Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy, DeMeco Ryans, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Buccaneers Week 14 matchup

Dec 8, 2022 at 6:08 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster spoke with reporters after Thursday's practice. The team is preparing for its Week 14 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcript provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Brock Purdy

How has this week been for you so far?

"It's been solid. It's been new, taking all the first-team reps and just the meetings and everything's centered around how I think, the plays I like. And then getting the timing down with the receivers and running backs, so it's been a little different, but it's been really good."

A lot of your teammates have talked about that confidence and poise that you've had since taking over. Where does that come from?

"I think just naturally playing the position of quarterback you have to do your part in terms of getting everyone on the same page and moving in the right direction. I feel like since I've been a kid playing sports and being a competitor that has a little bit to do with it as well, but I think just playing the position it naturally comes from that. I haven't really done anything too much extra or out of the ordinary. I just try to do my part and get everyone rolling."

You mentioned the other day that it'd be pretty cool that your first start will be against Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady. Has that sunk into you yet? Any additional thoughts?

"I think it's awesome in terms of Tom Brady coming and playing and playing his team, but at the same time, I'm playing the defense. I'm going to be going up against those guys rather than Tom himself, but definitely still awesome to have Tom Brady come and play on the same field and compete against our team. I think it's awesome, so really excited about it."

You've gotten a lot of support from beyond just this locker room this week. What's that been like? A lot of text messages, a lot of calls. Are you appreciating some of it, but blocking it out? How's the balance? How do you deal with it?

"It's just a little bit of both. After the game and the day after, just taking some time to reflect and being appreciative of everyone in my life who's played a part in my life and has given themselves or their time and love and support towards me and my family. I'm very appreciative of that and so being able to reflect on those moments and people, I did that the day after the game and whatnot, but from that moment on, I've had to sort of shift my thoughts and time and effort into getting ready for this game. If I haven't responded to you, just know I'm a little busy, but I appreciate everyone's love and support."

There's a lot of similarities between the way you entered that game against the Dolphins and Oklahoma State in 2018? I suppose in the moment you're not thinking of Oklahoma State in 2018, but do you see some parallels and similarities being thrust in that situation and how you were able to handle it?

"Yeah. Obviously, the level and the competition's a little different, but in terms of the mentality of going out and doing whatever it takes to win for your team, I feel like that mentality was really similar and also just trying to get my teammates' respect. I just wanted to go out there and play and show them that I'm worthy of playing here and I'm able to get the job done kind of mentality. I had that mentality when I was a freshman in college when I first stepped in against Oklahoma State and really nothing has changed, just the level of competition and play was better with the Dolphins. That was my mentality and I'm really glad we were able to win and I was able to do what it took to win."

Some people have recalled that touchdown run down the left sideline where you're high-stepping into the end zone as maybe the moment where we knew we had something. Was that kind of a moment where you're like, I can make some plays and do this at this level?

"Yeah, I feel like in college when I made that play, just seeing the excitement of my teammates and just the mojo and momentum that we had created from that, that definitely made me realize we can get something going here. The situation was a little different at the time, we were 1-3 in college. Now I'm on a really good team who has a great record and on a win streak. On Sunday, I was just trying to go in and show that even though [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] went down I can come in and do what coach is asking of me and we can still put up points on the board and win, so that's just really how I looked at it."

How much interaction have you had with Jimmy this week?

"I've seen him here and there, before meetings he's been there, so we've talked a little bit. And then obviously, I think it was Tuesday, he was in the training room, so I just walked in there and we talked for a little bit and just picked his brain on what it's going to take. And he's awesome, man. Just telling me, do this and do that as the quarterback here. I just told him that I love him and I appreciate everything that he's done for me. He's definitely been around, guys have seen him, and every time you see him, you smile. He's a great guy and the energy that he brings is awesome, so it's great having him around."

You just kind of alluded to the idea that you're stepping into winning and not a lot of third-string quarterbacks get that opportunity, particularly as a rookie. What has that been like in terms of you this week trying to understand like, hey, this is a real opportunity here to go out and win, not just prove yourself?

"Yeah, I think, there's a lot of different emotions and thoughts that can cross your mind, but for me, this week it's been just keep it simple. How can I do what coach is asking of me? How can I get the ball to the playmakers? How can we move the ball down the field and also how can I be myself and be the footballer that I am? So that's really just been my mindset. It hasn't been that this is it or the only opportunity, but yes, it's a great opportunity and I'm just taking it one day at a time, one snap at a time and we'll see what happens from there."

