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Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

What Kyle Shanahan, Brock Purdy, other 49ers said after 35-16 win vs. Cardinals

Oct 1, 2023 at 6:53 PM--

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, quarterback Brock Purdy, and others spoke with reporters after Sunday's 35-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcripts provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Opening comments:

"From the game, I'm sure we'll have some stuff tomorrow, but the only one that checked out from the game [OL Jon] Feliciano had a concussion, never returned."

Did you talk to QB Brock Purdy about that one incompletion that he threw today and what he could do better?

"That's why we punted on that one drive, I'm just joking."

Your thoughts on his day?

"He was great. He was almost perfect. But that was a third-and-20 something anyways, but he was great. Hung in there, made some big throws. A lot of times that defense is real, they don't give you the big throws so you kind of got to pick them apart and he was very efficient at doing that. When he had his opportunities for the big ones, he saw it right and made the right throws and our guys came down with it."

I don't think that RB Christian's McCaffrey had a bad game for you, but could you tell something was special with it, like early on that you wanted to get him the ball today?

"Not really. He's the same to me as he always is. Just there was space out there and [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] being down, [WR] Deebo [Samuel] kind of not practicing all week, gave him probably a few more opportunities, didn't have to split it as much. Then when they're playing the zone and stuff, you never know when it's going to go to the back. But a lot of those, he's last in the progression and he's a hell of a checkdown option, so worked out very well."

Did you want to give him [McCaffrey] the ball to get a shot at a touchdown there at the end or?

"I honestly had no idea until I just came in here that he had four touchdowns. I never know that type of stuff. I was actually shocked and now I feel kind of bad about it. Wish I tried, but sometimes I'd snap at people if they'd tell me that stuff in games because it shouldn't matter until the game's over. But he would've got five if we gave a chance to him but did one for [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice, then they gave us quarterback sneak look and Brock took it. But I wish I got him five, he deserved it."

What'd you think of your offensive line's performance?

"It seemed like they did well. All the fronts that they run, we got four guys in the line, five, sometimes six. I thought we were able to stay balanced and do well in the run game and in the pass game. For the most part I thought they protected Brock real good and I was real happy out there. I'll see when I watch the tape tonight."

You don't have a vote and I know you don't really care who the MVP is and running backs almost never get it. But could Christian be the MVP of this league right now?

"Yeah, I'm not sure on the whole rest of the league right now, but I thought he played like it last year when he was here. Christian's so awesome, he helps us win every time he's out there. But when you got a guy who can do everything, you can always have unbelievable stats. But he shares that with a lot of other guys and we do whatever it takes to win. So that's to me, the thing that would make it the hardest for him, just stats and how it works out."

What did you think of your defense's performance tonight?

"I thought they had a couple lapses. They started out real strong. We had that missed kickoff, I think they got them at the 40, their first score. So, on a short field they got that three that was more a penalty on the kickoff. The most disappointing part was that last drive of the second quarter. We had a couple chances to get them off the field and for them to go 99 and all that time hurt, then the next drive that they got. So they had about two drives in a row that we needed to get better on besides those two drives. They kept them on our end the rest of the game."

On that fake punt, should you have had the defensive unit out there maybe?

"We were ready for the fake punt. We didn't have all the defensive guys out there. I thought our guys played it pretty well. But I thought that guy ran hard. He ran hard. I thought we had him stopped for about one, one and a half. I think it was fourth-and-two and he fell forward. We knew there was a chance of it, but we know they're going to do it. We put defense out and hopefully have a better result. But that was a hell of a job by them, real risky call and it paid off for them."

When you call players, you say you always call them as if they might score. Is there a different confidence though when you're calling McCaffrey's number?

"It doesn't totally work that way where I just call guys numbers. Just the way it all balances out, he's a very good option in every single situation. Whether he's the first guy you're looking at in man-to-man or whether they're covering other guys and you come to him last in zone. When you have a guy who can beat man coverage, when you got a guy who's got very good hands and when you got a guy who's extremely natural at finding this soft spots and zones there's not many bad looks for him."

