Tag Archive | "niners"

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Ngata says Ravens treating Kaepernick preparation like RGIII

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on relationship with Ray Lewis) “Ever since I’ve been here, the communication level has been great.  Now, we don’t really need to say much to each other (on the field).  We know where each other is going to be on the field, and we know what we need to get done.  It comes with experience with each other and a lot of playing together. It’ll be totally different without him here next year.”


(on comfort level of having Ray Lewis playing behind him) “It’s huge. His leadership definitely changes the game and changes the way you play.  It’s just great to play with someone like that.  When he retires, it won’t just be weird for our defense but for our whole team.  He does a lot of things to help us.  He’s a great leader.  It’s definitely going to be different next year.”


(on what it’s like being in New Orleans) “I haven’t really had a chance yet to check the place out.  I’ll walk around today, look around and check out some of the sights.  It’ll be pretty cool. I’m excited to walk around here.”


(on what kind of defensive problems that 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick presents) “You kind of think of him as an RG III (Washington’s Robert Griffin III) type of player.  He can run the ball and he can pass it as well.  We’ve definitely got to do a good job of trying to contain him.  We need to get pressure on him.  It’s going to be a great task for our defense but we’re definitely up for it.  He can hurt you in so many ways passing and running the ball.  When we rush him on passing downs, we can’t just rush up the field because then he can find a lane and run.  With him, you’ve just got to be careful with a lot of the things that you do.”


(on strength of Ravens’ defense) “I think it’s definitely our coverage.  Our coverage has done a great job doing what they need to do, and it’s definitely helped us out as a defense.”


(on if he considers 49ers offense to be unorthodox) “No, they just really have a multiple offense with a power running game and they also have the option pass.  We kind of think about it as like the Redskins game.  Of course, the 49ers’ running backs are different and they have different type of athletes at wide receiver.  We definitely have to just play our style of ball and not try to do too much.”


(on his hit on Robert Griffin III in game against Washington) “I didn’t think I even hit him that hard.  His body just kind of fell underneath me.  Again, I didn’t think I hit him that hard, but when you see the replay, you can see that his leg kind of whipped around.  It kind of blew my mind that he actually got up and started limping off the field.  For him to actually come back in the game and play was unbelievable.”


(on having all members of Ravens defense healthy again) “We hadn’t really played much together all season, but now that we’re all healthy with me and Ray (Lewis) and Terrell (Suggs), and we’ve been playing together through the playoffs, it’s been great.”


(on if he think this is going to be the Ravens’ year) “I think that three-game losing streak we were on made us think about what we really wanted to do.  We just had to turn it around from there and I think we were able to get back on track.  I don’t think we ever gave up, and we didn’t lose sight of what we wanted to accomplish.”


(on the qualities of a good NFL defensive tackle) “Strength and quickness definitely helps, especially being in the middle when there’s so much going on.”


(on how he and his teammates are responding to being at the Super Bowl) “A lot of us are taking pictures and trying to record the moment of us flying here.  When our plane touched down, I think a lot of us realized we were here to do a lot of work and also to have some fun.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Sunday, January 27, 2013







(on the most “high maintenance” member of Ravens) “I don’t know about high maintenance but (Bernard) Pollard is kind of an OCD type of guy. He gets worried and kind of freaks out.  You’ve got to make sure that you’re doing the right things or he’ll freak out on you.”


(on the toughest guy on the Ravens) “You’re probably looking at him (laughs).  There’s a lot of guys on our team who are really quiet so you have to be careful around them.”


(on Coach John Harbaugh) “Coach Harbaugh has done so many things for this team by the way he wanted this team to be and the way he wanted to run it.  The first year or two, we definitely had some disagreements with him, but he definitely listened to some things that the players wanted.  He was able to put his feelings down and let some things happen.  This year has been totally where we’ve been able to communicate with Coach, and Coach has been able to communicate with the players.  He’s done a phenomenal job this whole year of communicating with us, and I think that’s been the biggest change.”


(on Coach Harbaugh competing against his brother in the Super Bowl) “We’ve played against them (49ers) before but I definitely think it is kind of weird and different (to compete against your brother).  But you’ve got to be proud of both guys for what they have accomplished. “


(on  the food on New Orleans) “I’m looking forward to it.  The Cajun food, the gumbo and all of that.  It’ll be pretty cool to try some of the food around here.”

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Rice says Niners defense similar to Ravens’ own

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on his feelings on being in the Superdome) “It feels great. Look at this place. It’s been cool. I can’t wait until the family comes down, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Tomorrow we get ready to work, ready to practice. It’s my first time here. I stood in our end zone. Hopefully, I’ll get me a little flexing there this week. It’s the Super Bowl. It’s the best event in the world. Everybody watches the Super Bowl, so to be playing in it is definitely special. I just go back to my roots where I was born up and raised, and it feels good.”


(on Jim Caldwell’s new role as offensive coordinator) “Coach Caldwell is a great guy. One thing about him is he kept things simple, but he has that way of saying something and getting it across to everybody. He coached the best, Peyton Manning, and look what he’s done with Joe [Flacco]. He was the quarterback’s coach, but now he took over the role of offensive coordinator. We all took that upon our shoulders to go in there and execute at a high level, but Jim Caldwell is definitely a great guy. That’s not something that you want, a change in between the seasons. One thing about it was our head coach made that decision. The players don’t make that. We go out there and make plays; that’s what we get paid to do. We don’t get paid to do anything else but go out there and make plays. That decision was solely upon the organization and the coach.”


(on his earliest Super Bowl memory) “I’ve never been to a Super Bowl, but the one I watched was in college when I watched the [New York] Giants play. I was actually coming out for the draft. I was coming out of college my third year to the draft. I remember going out to the little lounge. We were training for the combine and ended up watching the Super Bowl party. The game was over. I think [Giants WR] David Tyree made the catch, if I’m not mistaken. That was back in Jersey.  I brought all the guys I was training with down, and we watched the game.”


(on Ray Lewis) “The main thing that Ray Lewis has done for my career was he taught me how to be a pro. Me being a pro has everything to do with how you act, not only on the field, but off the field as well. He was a leader by example, but his words get across to not only us but everywhere in America. It feels good to know that he’s my guy not only on the field, but for life.”


(on his guilty pleasure during offseason) “Mom’s cooking and more of Mom’s cooking. I’m allergic to shellfish, so I don’t get a lot of sensations off seafood. I like a lot of grilled chicken. I like pasta. To me, I might be a little guy, but I’ve got to keep my weight on so I can absorb some of these hits. I’ve got to be the hammer and not the nail.”


(on why it’s hard to stop Ray Rice) “I wouldn’t say it’s hard to stop Ray Rice. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s the NFL. Every team comes in with a game plan. If the team wants to come in there and isolate Ray Rice, they can do that, and I can go off of pass routes. They won’t rush the defensive end. It just butchers you on the way out. I know these things, but it’s my job to go out there and make plays and not try to do anything that’s going to hurt our team. I think when you talk about stopping Ray Rice, you have to stop him in the pass game and you have to stop him in the run game. I’m just as dangerous in catching a pass as I am in running a ball as well. A pass to me isn’t anything but a long handoff, so once I get it, I’m good.


(on NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis) “NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are sizeable guys. They’re the two best linebackers in football, and one thing about [the 49ers] is if you try to find a weakness, they really don’t have any. I’ll be honest; they don’t have a weakness. This is one of those games where you just have to keep sawing wood. One thing about it is, you don’t just keep trying those guys and think that it’s going to be all right. That 52 and 53 are going to be around a long time. They’re going to be a force to reckon with, sort of like our guys. I’ll just try to go out there and match up on them on coverage. That’s where I’ll try to get my advantages because I know,  in the run game, they’re very stout. So, I have to try to have a complete game plan and prepare to attack those two linebackers. They get downhill, and I know my fullback isn’t around, but he’s got his hands full. We know that.”







Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013





(on San Francisco’s defense) “If you look at their structure, the defense is similar to ours with that 3-4, big nose guard and great pass rushes. We see that kind of stuff every day, and we’re successful against our guys. Yeah, they stop us, but we go at them and this year is one of those years where you can see the tide changing a little bit. On the offense, we’ll win a little more battles than we’re supposed to, but when you have that challenge in front of you, not to say the league is vanilla, but it makes you feel so prepared when you go out there to know that you’re going against one of the best defenses. You’ve just got to go out there and execute.”


(on how he wants to be perceived) “Our head coach told us to let our personality shine. When you’re at the level of where you’re at, you’ve got to let your personality shine. I’m 26, and I’ve got a lot left in the tank, but Ray (Lewis) always puts it in perspective: ‘How will you be remembered, and what will your legacy be?’ This is part of my legacy right here, my obligation to the media and letting my personality get out there. I’ve been through enough in my life that I’ve just got to smile when I’m out. People ask why I’m smiling, and it’s because I’m blessed. I’ve been through so much in my life that there’s nothing really to frown about. I want to be known as somebody that’s always smiling, even on gloomy days. You find a smile on a gloomy day. I put life in perspective. There’s people out there that’s really hurting, fighting cancer, all kinds of sicknesses and stuff, and here I am playing in the Super Bowl. What more do I have to complain about? There’s really nothing to complain about. You put money aside. I’m still breathing. I’m still healthy. I’m still doing what I love to do. That’s something that’s special about the NFL that gives you an opportunity. To me, that’s what it’s really all about.”


