Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Q: There were quite a few injuries; can you address each and how it affected you today?
A: [Marquise] Goodwin [had a] quad contusion; he was out for a while. He came back for a couple of plays. He tried to go hard but it was tough for him to run and so he didn’t end up going back out again after that. [Mike] Person and [Joshua] Garnett we’re not sure. They’re both going to have to get looked at more but definitely it was bad enough for them to come out and we’ll see if they have a possibility for next week, tomorrow. Brock there at the end, I’m not exactly sure what it was but I know it was a head injury so I’d be assuming concussion or neck or sting or something.
Q: Did you have contingency plans around the guards coming into this that account for several injuries?
A: You do. We only have seven up on game day and we lost two, and two of them were guards. [Mike] McGlinchey had to go play guard for most of that second half and we had [Garry] Gilliam go and play right tackle.
Q: What did you go over with the offense on the sloppy play there at the end?
A: I just told them at the end, I know we were playing a real good team but I also think we’re a good team. When you’re 1-4 in the red zone and you lose the turnover battle 3-to-1, when you have some of those drops and misplays down there, it’s very hard to beat a good team. We were definitely capable of doing it today and that’s why it was so frustrating and disappointing. I thought we blew a lot of opportunities that you cannot do versus a good team, especially on the road and that is why we came up short.
Q: What happened with the pick six?
A: There was miscommunication in the protections and on the routes, so there was two things. That was our first lineup change right there so the protections got messed up so we had a hot situation when we shouldn’t have been hot. Jimmy got surprised and had to get rid of it and we had a miscommunication on the route.
Q: How do you think Jimmy played today?
A: I will see more when I watch the tape, but none of us did good enough to win today, especially on offense.
Q: What was your read on [George] Kittle’s play when he managed to get behind the secondary?
A: It just looked like he missed it. I thought he should have come down with it but he didn’t.
Q: Was it always the plan to have McGlinchey play guard?
A: Not really. Especially in his first game, you don’t want to do that. Once it happened though you got to decide which way to go. We thought he’d be better in there at guard, just since he’s been practicing the last month, where Gilliam just got in here the last week. My hat’s off to him; he didn’t hesitate. He was excited about the challenge and he went in there and did his best. I was definitely happy that he was willing to do that.
Q: In a situation where even McGlinchey were to be hurt, would you have to go a tight end to fill in as guard?
A: Yeah, one more injury and you can pick, but it would have been a tight end.
Q: What’s your early opinion on why you finished behind today? It seemed like there was a chance to come back later in the game.
A: You had a fumble on the one-yard line; I think that was third down. I’m sure we would have gone for it if we didn’t get it. I thought we missed Kittle in the end zone on another third-down, the last one. I thought [Dante] Pettis made a great play on that touchdown. I thought Pierre [Garçon] came up and Jimmy [Garoppolo] gave him a chance there. I didn’t see it clean. I know he went up for it and had a chance and I wish he would have come down with it. I think that was all of them.
Q: Is Alfred [Morris] healthy? He didn’t play after his fumble.
A: Yeah, he’s healthy. He was fine. We were planning on rotating those guys all game, and I know he did play after that. That definitely didn’t affect it; it had nothing to do with the fumble.
Q: What did you see in your defense today overall?
A: From what I saw, I thought our pass rush was good. We held them to 17 points. Holding that team to 17 points, I thought that would have been good enough for us to win. I thought we could have tackled a little bit better, from what I saw, but I thought they played good enough to win.
Q: Did [Fred] Warner’s game today confirm he earned his starting spot?
A: Yeah it looked like it. It looked like he made some plays out there. It looked like he tackled well. I didn’t see him mess up any assignments; he didn’t hesitate. He shot his guns and he made some tackles. From what I saw I was really pleased with how he played.
Q: Even with the fumbles and dropped passes did you feel like you still had a chance to win the game?
A: I think that’s why we’re so frustrated. We need to play better to beat a good team like that. We believe we are a good team, but you aren’t until you can start beating some. In order to be a good team, you have to make those plays. What’s exciting is that we have the guys who can. The guys that can separate, the guys that can get open. Our defense kept us in that game and allowed us to get a chance to overcome some mistakes we made earlier. We lost and I’m extremely disappointed in that but I think myself and all the coaches and players, we know this is a team we could beat. But they played good and made it hard to do that.
