Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Post-game Quotes: Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman, George Kittle, Kwon Alexander, other 49ers players react to 27-10 playoff win over Vikings

Jan 11, 2020 at 8:10 PM--

The following are select post-game quotes from San Francisco 49ers players following Saturday's 27-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional playoff game.

Quotes provided by the 49ers Communications staff.

LB Kwon Alexander

What can you say about the atmosphere out there in Levi's stadium today in its first playoff game here?

"The faithful is crazy. The fans, I love them. They were out there. They were supporting us. We had to go out there and do our job for them and we got the job done."

Anybody who saw Vikings RB Dalvin Cook play the New Orleans Saints last week might have been surprised at how little their running game was able to do against you guys today. What did you guys do so effectively?

"We were able to be us. Once we do that, we can go out there and have fun and when we play together as a team it's hard to beat us. That is all we have to do and we are going to go far."

In the third quarter your team gave up six yards on six plays, that is all that Minnesota was on the field. What did you guys do defensively?

"Yes. We were just being legendary, being ourselves. We work hard. We worked hard this week. Everybody came to work ready, with a lot of excitement, a lot of energy and it showed out there on the field. That is how we did that."

The players are the one that have to do the work on the field but what did 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh do specifically this week to prepare you guys for this?

"He just put his all in it. We have faith in coach and whatever he calls we are going to go out there and execute and make plays happen. He is legendary, he is going to be one of the best to do it."

DL Arik Armstead

Talk about the win?

"It feels great to get the win and keep playing to extend our season. It was a crazy game the atmosphere was wild. I am just excited to be a part of it."

What changes did you make in the second half that resulted in just completely shutting the Vikings down??

"We were playing good the whole game. They got us early with the touchdown. We just locked in. We knew what they wanted to do which was run the ball. It starts with that, stopping the run. I think we did a good job with that. I saw they only had twenty something rushing yards. Once we did that, we were able to get after the passer. When you do that you can have a complete game and shut people out."

You turned them into a one-dimensional offense in the second half, was that the goal to turn them into one of those?

"Yes, start by stopping the run first. [Minnesota Vikings RB] Dalvin [Cook] has been moving the ball. The run game opens up everything else. It definitely started with that. We did a good job with that and got after the passer."

How does it feel to move on to the NFC Championship game?

"I am super excited. I have been all season to be a part of this. Especially with all of the adversity I have had over the five years here. To have this year, and to win and to earn the right to play another game has been great."

DL Nick Bosa

Will you be able to play next week?

"Yeah, I got my breath back."

What was that moment like with the fans chanting?

"It was really cool. I was just trying to get my breath back initially. Then they told me to stay down for a second. Then I heard the chants. I had to get up then. It was a really cool moment, though."

Obviously your first NFL playoff game. Did you feel calm in the moment? How did you feel?

"I felt pretty normal. I knew getting [DL] Dee [Ford] back and getting [LB] Kwon [Alexander], [S Jaquiski] Tartt, just having them on the field, it's a completely different energy. It's the energy we had early in the year. It's really fun playing on a really good team, just knowing that every person around you is going to do their job really well. Makes it a lot easier for me."

A couple plays coming from the weak side on the runs. You can just explode like that?

"That's what we do. We chase the ball. Backside players are huge in our defense. We got to run every play we're in there. Usually the running backs either run out of bounds, try to avoid you. I got a couple good hits on them today."

How much faster did it feel immediately out there with Dee?

"Yeah, the whole vibe, the whole energy, it's just different. Has other teams just trying to find answers. But, yeah, I mean, just having Dee is a huge boost for the D-Line."

T Joe Staley said he sort of expects this now from you at that point. Is this the standard that you have for yourself?

"Yeah, I mean, definitely. Obviously making the plays is good. But, I mean, I try and bring the same effort, same technique, same everything every week. Today I got a couple sacks. That always helps. But most of the plays that I'm most proud of are the plays that weren't the sacks. Joe told me to finish today, I got a couple, so..."

What was it like to have your brother at the game, know his eyes are on you?