The fourth down in the first half that you went for it, Purdy makes a pretty tough throw to get it. You did that in Week One also. How has he been able to earn so much trust in you in such a short period?

"Just your experiences with a guy and he's extremely consistent in practice since he's been here and he's been the same in games. So, what you guys see, is what we see and it's what we feel and it's him. It's also the guys you're throwing it to and some situations where you're on the field."

This past week, a lot of the players talked about not wanting to leave points on the table. I know that was the point of emphasis for you. So how encouraged were you going five-for-five in the red zone?

"I was very encouraged. Those guys are challenged down there. That's what's so tough about them schematically, just how many guys that they have and how much they choose to drop into coverage and especially with their personnel when they have six guys on the line. That can be a challenging spot to score. We felt that going into this game. If you would've told me we were five-for-five before I would've been extremely happy."

You've acknowledged when you when you traded from McCaffery, I think it's 19 days short of a year, you traded for him ago. You gave up a lot of draft picks to get him. You acknowledged that there's a risk always when you do something like that. Could you have imagined he would be this good?

"I mean you hope so, you know he's that good of a player just watching him and stuff. I think the whole league does, but then when you get someone, when you're around him personally, then you realize how much better he is just because of the intangibles that he has and really his whole makeup and how he works each week and how he prepares for a season from what he's been doing with us in OTAs, all the way until now. He is as much of a professional as I've been around and in order to make trades you usually have to give a little bit more to give people and then there's always a risk that they won't work out. There's injuries in this league, there's tons of stuff, but what you like to do is know who the guy you're betting on and he's a dude that I think everyone would bet on."

On the field does he make his teammates better?

"Yeah, definitely, all good players out there make their teammates better, but my favorite thing about is just how he carries himself too. You're one of the best players in the league, but you carry yourself with the work ethic and the consistency of how important every little detail is and he's harder on himself than anybody is. It makes it fun to coach everyone else too."

Deebo Samuel limited in any way today?

"He didn't really practice all week so it was a hell of a job, just him getting himself ready to where he could go out there and play. He didn't get a ton of opportunities, but it ends up being a good thing because hopefully he's taken care of more from this game, can check out fine and get a little bit better week next week."

As a former receiver, how amazed are you at the catch radius of Brandon Aiyuk and how it's grown this year?

"I always look at Aiyuk like he's one of the taller receivers, I don't know if he is height wise, but his arms are what make him that way. He's got a great radius, you can put it anywhere around him. Brock's got a lot of confidence in him and he took three shots to him down the field and he came down with all three of them. B.A.'s just getting better and better and he's doing it with his quarterback too."

Can you imagine what would've been like if you didn't get McCaffery?

"No, don't ever say that."

Did it come close in your mind like you almost didn't him?

"Yeah, it's real close. Especially when you decide on something and then you need a little bit more and it's like, 'Man, we weren't going to do that. Should we do more?' It's always that huge debate. Usually when trades happen with lots of good players, there's usually one or two teams involved because trades are tough and there's always a huge risk. And when those don't work out, it's not just, 'Oh, the player didn't work out.' It's also, you don't get those draft picks back too. There's always a gamble to it. But no, life has been much better."

49ers QB Brock Purdy

When you're completing passes at such a high percentage, do you know that the ball hasn't hit the ground much today?

"Most games, yes. Honestly, today, I'm not lying, they told me I had one incompletion at the end of the game, I was like, 'oh my gosh.' Today was just one of those games I really wasn't thinking about it. But, there's games where it's like I'm completing the ball and it's sort of in my mind, oh, every single one of these balls has been a completion so far. But, today it wasn't the case."

Why were things clicking so well in the passing game?

"I don't know. I mean, everyone just did their job. We sort of kept it simple. I feel like the quick-game stuff was on point early on, it sort of got us into a rhythm. And then once we had opportunities to take shots down the field with B.A. [WR Brandon Aiyuk] we were able to connect. It was huge today to be able to do that. So, outside of that, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] called a great game. Obviously, the run game I feel like opened up some stuff too. And everyone was on point. Everyone was just very, like I said, detailed. Everybody."