What's the best piece of advice that you've gotten and who has it come from?

"I don't know. There's been a lot of good things that people have said, both coaches and players. I think the biggest thing is seeing like the older guys, the veterans of the team, just come up to me and tell me like, Hey, like we got you. And even the guys on defense, they're like, do your thing on offense, we're going to hold it down and do our part. And then the older guys on offense, like [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] and [TE] George [Kittle] and [WR] Deebo [Samuel], [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A., [T] Trent [Williams], all those guys, they're like, man, we got you. We're not just going to throw you out there and leave you out there by yourself. They all got my back and I think that's just been the coolest part about it, so knowing that I'm not alone in this whole thing."

After practice you go out on the field and you're go through the whole script. Is it just by yourself with a camera guy?

"Well, I also had, Klay Kubiak, the assistant quarterback coach out there, some of the other quarterbacks and ball guys, but yeah, just going out there and running through the whole practice script, after. Yeah, so I would just run all the plays that Jimmy ran at practice, but on air. So not throwing to receivers or anybody, just mentally going through it."

Your preparation technique has been pretty solid since high school?

"Yes, I would say so, yeah."

Do you know the stat that no quarterback has ever beat Tom Brady in their first career NFL start, what do you think when you hear that? Is there any extra edge?

"I don't like to overthink things or anything like that. Like I said, I'm just trying to keep it simple, play football, go against a great defense and try to get the ball to playmakers, so I'm not overthinking anything else."

You had a conference call with us and I think all the questions had to do with you being the last pick and Mr. Irrelevant. You were very polite, but I did get a sense at some point you were like enough of this, I'm actually going to be an okay NFL player. Have you always had kind of a love hate relationship with Mr. Irrelevant, and is it true that perhaps during that conference call you'd had enough?

"Definitely, I think there's always been an edge to myself. People, they make a joke out of it and whatnot and it's all fun and games in terms of taking the trip and meeting great people and that kind of thing, but for myself, I've always believed that I don't care what slot, what round, what pick that I get picked or if I was undrafted, my whole thing was, man, I just want to go out and, and prove to myself that I can play at this level. And so that's always been my mentality. Even though I was the last pick, that's just where I happened to fall in the draft. I've embraced the role in terms of having fun with it when I got here with the guys and going on the trip and everything, but at the end of the day, for me, it's like, man, I got an opportunity to come and play for the 49ers and compete, make the team and do what it takes to push these guys in the locker room and win at all costs. That's really where I've been with it. I don't hate the term or anything like that. The people that we went and met are great. We still talk to them, what they do for different organizations and raising money, it's for a great cause. I'm very thankful for how it all worked out."

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

What is it like preparing for Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, especially when he's had so many of these late comeback games?

"Yeah, it's a really tough challenge. Preparing for the best quarterback to ever play the game and it's a challenge that our guys are really looking forward to. It's one that guys won't get much in their careers to go against the best and to kind of see where you are against the best to do it. It's a really cool challenge for our guys and we're all excited about it."

Do you have any memories of going up against him as a player?

"Yeah, a couple memories. I know I was a young player in Houston. We went up to New England and he diced us up pretty bad. We didn't stop him at all and then I had one memory playing with the Eagles where we were able to actually beat them in New England, so it was a pretty cool moment there. Tom is a special guy. He's in his own category, he's won the most championships. The best to do it, how many great things can you say about the guy? When it comes to accuracy, when it comes to running the offense, making sure the ball is where exactly where it needs to be, getting the ball out on time. You can't say enough about the type of leader that this guy is, how he makes everyone else around him better, so it's really cool to have this opportunity to go against him."

You've seen QB Brock Purdy against your defense on scout team for most of this year. How have you seen him grow from kind of a defensive perspective?

"I think Brock, he's the same every day. He brings it. He's a competitor every day. That's the cool part about Brock, he's always competing, whether it is scout team or what he's doing now. He's a true competitor and he always wants to win. He's always looking to win the rep and I think that's what you saw from him Sunday. The moment, it wasn't too big for Brock, he stepped right in and just did what he needed to do. It wasn't about him, it was just about him running the offense, doing what he needed to do, putting the ball in our playmakers' hands and he delivered big time for us. We're looking for that from him and he doesn't have to do too much. He doesn't have to make it bigger than what it is, he just has to go out and play his game. And our guys just continue to do what they're doing defensively and everybody around him, collectively, doing their job, playing their best. I think we'll be fine."

