Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
“Injuries that I’ve got right now: [DB Adrian] Colbert left with an ankle sprain. [LB Reuben] Foster, shoulder sprain. [S Jaquiski] Tart had a stinger, would have come back in but it was over by then. And, [RB Matt] Breida rolled his ankle.”
We’ve talked about the turnovers for several weeks now, is it just becoming something where you guys are pressing or why is this continuing to happen?
“Something I’ve got to find out. It’s inexcusable. It’s impossible to win in this league when you turn the ball over like we are and you when don’t get any. So, having four today - four to zero, I think it’s 24 points off turnovers and I think they got nine points off the blocked punt with the safety and (the punt return to the 49ers 13-yard line which they converted into a touchdown). In order for us to be able to play in a football game, we have to protect the ball and get the ball.”
QB C.J. Beathard has committed eight of those turnovers in the past three weeks. Are you still okay with him or have you considered starting somebody else at quarterback?
“It’s not just C.J., it’s everyone. The quarterback - when the ball leaves his hands - he’s going to get credit for that turnover, but by no means is it 100% on C.J. Of course, he’s got to do better. I’ve got to do better and we’ve got to do a lot better around him.”
Following up on that, what is stopping you from seeing what QB Nick Mullens has?
“Because C.J. is the best quarterback we have in our building.”
Why were you guys able to handle the pressure so much better, it seemed, on Monday Night as opposed to today?
“You mean pressure as in them (pass) rushing?”
“We were in a much better rhythm on Monday night. We had the run and the pass game going. We were moving the chains. Early in this, as soon as we started getting something going early, we had a false start, I think, on our first drive that sent us into second and 11. We had a tipped pass, ended up being a fumble the next play. We had a fumbled snap. We never got in a rhythm today. I feel like we did on the last drive of the second quarter, besides that, players, coaches, all of us, we struggled and never found our rhythm.”
How much do you attribute to DT Aaron Donald just being a really good football player?
“He’s always an issue when he’s on the field for everybody. Everyone knows how good of a player he is, but it was a lot more than just that.”
The wide receivers didn’t seem very involved at all today. From your vantage point on the sidelines, was that them not getting separation or C.J. just not seeing them when they did get open?
“No, it wasn’t that case. They didn’t play much man coverage today, especially the way it went in the first half. They were real soft in their coverages and zones, and tried to take away the big play and make us work our way the field and we obviously struggled to do that.”
Generally, you’ve been competitive this year. This wasn’t the case. Is a loss like this somewhat embarrassing?
“It’s always embarrassing when you lose like that. We’ve got pride and we’re also confident in what we do. We’re not proud of our record right now. We’re definitely not proud of today. When we played better, we still feel the same way. We’re not into any moral victories here. We’re as far away from one as we could have today. We have to fix the turnovers. Once we fix the turnovers, then we have a chance to start playing football.”
How do you fix the turnovers? What’s your approach going to be to fix this?
“If it was just one thing, you could say one thing. If it was just one guy, you’d say one guy. But, it’s an accumulation of a number of things. We had one ball stripped. I thought Donald made a pretty good play on that. I know we had the fumble on the first drive. We threw one over the middle that I thought we hesitated on. The DB ran through the ball and got it. There’s a bunch of different situations for the turnovers. We need to get better. The better you get, the less you turn it over. The more you can be balanced, the less you have to pass, but also we’re fumbling it too. So, we need to protect it. We talk about the ball and work on going after the ball as much as you possibly can. You don’t stop. You don’t ignore it. You keep preaching those same things. You keep drilling those same things and you expect it to get better the more you work at it. If it doesn’t, you’ve got to find people who do take care of it.”
It was a short week after a pretty emotionally crushing loss. Do you think any of that, at least emotionally, carried over into this game?
“I don’t know. Those are definitely the things people will say when something like that happens. I don’t think emotions had to do with our turnovers. When you turn the ball over like that, you can expect those results.”
If you sense they were flat at all, intensity or--?
“Just watching on the sidelines, I loved the energy our defense came out with. I thought they came out and started the game very well. I thought we were moving the ball pretty well on our first drive. I thought we had a little bit of a set back with that false start that we had, and then the next play we fumbled. I didn’t think we came out flat. I didn’t feel like we were flat, but it’s hard to defend much when you have the results like that.”
You said Breida rolled that ankle again. This is, what, the third week in a row he’s been nursing his ankle? At what point, do you tell him and have him sit out for a week to get that right? Because it seems like he’s been advocating for himself to play.
“That’s something we’ll have to look into hard. It’s based off how he looks in practice. Breida’s done a very good job recovering throughout the week. He’s had very good practices making all the cuts and everything on Fridays and Saturdays. Obviously, that first play today, it went. When that happens on the first play, we want to see the film and see what happened. He was begging to come back in the game the second half and felt like he was good enough too, but getting at what you’re talking about, that’s why we made that decision to keep him down. Hopefully he’ll heal up more this week. We’ll have to reassess it again.”
Along those lines, it seems like RB Raheem Mostert continues to bring a spark when he’s in the game. Is he earning himself more and more carries?
