How do you feel?
“I feel good. I feel very good. I didn’t know it’d take this long, but it was special with the guys. I was real happy for them. Those guys have been working so hard and we just keep coming in every Monday so disappointed. By the time I see them every Wednesday, it’s like the first game of the year. To have them still out there going like that with how many we’ve lost in a row, that’s what gave us a chance to win today and just real happy for them.”
After the game it seemed like you were in love with everyone and everyone was in love with you. Is there a certain feeling of redemption? How did it feel?
“No. When you lose nine in a row you learn to savor the moments and enjoy these. It was tough work for us to get our first win and we got it. I think the guys knew how much it meant to me and I knew how much it meant to them. I think we’re a pretty close team and I think we’ve gotten closer through adversity. I hope this can make us better through adversity also.”
Does it feel like you got the monkey off your back now after getting that first win?
“I got that monkey off my back. Now I have to get my second one or that will eventually be a monkey too. That was just one win, but it definitely felt good and we worked hard for it. That’s not what our goal was. We’ve got a lot of goals ahead of us. We feel we’re going in that direction, but it was nice to get a win for everyone here.”
What can that win do for your players especially the younger guys on this team?
“It’s hard to win in the NFL and I don’t think young guys always realize that. I think the more you coach the more you realize that. You have to play very good, whether you’re playing a real good team or a team that’s not so good. It’s hard to win in this league and a lot of things have got to go right. You’ve got to work very hard. You’ve got to play for four quarters and I think we’ve seen that throughout the year. You can’t take anything for granted. You lose this much in a row and you go back to those five ones that we lost in a row by three points or less and I think when you have those types of games its always, ‘Oh, if we would have just done this or just done this. It’s alright more will come. More will come.’ And, we kind of missed that window. Got kind of a little banged up these last few weeks and been missing some players and trying to get back to where we were when we were competing in the games, score-wise. I think everyone now realizes, you can’t waste one play. You can’t waste one day. It’s four hours on Sunday, but it starts on Wednesdayand every rep that you take goes into that win or loss. I think young guys are really learning how important practice is, how important meetings are, because every single play can dictate the outcome of a game.”
Can you talk a little bit about the long pass? QB C.J. Beathard to WR Marquise Goodwin, it seemed like after that play it was going to be your day.
“It was nice. We’ve hit that play a couple times. We hit it last week also and the safety cut the high cross. C.J. made the right read to go the top level, because the safety cut. It’s a three-level throw and the safety cut the middle guy. The O-Line gave him the time to see it and he let it rip. This exact one he let rip last week verse Arizona, but this time we got a safety cutting so it was only one guy left and he hit him in stride. We’ve gotten some explosives this year, but we haven’t gotten many explosive touchdowns and it was just nice today, and not only that play, but the one to [TE Garrett] Celek, the run by [RB Matt] Breida. It just felt real nice in some of those explosives, the guys end up making a hell of a play and finishing and getting us points. Touchdowns.”
After how many hits Beathard took last week, definitely a cleaner game. What was the difference that you saw that kept him from getting hit?
“Well, being able to run the ball as much as we did. I thought the biggest thing for us that we’ve struggled on all year was how good we did on third down. I don’t know what our final percentage was, but it seemed like 70 or 80, something around there. To be able to make those third downs, to stay on the field, to allow you to run your offense, mix in the run game a lot, have some play actions, some keepers off of it, not having to drop back very much, except on third down or anything over third and three. I think it was balance and it takes the pressure off everybody. Mainly the quarterback, but also the O-Line, the receivers, the backs. You make them defend the whole field and you put guys in more of an advantageous advantage.”
How does the way C.J. played today give you pause to delay putting QB Jimmy Garoppolo in that role after the bye or is that still the plan to put him in?