(on preparing for the Super Bowl) “I’ve been prepping my mind for it. I don’t think you actually get ready for it because it’s my first time. The only time you really have to get ready for it is through experience. My experience is only what I’ve learned from our guy, Ray Lewis. I’m going to try to keep this week as normal as possible. Today when I’m done here, I’m going to work out. I do my cardio and everything I need to do. Tomorrow, I’ll get after it in practice. Thursday, I’ll get after it. Then, I’ll start toning it down where I take care of the body to keep it as normal as possible.”


(on former Ravens owner, Art Modell) “Ray had a deeper relationship, but from the time I got to know Mr. Modell. One thing about it is there’s no Baltimore Ravens without Art Modell’s vision. Where would I be right now without Art Modell? That’s just a question you have to ask. To see him get into the Hall of Fame is something that I think this world deserves.”


(on if he’s satisfied now) “Coming out, I was told I wasn’t fast enough, strong enough, definitely wasn’t tall enough. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t jump high. I couldn’t do a lot of stuff. That’s been the story of my life. Am I satisfied now? Absolutely not… I’m not satisfied where I’m at. I’ve made three Pro Bowls, and I’m still not happy. I’m blessed and I’m humbled by the achievements, but I’m not to the point where I’m satisfied by my legacy. It has to keep going. These 1,000-yard seasons have to keep going. Sharing the load at running back is probably one of the greatest things that’s happened to me because I don’t have to put that wear and tear on my body. One of the things I do is spell myself. I have a great young running back who can come in and take some of that pressure off of me, and that feels really good.”


(on promoting anti-bullying) “You know how they say, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words shouldn’t hurt you?’ Words are killing people, and it’s happening over the web with cyberbullying. That’s just something I couldn’t believe. You know, I get it. Sometimes people tell me how terrible I am, and it doesn’t affect me because I know what it’s all about, but you get a vulnerable kid who takes these words to heart and feel like it’s not worth living anymore. I had to say something about it. I had to. I believe social media is great, but you get people out there who take so much advantage of it, and I use it as a tool to give back positive messages. One thing about social media is you can get your personality out there, but it shouldn’t hurt people. That’s where people get it twisted.”








Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013






(on his team making it to the Super Bowl) “We were counted out the whole playoffs. We were not the team. People wanted to see Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. That’s what they’re used to, but we’re here. It feels pretty good. We’ve been close. Anyone who knows the Ravens knows we’ve always been close. I’ve been in the playoffs every year my professional career. I know what playoff football is about. I went to three AFC Championships. So, it just tells you that these opportunities don’t come by too often to play in the Super Bowl, so it feels pretty good.”


(on the running back position) “I have tremendous respect for every running back in the game, but [San Francisco RB] Frank Gore gets on you really fast. When he gets those shoulders going low, I tell you. I watch running backs. I study them. The reason I wear number 27 is because of [former NFL RB] Eddie George. It’s just one of those games where you think back on where we came from. [Minnesota RB] Adrian Peterson has done a lot for running backs this year. He brought our value back up. We weren’t seeing value because of the way quarterbacks are throwing the ball now. It’s still amazing, but when you get a guy go for 2,000 rushing yards, and the sole reason why his team was in the playoffs, how could you not value the running back? We’re like a big fraternity. I like to see all the running backs do well because it brings our value up for the next generation that comes in. I’m not saying my contract wasn’t great because my family is blessed, and I thank the Ravens for everything they’ve done for me, but running backs aren’t going anywhere. The football needs the running back. Obviously, I’m just one that does a little bit more. I catch, I run, and do a little bit different things, but I don’t have a problem taking it between the tackles as well.”


(on the fullback position) “Everybody who knows me knows that I’m nothing without my offensive line, but I’m nothing without my fullback. Last year when we played the 49ers, Vonta Leach cracked his helmet. He literally cracked his helmet. I have a picture… he cracked his helmet on [San Francisco LB] Patrick Willis. That’s a position that’s real and not being appreciated in this game. They’re skilled linemen, but they can catch the ball. Vonta Leach, without him, they say they like to go to that single-back offense. No, keep my fullback in front of me.”


(on assuming leadership after Ray Lewis’ retirement) “We had our leaders, and I never spoke over our leaders. When you have a guy saying he’s done, I don’t mind taking on that vocal leadership now. I’ve been taught under the best. I don’t need to speak if something doesn’t need to be addressed, but I will always be that guy now in the locker room that Coach looks to say something to the guys and get them going. I’m not going to shy away from that. It’s a blessing to be able to have something handed down from [Ray Lewis] who we call Mufasa around the building, and they call me Simba.”


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49ers TE Davis knows old Maryland friends will be watching Sunday

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on what the team is focusing on during this week of preparation) “Just keeping the focus that we need to have because it’s easy to get distracted. We have to maintain a good level of focus.”


(on how he would describe Head Coach Jim Harbaugh in one word) “Energetic.”


(on what is the one thing about QB Colin Kaepernick that has impressed him the most) “His ability to maintain focus under pressure. He came in late in the year, and he can still maintain his focus. That was something that impressed me.”


(on how the 49ers can win the game) “The 49ers will win if we play to the highest level of our potential.


(on former 49ers head coach Mike Singletary playing a part in this team’s success) “I think that he did have a key role in helping to make us successful.  When Singletary was here, he helped mold us. That’s one thing that I appreciate about him is that he was always there for us and he stayed on us no matter what.”


(on how he felt about the quarterback switch during the season) “We pretty much had to support Harbaugh’s decision. He is the head coach, so whatever decision he makes we have to support it no matter what. Whether we like it or dislike it.”


(on QB Alex Smith) “Alex is a class guy. He’s been through so much. He’s been on an emotional roller coaster. I wasn’t worried about Alex because I know that he can handle anything. He’s been high, he’s been low, and he’s been through so much at a young age. So he can pretty much handle whatever comes his way.”


(on what he thinks of media day so far) “I haven’t really paid attention to it. My thing is just keeping my focus. That’s what I’m here for. I’ve been to [NBA] All-Star weekend, I’ve been to a number of Super Bowls. Just the atmosphere and the things that are going on don’t really impress me. It’s not new to me, so I can maintain my focus as well as my teammates. They can do the same thing.”


(on whether it matters that the Super Bowl is in a fun city like New Orleans) “I doesn’t really matter because we’re not here to have fun. The game will be fun for us.”


(on where he does his curling in the offseason) “In the weight room.”


(on WR Michael Crabtree) “I think that Michael Crabtree has done a terrific job as far as stepping up and becoming a leader. He’s been through a lot as well. It’s takes time for a guy to come in and be successful.  You have to go through some things first before you can reach your highest peak. So I think that he’s been patient as far as that.”


(on WR Randy Moss) “I’m happy for Randy. I’m very happy for him because he’s been in this league for years now and he still hasn’t had a chance to win a Super Bowl. He’s finally at the stage where he can really make some things happen with this team and I’m very happy for him.”


(on playing in the Super Bowl against Maryland alumn Ravens’ WR Torrey Smith) “Torrey is a Maryland guy and to come from Maryland- there aren’t too many guys in the league that are from Maryland. So to have Torrey, who is playing at a high level and most of the guys that are in the league, I can name them but it’s a few, I’m very pleased to see that. Because most of the guys that I played with, to have them and especially Torrey, play in this game is truly a blessing.”


(on whether or not he was a Ravens fan growing up in Baltimore) “I was always a Washington Redskins fan, but I would see the Baltimore Ravens all of the time. I know that Ray Lewis had a brother that played with me in college: Keon Lattimore. So I would see him come through. But the Baltimore Ravens being my home team is pretty significant because everyone back there will be watching and they’ll get a chance to see me and my teammates playing as well.”


(on facing the Raven’s defense and LB Ray Lewis) “They’re a tough defense, very tough and physical. Ray Lewis is playing at a high level. I know he’s up in age put still playing. They’ve got a lot of guys over there. I know from playing them last year that they are really going to bring all that they have. Despite some of the injuries that they have they will play hard and fast. As an offensive unit we know that and so we have to start fast as well.”


(on the connection with QB Colin Kaepernick versus QB Alex Smith) “I was not frustrated when they made the change from Alex to Kaepernick because I knew that Harbaugh will make the right decision. As far as the adjustment to Colin Kaepernick, it took a little while at first. But as far as practice, we had to continue to work on our chemistry, building chemistry and just learning one another because Alex had been there since day one and it took years to build what we had. But it didn’t take too long to learn that with Kaepernick.”