“Yes. He earned it in practice last week and had a good game versus Green Bay. He wasn’t perfect by any means today, but he had a few good plays and he’s running hard for us. The better he does, the more opportunities he’ll get.”
Did CB Richard Sherman suffer his injury on Thursday?
“Yes, it was Thursday.”
Do you have any idea on the prognosis?
“No, I don’t. I just know it was hurting him Thursday, so we had to take him out and he didn’t go on Friday. We tried to look into it Saturday and it was still bothering him, so we had to shut him down. We’ll see tomorrow how he feels.”
Quarterback C.J. Beathard
Is there anything that you can kind of put your finger on why things weren’t clicking out there today?
“The only thing I can really think of is turnovers. We can’t turn it over like that. Didn’t help our defense out. I think they got 24 points off turnovers. Any time you do that, you’re playing from an uphill battle at that point.”
We’ve been talking about turnovers for several weeks now. Is there anything that can be done or you can work on?
“Yeah. You can always work on protecting it better. I think it comes down to a mindset and just not letting it happen – the defensive side getting those turnovers. I think we had a couple of opps and we just got to get turnovers and not turn it over.”
What happened when you came to the line and C/G Weston Richburg snapped it? Obviously, there was a miscommunication.
“I was trying to audible. It was midway through the cadence, trying to say, ‘Easy, easy, easy,’ audible. We weren’t on the same page there.”
With a game like this, do you kind of have to keep your eyes open for Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald because he was the one guy that seemed to make the play.
“He’s one of the best, if not the best, interior D-Lineman in the NFL. Definitely got to know where he’s at at all times. He’s a good player.”
What were they doing to take your wideouts away? It was a while before you guys were able to get some…
“Yeah. They were mixing it up a lot on what they were doing. There’s no rhyme or reason. Just what they were doing. They were mixing it up and they were doing a good job with that.”
What would you say the issue was, then? The coverage or were you just not seeing them through your reads?
“I think everything. We can get better me seeing guys, the O-Line protecting, the receivers getting open, getting some separation. I think we all need to get better in that aspect.”
A question about your game, how do you feel about where you are right now? I know you had a strong game in Green Bay.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s tough to think about that right now, especially after a loss like that. I guess I’ll have to watch the tape and really see how exactly what happened and whatnot. Never feels good when you’re 1-6 and not winning games. Like I said last week, I’d rather play awful and throw a bunch of picks and win a game than throw for a bunch of yards and touchdowns and lose. So, I think we just need to start winning some games.”
Was there a point at all where you felt that you had developed some sort of offensive rhythm today? What was the key behind that?
“I would say the drive before half. I felt that it was a good drive. You know, there were a couple other times in the game where we felt like we would get a first down here and then turn it over or kind of stall out. We just got to sustain those drives.”
What’s the mood in the locker room after a loss like this? I’m sure guys will obviously want to win, they’re pros.
“Yeah, it’s tough. Right now, we’re 1-6 and it’s not where anybody pictured us being at this point. Not where anybody wants to be. But the only thing you can do is get back to work tomorrow and move forward. You’ve got to flush this. As tough as it is and losing like that, you’ve just got to put it behind you. We’ve got nine games left in the regular season. We’ve got an opportunity to really turn the season around and have a good year.”
Running back Matt Breida
Was your injury one of those things where they just tape you up and you go right back out there?
“Yes. I tried to keep on playing. I have to be smart and not hurt my team at the same time. If I can’t go out there and go 100-percent, I have to let the guys that can do it.”
Was it your ankle?
“Yes. It was something to do with my ankle. It was a pre-existing injury. I just try to get out there every week and play. I am just trying to get healthy now hopefully.”
Do you put more pressure on yourself now that RB Jerick McKinnon is out since the beginning of the season?
“I would say that I put more pressure on myself. I just love the game of football. Anytime that I can get out there and help my team to win and I feel like I can help them win, I want to be out there. Even if I am hurt, I am going to want to play.”
On the turnover, was that just Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald being Aaron Donald and making a play?
“I just have to have better ball security. I have to protect the ball better. I blame no one but myself for that.”
Defensive Lineman DeForest Buckner
The team has had a lot of players go down to injuries. How are you guys going to recuperate from that?
“It is part the game, guys getting injured. We lost a lot of guys early on in the season. Honestly, it is next man up. We can’t use that as an excuse. Everyone in the NFL is getting hurt. The next guy just has to step in and do the job.”
You guys were not able to get Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff a whole bunch, but you hurried him a few times, you sacked him, and you were able to stop the run. Is that a positive for you guys?
“Yes, but at the end of the day we lost. It doesn’t matter how well the defense played, we still lost. We lost the turnover battle in another game. We have to do a better job to find more opportunities for our offense and take the ball away.”
Do sometimes guys try too hard to make a play?
“No, I feel like guys for the most part are doing their jobs a lot better today. We’ve just go to get better field position. We’ve got to do a better job bowing up as a defense and not letting them in. Guys just got to do their jobs and make the plays that come their way.”
Defensive Back Adrian Colbert
With as much talent that is in this locker room are you shocked to be a 1-6 team?
