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What The 49ers Said Following Their 41-23 Wild Card Win Over The … – Seahawks.com

Featuring postgame quotes from the following:
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Opening Comments:
“Alright guys, injuries from the game. We had [WR Jauan] Jennings with an ankle, he returned. [DL] Samson [Ebukam] with an ankle, he didn’t. He probably would’ve if it wasn’t like that at the end though. Go ahead.”
With the way the first half ended, I would imagine you weren’t too pleased. What did you say to the team at halftime and what did you think of the result?
“I definitely wasn’t happy how it ended, but we moved on from that very fast. By the time we got in, you just try not to think about it. Our team knows what we messed up there. I said this is what we expected and we expected a tight game. It was a tight game that’s playoff football and I expected us to come out in the second half, score first and then respond.”
Did you get the sense that QB Brock Purdy had some nerves or anything early in the game and how did he kind of settle in?
“I think everyone does a little bit. The rain was going there a little bit at the beginning, but he missed that first pass and was a little off on a couple, but he also made a couple off schedules there in the first half too that were really good. He ended up playing a hell of a game and the most impressive thing was not turning it over.”
Were you at all surprised with how much trust you have in Brock at this point?
“Not really. I felt that way from the beginning, once he got in that game versus Miami, we didn’t have the luxury to sit there and worry about stuff the way the game was going. We just had to call plays to try to win the game and he did such a hell of a job and he’s done it every time since, so we have a lot of confidence in him and he gives us more and more confidence each week.”
19 passes and nine runs of the first half. It balanced out in the second half, but was it the initial plan to attack to the air, at least initially?
“Yeah, it was. We knew we wanted to run the ball and we were hoping it would end up balanced towards the end, but we thought we had some good looks that we wanted to get and we got some of them and capitalized on a couple. I thought we were doing a hell of a job in the first half actually, offensively, they do a good job of giving up some, but not letting you in the end zone. And for us to have all those yards, I think we had 8.5 yards per play, but I think we only had 13 points to show for it, so when you do that, you worry and that’s why you have to turn those big plays into touchdowns and we were able to do that in the second half.”
You joked, maybe not joked about don’t take a 17-yard sack, but he does seem to have a knack for spinning out of stuff. At some point, do you just get used to it and say just go do it?
“No. He was great on some, that last one, it was very close. It was unbelievable the throw he made in the corner to [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A. I know he just missed that, but he’s got a feel for it. He definitely makes me nervous on some of it, but he did a hell of a job getting away. He knows his body, he’s out there and you can see how close he is to those guys and he tries to never give up on a play and he’s been very smart with the ball so far, so I appreciate that he’s doing it.”
Did you have a sense WR Deebo Samuel might do something big after his foot got yanked?
“I was worried that he was hurt on it. I lost my mind a little bit on that. I was real concerned that he was hurt on it, I didn’t like how that looked. I thought it looked pretty bad and the intent of the play, so I think that pissed a lot of people off. I think it pissed our team off and I think you could kind of feel our team react to that after. I wish we were like that from the first play always, but sometimes when some stuff motivates the guys, I think it was cool to see us rally together and I know Deebo was bothered and it was cool we came back and answered.”
The defense had some struggles had some struggles in the first half, they played a lot better in the second half. How’d you assess their performance?
“Yeah, they got us on a couple things early. The big play obviously, [Seattle Seahawks WR] D.K. [Metcalf] is as good as anyone. [Seattle Seahawks QB] Geno [Smith] throws a hell of a ball and [CB Charvarius Ward] Mooney didn’t shy away from anything. He went up there and competed with them all game just like he did last time. D.K. is going to get some, I thought we got some too, but I think the key in the game was getting those turnovers in the second half and if we don’t come out and get those turnovers and we turn it over on offense, I think it’s a totally different game. And once we came out and got those turnovers, I think we settled down and got back into playing pretty good football.”
Was that play with Seattle Seahawks S Jonathan Abram worthy of a personal foul or worthy of an objection in your mind?
“That’s what I thought I saw and then he was hurt, so that allowed me to go out there. I’ll see, you always see when you see the tape. Everyone’s emotional out there, but that’s what it looked like to us.”
