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Brock Purdy, Steve Wilks, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Buccaneers Week 11 matchup

Nov 16, 2023 at 6:37 PM--

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Brock Purdy, Steve Wilks, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Buccaneers Week 11 matchup

Transcripts provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Brock Purdy

The first official play against the Bucs, not the blitz, but there was a pass to the left flat WR Deebo Samuel and like he wasn't looking for it, and it like banged off his shoulder. What happened in that play?

"From what I can remember, it's a quick game play, so I set left, Deebo is my first guy in the progression, and then [WR Brandon] Aiyuk second, I just saw space and he had leverage on the backer, so I tried to put it on him on his back shoulder. And I remember he just saw it different. He thought he was going to run up the field and have me put it over his shoulder where I thought I needed to put it on him. So, we were just not on the same page, second play the game, I think it was."

It was your first official snap as a starter.

"Yeah. We were just not on the same page, but from there I feel like we got right with each other."

TE George Kittle said he thought that the first play might have woken you up. Is that what happened?

"Honestly, yeah. I was like, okay I need to get into it and that hit actually sort of settled the nerves and stuff that I had for that game. I feel like I sometimes need to get hit to get into the game and feel like, alright, now I'm good to go and good to stand in the pocket and make throws and go through progressions. So that hit sort of helped."

Have you ever had somebody hit you before the game to try and get going?

"Nah. I just usually just let the game do it for me."

George was laughing in the huddle, he said he was kind of laughing at you a little bit.

"Probably. I don't really remember, man. I was so locked in on, 'dang it, dude, I was on the wrong play or whatever.' So, knowing George, he probably was laughing."

As you reflect on that moment, that game, your first start winning against former NFL QB Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, what do you think about when you think about that moment, that game?

"Yeah, it was huge. Just like the confidence that came from that knowing that, alright, you know, I can play in this league. We were on a roll too we had our sights set on finishing out the season strong. So, I was more excited just to show my teammates and the guys in this building that I can be the guy to help do that. And so, it was a huge game for myself, my confidence, and looking back on it, it's always sort of fun just to see where I was as a backup, trying to make my way in the NFL and then sort of making a name for myself. So yeah, it's always a good memory for sure."

When did you break your rib that game and when did you know it was broken? Like not until the next day?

"Yeah, it was the third down where I scrambled and dove. I dove for the first down, there was a holding on the play, so it didn't even count. But I remember when I extended my body just sort of twisted against itself on the ground, and I felt a pop. But I had so much adrenaline and stuff, I was like, alright, I'm fine, I'll keep playing. And then every drive it just got more painful and more painful. And then in the second half, I was like, yeah, this is killing."

You got hit on both of your touchdown passes in that game, you got hit pretty hard. Did you feel it in particular on those plays?

"Yeah, in the back of my mind, every hit I was sort of trying to roll with the hits, trying to protect my rib, but yeah, it was like I said, it just sort of started getting worse and worse every drive. I remember that two-minute drill before the half, that last touchdown to [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A., that one, I was like, 'yeah, this is hurting real bad.' But the adrenaline and stuff from the game sort of just kept me going through it."

How similar does the Bucs defense look now as it did back then?

"I think the scheme and everything is similar. Last year we obviously didn't get a whole lot of [Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL] Vita Vea, [Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Antoine] Winfield Jr. So, it's like those guys, man, they make a huge difference in that defense. They're the generals on the field and then obviously the backers, we played against them last year but with all of them playing together, man, it's definitely different for us, but in terms of the scheme, the coverages and what they do, it's similar, but every year's a little different."

The other day you talked about the value of having WR Deebo Samuel and T Trent Williams back on the field. I'm curious, just big picture, how do you view having those guys? What does it mean in terms of just kind of setting a tone for what you guys want to be as a team?