Was that 40-yard shot to Brandon an 'oh my gosh' catch?

"Yeah, I threw it, I saw him downfield and I was like, all right, let's just give him an opportunity ball here. And so, I threw it downfield and he made a crazy catch, so I was hyped to get to connect."

Are you leading him to the right on that one basically?

"I was trying to, but the safety, or I think it was the backside corner, came into the picture, but B.A. did a great job of adjusting and making a great play. So, all the credit to B.A. on that play."

What can you say about the great day that RB Christian McCaffrey had?

"Yeah, he's a freak. He does everything for us. Obviously, he can run the ball, can run routes out of the backfield, can line up as a receiver and run routes. He does everything, man. So, we're thankful for him. He's a dog. He takes some hits, but man, he just keeps going and all you've got to do is get the ball to that guy in space and he does the rest. So, very thankful to be playing with him."

When he first got here, if I remember correctly, you said that when he was trying to learn the offense just to play against the Chiefs right away, that you were running plays for him verbally and trying to get him caught up on the playbook. Could you tell right away that this guy was just something really ridiculous in terms of football knowledge and way to apply things?

"Yeah, just his detail and the focus that he had. We'd go out to the field, just him and I and walk through plays and stuff, and he was all focused in, and I'm like, okay, is this an act or is he being for real? And then he would do it every day and then we'd sit down at the table the night before a game and do it. And then he's all focused and he is the same guy today. So, he is the way he is because of obviously his preparation, his focus and his mindset. He's on another level."

Kyle has given you a couple opportunities on fourth down to go for it. What does it mean to you that you've kind of earned his trust as quickly as you have and how do you think you did it?

"I just think everyone on our offense once you get the ball in their hands, they can do something crazy with it. And so, he trusts in everybody, everybody trusts in Kyle, including myself. When we're on the other side of the 50 going in, we're in field goal range or four-down territory, we know that we have an opportunity to go for it on fourth down just because that's the way he is. He's got an aggressive mindset, he trusts in this team, we've got guys that have played a lot of football, and so we sort of expect it. And it goes both ways. Players have to trust him, he trusts in us. We're very thankful for that and we want to continue to have that relationship moving forward."

Do you run the third-down play knowing you're probably going to go for it on fourth if you don't get it there. Is that correct?


What's it like to have a week where we are not talking about the throws you missed and want to have back or maybe the one throw that you missed that you want to have back?

"Yeah. I mean, honestly, I'm still mad about the one I missed to Christian. He broke out, he was open, I should've hit him and then we would've been in field goal range. So I mean, that is something that I'm going to have to learn from and wish I could have had back. But, everyone did their job today and they helped me out and the O-Line did a great job. So, it was a well-orchestrated offensive day."

For the most part, this team has been kind of hitting on all cylinders in the four wins. When you talk about trust, is that part of why?

"Yeah, it's huge. Just everything, the way we go about meetings and the way guys lift and practice everything, everyone's on a mission and we expect a lot out of ourselves and obviously every game matters for us. We have an end goal in mind, but everyone's hungry to do the little things right. And the coaches are hard on us when we win, but there's plays to be made out there. There's things that we could be better at. And I feel like last week we sort of took that to heart and guys came out just very detailed this week, so it felt good."

49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

What does it do for the offense when RB Christian McCaffrey's having that kind of day and kind of setting the tone early?

"Put points on the board, he does that. He puts points on the board, four touchdowns early. It just gets everybody going. I think since he's been here, he's for sure opened it up for everybody."

Did you expect the deep ball to be as available as it was today, given the style of defense that they play?

"We thought we had an opportunity to get a couple shots, not the ones that we ended up hitting. They were a little bit different than we expected, or at least, I expected. But [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] called a great game and we got to exploit the areas of the field that they were lacking in. It just happened to be in some deep balls that we haven't hit in the past. So that was pretty exciting."

QB Brock Purdy completed 20-21 passes. Are you guys aware you completed this first 13? Do you guys have any sense of what's going on during the course of the game or is it after the game you look at the box and realize that?

