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Game Vs. 49ers: Locker Room Defense

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On the improved tackling today after last week's game: "I think every game is different. Our players always want to tackle to the best of their ability. We've worked on it. We will continue to work on it. Tackling is an important part of playing good defense."

On whether the defense utilized the nickel package more today than usual: "We did, because they want to throw the football out of that two tight end set. Teams over the course of the year have had trouble matching up with (TE) Vernon Davis with a linebacker. I wasn't going to put us in that position, and (CB Joselio) Hanson went out there and did a good job. We knew we had to take away Vernon Davis and then also (WR Michael) Crabtree in the passing game, and I think we did a decent job of doing that."

On clinching the playoff berth: "Never good enough. We're not going to stop working hard. We're going to keep pushing. It's important that we get better each and every week."

On facing Brian Dawkins next week: "He's a great player, and an even better person. He's been a class act and an influence in my life for the better. (But) he plays for another team right now. Our players have got to go out, and they've got to dominate (and) really come out focused just like we did this week. He's going to bring a lot of energy, and we've got to match that energy."

CB Asante Samuel

On the defense bouncing back after last week's high-scoring game: "We won last week, first off, but we know we didn't do a good job. We can't keep playing like that, especially in December and January. Our mindset was just come out and execute the way we know how. We knew there were going to be a lot of people doubting us because of one game."

On how personally the defense took last week's outcome heading into today's game: "It's nothing about 'personal.' We just wanted to go out and execute. We want to be known as a good defense. Last week, we weren't known for that. We just want to go out and play good defense."

On his interception: "I just jumped the route. I saw the quarterback motion and I know his go-to man is Vernon Davis, so I just jumped in on him."

On how the defense was able to contain Davis: "We knew the quarterback was most comfortable throwing (Davis) the ball, so we knew to have somebody in his face, and we just tried to go execute that."

On his satisfaction with his performance this season: "Never satisfied. You can never be satisfied in this league -- the faster you get in, the faster you leave. I'm always trying to get better, always trying to do better and help my team. (I am) trying to get this city what they want."

On all the takeaways caused today: "We're a big play defense, so we're used to causing turnovers. That's our objective -- causing the turnovers…we did a good job today."

On making the playoffs: "That's just the first step. Going to the playoffs is the first step. It's a new season. We don't have time to think about it right now, we've got another game coming up. We're in the playoffs, but we're going to be focused on the next game."

LB Jeremiah Trotter

On the team's accomplishments throughout the season so far: "I think it starts with the foundation of the team, with Andy Reid and the coaching staff. It shows the character of the guys here. We have some great guys and not only can they play, but we have some great character guys. We have to go through a lot this year with injuries and moving guys around, we stayed the course and kept working hard. We're back into the playoffs."

On whether the adversity earlier in the year has helped the team play better: "I think so. I think being down in Chicago at the end of the game and coming back to win that one. I think we were down in another game and came back and won that game as well. We grew a lot from those games, especially with a young team; it just shows that we can come from behind because we keep fighting for sixty minutes."

On what a game like this says about the defense: "We stressed tackling this week and we were able to get to the quarterback and get some pressure on them and force some turnovers. We were playing solid football."

On how the defense prepared for TE Vernon Davis: "I can probably say that this is one week that we game planned a guy and actually took him out of the game. There have been other weeks where we have game planned a guy and they were still able to get it done. Especially a tight end making catches on us. I'm really proud of the defense and we were able to take him out of the game."

LB Tracy White

On how the defense played against their tight ends: "We treat TE (Vernon Davis) as a wide receiver and we know they have some run plays. We had a bunch of different packages and we were prepared to rush the quarterback and get pressure on QB (Alex Smith)."

On getting an opportunity to play defense: "Coach Reid told me that I would get some plays but to be honest, when I came here I thought they would have me at special teams. I knew that when they called on me I had to be ready and Coach Reid told me he was going to do it. I was ready and that play was the biggest thing to ever happen to me."

On the defensive rotations getting a lot of players repetitions: "That's how it looked to me when I first got here. I came in to camp with a couple of guys getting their start on special teams like S Quintin Mikell and a couple other guys. I saw how hard these guys worked for it and Quintin got his spot on defense so I thought I could do the same thing. Work hard on special teams and execute on defense when they put me in during training camp.

CB Sheldon Brown

On the difference in play between this week and last week's games: "Who said we didn't have a good week last week? We looked at the tape and it wasn't as bad as it seemed. We had to focus on tackling a little better and eliminate some big plays and that's what we did tonight."

On the defense's ability to come up with the big play every week: "We have a few guys that have been playing the game awhile and that's expected of us so I don't think we get too excited for doing it."

On whether the team is relieved to have clinched a playoff spot: "I think it's one step but I don't think we've won the East title in a few years and that is goal number one. Whatever we have to do, we need to take care of the division and then we can worry about the other things."

On having a couple weeks before the end of the season and knowing you've clinched a playoff berth: "We have to have a killer instinct. You come out at halftime and you're dominating and for some strange reason a couple things go wrong early and you can't win like that. Going into the playoffs you want to be peaking at the right time."

On the return of former Eagle Brian Dawkins next week: "I'm sure the fans will welcome him the right way. It'll be one of those memorable moments and games that you'll remember and that's what it's about."

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