"Yeah, I mean, they've been huge pieces the last couple of years for this offense. You know, guys that we could all look to in terms of creating the energy, the spark, honestly, even like before the game, Trent is the one that breaks us all down before we go out to the field and when he's not playing, he doesn't do it. So even just having that kind of aspect and energy, he's a huge piece of this culture, man. And then Deebo as well, obviously being able to get him the ball, make plays, feed off his energy and his swagger that he plays with. They've had so much success and helped build this place to what it is now over the past couple of years. So having those guys back, I mean, they're huge. They're a part of our offense and for me as a quarterback, it's like, man, those are two of the guys that I always want to be playing with, and for me it helps out with my confidence every play. So they're definitely huge for us."

I'm sure you don't mark time like this, but that Tampa game was the first of 17 starts. So since then, you've basically started for one season now. When you look back at that game and that film and you look at yourself now, do you see a dramatically, or a lot better player now than 17 games ago?

"Yes and no. You know, there are plays that I made in that game where everyone was like, wow, this guy can play. So, it just felt good. But after you play for a while, it's like, in a sense you're sort of expected to play at that standard. So, that's where I'm at with that. I watched the film, there's some stuff on the film, honestly, where I was like, 'dude, that's a little sloppy. I can clean it up.' Just the operation, how I run the offense, those are all areas I feel like I've grown and can continue to be better at. But you know, the spark, the energy, the chip on the shoulder that I played with in that game, I feel like in the sense is sort of the same, like still trying to prove to myself that I belong in this league and on this team and stuff like that."

So you feel like you still have to prove that to yourself now?

"Yeah, I mean, honestly, I'm still learning with all this, my mindset and stuff throughout the season, it's a long season, but even the three games where we lost, it's like sort of reminding myself, dude, you got to play with that chip on your shoulder again and be hungry and prove to yourself that every single game you got to prove to yourself that you're supposed to be there. And so, looking back on the film and watching that Bucs game, it's like, man, I was playing like that. So, it's always good to go back and sort of just remind myself of that mentality."

What do you remember about your emotional state before going into that game? Your first NFL start versus how you feel now before going into a game?

"Yeah, I mean, honestly a lot. Last year going into that game, it's like everyone's eyes were on me. I feel like the guys in the locker room and stuff like, how's this rookie going to handle it? The preparation, it's one thing to get thrown into a game and not all the pressure and stuff's on you, it's like you sort of have that outlet of, 'yeah, I just got thrown into the game, give me a week to prepare.' But now you got a week to prepare, and it's like, alright, let's see what you can do with it. So, I feel like there definitely were some expectations and pressures and stuff that I felt just naturally. But you know, compared to now, it's like, yeah, I put that pressure and expectation on myself in terms of, I have to play at the standard now. I'm trying to get better every single week. But last year going into this game was definitely on another level."

How do you balance the mindset of stay aggressive versus be patient, take care of the football and take the check down? How do you balance that and still stay aggressive?

"Yeah, I mean it's a mindset I'd say. Just playing without fear. The fear of failure is something that I feel like I've learned over the years, especially in college. If you go out there and have that mentality of, I don't want to mess up, then you start playing timid and then you're obviously not playing like yourself, like you have growing up your whole life with that competitive edge. So that's one thing that I've learned for sure is to try to take out fear, throw it out the window, and play clear-minded, play like a surgeon. Do what [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] is asking of me, but being smart with the ball at the same time, but also having the mentality of playing fearless and that doesn't mean play reckless but be smart with the ball, play within the offense and scheme, if something happens where it's off schedule, play ball. So I'm still learning that honestly, but I feel like that's how I look at it right now."

We asked a lot of guys on defense yesterday just about being complacent coming off the big win against Jacksonville. How do you make sure the guys in the huddle on offense aren't complacent, kind of overlooking this game just coming off that big win?

"Yeah, I think we have so much experience and just the veteran leadership on this team where I don't have to be a rah-rah guy and tell guys, 'hey, we can't get complacent or anything,' like that's the expectation. We know it's a long season. Every single Sunday matters, we all know what's at stake every Sunday. So, that's the cool thing about it. I mean, but with new plays and new things going on for this gameplan and this week, that's my job. That's where I sort of get on guys and be like, 'hey, we have to be cleaner here, here, here with the little details within the plays and stuff.' So, I mean that's, I guess, where I could get on guys, but I don't have to be in the locker room telling everybody because we have the experience and guys know what to do and what to expect."

Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks

Opening comments:

"Great to bounce back the way we did, coming off the Bye. I couldn't be more proud of a group of men than I am, the players and coaches and how we responded. I thought they were prepared by the coaches and they went out and executed and did an outstanding job. I would also say this as great as that performance was last week, it was last week. We got to move on. We got a good football team that's coming in here on Sunday in Tampa Bay. Those guys, in my opinion, can do pretty much everything from a standpoint of run the ball. I don't look at the stats and where they are. You look at [Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Rachaad] White and [Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Chase] Edmonds, Chase they do a great job in totting the rock. Their receivers, as we all know, [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike] Evans is probably one of the best in the league. He can run every route on the route tree. He can run by you. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris] Godwin, and then as well as [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Deven] Thompkins and [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Trey] Palmer, they can take the top off. So we're going to have our hands full, so we got to do a great job. I think [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB] Baker [Mayfield] is playing at an extremely high level. He's protecting the football, he's placing it where it needs to be placed. Those guys are rallying behind him. He's a fierce competitor. I'm excited how he's playing and we got to do a great job of trying to stop him this week."

How did it feel being down on the field to the game?

"It was fine. I enjoyed the interaction with the players. I think, in that regard, it was good to be able to look in their eyes and communicate and create some clarity in my thoughts moving to the next series."

Is that the main reason you guys gave up three points and forced four takeaways?

"Believe me, that wasn't nowhere near the reason why. We got good players and me being down on the sideline had nothing to do with it. I was just really excited once again how they responded. I'm not living in the past. I felt like we were a little tired and we needed that Bye, and you could see when we came back on that Monday that they were fresh with their legs. The attitude was completely different. We played to our standard this past week, and we got to be consistent moving forward."

All the years you've been doing this, how many years have you actually spent upstairs versus on the sideline and what is the advantage of being on the sideline?

"Again, I was in the box in Carolina. I was on the field in Cleveland. I think the advantage is just that direct communication with the players. Where I thought our communication was great with the coaches, but being able to talk to each position group and hear their thoughts, tell them my thoughts, it just projects how I think the next series as far as calling in the game."

What was your assessment of DL Chase Young on Sunday and how has he continued to pick up the defense?

"I thought he went out there and played well. It was a Buckeye meeting at the quarterback first, per se. So I thought he did some great things. [Defensive Line Coach Kris] Kocurek is in my opinion, the best D-Line coach in the league, and he's getting the best teaching and he's continuing to progress and the things that we want him to do in regards to stopping the run and how we play it. But I think right now he's playing well. I'm excited to see what he does this week."

You talked a lot about tying the pass rush to your coverage. It seemed like you guys were able to do that on Sunday. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence pat the ball a little bit more than he usually does. How were you able to do that?

"Again, I thought we complemented each other well. Also coming out of the Bye, just trying to evaluate our coverages, our front, most importantly how they look and what I had been calling previous weeks. What we tried to be able to do is just work on our disguise a little bit more and try to create some confusion to where maybe he thought we were coming where we're not coming, and then vice versa, we're sitting back and all of a sudden we bring pressure. So it is just definitely trying to take the game out of the coordinator's hand and allow the quarterback to be able to see certain things post snap."

Can you talk about CB Ambry Thomas and what can you do differently with him on the field as opposed to CB Isaiah Oliver?

"I like Ambry. I thought Ambry did some great things in preseason. And also, just to speak on Oliver, Oliver, I thought has helped us win a lot of football games early on. He's going to continue to help us win games. This league is all about, each week is matchups and different things. So I felt that [CB] Demo [Deommodore Lenoir] played well inside. Ambry just brings a different element when he can play outside. I love his man-to-man technique. I think he's quick in and out of his breaks and he's physical. He steps up and he tackles, and I love the way he took the ball away in plus territory when those guys had three points, we took points off the board."

