Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
“I’ll start with injuries. [RB Matt] Breida, sprained ankle, didn’t return. [OL Weston] Richburg, knee, didn’t return. [TE Garrett] Celek, quad, didn’t. [WR] Pierre [Garçon] had a shoulder, he returned. [LB Reuben] Foster had a shoulder, he returned. And, [TE George] Kittle had a knee, he returned.”
Where do you start with this one when you talked to the team after the game?
“I just went through some of the obvious things with them. You look at a stat sheet and things like that, usually when, I think it’s like 90 plays to 40, or something like that, you double them in time of possession, yards. I thought our defense played their tail off. Did good on third down. You look at a lot of those things, it’s hard to find how you lost a game. Then it’s very easy when you look at the turnover column. I haven’t been part of any game, I don’t think many people have, where five turnovers to zero leads to a win. We have to improve that drastically to have a chance.”
How hard did Breida lobby to get back into the game and how much did his absence change the game?
“If Breida can’t go back in the game, then no one can go back in the game because he works as hard as anyone at that. He’s been one of our better players and obviously when he’s not in there it’s definitely not easier.”
The rhythm that you guys had on that opening drive was perfect almost. What happened, was it missing players that just evaporated from that point forth?
“I think a little of both. It takes 11 guys to execute a play. Had a couple misses. Had a couple of tips. They did a good job, especially [DE] Chandler Jones, some of their pressures. Getting their hands up, tipped some balls, had a couple penalties. Just didn’t get in that same rhythm.”
You ran quite a few screen passes today, was that something you thought you’d be able to burn them with?
“Yes. I don’t know about burning. It was just something we planned on doing going into the game.”
You haven’t seen the film but the four turnovers by QB C.J. Beathard, how many of those do you think you can pin on him specifically?
“He’s a quarterback and there’s a lot of responsibility on the quarterback to protect the ball. There’s 10 other guys out there that can make it easier on him too. I’ll get through all of them. Usually, fumbles it’s hard to pin on the quarterback, but we’ll look at them hard tomorrow and coach him up the best we can on them.”
Obviously, you had the 0-9 start last year. It’s a different year, but having gone through that does it help when you go through something like this right now?
“I don’t know. I think people individually can talk about it helping them personally and things like that. For me, it’s frustrating. Last year it was frustrating to start that way and we don’t like to lose. We put a lot of work into this. Every Sunday we come out very confident and we expect to win and we’ve come up short a number of times. I told our team, we would love to be 4-0 right now and we’re not or 5-0. It’s something that is hard to deal with, but it’s something that we all can. We know why we lose each game. Each one has been a different reason, but we’re not going to sit here and just start pointing fingers at each other and chasing a bunch of stuff. You’ve got to look into each game and what it is. This game, I thought our guys fought hard and gave us a chance to win the game, but when you have five turnovers that’s borderline impossible. So, we’ve got to improve that stuff. We’ve got to play a lot better and when you’re not there on all cylinders, when you make some mistakes like that, when you’ve got a bunch of guys going in and out, it’s very tough to win if you make those mistakes. We’ve got to eliminate those mistakes and that will give us a much better chance.”
C.J. had the two sack fumbles, specifically. Is that just something, he’s got to move out of the pocket when there’s that kind of pressure?
“Yes, again, I’ll look into it again. I think C.J. knows and whether you’re blocking well, whether people are open, all those things are tough things for a quarterback. But, the bottom line is you can’t lose the ball. Whether you get hit, whether someone’s not open, sometimes you need to get rid of it, sometimes you need to take sacks. But the worst-case scenario, we plan on ending that series with the ball in our hand and that’s something he’s got to do a better job of.”
Was that 75-yard touchdown a product CB Ahkello Witherspoon not getting the help that he was anticipating he was going to have from the middle?
“Yes. Usually in cover-three, you’ve got someone in the middle of the field, so it’s tough to get post and we did not have one there.”
Specifically, the fumble they returned for the touchdown, did you get a good look at that to say that was kind of on C.J.?
“My eyes are down field on it when the ball doesn’t go. What I do think happened, from what I saw, he was going to the right spot with the ball. He went to number two in his progression and when he got to number two, number two wasn’t open and so he pulled it back and then the guy hit him and then I saw the ball on the ground.”
What happened on the muffed extra point there?
