Is it different, like, you just prepared to face this team two weeks ago. Do you just do the same thing? Do you look at other areas? How do you approach it?
“I feel like it’s pretty similar, to be honest. There’s some recall going back to things we did against Seattle. We can look at how we did the first time, what we can do better and what things worked and what didn’t. So, definitely some recall going back to the first matchup. Definitely looking forward to this week, seeing them again.”
Seattle has a book on you more than any other team probably. What do you think the book on you is?
“Say that question again, I’m sorry.”
Seattle has played you before, so they probably would have a book on you more than other teams would. What do you think the book on you is?
“Just quick decision-maker, going to distribute the ball. That’s kind of what I pride myself in. So, I don’t know how they see me, but it’s kind of how I see myself. I assume they’re game-planning for that.”
How much does this scheme and what head coach Kyle Shanahan’s able to do to get guys open impact your ability to make those quick decisions?
“It’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed learning and playing in Kyle’s system since I got here. They really do a great job of doing that, disguising different looks every week about what we’re trying to do and just giving me good opportunities to sit in the pocket, progress and make quick decisions. So, a lot of the success is definitely a credit to the coaches, 100-percent.”
How conscious are you, when you’re fielding offers from teams before you signed here, how conscious are you of things like that within Kyle’s offense?
“Definitely aware of the reputation Kyle’s offense has. Coach has a great reputation, and he has earned that through the way he, and the entire staff, teaches the offense and the way they manipulate it each week to be successful.”
In your background, you’ve performed at a high level consistently since high school. High school, college. Do you understand why you weren’t drafted? Was that ever explained to you, what it was about you?
“I don’t know, to be honest. That’s a really good question. That’s actually a good question. No, I understand my limitations. I understand what strengths I have and the strengths that I don’t have and I understand how the process worked. I never expected to get drafted, to be honest, and if I did, it would’ve been really cool. But, I’m just glad I got my opportunity and it was good enough. Just kind of glad I got my opportunity, yeah.”
If you don’t mind me asking, what are your limitations?
“Well, if I showed up at the Combine, I wouldn’t be the biggest, fastest or the strongest. I guess evaluators put a lot of thought into that. It’s just part of the deal. I’ve always just kind of thought, ‘This is what I’ve got and it’s my job to maximize it.’ So, that’s what I try to do every day.”
You say you wouldn’t have been one of the fastest. Going back to that Seattle game, the pick-six, you gave a little bit of pursuit. Did you think you had a chance?
“I thought I had a chance. But, [Seattle Seahawks LB] Bobby’s [Wagner] a great player. He made a great play. He earned his touchdown. It would’ve been cool to get him, but I didn’t.”
Did that play, out of all the plays that you had against them, was that the one that sticks out the most that you wish you had back?
“Yeah, you could say that. It’s probably the worst. I still don’t think I made a terrible decision or I don’t even think the throw was that bad, to be honest. But, he made one heck of a play. It’s just the linebacker matched up with the running back and he was better than me on that play. So, he deserves some credit for that.”
You’ve thrown for 746 yards the last two games and no Niner quarterback has thrown for that many yards since former NFL QB Joe Montana in 1990. I know these are just numbers and whatever, but when you hear stuff like that and you’re lumped in with guys like that, is that pretty cool?
“That’s a far-fetched way to connect me to Joe Montana. I guess sure, yeah it’s cool. But, at the same time, I understand that stats don’t matter, points do. The first time we played Seattle, we did not score enough points. So, that will definitely be the emphasis as always, capitalize on important opportunities during the game and perform well in the moment of truth and that’s how we’ll get our points.”
I’ll find other ways to connect you to Joe Montana.
Kyle talked about the clock issues at the end of the game. He told us you looked at the scoreboard and it said third down but it was fourth down. Was that the biggest problem there?
“Yeah, I’ve just got to handle the situation better. I didn’t handle it very well. I snapped it too early earlier in the drive which kind of messed up the timing and things like that. So, I’ve just got to control the situation better and not be stupid.”
Were you quite nervous when they got one final play?
“Sure. I probably had the same thoughts everybody else was thinking like, ‘I hope it doesn’t happen.’ But, I was just glad the defense did their job on that last play but it never should have come to that and that falls on my shoulders.”
Where do you think you’ve made the biggest improvements, in your own mind, since you took over?
“That’s a good question. I think the biggest thing for me really is, like I’ve said multiple times, don’t get too high, don’t get too low and don’t let one play or a couple of plays affect me one way or another, good or bad. I think that’s kind of when I’m most successful is when I’m just even keeled and the offense is staying on schedule and working as a unit. I’ve said that and I think it’s true. That’s just kind of how I’m most successful and the more I can do that, the more I’m going to have success and the offense will have success.”
It doesn’t look like you’re always quiet out there. If an opponent is in your face and chirping at you, do you get back at them?
“Probably not. I don’t know. It depends on the situation, but for where I’m at right now, no. I just like talking to my teammates and encouraging them on the field.”
What do you mean where you’re at? Just in your career?
“Yeah, you’ve got to know where you stand in the ranks of everything. I’m not the one to talk trash on the field.”
You mentioned going to the Combine and not looking like the most impressive person, but the number one pick this year is a quarterback who’s smaller than you. Did that go through your mind at all and are you aware that, it just seems like there’s no good reason for people to keep marginalizing you when other people like you have had success.
“Yeah, that’s a good point, but I don’t really care, to be honest. I really don’t. I wish I had a cooler answer to your question. But, for me the only thing that matters is what I do on the field. It doesn’t matter what I look like or how I throw the ball. It’s the result on the field so that’s what I try to focus on each week. I try to pull out good results and work well as a unit together. That’s the biggest thing.”