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Press Release: Post Game Quotes - Shanny/RG3/Moss/Rak/Fletcher


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November 25, 2013
Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan
Opening statement:
“First of all, I’ll talk about their defense. That was the toughest defense we’ve gone against this year. Congrats to them. They did an excellent job of not letting us get into a rhythm to run the ball or throw the ball. We didn’t move the ball well enough to get it into the end zone. They did get a number of big plays. When their emphasis was not in the running game, they did come up with a few big plays, throwing the football. I thought [Quarterback Colin] Kaepernick did a good job of getting the ball in the right spot.”
On what he will tell the team to maintain focus:
“I don’t think there is a coach or player in there that isn’t disappointed. That’s part of the game, but you have to get ready for the next game and fight back. You find out what type of guys you do have. It is very disappointing when you go through a game like that and you get beat. Now you have to come back and fight, especially with a short week. With Thanksgiving, Monday night game, and obviously, Sunday’s game, a lot goes into the preparation. Now we can’t dwell on this too long. Now you have to come back and get ready for the next game.”
On if his confidence ever wavered:
“Knowing this defense and going into this game, I knew it was going to take a great lot of effort to beat this team. There is a reason why they are one of the top defenses in the league, and we knew that coming into it. We knew we were going to be challenged. I was disappointed we didn’t get into the end zone and get more points. I knew it was going to be one of those tough games, where we couldn’t turn the football over and take advantage of those opportunities. They took advantage of those opportunities and we didn’t.”
On what the 49ers did differently in the second half:
“Usually what great defenses do is they don’t change much. They had more of a base run than any team we’ve played all year, same thing with their coverages. What they do is play defense very well. They are very basic in what they do, and very well coached. And their players did a good job, and they’ve been doing a good job throughout the season.”
On the passing game:
“We look at everybody. Everybody wants to talk about the quarterback and we understand that the quarterback position is very dependent on a lot of different positions on the team. There is always going to be growing pains. There are going to be growing pains to experience, going against different defenses, and nothing is automatic in the National Football League. Every time he [Quarterback Robert Griffin III] gets to the center and takes a snap, he’s going to get better and better. He’s surely not going to have the game down, without an offseason program, going into the second year. Every game is going to be a learning experience. The thing that I was really impressed with was that he didn’t shy away from anything. He’ll stand in that pocket, look down the field, and take the shots. He’ll compete. He’ll just keep on getting better and better. Even though we didn’t have one of those great games, I was pleased with his effort and how he played.”
On if he believes the team’s effort and belief were still there:
“Anytime you have three wins and eight losses, you are looking for a win. There is nothing like winning. When you lose a couple of close games, and you get embarrassed tonight like we did, it’s tough. We were right in the game into the third quarter and didn’t make that first down. They got a little momentum going and we couldn’t keep up.”
On if there are more fundamental things to look at:
“You have to look at the whole thing. You don’t just look at the first quarter or the second quarter. You look at the whole game. That’s what you do every week. I said today, we went up against an excellent football team that dominated us. We haven’t gotten dominated like that since I’ve been here. Congratulations to them. They were very well coached and played well. We could have coached better and played better. We will do everything we can to get ready for next week. That’s the nature of the National Football League. They are going to do that to a number of football teams. That was one of the reasons why they were in the Super Bowl last year.”
On his coaching style:
“I was disappointed in the way we performed today. When you take a look at what we have done all year, you have to take a look at the embodiment of what we have done and not just one game. Did we have a poor game? Yeah, we sure did. Are you going to say that what we have done in the running game and the passing game all year has been poor? No, I don’t think so. You are not in the top five or six in total offense if you are a very poor football team. We played poorly tonight and hopefully we get better against the Giants because they have been playing pretty good defense. That is just the nature of this job. You are going to have some bad games and some poor performances, but you have to build on it.”
On if there are changes that may need to be made to the team:
“I don’t get into that. We are just trying to win games. It is not the time of the year to talk about that. We are trying to improve, and each year we have to improve in all three phases of the game.”
On this year’s team in comparison to last year’s team:
“If you take a look at our team from last year, our defense was ranked 28th offense was ranked fifth. It has been almost identical to that this year, but we have turned the ball over a lot more this year than we did the year before. When you turn the football over, you don’t win, you don’t have a chance to win. That has been the case for a number of games this year and that keeps you from having the kind of record that you can compete in the division when you do turn the football over. During the second half of the season last year, we were one of the poor defenses. Probably the last seven games, we were ranked 20th the league. That is one of the reasons why we did go to the playoffs. Offensively, we didn’t do that today. Last year, we played some of our best football the last seven games. We didn’t do that this year, and it was one of our poorest performances since I’ve been here. That is what football is about, when your team is backed up, you have to see what you are made of to compete.”