“I’m not sure what happened. I know we missed it. I didn’t know if they bobbled the snap. I didn’t see it live. I saw that we didn’t attempt it. I don’t know if [Cardinals CB] Patrick [Peterson] got off the edge there or we bobble the snap. I wasn’t sure.”
Last year through the 0-9 start, the sense in the locker room was that everybody was still very close and positive. What is your sense on the sidelines from today’s game?
“I sensed the same thing. Guys are frustrated. Our guys are working. They are putting a lot of work in and when you go through some of that stuff it’s tough. We’re all competitive people and we want this to change and we know it will. But, no, I think we’ve got a tight group of guys. I think we’ve got guys who work hard. I think it’s going to take a couple days to get over this, just like it always does and I believe our guys will show up. We’ve got eight days now to get ready for Green Bay. Tomorrow, except for the injured guys, they’ll get it off and we’ll come in on Tuesday and treat that like a Monday and go through this hard with all the guys. And by the time they show up on Thursday, we’ll have a new game plan for them and they’ll be ready to go.”
Your first drive, I think you had seven or eight plays go to tight ends, fullbacks, running backs, how tough is it to keep doing that when you don’t have your X and your downfield guys that can kind of create that open room in the middle?
“The more guys you have out there, the easier it is, so you try to balance it all out. You try to go where they’re not defending and when they defend that you try to go to the other spots. The more you have it all, there’s five people who can touch the ball and it’s receivers, tight ends and running backs. So, the more you can mix it up, the better. The more guys go down, the harder it gets.”
Quarterback C.J. Beathard
Kyle pointed to it and obviously the five turnovers as the biggest deal. Obviously, as the quarterback you’re visibly frustrated by that. What went into all of that?
“You can’t win ball games turning the ball over five times. I feel like we played well in all the other aspects except for turnovers. Just got to take better care of the ball.”
What happened on the last one? The one that they returned for a touchdown.
“I don’t know. I was trying to get the ball to [WR] Trent [Taylor] and he was getting held. I decided to wait a little bit. The guy hit the ball out of my hand and that was it. Just got to get it out quicker.”
You guys went through some tough times last year. Obviously, a slow start this year, as well. What’s the feeling like in the locker room right now?
“Obviously, after a loss like that it doesn’t feel good for anybody. We’re going to stay positive throughout it all because we’ve got to move on to the next week. Obviously, we’ll watch the tape of this one, learn from it and get better from it. But, you can’t dwell on it for the next few days. Obviously, today and tonight will hurt and sting but you’ve got to get past it.”
On the touchdown to Trent, it seemed like you guys wanted to get the screen to RB Raheem Mostert, or was that just a fake screen?
“It was a fake screen. We tried to hit [TE] George [Kittle] behind it, but they played it well. They covered it up pretty well. I had to go off schedule and Trent did a good job of getting open.”
How much did you guys miss RB Matt Breida after he left after the first quarter?
“It was tough losing him. He was running the ball really well. Obviously, [RB Alfred] Alf [Morris] did a good job when he got in there, but they’re two different kinds of backs. In the pass game, Breida is a little bit quicker and whatnot. Hopefully, he’ll heal up quick and get back.”
How much did you miss Breida’s protection on some of those pressures from the safety blitzes?
“All the backs are good in protection – [FB Kyle] Juice [Juszczyk], Breida and Alf. But, I trust in all three of those guys to pick up their guys and they do.”
With Breida out and WR Pierre Garçon out for a bit before he came back in, did that make it harder for you and the offense to find rhythm today?
“Yeah. I think whenever two of your starters and skill players go out, it is going to be a little bit tougher. But, it’s a next man in mentality. You’ve got to trust whoever it is that’s in there to know their job and do a good job at it.”
Running back Matt Breida
How frustrating is it to dominate in every offensive category except the turnovers was the one place that hurt the team?
“That is the difference in this league is turnovers. No matter how well you play on offense, if you have turnovers, you probably are not going to win the game. That is going by stats. We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball and eliminate the penalties too.”
What can you guys take from this moving forward?
“Just get better. We have to really dig deep and see what our team is made of now. This is not where we planned on being at, but this is where we are. We just have to overcome adversity.”
You seemed to grab your knee on the play you were injured. Was that part of the issue? What was going on the play you got injured?
“I didn’t know what happened at first. It was nothing too serious. It was just a little tweak. I have been battling through injuries the past two weeks. I was just trying to get out there and play. I will be all right.”
