A number of San Francisco 49ers players spoke to the media following the team's 24-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Here are some postgame quotes from a number of them.
S Antoine Bethea
You guys did a good job holding them in the first quarter, what happened in the second?
"They got some plays, some drives, and they started running the ball a little bit and that kind of opened some things up for them. That was really the main thing."
Looks like the penalties were achilles heel for you today, was that a factor of what you were going through?
"Yes, especially on third downs getting penalties when we are in positions to get off the field, which allows them to prolong the drives. That is tough on the defense, staying out there. That is definitely something that we can't do."
You guys have a few injuries, how do you turn things around from here on Thursday night?
"We have no choice. It's the next man up. Injuries are a tough part of this game. It happens to all the teams. We have a game on Thursday so next man up."
This defense prides itself on stopping the run, how difficult as a defense to see Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott to get those yards?
"It sucks. Like you said we have to stop the run. That is what it is. We are always looking to make a team one dimensional. Elliott was having a good start of the year. We knew what he was capable of but we just have to do better."
RB Carlos Hyde
The offensive game plan worked very well early on and then it didn't work as well. What was the difference?
"I was slipping a couple times on a couple of runs. I could have done better getting us in third and shorts so we could convert those and keep it moving. I've just got to do better moving my feet and keep running hard."
Do you feel like the defense adjusted to the things that were working well early in the game?
"No. I think we still had what we wanted. We just need to keep pressing on. I feel like I've got to do better. I don't think I did that well."
What adjustments do you have to make before coming back for Thursday's game?
"I don't know, you have to ask [49ers head coach] Chip Kelly that. As a player, you just got to execute. Whatever play call coach makes, execute."
This offense really struggled on third downs against the Seahawks but came out seven-for-seven today on third downs. Obviously that was a point of emphasis, but what made you so successful on third downs?
"[49ers QB] Blaine Gabbert. Blaine was on the money today. When he's clicking in the passing game and the receivers are catching the ball it just opens everything up for us. That's why the run game was clicking also. The offense as a whole just needs to stay on pace and keep getting those third downs and take our time down the field."
How different was this offensive game plan? We saw a lot of five receiver sets with nobody in the backfield. How different was this game plan than the first three?
"I don't really feel it was any different. I just think guys were more fired up. I think guys had that bitter taste in their mouths from losing the two previous games. Guys were eager to get back out there to prove themselves. I don't think it was about the game plan. I think guys were just eager."
It looked like there were a couple new formations we hadn't seen the first few games.
"That's coach Kelly. He's got a bunch of formations and plays nobody has seen, so each week it's something different. But, we already went through this in training camp so we already know what to expect."
The way you guys started, did you feel like you were maybe going to put up 30 with the way it was moving?
"I don't know if we were going to put up 30, but I definitely feel like we could have rushed for more yards. Each week it's something to learn from and grow from so I've got a quick turnaround playing against a divisional opponent so I've got to be ready, and we will be."
WR Jeremy Kerley
It was a combination of good and bad. You started out really good and then things didn't go so well as the game wore on.
"That's how it goes sometimes."
It has to be a game that felt for a while that you had control of. Can you put your finger on what went wrong in this game?
"We just have to execute in times where we need to execute. If the defense gives us the ball we have to take it down and score. I've just got to work harder, that's it."
There was one play, on a third down conversion that looked kind of tight with tight coverage on you, maybe that wasn't the best throw. Are you guys still working on the communication with those kinds of things?
"No, that was the best throw. That was the call for that. I just have to come up with it. That's all that is. It's just execution. I have to execute better. That's just how it's got to go."
How about just the way you guys came out. You hit your first seven third downs. Was there something clicking that you could put your finger on early?
"I don't know. We got the looks that we were looking for. We made the plays that we needed to make. Later on, down the stretch, we just have to make sure that we keep the momentum going."
How did you come out of the game? Are you feeling OK, like you'll be ready for Thursday?
"Yeah, I'm feeling good."
FS Eric Reid
There were several big plays was there almost a shock in the system to see him go out like that?
"They made some plays. It is the same story line on third down. We got penalties that kept them on the field, which led to points for them. So if we can get off the field on third down, then we give ourselves a better chance to win the game."