"That honestly gave me a little nerves. It was cool having him on the sideline. I don't even know if he's made a college game with his schedule. So just having him there, knowing they're up in the box watching, waiting for me outside, it's awesome."

Did you have a chance to talk to him after the game yet?

"No, not yet."

Do you have a sense early on in a game like that that you are in control as a defense, a level of confidence?

"Yeah, you never know, though. They could always make a play. I think the biggest thing for us, we start fast a lot. We kind of let teams hang around. So, I think [CB Richard Sherman] Sherm has really gotten us to not even worry about what the offense is doing, just worry about our assignments and our job. Just to keep playing. We just want to get the ball to the offense."

I think you got two sacks when you and Dee were lined up next to each other. What kind of a dynamic is that like?

"I told Dee, 'I wish I could scare people with my presence like you do.' I mean, when a guard sees Dee Ford on them, their mind is racing, they're thinking about what he's about to do, whatever it is. Just having his presence and his pass-rush ability, his knowledge and communication, he's a true vet. It's nice to have him out there."

Players talk a lot about complementary football. When you're out there on the sideline, you watch the offense do something like have an eight-play drive, how much does that impact things?

"Yeah, that's huge, especially when it's the run game. That was the biggest thing for us this week is trying to get 30 runs. We had like 40 or something, 47. We knew if we did that we'd win. Just seeing them pound down the field, tire their defense out, it gives us energy."

You talked about Richard Sherman a minute ago. When you think about when you knew of Richard before you got to play with him, what's the most significant thing you've learned?

"Just as genuine a guy as you'll ever meet. Sometimes as a fan you see somebody, you see the way they act, you question whether it's really truly who they are or just a front for fans and stuff. Me being here, seeing his passion, his work ethic, I just respect him."

RB Tevin Coleman talked about seeing frustration from Minnesota, from the defensive line. Did you see frustration from their offense at all?

"Yeah, I mean, later in the game they were starting to jaw at each other. Yeah, we were bringing it on 'em, so... Yeah, they started to have some frustration. We just kept bringing it."

Is that a point where you get even more aggressive?

"Yeah, that's one of [defensive line coach] Kris' [Kocurek] things, put the foot on the throat and twist it. Yeah, I mean, when you have somebody down, you definitely don't want to let up."

You talked about Dee. How do you think guards respond to you?

"Hopefully the same way."

WR Kendrick Bourne

How important was it for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo to spread the ball around?

"It was definitely important, just taking what the defense gives you. I think that he sees that pretty well. He was definitely putting everything on the money today. I had two drops that I definitely should have caught. He was doing a good job of putting it where it needed to be at the right time."

On that first touchdown that you caught, that capped the first drive. Can you walk us through that?

"It was just a good look. [49ers head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] planned it. We were going over it through the week. Just seeing the same look throughout the week for me and that same look came when he called it so the corner used the outside leverage, when you have leverage it should be a good play. So, it worked out for the best. I just had to execute on my end which, I did and Jimmy reading me through the second or third window. Whatever that safety did, I don't know, he bit on the run so the window was pretty big. Good job by Jimmy being poise and getting it where needed to be."

The Vikings were the best team in the league versus tight ends, giving that did you figure the wide receivers would have several chances today?

"For sure. Yes. If they are going to double team [49ers TE] George [Kittle] it always opens up anybody else. Whoever they double we have so many weapons so you can't really do any of that. If you go one way we have an answer for that. That is the thing about Kyle, he has answers for everything. He always puts us in position to be successful."

DL DeForest Buckner

Talk about the Bye week.

"We were able to get guys back healthy. The guys that were playing all year were able to take care of the body a little bit longer. It was a great effort by the defense, honing in on their jobs. It was a great game plan by the coaches. We just went out there and executed."

What kind of impact does DL Dee Ford have on your line?

"Dee's speed off the edge is one of a kind. It really opens up more opportunity for the guys in the inside, also for [DL] Nick [Bosa] on the opposite side. They can't pick and choose every time on where they want to slide the protection or who they want to double. They have to change it up. It's very challenging when you have four guys that can rush the passer."