(on the team’s multi-dimensional offensive weapons) “With this offense, you never know. One week it can be me, next week it can be (WR Michael) Crabtree, it can be (RB) Frank Gore. That’s what makes this offense unique is that you never know who’s number is going to be called each week. It’s a good thing because we’re winning. We’re here so how could you complain about it?”


(on the type of person that WR Randy Moss is) “My locker is right beside Randy’s. Randy is a great guy. I think that people view him the wrong way. He’s a terrific guy in the locker room. He’s funny, he’s energetic, he’ll always put a smile on your face and a lot of people don’t know that about him. I’m very thankful to have him as part of this team. I think that this has been a great year for him. Probably, after it’s all said and done, it’ll be one of the best years of his career.”


(on if he’s surprised at any of Randy Moss’s hobbies) “Randy’s favorite hobby is probably fishing. It did surprise me at first. I thought that he’d be one of those guys that played basketball during the offseason, but he likes to fish.”


(on winning the Super Bowl for Randy Moss) “I don’t think that we’re going into this game as far as winning for Randy. It would be great to be a part of this with him but our biggest thing is winning it for the team, the franchise, and our community because it’s been a long time. We’ve put a lot of work in just like Randy. He put a lot of work in throughout the years and he’s never won a Super Bowl. Our hopes are high for the team and for the community.”


(on how the 49ers could win in a close game) “In a close game, we would win because our defense doesn’t give up. Our offense is always aggressive and eager to win.”


(on how he feels about luck being on the 49ers side due to the hotel that they’re staying at) “I don’t think that this is a game of luck. I don’t really believe in luck, I believe in God. I believe that He’s always the way, He’s the answer, so prayer is important to me. So as far as luck, it doesn’t really stick to me.”


(on his message to service members overseas) “Good luck to all of the soldiers overseas. I’m honored to have you all as part of the United States of America and good luck out there.”


(on if he was concerned  on the offense’s use of the read-option) “As far as the read-option game, I wasn’t worried because this game is not about me, it’s about my team. I once read something that said, ‘In order to be great you have to be a servant, you have to be a slave.’ It’s a way of saying that you have to be humble and that’s something that I’ve learned here. I’m not worried about statistics and things like that. When I was younger I was. It was all about statistics. I had to get this number of catches, this number of yards. I don’t really care about that anymore. I’m more so worried about making it to the playoffs and making it to the Super Bowl.”


(on how special it is to be in New Orleans playing in the Super Bowl) “I was walking down the street the other day and I was looking up and I was like ‘Wow, the Super Bowl! This is incredible, man.’ Just being a part of this franchise is legendary (WR) Jerry Rice, (QB) Joe Montana, (QB) Steve Young and to be able to bring a ring back that’s something that you can cherish for the rest of your life.”


(on his own personal testimony) “As far as my story, I think that it’s important for young guys to see what I’ve gone through and the way that I view things, and what’s important and what is not important because they can learn from that. Because when I came in I was looking up to guys that were before me. The (Terrell Owens) and the (Chad Johnsons), I looked up to those guys. It is very important for guys to listen to the story of people like myself and learn from it.”


(on how his faith helps him stay focused both on and off of the field) “My faith as far as keeping me focused kind of works hand-in-hand. When I’m playing the game my faith is what keeps me going, keeps me humble, it makes me a leader. As far as off of the field I can stay away from the negativity that life brings you and that transforms me into a leader as well because I can go back and implement what I do off of the field to my teammates.”


(on his testimony) “I want people to remember that I was a man of God, I was a leader and that I was dedicated to this game. I also them to remember that I gave this game everything that I had as a tight end. I gave it everything. I gave it my all.”


(on QB Colin Kaepernick’s amazing start) “I was surprised at first, but when you look at Colin he wants to be great, he wants to be successful. He’s one of those guys that will give up anything to be great at this game and at his position. He’s alwaysd in the weight room, he works hard each and every day. That’s something that people don’t know about him that he’s always in the weight room, always. And it’s rare to see a quarterback in the weight room as much as he’s in there.”


(on Kaepernick’s physical ability) “I would call him a freak.”


(on the motivation it brings him seeing Kaepernick working out) “It does a lot. It motivates us because you have this quarterback, which is rare, in the weight room for a guy like him. It motivates us because I was walking in from practice one day and saw Colin doing abs and then he went over and started doing curls. I was like ‘I’m not going in. I’m about to go in the weight room myself.’ He doesn’t need to get too much bigger because he’s already throwing faster than anybody I’ve ever caught balls from.”


(on comparing himself from previous seasons) “The difference between me now and when I first came in was that it was all about me. I came in with the attitude to catch balls and get statistics and things like that. I didn’t care about the team. I was about Vernon, always but now I could care less about catching balls and getting statistics because I understand that the team is much bigger.”

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Upshaw hoping to win Super Bowl at same location he won BCS title

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on Harbaugh’s coaching style) “You have that extra leadership. Our team is full of leadership and as a young guy, you have to buy into that leadership and listen to the older guys.”


(on defending the 49ers’ unique offensive sets) “We just have to go out and have the coaches put us in the right position to make plays and to try to stop that offense. They’re a good offense so it’s not going to be easy. We watch the tape, so we see what they’re doing and what teams have success doing but those guys have had success so you’ve just got to go execute the game plan.


(on winning a National Championship at this exact spot last year) “It was great. I’m in the Super Bowl now so I have to put that feeling behind me and try to win this Super Bowl come Sunday.


(on the feeling of winning a National Championship with a dominant Alabama team) “That defense was dominant. The way we came out and played that game and the atmosphere here too. Winning the MVP was great.”


(on seeing some of his Alabama teammates go before him on day 1 of the NFL Draft) “I was disappointed. Honestly, I’m not going to lie to you, I was disappointed. I went back to the hotel, and a couple people with me and my agent prayed a lot about it. I was hoping Baltimore would take me the next day and that’s what happened. I’m here now, so I can’t look back on what didn’t happen in the first round of the draft.


(on the road to the Super Bowl with Ray as their leader) “Being along with Ray and Ed, you grow up wanting to be those guys playing backyard football. I say that all the time, but just the leadership here, to go from Alabama to the leadership here, there is not too much difference. Me being a young guy, I just bought into it and we are here in the Super Bowl now.


(on the similarities between the Alabama and Baltimore defenses) “Like you said, there are not too many differences with this team and with Coach Saban back in the day. They’re kind of similar. This is a hard, tough and physical defense with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed back there. You’ve got guys like Dannell Ellerbe who I look up to for his play on the field and for the kind of guy he is off the field.


(on what he has learned specifically from Ray Lewis) “To be a pro about any and everything. When going into the weight room to get extra reps, studying film and just knowing what you have to do and knowing what’s coming on the field.”


(on his journey from a difficult childhood to football’s national stage) “I’m always humble, number one. What I say about the Super Bowl is that I have to win it first. Those championships, I won those, but now I’m in the Super Bowl. I’m on a whole different level and I have to execute on the opportunity to win my first Super Bowl. I dreamed it and never thought I would be here. I didn’t even think I was going to go to college to play football and luckily I had people back home that put my name out there and sent my high school film to colleges. I never thought I’d be here to be honest with you.”


(on his friendly trash talk with former Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes) “Man, Auburn, Georgia, we talk about all that. You have a lot of Alabama haters around here man. It’s all fun and games. Alabama is on top. They’re tired of seeing Alabama win championships. For me to come here with two, I’ve got the upper hand.”


(on his time in New Orleans so far) “The week has been good. We got in yesterday after a good send off. It was great to see all those fans who came out to send us off.”







Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on having the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl) “I always tell everybody I have to go win it first. That’s what is most important to me now is to win this Super Bowl. I won those championships back at Alabama but now it’s time to move forward.”


(on the differences between getting to the BCS Championship and getting to the Super Bowl) “It’s another championship, but this is the biggest stage. As a kid, we grew up dreaming and hoping that we’d be in the Super Bowl. Not too many people in this league get the chance to get to that first Super Bowl. So for me to be a rookie, it’s just unbelievable. I have to execute on that opportunity.”


(on the idea of rookie nerves and his feelings as the Super Bowl inches closer) “Going into any game, a regular or preseason game, I’m always nervous before that first snap. Honestly, you just have to go out and do what we do. I’ve been playing football since a little kid, so it’s not the time to get nervous. That’s how you lose games.”


(on his approach to preparing himself both physically and mentally for a game) “When I get in that locker room, just minutes before we kick it off, the nerves build up because you are so anxious to get it started. Once I get that first hit in on the kickoff team, then I’m ready and the game has started so it’s time for me to do what I do.”


(on the lifestyle differences between Alabama and Baltimore) “It’s the snow. I had only seen snow twice before in my life in Alabama. It’s been great. I live in a nice little community where the neighbors are real good people. The people have been so good to me.”


