San Francisco 49ers CB Ahkello Witherspoon had a tough day today. Is there something that you can say to him as a veteran?
“Yes. You have 24 hours. Win, lose or draw. Regardless of the outcome or how you play. You have 24 hours, you look at the tape, you correct your mistakes and you move on. That is what you do regardless. If he played and had five picks, I would tell him the same. It doesn’t matter how good you played or how bad you played one week, this is the NFL. The next week is a whole new beast. You are facing a whole new team, whole new scheme. If you caught five picks, they are going to test you again. If you got five balls caught on you they are going to test you again regardless. That is this league and I think that he is going to bounce back.”
They stayed away from you most of the day. When did you realize that they are not coming this way?
“I didn’t realize it. I guess when the clock struck zero. I covered my man. I was there the majority of the time. [Detroit Lions QB Matthew] Stafford looked over there a few times and he pulled the ball back. I would have had two or three picks if he would have just let it go. (In the red zone play before the touchdown, I would have had a pick and the last play of the game, if he would have threw it, I read it, ran the route for him. I was waiting on him to throw it and he ran the other way.) You just work hard to study guys, you spend your time to recognize these routes and formations and you go out there and you play fast.”
I asked the Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia about them not throwing to your side and he said, ‘If you watched the film, you would have done the same thing.’ Do you feel that you are at that level?
“I am always at that level. At the end of the day, if people think that I am not at that level then they are just not watching the tape. It is more rumors, it is more he said, or people not watching tape and they say, ‘He had an Achilles’ or, ‘he has fallen off, he gave up 48 percent instead of 47, he has fallen off.’ If you look at my numbers, I have led the league in every category since I got in it.”