Do you and the defensive coaches have much interaction with the scout team offense to let them know exactly what you need to see from them?

"At moments, I may step in and ask for particular things, but for the most part our defensive QCs, they handle the scout team."

Have you had much interaction with Brock?

"Yeah, just some little interaction here and there. Just if I want him to run around or want him to do something special with certain plays that wasn't on the card, I'll have that interaction with him. Brock, he's been great at giving us looks all year. I think he's part of the reason our guys have played really well, because he is challenging. He's not just out there just throwing picks to our guys. He's trying to actually fit the ball in and challenging our guys to really break on the ball and make plays, Brock has done that all year. He's not just out there just making it easy on the defense. I'm happy where we are defensively, because of Brock. He's helped us out all year."

DB Jimmie Ward said that Brock takes his reps at the scout team much more seriously than a lot of other scout team quarterbacks have, where he really is feeling the pash rush and not taking it where he's got a coverage sack, he still goes like, that's a sack to him as opposed to some other's scout quarterbacks and how useful it's been for the defense. Do you see that as well?

"Oh yeah, like I said, again, he feels the rush in the pocket. He's able to escape. One thing, I liked about Brock is he's athletic, he can move out of the pocket and still try to create on the run. And we played a lot of moving, athletic quarterbacks this year and Brock did a really good job of giving us some looks of, extending plays and creating, throwing the ball down field, throwing no look passes when we needed him to. Like he's done everything we've asked him to do, he's a true team player."

Is his mobility almost a little surprising?

"It may be surprising to some, but he can move and when he needs to move, he can move. And I think that's very vital for any quarterback to be successful and the toughest thing on defense is when you have quarterbacks who can move, escape in the pocket and extend plays, it makes it really tough on a defense. I think Brock being able to do that really helps us."

Tampa couldn't get anything going for most of the game against the same New Orleans defense that your offense struggled with the week before, but when it got to the hurry up and Brady took over, he gets the two touchdowns, do you expect to see that maybe a little earlier from them or be ready for it?

"Yeah, for sure. We're anticipating that the hurry up will come sooner in the game than just the final minutes of the game. That's where you see their offense thrive the most, when Brady is able to control it and he's able to run it from the line of scrimmage, that's where they look the most efficient. For us, seeing that on tape, we have to anticipate that. Man, they can jump into no huddle right in the first quarter and our guys, we've been preparing for that and our guys understand that. We talked about it and we'll be ready for it."

DL Arik Armstead, how did he look and his first game back and are you continuing to ramp him up? Is the goal to get him back to more a normal snap count?

"Yeah, I think Arik did an awesome job. With the reps that Arik was given, he was able to affect the quarterback and make really big plays for us. Got a really huge holding call that forced them to move back out of field goal range, and then he was able to get pressure up the middle and force [Miami Dolphins QB] Tua [Tagovailoa] to make an errant throw on Jimmy's interception, so Arik, having him back, his impact was sudden. We had him in there, he made plays for us and we expected to see him continue to make those plays for us as he gradually works his way back in."

DB Deommodore Lenoir, how have you seen him since Week Five grow as a player, and how have you seen his confidence grow?

"Yeah, I think D-Mo each week, I've seen more and more confidence. I think it showed really versus Arizona when he's matched up versus [Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre] Hopkins and we knew that was a big challenge for us and he went out there and he competed and made a play versus him and I think that really helped him. As a corner, that's the biggest thing. If you're going to play on the island, you have to have confidence. With D-Mo, I've seen it grow each and every week, and he's continued to do a better job each and every week and I'm loving to where he's headed, he just has to continue to work each and every day to get better. He's made some good plays for us, he's still growing, still learning, still a young player, but he's getting some quality reps in there and he's helped us to win games."

How's DL Nick Bosa doing this week?

"Bosa's doing good. Working his way back in. He's doing good."

Is he playing his best football right now?