On if he risked field position on fourth down:
“You do [risk field position]. You take a look at it when it is fourth-and-two or fourth-and-three and you come up short, you give the ball up on the 40-yard line. If you had to do it over again, you always question yourself and wonder what the best thing to do is. I have been a little bit of a gambler because I thought we had a good play in that situation. They obviously stepped up and got the job done.”
On cornerback Josh Wilson’s play:
“I think initially when you look at the film, he did give up a couple of big plays. If you are going to play corner in the National Football League, that is going to happen every once in a while. He has had a heck of a year, but today was probably not one of his better games. But he is a guy who is going to go out there to compete and fight. I don’t care if it is supporting the run; he will go out there and give it all he’s got. Obviously, today was not one of his better games.”
On quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“If he was hurt, I don’t know anything about it. He never mentioned that he was hurt, but I’m sure the doctors would have said something to me if they thought something was wrong.”
On off-the-field distractions:
“It really doesn’t bother the players. They understand that there are going to be a lot of things that are going on, but the football team has to focus because there is a job at hand. We have to focus on the Giants and we understand what comes with losing. It is part of the job that we are expected to win. When you do go through adversity, it is tough on everyone, but I think we are strong enough to fight through it to have good practices and play the Giants next Sunday night.”
QB Robert Griffin III
On his level of frustration with the season:
“Yes, it’s frustrating. We’re frustrated. Everyone’s tired of losing – us, fans, the media, everybody. The one thing to take away – one thing that we’re not is quitters. Even during that last drive, all my guys in the huddle were talking with each other. You have to have the right guys in the huddle in there with you and I know they’ll keep fighting with me and I’ll fight with those guys any day. It’s frustrating, but we have to move on to the next one”
On outside “chatter” about the direction of the team and his confidence that the team is moving in the right direction:
“Every day, God gives us the chance to wake up and seize the day. That’s what gives me the confidence. As long as I know we can wake up and go to work, we’ll get better. I know a lot of people on the outside don’t see it. They don’t see it. They see the record. They see some of our performances that haven’t been very good. But for us as players, as coaches, you have to believe. If you wake up with an opportunity, you have to seize it. We didn’t do that today, but we’ll have another opportunity tomorrow. We’ll have another opportunity on Wednesday and Sunday night. You have to be ready to seize it. That’s all you can do.”
On his development as a player, looking past the record and what shows him he is getting better:
“You put on film and you watch the film and make sure you did all you could on each play. That never happens. No one is ever perfect, but as long as you’re making strides and getting better at the little things you know you can do, that’s all you can take out of it. No one wants to hear that. They just want to look at the record, but as players we can’t do that. We can’t step out and look at our record and say, ‘This is who we are.’ We have to step out there confidently and believe that you can win each game.”
On whether or not the 49ers did anything that the team was not expecting:
“No. They have a good defense. I can’t give you an accurate assumption right now. We just have to go back and watch the film and get better from it. That’s all we can do right now.”
On to what he attributes the loss:
“It was a combination of both their defense and we didn’t play well today. Like I said, it is frustrating, but we had opportunities. We’ll go back and look at the film and get better from it. Like I said, every day is a chance to get better and we have to get better”
On the team’s record not matching the strides he sees in the team:
“It’s hard to say that you’re making strides as an individual because this is a team sport, but aside from that, what am I supposed to do? Come up here and talk about how bad we are? That’s not my job. My job is toanswer your questions and to move on to the next day and get better. It’s not anything personal, you’re not the only one asking those questions, but I’m not going to — I mean, I love my guys. I’ll go to war with them any day. And if we have another game like today, it doesn’t matter. That’s thrown away. We go on to the next game. We choose to get better. That’s what we’re going to do.”
On if the third quarter fumble and short field goal was a turning point in the game:
“We couldn’t get it going. You’re talking about the possession on fourth down, we didn’t get it. Like, I said, it really is frustrating. We couldn’t seize it as an offense, but I can’t really talk much about it. We just have to watch it on film and get better.”
