On injury report:
“Alrighty, I’m sure you guys want to know. [Jamison] Crowder will be day-to-day with his ankle; we’ll get him checked out here. [Paul] Richardson same thing, with his knee and shoulder. [Chris] Thompson same, with his knee. [Troy] Apke with his hamstring and then [Quinton] Dunbar with a shin bruise, may involve a nerve we’re going to check that out and then have a better grip on that hopefully today. He had it checked out at 2 o’clock, we’re awaiting the word. During the game Fabian Moreau just had an ankle sprain and Morgan Moses hurt his elbow, but we’ll see what they’re like on Wednesday.”
On how they examine Dunbar for nerve problems:
“Yeah it’s a different doctor for the nerve I guess.”
On what stands out to him about the defense stopping the running game:
“Well I think the total team effort, really. I think it starts upfront in the trenches. Those big guys are doing a great job, the front four or five depending on the personnel grouping, are doing excellent. At the line of scrimmage, that starts there. Being physical at the line of scrimmage and then the linebackers are finishing things off along with the safetys. So, overall it’s just a total team effort. Eliminating the running backs like we have the last couple week has been a great, outstanding job by everybody. And then the passing game, they’ve held on. So, there’s still some work to do without a doubt, but I like where they’re at, I like where they’re heading.”
On rushing defense improvements from last year:
“It starts with our rush defense. We were last in the league last year, so it’s major improvement. I think getting Jonathan [Allen] back has been huge, and obviously Daron Payne has been huge, and resigning Zach and Mason been big, and getting D.J. [Swearinger] and Montae [Nicholson] on the same page have been big. And then, you know, the edges. The edges have been not talked about a lot, everybody cares about the stats. But, Preston [Smith] and Ryan [Kerrigan] do an excellent job setting the edge and forcing everything back to the big guys.”
On QB Alex Smith’s ability to win:
“Turnovers, you know. I think were plus, what were we, plus two or three yesterday. So, we don’t turn the ball over. Playing good defense, field position, we’re making them go a very long way. Tress [Way] is doing a good job of punting the ball and we’re making teams earn every blade of grass they get, other than the Saint game obviously. It’s been a good formula for us. Make teams go 75, 85 yards it’s very difficult. And then we take advantage of some of the good field positions we do get and punch it in from time-to-time. But, we will get better on offense. The numbers will come. We’re going to stick with the plan and we’re going to get better for sure.
On problems with Alex Smith’s accuracy:
“I don’t know. I think we talk about all that stuff; we’re not getting into any fundamental issues here. But, he’s missed some throws uncharacteristically, for sure. Some of it is he’s felt a little pressure, hasn’t gotten his feet set from time to time. But, he has made some great throws under duress. Escape the pocket a few times getting out of trouble. Only took one sack yesterday which is good, line did a pretty good job for the most part. So, there’s things we can all improve on. Receivers, tight ends, backs, and we will.”
On if Tress Way’s performance yesterday was the best he’s seen and the importance of field position:
“Yeah, could be. I think the whole punt team in general has played very well the last couple weeks. Our flyers done a good job and then the interior guys as far as protection and getting out and running down to cover. [Cole] Beasley is a good returner and we did a good job of hemming him up and keeping him backed up. So, Tress gets the good hang time that you need, the coverage gets down there and has limited returns. Made teams go a long way. I don’t know if it’s the best of his career, but it’s pretty darn good.”
On Tress Way sacrificing stats for field position:
“Yeah, I think he understands the game and Tress is a great guy. He’s all about the team. He’s gonna pin them back when he has to pin them back, and boot it when he has to boot it. So, and the wins were a factor yesterday but they weren’t a factor for him or Hop [Dustin Hopkins]. They both did a great job in the kicking game, and Nick Sundberg did a good job snapping with his hand. He hurt his hand a little bit and came back in there. The elements with the wind, the pressure situation, they both played big time roles for us yesterday.
On if he’s surprised Greg Stroman is a good tackler:
“No, I’m not surprised because that’s part of the reason we wanted to draft him, is because we wouldn’t draft him if he was a terrible tackler and little. He showed at Virginia Tech he could play a lot of different spots and e was a good sound tackler. He’s a tough kid, tough kid, and he’s a mentally tough kid. He got beat on that double-move and came right back and competed and still jumped on routes and did a good job.”
On how Quinton Dunbar got injured:
“Yeah he got kicked in the shin I guess or hit in the shin somehow. We thought it was just a bruise after the game and treated it, but he was just having trouble throughout the week, it just would give out on him from time to time and he was having trouble cutting on it. It was very noticeable on Friday, when we first put him on the injury report was Friday. I still thought he might be able to play, but Sunday morning he couldn’t really run.”
On being first in NFC East:
“No, there’s never that point in time unless it’s Week 17, I think right now it’s all about one game at a time. I told our guys that’s the only mentality we can have in this league, everybody’s got good players, good coaches and you start looking ahead and starting thinking of some other things, you’re going to get beat. Each game grounds for the same one game, it’s another division game for us, another rivalry game on the road so we’ve got to get up.”
On if anything changed after New Orleans game:
“I think anytime you get beat like that and play like we did as a group, the entire group, I think it just made a little, payed a little bit more to their preparation, it has to be on point. They came in and mentally they were on point, the last couple of week they’ve been very good as far as the walkthroughs, the meeting time and then transferring out to the practice field. That’s what it takes, week in and week out, because every week we’re going to have a couple different play concepts, run concepts, coverages or blitzes, so you’ve got to be in tune, you’ve got to be sharp with your communication. We weren’t against New Orleans but we have been the last couple of weeks and that’s the big difference.”
On if last two wins build confidence:
“I hope so, you know I told them there’s going to be a lot of close games in this league. There’s I think three games that went down to the wire, last play of the game, last week and there’s going to be three or four more this week and five or six the next week so, we’ve got to play 60 minutes and knowing that we can win these close games is important for guys mentality down the stretch because we’re going to have more of them. It’s going to be 60-minute games week in and week out and we know that, we’re prepared for that and we’ve got to finish them.
On offensive line performance/Shawn Lauvao’s return:
“They played really good. Yeah I thought they played really good. In the running game I thought they got up to the next level, I think [Brandon] Scherff had an all-star block on that screen pass that set [Kapri] Bibbs free and Chase got out there, and the receivers did a nice job blocking also. But the line in general, overall in the run game and protection wise I thought they were very very good.”
On [Josh] Doctson running seam routes:
“Those are slant routes, those are just slant routes and he made two big-time catches, second and 15 on both of them, in traffic made two good catches. Had another comeback route on the sideline, he caught it over the linebacker. Had another couple opportunities we missed him on, but plays are going to come for him. We’re just scratching the surface with him. I know people probably don’t believe me, but they are going to come. I know Josh is working extremely hard. What I was most pleased with in Josh’s performance when you watch the tape was his blocking was unbelievable yesterday.”
On talking to Doctson about getting more opportunities:
“Yeah you to talk them, you have make sure they understand that chances will come and we’re still working with the quarterback-receiver continuity, and that’s going to come. I think once he gets a few opportunities to make some plays and he makes them, they’ll be coming in bunches. We just haven’t had that splash play yet. We had him on the sideline down the sideline and under threw him, he tried to jump over him. Probably could have gotten a PI [pass-interference call] but they didn’t call it. We had a deep one on third-down at the end of the half that we just missed by about a foot, so those opportunities will come, he’ll get them.