Is it always good when you see a guy struggle with injury fight to come back, have a setback, for him to go out there and get that sack?

"Yeah, it was just awesome to see, you know what I mean? We know he's been struggling with it all year. He was down at times on having to stay out, it reoccurring, all that. Just having him get that sack on the first game back was great to see."

You even mentioned to us during the course of the week, 'Hey, we're not known for our run defense.' Could it have gotten much better?

"We knew they were going to attack us with the run game. We knew they were going to try us early. We had to shut it down early to make it the game we wanted to make it. I think we ended up getting them about six times. That's a testament to the guys up front and on the back end holding up in coverage."

Did that feel a little bit like the first half of the season defensively?

"Definitely. And having those three guys, [S] Jaquiski [Tartt], [LB] Kwon [Alexander], Dee, having those guys back, having them back really helps with the energy, the confidence in the defense and everything. I feel like the guys just played their tails off, trusted one another while we were out there. We all knew we needed to play really well against the run. Everybody showed up today."

DL Dee Ford

How did it feel to get back out there today?

"It felt great. Good to be out with my teammates and out of that training room."

Was it close at all for you to play today? Was it a game time decision or anything like that?

"I was going to play regardless. You are going to have to cart me off the field to get me to not play at this point and time."

To come from where you came and to get that sack, what was that like?

"It was great. This is what we have to do in order to move forward. I was up for the challenge on every play, and it just worked out for me on that play."

As the final seconds were ticking off, was it like okay on to the next?

"On to the next. Everything has got to go to another level, especially from me. Individually, and I know all of the players on the team feel the same way, is to take it up another level. Let's enjoy it today, let's understand that another team is going to roll in here and let's handle business."

Did it have a mid-season feel to the game as far as how the defense took over the game?

"It did, and that is what we wanted to get back to. Unfortunately, we had a little stretch of facing some tough offenses. Whether I was out there or not, we played some tough offenses. We had to fight through it, and we got through it."

Was it sort of contagious the way you guys stopped the run early?

"Yes. Any big play early on, is momentum for a team."

How exciting is it for you to get back to your second straight conference championship game although with another team?

"It is very exciting. This year has been very challenging for me from an injury standpoint. I was just glad to be on the other end of the stick and not on the bench. I have been nursing injuries all year so it is a good feeling to persevere and help my team get to the next week."

TE George Kittle

This is a convincing win against a good team. What does it say about the 49ers?

"We played good football today. We've been playing good football all year. We keep putting good football on tape. People keep telling us we're not very good. We're just going to keep playing good football, I guess."

You're a guy who said you like setting some of those run blocks maybe more than catching passes. How do you feel about that?

"I think 47 rushes is pretty good, right? I think we had close to 200 on 47 rushes. We ran the heck out of the ball today. Playing against six techniques with the linebackers on the inside, it's pretty easy to get those combo blocks up to them. We dominated the edges today. It was a great day to run the football."

What was your opinion of the defensive performance today?

"Our defense? Pretty good, right? Holy cow. I mean, it's such a blast just to watch them, how they work together. Doesn't matter highs, lows, they ride with them. I think [CB Richard] Sherman does a great job of keeping them even-keeled. Then your kind of just let them off the leash. You have [DL Nick] Bosa, [DL] Dee Ford. We had guys rushing the passer from all angles. It's kind of tough to be a quarterback, I guess."

This is the formula you used in the 8-0 start with the run game and the defense. Did you feel it was necessary to get back to that in the postseason?

"I personally feel like we don't run the ball enough every single week. We got 47 rushes. I was happy about that. I think we should have gotten to at least 50. Our defense did a fantastic job. We put them in a couple of bad situations early. They handled it well, held them to a field goal, got a stop on another one. Our defense keeps playing like that, all we have to do is not turn the ball over and we'll win games."

What was the energy like knowing you'd get Dee, LB Kwon Alexander, and S Jaquiski Tartt back?

