each week where the game goes down to the last play and then you just sit there and think of the missed opportunities on all three sides of the ball. I know for us, especially offensively, we’ll go and watch the film and you’ll say, ‘Hey, if this one play would have went better, then maybe that would’ve been the difference in the game’. That’s the way it is every week, even when you win. You look at it and say, ‘Well, we missed this opportunity but we overcame it like this’. So for us it’s just, you gotta keep fighting. I know that we have the right guys in that room and I know that I will until they take it away from me. Until I am no longer the quarterback, I will play every play to the best of my ability until the clock runs out and I think we have a lot of guys in that locker room, and when we have that, one of these days it’s going to go our way.”
Is there one play on the overtime series that you wish you could do over again?
"To be honest, I got to think about those plays. I mean, obviously when you get the pass interference at the 50, you’re thinking, oh man we got a chance and then we have a penalty that brings us back. That was kind of a story of the day too, was some penalties that brought us back. But, you know, it is what it is. We get in a situation and then we call a pass and they brought a blitz and I’m hot so I’ve got to throw it to Al (Aldrick Robinson) for a short gain, and that’s just the way it goes. They had the right call and you try to get it out and maybe see if they can catch and run with it but you’re still left in a third-and-15 and you’re just trying to figure out can you get a first down but also in the same sense you don’t want to turn it over, either. You don’t want to just throw it up because you don’t want to give them a chance to get it on the 50. So, for me, we just have to keep going back to work. It’s going to be a long flight home. We’ll watch it tonight, watch it tomorrow, and then get back to work on Wednesday and get ready to basically fly back across the country again and go play Washington.”
Has Kyle Shanahan’s message changed week to week in that locker room?
"No, I think he just talks about, you know, obviously, missed opportunities that we’ll look at on all phases of the ball, and then just, you know, keep fighting. Don’t splitter apart. And I don’t think we have the guys in that locker room that are going to do that. I think we all look around and realize how close we are and just realize that we have to put it together, and one day, when we put it together, it’s going to be really good. Just keep fighting and keep coming back to work and work harder each week.”
I know that the roster is a week-to-week, year-to-year thing and you never really have the same team over a period of time, but Kyle has a six-year contract. How much of that six-year contract and the fact that he’s trying to create a culture here are you noticing week in and week out, considering that a lot of coaches can get really frustrated with a lot of tight losses like this?
"Trust me, it’s super frustrating. It’s more frustrating to lose a close game because you knew you had a chance than it is to lose by two touchdowns, I promise you. It eats at all of us. But I think, like I said, we have a group of guys that—it’s never a lack of effort. I promise you that. It might be a lack of execution at times and some missed opportunities but it’s never a lack of effort, and I think that when you have guys that always give their all, eventually you learn how to overcome things and you learn how to win football games. I think that’s the one thing with Kyle that I’ve always admired is, he’s going to come out and he’s going to be ready to go each and every week, no matter what happens the week before, no matter how frustrated you are. You have to come back and go to work. What’s the other option? Just say ‘Hey, you know, we’ll cash it in?’ No, I don’t think we have any guys like that. I wasn’t here last year, so I can’t speak for what happened here last year. But I think, in the terms of what we have going on, we see how close we are, and trust me it hurts, when you’re that close and you’re 0-5, when you look at it and say, ‘Man, we could be 4-1, 3-2, whatever it might be,’ but you’re not, and it’s a results business. So at some point we have to go out and play a complete game and execute, and if we do have a missed opportunity, we have to find some way to overcome that. I think that’s been his message. I think the one thing I said about being proud about being a part of this group of guys is we’re always going to fight until the end and give our best. Eventually it’s going to come around and it’s going to be good.”
So many young players on this roster. Do you think part of it is the young guys just trying to find their way?
"I don’t know about that. I think those guys are coming along. Like, I talked to you, I don’t know, I can remember a press conference—those guys earned their spots on this team. Us as veterans, we got to help bring those guys along and I see them progressing each and every week. Kittle, (Matt) Breida, Trent (Taylor)—all those guys, they’re always progressing and when you see young guys doing that, it’s more encouraging. It’s not a lack of effort. The game is not too big for them. As long as they keep getting better, it’s going to really help us get better as well.”