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Post-Game Quotes: M. Shanahan

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Marine Corps Virginia


November 25, 2013
FedExField

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, special teams was ranked 31st and 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 in 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.”
 

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