Did you say anything to the officials about it?
“Yeah.”
Do you remember any of it?
“Not what I said, but who knows, I was borderline blacked out at the time and we’ll see. You always have to see it again, but that one bothered us a little bit.”
What was your view on DL Charles Omenihu’s strip sack, DL Nick Bosa’s recovery and just what it meant for you at that point in the game?
“Oh, it was huge. That was our first turnover. Once we got the turnover that’s when I feel like the momentum completely changed for the whole game and it took him a while. He was in that pocket for a little bit. The longer they’re in there, the more people get open and off-schedule timing, so I was worried the whole time and then the ball went down on the ground and all I was asking, just jump on it please. We had a couple the last time we played him and they beat us to it and then once he did jump on it, I kind of was wishing he scooped and ran with it, but regardless I think we ended up scoring, so it was a huge play in the game and I think once our defense did that, I think they got their mojo back and played great. It was awesome to be able to protect some of them there that last drive.”
You mentioned that play or what happened to Deebo kind of pissed everyone off and ignited you. Was it an element of you beaten the Seahawks two times in the regular season and yeah, it’s the playoffs, but was there kind of like a malaise or? “No, I don’t want to make too big a deal about that. People get mad, that doesn’t change everything. You have to score points to beat people and they got us in a couple big plays, especially the go-route that gave them some points and I think we had eight and a half yards of play in the first half, so it wasn’t like we weren’t doing well. They just did a good job of keeping us out of the end zone and if you keep doing that, regardless of what you’ve done, you look up and you’re down by one point and I didn’t feel like we should be, because I thought we had done a lot of good things, but when you don’t score those touchdowns, that’s how it is and that’s why it doesn’t always matter the stats and what you’re doing. There’s one thing, it’s who scores more points and I’m glad we kept playing the same way and we ended up getting turnovers and not giving any and if you keep doing that and keep getting explosive like that, that’s why the score ended up the way it did.”
When you guys sweep the division, beat Seattle the way you did twice in the regular season, was there any extra pressure coming into this game? A game that everybody expected you guys to win pretty decisively?
“Yeah, the pressure is how much we believe in our team and that it’s not a seven-game series, it’s just three and a half hours and who knows what’s going to happen. Everyone in the playoffs is a good team, that’s a good team. They won nine games for a reason. They’re always tough to play regardless and you have to go out there and play really good football and that’s what’s so tough about the NFL. That is our internal pressure is we think we got a really good team and we don’t want today to be our last day with this team, but that is the reality of the playoffs. All you have guaranteed is three and a half hours. Once we clinched earlier this year up there, we knew we were guaranteed the playoffs, so that was kind of the first feeling that we’ve had in a while of like, ‘wow, if we don’t handle our business this week this week’s over, this season’s over.’ And we love this team for a number of reasons and I’m glad we have another week.”
Obviously, Brock’s been playing well, but is it a different thing to see him do it in the playoffs like this, just for you?
“Not totally yet. I don’t know. The playoffs, all it means is if you lose, the season’s over, besides that you’re usually going against good teams, but we have seen him do it against good teams and the pressure’s always on and it was great to see him do it today.”
Do you feel like it affects Purdy now that this game is over, he’s already played in one postseason game and now he can just go play?
“I think he did that today. I think he’s done that every game he’s gotten in, so it’s cool to have another thing that he can say he’s done, but these games are all the same, some can mean more than others just because when you lose this one it’s your season’s over, so that’s the pressure that everyone has to deal with. That’s why you just want to get to the game. Once that kickoff goes and you get out on the field, then you realize it’s three and a half hours just like it always is, but there is always a buildup for that.”
As good as your defense is, you have this seemingly annoying trend of giving up a big play in the first half of games, especially during the second half of the season. How do you account for it? Obviously, you’re not happy about it.
“It happens and yeah, we work at everything, but what I’m happy with is we held them to less points than we got on offense. I think we don’t freak out when we give up a big play and the same stuff we’ve been doing all year. I know we’re the number one defense in the league and we’ve earned that throughout the year. Guys play well, it’s a whole team game and that’s why sometimes when they have big plays and our defense gives that up, then we have to answer on special teams or offense and vice versa. There’s a number of times that we’ve struggled this year offensively or special teams wise and we haven’t had to worry about anything because our defense was at the top of their game, I think they did some real good things today, didn’t start off that great, but when you do end up limiting their explosives and keeping them out of the end zone. I’m pretty happy with our defense.