"I think he definitely is playing his best ball. You talk about someone, a guy who can change the game and affect the game the way Bosa does it. To me, he's hands down the best in the league. You talk about a defensive player of the year type candidate. If it isn't Bosa, I don't know who else it should be. He's put our defense in a position we're in, we're not where we are if it's not for Bosa and how he changes the game, how he affects the quarterback, how he speeds up the quarterback's timing and he's still able to get as many sacks as he has. He's able to get to the quarterback, put him down, force the ball where we're able to scoop and score. There's just so many game-changing plays that Bosa has made. The past two weeks you look at it. The play versus the Saints, he closes the game out right at the end of the game when we needed him most and last week, right there at the end again, he's on the quarterback, knocks the ball out. You can't speak enough about Bosa and how he affects a defense, how he changes the game, if you want to play great defense, you have to have a great edge rusher and that's what we have in Bosa. He's the best doing it in the league and I'm so excited to have him on our side."

What adjustments do you have to make against a QB that gets the ball out of his hands so quickly?

"Yeah, with Brady, you know the ball is coming out quick, so guys have to be disciplined in coverage. You have to be tight on all the running backs, they catch a lot of balls from Brady, so we have to be tighter on the running backs, tighter on the checkdowns, because we know the ball is coming out very quick and you have to understand with pressure you're not going to get there. He's going to get the ball out as quick as we've seen all year, so our guys have to be very tight in their coverage and they have to be able to make plays when their opportunity comes. They have to be able to make plays on the ball."

What do you admire about Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles as a defensive coach?

"Todd, man, as a player I worked with Todd when I was in Philly, he took over as defensive coordinator. And one thing I always remember from Todd, his first thing was when he said, man, I can't believe we don't have a blitz for you, so his first thing was installing a mike linebacker blitz for me. And it just showed that Todd is really great with the players. He understands how to build confidence in players and the one thing I learned defensively, just schematically is that he's going to be aggressive. That's just his mindset. That's how he was. He was installing blitzes left and right when he took over as defensive coordinator. And that's what I learned, like as a defensive coordinator, you can be aggressive and that's who Todd is and he does a great job of communicating with the players and getting guys to play hard for him. I can't speak enough good things for Todd. He's a great coach, been a tremendous coach in this league, and I've learned a lot from him in my short time of working with him in Philly. I learned a lot from him that I'm using to this day."

How would you describe your own style?

"My style is, I think it's a mix of both. I think there are times when you can be aggressive and it is all about, for me, I love to be aggressive all the time, but it's also about who do you have. It's about what can the guys do? The guys that you have on your team, what can they do and what do they do the best? So for me it's just all about putting guys in the right position to make plays. If it calls for being aggressive one week, we will be aggressive. If it calls for sitting back and forcing the ball to the checkdown, that's what we'll do. So my style, I'm very adaptable and that's each and every week. I feel like I'm very adaptable and whatever I have to do to win the game, that's what I want to do."

The defensive numbers look really good last week against a very good offense, but Tua obviously missed a lot of throws. Were there a lot of teaching points you had as far as you go and say, 'Hey, this, we need to tighten this up'?

"I think our guys did a really great job versus an explosive offense. I think to hold the offense to what we did, no one else has done this. I think our guys has done a really good job. They played their tails off and I'm proud of the way they played versus a very challenging Miami Dolphins team. Guys did a really good job and I'm proud of what they did."

Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Chris Foerster

What kind of person is QB Brock Purdy?

"I don't know him real well. He's quiet, keeps to himself, which is a really good trait for a rookie. He works really hard. Serious-minded. That's really all I can say, demanding as a quarterback. He's a good leader. I think [T] Trent [Williams] commented on it yesterday, he's not afraid to tell the guys in the huddle what he needs. He's a really good guy, but I don't know him that well. Obviously, as the backup, or when he started the year as the third quarterback, I don't get to know him that well."

When you put together your portion of the gameplan and scheme up against the opposition, does it change with him at quarterback?

"Not really, I think you have to give a thought to like, okay, [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] had been doing this for a long time, [QB] Trey [Lance] had been working through it for a bit and had all the reps as the starter. Maybe some check with me, some things that you might give a second thoughts say, hey, we could do that, or we could do this and not do that and just have the play be a call and run play instead. Maybe you do that a little bit, but at the end of the day, you're going to do what it takes to win and you just have to make a decision. The whole game plan, that's for [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] to make the decision as to what might be too much, that's really the only thing that I would have a role with."