"Fired up. Watching those guys play football together, our defense as a whole, it's so fun to watch, especially when they're completely loaded in there, they're deep. Just fun to watch them go out and attack. They're so violent, physical, they play every single snap together. It's so fun to watch from the sidelines."

How excited are you to go to the NFC Championship game and move past this game?

"I got 24 hours to celebrate this one. 5:00 tomorrow, you can ask me about that. I'm going to enjoy this one, I'll definitely be ready to watch some football tomorrow. I can't wait to play more football."

What did you think of QB Jimmy Garoppolo's block?

"I was blocking around the other side of the field, so I didn't really see it. The replay was pretty cool. He's like, 'Yeah, got my first pancake. Sure, you did. He definitely did. I was pretty impressed."

T Mike McGlinchey

How much fun is it, as an O-Lineman, when you run the ball 47 times?

"It's the best. Without a doubt it's the best. It keeps us in control of the game, keeps us out of big third down situations, which is how you play winning football. When you stay in front of the chains, when you manage the clock well, when you take control of the flow of the game, that's the kind of stuff that happens, and that's the way wins need to happen. It's good that we finally had one here that is not a heart attack at the end. We're happy about that and excited for next week."

You guys haven't had a bye since week four. How much did the week off, the freshness factor, factor into this game?

"I think it was huge. I think it was huge all across the board. I think you can especially see it on the defensive side of the ball. When you get [49ers DL Dee Ford] an extra week to get back and get healthy, when you get [49ers LB Kwon Alexander] back. It was dominating all around and the Bye Week definitely helped us. I don't think teams like to give [49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan] two weeks to prepare for something."

Some people made a lot of comments about the fact that for so many of you this was the first time in the playoffs. Was there anything that kind of just opened your eyes like, "wow, this is different?"

"I had a two or three play stretch there in maybe the late first or early second quarter that I would really like to take back, especially in a playoff atmosphere. It was absolutely boneheaded by me. I didn't come off the cadence, let up a sack that they didn't even take a pass at, and then took a penalty a play or two later. It's inexcusable. So, I'll take that and learn from it for sure and make sure it never happens again. Fortunately, we didn't have it come down to a three-point game or something like that. The playoffs are great. You can feel the energy that a playoff atmosphere has in this building and for our fans. That was noticeable all day. I'm proud to be a Niner, and I'm proud to be representing the Faithful here at Levi's Stadium and having home field advantage throughout the playoffs. We felt that home field advantage today."

WR Deebo Samuel

You were obviously right there at the goal line with that yank, which you've been doing all season. Can you take us through the play there?

"It's just the mindset that I have. Every time that I get the ball, I'm not allowing one guy to bring me down. It's just a carryover from that mindset."

What was it like, early on that you guys were able to dictate from the jump, but really throughout the game, that you guys were able to do whatever it is that you wanted to do?

"I mean, it's just the game plan that [San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan] put in all week. We follow Kyle in everything that he puts in, so we just went out there and did that."

What was the message for you guys, given that this was your first playoff game?

"Nothing, really. Just keep doing what we've been doing all year."

Did you figure the Vikings, given their success and given 49ers TE George Kittle's success, that they were going to focus on him and give you wide receivers some chances?

"Honestly, if you look at our offense, if you double somebody, you're going to be in trouble. I mean, Kittle had a great game, honestly."

Describe the performance of the defense and those guys helping you out there.

"I think everyone knows about our D. It starts up front with our D-line. I think they just brought a whole lot of energy, and we just fed off that."

What is the mentality of this team going forward?

"Don't make nothing up, and keep doing what we've been doing."

WR Emmanuel Sanders

How important was it to be balanced today?

"It felt good. At the end of the day we went in the direction that we needed to go to win the game. I was happy to see the offensive line get some burn in terms of being able to punish some guys. To be able to get [49ers RB Tevin Coleman] T. Cole and the other running backs lanes to run the football."

You figure teams are going to focus on a lot on 49ers TE George Kittle giving his success this year and that allows other positions to step up?