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On that throw to WR Deebo Samuel, did you feel the moment or what happened?
“Honestly, the ball was a little wet. It was raining at the time and it just got away from me. But yeah, it wasn’t anything in terms of the game. It was just the ball was wet, slipped. I was trying to rip it to Deebo and I was just mad that I couldn’t get it to him.”
And how important is that second pass where you hit WR Brandon Aiyuk to kind of get into the rhythm then?
“Yeah, I mean, it’s very important. Obviously had missed one right before that. So, to get the ball to B.A., have him make a play and just create some momentum, it was huge for us, huge for myself. As a quarterback you want to start the game off with some completions and just get into a rhythm, so it was huge for myself. It was huge for the team.”
Did it feel different because it was a playoff game?
“I mean, there was some emotion going into the game. You could just feel it in the environment with the fans and our teammates like, man, this is win or go home. And so, you did feel that I feel like pre-game and whatnot, but once the game started, it was all, hey, it’s 11-on-11, I’ve got to do my job. I’ve got to get it to the guys when they’re in space and go from there. But we didn’t make it more than what it was. I mean, you could feel it in the first half in terms of Seattle’s playing really good football, it’s playoff football, everyone plays their best football. So, I feel like that was just something that we had in the back of our minds too. But overall, it wasn’t ‘oh my gosh, we’re in the playoffs, we got to get all tense or anything like that.’ So we’ve just got to play our game and let everything else fall into place.”
You haven’t had very many opportunities to have Deebo and RB Christian McCaffrey in the backfield behind you. When they did that today, when they were on that field at the same time today, can you kind of see the defense having a dilemma, sort of a pick your poison type of issue for them?
“I mean, yeah, I think obviously it’s hard for a defense to stop that when you’ve got both guys coming out of the backfield, any which way or doing all these exotic things that we do. But I thought that honestly, credit to Seattle, they did a good job, I think on third downs and everything like that, in terms of playing man, they had great coverage. I feel like they had a good plan in terms of how to stop our guys out of the backfield with Christian and Deebo. But at the same time, like once we did get the ball and they made plays then, we did exactly that. Our guys made plays in space and so it’s going to be a challenge moving forward. As usual, everyone’s going to be playing their best football and scheming up stuff like that for Christian and Deebo, but I know once they win those one-on-one matchups and get the ball to them, it’s tough for defenses.”
In the first half you were able to move the ball well but couldn’t get into the end zone or had trouble finishing drives. Why were you able to turn that around the second half?
“Yeah, it’s just, there’s a couple plays, man, where it’s like you’ve got to be on point. Once you get those matchups and opportunities to capitalize on, you’ve got to do it, especially in the NFL, playoff football. And so, I put that on myself. There’s some plays where I should’ve put the ball up, you know, give [TE] George [Kittle] a one-on-one shot and instead of taking a sack, some plays like that where I’ve got to be better. And so, coming into halftime, you know, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] just was straight up like, ‘hey man, plays are there, the opportunities are there. We’ve just got to keep it simple and get it to the guys.’ And so, we knew what our plan was coming out of halftime into the second half and I thought we just executed everything and we finished drives where we didn’t do the stalling. We didn’t overthink things in the second half.”
You moved around a lot today. But after the, when you roll left, roll right, you get it to RB Elijah Mitchell in the open flat there. You really looked as excited as I’ve seen you. Was that just because of the play was the moment. What were you feeling there? And could you talk us through that play?
“Yeah, it was just a broken play. I was trying to go left to B.A. and then go through my progression from there, just broke down. And so, Elijah did his job in terms of staying in protection and then if he had time he could get out and he was my last read. So, the front side just broke down. And when I scrambled, Elijah was where he needed to be. And that’s why I was excited. I was like, man, that that was sweet, that I had that trust in you to be there. And the same for him, for myself. And so, once we completed that and scored, it was just a huge part in the game, to create momentum, it was just a big play for everyone and a big moment for everyone. So, I was just excited about it and just wanted to create some juice for our team and just celebrate a touchdown with my guy Elijah.”