On dealing with loss after having a stellar high school and college record:
“Just don’t let it change you. A lot of guys change when they start losing football games. It can change your drive. It can change your motivation. It can change the way you deal with people, but you just can’t do that. You have to continue to be yourself and continue to be the person God made you to be. Always your “why,” and people can laugh at that, but as long as you know why you’re out there playing, why you’re out there putting your body on the line every Sunday, every Monday, you can endure. You want to conquer, and that’s what we have to do. We have to conquer some of the demons we have going on as an offense, and as a team in general, and I think we will. I think we all can do it.”
On the difference between a division championship team and a team fighting for its season:
“Right now, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot way too often. It’s a team game and we have to play better team football. That’s the only thing I can walk away from the game saying. We have to watch film to get a more accurate reasoning as to why we didn’t play well. As a team, we just have to play better. That’s all I can say.”
On the hits he took:
“I don’t know how many I took. I can’t really answer the question right now. We’ll look at it, and we’ll fix it.”
On the report alleging he does not want negative plays shown in film review:
“It’s false. That’s why I haven’t responded to it, because there’s no need to respond to untrue things. I just echo what Coach said that’s it’s completely false. People are trying to character assassinate me and it’s unfortunate.”
On the play he got kicked:
“I got hit in the special spot. I can’t play football and ref at the same time, so you just have to go out there and what’s called is called, and what’s not called you just have to move on from it.”
On if he expected a call after getting hit following his interception:
“You try to let Coach just deal with it. You want to be protected and that’s all you can say.”
On assessing his skills as a leader:
“I can’t answer that question. You either are or you aren’t. It’s kind of like it you either have it or you don’t have it. I can’t really describe that. I think that’s real conceited to tell how good of a leader you are as a person. If I asked you that question, would you be able to answer it?... The ability to persevere through tough times. I think that’s one quality of a leader. You can’t let it change you. You have to be the same person 100 percent of the time. I know I might sound down right now, or upset, but when I show up in that building tomorrow, I’ll be the same guy. Those will be the same guys I step on the field with that give me everything they have, and sometimes we come up short. At the end of the day, I’ll fight with them any day, and I think that is a quality of a leader.”
On his message to the team this week:
“You just have to shut it out. I know that a lot of people say that, but that’s what I’ve done. You shut it all out. That’s why I don’t hear a lot of the stuff unless it’s brought to me. Guys have to turn it off. As soon as it comes on, turn it off, because they are not going to say pleasant things. Everyone’s going to speculate. Everyone’s going to tear it apart. We just can’t be a part of that process. Our job is to show up ready to go work every day and get better and win football games. We’ve lost quite a few this year, but that doesn’t change the man that you are and the player that you are. You still have to go out there and show up to work every day and be ready to play.”
On if the team did not have a high sense of urgency:
“I don’t think it was that. I think everybody did play hard. We got them at times, and at times they got us. The end result wasn’t what we wanted.”
On why people are trying to “character assassinate” him:
“I don’t know. I can’t say why Coach said that, so don’t quote me. Quote Coach on that. I’m just echoing what he said.”
On reacting to this season:
“No doubt it makes you want to try harder. I mean, you get beat, if you run track and get beat in a race you’re going to come back and run the next race harder. A lot of times you have to work smarter too. That’s what we have to do. We have to have a great combination of hard work and smart work and getting things done.”
LB Brian Orakpo
On what he believes has been the biggest challenge all season:
“Momentum and being consistent – those have been the No. 1 things. We can have our good days and we can have our bad days, and obviously we’ve had a lot of bad days – a lot of bad times. We’ve had some things that we’ve accomplished, but at the same time, we’re not very consistent. So that’s the one thing we need to fix.”
On if he is surprised with the team’s inconsistency, given the amount of returning players they have:
“Yeah. Obviously we have a lot of high expectations, but this game is hard. You can’t live in what’s gone on in the past – we’re struggling. But we’ve got a lot of great character, like I said, and we’re going to find a way out of this. It’s been very frustrating because I know the type of talent that we have on this team, and we have to find a way to put it together.”
On if the team is going in the right direction:
“Yeah, absolutely. I have all the faith in the world in the coaching staff, my teammates, the training staff, everybody. We’re just dealing with hard times right now.”
On what he can take from the next five games this season:
“Who’s going to still come in this locker room every day with their head up high, and who’s going to continue to fight – or who’s going to get ready for the offseason. I know we don’t have those type of guys in our locker room. Obviously it’s a 24–hour rule and I’m very disappointed right now, but we’re going to soak this in and get ready for the Giants.”