"We will see. I am here to do what I have to do at the end of the day. If they want to do that then I am here."

As one of the few guys in this locker room who has postseason experience, how happy were you when you looked at the other guys handling themselves out there?

"I knew how they were going to handle it. At the end of the day, if you look back at New Orleans and all of those games, they were playoff type games. It was a lot of pressure trying to get the number one seed and they performed. I had nothing but confidence that they were going to do it again because they have shown me time and time again under duress, under pressure that they make the big plays. You can look at [49ers WR] Kendrick Bourne on that third down with that crazy catch and [49ers WR] Deebo [Samuel] with the plays that he was making. These young guys are poise and they believe in themselves. They have confidence and I feel like they are going to continually do that."

CB Richard Sherman

Take us through the interception.

"Yeah, we were in man. It was third down. He gave me an inside release. Gave me a little bit too much at the top of the route. I knew what the route was. I beat him to the spot. [Minnesota Vikings QB] Kirk [Cousins] threw a very catchable ball, appreciate it, and I was able to make the play."

What was the feeling at halftime? Five close December games. You don't have a big lead. What was the feeling like?

"It doesn't really matter. If you're winning, losing, regardless, you've got to compete for 30 more minutes. That was the mindset, to compete for 30 more minutes. We have one of the best defenses in football. I think our pass defense is the best since 2009 or something. The lowest number, you know what I mean? People just keep disrespecting us. That's what our D-Line and our secondary and our linebackers were able to do. Our offense did a great job of scoring points, taking advantage of the opportunities."

LB Kwon Alexander and S Jaquiski Tartt and DL Dee Ford back, what did it feel like?

"Felt good. It felt good. That's what we look like when we're totally healthy. Those guys make a huge difference in our defense. They played fast, they recognize things. Having veteran presence, they understand how teams are trying to attack us. They understand what they're seeing. They play fast. The moment is not too big for them. Dee obviously makes a huge impact on third down and passing situations. So, we're thankful to have them all back. Tartt does a great job of recognizing things, being in the right spot. He made a huge difference. All three of them made a huge difference in this game."

The offense went eight plays all runs and scored. Do you feel like that seemed to break them a little bit?

"I mean, honestly on defense you just keep going next play. I don't know if it broke them or not. Our team, we've got a good offense. [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] calls a heck of a game. We just try to worry about things we can control on defense. Going out there, getting another shot. Honestly it was nice to get the touchdown, but we're just ready for our next snap."

You guys stopped the run early in the game, dictating your will throughout the game.

"That's what we expect to do. I think throughout the year, people get fooled. People get fooled. Oh, my God, they can't stop the run. We got up in ball games, people run for some yardage, there's leaky yardage in there, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, we're thankful. [Defensive coordinator Robert] Saleh called a fantastic game. I heard a lot of people and read a lot of media reports talking about this game would decide the Cleveland Browns coaching position between their offensive coordinator and Saleh. If that's the way they want to decide it, I think Saleh put on a great performance and he deserves consideration. He's called great games throughout the year. This was a masterpiece of him knowing his personnel, having his personnel, coming up with a fantastic plan, and us executing it. He deserves a ton of credit. Obviously, there hasn't been a lot of hires of coaches of color, or minority coaches. You never know. But, I think he deserves a spot. He's done everything he can to put himself in a position for it."

DL Nick Bosa has been good all year, but he looked particularly good in this game-

"I have to watch the tape. You guys get a better look. I'm back there chasing people around the whole game. He's an incredible player. Bosa, you can't say enough positive things about him and his play and his impact, run game, pass game. He's just a dominant player. He wants to be dominant every down. He never gets complacent. He's always working. Motor is always going. We're grateful to have him."

On your pick, was that an anticipation interception, if you will? You saw the pattern, read the quarterback?