(on media expectations and predictions and how they affect a team’s play) “You can’t really listen to that stuff. You just have to go out there and play your game. For the fans, a lot of people are going to predict and pick the 49ers. If we go out and play our game so you never know what’s going to happen. Honestly, this year throughout the season I learned not to watch TV that much because of the simple fact that they are always rooting against us. We just have to prove everyone wrong once more. It’s definitely motivation. We know what kind of team we have and we know we can be dominant. It’s all about just doing it out on the field.”


(on the transition from college football to the professional level) “Early on, I had some issues with my weight and the conditioning. Nick Saban and that coaching staff down there at Alabama does a great job trying to prepare us for this.”


(on the experience of playing in the Superdome) “I’m familiar with it. This is my third time playing in here for a football game on this field. I don’t want to say it’s my home field since I’ve only been here 3 times. It was great to win a championship here last year with Alabama. But now it’s time for me try to execute on my opportunity at the Super Bowl.”


(on his relationship with Baltimore’s head coach John Harbaugh) “It’s been great playing for coach. I told him after we got that win against the Patriots that I was glad that they brought me in to Baltimore. I’m trying to beat his brother. It’s a team game. We all want to win just for coach, to say he beat his brother, but also to get Ray Lewis a ring and get Baltimore another trophy. “


(on the differences in coaching styles between Nick Saban and John Harbaugh) “They will get on you. I say that first hand. At Alabama, I had my share of run-ins with coach, especially as a freshman. In my rookie year, coach Harbaugh has got on me a few times. I’m just trying to do things the right way and be a pro about a lot of things.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013








(on what he looks forward to most about being New Orleans besides playing in the Super Bowl) “Well, this is my third time here. I’ve done it all. I had the food and enjoyed Bourbon Street after the win last year.



(on being a part of a team with Ray Lewis as its leader) “In this game of football, you have to execute on your opportunities. You dream about being a part of team like this, ever since playing in the backyard with the Ray Lewis jersey on. It’s a great feeling.


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Flacco not bothered by “dull” label

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on disagreeing with the Super Bowl location for next year) “I think it’s obvious reasons. They’ve done it the way they’ve been doing it for 47 years. There’s a lot that goes into this game, more than just playing the game: it’s about the fans and it’s about the players that played for the right to get there. There are a lot of things that go into it and it’s just kind of a crazy decision, I believe.”


(on all of the media presence) “You kind of just try to avoid it and ignore it as much as you can, but obviously that’s hard to do with all the media hype that surrounds this football game. You kind of just have to take it in and enjoy it and realize that it’s a pretty cool situation that you’re in.”


(on his hometown) “I think a lot of people’s personality is shaped from where they are from and what kind of environment they grew up in. It is a very small town, very tight knit group. I think it just makes you proud and I hope we can go out there and represent them well.”


(on his high school) “There are a lot of positives. I think you develop a lot of relationships that you’re able to take with you throughout time. I think that’s what has happened.”


(on LB Ray Lewis’ pregame ritual) “He has the craziest ritual. I’m trying to think of all the guys that do stuff. I try not to pay attention to it but you have Terrell Suggs, you have Jacoby Jones on our team, you have Ray Lewis. You have a bunch of really fun personalities so they kind of all do their thing. I just kind of sit there and wait for the game to get going.”


(on if he plays worse in domes) “I don’t think so. I mean .500? Is that all I’ve played in domes? Five years and only six games in domes, that’s pretty crazy. The truth of the matter is when I get in here and start throwing the ball around you really get kind of excited about it just because you can tell the difference. The ball really goes in here and there are no real elements to deal with. I haven’t really thought too much about it.”


(on playing on turf) “Our home stadium is on turf. I know we’re outside but I think we have some fast guys. I don’t know who it lends better to but I think we play well on this surface.”


(on teachers influencing him) “There’s a bunch of people along the way. I think the grade school teachers are the ones who are around you the longest and that you probably remember the most.”


(on being in New Orleans) “This is the first time I’ve ever been here so it’s pretty cool. It seems like a very fun time. It’s not the biggest the city so it seems like you can kind of go out and hang out and have a good time with a bunch of people you know. I was walking around the city for a little bit last night just to kind of get a feel for it and it seemed pretty cool. Most places I would assume you go out on a Monday night and just walk around it’s pretty quiet, pretty dead and parts of the city were like that but other parts of the city it didn’t seem too much like a Monday night, it could have been a weekend night. It’s kind of crazy to think about what this place might be like on the weekend.”


(on if he believes he’s considered elite) “I don’t really care. To be honest with you it’s kind of a crazy question, it’s weird to answer. I’m just going to let my play speak for itself. I don’t know if it’s answered it or not, it’s really not my job to concern myself with that. You guys can all talk about that. If we come out here and play the game the way we should and the way we can then I don’t care and I don’t think anyone else is going to care. We’re going to be feeling pretty good about ourselves and what we accomplished.”


(on if he’s going to run the shotgun offense) “I’m not ready to run any of that. You can leave that to the 49ers and our guys trying to stop it.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on if last season still haunts him) “Not at all. I put that behind me once the offseason was over. Even the offseason when we were talking about things like that it was all good stuff and it wasn’t really anything I was concerned about. I’ve been able to go out there and just play and not really worry about that.”


(on if being called dull bothers him) “No. People have been telling me that my dad was quoted as calling me that. I think the bottom line is I think he takes it as a compliment because I believe that it probably means I’m going out there and carrying myself in a good manner and not giving anybody a reason to maybe like me or dislike me. Either way, I don’t really concern myself with that. It’s all good with me.”


(on how he would describe himself) “I don’t know if I would say I’m dull but I’m probably close to it.”


(on his head coach) “I think John (Harbaugh) does a great job of walking the line between being that very intense guy and also allowing us to go out there and play the way we played very well, which is a loose-type setting. He has a lot trust in us that we are going to go out there and work hard. That takes a lot as a head coach because you always want to be so hands on and you want to have your impact on the team. To be able to let us go out there and trust us, even though we’re a loose-type of team. The fact that he trusts us to go out there and get it done and then turn it over to us on game day, that’s takes a lot.”


(on if he has any tattoos) “No, no tattoos.”


(on the rough patch during the season) “What I said about the loss is I think everybody will try to make it out like we are 0-14. It’s kind of crazy. We lost those three games there and a couple of them were really tight games. The Denver one wasn’t, but the others were. I don’t think we were playing bad in those games. I think, after those games were over, we got to a point where people were getting back and getting healthy, and we were getting our whole team together. Now, we just kind of hit that stride and we’re getting better and better each week.”


(on the Denver playoff game) “There’s really no real way to explain it. It was an incredible game to be a part of. I think both sides played really hard and it turned out in a crazy way. I think we played well enough to win the game. I don’t know if it will ever happen again that way but we’re glad it happened that way that game.”


(on what he expects on game day) “I have no idea. I assume it’s going to be pretty cool. Some of the things that we’ve done leading up to this point you start to get goose bumps just thinking about it. When the day comes that we run out here and get ready to play I assume it’s going to be pretty darn cool.”


(on being nervous before the game) “I’m sure there will be a little bit of that. That’s part of coming out and playing in this type of environment. I think most of our guys haven’t played in the Super Bowl before. We’ve played in some big games but nothing quite like this, so it will be interesting to see how we’ll react. I think we have the kind of team, and I think I’m the kind of person, that will handle that pretty well, but you never know until you’re put in that situation. I hope that we all just kind of get good, positive feelings from it and it brings our confidence level even higher and we just go out there and play.”


(on the people that said they couldn’t get to the Super Bowl) “We have a good football team. I don’t really care if people said bad things or not. It’s what is going to happen, it’s part of being a quarterback: you’re going to get talked badly about and you’re going to be put in a good light. You just have to take it for what it is.”


(on if the naysayers motivated him) “I think there is definitely a part of all of us that hear things and when somebody doubts what you want to do, you definitely go show them that they may be wrong. I think for the most part we play for each other and that stuff is kind of a secondary issue.”

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Niners P Lee believes in Akers

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on if he can relate to what kicker David Akers has been going through towards the end of the season) “It’s tough. He’s been hanging in there and he’s been working really hard. It’s just something – that sometimes there’s one little bitty thing here and there off because he kicks the ball great in practice. His form looks great. Everything looks great. It’s just like little things here and there. It’s just little fine tuning things. Those are the hardest, I think, to do because if it’s a big thing you can make a big change. If it’s a little thing, it’s just hard to tweak here and there. We’ve just been in there trying to work and trying to get things right. His head is right and I have all the confidence in him in the world.”


(on if his first NFL game was a game that he actually played in during his rookie year) “Yes, I’ve never actually watched an NFL game from the stands. I grew up in South Carolina, went to University of Clemson games. It’s a big college town, college area. The NFL was never a big thing for me, really ever, until probably midway through the University of Pittsburgh because the Steelers were so good.”


(on what it was like playing an NFL game for the first time)  “A little nerve-wracking to be honest with you. Now it’s just kind of another thing now. But there was anxiety, kind of surreal I guess you could say.”