WR Deebo Samuel called you slithery, your slithery moves out there. Is this something you knew you had or is it just instinct to be able to be able to move right when the defense lineman’s coming one way?
“Yeah, I mean, it’s not something that I go into a play where, oh, if it’s not here, I’m going to scramble and do this and that. I want to go through my progressions and stuff, but I feel like it’s just the instinct that I have of playing football throughout the years of if something’s not there, the play can still be alive. That’s sort of in the back of my mind. And so, growing up I’ve been able to scramble and make plays off-schedule. So, in those moments and a couple of those touchdowns, I think it was just something that I’ve always done my whole life in terms of finding a way when it’s not there. So that’s all it was.”
You almost got a fourth touchdown pass to B.A. on the corner. On that rollout, you took a big shot at the end. When you look back on that play, was it worth it?
“Yeah, I think.”
Was that the same ribs though the same area where you hurt?
“Yeah, it was on my left side. Nothing from that hit, it was a good clean hit from the defensive lineman. Obviously in that kind of situation, I’ve got to be smarter with getting the ball out if the first read isn’t there instead of doing all that extra stuff. But yeah, I felt like it was one of those situations where, man, if we can just put one more touchdown in, put the nail in the coffin. But at the same time a field goal is just as good. So, something I’ve got to be smart with and just throw it away if it’s not there.”
What did Brandon say to you after that?
“I mean, I was excited that, alright, we have a scramble drill on, and he kept it alive. He saw me scramble, I went left, came back right, and then he ran left and then went all the way right. And so, I was excited that he kept it alive and I was happy. I was like, dude, that was good. And then he was obviously just, he’s hard on himself, he was like, man, I should have caught it or hit my hands or whatever. But, you know, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s all good, man. I love the dude. He works hard. He blocked for Deebo on that long touchdown. Like, you just see B.A. gives everything for this team. And so, when something like that happens. It’s all good. We’re going to learn from it and be better.”
A swagger related question. Do you feel the high step coming or is that just natural and then what do you imagine you’re injecting into your veins?
“Yeah, the high step sort of just comes in the moment. I don’t really think that, dude, I’m going to high step this linebacker or anything like that. I try to just get them to stop a little bit so I could possibly get a couple more yards, that’s all that is. And then I mean the whole vein deal, I think it’s just more for the team. They love just bringing some emotion and juice to the team. And so, I don’t go into the game telling myself, man, I’m going to inject my veins with this or that. It’s just some celebration to get the guys going.”
Are you a LeBron James fan?
“Yeah. LeBron. Yeah.”
Did you see that he tweeted about you?
“I did not.”
Lebron said “Purdy got game.”
“LeBron said that? Oh, that’s sweet. No, that’s awesome, so cool.”
How did you notice the intensity in the huddle change maybe after Deebo got his leg jammed up?
“Yeah, I mean that’s our guy, Deebo. He brings so much to the team, the juice, the swagger, all that kind of stuff. And you know, he’s down obviously, and the guy just kept going and it’s like, come on, like, let’s play clean here to keep the game going. And we get it, it’s a physical game and everything, but to do that it’s unnecessary. And so, for our team to just show some emotion, to show Deebo that we got his back, man. And yeah, I think we all had the right to have his back and be fired up about that. But it definitely created some juice for us and some momentum and I feel like we capitalized off it.”
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Is there anything that QB Brock Purdy does right now that surprises you guys still? “No, that’s Brock Purdy. That’s Brock Purdy.”
Do you wish you had that one back in the back of the end zone when Brock tried to throw it to you for a touchdown?
“Of course, of course. I don’t know what it is about that end zone over there, but I got to figure it out.”
The play that DL Charles Omenihu made when it was a one possession game – that really felt to me like almost a turning point in the game in terms of defensive momentum. And then you guys went down and took advantage of that offensively…
“Absolutely, I think we came out after the half down one point and then we went and got seven. So then it was a six point game, they got us the ball back and I think that was the next drive when we went down and [TE] George [Kittle] had the two point conversion. Then, we put it in a position that we wanted to, and at that point, the defense was able to pin their ears back and go play 49ers defense – offense closed the game out.”
