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December 14, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Niners postgame quotes — Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and more

Here’s the transcripts of the Niners postgame comments featuring Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Moody, Antoine Bethea, Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Ray McDonald and more

HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

(How do you think your team played today…) “I’m very proud of them. The effort was plus, plus. They fought like champs.”

(Can you process not making the playoffs…) “I’m aware of it and understands what it means.”

(What does it mean to you…) “It means never give in and keep fighting, which our guys did today. I understand that were eliminated from the playoffs.”

(What is going to be your message to the team for the next two weeks…) “That’s what a professional does, focuses every week, every practice, every play, every game, every ounce of energy you have.”

(Have you thought about what happened this season…) “No.”

(Your thoughts on the 49ers roughing the passer call that led to the Seattle touchdown…) “No I didn’t agree with the call. I did not get an explanation on that one. All three personal foul calls I did not agree with.”

(Why not continue using the no-huddle during the long second half drive…) “We were mixing it in during that drive as well.”

(Why has the 49ers offense struggled in the second half…) “It’s been a couple of things. I thought that we competed really well. I thought that we had some really good drives even with some poor field position. We had a very good defense, they played extremely well today. Protection was an issue.

(Did Frank Gore get knocked out…) “I don’t know exactly if he did or not. The evaluation was that he had a concussion.”

(Do you think the tone of the team changed once Gore left…) “No.”

(Do you expect to sit down with Jed and Trent and discuss your future…) “I’m always available to sit down with the owner or general manager, absolutely.”

(Do you expect to have a conversation about coming back next year…) “Yes at some point, I expect that.”

(Your thoughts about 2015 for this team…) “I’m not going to get to far out in front of our headlights. We will focus all our energy on this week.”

(Was Colin (Kaepernick) running the ball more a part of the game plan, necessity or both…) “Both, there were some designed runs and out of necessity on scrambles.”

(How do you think Kaepernick played today…) “I thought that he really competed well. He was doing all he could do.”

***

Quarterback COLIN KAEPERNICK

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

(On if it was difficult to comprehend that they have been eliminated from the playoffs…) “It is difficult. That is our expectation that we are going to get into the playoffs and make a run. To not have that opportunity this year is not something that we are used to.”

(On when it sank in that this season is essentially over…) “A little bit ago. It’s not something that I really want to think about too much to be honest.”

(On if the season being over will interfere with preparing for the last two games…) “No. Regardless of the situation this team is going to go out and fight and try to win games as best we can. I don’t’ think there is anyone on this team that is ready to lay down.”

(On his success running the ball early in the game and if they felt that was the best way to attack the defense…) “It was a position that we felt we could put our running backs, myself and our offensive line into a positive situation and have big plays. We did move the ball well in the beginning of the game and we have to be able to sustain that for 60 minutes.”

(On the impact of losing Frank Gore…) “Frank is a phenomenal player. He is one of the big leaders on this team. So to lose him it was a hit to our offense but at the same time I think it was a bigger hit when we lost Los (Carlos Hyde) as well. Having both of our running backs and we had Alfonso (Smith) come in and Bruce (Miller) come in and they are playing their butts off to do all they can but it’s not necessarily a situation that we have put them in in the past.”

(On why he thinks the team missed the playoffs…) “Once again I think it goes back to execution. There are games that we didn’t execute and didn’t finish like we should have. From the Chicago game, the Raiders game, those are two that pop out in my head. Finishing the Rams game is another one. That is three games right there where our record could be 10-4 instead of 7-7 and it’s a big difference.”

(On if it was bizarre to hear all of the conversation around Jim Harbaugh’s job…) “It is. It is not something that I can fully wrap my mind around why that would be the situation but he has my full support no matter if he is here or somewhere else. I hope he is back here and I think he is a great coach.”

(On the emotional impact of losing Frank Gore…) “It’s tough. Those are the players that you turn to in tough times to make plays and give the offense a lift and put us in a good situation. Not having them is a tough situation for us.”

(On what the goal is for the team for the last two games…) “To win. I think regardless of the situation we are going out to win. There is no one on this team that is going to step out on the field and say hey our season is over we are not going out to compete. We are going out to compete to the end.”

(On if this season feels like a wasted opportunity…) “I think it’s a difficult situation for us. I think that everyone had high expectations especially ourselves and to not have this season go as we planned is tough for us.”

 ***

Guard ALEX BOONE

(On the game…) “We started off good, but it just caught up to us. As an offense we have to execute better. We let the chips fall where they did, and just kept fighting on.”

(On the character of the team…) “The character of this team has always been there. No matter what people think, we don’t really care. We came out, we fought hard today. This offensive line fought their asses off. They fought to the last second, that’s just who we are. I am very proud of them.”

(On all of the injuries….) “It doesn’t matter, there are no excuses—we need to execute better. [I am] proud of the way guys fought, we will watch the film and it is what it is. We will continue to fight though, we can’t give up.”

(On how to finish the season…) “I think we need to come out and just start hitting people in the mouth. Just full on, punching them in the mouth, just do what it takes, do you what you got to do.”