(on if he thinks the role of special teams gets enough credit in comparison to in the past) “I think now it’s getting more prevalent and people are starting to understand the field position game and how much means. So, I think it’s getting enough credit this day in age, but I think in the past there’s been a little bit of rejection.”


(on if the team has rallied around David Akers following his performance this season) “Yes. Everybody on the team, as far as I know, that I know of, has total respect for him. He’s still a great kicker. He’s still doing a great job.”


(on if it helped the special teams unit when head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to stick with David Akers) “I definitely think change is harder, especially with me holding and doing all that kind of thing. I think with our system, we’re comfortable together. So, not making that change, I think, is putting the confidence back in David. I think it was the right decision.”


(on if he thinks the game could come down to punting and field position considering both teams have strong defenses) “Yes, definitely I think there’s a chance for that. You never know. Sometimes you just bust defenses wide open. So, it would be nice to just be holding all game, probably means that we’re scoring a lot of points. If we have to go out there and punt, this is a great place to do it and I definitely think that this could be one of those games.”


(on if the limited number of return yards is a result of good hang-time and not outkicking his coverage) “I would say I have a really good coverage team. They’ve done a really great job, especially C.J. Spillman. I don’t know of any other NFL teams that has two All-Pro, Pro Bowl defensive players on the punt team either. NaVorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson are on our punt team. We have a great unit. They really cover well. I can’t take all the credit for any of the coverage stuff. That’s a lot of them. Putting the ball in certain places, hitting them high, it helps them. But, they’ve done a great job and they’ve backed me up on some missed kicks, too.”


(On what role his faith has had in leading him up to this point) “It’s what I live by, so every day I try to get up and do the best I can to live as closely to Jesus as I can, which I fail every day. It keeps me going. It’s what keeps me trying to make my family as happy as I can, treating my wife the best I can, and treating my kids the best I can and keeping them first.”


(On what his day-to-day role with the team) “Pretty much what we do is we’ll have our meetings. We don’t have meetings like other guys that are really long and drawn out because pretty much what I need to know is how to catch it and kick it. Are they rushing this? Maybe speed up a little bit. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life, so there’s nothing really new to learn. It’s a lot of, what can I do to get my mind off the game, mentally. Physically, just making sure you’re not kicking too much. It’s more stress related.”

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Niners K Akers feels good going into SB despite rocky stretch

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff





(on if he takes a moment to draw upon his faith during times of adversity) “Well, I try to give thanks when things are positive as well, but absolutely during that time, I think everybody, as humans, we question a lot of what’s going on or we can’t see the big picture of what’s happening. Sometimes the answer comes quickly and sometimes it takes a long time before reflection is turned into answers. So I look in and go to the scripture of, ‘Lean on our own understanding’ and ‘His ways.”


(on what it will be like to walk out of the tunnel on Sunday) “It is exciting. You come in, it’s an absolute circus here as we pan around here, but there is a game in between there. So, one thing Andy Reid said when I played in Jacksonville against the Patriots there in that Super Bowl, was to just take a second and look around at the stadium and enjoy the moment. Because a lot of guys work really hard and they never get this opportunity. I’ve been here twice now, we lost the first one, and hopefully things will be a little bit different this Sunday.”


(on if he’s had a chance to speak with Adam Vinatieri about his experiences) “I still think Adam’s best kick was the one in the snow, though, against the Raiders to get them into the Super Bowl, or to tie the game and then to hit the game winner. Again, he’s one of those guys whose been very clutch over his career. A lot of guys that are clutch like Adam just haven’t been put in that opportunity. But again, great guy, worked hard, and has produced on the field many, many times.”


(on if he feels that being a kicker is an unfair position to play in football) “I don’t know if it’s an unfair position, I think it’s just kind of the reality of what the game is and how it’s designed and just kind of the position that I chose to be in as a kicker.”


(on if he prefers to be in a dome as opposed to being in an open stadium) “The environmental issues are a little different here. You don’t have as much wind and you have steady footing on the surface. It doesn’t guarantee you success, that’s for sure, but yeah, it will help as far as that goes. You don’t get any help getting any further distance with wind at your back though, either.”


(on if special teams are underrated during the Super Bowl) “Oh, I think special teams are underrated a lot of times. Well first off, as a special teams coordinator, they’re the only guys that actually deal with the entire team. Every other coach has their own group, but a special teams coordinator has, other than the head coach, is the only one who deals with the entire team. That being the case, I truly believe that shows the importance of really what’s going on out there. Kickoff and the punt, they will change the hidden yardage of the game, so you can have sometimes over 100 and some yards in hidden yardage that can add another touchdown for sure.”


(on how he has a separate mentality like a relief pitcher in baseball) “I think it’s kind of like, as you said, like a relief pitcher. You’re brought in at one time and hopefully are going to do good when you go on the field, because it’s pretty obvious when you don’t. So there’s no gray area. Same thing with a relief pitcher; you’ve got to either finish the game off, or, for us, go out whether it’s the first extra point of the game or the last-second field goal.”


(on his thoughts about the media covering the Super Bowl) “It’s part of the game. It is what it is, so you kind of deal with it. And then Sunday, hopefully go out and have a good game, and hopefully come back world champions.”


(on the faith and character of the team) “Strong character is built, it’s not just automatically given. So a lot of guys have gone through a lot of perseverance, a lot of trials, and they’ve stood through those trials and the character has developed through that. Because of that, I think that’s why you see so many strong guys, like the Patrick Willis’ of the world. (He) had such a horrible childhood experience, but yet has been able to come out strong and be able to be a leader on and off the field and the way he is as a man is really impressive and inspirational. For that, that’s just one example, but there are a lot of guys, whether it’s Vernon Davis or Frank Gore, very strong in what they believe and strive in each day in their walk.”




Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on how his relationship with God has helped him through a year like this year) “It’s been a tough personal season for myself. Injuries in the beginning of the year, having surgery, and then rehabbing. Having a great preseason, great opening game, and then kind of some inconsistencies – to be good, then would be down – so I kind of go to this: the frustration gets to a point where, ‘Lean not on your own understanding.’ Then you go back and say, ‘Okay, His ways are –, His thoughts are – ,’ so I don’t know why a lot of stuff’s going on. You reflect on it, the answers aren’t there. At one time in the future, I think those will become more clear.”


(on the power of scripture in his life and what it does for him) “For me, being a spiritual guy and understanding the relationship, I believe that is kind of the blueprint for what we’re supposed to do in certain situations. Does it necessarily come with answers? No, but you kind of lean on that and stay strong in the faith.”


(on if there’s a scripture that he leans heavily on in his life) “I keep going on Romans 8:28. I believe that we’re all here for a purpose, and trying to figure out what that purpose is. As long as you love God, then you know that He has a plan for you and you’ve got to just keep working in the situation that you’re in.”


(on if there’s any spiritual advice that he can give to the younger guys experiencing their first Super Bowl) “I believe that just staying strong, and what you believe, the character, who you are – don’t change that. And don’t just get into worldly things because people are patting you on the back. So I’ve talked about that with guys a lot during the season. We’ve got a lot of great guys on this team, so hopefully they can actually give me some advice – even though I’m the oldest. I think everybody looks at me because I’m the oldest.”


(on if he talked to other kickers or special teams players during his recent struggles) “You know what’s crazy is we talk about that stuff all the time, we kind of always bounce stuff off each other, so yeah, that’s definitely part of it.”


(on if there was any one player that was helpful to him) “I wouldn’t say any one, I kind of take advice from a lot of people. Take in the good and throw away the bad.”


(on his professional journey to the Super Bowl) “It’s been a crazy, crazy situation. I actually started in ’97 with the Panthers in training camp, went back – I was teaching sixth grade science as a permanent substitute teacher, and went to the Falcons in ’98. Got cut from there, went to the Redskins, was practice squad, got brought up, missed a couple kicks. In the first game, actually my first regular season kickoff was returned 90 yards for a touchdown, so it’s not really the way you want to start off your career. But the Eagles ended up bringing me in in ’98, the end of ’98, signing me from the beginning of ’99. Went to NFL Europe, they allocated me over there, had a great time over there, and then spent 12 years with the Eagles. Last year, had a great year out here, and this year has been rocky, to say the least. Hopefully, we can end up strong.”


(on if he ever had any thoughts that an NFL career might not pan out) “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I had a wife that was really strong, though, and she said give it another year, give it one more ride, and see what happens. Because of that, I did, opportunities came into place, and we’re here now 14 years later. Absolutely, you’ve got to have the people there that are there to support you, give you advice, and the right opportunity came along as well.”


(on if he ever worries about getting a blindside hit that becomes a YouTube video) “Being a YouTube video would be the least of my concerns if I got blindsided or something. You’re making sure you’ve got all your teeth, and all that. Looking out the ear hole.”


(on if there’s a certain fear a special teams player has that a position player doesn’t have) “Well as a kicker, you don’t want to miss, and you don’t want to get a blocked kick, so that’s not a good situation.”