Q: Did the Vikings defense prepare anything unique for Jimmy?
A: No, they did what they always do. They are going to play corners three deep; some man free and mix in pressures when you get them on stuff. It’s just a revolving door on all those things and it’s just trying to stay on schedule, stay on the chains. You know they are going to get you on some blitzes and you hope that we get them on some and I think it went that way. They got us on some and I think we got a number of explosives on them. I think we missed a few that we could have had. I was happy with that; I kind of knew that was how the game was going to go, going against a good D. But it’s hard to beat a team like that when you don’t execute all of them.
Q: How do you assess Jimmy’s progression after this game?
A: There’s not one word to put on it. We went against a very good defense and we all didn’t play as good as we could. Lots of quarterbacks struggle against that defense. Jimmy did some good things, but by no means was he perfect. Defense holds that team to 17, and if I didn’t think we could get more than that, I wouldn’t be as upset but I really think we should have.
Q: How do you react to the defensive backs not looking back to see when Kirk Cousins made some of those connections? Is that a technique?
A: It all depends on the timing of the play. If you get beat off the line and they got an edge on you, and you’re running really fast and you look back, he is going to leave you. If you’ve got a guy covered and you feel comfortable, it’s a little easier to look back. I know some of the ones you’re talking about; I saw them from a distance too. Of course you want guys to look back and make that play. I definitely think there were some we could have, but when you get beat off the line early in a play, then those are the ones you can’t.
Q: Did you have to say anything to Solomon Thomas for jumping offside in that situation?
A: I think he knows. I can sit there and yell as loud as I want at him, but I think he knows. I think everyone in the world knows that.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Q: How did things feel out there? How did things go?
A: They are a talented group, we knew that coming in to it. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge with the environment, going against a good team and they stood up to everything we thought they would. With all the things that went bad, we still had a shot at the end there. It’s a tough way to end it.
Q: This is your first loss as a starter, what in your mind do you need to do to bounce back and help the team bounce back?
A: I think we have a good locker room in there, we have a good mindset, every person in there has the right mindset of what we have to do. It’s a long season, you can’t let one week bounce into the next week. After we watch the film and everything, we got to move on.
Q: You were able to come out on top during a lot of close games last season, was it different at all not getting the win this time?
A: Yeah, obviously. You never want to lose, it sucks. But like I said before, we got a good group in there. I think we have the right mindset of coming in tomorrow, watching film and bouncing back for next week.
Q: Can you talk about the offensive line changes?
A: It was a weird series of events. We had a couple of guys go down in different positions. That O-line, when you lose two guards like that, it makes things difficult. I give Mike
[McGlinchey] credit, I don’t know if he’s ever played guard before and we had to put him in there. His first NFL game having to play tackle and guard…that’s a hell of a first game.
Q: On the touchdown to Dante Pettis, you escaped the pocket and threw it to an empty spot. Can you take us through that play?
A: I thought Dante, first of all, played great the whole day. For it being his first NFL game, I thought he played really well and stepped up. On that play, it was kind of a broken play, but Dante found the open area, and he is a smart athlete, he goes to where the ball takes him and made a tremendous catch on it.
WR Dante Pettis
Q: Does today’s performance tell you something about where this team could go?
A: Yeah, I believe so. There is always something you can take away whether you win or lose. We can take away both good and bad things from today’s game. If you look at how we played today and the fact that we still had a chance at the end, that tells you something about this team.
Q: You had a nice touchdown today. Did you have any doubt whether it was a catch or not based on the NFL’s rules?
A: No, I knew I caught it. I honestly didn’t even realize that the officials were reviewing it.
TE George Kittle
Q: What happened on the drop?
A: Misjudged it, thought it was a little closer to me. Probably ran a bit too far with my arms out. Just a bad play. That leads to a pick six. That’s on my shoulders, it’s a play we hit all the time so I am pretty disappointed in myself for that.
Q: How much did you say “wow” to the defense?