You got a fair amount of zero blitz last week, do you feel like that was a product of Brock coming into the game and how can it help you guys as an offense and an offensive line moving forward?

"Yeah, you just don't know. There's a lot of different ways you can approach a young quarterback. You can approach it as blitz, blitz, blitz, blitz, blitz or you could say, we'll just stay back and see if he can play and can he sustain long drives? There's a lot of different ways, I can't say what it was from them. I think there was some feedback that there was maybe a little more pressure because it was Brock, but I don't know that to be true, so like I said, each team will approach it differently. You always have to be ready for anything. I think in this offense with Kyle, the one thing working with him through the years has been that I think people are very aware that if he knows what you're doing, he's got such a really good command of the offense and calling the plays in the offense, so if he knows what's coming, he'll dial some stuff up to get after you so that it's always going to be a little bit unexpected. There's always going to be some looks that are unscouted. There's always going to be some things that you're like, oh wow, that's not something we saw on tape or something we didn't expect, so with Brock it could open up a whole new can of worms. We'll have to see what happens."

What surprised you the most this week watching him in practice?

"Surprised me? Nothing really because he was very well prepared. I don't want to say that surprised me. Like I said, he is a real pro. He does work hard at it. Nothing really surprising, it's kind of what you expected from him. He's done a really nice job."

Big picture, league-wide scoring is down for the second season in a row, despite the league changing rules to increase scoring. Do you have any theories as to why this might be?

"No, I don't. I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me. I didn't know it was down. There's a lot. I don't know. I look at it every week and I'm real fortunate the guys that I coach up front and I always joke about it, I'm very confident during the week, I always feel like we're going to do well. I always have a very great deal of positive energy and attitude towards we're going to do good, here's what we have to do, here's how we're going to attack them. Then I stand in the tunnel and I watch the defensive lineman run out of the tunnel and I'm like, how are we going to block these guys? And that's what I go through every week because the skill on defense, the rushers, how fast they can get to the quarterback, even with the rule changes and everything that's gone on. It's just that NFL pocket closes so quickly. There's such a fine line. There has to be so much precision in route running, protection, backs, everything to be able to execute at a high-level and if you can't, if there's injuries on your offensive line, if there's injuries to receivers, if there's injuries at quarterback and they're not quite on point, all of a sudden you're half tick late and you're not scoring points, then you compound that when you start moving down in the red zone, the field gets tighter. There's a whole lot of other things we could talk about, I don't want to talk about them now, but just as far as style of offense, what you play, how you play, how teams are defending these days. Sometimes it's an ebb and flow. There's an ebb and flow of defenses start doing different things that takes the offenses a couple years to catch up or vice versa. So, I don't have a real good explanation except for what I just said."

What are you thinking when Tampa Bay Buccaneers NT Vita Vea is running out of the tunnel and what are the challenges of blocking someone like that?

"Say, 'You want to be the line coach today? I'll come sit and watch from where you sit.' I'm joking. I think he's a really good player. He is talented, he's a big man. He can really push the pocket. He plays the run very well. I've respected him for a long time. He's got a good game and I say my job is to try to help those guys inside [OL] Jake [Brendel], [OL] Dan [Brunskill], [OL] Spencer [Burford], [OL] Aaron [Banks]. They all have to do a good job and be ready to go and understand the challenges and what we have to do to help our guys be successful against him because if you spend the whole day one-on-one with Vita Vea, he's a big, talented guy. He's bigger than almost everybody else that plays the game and he's going to make a difference in the outcome if you let him."

What has surprised you the most about RB Christian McCaffrey?

"Christian's awesome. I go up to congratulate he and Juice [FB Kyle Juszczyk], they're sitting on a cooler after the game. And I go to dab them up and say, hey man, great job. Good job. Love you guys. And the first thing Christian does is stand up, look me in the eyes, serious as a heart attack and goes I missed too much today. I promise I'll get better. I missed some holes and I left too much out there. I won't let you guys down again. Just give me time. Be patient with me. And I'm like, Christian, relax man. We're winning. We won the game. We'll get to work next week and correct our errors, but the dude is serious-minded. He wants to be absolutely perfect in everything he does. He's been like that since he's been here and I really appreciate that about him."


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