You played eight games and everybody pretty much agreed that you needed a Bye and that the Bye was beneficial. Now you got to play nine more and potentially the postseason. How do you keep fresh over that stretch, it's even longer than the one that you started the season?

"Well, I think really and hats off to [Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan]. I think he does a great job of really orchestrating, the practice and how we go about our business, whether, it is taking pads off, whether it's trying to create a walkthrough, having the foresight and the forward thinking to understand that we got three games right here in 12 days and how we go about our businesses trying to really preserve some energy, but also be effective in what we're trying to get done. So he does a great job with that. I think we'll be fine. We got another mini-Bye coming up after the Thursday night game, so that'll help us a little bit as well. But our focus right now is on Sunday with Tampa Bay."

Some the focus was on the pass rush during the losing streak, but obviously the coverage was tied to that. The guys in the secondary, were they taking that personally?

"I hope we all were taking it personal being 0-3, I know I was. I do agree that those guys were getting criticized, but if you understand and know the game and watch the actual tape, we got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. So there was different things, yes, probably within the secondary that we could do differently, starting with maybe the calls and allowing those guys at certain times to be a little bit more sticky in the coverage or as I just talked about this past week, given a different look which confuses the quarterback and makes him hold the ball a little longer. That's all we really need sometimes with the guys that we have up front, it's just that second hitch. So again, it was great to see those guys complement one another."

S Ji'Ayir Brown only get a few snaps, some of them look kind of promising. Where is he in his development? What do you kind of want to see from him going forward?

"It's funny, we're just talking about him on the last play of practice. He's progressing, gotten a whole lot better. When you really look at the college season, it's pretty much over, right? You're probably getting ready for conference play and bowl games. So he's really had that full year and you can really see his confidence and how he moves around at practice, just the way he communicates and those kind of things, that he's gotten better with this year. So I'm excited about him moving forward and any time we can get those guys into the game, it's just only going to continue to help develop them."

How do you get better at defending the screen game? What can you do in practice to get your guys better prepared to defend the screen?

"I don't think it's so much, if one of you guys would in indulge in doing the study, I'm sure you'll figure out it's no magical call with the screens. It's all about sometimes effort. I say all the time, you just got to go whoop that in front of you. You got to set the edge and we got to get guys turning and running, getting out of the stack and it's just sometimes that simple. If you look at the way our D-Line turns and run, I think a couple of weeks ago Cle [DL] Clelin Ferrell] I can forgot who it was, what team rather, I mean, he saved one because we just turn and run, but we got to do a better job setting the edge perimeter, the run game and stop running lateral and just get vertical. So that's the key thing there rather you're in two, rather you're in three, rather you're in man, somebody's got to whoop their ass, that's it."

How about the key to stopping Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans or trying to stop Mike Evans? You've obviously faced him so many times over the years.

"It is tough, big body guy. You try to sit here and you press him, he's going to muscle you at the line of scrimmage, you play off, very deceptive speed, he's going to run by you. So again, we got to mix things up, from a standpoint of man-zone, getting our hands on these receivers and just try really trying to be physical."

CB Charvarius Ward is getting a lot of penalties. I think he's got 10 called on this year. Are they ticky-tack penalties that he is drawing mainly rather than flagrant?

"Well you know, a penalty is a penalty. You know what I emphasize and talk a little bit more, he has outstanding feet, and when he moves his feet, in what I call in phased position, we don't have to grab. So we're trying to get away from that a little bit and just really trying to emphasize more of his technique and how that's going to help develop him within the course of the rep."

Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Chris Foerster

What did you see in OL Jon Feliciano when you were scouting him before he came here, that made you know that he was going to be a good fit for your system?

