Can you talk about the interception that was called back. What was your thinking on the play call and what did QB Jimmy Garoppolo say when he came back to the sideline?
“Didn’t have time to talk to him about it because we stayed out there. It was a man-zone read. We got a man look. A receiver was supposed to do something to help out [RB Matt] Breida right there. He didn’t. trying to go inside, make them play over the top. We got the wrong route from a receiver. Obviously, we’ve got to see that and still try not to throw it though.”
How big of a sigh of relieve is it when there’s a penalty there and that gets called back?
“It’s huge. It’s real big. It’s better than the feeling I had the series before when I thought we didn’t get one. Nothing goes perfect. I was very upset the period before when I thought [WR] Pierre [Garçon] got it and they didn’t call it, but I would definitely take that one over that. So, I was happier.”
What did you see on all the sacks that Jimmy took today?
“I thought he took too many. We’ve got to get open. We’ve got to beat man coverage, that’s for sure. I thought we could have done a better job today beating man coverage, but on a number of those I thought we had to get rid of it. I’ll see when I see the tape on all of them, but those ones in the red zone especially, you’d like to give a guy an opportunity and if he doesn’t beat man, we’ve got to get rid of the ball.”
Did you have a sense that you let them off the hook a bit as a team, that you had a chance to put them away but didn’t--?
“Yes, definitely. A win is a win. I’m extremely excited about that and we’re all happy, but it was extremely frustrating there at the end. I thought we had a chance to completely finish them and put it away, especially when the defense got us that ball back. We got the first first-down on the, I believe, it was the drift to Pierre. But, that was disappointing. You want to finish it that way, so by no means was it perfect, but we found a fit way to win, which I’m very excited about. We’ll enjoy this the rest of the night, but when we come in tomorrow we still have work to do and we still have a lot of ways we can improve.”
Can you talk about what you saw from Matt Breida today, specifically that big run he had in the third quarter?
“I saw him running very hard. I saw our O-Line blocking very hard. When they gave him space, he hit it with no hesitation. He did a good job when he did get into the secondary not sitting and breaking down and thinking about making too many moves. He just hit it hard as can be and probably got about 60-yards and Pierre did an awesome job on the backside. I always tell him he turns into a fullback at the end of the play, because he ends up being the lead blocker to get us in, which was real nice.”
After that touchdown, I think Breida only got one more carry. I think it was RB Alfred Morris the rest of the way. What’s the thinking there?
“I think a lot had to do with, we ran most of it there at the end of the game. When you get into a four-minute drill and you’re trying to run the clock out, we needed about two first-downs to end it, I believe it was, you want to get a bigger guy in there just a little bit better with the arm tackles.”
Was CB Akhello Witherspoon healthy at the end of the game, you just wanted to give him a mental break?
“No, we took him out to get him out for a play. He was questionable all week with just how he was practicing, having some stuff bothering him going into the game. That’s no excuses or anything. If you’re out there you’ve got to play well and just saw him hobbling a little bit, so got someone else in there.”
You’re looking at a million things, could you help noticing that QB Matthew Stafford threw left like 20 out of 21 times there at the end. He wasn’t even looking at RB Richard Sherman’s side. Does that register or what does that mean to a defense when a quarterback isn’t even looking to his right?
“A lot of it has to do with whether we’re playing man or zone and usually you have your single receiver over there. A lot of it has to do with - the ball was on the left hash sometimes when you’re in a three-by-one. When the ball is on the left hash and it’s man, that guy’s going to be alone all day. I saw a number of times like that. You’re right I can’t look up all day, so I’m not sure how many times it happened. I think the way Richard has been playing in these two games, I think it’s pretty smart of them to not go at him that much.”
You mentioned your displeasure, obviously, seeing Jimmy get sacked four or five times. What do you want him to do there as far as, because obviously, it seems like he’s sticking around trying to extend the paly, do you want him to get that ball out sooner--?
“There’s a fine line with that and I’ll watch the tape tonight and tomorrow, but I’m not saying it’s just him. Guys can beat man coverage faster and make that a lot easier. I can call some better plays to help guys having an easier job getting open and when they aren’t we can make some tighter throws or we can block a little bit longer to give him a chance to look at it longer. I know we took too many sacks. By no means are all those on the quarterback, but when you do go against man, which they only play in the redzone and we’ve got some stuff going, we’ve got to do everything we can to avoid those sacks.”
Do you feel he overcorrected a little bit from last week and tried to not throw interceptions?
“I hope not. You guys can ask him that. It didn’t seem like that to me, but I hope not.”
You had some success in the redzone today. Do you feel like there can be some momentum to that, does it sort of get a weight off people’s shoulders?
