Bowman says Ray Rice underestimating San Fran LB’s ability to cover him

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff



(on how competitive he was with his brothers growing up) “We were very competitive. We’re still competitive to this day. Anytime you get a chance to go up against your family member, it’s a little bit more personable, but at the end you can laugh about it. Before it happens we definitely want to win, so I know how (Jim) Harbaugh is feeling.”


(on if it was good to get back to football and practice today) “Yes. We started off yesterday walking through, but today we can run around a little bit.”


(on if he felt like he was out of rhythm with all of the time off) “No, not at all. Everywhere you walk, you see the Super Bowl. You see 49er helmets. So you’re always going to be in rhythm when you see that.”


(on how he and Patrick Willis contrast one another on the field) “I think we complement each other well due to the fact that we’re very similar in athletic ways. We have a chance to disguise a lot of our defenses because we can do a lot of the same things. I just think that gives us an advantage. When going against opposing offenses, they really can’t get a read on what type of defense that we’re in because we’re staying put. We just benefit from it.”


(on stopping the run on Sunday and how important the linebacker corps will be to ensure a win for the 49ers) “The biggest thing is to stop the run. Whenever you can make a team one-dimensional, it gives you a better shot to win the game. That’s our job in the middle, up-front, front seven, just to stop the run and once we do that we’ll be able to let them loose on the outside.”


(on emerging as an every-down linebacker and his ability to cover in the passing game as well as stopping the run) “I just pride myself covering guys, whoever it is – fast, quick, whatever – and I think that’s what you need to separate yourself in this league. You have to be able to do something different or unique and a lot of guys can’t do that at my position.”


(on what to expect from him in this game) “Me to leave it all out there on the field. It’s the last game of the season. We can rest later.”


(on who the best athlete on the team is) “Probably Isaac Sopoaga. He’s about 350 (pounds), can throw the ball probably 100 yards, can catch, can run, can lift whatever he wants to lift and can eat whatever he wants to eat.”


(on how much responsibility he needs to have when Ray Rice is coming out of the backfield considering Rice’s unpredictability) “We’re always matched up on running backs, so I’m not too much worried about it. You have to realize what’s at stake and focus up a little bit more, key in on what to expect. Ray’s a great athlete also. I know they’re going to try to get him the ball as much as possible, but Coach (defensive coordinator Vic Fangio) has done a great job with calling the defenses at right time. So, I’m sure we’ll be in the right defense in the right situation.”


(on if Ray Rice is the most dangerous player on Baltimore’s offense) “They use him a lot on their offense, even on third down. You don’t see too many running backs that’s a go-to guy on third down and they definitely try to get him the ball.”


(on his ability and Patrick Willis’ ability to cover tight ends one-on-one and how it provides an advantage for the defense) “Half of it goes to our ability to do it and half of it goes to Vic’s (Fangio) feeling of what type of situation it is. If they’re running short and intermediate routes or if they’re going deep. So, all of that comes into play when you’re covering a tight end or wide receiver. You have to know the situation, the down and distance because if you think something’s coming and it’s something else, you could get beat. So, it’s not just about the athletic part, it’s the knowledge of the game. All three of us – me and Pat and Coach Vic working together – we just take a lot of pride in covering the tight ends and wide receivers.”




Super Bowl XLVII – Wednesday, January 30, 2013







(on if he and Patrick Willlis’ positions are interchangeable) “Yes. If the game speeds up, we go to what we know, 100 percent, no mistakes because it’s going so fast. But, if the team’s tempo is slow and we’re understanding, and we’re in a rhythm, we’ll mess with their heads and sit still.”


(on how difficult it is to pick out a guy like Ray Rice who can hide behind offensive linemen) “It’s not that difficult. I don’t know, I can see him.”


(on if Ray Rice is underestimating the 49ers linebackers ability to cover in the passing game) “Yes, he’s underestimating. We’ll have to go out and show him on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve all worked hard to get this far. There’s going to be one winner in this winner and it’s going to be the Harbaugh family.”


(on his high school experience at Suitland) “It was a great experience. I was able to play varsity since I was a freshman – basketball and football and I was able to have success in both. My junior year I decided to just stick with football just because I wasn’t getting any taller and the letters were coming in for football. I was just able to let the fans, my classmates and teammates fill me up and say I had an opportunity to be great. I was just playing the game back then. I was blessed with some talent. I was able to earn a scholarship to Penn State and that just went well for me. I was able to earn my degree and make it to this level.”


(on putting the last two seasons into perspective as well as his relationship with Patrick Willis during that time) “It’s like you see what you can get in front of you. We refused to just let it disappear. We refused to take a day off. As far as me and Pat, we don’t take days off. We’ve been working hard ever since we’ve met. Pat had a rough four years while he was with the 49ers and we were able to get this thing rolling together and we want to win this thing together.”


(on if he was frustrated waiting for his opportunity or if he knew that in 2011 he would get his chance) “I was young. I don’t know. I didn’t really let it get to me. I was very patient. Whenever you’ve got guys like Takeo (Spikes) and Pat (Willis) in front of you, you can’t really complain. You just have to make sure you’re working as hard as them, you’re preparing like them and you’re just sitting back. They eased me in there on third downs my rookie year. I’m a fan of Takeo Spikes. I’m a fan of Pat. I got placed in a unique situation where I know I can get better in this rookie year because Takeo and Pat are going to take all the snaps. I know I can get better off the field without playing and just see little things that can help my game next year because next year I’m going to come back and I’m going to really be ready to play a 16-game season. All those things were in my head. My rookie year, I enjoyed it. It was the best, but my second year I came back and I wanted to play and I was able to get in a right situation to be able to do that.”