Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Robbie Gould discusses winning kick and his first year with the 49ers

Dec 17, 2017 at 8:33 PM--

What was your thought process going into that last kick?

"We were real confident. We chose that end because that's one of my favorite kicks. It's a kick I get usually every day in practice. It was a lot windier in pregame than it was towards the end of the game. We thought that would be the most constant wind. The offense did a great job getting the ball down there and within range. Whenever you get a chance like that you obviously want to put it through. [LS] Kyle Nelson and [P] Bradley Pinion have been unbelievable as well as the field goal unit all year. Just trust your keys, hit it out towards the right center and it should come back about a quarter a post, and that's what it did."

How locked in are you right now compared to maybe when you weren't at your best?

"When you have teammates like I have in the locker room and guys doing their job and taking ownership in it, the way this team has kind of gelled, it makes your job a lot easier. We talked a long time ago, a couple weeks ago, about making a run, finding ways to win games. It doesn't have to be pretty. You don't have to do everything right. Just come together as a team. I think you're starting to see some of that towards the end of the season. For us in the locker room, seeing some of those hard losses in the beginning of the season turn into wins is pretty special. It's a testament to the coaches and the organization and the guys in the locker room."

Considering what you guys have been through this year, obviously you guys aren't going to the playoffs and you've kicked a million kicks, but do you feel any pressure when you go out for that last one?

"You don't think about it. Honestly I couldn't even tell you how long it was. I just trust the keys. I know the distance based on what you see is where I'm going to aim. For the guys, it'd been pretty special. This is one of, if not my favorite season I've ever played in 13 years. Some people might say 'Your record is what it is.' I think there's something to be said about the brick by brick that [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and [general manager] John [Lynch] are putting together. It's pretty fun to watch it all kind of gel, get out there every Sunday knowing you have a chance to win. Guys are excited about playing. We talk about beating playoff teams. That team is in the playoff hunt. We talked about setting a tone if we want to be in these games and get ready for those games next year, we're playing playoff football right now. Even though we're not going there, that's the type of football we need to play. You saw a lot of that today, and the guys responded pretty well."

How much satisfaction do you get out of making that kick considering QB Jimmy Garoppolo's drive down the field and the way he played all day?

"I got a lot of satisfaction, to be honest with you. You want to play playoff football? You've got to make every kick and every point count. My favorite part as a kicker making a kick like that is watching the other sideline go completely silent, to be honest with you. I usually talk to myself before I get ready to go kick those kicks. The kicks that I need to go up by one, or the kicks we need to extend it by 10, I usually kind of get myself excited. It's a team that you want to beat because you want to know that you can have a chance to make the playoffs next year. The guys in the locker room have worked every day, Monday through Sunday, grinding for a long time to start getting this winning feeling. You're seeing some of that come together in a winning streak. I think we've won four of the last five or something like that. It's pretty fun to be in there with that group of guys."

You talked about some of those close losses turn into wins. Jimmy is kind of one of the common denominators in that. How much confidence do you guys have getting the ball back with that much time remaining?

"A lot. If you go and look at the throws that he's been making the last couple of games, the way he's come in here as a leader, the way he's handled the huddle, the way he's handled himself throughout the week preparing some young receivers and helping guys out, the routes that he tries to get them to run, and what he's looking for against the defense and get everyone on the same page. He comes from a great pedigree in New England, obviously learning from one of the best. I've played there so I know the type of football player that he's coming from and that we're getting, and it's a pretty special football player."

The offense has put together a lot of scoring drives over these last three games, whether they've been field goals or touchdowns. How much does that help your rhythm? How much does that change things for you when you have confidence that you're going to get a kick at the end of a drive?

"You want to talk about offensive efficiency, you want to end every drive with points in some capacity. Whether it's a touchdown or whether it's a field goal, you talk about building momentum as the game goes forward. As the offense goes you want to put those points on the board knowing that you're extending the lead. Or you're giving yourself a chance. You get in a game like this, if you miss one of those kicks in the first quarter like I did against Los Angeles, I go back to those kicks because those are the kicks that fuel me every day. I get mad about those. They would have to drive for a touchdown instead of a fifty-eight whatever yard field goal it's going to end up being. Every kick, every point matters in this league. Especially when you're going against some great football teams. I put the two losses we had against Washington, against Los Angeles on my back because I didn't get my job done. Those are the kind of kicks I always go back and look at. I can tell you every single kick from the entire season. It's just pretty special what this unit's doing this year. It has a lot to do with the guys in the locker room and the coaching staff that we have here. There's a lot of bright days ahead for this group."

You went through a long free agent process before you signed here. Could you walk us through what that process was? Do you feel like you actually made the right decision by continuing your career here?

"I can tell you I made the absolute right decision by coming here. I don't make decisions for my family and my career just on a hunch. You know what I mean? I think I told you this in Chicago, I met Kyle seven years ago at the combine, with [Miami Dolphins head coach] Adam Gase and a couple other people sitting at a table. Just listening to him talk. I think he was the offensive coordinator at that time. Just the passion he had in the game, it made a lot of sense for me to come here. [Assistant special teams coach] Stan Kwan was the first guy to ever work me out. [Special teams coordinator Richard] Hightower was a guy I had in Chicago. I wanted to go to a place where people were going to be honest with me. I could get some honest criticism. You talk about a young kid like Bradley Pinion. If I'm not having a good day he's allowed to tell me at 13 years in the National Football League 'Hey, you got to get it done.' You know what I mean? I expect him to do that. Same thing with Kyle Nelson. That has a lot to do with our room growing as a whole, and talking about accountability. The process I went through, I wanted to go to a place where I felt comfortable. I wanted to go to a place where people are going to be honest with me. At the end of the day, I knew if you looked at the roster it had a lot of talent. Just a matter of seventy new guys could come together and how fast that could happen. I think that's a big part of why in the beginning of the season we didn't pull some of those close games out. Because guys didn't really know each other like they know each other now. You're starting to see guys play for one another. You're starting to see each guy, whether its offense, defense, special teams, make plays. It has to do with gelling and understanding the systems. It's been a lot of fun the last couple of weeks.

Obviously there's been a lot of parody in this league, we all know that. But, how important is it for your team to play all these playoff contenders for the next few weeks? Rams, Jacksonville, and today Tennessee.

"It's big. The NFC West is a pretty difficult division to play in. You're probably talking about teams can only win maybe 12 or 11 football games to win the division. If we want to be the best like we talk about in the locker room, you got to beat those teams. For us, understanding that we've been there before. It's not a shock to young guys. The hitting and speed of the game. The pace of what you're used to from preseason to regular season, regular season to playoffs, you don't get a slow start. I think the guys came out today, they played really fast, they played really hard. These are the type of things that happens when you play that kind or rhythm and you play that kind of tempo."

* Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers

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