On what the 49ers' defense did to limit the run game: "No they played a lot of zone, the same thing we thought they were going to do. They matched their front against our guys up front and they created pressure with just three and four man rush. They played a tone of zone and didn't do anything. A lot of base defense today."
On the two plays from the one-yard line: "I tried to surprise them on the one before that, the run before that got us down to the one but I knew they were just going to pack it in there and we hadn't run the ball very well all day long. I just tried to put it in the quarterback's hands and try to run a crossing route bringing a tight end underneath and missed that. On the next play we just tried to get [QB] Nick [Foles] on the perimeter. I wanted to get him away from the rush, see if we could get him on the edge and he had a couple of options but we just sailed a little bit high."
On the problem with the run game: "We just got whooped up front. We're not very good up front right now. We've got a lot of guys banged up and that's not an excuse it's just the reality of it. [ T] Jason Peters is the only guy who is playing the position that he started the season at. [G/T] Todd [Herremans] moved out, we got three new guys inside and when you play against a front like that, [DT] Justin Smith one of the best players in the game, [LB] Patrick Willis, [NT] Ian Williams, [DT Ray] McDonald, that group we got beat. When your front can handle and stop the run game but generate a pass rush then you can sit back and play zone and not give up a lot of big plays. That's kind of been their M-O."
On what it says about his team to stay in a game like this one: "I thought phase-wise, obviously, offensively we didn't do anything but our special teams and our defense played really, really well. When we get four sacks on [QB Colin] Kaepernick, we had a fifth one but we got a penalty, and it just seemed like it was one of those days where I thought our defense did a really nice job. They were on the field way too much and didn't generate anything offensively. But the interception return for a touchdown, a blocked punt for a touchdown a punt return for a touchdown was big and you're going to have to have that. There's going to be days when one of the phases isn't playing well and hope the other two can bail it out and they got us close, but we couldn't finish it out offensively that's on us."
On the idea of huddling up and eating clock at some point: "Three-and-out it's only goint to get you an extra 20 seconds. We've got to get first downs, that's the biggest thing. We had three-and-outs and two-and-outs."
On playing slower to give the defense a rest: "Yeah, that's not what we do."
On whether they're forced to call a different game because of offensive line injuries: "Yeah we've got to call the game a lot differently than we normally do when we've got the other guys in there but that's just par for the course. You've just got to try to make some decisions in terms of which way you can go with it and run certain plays certain ways just because of who's in the game."
On his view of Foles' throw to [WR Riley Cooper] in the back of the end zone: "I didn't get a good look, I didn't see it. I saw the play but from where we're standing I couldn't tell you whether he could have or couldn't have."
On having RT Lane Johnson back and what it'll change: "I don't know. We haven't seen or had any communication with him until he can get back from my unde rstanding so we'll get a chance to visit with him. We hope it's one of those things coming out of the
San Francisco game at least there's help on the way so we'll get Lane [Johnson] in here and see what we can do. Maybe that adds a little bit of stability to it but we really need to get it figured out up front right now."
On the struggles being based on the offensive line's struggles: "I think. I mean we couldn't get anything going up front so it was very tough sledding for anybody up there. It wasn't like if you put [RB] Darren [Sproles], then Darren's running up the field you know it's on
[RB] LeSean [McCoy]. I mean running the football is a cooperative deal, it's got to be everybody. We just didn't get it done."
On the holding penalty on CB Cary Williams: "I did not see. I saw the rush and then all of a sudden there's a flag down so I was hoping we could get home and you know push them back a little bit. I think it was [LB] Trent [Cole] on the sack so I saw that and then all of a sudden you get on the headset that there's a flag on the play. So I did not see what happened or why it was called or whether it was a penalty. I didn't see that part of it."
On why the offense couldn't succeed without the run today: "They played a lot of zone, which we hadn't seen a bunch of it. They cushioned back and played a lot of zone and generated a pass rush with just four guys. A couple times Nick [Foles] was hit at the top of his drop and I think the one interception he was getting hit so he underthrew it he didn't get enough on the ball. It looked like early that [WR] Jeremy [Maclin] may have been going by him but there's a couple times it looked like something was going to develop in the passing game but he couldn't set his feet and couldn't throw the ball on time. It's a formula for anybody. If we could, or anybody could just rush three, rush four and generate pressure on the quarterback, stop the run game, and just cushion back and keep everyone in front of you then that's a great way to play defense."