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What are some of the second half adjustments that you guys made or talked about at halftime?
“Just finishing, bringing more intensity and finishing the play in the run game and in the pass game. I think we turned it up the second half.”
How did that feel to get that sack and eat a little bit there?
“It felt great I have been fighting through a lot of adversity with injury and being in and out of the lineup, and not feeling like myself. It feels good to make plays in big-time games. I’m a big-time player, so that’s what I pride myself on doing.”
What can you say about 49ers DL Charles Omenihu and what he has been able to do this season?
“Charles is a baller. He’s been going crazy. It’s been good to see. He came in at the end of last year and he helped us tremendously. To have a whole year of that role, he is coming into his own. We are going to need big time performances like that down the stretch.”
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What was it like at halftime when you guys had played a pretty good half, yet you’re down by one? What was the energy level?
“I was a little nervous just because of how the tide was going, but I have great confidence in this team. An entire half of football is a lot of football and we did exactly what we’re supposed to do.”
What has DL Charles Omenihu shown you in the year-and-a-half he’s been your teammate?
“A lot of improvement. He’s really revamped his preparation. He was more of a big interior guy when he came in. The time that’s he’s been here, he’s really bought into the scheme. He’s a really good player for us.”
Do you guys talk technical stuff as far as how guys move?
“For sure. We’re very different rushers, but there’s always similarities that we could talk about and I’m always trying to help him out.”
It seemed like the defense wasn’t playing up to its usual standard, at least in the first half. What did you see there?
“Seattle came in with a really good game plan. They had some different looks that threw us off in the run game and No. 9 [Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III] was really being patient, a little more patient than we were used to. So we had to adjust and just attack the run game to knock him back so he couldn’t find those lanes and get those extra yards.”
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Did you guys make adjustments at halftime?
“No, we didn’t make any adjustments to be honest. I think everybody just kind of amped up the intensity a little bit. I think there were a couple plays for me that I was just being too patient on. When the running back scored the touchdown. I just have to take fault for it and just learn certain stuff. Everybody kind of has like one little thing, you know what I mean. If we just clean it up and keep getting better, then we’ll be able to handle what happened in the first half.
Did anyone say anything at halftime? Did any of you guys speak up or coaches? “Oh, yeah. Everybody’s speaking up. The coaches, every player. We know we’re a lot better than that. We know we can play a lot better, and they know we’re a lot better than that, and we got their best shot. So we felt like, if we come out with the mindset that we know we’re supposed to have and we play the ball that we’re supposed to play, then what happened in the second half should’ve happened. That’s what happened.”
How about that game by QB Brock Purdy? 332 yards passing, the touchdowns that he threw. He should’ve had four touchdowns if WR Brandon Aiyuk catches that one.
“Yeah, I know, man. He’s a special dude. Just watching him from the sideline, he’s just so poised. It’s unbelievable to have a teammate that’s young like that and can come in when all the odds are stacked against him, Mr. Irrelevant and everything. To come out and still be who you are and play football the way that he plays, it’s just a testament to him and how he was raised and how he’s been brought up. It’s unbelievable, man.”
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That celebration from San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy, was that the first time you’ve seen him really kind of let his emotions out?
“I feel like when he threw that touchdown in the back of the end zone to [49ers TE George Kittle] against the [Las Vegas Raiders] he put the ice in his veins. I love that. I love seeing him let his emotion out like that because a he’s calm, cool, collected guy. He’s not very loud but when he lets it out it fires you up.”
What can you say about his performance?
“I think it’s incredible. He threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs as a rookie. He started six games. It’s incredible. There’s always stuff to pick apart. There’s always meat left on the bone, but I’ll take that. I’ll take 41 points all day.”
You seem like you are starting to really hit a stride even though you guys have won 11 in a row now.
“I’d say so. I think that’s a pretty good way to put it. Winning 11 games in a row in this league is not easy to do. It’s so tough to win any game in this league. So for us to string it together like that, I do feel like we’ve hit a good stride.”