“No, it never was the plan. As I told you guys, I’m taking it week-by-week. So, I don’t have to put really pause on anything. Looking forward very much to seeing our guys tomorrow, so we can enjoy this, review it together, coach up all the stuff we can get better at. We’re going to take a team photo, do somethings and then we are going to get away from each other for a while. I’m going to continue to work with Jimmy over the bye week, here and there. We’ve got some rotations of some coaches doing that to catch him up. We’ll get a bonus practice next Monday, or a week from tomorrow where we get everyone back in and that will be to get everyone loose and get them back from their time off and we’ll see where it goes from there. Monday is an extra day and then we’ll start the evaluation Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, but it’s not just about C.J., it’s not just about Jimmy. There’s a lot of things that go into it.”
Just to be clear, Adam Schefter reported this morning that your plan is to start Garoppolo after the bye week. That’s not true?
“That’s not my plan. I don’t have a plan yet. There’s no way anything you guys hear reported could be accurate because I just told you guys our plan, which is we’re going to evaluate when it gets to that time, so depends where Jimmy is at at that time. I know C.J. got banged up today also with his thumb again, so we’ll see where he’s at, but we’ll deal with that Monday when we come in here next week.”
Were you waiting to take the team photo after a win?
“I was waiting until I’m forced to take it and we usually do that on a bye week just so we can knock it out and get it out the way.”
How much of an impact did getting T Joe Staley back on the line make today?
“I think it made a lot (of impact). Joe’s definitely one of the better tackles in this league, one of our best players. So, anytime you go into a game without him you’re definitely missing some stuff. It was great to get him out there. He definitely caught me off guard this week when he sent me a text on Tuesday telling me he was playing. I told him not to mess with my emotions when he did that, because I’ve been told that before and then it doesn’t happen. So, I tried to slow play it all week to not get too excited about it. But, the way he looked in practice, he looked good each day. For him to come out there today I think pumped a lot of guys up because that’s not something he had to do by any means. It was something he wanted to do and we really appreciated it.”
Was there ever a point that you were concerned that losing was going to sink into the culture that you’re trying to build and kind of become the accepted standard?
“Yeah, always. I think that’s what happens to most people. You lose nine games in a row, especially some of the tough ways we did it and then feeling like you’re getting more banged up as it went along. It’s tough. It’s tough work. It’s a lot easier when you just check out and point fingers at people and blame it on someone else. That’s not what our guys did. I do think we have some special people in our building. I think it’s tested the character that we have and I do believe that we will be stronger for it. It’s stuff I talk about every Monday and it usually leads throughout the week that it’s very hard to find out about other people or about yourself until you see how you handle adversity and I’ve been very impressed with a lot of guys in that locker room and our coaching staff, how they’ve handled this.”
You haven’t had a lead very much this season, did it feel different coaching with a lead? Did you tell yourself this is a weird feeling to have the lead?
“It did. It felt more normal to tell you the truth. Just in terms of calling plays and things like that. I’ve never thought too much out of that, so I haven’t made too big of a deal about that. But, it’s gotten pretty out of whack this year over those previous nine games, to how little that we have had a lead and you don’t realize that until you go back and look at some of those scores. We’ve only had it for about six plays and then it happened today, we got a lead and they came back and answered pretty quick. So, it starts to seem like here we go again. Especially after we got a couple turnovers there, which I was so impressed with because we had some turnovers and on those turnovers, they didn’t go down and score after it. Our defense stepped up right at the right time and we came out in the second half and I felt the second half, both sides answered. That last half of the fourth quarter felt very good.”
C.J. said the last two weeks, he’s been tuning out the noise since you guys added Jimmy. How has his approach been in your mind?
“It’s been very impressive. Everyone says that because that’s what you should do, but it’s harder to do than it is to say that. But with C.J. has been very true. That hasn’t phased him at all. He’s been the same guy since the first day I met him until now. He just works. He grinds. He’s extremely tough. He’s very smart. The game is not too big for him and he enjoys playing football and we’ve got a good quarterback room here. Those guys have been working great together. It’s been real fun to come to work with them throughout the year. I’m really looking forward to getting back after next week and finish this year with all those guys.”