(On the mentality of coming into the game…) “We came in here fired up and we came in here ready to roll. I am just proud of the way we played. We punched them in the mouth and [we had] some unfortunate things happen. At the end of the day, this offensive line fought their asses off.”

(On the mentality of the rest of the season…) “We always let loose out there, but now the key is to go out there, have fun, and really start punching people in the mouth and not be afraid of anything. Let’s go out there and have fun and do us.”

 ***

Fullback BRUCE MILLER

(On the character of the team…) “There’s a lot of character, a lot of fight. A lot of effort, we just didn’t make enough plays, especially late in the game when we needed them. We needed to make more plays, we had the opportunities.”

(On playing outside of playoff contention…) “It won’t be different. We always play with pride, effort, and that’s what we will do next week.”

(On how to approach the next two games…) “[We] just got to keep playing. We talked a lot about controlling things we can control, and right now that’s the next game. How we perform, how we prepare—those are the only things we can control.”

(On playing Seattle…) “I don’t think we found out anything we didn’t know. [We had] great effort, great enthusiasm—we just need to make more plays.”

(On all of the injuries…) “Next man up. All the guys that came in did a great job in knowing the game plan and knowing what to do. Most of them [don’t get] a whole lot of reps during the week, but still played great.”

(On the performance of the subs…) “I think everyone who came in did a good job and played extremely hard, and that’s all you can ask for. As a group, collectively, you just got to do better down the stretch and make plays in crunch time and we didn’t do that.”

***

Safety ANTOINE BETHEA

(On the roughing the passer penalty…) “I think it was a bad call. It’s so up and down with those types of calls—one week you see something, another week you see another. They made the call and you got to play. It was a tough call, crucial moment, on third down, and that was a tough call.”

(On if unnecessary roughness penalties are a result of luck…) “I don’t want to call it luck or unluck. As players you are taught to play one way, and I have always considered myself a clean player. That is one thing you do as a player, to see what they call and see the groove of the game. On that play I didn’t think anything was wrong with it. Then again, we have to move forward.”

(On the injuries…) “Every team has injuries, so that’s not an excuse. We are all in this league for a reason—we all have the capabilities of playing at a high level, and that’s why we are all here… Somebody is going to be injured, so we just have the next player step up and do well.”

(On how to approach the next two games…) “Finish the season strong and go into the offseason with our heads held high. No quit. [We will] find who are true warriors are. We are eliminated from the playoffs, but we will see who will come to work these next two weeks and give it all for each other.”

 ***

Safety ERIC REID

(On his physical play…) “From the time I played peewee, my coach told me to hit him as hard as I can. That’s what I try to do.”

(On jumping out to an early lead…) “I love the way we came out. We came out exactly the way we wanted to—we came out storng, we came out fighting. A couple calls didn’t go our way, and we didn’t get it done.”

(On the interception at the end of the first half…) “We practice those situations. At the end of the half you do your best to score. We were one block away. We have to finish that play.”

(On second-year struggles after making the conference championship…) “I think I realized how hard it is to win in the NFL. I was spoiled last year with making it to the (conference) championship in my rookie season, and now I realize how tough it is to get there.”

(On approaching the next two games…) “I think we need to finish strong. I think we are mathematically out of it—you play this game because you love it. We are not about to go out and lay down for anybody. As far as I am concerned, we can finish with two wins.”

(On stepping into a leadership position…) “I am just doing my part. I might say something every now and then, but I am just doing my part.”

****

Defensive Tackle RAY McDONALD

(On what the loss means to  the team…)  “We have to go out there individually and look at ourselves in the mirror say, ‘We’ve got to step our game up.’ We fell short again, so things like that happen.”

(On the quality of the team’s effort…)  “I think we always have the energy every week.  It’s a down year for us.  We make mistakes we don’t usually make.  You have years like that, and in the NFL it’s hard to win every week. It’s just one of those things that’s going this year.”

(On why the team is 7-7…)  “I’m not making any excuses. We’re just getting outplayed in games. Also, we’ve got a lot of injuries. A lot of guys are out, so that affects us a little bit. But you know what? We’ve got to go out there every week and play.  We’ve been playing pretty good, but we just fall short at the end.

(On what will the source of  his motivation the final two weeks…)  “Just to play hard, play for our teammates, play for our coaches. We’ve been here for a while. Just play for the man next to you. At the end of the day, we’re teammates, we’re brothers. So we’re going to play for the guy next to us.”

 ***

Linebacker MICHAEL WILLHOITE

(On what comes next…)  “Finish strong. It’s about pride.  It’s about playing your butt off and playing for your teammates and playing for this organization. That’s important. There’s two games left, let’s go as hard as we can. We ain’t going nothing to lose, so let’s just play all out and see what comes from it.”

(On playing without Chris Borland in the second half…)  “It’s tough, because he makes a lot of plays. He sees things, he anticipates things and make a lot of plays in the run game. When a guy like that is unable to play, it’s always going to hurt. We have to find ways to make up for it. Other guys have to step in and make plays. We’ve just got to keep playing. That’s part of the game. It was tough when Bowman got hurt, it was tough when Pat got hurt. It’s always tough. That’s the game. That’s the life we have to live in the NFL. You just have to keep playing.”