It seems like the, personality of the defense is not necessarily that of the headliners that we hear about every week, right? It’s guys like San Francisco 49ers DL Charles Omenihu that make their presence known
“It can be anybody. I feel like this whole team offense, defense, special teams, there are so many weapons. There so are many play makers It doesn’t even have to be the headliners. There’s so many guys that can make plays and it’s tough to stop us when we have everyone going.”
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The emotions, the energy of a playoff game. Is it significantly different than a regular season game?
“There’s more on the line. It’s win or go home in the tournament, but the way this team prepares and practices, it’s very similar to every week since I’ve been here.”
Early on after you got here, you had a nice game and you said there’s a lot more meat on the bone for you. Where are you in terms of that now as far as how you’ve learned the offense?
“There’s always stuff out there. You watch the tape and a lot of times you’re playing against the tape. You just want to put good things on tape. You want to wake up Monday morning and when you watch it on the iPad, you want to be proud of what you do, what you put out there. There’s always stuff and there’s always things, like you made the wrong cut here or did something wrong here and that’s football. What makes it so fun is that constant pursuit for perfection. I think everyone on this team has that and that’s why our practices are intense.”
Do you have a sense of what that’ll be like for you when you watch the tape?
“Yeah, I’d never make blanket statements after games win or lose. It’s so fun to win a playoff game at home with the fans going crazy. It was a special feeling. We’re still alive and we’re going to take it one at a time. As far as tomorrow goes, you’ll make the corrections. You need to capitalize on the strengths and keep moving, but I never liked making blanket statements after a game without watching it.”
Do you like the idea of playing on a Saturday and winning and now being able to sit back and see what happens around the NFC?
“We might play Saturday next week, too. So for us it’s take advantage of every day, every second you have to recover and get back ready to go.”
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Can you talk about this team’s progress and where you are today?
“We knew we weren’t quite playing to our standard of football early in the year and not scoring enough points and had to settle in. I think that’s the beauty of this league and this game, right? It’s like who can get better, who can continue to find ways to get better throughout the entire year. I think every game we learn something, every practice we learn something and there’s a standard of being a professional in this locker room and with our coaching staff that you have to keep adjusting and keep improving. There’s an old football adage, you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, there’s no staying the same. I think we take that to heart around here and I think offensively, we’re starting to catch our stride and playing our best football at the right time.”
Mike, that being said, it has been a while since you guys had your backs against the wall. Is it kind of jarring all of a sudden when you guys have been going along as well as you have and all of a sudden you go down 17-16 at the half?
“I wasn’t actually speaking of the score because we played in Vegas and our backs were certainly against the wall in that regard. I was more talking along the lines of we had clinched in early December and there wasn’t really, other than up playing to our standard, there really wasn’t anything to, other than trying to improve a seed, for the last month. When you get into playoff football, we talked about it last night. The biggest thing is that we don’t want to lose because we don’t want to stop playing. We love this group and we know how the NFL shakes up every single year with the kind of turnover a roster can have. This is a special group that we all just want to keep playing ball.”
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When the Seattle Seahawks were only down by six, what was the temperament in the huddle at that point as far as trying to keep them out of the end zone and having them settle for a field goal?
“When the opponent gets in the red zone, your thought process is to hold them to a field goal. The plan is always play the call and execute It’s as simple as that. When we do that good things will happen for us.”
Before you forced the fumble, you had a near sack and Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith got away a little bit. How how much was it in your mind to atone and make a play there?
“Those type of plays in the playoffs, when you’ve missed one, it can weigh on you and it definitely was on my mind. But at the end of the day, you have to keep moving. We have a win-or-go-home mentality. I mean, stats don’t matter. The only thing that matters is if you get a win or a loss at the end of the game. So I had to re-center my mind. My coach and teammates tell me another opportunity’s going to come and thank God, it did.”
How much do you you like getting that take away and how that moment kind of lifted, especially the defense, and got you guys rolling?
“Yeah, it was big. Getting the turnover is always big. The game was kind of close and getting that opportunity to get a turnover and change the game is huge in these type of games especially.