"It was man coverage. I get tired of hearing, 'Oh, man, he's a zone corner.' I get tired of hearing the excuses for why I'm great. It was man coverage, I covered the man, I picked the ball off. In the playoffs, in big games, I show up. I show up year in, year out, whether it's 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Unless I tear my Achilles, I'm out there and I'm doing my job at a high level. I get tired of excuses for why I'm good. 'Oh, my God, they're playing zone. Oh, my God, it was this guy. Receiver slipped. Oh, my God.' Why don't other people get those opps then? A lot of other corners out there who have the same opps I have."

Why do you think that is?

"It's odd. It's like people got frustrated that I was so confident early on in my career. I was so confident early on so that people wanted me to fail. When I didn't fail, it's like, 'How do we tear him down in other ways? How do we find a way to rip his game apart?' Because I'm too consistent on a year in, year out basis. Since I got in the league, every category that matters to a corner, I'm number one in: Completion percentages, inceptions, touchdowns against, yards, completion percentage, passer rating. If that was any other corner, it wouldn't even be a conversation. But I just get tired of it. In the playoffs, I played in 13 games now, zero touchdowns given up, three interceptions. Like, show me somebody else doing it like that. Then I'll enjoy the argument. But there isn't."

How satisfying is it to be back in the NFC Championship game given the way your career arc has gone?

"This team deserves it. I'm going to take this off of me. That was selfish of me anyway. But this team deserves it. [QB] Jimmy Garoppolo played a fantastic game on offense. [Head coach] Kyle Shanahan deserves it. He's a heck of a coach. Robert Saleh deserves it. [Special teams coordinator Richard] Hightower deserves it. All our position coaches. Our D-Line. Team deserves it. We work week in and week out. We try to put our best on the line. We don't always get the results we want, but this team is a team, it's a family."

TE George Kittle said the people are saying you aren't very good. You said you're disrespected. Are you hearing that from the media or inside the league?

"Nobody is saying it inside the league because they see the tape. It's just the nonsense from the media. It's like they got to sell a story. This is a one seed versus a six seed and you have people calling an upset. Like we haven't played the whole season like we've been playing. You know what I mean? It's just odd. It's really odd. It's odd conversations. I guess it sells tickets, it sells the story. I'm thankful we get another opportunity to play. We look forward to whoever we get to play next week.

Your thoughts on how CB Emmanuel Moseley came in and played in place of CB Ahkello Witherspoon?

"Emmanuel played a fantastic game. Ahkello was playing a fantastic game before that play. That play, it was just an unfortunate series of events. Great coverage. Misjudged the ball. [Minnesota Vikings WR Stefon] Diggs made a hell of a play. You can't take anything away from him or Ahkello. Ahkello was playing fantastic. That was good coverage on the play. The man played a good play. E-Man came in, did a good job securing it, playing top down defense."

T Joe Staley

Given everything you have seen here, to be back one step from the Super Bowl, how significant is that? What does it mean to you?

"Yes, really exciting. Today was a big step. We had a great plan coming in, we executed it really well. I am excited to have the opportunity to play in the NFC Championship game. I was excited coming into the locker room after the game, because the guys were excited that we won, but no one was really celebrating. We realize how special this team is and what we can to do this year. Guys are really excited and focused and we are moving on."

How does it feel being able to run the ball 47 times?

"Getting 47 carries that is pretty rare. You don't get too many games when you are going to be running the ball 47 times. To run the ball 47 times is a complete team effort. Our defense has to do what they did today which is to stop their offense. We have to have a lot of opportunities, we have to be able to average and to keep it efficient on first and second downs, and move the chains on third down. I think it was a total team effort running the ball. Coming in that is what we wanted to do. They are really talented up front. We saw what they did by putting pressure on [New Orleans Saints QB] Drew [Brees] the week before, so we came in with the mindset we are going to need to run the ball. We were able to do that."

Is that the ideal blueprint? You guys spread the ball around through the air in the first half, get a lead, and then use the run game to protect the lead.

"It has been really fun this year. We have shown that we can win in a variety of different ways. We have had to really air out and make all of the plays in the passing game, when the run game wasn't working. We have also had games like this when we run the ball well and control the clock. It really helps getting back everybody on defense. Our defense playing as terrific as they did today gives us the opportunity to really control the clock and I think the time of possession may have been nearly forty minutes of time of possession, those are all positives."