"Yes, we didn't know until just right now when [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] was breaking down the team, he told us that he was 20 of 21. We didn't even know what the one incompletion was. He told us that it was just a throw-away on third down. So that's crazy. It just tells you the type of quarterback that he is and how efficient he is knowing where to go with the football."

49ers OL Jake Brendel

How have you seen San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy improve from last year to this year?

"I think he's been studying his butt off in the off-season. He really knows the offense even more than he did last season. His audibles, his checks and the efficiency he has on the line of scrimmage and in the huddle has greatly improved. He's just been getting better every single week. So really, I expect good things from him."

Your next opponent is the Cowboys. What do you expect?

"It's always great to watch film on them. They are a dynamic defense. We've had success the last couple of years against them but at the same time they are looking good too, especially today. It will be fun to watch that film and we'll just make sure we have a good game plan against them to bring them our best."

How much fun is it to block for San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey and watch him go for the opening holes?

"I've never had more fun in football than this right now. Let's just keep it going."

49ers DL Nick Bosa

How are you feeling about the 4-0 start you guys have gotten off to? First time in franchise history that the offense have scored 30 or more points in each of the first four games.

"Feels great. I think whenever they do that, there's a really good chance their defense is going to show up and get a win."

You said last week was the best performance from your defense so far. How do you feel about it today?

"I think we did a really good job. There's some run game things we need to iron out and be a little better about, but with the opportunities we got, I think we rushed well. I need to watch the tape. I feel like whenever a guy on our defensive line gets a one-on-one and the quarterback's not getting rid of it quick enough, there's a good chance he's going down. [San Francisco 49ers DL] Javon Hargrave's sack was perfect timing. He had the one-on-one, I think everyone was doubled up. The fact that we have guys who could win that high clip, when they get those chances, it's dangerous."

You've already said you gave the Arizona Cardinals offense all kinds of respect going into this, but what did QB Josh Dobbs do that may have opened your eyes a little bit more?

"He [Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Dobbs] was poised. He was getting rid of it quick. Accurate in the quick game and escaping the pocket a little bit. He's a good quarterback."

49ers DL Javon Hargrave

Can you talk about San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey and what he did historically today?

"It was crazy, I know he had four touchdowns. I've never seen that. Coming off player of the month, going into October and having a game like that, that's just really impressive."

San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy, went 20 of 21 today, making him near perfect. What does that say about your Quarterback and how confident he is now to help lead this team?

"I think it's really unseen for someone to go 20 for 21. That's just a one-of-a-kind game. We did a great job today on offense."

How would you describe the way your defense performed today?

"We had some down plays but we made some plays to win the game so it was an okay performance from us."

Being 4-0, how does that feel?

"We have a long way to go, we just have to keep getting better. We know we have a lot more in us."

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk

Talk about San Francisco RB Christian McCaffrey's recent streak.

"It's a normal thing for him to score a touchdown in 13 consecutive games. That's insane. It's just come to be expected. He executes everything so well. So you're not surprised at all when he goes out there and does exactly what he's done in practice all week, and it shows up in games."

He has this innate ability to make the first guy always miss.

"He'll tell you firsthand, he's mad if a single person can tackle him. He takes a lot of pride in that and he's just really good at it."

What did you think about his hurdle?

"That was awesome. I got fired up about that because I was right behind him when that happened. It was a great move because we had seen guys going low all week, so it was a great job by him to anticipate that and go over top."

San Francisco WR Deebo Samuel has said in the past that San Francisco RB Christian McCaffrey is a Swiss Army knife to his team. How would you describe him as a running back?

"He's just a complete running back. I don't think there's anything he can't do. He can run between the tackles, he can run outside, he can run routes, he can pick up blitz protections. He's just such a complete football player and a guy that you can put anywhere. You can put him at running back, you can put him at receiver and he's going to go out there and excel."

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey

You just referred to QB Brock Purdy as phenomenal, what about him and the work that he's put in makes him a phenomenal quarterback?