Did you feel like there was a shift change after the roughing the passer penalty?
"They scored a touchdown after that. So what can you do."
Are you disappointed with the next series then, that you guys weren't able to stop them and they scored 14 points pretty quick there going into the half?
"Going into the half we have to get off the field. There is no other way to say it. We were in a comfortable position, getting the ball back at halftime. We just have to get off the field and give our offense a better situation to play in."
How concerned are you with LB NaVorro Bowman's injury?
"It is tough to see anyone go down. We will see what happens and the next guy has to step in and that is what we have to do. That next guy has some big shoes to fill."
CB Rashard Robinson
It seemed like you had a pretty solid game with a lot of pass breakups.
"Yes, I felt like I had a pretty solid game. I probably could've helped the defense more, but everybody was communicating which helped me get settled in faster. I felt good about my performance."
What do you think happened after the call against San Francisco 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt? It seemed like that changed things in the game.
"It was a sudden change. That's the thing about the game of football. We had a good defensive drive going, penalty happens, so that kind of kills the juice a little bit. Stuff happens, but we've just got to keep standing there as a team and look forward."
In terms of the play in the end zone, it looked like a pretty good pass and Dallas Cowboys WR Brice Butler almost had it but you knocked it away.
"Yeah, just using my tools and everything that coach taught us. You knew he had to be doing something to the outside based on how he was lined up. Just playing fundamentals, going out there and attacking the ball, and being aggressive."
What has this week of prep been like for you?
"I think it's one of my best weeks of practice. I had a lot of vets getting me comfortable with the defense and running with the ones. Running in with the ones, getting acclimated to everything, it was pretty good. I felt good about it."
OT Joe Staley
What's the team-wide impact of a loss of a player as good as San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman?
"It stinks. It's really, really bad. NaVorro is a captain for us, one of our team leaders. We're going to have to have a guy step up. That's a huge role to fill. You can't really replace a guy like NaVorro, but we have to have guys step up and be ready to go."
The team showed what it's capable of offensively in the first quarter, but couldn't really finish. What do you chalk that up to?
"I don't know really. It's hard for me to sit right here after the game not seeing the whole film and what's going on. I think they came in with a game plan to stop the run and were forcing Blaine to keep it a lot of times on those zone reads. I've got to do a better job of getting up on [Dallas Cowboys LB] Sean Lee a couple times early on. I don't really know what it was. We just have to execute better."
How about the quick week and turning around for the Thursday game?
"We're playing at night, playing at home and don't have to travel. I've been a part of Thursday games where you have to travel and play the game in Baltimore. We don't have to travel which is nice. Coming off this disappointing loss, it'll be nice to get right back to practice tomorrow. We've got a divisional opponent coming in. They're a big, tough test for us. They're a big, physical front on defense. It's going to be a good test for our offensive line."
Did they make any adjustments after you scored those first two touchdowns?
"I think they were doing pretty much the same. I'm not sure as far as coverage and stuff like that. Up front they kind of stuck true to who they are. They're a big movement team so they were moving a lot and bringing a lot of nickel pressure. They were doing a lot of stuff with Sean Lee. We adjusted then they adjusted, typical football."
SS Jaquiski Tartt
Did the refs tell you anything about the ruffing the passer penalty?
"No. I didn't realize that it was on me. I couldn't hear the whistle. Everybody was still playing. Their linemen were still trying to block me, so I don't know."
To be clear, you didn't hear any whistle, correct?
"No. No one heard the whistle. We were just playing. The crowd was really into it and really loud."
When did you realize the penalty was on you?
"After the offense received the ball. The coaches told me that the penalty was on me."
The drive in general that led to Dallas' first touchdown, what changed for this defense between the first and second half?
"We just have to stay sound and stay disciplined. In the second half for two plays we didn't stay disciplined and they made a play."
You knew that Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was going to be a handful. Why is he so difficult?
"A back like Ezekiel, he is fast, strong and he can do a lot. You have to defend the whole field when he runs."
Obviously 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman lost for this defense as well, what changes when a veteran leader like that goes out?
"Nothing changes, but he is definitely a big key on our defense. Hopefully he will feel better and get back soon. We just have to keep getting better."