Defensive Lineman DeForest Buckner
How do you feel about the game after that first Arizona offensive possession?
“We shut the run game down. We got pressure on the quarterback. We’ve just got to create turnovers. That’s what we lost, we lost the turnover battle. That’s how Arizona ended up winning.”
Do you feel like you got a little more pressure on Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen as the game went on?
“Yeah, I feel like we were getting some pretty good pressure. The sack count wasn’t there, but I feel like the pressure was there and we were forcing him to make bad throws.”
What does it say about this defense that after that 75-yard touchdown by Arizona you guys were able to come back and hold the Cardinals under wraps here?
“It says a lot. We found out what the problem was on that play, and we moved on and shut it down. Guys continued to play the game we know we can play. It shows a lot to the guys on the sideline, not pointing any fingers and figuring out the problem and solving it.”
Is there anything you can take away positively about holding Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson to what you held him to?
“It’s hard to run it against us. Like I was saying, as a defense, we’ve got to figure out how to create more turnovers.”
Safety Adrian Colbert
There were a couple of plays that you let get away from you. How do you generally feel after a game like that?
“You feel bad. Some of the plays that you missed were some of the plays that you go over in practice throughout the week. You have to take it with a grain of salt, come back the next day, watch tape and make the corrections on the things that you messed up on.”
What did you see on the Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk play?
“It was just an undisciplined play by me. I saw [Arizona Cardinals WR] Larry [Fitzgerald] flash and it was just a bad play on my part. It is something that I have to correct.”
Was he coming across the middle on that play?
Did you expect for them to try to go deep that early in the game?
“Yes, one hundred percent. That is just something that I need to work on. As far as me being aggressive when I am playing in the post, a lot of teams are now going to try to scheme that up and I have to be better.”
After that play it looked like the defense played pretty sound football after that?
“Yes, if you take away that 75-yards, we played our best game in the secondary. That is how we have to be. Personally, I have to correct that mistake so that doesn’t happen again so we can come out and be the defense that we are.”
Wide receiver Pierre Garçon
It must be pretty hard to win with five turnovers.
“It’s pretty hard to win with five turnovers. We talk about it every day in our weekly practice that we have to protect the ball, and we didn’t do that today.”
How are you feeling after the game?
“I’m good. I went back out there and played. I’ve played through a lot of injuries. Everyone in this locker room is playing through injuries. We left a lot of plays out there and we’re definitely hard on ourselves about it, and we feel bad about it.”
Last week the offense clicked pretty well against a really good team. Were you surprised it took a while to get going in this one?
“No, every week is different. We just try to keep getting better, but we need to help [San Francisco 49ers QB] C.J. [Beathard]. I didn’t help him. We have to make those tough plays.”
You don’t want to make excuses, but you didn’t have San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida, you’re banged up and a lot of other guys are banged up and not playing. How hard is it to piece it together and have some continuity?
“It’s not hard. We know the plays. We know what to do. It’s football. At the end of the day it’s running the ball, catching the football, throwing the ball and doing the plays that the coach calls. It’s not overly complicated. Everybody in here has played football long enough to know how to adjust to anything that happens on the field. We just have to make those tough plays for the team and keep those drives going so we can score touchdowns.”
Did you feel extra urgency to come back to the game because you have missing pieces on offense?
“No, I always want to come back in the game regardless of what happens. I always want to get back out there and play because I enjoy playing. I’d rather be playing than sitting on the sideline or watching.”
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk
What was the message from San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan after the game like?
“Get better. It is way too early in the season to just start going through the motions, we have 11 weeks left. We have to come in and get better. He just stressed that to us. He stressed that the talent is there and we can do it. We have to just take care of the ball.”
Do you see any of the guys just going through the motions at all?
“No, I haven’t noticed that. It is something that is common with a team that is 1-4. We can’t start doing that.”
What is the frustration level like when you run almost 100 plays and everything except for the turnovers you dominated?
“It is extremely frustrating. You go on 15 play drives and you don’t score. There were just too many pre-snap penalties and too many personal penalties. It is self-inflicted wounds and those are toughest ones to swallow. Because you don’t feel like it is the opponent, you feel like you are hurting yourself. We have to clean those up in practice.”
Tight end George Kittle
What happened with the offense in the game today?
“We had some bright spots, but overall five turnovers is hard to win an NFL game with. We had the yards and possession, but I’m pretty sure that when you have over three turnovers and they don’t have any, the chances of a winner go severely down.”