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Fangio still impressed with Flacco after being with him for rookie season

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff





(on returning to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where he used to coach for the Saints) “It feels good to be back here. It’s where it all started for me in the NFL. I was here a good nine years. Still, it’s overriding that it’s the Super Bowl, but it’s nice to be back here.”


(on the opportunity to be in the Super Bowl) “It’s special. There are only two teams that make it this far each year. We happen to be one of them. It makes it special. This group of players and team makes it even more special. It’s been a good group. We’ve had a good two-year run here and to culminate it with a chance to win it all is special.”


(on the advantages of running a 3-4 defense as opposed to a 4-3 defense) “Everything seems to have a run. I can remember when I first came into the NFL here with the Saints, there were only three or four teams running the 4-3. Everybody else ran the 3-4. Then there came a point around the mid-1990s to late 1990s where it kind of flipped. Then slowly here in the 2000s, it’s become pretty balanced – almost 50-50 (percent) 3-4 versus 4-3.  The 3-4 does allow you some versatility. You do have another guy on the field who has pass responsibility as his job description, so you can mix and match a little bit better that way. The angles are a little different in the running game as for the offense to block it, but really it comes down to the players. You have a front-seven, and whether it’s 3-4 or 4-3, the good teams will make it work. In my opinion, there are some advantages to the 3-4.”


(on whether more teams are running a 3-4 defense because colleges are producing smaller pass rushers) “Yes and no. That’s one of the arguments personnel people had against being a 3-4. They felt it was hard to find the outside linebackers to play that position because colleges weren’t playing (the 3-4). We’re all a product of the college system to some degree. They’re our farm system. It is hard to find those guys. That’s why when you find them you have to latch on to them. We have two good ones here in Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. And you always have to end up projecting some of those guys. Aldon Smith actually played more defensive tackle in college than he played defensive end in college. He had never been a linebacker at any level, but we had to project that and foresee that. We did. Luckily we were correct and he was able to do that. Invariably, there are a lot of projections going on.”


(on comparing his current group of linebackers to the “Dome Patrol” he coached in New Orleans, which included All-Pro linebackers Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills and Vaughan Johnson)  “The ‘Dome Patrol’ was a great group. I think the one thing that was great about them was those guys started together for seven straight seasons and these guys have only started together one season because Aldon wasn’t a starter last season, (although) he played a lot. They’re into their second year as a group. I keep telling them they have to get to the point where they’re together for six or seven years, so I can compare them to those guys. Hopefully we can keep them that long together. I think we can and there are great players in both groups. I’ve told our linebackers here that. I’ve been asked that question already a lot this year and I knew it would get asked here. I knew at some point I’d be able to give a favorable comparison.”


(on finding linebackers who work well together in a 3-4 base defense) “It is hard to find those guys. As the inside linebackers go, I think our inside linebackers can play in a 4-3 just as equally as well. It’s the outside linebackers that are hard to find. Again, we have two good ones here in Brooks and Smith. We had two really good ones back here in the day in Pat Swilling and Rickey Jackson. Swilling and Aldon Smith’s careers have paralleled a little bit. Pat was a pass-rushing defensive end at Georgia Tech. He had never been a linebacker. He really only played rush end in sub-(package) situations for us his first year here with the Saints, and then we groomed him into being a full-time player his second year. That experience kind of helped me with Aldon because I knew I didn’t want to force it on him too quickly. Also, we didn’t have the offseason his rookie year with the (2011)-lockout, so he lost a lot of work there. There are some comparisons between those two guys. And Ricky Jackson, Ricky Jackson was just the opposite. He played 3-4 outside linebacker  in college for four years at Pittsburgh and then was here his whole career. He played that position his whole career. He was groomed for that and was ready to go. (He was) a great player, a Hall of Famer. There’s always a different story between all outside linebackers you find.”


(on LB Patrick Willis and DT Ricky Jean Francois) “Patrick, as everybody knows, is a great player. He was before we got there and I think he’s improved the last few years. Ricky is our fourth defensive lineman. He can play any of the three spots up front. He replaced Justin Smith when Justin missed his two games, went in there and did a really nice job for us. He had a big play in the New England game that helped seal the win there. He had a big play in the Arizona game when we were struggling in that game, which we had to win to win the division. He has played well. He’s a darn good player and he’s a very valuable player for us.”


(on Ravens QB Joe Flacco) “I was there when Flacco was drafted in Baltimore. Right from the beginning, I was very impressed with him. He has a big arm, throws the ball very easily and naturally. He’s calm. He’s knowledgeable. The game is not too big for him. In fact, I told (Baltimore Head Coach) John Harbaugh early on in the process the first offseason we were there with him during OTAs, I told him he has his horse that he can ride the next 10-to-15 years as his quarterback in Baltimore. I thought that then and I still think that.”


(on the growth of Joe Flacco into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL) “He has had the benefit of playing in the same offensive system for five straight years, so he’s grown into that. I know the first year he was there, there was a special emphasis made not to throw the ball inside too much with a young quarterback. He now throws the ball inside equally well as outside. He’s one of the few quarterbacks in the NFL that can throw the ball outside the numbers – the deep-outs, the deep-comeback [and] the deep-ends with proficiency. A lot of times you’re afraid to do (that) or don’t have quarterbacks that can do that, so he can stretch the defense that way with his throws outside. He kind of reminds me of Troy Aikman in that respect. When Troy was in his heyday, they’d run the ball, run the ball, then throw the ball outside deep and make you pay for playing the run too much. Joe is the perfect fit for their offense.”


(on whether the linebackers are the “heart-and-soul” of their defense) “We have a great group (of linebackers). I don’t know if they’re the ‘heart-and-soul’ of our defense. We’re 11 guys playing as one. Our defensive linemen are a huge part of this defense as is our secondary. We have great linebackers. There’s no hiding that. They’re on the field all the time. Whether we’re in nickel or base, they stay out there. Those two outside linebackers become our ends in the nickel and our two inside linebackers stay in the game. They’re out there all the time. They’re really great players. They’re athletic. Our inside linebackers are athletic enough to play in the passing situations. We feel fine about leaving them out there [and] matching them up against tight ends and even wide receivers at times. They allow us some flexibility.”


(on the importance of having linebackers who can stop the run and cover against the pass) “It will always be important. Your linebackers are your primary tacklers. We have two good ones in [NaVorro] Bowman and Willis. I think what people are alluding to is the old traditional linebacker, the big thick linebacker who plays the run game between the tackles very physically. Sometimes those guys don’t have the place to be a full-time player anymore because of the passing game and everyone spreading it out with four wide receivers or running empty backfield sets. Those types of guys have lost their spots, but our guys are athletic enough to stay out there.”


(on how much it helps to work with Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula) “It helps a lot. Jim is a great football coach. He was one of the coaches we kept from the previous staff. You never quite know how you’re going to mesh when you haven’t worked with a guy before, but it was pretty evident that Jim and I see football the same way. We have the same philosophy of doing things, so it’s been a really clean, natural fit for what he believes with the defensive line and what I believe. That part of it is great.”


(on comparing the 49ers’ linebackers to Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs) “They’re right there with them. They’re the upper echelon of linebackers. I think our guys are, too, and they’re right there with them. Suggs is very similar to Aldon Smith. I used him as a comparison a lot of times in explaining to our guys how we needed to bring Aldon Smith along. Suggs didn’t play in a base (defense) his first year in the NFL, he just played nickel. The next year, he was groomed into being a full-time player and that’s what we did with Aldon Smith.”

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Niners QB Smith says more film study needed before facing Reed, Ravens

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on Kaepernick taking the starting job) “No question, I’m not going to lie about any of that. [It’s been] tough at times for sure, tough to accept, tough to watch, but we’re in the Super Bowl, and this has been an amazing experience. It’s a great team, I love being a part of it. I have said it before, it’s bittersweet a little bit, but still, it’s been a great thing to be a part of.”


(on his frustration losing the starting job) “I mean, it’s only human nature that things like that do happen, but for me it’s just trying to shut all that down. That’s not doing any good for anybody, certainly not me. For me, it’s focusing on my job, staying ready, and being the best teammate I can. Those are the priorities for me; those are what I try to focus on.”


(on the Ravens’ strengths) “I don’t know if there’s any one spot; they are good across the board. Very physical up front, good in the back end, and good in the middle. For us it will be a challenge. There are no weak spots, as you would expect from a Super Bowl defense. They are really well-rounded, and, for us, I think it is going to take a balanced attack. We’re going to have to be able to do it all: run, pass, mix it up and keep them on their heels.”


(on him requesting to be released) “I don’t know where this stuff comes from. I’m focused on this game and helping this team win a championship and doing whatever I can do. That stuff can wait; there is plenty of time for that in a week.”