"I think you can go down the list of what makes a quarterback good and he checks every box. Then he has all the intangibles that would be phenomenal. He brings a kind of swagger and energy every day that is fun to be around. He's quiet but very confident and he expresses that in the way he plays. It's just awesome to have him in the huddle."

Does hurdling just come natural when you see a guy at your feet and you're going full speed and you just go over?

"I think it's pretty instinctual. I don't know how you plan those things. I love football, you can just go out there and be completely free. Obviously, you have an assignment to do, track and reads, but after that it's just let it flow and play with instincts."

What does it mean to you to get a touchdown in thirteen straight games passing Jerry Rice?

"It means a lot. Touchdowns are a lot of fun so hopefully we can keep it rolling."

You were traded October 20th of last year, 19 days shy of a calendar year you've been here. Does it seem like a long time ago or does it seem like yesterday? What has it been like?

'It feels short but I also feel comfortable. The cool part from my perspective is how these guys took me in a year ago and none of that has changed. I got the call that I was traded, [General Manager] John Lynch called me right after that and then I got a call from [TE] George Kittle. He was the third person that called me and he represents the whole team and how they took me in. I'm just really honored and blessed to be a part of this team."

OL Colton McKivitz

How about San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey? He had another monster game. It looks as if he could be the MVP of the league.

"Yeah, he's playing well. Every time he touches the ball we have a chance to score. Our job is to hold up our end of the bargain long enough and when he gets one guy to miss, or a couple of guys. Anytime he touches the ball he's explosive and he's a lot of fun to watch out there."

How about San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk? He has a monster catch-radius. It doesn't matter, low, high or in, out he catches everything."

"Yeah. It doesn't matter where you throw it up to him. Coming back from last week and just exploding this week and having, I don't know what he had. It was over 100 yards. It's a lot of fun to have weapons all over the field. Guys are everywhere."

Arizona Cardinals LB Dennis Gardeck and these guys coming off the edge, they're smaller guys. What was the challenge like this week blocking those guys?

"They fought hard. I think that's the one thing–they're kind of twitchy. Obviously, they're not big so just getting your hands on him was the key and keeping length. If you let him into your chest he had spin moves and guys were able to push the pocket. It was a fun group to go against and I'm sure we'll see him again."

49ers LB Fred Warner

How do you feel about how the defense played?

"The initial feeling right now, I've got to watch it. Situationally, before the half and that two minute drill, giving up those points and then we have them backed up, we've got to keep them backed up. Especially not giving up a 99-yard drive. There are some things to improve upon for sure, that's it."

You didn't get a takeaway as well. I know that's a big emphasis for you guys. Is that something to work on going into Dallas on Sunday?

"I'd say so. We had some opportunities there, me included. We've just got to capitalize on one. They're there."

How are you feeling right now about being undefeated?

"I feel great. That's exactly what we talked about, starting fast. We didn't need to go through some adversity in order for us to be locked in, right? I think the mindset has been to be locked in from the start. I think when the offense is scoring, like they are, and obviously we got some things to work out on our side, but holding them to 16 points, that's going to be winning football all day long."

Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon

It was a good effort by the Cardinals. You were in the game for more than three quarters.

"I just told the guys I appreciate the fight and the effort. We have to play cleaner execution-wise, and cleaner with our brains to beat that football team. That's a good football team and give them credit because they did a lot of good things out there today. We just didn't make enough plays, but got back into the game and just couldn't do enough to sustain it to really make a game in the fourth. It kind of got away, but I'm proud of them and how they battled."

Like you said, you were able to get back in the game. Why were you not able to sustain that?

"When we got back into the game, we just didn't make enough plays on the defensive side. On the offensive side, we were moving it a little bit. They sacked the quarterback there and that kind of took us out of range a little bit or a place where you could go for it on fourth down. Like I said, give them credit. They out-executed us a little bit and we'll get back at it. Like I told them, I'm proud of them. They fought. We, the coaching staff, just have to do a better job of helping them out and to make sure we can execute a little better."

How important was Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Dobbs' ability to make plays with his feet?