“It is about the process. It is about trusting the process and getting the product at the end. Right now it is tough. We are going to keep working and keep fighting. No matter how many people go down, we are going to keep fighting and believing in each other.”
How do you emotionally come back from this?
“Next week. It is a game after game process. You can’t go ahead and get better by thinking about what is going to happen in a couple weeks. It is a one game process. That is how we have to take it, one day at a time, and one game at a time.”
Tight End George Kittle
Actual wide receivers in this offense combined for 35 yards. What did you see out there from the wide receivers? Are they not getting separation? Was it a schematic thing? What did you see?
“I was running routes, so I wasn’t paying attention to those guys. I expect everybody to get open on every single play. That’s just me and I’m optimistic, so I don’t really see much.”
What has to happen for you guys to cut down on the turnovers?
“Hold on to the ball. That’s about it. That’s on all of us. That’s a mindset by a team. If you don’t get the ball on defense and you turn it over on offense, you can’t do anything. Minus four is rough and you can’t expect to beat one of the best offenses in the league giving them the ball at the 50-yard line.”
Late in the first half where you guys were struggling and you started getting involved in the passing game, that one play where you were running down the sideline, it looked like almost you were trying to send a message that you guys weren’t going to give up. Take us through that play. What was your mindset? Were you angry at that point? What were you feeling?
“It’s football. You’ve got to play angry. If you don’t play angry then you’re not playing. It’s easy when you’re angry and you’re having fun. If a guy is going to not throw his body at me and he looks like he’s just going to sit there with his chest open, I’m going to put my helmet through his chest. That’s his fault if he’s sore in the morning.”
Tackle Mike McGlinchey
This was your first time going up against Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald. How much can he wreck a game plan?
“He is one of those rare breed types of a player. I didn’t get to see him too much today because he plays primarily on the inside but he is a phenomenal player. He puts it on tape each and every week and he is a force. That is all that you can really say about him.”
A lot of these games you guys can point to something and say. That there is something to build on; what do you say after a day like today?
“You just have to be better. As cliché as that sounds, you have to be better from top to bottom. We can’t start the way we started today. We had too many turnovers and too many missed opportunities early and we can’t give an offense like that, that many chances. That is what happened. We just have to clean up the small things. It’s not a huge overhaul of things that need to be corrected. It’s just little things here and there.”
Running back Raheem Mostert
The game plan seemed to unfold pretty well. Can you put your finger on what stopped you other than the turnovers?
“Ourselves. That’s really what it was. Outside of turnovers, we were playing well, but those turnovers are key. We just have to minimize them the best that we can and go out there and keep fighting no matter what.”
At this level against a team like that, turnovers make for an uphill battle.
“It does. They’re a good team. Kudos to them and what they do because when it’s a good team like that you cannot turn the ball over. Unfortunately, we had four of them on our own and then we didn’t get any, so it’s an uphill battle.”
Once again the injury bug hit the team. Is it one of those things where it’s two steps forward and one step back?
“It’s one of those things where we just have to keep fighting. We have the right guys in here. When a guy gets hurt, we have to have another guy come in and fill that role, no matter what position it is. We all have to step up like we’ve been doing, but those turnovers are just costly. We can’t have those. We have to eliminate them. On the same page, we have to get turnovers.”
Center Weston Richburg
It looked like Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald had a really good game today. How tough is it to stop him when he is on like that?
“Well he is a good player. We have to be prepared to play against players like that. We didn’t come prepared and we have to do a better job, obviously next time.”
What happened on that pop-up snap?
“It was just a miscommunication. We were off on a couple of things. We have to be better prepared next time.”
One of those things where you can replicate in practice but when you are facing the real thing, it is just ramped up even more?
“Yes and we have to be better prepared for that and today we weren’t and we have to do a better job.”
With all of the turnovers, how do you address that?
“We just have to do a better job in practice. We have to practice it, be intentional about it and make sure we hold on to the ball.”
Tackle Joe Staley
Is there anything from this game that you can take?
“It was a bad effort. We control what we do up front. What our job is as offensive linemen was a poor job today. No excuses there. We just didn’t get it done and didn’t give [San Francisco 49ers QB] C.J. Beathard time. He was under a lot of duress the whole game. We have to do a better job of opening up the run game. Holding onto the ball has unfortunately become a theme the last couple of weeks so we have a lot to work on.”
When you look at C.J.’s line, what do you put that on?
“We put that on us. As offensive linemen, our job is to protect the quarterback. You always strive for a clean game, and obviously today was not a clean game at all. A lot of credit to them, but we have a lot of faith in our abilities as well, and that’s not the standard we’re trying to have here.”
Was there any carry over on having a tough loss Monday night and having to play that team on a short week?
“No. That doesn’t have any bearing on it. Each week is a new week. We’re professionals and we know how to handle that stuff. We’ve been doing this for a while now. You play short weeks in college and short weeks in the NFL. No excuse there.”
How impactful was Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald across the board?
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s been like him in the NFL. He’s in a class of his own. At the end of the day, he’s still an NFL player and our job is to block him. He was really impactful today. We’ll go back and watch film to see what we can do better the next time we play him.”