OPENING STATEMENT:"As far as the injuries go, there was really just one. (Jerry) Franklin has a strained hamstring. We'll see how he does tomorrow. It was great for this to be Alumni day, to see some of the old guys back. Congratulations to Priest Holmes for the induction today, well deserved. I appreciate our fans for coming today and cheering us on, they were on top of their game. It was a good win. I told the team that they don't give these things away, not in the NFL and we played a well-coached football team and good football players. Sometimes records can be a bit deceiving. They play tough aggressive football, so I was proud of our guys for bowing up when they needed to and winning that football game. The time is yours."
The stats on both teams were pretty close but it seemed like the fourth down plays when you got them off the field were huge."They were. They have a few explosive players on that side of the ball; including Michael (Vick) who still has a big arm and is still fast, he knows how to play the game. I thought he brought them a little juice there. I was proud of our defense for bowing up there again when needed, particularly on those fourth down plays."
Can you talk about what it means to run the football, the way that you did on the day Priest Holmes was honored? "We stuck to the run some were productive and some weren't. I can't tell you it really attributed to Priest (Holmes) but I like to think it that way. The guys ran hard, the offensive lineman they were tough today."
Have you ever seen a touchdown like the Anthony Fasano one? "No I haven't, but that was just how we drew it up; starting a new trend in the NFL."
How did Eric Berry look to you today? "He got to play a lot today. They went into the sub groups, so we ended up playing a lot of nickel. I thought it was important they he go back in and into the swing of things in particular the speed of the game and getting used to that again. I thought he played well for what I saw, it looked like he played well. I don't see every defensive snap because I'm working with the offensive guys down there too. It looked like he did ok."
Are you running out of nice things to say about Justin Houston? "He is a good football player. He's made some nice plays for us and is a great leader to which helps."
How did you keep Alex Smith so clean today? "Well their defensive line I think, if not the best, is one of the best in the National Football League. They've got explosive players. Our offensive line and the pass game did a pretty good job. I think with the two gap stuff they were doing up front, worried about the run game, it took just a bit off of the play action pass rush. So that was a good thing."
Cairo Santos kicked the ball well, the tripping penalty, is that something he will catch flack for in the meeting room?"I'm sure he will. Those were squib kicks too, those were called kicks. Those weren't ones that he just did on his own."
What was the cat and mouse game with that? Squibbing it sometimes, going deep. The wind looked like a big factor with that."The wind was a factor but so was Percy Harvin, so keeping it away from him."
This is the half way mark, 5-3. Where is this team? How do you feel about where you are right now?"Well, I feel ok about where we are at. Coming off a win so when you win you normally feel pretty good. I liked the aggressiveness that the team is playing with. We've got a ton of room to improve on both sides of the ball and special teams. So we've got to do a better job there. We will keep working in that direction to get better. But I'm proud of them for starting two losses then coming back, putting some things together here. Putting some wins together. Enjoy it tonight then you are right back at it for the next one. So there's not a lot of time to enjoy it."
How much is Alex Smith prospering in this system? Not that he wasn't last year, it just seems like he has almost a certain mastery at this stage. Where do you see his game right now?"He's got a good feel for it. Very intelligent guy, that's what we are dealing with, you've got a guy that gets it. He's using all of his receivers, spreading the ball around. He's getting us in and out of situations. Putting us in good situations, getting us out of bad situations, which is good. He's got a good grasp of things."
Do you see a tangible difference between the grasp he had a year ago verses now?"Not only does he have a better grasp but the guys around him kind of understand him and the offense. He can get things done in just a wink as opposed to a ton of communication."* *
*De'Anthony Thomas had a 78 yard return, what do you see in him as a kick returner and how important was that to get the momentum back? *"Well that's two weeks in a row that, I think, our return game has changed a little bit of the momentum. It put us in a position not only use the clock and knock out the rest of the second (quarter), or at least the majority of it, but also get point on the boards. A touchdown in that case."