The 49ers cornerback added context to San Francisco's big win over the Seahawks in Week 15.
What does this one mean to you?
“It means a ton. It means more that the guys showed up the way they did. Honestly, it means a lot beating Seattle for me, but it’s just the way the guys showed up and kept battling throughout the game. This was a tough game. Those guys played their hearts out. We’re out there with an incredibly young team. I would guess we’re putting out the youngest guys in the league at this point. We have three rookies in the secondary. We have basically three rookie receivers. [TE George] Kittle is in his second year. Rookie running back. Second year quarterback. They’re young guys, but they stepped up to the moment. They stepped up to the moment. [QB] Nick Mullens stepped up to the moment week in and week out. He’s shown he can play in this league. I hope we can keep him because teams need a quarterback. This guy’s not just playing conservative football, oh man, get the ball in the right places. He’s making the right decisions, he’s making good throws under pressure. I’d say he’s playing like a top half quarterback in this league. You have guys that are out there right now that are not playing better football than Nick Mullens. He could be a starter for a lot of teams in this football league and we appreciate that we have him and he’s playing his tail off for us.”
How much did the game in Seattle weigh on you personally and the rest of the team through the week and going into today?
“Oh, it’s frustrating. I think the moment and the environment was a little bit much for young guys. We’re a young team right now. When you get [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] back, you get [RB Jerick McKinnon] Jet back, you get the guys that we lost back, then I don’t know if the environment will be as much of a factor. But, for young guys, [S] Marcell Harris, it was his first start. You have guys out there who haven’t played as much football as I have and they’ve never played in that environment, that energy, the noise. So, I think it might have gotten to them a little bit. But this time, guys were ready, guys were prepared. It wasn’t Marcell’s first game anymore. He played his tail off. [DB] Tarvarius Moore came out there, was ready for his moment. I think sometimes you run into situations where a young guy gets thrown out there and he hasn’t played substantially throughout any part of a season. For [CB Ahkello Witherspoon] Spoon to get hurt and for him to go out there, he’s only practiced left corner, and to go out at right corner and be ready for his moment and step up and make those plays for us, I can’t say enough about the job he did. I can’t say enough about the job that [TE Garrett Celek] Celek-time did. Nick Mullens, the offensive line, the defensive line, stopping their run game, guys came to play.”
You had such an impact on why this rivalry has been so lopsided. Do you think there’s any chance the Seahawks, especially after what happened two weeks ago, overlooked you?
“I highly doubt it because just like I’m pretty inflammatory on the other side, I’m pretty inflammatory on both sides. My truth isn’t always everybody’s truth. Sometimes my comments are used as, I highly doubt [Seahawks head coach] Pete [Carroll] is overlooking any game that I’m playing and [Seahawks QB] Russell [Wilson] as well. Those guys played hard. They played their game, they brought it. It wasn’t like they just played a lackadaisical game and just gave away things. They played hard, they battled. Our guys just executed down the stretch. We played our tails off, we strained.”