Niners LB Brooks says Leach was dominant in last Ravens matchup

January 29, 2013 | WNST Staff

(on if he thinks dual-threat quarterbacks will continue to succeed in the NFL) “I believe so. With the guys we have here in the NFL playing quarterback right now: Cam Newton, [Robert] Griffin III, Russell [Wilson] [and] [Colin] Kaepernick, they’ve kind of changed the game. There’s going to be a way to stop it. We just have to figure out how.”

(on what makes their group of linebackers so good ) “I just think that everybody has the will to want to be great. We just complement each other. One man might do one thing better than the other, but all and all, we complement each other. It’s good to have guys like NaVorro [Bowman], Aldon [Smith] and Patrick [Willis] to play with because they make things easier on Sunday. They go out there and make plays.”

(on how the talent of Aldon Smith) “Aldon is good. He is a good athlete. I’m not going to praise him too much and swell his head up. He doesn’t need his head to be any bigger than it already is [joking], but he’s a great athlete and he should have been the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was the MVP of the team, but he should have been the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That’s my thought on it. He’s a great pass rusher. He can cover. He can do almost anything.”

(on whether Justin Smith and his triceps injury) “I don’t know if he’s 100 percent healthy, but he’s able to go out there and play on Sunday. I don’t think his injury will affect him on Sunday.”

(on his approach to Super Bowl XLVII) “It’s just like any other game. That’s how you have to approach it. You have to approach it like any other game. You can’t let the Super Bowl being what it is hype you up to the point where you can’t go out there and do what you need to do on Sunday. You can’t get rattled up. You have to stay calm [and] stay focused. You can’t get caught up with being in New Orleans the whole week and let it affect your game because everybody is watching.”

(on receiving advice from veteran players) “I don’t even know if they give me advice, but I do talk to them quite a bit. The most I learn from them is watching how they practice [and] watching how they prepare for the game. Vernon [Davis] has done a great job with that. He’s a good guy to follow and to do some of the things that he does.”

(on how it feels to be playing in the Super Bowl) “It feels great. This is everything that you wish for. This is everything you want when you’re playing in the NFL or any level that you’re playing at. Being on the main stage in the championships, it feels great.”

(on if he grew up in Virginia as a Baltimore Ravens fan) “I grew up a Washington Redskins fan. My father (DT Perry Brooks) played for the Redskins. I always went to the Redskins games. I just grew up being a Redskins fan and they did a great job this year.”

(on defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and how he puts them in the right situations) “It’s good to have, but just as much as it’s good to have a good defensive coordinator, it’s good to have 11 guys on the field who can go out there and play football. It works hand and hand.”

(on what they need to do to stop Baltimore’s offense) “We just need to play physical with them because they’re a physical team. They want to establish the run and we have a good run defense, so we need to stop that as early as possible. We need to stop Joe Flacco. He’s a good quarterback. He’s tall. He’s a gunslinger. He can sling the rock. They have good receivers. They have a good deep threat with Torrey Smith. [They have] Anquan Boldin. They have a good offensive line. They have a good fullback [Vonta Leach]. We played against them last year on Thanksgiving and their fullback was just pancaking some of our guys. We have our hands full.”

(on defending against Flacco) “It’s imperative for us to get to him as soon as possible, cause pressure, get a hand in his face, hit him, get him rattled up [and] just get him thinking about the pass rushers, so he just can’t feel comfortable in the pocket and throw the ball wherever he wants to throw it. That’s about it.”

(on whether it’s an advantage that they played in New Orleans earlier this season, defeating the Saints 31-21 in Week 12) “I wouldn’t say we have an advantage. They play on turf in Baltimore, so they’re familiar with playing on turf. They’re probably a little bit more comfortable playing on turf, but two weeks ago, we had a chance to play in Atlanta and it was a dome as well. We got a feel for playing on turf and playing in a dome. We didn’t just come back to New Orleans. For me, it’s kind of like I’m at home. I have good memories [here]. I scored my first NFL touchdown [in New Orleans]. It was a great feeling. Donte Whitner had a pick-six. I just think we all came together to get that win because in that ball game, it could have went either way, but we won.”

(on Baltimore’s offense ) “I don’t want to talk too much about their offense. I don’t want to praise them too much, but they have a balanced attack. They can pretty much do anything. They have a good offensive line. They have a good fullback. They have a good running back [Ray Rice]. They have a good quarterback and a good group of receivers. That’s a balanced attack right there. They can run the ball. They can pass the ball. We just need to stop them as much as possible.”

(on how hard it is to tackle Rice) “He’s 5-8, but he’s strong. He runs hard. I played against him last year. I hit him and I felt the hit, but just like any running back in the NFL, you have to wrap up, drive through and bring him down.”

(on why he thinks he failed to catch on after being drafted by Cincinnati) “Probably just being young, number one. Number two, politics were probably involved. The NFL is a business and I got drafted in the third round. I don’t really think their intentions were to play me very much, even though I thought I should have been starting my rookie year. I did start four games, but I thought I should have continued to play throughout the year to get the experience of being an NFL player. Then going into my second year, I was starting, but then I got injured. It took me a while to recover from my injury. I tore both my groin muscles the second game of the season [and] I was out for the year. It took me a while to recover from that. Going into training camp, I wasn’t at my full speed and I think they just needed somebody to play right then and there that year, so they decided to waive me. San Francisco picked me up the next day.”

(on what the amount of players competing in the Super Bowl from the Washington D.C. area says about the talent there) “It just says that we have a lot of talent. We have a lot of talent in that area. A lot of guys think most of talent comes from the Tidewater area of Virginia, but no, a lot of talent comes from the D.C. area as well.”