Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ DeForest Buckner on Cardinals’ Kyler Murray: ‘He’s like a little squirrel back there’

Nov 1, 2019 at 10:53 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive stars were clearly unhappy with their performance on Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals. The way they responded to questions, you would have thought San Francisco lost the game.

It didn't. The 49ers won 28-25 and improved to 8-0.

Still, after several games of the defense playing suffocating football and carrying the team to wins, it was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense this time that bailed out the defense.

You've probably already read what cornerback Richard Sherman had to say about the defense's performance, courtesy of Peter Panacy. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner also gave his own evaluation.

"Collectively, probably our worst defensive game," Buckner told reporters after the win. "They caught us in bad positions. We've just got to come out next time, really more prepared as a unit. Just all around, had their mistakes today, and like Richard said, it was a humbling experience, and we've got to get back to the grind."

The 49ers defense will have an opportunity to redeem itself in a couple of weeks when the team faces the Cardinals again during Week 11.

RELATED Richard Sherman on 49ers defensive struggles vs. Cardinals: 'That was a humbling game'

"We know we can get better as a unit, and we're a lot better than what we displayed out there tonight," Buckner continued. "It's a humbling experience, and we've got time to take care of our bodies and really get back to the drawing board."

Buckner didn't want to use the short week as an excuse for the defense not playing to the team's standard, saying the quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals had an equal amount of preparation time.

Speaking of Murray, Buckner was asked what it was like defending against the rookie.

"Yeah man, he's like a little squirrel back there, you know what I mean?" Buckner responded. "Just a little squirrel running everywhere and everything. Next time we go against him, we've got to do a better job of containing him and keeping him in the pocket.

"Obviously, throughout the week, we learned some of his mannerisms, stuff like that. We've just got to continue to rush and bring the pressure. The back end's just got to continue to hold up and allow us to get back there."

Buckner was asked if he meant the squirrel comparison as a compliment.

"Take it how you want it," Buckner said while smiling.

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