Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



The follow are some postgame quotes from various players following Saturday's San Francisco 49ers 33-14 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos. Quotes provided by the 49ers Communications staff.

QB C.J. Beathard


Do you remember the last time you threw a touchdown pass to 49ers TE George Kittle?

"At Nebraska last year was probably it. We've had a connection since college, so it was cool knowing he was here in San Francisco with me. Being able to do it in college and do it in the NFL together is cool."

How would you evaluate your first two games?

"I don't know. That's for the coaches to evaluate and decide on. Obviously I'm critical of myself. I feel like there are definitely things that I can improve on and get better. That's part of football. You're always trying to get better. You're never going to play a perfect game. I'm always just trying to get better, but to evaluate the game is something for the coaches to do."

How much did it help you mentally to know that you came into training camp competing for the number two job knowing that the coaching staff has confidence in you to put you in that spot?

"It means a lot to have their confidence, but I was never looking at it to get the number two spot. I was just going in putting my head down, trying to work, get better, improve on myself and focus on what I can do to improve as a quarterback. I wasn't really caught up at all in the depth chart. I'm still not now."

Is there something foreign about having to come into the game and do a two-minute drill right off the bat?

"No. It's preseason and you can expect to get thrown in there at any point in the game. I just wanted to get in there and throw it around right from the start."

After George Kittle caught that ball, he still had some work to do. It's something you've seen before I'm guessing?

"He does a great job after the catch making guys miss. He trucked a guy and ran a guy over to get to the end zone. It was a great run after the catch and a good job by him."

Have you had that welcome-to-the-NFL moment yet?

"I think it was just last week realizing that this is the NFL. It has been my dream since I was a kid. Just stepping out there on my first drive last week was one of those moments that seemed cool and surreal. This is my job now. You just have to act like you've been there before."

RELATED Transcript: Brian Hoyer discusses preseason loss to Broncos

WR Victor Bolden


Did you see right away that there was an opportunity to break that tackle?

"We were talking about that last week. We had an opportunity to break one and it didn't end up happening. This week was a big focus on if we've got the opportunity we're going to make a big play out of it. We did a great job of opening a hole and I was able to hit it and make a play."

It was 104 yards and you caught it in the end zone. Was that a decision that had already been made that you were going to take it out even if it was on the other side of the goal line?

"Oh yeah. With this being the preseason and me being an undrafted free agent, I've got to make sure I go out there and try to make a play. I just try to take advantage of every opportunity that I get. I saw the opportunity and made sure I did my best with it."

At what point on that play do you realize you're going to score?

"Probably after I passed the kicker. As soon as I passed the kicker I felt like I had a chance to get into the end zone. I just started running and made sure nobody caught me from behind."

You had a couple of big catches in practice this week. How is the receiving part of it going for you?

"It's going well. When my number is called, I try to go out there and make a play, whether it being at wide out or return. I'm just trying to go out there and make the team."

Are you playing mostly out of the slot or just a little bit of everything?

"I'm playing mostly outside, playing wide out. They've got me out there. I'm just trying to do my best."

LB Eli Harold


Do you feel like you can earn a starting spot on this team?

"I felt like I continued to improve which is the most important thing. I'm going to continue to try my best. That's all I can do. Hopefully I'll get the result I want in the end."

Why is this position in this defense such a good fit for you?

"Coming into the league the big knock on my game was that I wasn't a good end setter. I feel like with the end of my second year and how I've been going now, that's the best thing that I do. I've gotten stronger and really learned leverage and how to use my length. In watching guys like [Oakland Raiders LB] Bruce Irvin, I feel like I have all the intangibles to do the same thing. This defense is a very good spot for me, and I feel like I can continue to impact it in a positive way."

How does your training weight affect how you're able to perform this season?

"It's amazing. Going into year two at 270 was outrageous. Now I weigh 252. I felt like that led to me having that injury last year and having to have surgery in the offseason. Being at this weight now, I feel like I'm not only fast and quick but stronger as well. Like I said, learning leverage and knowing you don't have to weigh a lot to be strong was something that I had to learn."

RELATED Transcript: Kyle Shanahan discusses preseason loss to Broncos

TE George Kittle


Has your hamstring kind of bothered you for a little while?

"I tweaked it a little bit. I'm feeling great now, and that's all that matters."

When was the last time you caught a touchdown from San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard?

"I caught two from him in Nebraska in senior night. That was our last time."

Was there a Déjà vu joke when it happened?

"My favorite from C.J. was when he had slipped in the end zone. He almost fell on his butt. That was really fun. It was great from playing with players I played five years with in college. To be able to catch one from him, it was just great."

RB Joe Williams


I know you didn't get in much this game, but I've been wanting to talk to you for a while about how the preseason is going. How are you feeling out there?

"I'm feeling good. I'm getting used to the speed of the game. This offense is great. I'm just trying to earn my stripes and do what I can to contribute."

There has been a lot of talk that when 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch drafted you, you were a fit for their system. What exactly do you feel makes you a good fit for this scheme?

"Being able to be used on all downs, first, second, and third. Catching out of the backfield, pass protection, and just trying to do it all."

I think your speed as well. Last week, there were a lot of pitches to the outside. Is that a play you really like because you can turn the corner with your speed?

"I like them all, pitches to the outside zone, inside zone. Any time I can get the ball in my hands to make some plays."

Today, coach Shanahan said it was the plan that you weren't going to play as much. Did they let you know that before the game?

"[San Francisco 49ers running backs coach Robert Turner Jr.] Coach Bobby T told me. He told all the backs how many reps they were going to get. I got in a little bit on special teams. I got a couple of carries. So I'm just going to get back to work this week for Minnesota and put this one behind us."

I've been at practice throughout most of the camp and I feel that about a week in, you really turned it on. Is there something that happened there that really sparked you?

"Just believing in myself. I listened to a couple veterans and a couple of coaches who just told me that I belong here. Just believing that and locking in."

Was one of those coaches coach Turner?

"Yeah, coach T and one of the veteran running backs just being in my ear, just someone to keep my confidence up."

Who was the running back?

"[San Francisco 49ers RB Tim] Hightower. Just locking in."

I've read that you have a really good relationship with coach Turner that went back before the draft. What was that like? It seemed like he was very supportive throughout.

"He was. We would talk a lot throughout the weeks leading up to the draft, just keeping a good rapport. I've just been piggy-backing off of that since I've been here."

CB Ahkello Witherspoon


What's been the biggest adjustment coming from the Colorado secondary to here?

"Some of the stuff away from the ball. I've always been good at competing, one-on-one routes, and stuff like that. One of the big emphasis here is just running to the ball, being that extra man in. That's something that I've worked on and I'm improving on."

You're obviously a tall cornerback. Is that something that the 49ers talked a lot about when they drafted you?

"Yeah, definitely, just the length outside and being able to blanket some receivers. That's where the NFL is headed. That's where it's been going. They thought I fit that mold."

It's funny that you say that because I feel that 10 years ago, probably as you were growing up and watching football, a guy like you would probably have been a safety. Now you see a lot of guys [at cornerback]. Is there any tall cornerback in particular that you've molded your game after?

"Yeah, [Seattle Seahawks CB Richard] Sherman for sure, because he's very intellectual. I appreciate that. He brings that to the game as well and I take pride in that. His physical ability, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, I think we're very similar. I think what he does to the game has actually been good. People like me coming up to see what success can be. He's definitely a role model."