On if he believes everybody on the team is still on the same page:
“Absolutely. Like I said, we have a lot of good guys and good character on this team. Obviously 3-8 sucks, but we’re still going to come out here and fight as if nothing happened.”
WR Santana Moss
On what he believes is holding the offense back from jelling:
“If I had a clue, I would tell you. Honestly, it’s just one of those things – some nights, the other team just outplays you, and that’s basically what happened. We know we can do a lot of great things on offense, and we just have to go out there and do it. Tonight, we didn’t do a good enough job to go out there and move the ball like we are known for.”
On if the team is still united:
“The feeling is people are looking for something to be able to put their finger on, and we’re not really letting that happen. We go out there playing football every Sunday, and tonight Monday, and tonight we didn’t show up and the other team outplayed us. We put in good work throughout the week, and we know that we have a job, a task, every given Sunday or Monday when we do play, but we came up short. We didn’t play well enough.”
On if the locker room still supports quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“Definitely – he never lost it [support]. We’re all in this together, and he can’t do it by himself. It’s a team sport, and that’s why we go out here and put in the work together. At the end of the day, when you get victories, you win together, and when you lose, you lose together. At the end of the day, we have to go out there and do what we have to do, continue to do what we have to do, and that’s put in the good work – and hopefully, something comes out of it.”
On the positives he perceives from tonight’s game:
“I can’t give you any good things if we didn’t win.”
On whether or not the 49ers’ defensive pressure gave the Redskins’ offense fits:
“I don’t know – I don’t get a chance to watch those guys. I’m mostly running down the field, so I couldn’t tell you that. When I go back and watch the film, I’ll be able to give you a better outlook on what happened. But right now, I can’t give you what went on.”
On if he thinks about the Redskins’ season being a disappointment because of high expectations:
“Not at all. If you keep your mind like I keep mine, then you know that there’s going to be rough times – it’s not always easy. Everybody expects you to come into the season and run through everybody, but we didn’t do enough to do that. We won the [NFC] East last year – so what? Now we have to come back here and work for it again. You can’t just line us up and say we’re going to win it again. We have to go out there and work, and earn it… I feel like we have to go out there and work to be recognized again.”
On if he is surprised by the Redskins’ disappointing season:
“I’m kind of surprised. But at the end of that day, the reason I’m surprised is because I know we put in so much good work. There’s not a practice that we go through that we come out there not thinking that we have a great chance on Sunday. So, that surprises me. Other than that, the other team that we face every weekend is doing the same thing we do – prepare to beat us.”
On the plan for Sunday against the Giants:
“Play to win again.”
LB London Fletcher
On the difference in the two halves:
“You know, it’s a situation where they made a couple of plays on us, particularly on third down, and they had some big plays in the passing game. We knew coming into the game they loved to run the football so we really focused on stopping the run. [They] hit a couple plays in the passing game. [Tight end] Vernon Davis got open a couple of times and [wide receiver] Anquan Boldin made a couple of plays on third down to keep their drives going and eventually get points out of those drives. It’s something where we knew we couldn’t give up plays, so we didn’t do a good enough job in that aspect.”
On not scoring after the Vernon Davis fumble:
“I’m not sure, I think that the ball maybe was on the 40-yard line, [the] plus-50, whatever… It’s a takeaway and you’d like to get points out of that drive. We were hoping that would kind of shift the momentum for us, give us a spark, but they’ve got a great defense and their defense was outstanding tonight. They made it really tough for… it was tough sledding to move the ball against them. They’ve got an outstanding front seven. They stop the run pretty good with just their front seven guys. Their safeties play two-deep. They played well tonight.”
On continuing to play hard despite their position in the standings:
“I think the main thing you have to do — it’s a short week for us, so we can’t lick our wounds too long. It’s just a situation where we’re professionals, we’ve got a job to do, just not get caught up in the record, not get caught up in the score or situations. We’ve just got to go out and first of all win a game and then see what happens from there. But we’ve got a short week. We’ve got a Giants team that’s won four out of their last five, so they’re playing good football. Each man has to look at themselves individually and say, ‘What can I do better? How can I play better? What can I do to get this thing turned around?’ No one is happy sitting here at 3-8, because this is unacceptable when you think about what we were able to accomplish last year winning our division. Now, to be where we’re at, it’s just not a good feeling at all and really, individually you’ve got to look at yourself.”


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