On what jumps about the 49ers (Maiocco)
Historically, and this hasn’t changed in our league, their ability to run the football, their ability to score, and conversely on defense, with what they’re doing, it’s been super impressive. I mean, pick a number. Red zone, third down, quarterback pressures. All those components are a good reason why they’re sitting where they’re at with their record, and they’ve done a fantastic job.
On Bosa (Chan)
For someone who is young, I was just talking to Terron[Armstead] and some of our linemen, you see an explosive athlete, you see power, you see edge speed, you see someone, especially for a young player who uses his hands very well, he’s played outstanding.
Payton said Armstead was limited in practice and will likely be a game-time decision.
On if Sherman looks like he’s returned from his Achilles’ injury (Chan)
I think so. You get everything with this player. Between the ears, his instincts, his understanding of formations, leverage. He knows the defense cold, and his man technique looks outstanding. His film has been extremely impressive. That backend group has played real well.
On how far back he’s gone to study Garoppolo (Inman)
I was familiar with his success at Eastern [Illinois] and really followed his senior year partly because it was an evaluation on our part. Also just following him and the team success. I know he’s a Chicago native. He’s someone over the years that we’ve trained with the Patriots probably 3-4 different times. We share the same agent. He’s playing extremely well. He’s someone who is extremely accurate. The ball gets out of his hands quick. He’s athletic in the pocket where he can move and climb, but he can still make off-balance throws. The one thing you look for at that position is, can he win. He did that at the college level, and he’s doing that at the NFL level.
On the 49ers offensive skill players (Me!)
When you get a young rookie like Deebo, and he’s stepping up and gaining confidence right in front of your eyes and having big games, that’s huge. Then you see the trade for Emmanuel Sanders. You get a veteran presence and someone who is an exceptional route runner. When looking at their depth at running back, with Breida and Coleman, who we saw in Atlanta. And then Mostert, all of a sudden he’s over 100 yards. All of them run exceptionally well, and you can see them on tape. We didn’t even talk about Kittle or Kyle at fullback. With what Kyle Shanahan is doing and his commitment to the running back but the two-back running back, you really have a tight end and fullback that fit exceptionally well, and players that fit that scheme exceptionally well.
How much do you have to focus on what Kittle is able to do when you’re looking at how to defend him (Chan)
Quite a bit. If you’re looking at the targets, and we look at them on first and second down, then third down, then red zone, anytime you’re watching that team play you’re seeing him on Sting routes, his run after the catch, his ability to separate, and also block, certainly put him at an elite level right now. He’s fun to watch.