A: Yeah, it is a good defense, but we have a good offense. We have a great coach calling the plays. He is putting us in position to make those big plays and I think those are plays we need to make. If we make them it is a totally different outcome. Yes, they are a good defense, but I also think we’re a good offense.
Q: Last year the redzone was an issue finishing with touchdowns, same thing today. Is there anything you can a put a finger on, or struggle with?
A: No, I can’t put my finger on it. Obviously you can’t go one for four in the redzone on the road against one of the best defenses in the league. That is something we have to come back and work on. Coach Shanahan will find it, whatever it is and he will make sure we will get better.
Q: There was a third down pass in the back of the endzone in the fourth quarter, just too high?
A: I can’t jump 40 inches at 250. It’s hard for me. It was a high ball. If I was 10 pounds lighter maybe.
Q: Execution and turnovers, is that the difference in a football game?
A: Yeah we looked at a stat they [Vikings] were 18-2 when they won the turnover battle, and 3-6 when they lost it. If you win the turnover battle you have a better chance to win, if you don’t it hurts. We were still in it, and we lost by three turnovers.
Center Weston Richburg
Q: This environment with that Minnesota line, did you anticipate it?
A: Yeah, I played here three times and they’re a very good front. Very loud here. They’re a very good team. We just made some big mistakes and we could have been much better shape in this game against a team like that.
Q: Seems like you were able to get the misdirection going a couple times, a couple big hitters.
A: Yeah, we had some plays we did well on. But like I said my job is not to call plays. Our job is to hold onto the ball and we gave it up a couple times.
CB Richard Sherman
Q: What happened with Jaquiski Tartt on the touchdown pass where he didn’t turn his head around at all?
A: It was one of those plays where he was in position and the receiver made a good play, it happens. You got to put yourself in a better position but you need to move forward, move on, and get ready for the next play; and that’s what he did. I think he did great after that play. He played sound, but we just gave up too many mistakes. There were too many mental mistakes early and we can’t do that.
Q: How do you feel the defense did overall?
A: We had our moments, there were a few plays that we would like to have back obviously. I think we played sound in moments, but I think we took too long to get comfortable out there. There were moments where we could have been sounder and more disciplined in order to get off the field. There was a third and long where we let Kirk Cousins run for it, and we have to have that. Those are plays that we covered and we’ve executed the play but we have to get off the field and they had a couple of those. Hats off to Kirk [Cousins] for being ingenuitive and making a play. But those are things we need to learn in the future and we’ll be better for.
Q: How do you feel you progressed physically during the game?
A: I felt fine, I feel fine. It’s a mental game just as much as it’s a physical game, and the concepts they were running were relatively simple. I put myself in a position to be successful; a lot of times I took my risks here and there where I had the opportunity to figure the plays out.
Q: Do some of the other guys come up to you after plays that maybe they missed and talk to you about what they can do?
A: Not necessarily, they kind of just sit on the bench and go over their adjustments and get their corrections and then I give them my two cents.
Q: There was a lot of hype around this game as the start of the Kirk Cousins era here, what did you think about him? Was he what you expected?
A: Well, he’s been playing in the league since I was basically a rookie. So he’s what he has always been. He’s very efficient, he doesn’t make many mistakes, he’s poised, he doesn’t get rowdy, and he doesn’t necessarily take many sacks. Today was kind of odd in that regard, because he took a couple. But he’s accurate and he’s a good quarterback.
Q: How was Fred Warner giving out the signals in the huddle and overall just his first game?
A: He’s fine. Middle linebacker is one of the toughest positions to come in as a rookie and play and be effective. I think he did an admirable job.
WR Pierre Garçon
Q: Seemed like a difficult day today. A few different plays and it’s a different game.
A: Yeah, we were there. We let our coaches down. We didn’t finish the drives and that is on our part. As players we have to be better and make those tough plays. We have to capitalize on those moments when the coaches give us those opportunities.
Q: How much of this is because of game one, with some new faces on the team?
A: No, it doesn’t have to do anything with it being the first game. It is stuff that we can control. We have a lot of great players that we believe in. It is behind us, we played a great defense, but we have a lot of things to look forward to. We will definitely fix those mistakes and get ready for next week.