(on Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard) “Both are really good players, both veteran guys. They really understand what they’re doing. They know offenses well; they know what quarterbacks try to do. Pollard is a very physical guy. You see it on the tape, some of the hits he makes, his physical presence. With Ed, he’s unique in his own right. He’s so unorthodox in how he plays; it’s not textbook safety play that you’re used to seeing. He plays Cover 2 different than anybody; he plays the middle of different than anybody, and obviously has exceptional range and great instincts. When he is around the ball he has great ball skills as well. He’s a unique guy to go against; it definitely requires a lot of film study because he doesn’t play safety like anybody else.”


(on how Coach Harbaugh’s impact on the team and himself) “I just think he understands what it’s like to be back there. The expectation level, he understands the plays you should be making back there, what are tough plays to make back there and what it’s like to go through a game to go through a season, and I think constantly just thinking about putting players in a position to succeed. It’s no different as a quarterback he’s just trying to put us all in a position to succeed and he understands what it’s like to be back there so I think he has a good idea what it takes.


(on the experience) “Amazing. You’d love to be starting but it’s a blessing to be at a Super Bowl, there’s a lot of guys that play a long time that don’t ever get here, so I’m enjoying it. We’ve got a great team, a great group of guys, loving it.”


(on the challenges of the week) “For me it’s the same as the rest of the guys. There are a lot of distractions. You’re away from home, a lot of things that break up routine. For myself it’s just trying to remain focused. There’s a lot of things going on, things like this that are out of the ordinary. Just stay focused, stay in the game plan and get ready to play the game.”


(on his coaching of Colin Kaepernick) “I don’t know about that, it’s probably a better question for Coach and Colin. We’ve got a great QB room, all the guys are great, starting with [Quarterbacks Coach] Geep [Chryst]. For me it’s just being a good teammate, I don’t know if I’m doing anything extraordinary, just doing my job.”


(on if he feared losing his job) “I knew there was an opportunity there, no question. You’re letting the next guy step in and get an opportunity. I fully knew what Colin was potentially capable of. He came in and made the most of it. It’s the nature of sports.”






Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on if he wanted to lash out) “I don’t about lash out. In my mind it’s focus on things you can control and there was nothing about that I could have changed, the way it happened. Stuff like that happens, it’s football, there’s going to be injuries, it’s a physical game.”


(on Kaepernick taking over as the starter) “We’re in the Super Bowl, this is a great thing. It’s been an amazing ride. We’ve still got one left here. I’m not thinking about that stuff right now. My role changed, however many weeks ago that was, and I’ve taken on this new role. That’s my job. Now it’s to stay ready to go and help this team any way I can. I’ll have time to think about other stuff in a week.”


(on if he’s thinking about his future) “Not at all, not at all. Like I said, after Sunday there will be a long time to think about that stuff.”


(on how he helps Kaepernick) “For me, if there’s anything I see, whether it’s in the game plan or in the game. As a backup quarterback you’re constantly trying to play the game through the starter. So for me, in practice, you’re not getting the reps, so you’re back there watching. It’s the same thing on game day. It could be anything, it could be nothing. With him, it’s not a lot at times, he sees things really well he’s a really smart kid, and obviously a tremendous player.


(on his progress under Coach Harbaugh and how he has changed) “I really feel like even a few years ago I was the same player. I really think the difference is the receiver group around me changed. (We have) a good system, putting guys in a position to make plays, playing good, sound football and just doing it more consistently.”


(on head injuries and if he regrets taking himself out of the game) “Not at all. We’re all going to be done with this game at some point and we’ve got a lot of life ahead of us, so err on the side of caution. With that head stuff, there are no brain transplants I’ve ever heard of. I may only get one, so it’s not something to mess around with.”


(on if other players would not report head injuries for fear of losing their jobs) “I haven’t heard any. Players deal with that with all types of injuries and have always dealt with that, whether it be an ankle or your head. I think it ultimately comes down to the doctors and the players and how they feel. I don’t think anybody is going out there recklessly. If guys don’t think they’re ready and can’t go in then I don’t think they’re going to mess with it. I don’t think that changes it.”


(on how things could have been different were he the starter) “I’m not thinking about it, to be totally honest with you; I’m really focused on taking this all in. This is a great thing. For almost all the guys on the team this is their first trip to the Super Bowl. (I’m) primarily just getting ready to play.”


(on if he prepares as though he could still play and win the Super Bowl) “That’s my job. Be ready to go. You never know, it’s a crazy game, crazy things happen and my job is to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. That’s my role.”


(on preparing as a backup) “It’s different, but it’s a lot of mental preparation. A lot of time in the film room a lot of time with the playbook, and just being ready to go. Like I said, I play the game through Kaep a lot, you’re just trying to take the reps and be ready to jump in at any time.


(on getting through the disappointment of losing the starting job) “Things happen in sports. For me it’s just being ready for the next opportunity, that’s what I can control, being ready for when that opportunity comes. I don’t know when it’s going to come, but for me I’m just doing to continue to work to be ready. Once this is done and next week or a few weeks from now we can think about that stuff.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on working in a system he is comfortable in) “I think there are a lot of great systems out there, and I think arguments can be made for any of them. There are a lot of things that go into being a good offense and playing good quarterback. For one, it’s good players around you, it makes life around you much easier. For me it’s just being well rounded. You want to be able to do a lot of different things, you want to be versatile.”


(on having to address losing his job all week) “I mean it’s coming, it’s expected. I feel like I’ve been answering it the last few weeks anyway, so I’m ready for it. Like I said, I focus on what I can control. For me it’s getting ready to go if I have to and staying prepared and helping this team. No different from a lot of these guys. There are distractions that are unique to this week for everybody. For me it’s just trying to stay as focused as possible.”


(on if being young helps make losing his job easier to deal with) “I feel like I have a lot of football ahead of me. I don’t feel like this is my last opportunity I feel like there’s more out there for me.”


(on looking to the future) “There will be plenty of time for that when this is all done. Right now I’m just focused on the game.


(on having to deal with doubt throughout his career) “It’s kind of the nature of playing quarterback. There’s going to be a lot of scrutiny, there’s going to be a lot of eyes on you, it’s kind of the nature of the job.”


(on asking the advantages of being released versus being traded) “I have no idea. That didn’t come from me; I don’t know where any of that came from. I haven’t even thought about it to be totally honest with you. I want to play football but there will be time to think about that stuff when this is done.”


(on how he’s enjoying the Super Bowl) “Loving it! We spend so much time together as a team, we spend so much time away from our families putting in time with each other you can’t help but get closer to each other. For us to come down here and go on this journey, it’s been a great ride and a great experience.”


(on being a consummate professional) “It’s a team game and a team sport. If you want it to be about yourself, go play golf or tennis. I got into team sports to be a part of a team and there’s something very unique about that, the selflessness of a team sport. For me, my teammates are about as high as it gets on the priority list, behind my family.


(on dealing with the difficulty of the switch) “I just think I’m honest about it, I don’t think my teammates expect anything else. That’s not to say that the situation is easy, it can be uncomfortable or awkward at times, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”


(on his biggest improvements under Harbaugh) “I don’t necessarily think I was doing anything different. Maybe more consistent, but I give credit to my teammates, the guys around me when I was playing, and Coach is putting us in positions to succeed.


(on if he learned anything from replacing a Brett Elliot in college) “I know how close we remained through that and for me knowing it was difficult for him, but I’ve learned a lot from all the quarterbacks. Brett to start, but then I’ve been around a lot of great guys, I’ve seen in a lot of quarterback competitions. Shaun Hill and I competed for a few years and it actually only brought us closer. We’re actually really good friends and I just think it can be handled the right way… There’s only one guy that can get the ball, there’s only one starter. I don’t think it has to be handled in a negative way. Everything can be put out on the table, and left out on the field, so to speak.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on coming so close to the Super Bowl last season) “Obviously for us it was a great run last year. We came up short. Some great moments you look back on, and then the Giants game. Getting that close to being here last year, it’s tough.


(on the burden being drafted number one) “At the time it’s a great thing, you’re doing all the combine and doing all the work outs and all that stuff. Inherently, if you’re going to the number one team, usually that means they’re the worst team from the year before. Then all of a sudden you’re playing and maybe they don’t have the pieces around you. That’s kind of the nature of the deal.”


(on if he thinks he would still be the starter had he not gotten hurt) “I haven’t even thought about it to be honest with you.”


(on if the thinks he was playing his best football when the switch happened) “I felt the most comfortable I’ve been on a football field in a long time, maybe ever. I felt like I was continuing to get better and better.


(on if he thinks he could have led the team to the Super Bowl) “I for sure think that, but that’s kind of neither here nor there.”


(on how his previous experiences helped prepare him for his benching) “I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career. I’ve been in a lot of competitions. I’ve dealt with injuries before. I feel like I’ve been through a lot that has prepared me for this. If you’re a quarterback very long in this league, you’re going to go through some things. You better have thick skin, you better be able to handle situations. For me it’s just being ready for the next opportunity. That’s my focus.”