(On he and his teammates will approach speculation about Jim Harbaugh’s future…)  “We don’t approach it. That has nothing to do with us. We can’t think about that right now.  We’ve got two games left against two very good teams, and we could worry about that and get blown out the next two games and end the season on a sad note. Or we can not worry about it and just keep playing good football and fight and see what comes. But that’s not for us to worry about. We can’t. If that’s something we’re going to worry about, we might as well just wrap it up. We’ve just got to keep playing, and we’ve got to ignore everything you guys say and everything the outsiders are saying.  Keep it in house and just keep fighting.”

(On if all the team’s issues are finally having an impact on the field…)  “I don’t think so at all. This game was the same type of game you saw on Thanksgiving, the same type of game you saw last week — grind-it-out games. Each game, obviously, is tough, but it isn’t an accumulation of the season. We lost 17-7; we didn’t lose by 50. So I think we played good defensive football and we played good team ball.  We fought hard for a half and we fought hard in the second half.  We  just came up short.”

***

Running back CARLOS HYDE

 

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

(On if he is stunned this team is not playoff-bound…)  “Yeah, a little bit, I am.  I expected us to be in the playoffs.  They have been in the playoffs the last three years, so I definitely expected to get back there again.  Everybody expected it.  The whole team expected it.”

(On if it’s asking too much for the offense to overcome all its injuries…)  “No,, we were still clicking. We had a few good runs, but we had holding penalties.  The penalties really killed us.  We were already backed up.  The penalties really killed our momentum.  I think if we would have eliminated the holding penalties we would have been fine.”

(On his overall take on the offense and where it stands right now…)  “I like how we came out today. We were running the ball, offensive line was getting off the ball, Kap was making plays down the field for us. I felt like we came out pretty good, and then those injuries hit and it kind of took the breath out of us a little bit.  When you have stuff like that, you have to keep going.  Guys have to come in, step up and keep fighting.”

(On what he would like to see the team accomplish in the final two weeks…)  “Wins.  End the season with two wins.  It would be better than two losses.  End the season with two wins and get ready for next season.”

(On the nature of his injury…) “I just went down awkwardly.  I was trying to torque my body because I knew he was reaching his hand.  I was trying to dip my shoulder but he caught on to me and pulled back.  I was going forward, he was pulling back and it looked bad, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked.  I’ll be back next week.  I am fine.”

(On if he knee is painful now…)  “Yeah, I’m feeling pain. I’ll be all right, though.  It wasn’t as bad as it looked.  It was minor.  I’ll be back next week.”

 

Linebacker NICK MOODY

(On if his hit was a perfect facemark-to-chest hit…)  “That’s how it felt.”

(On if he was ready to play…) “I’m always ready. They always tell me the same thing every week: always prepare like you’re going to play. You never know what can happen. My coaches always stressed that to me all the time – stay ready.”

***

Left tackle JOE STALEY

(On where the team needs to improve…) “Every game you look at what you can do better. Speaking from our offensive line standpoint, we have to do a way better job protecting Colin (Kaepernick). We had far too many pressures this year, far too many sacks. That’s what we can control.”

(On when he knew the team was out of playoff contention…) “We lost this game and we were done.”

(On being eliminated from playoff contention…) “It sucks. Like I said, it sucks. This is not what we play for—not what we practice for. I am not going to sit here and say ‘oh we are going to it next time.’ It (expletive) sucks.”

(On where the season went wrong…) “I felt like we had a really good offseason. Everbody came in jacked up and ready to go. I thought we were very focused. We had a couple bad games early, I thought we got that corrected, and our offense never really clicked.”

***

Wide receiver ANQUAN BOLDIN

(On what went wrong with the offense this season…) “[It was] just a lack of execution. There’s no magic thing, just a lack of execution.”

(On the team’s injuries…) “We don’t make excuses. Whoever is out there has to play. Everybody on this team deserves to be here, and we expect guys to perform when they are in there. When you’re down the way we were—out two backs, down to our third center, down to our second right tackle and so forth, and I think we ran out of linebackers as well—there’s a lot that goes on and plays into it. We are men, we are football players, and when you step onto the field you have to do your job.”

(On the potential of this team…) “I don’t think we had everybody healthy at one time. Like I said, we don’t make excuses.”

(On how to approach the final two weeks…) “I will come out and bust my butt. We have a job to do these last two weeks.”

(On where the franchise is heading…) “You’re asking me? I don’t answer those types of questions. Those things are way above my head. I get paid to play the game of football to the best of my ability.”

(On ending the playoff streak…) “It’s definitely tough. Especially for me, I am a competitor, and I always feel like I am supposed to win. I can’t tell you the last time I didn’t make the playoffs. It’s tough, but I will continue to fight… I think everybody came out and played their butts off. We did fall short, but everybody fought today.”

 

 

 

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