"Huge. You saw it. A couple of times he came out of the pocket and extended a few plays. I know on the one fourth down, he ran for it. Bang, bang. Got it. Those are huge plays in the ball game, so he's doing a good job."

You scored and the next play by them was a big pass.

"It was an explosive pass. I liked the coverage structure there, give them credit. You make a good throw and a good catch, but we're there. Like I said, they made a couple more plays than us."

Did you know Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Wilson was going to have a big game today?

"I expect Mike to do his job just like everybody. When the ball comes to him, he makes plays. He played well."

You talked about the San Francisco 49ers being fast at the snap. How much of that counted for what they did in the first half?

"They had some good schemes like they always do. The line of scrimmage moved a little bit at times, but our guys were battling in there. What I mean is they gained some momentum. We didn't get it to third down enough. I thought we got to third down once in the first half, I think, and then we stopped them there and they got the fourth down. We didn't get to third down enough against a good football team. A good offense like that is hard to keep points off the board when you do that. That's on us as coaches. We've got to come up with some things to help them out."

You have to spend so much time having to account for the skilled position players on their offense. Is that what helps San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey pop off plays?

"He's a good player, you know what I mean? So it depends on what coverage structures and what spacing you're in. They find ways to get him the ball. I know he played a good game. He's a good player."

Is Arizona Cardinals OL Hjalte Froholdt okay? How much did that impact you?

"I thought [Arizona Cardinals OL Trystan] Colon came in and did good. I think that was on third down. The crowd's into it, he comes in and blocks his guy. I think we converted that one. I think Hjalte is fine. That was more precautionary, which is a smart thing that the league does. He got up a little wobbly, but he was fine. They had to go through the protocol and then he came back in and finished."

How much will your young corners learn from games like this?

"Just being on the details and knowing exactly what we're doing. The leverages, studying receivers, all of that stuff. They battled, they hung in."

Does it matter to you if one guy scores four touchdowns and other guys don't?

"No, it really doesn't. I'm worried about the final score. I don't care who scores."

What's the thinking on the fake punt? Just to give your team a spark?

"It's something we thought we would keep the ball in our hands and steal possession. Execution was great. That was a good call by [Arizona Cardinals Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jeff] Rodgers there and I think we went down and scored or kicked a field goal. The offense did a good job. You hate to see when you call that and you get the first, which we did, and the offense stalls out. They did a good job of going back on the field and getting some momentum going in the half."

A lot of bad things were happening to you guys in the first quarter, but you didn't let that bury you early against this team, which they happen to do to people.

"The resilience that we showed when we got down and got hit in the mouth I thought was good. The locker room at halftime was good. I understand how we needed to get back in the game, and what we had to do in all three phases. I thought they did that and then it just got away from us."

How pleased are you with Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Dobbs continuing to play turnover-free football?

"That's huge. Truthfully, that's why we're in games. They had more explosive plays than we did. I don't think there were any giveaways on either side. They won the explosive play battle. We were even in the turnover battle and they made more plays than us. It's critical as an offense to protect the football and he's doing a really good job at that."

Cardinals QB Josh Dobbs

You guys had it cut back to one score and it felt like you guys kind of changed some things in the game. Is it hard to get that close and then to have it kind of fall away from you again?

"Yeah, it's difficult. We came in at halftime and we thought we could have started a little bit faster, especially on offense. Getting the ball, we like to go down and start the game off with a touchdown drive or field goal drive, especially on the road to set the tempo. Felt like we could have started faster, but we were able to respond and have a huge drive to score a touchdown. Obviously we did a great job executing a fake, taking advantage of that when we scored a touchdown. We come in at halftime saying you know, defense, go out, get a stop, and the offense will go down and score and make it a one possession game. We did all that and then obviously they responded. They did a great job of holding the ball in the fourth quarter, milking the clock and making it difficult for us to have sustained possessions. It's tough when it gets that close, but we played a good team, especially on the road. I think it's a learning opportunity for us as a team we have to get started quicker in all phases in order to stay in the game and give us an opportunity in the fourth quarter."

You guys have started quickly the first couple weeks. What did it say to you about the ability to bounce back after it was 21-3?