How did San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard play today?
“C.J. takes hits left and right and just gets back up and keeps playing. He threw some really good passes today. He stayed in the pocket. He was hot a lot and took hits. He’s an NFL quarterback and made plays.”
What do you have to do to get ready for next week?
“You have to look yourself in the mirror. When you’re 1-4 you have to look yourself in the mirror. It brings out a lot of character. You’re going to see what type of guys are on the team, and I feel like we have a team that’s going to fight, grind and come back next week better than ever.”
Tackle Mike McGlinchey
Can you talk about the five turnovers basically squashing your chances in this game?
“We just have to execute better. It is a full team effort, it is not on just one guy. As a collective unit, offensively, we have to protect the ball a little bit better. It means protect better, open up holes wider and it is just the way the game goes sometimes. Unfortunately we had a lot of bad bounces go our way today that we can’t ever let happen again.”
You are one of the players that were injured throughout this week. We didn’t know if you were going to play today. Then RB Matt Breida goes out today, Pierre Garçon has a shoulder injury. How does this team continue to collect itself and bounce back from these injuries?
“It is just what you have to do. It is football and guys are going to get banged up. Unfortunately, we have had quite a number of banged up guys in the short five weeks that we have been playing. That is just the mindset that we have had from the top to the bottom starting with [49ers general manager] John [Lynch], [49ers head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] all the way down. That is what we do here. Those are the kind of guys that we have here and that is only going to continue.”
What does this game do to test the character of this team?
“Football is a game that tests you all of the time. Unfortunately we have a rough couple of weeks by going 1-4 and not being able to close out games and having bad bounces go against us. Today was obviously another day of that. I am not worried about the character of this team at all. Kyle addressed us after the game and he is not either. The guys that we have here are awesome and ready to play and win. We just have to execute a little bit better. It is not recreating the wheel, it is just little things that we have to do a little bit better each and every week to get a little more consistent at. I think we can start turning the tide a little bit.”
Cornerback Richard Sherman
What do you take away from that game, just the way it unfolded?
“It’s frustrating. Obviously the first play of the game on defense, we give up a big play. We just have to be better than that. It was a simple play, it was easy to get stopped and we just didn’t execute it like we needed to. So, that’s where you need to because after that they didn’t have much. We gave them 75 yards to start and I think they had 200 in the game and 30 rushing. So, we have to find a way to get that out of there.”
You guys have lost three in a row right now. So, how do you try to keep everybody’s spirits up?
“It’s one week at a time. Regardless of what your record is, if it’s 3-1, 3-2, 4-0, 5-0, it’s one week at a time. So, either way, it sucks to lose that game but you have to move on. You have to learn from it and move on from your mistakes and get ready for Green Bay. We have eight days to get ready to go play Green Bay and [Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers] A-Rod and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
What’s the key for you guys to get more turnovers?
“It’s rushing the passer. It’s any time you take the ball from the quarterback. It’s just more strip attempts. It’s tighter coverage in the back end, being where you’re supposed to be. There were a couple of opportunities, if he had given a receiver a chance, we would have had a chance. But, rushing and coverage have to work together. That’s the biggest thing.”
Tackle Joe Staley
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard didn’t get hit as much this week as last week, but he still got hit a few times. Is he still showing that toughness and leadership?
“Yeah, definitely. He’s back there trying to do what he’s got to do. We’ve got to give him more time. We had a play-action pass there in the 3rd quarter. We’ve got to anticipate the up-field rush there and not go as hard on the run. He wasn’t biting on it. We’ve got to do a better job. That’s what I can focus on.”
How much did losing San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida, impact things especially with the start that he got?
“We still moved the ball in the run game. The whole thing comes down to five turnovers. You’re not going to win in football. We were still able to move the ball. I thought [San Francisco 49ers RB] Alfred [Morris] did a great job moving the ball. But we’ve just got to not turn the ball over.”
When the difference is turnovers, is it harder for a team to adjust and correct that? You outplayed them in a lot of ways.
“We’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing. I had one play that affected the turnover differential. I gave up that sack-fumble. That’s what I’ve got to focus on. That’s what I can improve on, the play-action and being more aware of the situation and understanding that he’s not going to bite on the run-action. I’ve got to adjust my set and give C.J. more time to go downfield.”