Q: What did you see from Jimmy Garoppolo today?
A: He did his job and as best as he could. We have to make those set plays for him, protect him, and help him out.
DL DeForest Buckner
Q: How do you feel about the D line performance today?
A: I think we played alright today. We have to clean up a lot of stuff on defense, especially tackling, missed a lot of tackles, made some mistakes on defense too. We just have to stay more disciplined.
Q: Did you feel at all that your offense was strong?
A: I definitely think that we all played with extreme effort. Second half we started playing a lot better, first half we started a little slow. There were key moments where we three-and-outs to get the ball back to the offense, so I thought we did really well on those parts.
Q: What’s different about this game this year compared to last year?
A: Nothing’s different. I’m just a lot more comfortable in the position I’m in, and also the coaches are putting me in positions for me to succeed and I’m taking advantage of that every chance I get.
Q: Do you like moving around the line?
A: Yes, most definitely. It’s a nice change up for a bunch of linemen, the offensive line. It gives me more opportunity to perfect my craft.
Q: The offensive commits four turnovers, and you only lose by one score, is there a silver lining you can take away from this?
A: Definitely, also on the defense side, I know we had one turnover, we have to get more too. That comes with attacking the ball more and being more violent. We missed some opportunities out there to bring our offensive in to better position.
Q: You mentioned the turnover, the one that Fred [Warner] forced, what’s it like getting calls from him in the huddle, and how do you think he handled it?
A: Fred did an amazing job today. He really communicated well with everybody, got the plays off quick. Gave us some really good close calls, for his first game he played very well.
Q: There was a touchdown throw, you almost hand your hand on it.
A: Yeah, I knew it was going to be a quick drop, so I just tried to get in front of his face and get in front of his hand before he let it out, and he barely had it over my hand. It was very disappointing.
Q: Did he [Kirk Cousins] impress you? Was he more than you expected?
A: He was kind of what I expected, going against him last year when he was with Washington, I knew he was going to be shifty in the pocket, and the D-Line had to do a good job to keep him in the pocket instead of letting him make plays on the line.
OG Joshua Garnett
Q: What was the result of the X-rays? No broken bones or anything like that?
A: I have to sit down with the doctors when I get a chance with them and figure it all out. I’m a warrior; I’ll be back out there.
Q: How did you feel playing today with the snaps that you did get in?
A: I felt good. I had to go in during the game when Mike Person went down. I had to step up and play with the guys. We had some fun and everyone blocked well. It’s unfortunate Mike Person went down, but we have to watch the film and see where we can go from here.
Q: What was the attitude on the sideline throughout the game?
A: It’s the NFL, so you have to have a positive attitude. Everyone knows that every game is tough, and every opponent is tough. We are all grown men and professionals. No one had their head down or anything. We played a great team today.
OT Mike McGlinchey
Q: What were you thinking when you had to go in as a guard when one of your teammates got injured?
A: I was a little shocked to hear that news, but that’s what our team needed today. We had some injuries and guys went down, it was required of me to play guard for us, and that’s what I tried to do. I tried to it to the best of my ability. I think I should have done it a little better than did it, but that’s how it shakes out sometimes and hopefully we’ll get it right and get things going for Detroit.
Q: Who comes to you saying you will play guard?
A: When Josh [Garnett] went down, Gary came in, and I had a conversation with Coach Benton and he said, “McGlinch, you want to play right guard?” And I said, “Sure.” So, I did it. That’s about all the conversation was, and I went in and played. I told Weston that you’re going to have to help me out a little bit, and he did, so we made it work today.
Q: You guys had a lot of mistakes, 4 turnovers, and on and on, but it is that defense on the road. You still had a chance to tie the game at the end. Do you take something from that?
A: The thing that we take away from it is that we had opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on, and we’re much more talented and capable team than what we showed today, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Those opportunities are going to continue to present themselves throughout the season, and we’re going to continue to get better and continue to capitalize those, but today it wasn’t enough. Today we had four shots in the red zone and only came away with field goals every time, and it’s kind of tough.