"It was a great response by the team. As I said last week, we fight as a team no matter what the situation is. JG [Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon] has a great mindset to put the ball down and let's go play. Everything's not going to go perfect, that's the nature of the game, that's the nature of football. It was great to see that response as a team and now, obviously, we can't get in that situation. When you continue to play good, complimentary football so that offense is hot and the defense is able to get off the field. When we're able to, go down once it's a one possession game and go down and take the lead. That's a learning opportunity, a growth opportunity for us as a team, which we'll take in stride and be ready to compete next week."

What did you think of your playmaking with your legs did today?

"I think it made it difficult for us not to be one dimensional. When you play a really good team with really good players, any way you can keep them on their heels and make it difficult for them to defend you. They're a simple defense, but they have really good players and they execute at a high level. As we said coming into the game, we had to execute at a higher level, which we didn't do obviously given the result of the game. Being able to use different aspects of my game to add to the offense, I do think it helps keeps the defense on their heels when we sprinkle it in. We'll continue to work that in throughout our offense."

Did you know that you were going to look at WR Michael Wilson as much as you do today?

"No. My goal as a quarterback is, you get the play call when it comes in and to play efficient at the position, you have to read everything out. Take the coverages that the defense gives you and then go out and throw the football to the best place given what you're looking at and repeat the process. Mike, man, obviously two touchdowns today. Got his first one which I'm happy for him. Hopefully many more to come, but he does a great job of being exactly where he's supposed to be. He's a disciplined player and receiver. His effort is tremendous. He does a great job in the run game, springing blocks, and then when the ball comes his way, he makes plays. We had a lot of guys step up and make some plays, but he did a great job of that today. We're going to need him moving forward. I'm excited to see his growth."

Defensively, what did you see out of them?

"They play with great effort on defense. As I said, they don't do a ton schematically, but their players do a great job matching up when they play in their zones. They're very disciplined with their eyes on the quarterback and do a good job of reacting to whatever the offense is throwing at them. For us as an offense, the growth opportunity is when you play a defense like that to be on your Ps and Qs. Also, execution is one, and then two, know we can't start slow. We have to start fast. We have to set the tempo from the first play. We'll go back, we'll watch the film, we'll correct it, and we'll push forward and continue to improve as an offense."

What's the takeaway as you guys pushed a team like this to within five points?

"There's no moral victories, right? We play to win every single Sunday, and when we don't, we're upset about it. We look for ways to improve so that we win no matter who's across from us. When we play a really good team on the road, with this team obviously being a young team, we take from that. You can't spot them 14 points and expect to be in the game for four quarters. The fight was tremendous to be able to come back and make it a one possession game late in the third quarter. When you get in those situations where you're within striking distance and you have them on their heels, you have to take advantage of that momentum, especially on the road. Playing in an environment like this, you've got to bring your own energy, and your own juice. I think that's a learning opportunity for us as a team."

What's it like to finally be able to showcase what you can do in your career?

"It's good. Obviously, I want to win. I step on the field to go out and play my game, I enjoy it. I give my hats off to [Cardinals Offensive Coordinator] Drew [Petzing] and [Cardinals Quarterbacks Coach] Izzy [Israel Woolfork] and the entire offensive staff for putting me in positions to be able to go out and execute, play at a high level, and get the ball in my playmakers hands. They all do a great job week in and week out of putting us in really good positions. Figuring out what each person, myself included, does well, and then from there, how can we go out and execute? What helps us play as a high level? To able to do that is awesome and great. Now it's doing that at a winning level, right? Continuing to grow and to find ways to win games, whether you're on the road or at home. I'm excited to continue my growth at this point in my career."

Cardinals CB Kei'Trel Clark

Tough game, but you guys know how to bounce back.

"Yes. Definitely. It was a tough one. Of course we wanted to win today, this game being a divisional game. We want to win all of them but back to the drawing board tomorrow. We know what we have to work on. Their offense was kind of complex. We started to see a lot of motions and adjustments, it was things that we were working on all week, but we could have executed better."

They were fast. When they move, with their misdirections, their motions. How fast is it in real time on the field?