Statistically, your two best games in your career now are both playoff games, last year in Dallas and here this one. How important is that to you that you’ve showed up here at the biggest moments?
“I told the guy yesterday, big time players step up in big time games. I say that we’re all big time players it doesn’t matter who is going to step up. Thank God I’ve been able to. In the year and a half that I’ve been here, I have been able to step up in those big time games and help my team win.”
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When you got your foot yanked on, what were your emotions?
“I stayed down a little because I almost lost my temper, and you can see the definition of our team of [IGYB], I got your back. The second half they scored at the end of the fourth quarter. Like, you can have it, but at the end of the day I felt like that turned our team up a notch. As you can see, we just went out there and made plays.”
Are you saying that you just needed that time to yourself?
“Yes, a hundred percent. It hurt for sure, but in my mind I was about to lose it. I just kept calm and just seeing how [49ers Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] came off the sideline is true definition of our team.”
Can you walk us through your touchdown? Did you get a good look at what 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk was doing down field?
“Oh yes. I saw Brandon. Once I came around and I saw the safety up top and I wanted him to think I was going to go that way, when I knew Brandon was going to seal the sideline for me and he did a great job and I just ran off his block.”
Did you sense any nerves from 49ers QB Brock Purdy in his first playoff start? How do you think he was?
“I don’t think there were any nerves at all. We kind of started off slow. We missed a couple here and there, but as the game slowed down and settled down for him, he knows the guys that he has around him to build him up. It started to slow down for him too in the second half and he went out there and played good ball.”
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In the second half you guys took control defensive changed there in terms of just shutting them down the way you guys did?
“Just a great, second half, defensive effort. I don’t know, but I feel like just the guys just came out after halftime with the right mindset and realized that defensively we need to play better need to play better.”
What was the mood like at halftime with you guys being down one point?
“We had the attitude of just relax man, and take it one play at a time.”
You’ve been through a lot of these with the Seahawks. What’s it like to sweep them and do it in the playoffs?
“It was hard. You know, that’s a great team out there and great coaching staff too. So that was a tough game.”
How good does it feel to win a playoff game and advance?
“It feels great anytime you win in this league, playoff regular season, pre-season, it feels great. But we can’t dwell. This is short lived right now because we have to get ready and prepare for the next team.”
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Can you kind of describe how you guys go about just staying in the moment and not letting it develop into something bigger?
“Yeah, I think in my short time in the league so far, I’ve seen so much happen within a game, being up by a lot, being down by a lot and the ebbs and flows of a game. I know one play doesn’t define a game, you know? Especially when it happens that early, there’s so much more football left to be played. It’s more about keeping confidence within the guys and knowing that it’s a next play, best play mentality. Before the game we talk about playing 60 minutes. You know, not 15, not 30. You’ve got to play a full 60 in the playoffs. It’s playoff football, you know, it’s not going to be easy. It’s all about just staying even keeled.”
Was there a part of you at all that was curious how QB Brock Purdy would react on the playoff stage and what did he show?
Nah, nah. He is who he is. It’s not about the playoffs and the big stage. He’s been in the biggest of moments regardless of playoffs or not. When you get thrown into the Dolphins game who are as hot as they come and [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] goes down, we’re all looking around and Brock Purdy’s the one who gets his number called and he goes and helps you win a football game. Those are the big moments that prepare you for moments like this and he showed us over and over again who he is and the type of player he is. So not surprised.”
What’s the next two days like for you as you watch the Vikings play and then maybe the Monday night game too?
“I’m just going to wait and see whoever we play, that’s who we’re going to prep hard for. It’s all about taking this thing one game at a time. I know obviously we talk about the end goal, but you don’t get there unless you win, you win one. So I’m proud of the guys for just winning one today.”
Check out some of the best action shots from the 2022 Wild Card Round vs. the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on January 14, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington’s Lottery.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 18 at Lumen Field.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 17 at Lumen Field.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 16 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 15’s Thursday Night Football game at Lumen Field.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 14 at Lumen Field.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 13 at Sofi Stadium.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 12 at Lumen Field.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 10 at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 9 at State Farm Stadium.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 8 at Lumen Field.
Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 7 at SoFi Stadium.
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