“Not really. If I spend all week reading everything and then I’d worry about the weight on our shoulders, but I thought we did some good things in the redzone. I thought we were better in the redzone last week than we were this week. The results weren’t or the percentage, I don’t think. This week, I was more disappointed in it. I thought we could have done a better job, unfortunately. I thought we ran the ball very well down there. Better than last week, but we didn’t throw it very well.”
That’s your first win of the year and that’s when you haven’t won any, even though it’s the second game, must be something?
“It definitely feels good. I haven’t been a head coach for very long and it took me a while last year to get a win. I wish it was last week, but I’m very happy that it at least came this week. That was a tough wait last year. I do think that that’s something that gets the monkey off everyone’s back a little bit. Not me in particular, just the whole organization, the whole team. I was real happy for the guys there. I thought our defense played their butts off there. I thought our special team’s made some huge plays. [DB] D.J. Reed Jr., just the skill he had and the will, he was trying to do everything he could to get in the endzone there. It allowed us to score, I think, the next play or a play later. Then I thought we ran the heck out of the ball. We struggled a little bit in the pass game. That’s receivers, tight ends, backs, quarterbacks, myself, but I was really happy that we found a way to win. Especially when we didn’t play as good as we could have there at the end. Didn’t get discouraged and our defense got us off the field at the end.”
Why did you rotate Witherspoon and DB Jimmie Ward. Was that just a fatigue thing?
“I believe so. I know, like I said with Akhello, going into the game we knew we had to watch him with some stuff he was fighting through and I’m not in that all the time. So, I’m not exactly sure what had happened, but I’m not surprised that it did happen during the game. We thought there’d be a chance of that going in.”
Can you talk a little bit about what RB Raheem Mostert brings to special teams?
“Yeah, Raheem is playing at such a high level. He started with that last year. I think he was one of the better special teams players in the league last year and he has started off continuing that this year. The plays he made last week in Minnesota at gunner, even when he’s doubled, he still makes plays. Every time I looked up today he seemed to be making plays too. He does a hell of a job for us in special teams and there’s going to come a time this year, where we’re going to really need him on offense also.”
Are you interested in pursuing former Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon or are you good with what you’ve got at receiver?
“I’m content with our whole team. I love our whole team and the guys that we have. I always feel, since camp ended and we got our 53, we can win with the people we have. But, anytime a player is available, which I don’t know if he is or not. I don’t know what’s happened to do. If he isn’t, I’m not allowed to comment. But, my same answer for always, we will look into every situation to always try to upgrade our team no matter what the case is, but to answer your question, am I happy with what we have, of course I am”
Missed tackles. Can you talk about how you’ll address that this week?
“Yeah, we addressed a lot of it last week too. I thought we had some missed tackles versus Minnesota. I looked up a couple times today and saw a few of them also. You give credit to them because they’ve got some good runners when they get the ball in their hands, but that’s something we have to do a better job of. To me, you’re not going to do a bunch of tackling drills in practice. That’s not very smart. You’ve got to do it on gameday, but to me, when you’re struggling at tackling it means you need 11 guys swarming to the ball. So, you don’t put single guys in space by themself and the faster you can get more people there the less pressure you put on one guy.”
When you’re looking at Richard just from last game, are you thinking that’s the same guy you’ve gone against? Is he right there?
“Yeah, that’s what I see. We’ve seen it in practice too. I know it’s been a gradual deal for him getting back, but Richard is a smart player. Knows very well how to play in the scheme. Knows when to be smart and stay on top and let cover-three work for him and he knows when to be aggressive and use his length to jam at the line. Really happy to have him on our team. Not just because of how he’s been playing so far, but how he’s been as a person in our building.”
Did you get a good look at the holding call on TE George Kittle and if so, I assume you thought it was the appropriate call?
“Yeah, I did not get a good look at it. You’re talking about the one on the pick-six?”
“No, I wasn’t even sure which one they called it on. I was looking at the other side. But, of course it was a good call.”
Did you see one on the other side too?
“No, I was watching the other side where Breida was and watching out X and [WR Dante] Pettis.”
Was S Jaquiski Tartt the only injury that you guys had?
“I know we had some guys banged up who went in and out of the game. I know Pettis was battling through stuff throughout that whole game. I know Tartt there at the end, he didn’t return and I believe that was it.”
OL Mike Person didn’t look like he was 100 percent, I mean do you give him credit for--?
“I give him a ton of credit. He was kind of out of sight, out of mind all week because we didn’t think he would be able to. He came out on Friday and did enough that warranted us to work him out before the game and he worked out this morning on our practice field for our line coaches. He was adamant he was going to play all week. We kind of just smiled at him, but the way he looked today when we worked him out, he was and he battled his tail off. I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy.”