"Like I said, we practiced the motions all week. When you get out there and you are going against the real thing, it is the NFL so you have to be able to adapt. We didn't adapt today."

On San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey's touchdown, he kind of hurdled you. Is that one of those plays that you just let go or do you study it and think that play will never happen to me again?

"It is kind of hand in hand, both a little bit. Going into this game, I told myself the thing that I wanted to focus on was to make sure that I am making better tackles than I have done that in previous games, so that was a wakeup call. I am not going to throw my body in there again. I am okay with watching it again because you have to learn from your mistakes. You have to be a student of the game always."

Cardinals LB Dennis Gardeck

What is your message to your team after starting a division game this way?

"We have to learn from it. We pride ourselves on continuing to be the same person week in and week out. We are going to go in tomorrow, clean up the tape, learn a lot from this game, get better and get ready for Cincinnati [Bengals]."

For QB Josh Dobbs to protect the football the way he did and give you guys a chance, how important is that?

"Yeah it's incredible. We talk about the double positive, being able to protect the football and being able to take it away on defense as well as on explosive plays. We just need to limit explosives on defense and that's something that we are going to continue to press forward with."

How about some of the young guys, the young corners, getting a taste of what RB Christian McCaffrey and QB Brock Purdy can do out there?

"I think they are doing a hell of a job. We'll continue to keep climbing and getting better."

Cardinals OL D.J. Humphries

Do you see Arizona Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs growing into this offense each week?

"Yes. He's so smart that it's easy for him to grasp. His personality allows him to be able to settle into place with us. He meshes well with us and that makes it easy for us as."

What is it like to see him after all of these years taking advantage of this opportunity?

"It's awesome to see. I remember when he was coming out. I was in college when he was coming out of Tennessee. To see him still be as good as everyone was saying than, seeing it in real life, with him being a good dude. He's one of those locker room dudes and it's awesome to see. It's big."

Does this feel like a 1-3 team?

"The team doesn't feel like that, but the record is the record. You can feel any way you want to feel. We are very excited about what we have going on and what we are building, but the record is the record."

Are you happy with the way you guys rallied today? It could have gotten really bad.

"Happy? No, I am never happy after a loss, but knowing that you have some guys in your foxhole that are willing to fight, scratch and claw, that is always great to know. Happy, no, never happy after a loss. That is a positive, knowing that we have guys that are scrapping. We have a good team, it's just about getting the small details together."

Cardinals CB Marco Wilson

What is your message to your team after this performance?

"We just have to win. Winning is the most important thing. We did some things well but we have to clean up some mistakes and figure out how to get some wins because at the end of the day we're not winning."

Do you feel like you're taking incremental steps forward with how close you guys have been these first four weeks?

"Yes for sure, anyone looking from the outside in may not realize but we know exactly what we have to get done."

Did you feel any shift momentum wise in the second half?

"Usually I don't pay attention to momentum, honestly I don't believe in momentum. It's just about who's going out there and executing to the max."

Having a seat to see Christian McCaffrey go off like that, what kind of player is he?

"He's a great player so you have to go into the game knowing how to stop a guy like that. The good thing about playing the 49ers is that we get to play them twice so we're going to have a better plan coming back next time."

Cardinals WR Michael Wilson

Just your thoughts on getting your fist couple NFL touchdowns?

"I think it's awesome to score especially close to where I went to school. I said this in the radio interview, but I woke up this morning with a good feeling. I don't know if that's because I'm playing in a familiar area or sometimes you wake up just knowing because something good is going to happen.

Did you guys feel like after you got within one score that maybe this will turn out well?

"That's what it felt like a lot of, but the Niners [49ers] are a really good football team. We played well and fought back in the game, but didn't do quite enough of playing good enough complimentary football. Like I said we just have to go back tomorrow and digest the film figure out what we did well and what we could've done better to get ready for next week."

To watch San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey do what he did what was that like?

"I've been a fan of him [McCaffrey] and after watching him win the Rose Bowl that year. I've been a huge fan of Christian [McCaffrey] since his Stanford days."

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