On whether it really all comes back to the offensive line: "Yeah and again, we're young. We've got a lot of guys in new positions and it comes back to all of us and I think we've all got to contribute to that. We'll see where we go from here but today we weren't good enough. I thought we were good enough defensively, I thought we were good enough on special teams but we weren't good enough offensively."
On how he calls plays differently when the run game isn't working: "You just know what's in there and kind of which way we can go with certain things and hopefully he's better at doing this right now or he's better at going this way right now just trying to see. A lot of the times you're grasping out of the straws, let's try something here and a couple penalties killed us. The one drive in the first half where we threw the screen and it pops the ball, we get it out and we're in a good situation. But then they said we had an offensive pass interference penalty so we may have a combination of both. All of a sudden we're moving the ball but then we have a penalty that took us back."
On the 49ers' success against the screen pass: "They did a good job. We thought when you're rushing us and Nick [Foles] doesn't have the time to throw the ball, then let's get to the screen game. Maybe we can slow the rush down. But they did a good job especially on the running back screens. We got the outside receiver screens going but the running back screens did a really good job of I-D-ing the back and finding out where he was and then just sticking to him."
On Foles' performance: "It's tough to grade him because I think a lot of times he had some pressure on him but that's going to be the case especially where we are right now. We've got to improve if people are just going to rush more. Maybe I'll do a better job at picking them apart in zones and doing some of those things. I don't think anyone offensively did very well."
On whether getting WR Riley Cooper more involved was a conscious decision: "No it's just kind of how they were playing it and how they decided to play us. We say that every week. What plan are they going to try and how are they going to deploy their guys. Obviously if you're going to play zone and we've got some time to throw it then there's going to be some holes in the zone and I think Coop did a nice job in some of those things. But he wasn't going in specifically we think we're going to get Riley to have a really big game because of how they're going."
On the problem with the deep ball: "We missed a couple. I felt we felt we could hopefully get the ball over the top a couple times and I thought we did. I know at least two of them he was getting hit while he threw it so that takes a little velocity off the ball but we did have some timing issues in terms of being able to set our feet and throw the ball. There were some times that we could have done that. I think it's if it wasn't one thing it was another so there's not one specific thing less."
On using TE James Casey instead of TE Zach Ertz at the end: "James [Casey] is blocking. So that's a one set for us so on the first play James blocked and on the second play you're giving them the look that we're running the football. We're just trying to see if we can get them to think we're going to run the football and then try to just get the ball to the perimeter so that's part of that thought process."
On not using McCoy after he gained yards: "We gained yards because I think we surprised them. I think they thought we we're going to throw it, they were all cushioned back and they were dropping everybody into the end zone. Didn't think we were going to be able to throw it in from where we were. We threw it I think the play before that and they were all back in the zone so we were a little bit light and pressing the line of scrimmage. I thought maybe we could pop a run and we popped it for five but when we got the ball to the one, they changed
defensively and they were going to go for a more towards a goal line look and that wasn't a favorable matchup today."
On whether the 49ers showed a lot of zone: "No they showed it but we've got to beat it and protect it. You've still got to go out and execute it I could have told you that after the first quarter what we were going to get for looks, I knew what we were getting for looks. We've got to be able to protect it and be able to execute."
On whether the kick return success is due to routine or talent: "I think it's both. Obviously [RB] Chris [Polk] is very talented and Darren [Sproles], everybody knows how talented Darren is as a returner we also had the other 10 guys take a lot of pride in being on teams and really understand that because we had two explosive guys back there that it can be a weapon for us and obviously we needed it today. It kept us in the game. We get a blocked punt for a touchdown and you score twice on special teams usually you end up coming out on top statistically when that happens but we've got to get some things straightened out on the offensive side of the ball."
On what he told his team: "We're never in a moral victory. I just told those guys in the locker room it's very simple. I just said I love your effort, I love how hard you played and there's going to be times that the ball doesn't bounce your way but as long as you stick together as a group and play this hard you're going to end up on the right side of things."