LB Fred Warner

How does your confidence level or energy change when the pass-rush is as effective as it was today?

"Man, I feel like I didn't even have to play a game honestly. We ran a lot of man coverage on third down, let the big boys up front go eat. I'd be in man coverage, hear cheering. Wait, we just started. They did outstanding up front. It was a huge team win all around. Obviously, you could see what getting some key pieces back can do for our defense. Honestly, I felt like we could have done better today."

When DL Nick Bosa was down, a lot of you guys were taking a knee. Can you describe what sort of the emotion was like coming from the fans in that moment?

"Yeah, I mean, it was great to see the fans react the way they did. When he went down, he kind of game a thumbs up. At first, I thought he was going to be okay. I didn't know what was going on. He hopped up, had the whole spiel he did. He shouldn't stay down that long the next time or else I'm slapping him."

How much did the bye week rejuvenate the defense?

"It was huge, I think for the entire team. Getting guys healthy, we got some key pieces back on defense. We were fresh. We went out there with the right mindset. We didn't take any day for granted. We knew that we had to come out firing because it was going to be a downhill, physical team we were playing. We took care of business."

After the interception, they had a chance to tie, had a short field opportunity. You held them to a field goal. Is that a win for your defense?

"Oh, that's huge. I mean, that's probably one of the biggest plays in the game honestly. I always talk about how we never flinch in those situations. We have full confidence in the offense. Any time something like that happens, we go out with the mindset of 'Let's get the ball back for them.' A couple guys made some big plays, but that was just one of those plays that probably decided the game."

Stopping Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook was a top priority. How do you think you did in that regard?

"Yeah, we did all right. I think every week we want to come out and we want to stop the run. I mean, that was of course a big emphasis this week with how successful they've been in the run of recent or throughout the season, honestly. We took care of business in that phase, were able to get after the quarterback."

Do you have any thoughts on QB Jimmy Garoppolo's block?

"Oh, yeah, that was a good little block. I don't know what happened with the dude he was blocking. But, yeah, got him on the ground. I hopped up out of my seat. Got me excited. Any time you see something like that, it gets the energy going."

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By David Bonilla
Jul 9, 2020

The NFL is still trying to figure everything out. The league is creating protocols to keep players and team staffs safe and prevent COVID-19 from impacting the 2020 season. Among those efforts is forbidding post-game player interactions within six feet of each other, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Also gone will be jersey exchanges between players. NFL teams will be forbidden from postgame interactions within 6 feet of each other and jersey exchanges between players will be prohibited during the 2020 season, sources say.Another way the NFL will look different in the COVID-19 world.— Tom Pelissero

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Execs, players, coaches pick George Kittle over Travis Kelce as the NFL's best tight end

By David Bonilla
Jul 7, 2020

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler polled 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players, asking them to identify the NFL's best tight end. The result, as far as the top choice, probably won't come as a surprise to San Francisco 49ers fans. It's George Kittle. But that doesn't mean the top spot was absent of debate. "Voters gave their best 10 to 15 players at a position," explained Fowler, "then we compiled the results and ranked candidates based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, interviews and research. We had several ties, so we broke them by isolating the two-man matchup with additional voting and

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49ers Have All the Leverage and Should Just Say No to Paying George Kittle What He Wants

By Levin T. Black
Jun 27, 2020

The San Francisco 49ers and star tight end George Kittle are currently working on a contract extension. The two sides have been for awhile. No one outside of the franchise knows how close the two sides are. What is known is the type of money Kittle is seeking. Kittle wants to be paid like a top offensive tackle or wide receiver. His agent went public with this info nearly a month ago. Since then there has been silence from both sides. They could be far apart. Heck, they could have already agreed considering the team managed to keep DeForest Buckner's permission to seek a trade and head coach Kyle Shanahan's extension secrets for MONTHS. It wouldn't be surprising if they aren't close however. This is because the 49ers hold every ounce of leverage in this situation

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