(on the frequent turnover of offensive staff early in his career) “It’s hard, not just for me, I think for everybody on offense who played here. I don’t know how you get very proficient and something, when you’re constantly just pressing delete and having to learn something different. The terminology the complexity of an NFL offense is big. You’ve started to lay that foundation, you start to feel comfortable with something then you’ve got to press delete and learn a different one. You never really get to an advanced level within the offense with that kind of turnover.”

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Niners OC Roman says time in Baltimore critical to development

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on how many concepts he’s brought into the team’s system in the last two years) “That’s hard to quantify. I don’t know. I think we try to be creative, try to keep people off balance, try to have fun. I think what we do stimulates our players. When they come in every week, there’s always something new and they get really excited about what’s next. So, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great process. A lot of credit goes to the rest of the offensive staff. We’ve got a great staff. Mike Solari – who’s been doing it forever – Tom Rathman, Geep Chryst, Johnnie Morton, Reggie Davis, Tim Drevno. A lot of guys who have seen a lot of things and we’re definitely open to try something, anything, that will help us win.”


(on why some blocking patterns fell out of the NFL) “Everything became so zone blocking-oriented. I think with the incredible success that Denver had there for a while, everybody started doing that. When everybody practices against one thing all the time, they don’t quite know how to play that other stuff. So, we kind of took the opposite approach and said, ‘Let’s be counter-cultured and let’s do things that people don’t work on.’ Anything we can do to get our players an advantage.”


(on if it is more of a man-blocking scheme) “A lot of it is just schemed up. A lot of man blocking, but we’re always looking to give our players an advantage, so it might be anything. And it might be stuff that we just kind of dream up. We’ve got a great group of players and they’re very flexible with what they can do, and they get it. Frank Gore, for example, if he just sees something, he gets it. So, it makes our job that much more fun.”


(on how much the success of rookie quarterbacks could change the game) “I think it’s a unique year for quarterbacks. I’ll throw Colin (Kaepernick) into that group, too. Between Andrew (Luck), (Russell) Wilson, RGIII, the first thing that these guys are is that they’re high character guys, they’re diligent, they’re smart, they’re really good competitors. I think when you have guys like that it opens up a lot of doors for you. How much they can prepare for in a week. These guys are very accountable, dependable, reliable guys that take a lot of pride in what they do along with being great athletes.”


(on if the success of mobile quarterbacks can continue) “I think it’s important if you’re going to run the quarterback, you have to be smart about how often you run him and how you do it. If you try to do too much of it, I think it’ll be a short-lived phenomenon.”


(on how Colin Kaepernick’s 78-yard touchdown run in the preseason altered his plans about what he could do with him) “I think it was just a great example of the explosiveness that Colin has. It’s something that I always kind of felt we had in our back pocket, but sometimes you’ve got to be careful not to do something like that until you have to do it or until you need to do it. You just do it at the right time before people can make huge, wholesale adjustments for it. So, it’s just a credit to his athleticism.”


(on if the preseason touchdown run was the first time he had seen that from Kaepernick) “No, we saw it in practice one day. There was a day in practice where we couldn’t gain a yard against our defense, so we called it up and he ran 80 yards for a touchdown. So, we saw it in practice during a competitive scrimmage situation.”


(on how he sets his game plans for future games) “We’re always trying to win the game we’re playing, but we always try to have an eye for what the next team is going to be looking at, how they’re going to perceive it, how they’re going to interpret it and then any advantage we can get moving forward. It’s definitely something that our players give us an opportunity to do because they enjoy week-to-week a new wrinkle or something different. We try to explain why to them and that’s when they really get invested in it. You explain why we’re doing something, it makes sense, and then they buy in. Eventually, they take ownership of it. Week-to-week, you’ve got to give credit to all the defensive coordinators and the defenses. Great defenses, when they see something, if they get hit with something, they can probably stop it, so we try to mix it up a little bit.”




Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on how he tried to install his system) “We install a core, and then others branch off of that core. Once you install the principals, now you can build off them. Once you get that core down, then it allows you to branch off.”


(on if his system was different from previous systems) “From what they’ve done in the past, yeah, very different. It’s pretty compartmentalized and easy. It’s pretty likeable and learnable, but at the same time, it requires them to put a lot of study in and our guys have been great. They are totally devoted to trying to be the best and they understand that while we’re a little bit different, that kind of excites them.”


(on previously coaching for the Ravens) “I had a great experience with the Ravens’ organization. I think there were a lot of really good coaches on that staff and I thought Steve Boshitti was a great guy to work for. As far as growth, I think every year as a coach you’re trying to get better, you’re trying to learn, you’re trying to improve, and I’m always going to try to do the best that I can at the job I have. It’s just progression of a coach, I guess. My time there was outstanding and very, very important, as I look at it, in my development.”


(on how fun it is to coach Colin Kaepernick) “It’s a lot of fun. Colin’s very intelligent, so he just opens up a lot of different doors for what we can do week-in and week-out. He’s doing a great job. It’s about as fun as it can get as a coach.”


(on how pre-snap calls have changed from Alex Smith to a less-experienced Colin Kaepernick) “It hasn’t really changed much at all. We went into the Chicago game with the same exact game plan with Colin that we did with Alex and he executed it flawlessly. Like I said, Colin’s very smart. He doesn’t bring a lot of limitations that you would expect a second-year player to bring. He’s that intelligent and that football-savvy. So, it’s pretty similar.”


(on which coaches he credits for his belief in his concepts) “I would say Jim McNally jumps out. He was one of the first guys. Our defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, definitely. And then you go down the list: George Seifert, Tony Wise, Brian Billick, Jim Harbaugh. It’s an eclectic swirl of very good football coaches. I’m always going to put that through my own filter. But, there are a lot of different guys, a lot of different positions, and some defensive coaches. Rex Ryan was a big influence on me. His approach to the game, in certain ways.”


(on his offensive scheme of normally using more tight ends and fullbacks in place of  three wide receiver sets) “I think that’s more of a function of our players and the talent. Delanie Walker, Vernon Davis, those are guys you want on the field. We also have a Pro Bowl fullback on the field. I think that offers a lot of different flexibility for what we can do. It’s certainly something that the defenses don’t see as much of. That’s, again, trying to put a little bit of pressure on them to do something that they’re not used to doing.”


(on if he has started to anticipate what teams will do in the offseason to slow down their offense) “There’s no question. I definitely think when you have success, coaches in this league are just that good. They’re going to find answers. It’s just inevitable. So, adapt or die, as they say.”


(on learning how to use Colin Kaepernick) “I think it started at Stanford. Colin’s got a lot of similarities to Andrew Luck when we had Andrew at Stanford. Andrew was the kind of guy that we could do some read-option stuff with to keep the defense honest, to give them something new to prepare for, as well as all the traditional stuff. With Colin, we’ve kind of been down that road. We saw Colin as a guy that we could transition smoothly into with that.”


(on what he has to do when defenses adjust to his offense) “We have to make some assumptions because there’s a great chance that they’re going to do something outside the box to try to stop it. So, it’s not like there’s a lot of evidence. We’ve got to kind of put our heads together as a staff and figure out, ‘Well, they might do this,’ or, ‘Here’s what we would do.’ So, we need to prepare for all those contingencies.”



Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on their offensive line) “We’re all personnel-driven. Everything starts with our players. We have a big, physical offensive line. All five of them are – in some form or fashion – in the Pro Bowl. We’ve got tight ends that can block, that can run 4.3, 4.2. So, I think there are a lot of different things we can do in terms of, ‘Hey, if they want to stop the run, we can take some vertical shots.’ We’ve got the personnel to do that. If they’re going to play a light box, or play it pretty straight, or mix it, we’ve got the people with Frank Gore, our offensive line, our tight ends. We can hammer away at it, hopefully consistently. That’s not taking anything away from the Ravens’ defense. They are a stout group, led by Haloti Ngata and Ray Lewis and that whole crew. This isn’t their first rodeo, we understand that. They’re a great defense and I think our guys recognize that the more they watch them.”


(on how the players react to his offense being different than many others) “Frank Gore will tell you . He was like, ‘I can’t believe this stuff.’ So, that’s exciting as a coach when you have that kind of freshness and you can bring that to the group. There’s definitely some things that we try to do that you hope nobody sees or nobody has seen before. It just keeps them off your trail a little bit.”


(on how he balances taking risks in his offensive scheme) “I would call it risk management. I know the upside, the downside. I understand things. I understand that something might go wrong and I’ve kind of calculated that. I’m willing to live with certain things. It’s all big picture, it’s all about winning. I understand every play is not going to work, this is the National Football League. But, there is a trickle-down from everything you do that sets up stuff in the future.”


(on if the NFL could evolve to the triple-option in the future) “I definitely think you’ll see some triple-option out there. We do a little bit of that if it’s appropriate.”


(on running a higher percentage of pistol formation plays in recent games) “We tried to make everybody forget about it and think that we had scrapped it leading into the playoffs. We felt like we could win our division and whatnot the traditional way. We kept practicing it and just felt like it was something we could spring on whoever we played in the playoffs.”



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