"Well, what's funny with Jon is Jon came when I was coaching at the Dolphins; John came to our local pro day and he was like a fringe guy that you're like, ah, this guy's got something to him and you liked him at the University of Miami too. He was rough and just the same guy as today, a gritty, tough, hardnosed very good player at The U. And then, he comes in the league and so when we scouted, we're at that point where we're counting on a lot of young guys, so let's keep looking and seeing. And just like with our system it's not a lot of people run as much outside zone and things that we ask our guys to do in little bits and pieces. And so you have to look hard to say, okay, I see it there and how, then how can he do it? Can he do it a lot? And with him, we were scouting him a lot and they actually didn't run any of that stuff really in New York, but they pulled him on the toss crack plays and you could see when he pulled, you're like, oh, there it is. There's that little bit of quickness, there's that little bit of something in there. It was the same thing with [OL Aaron] Banks. We got Banks out of Notre Dame. It's like [T] Trent [Williams] looked and said, this dude's a monster. He's not going to fit in our system. But then all of a sudden you saw him go out on a screen and you saw him pull on a power play and you're like, no, it's there. But what you have to do is you have to then drill it every day to get it out of him. And you saw it in Jon, so he was already a good pro, hardworking, smart, tough, gritty, all those things. But then you saw just enough of what he needs, the skill set he needs to play in our system. It was there."

You've been around Trent Williams since the beginning, basically. Was he really only 75% the other day?

"I think that's probably a pretty accurate assessment of where he was. Seeing how he was on Friday and then how the guys managed the pain going up to the game and everything. So, there's always a – they get to a certain point and they know that they can probably make it through. [Former NFL OL Jonathan] Ogden, I always referenced these other cats, but Jonathan Ogden was the same guy. I remember it was the first time I heard it, we were in Baltimore and he goes, yeah, the guy I'm playing today, I can play at 75, 80%. Now if we were playing [former NFL DE] Dwight Freeney, I don't know if I could go at 80%, 85%. I don't think anybody is playing at 100% in this league. Everybody gets hurt, right? And so, playing at 100% once the season starts is really hard. To say you feel fresh as a daisy and all that is not probably it. So, I would say that's probably what he was but it didn't show. I think there were certain plays. It wasn't like the championship game a few years ago against the Rams where he wasn't anywhere near that and then it showed out almost every play."

How has OL Colton McKivitz looked at practice this week? And who do you have most confidence in at right guard, right tackle if it's not Colton?

"Colton looks fine right now. Well, right now he's doing well. I don't know the extent or all those things. Like I said, I'm really hard pressed to comment on anything on injuries other than the fact that he looked fine at practice today. Right now, we'd go with [OL] Matt Pryor. But, [OL] Jaylon [Moore] did such a nice job at left, you'd think if Matt stumbles or doesn't do as well, if something were to happen to Colton that maybe Jaylon would go in at that spot. We have that flexibility. Same thing at the left. If for whatever reason Jaylon's not doing well, Matt could go to the left, they both can play both sides. It's just that with having them up that way they can focus on one and it does help them in prep instead of having a swing guy."

What was your impression of Kyle at the end of the game force feeding RB Christian McCaffery?

"Yeah, I think you can always get to the point where you're like, risk of injury, I get it. I called [Miami Dolphins head coach Mike] McDaniel. I said, dude, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to break the scoring record. This is an unbelievable record here. I think it's the right thing to do personally. I think it's the right thing to do. I could be wrong, but there's too many times – like I'll never forget we're playing the Tennessee Titans when I was at Baltimore and we came in at halftime and they were kicking our butts. I mean, up and down. I came and sat down and we were talking about plays to run the second half. I said, hey, did we have a first down? And somebody looked at the stat sheet and said, no, well, we got one, but got called back by a penalty. I said, that's the first time and it was like 15 years. I said, I've never played an NFL game and not had a first down at halftime. So, I like those firsts because I know for it to be a first in the NFL is a big deal. So, to be able to score that many touchdowns, that many consecutive games is a really big deal. The New England Patriots, all of a sudden before the kickoff, I'm in Miami, were playing the Patriots, [former NFL K] Olindo Mare's the kicker, and he comes up lame in pregame warmups, and all of a sudden [former NFL WR] Wes Welker becomes our kickoff, our field goal kicker, our receiver. So he kicks a field goal, he kicks off and makes a tackle on a kickoff. He kicks extra points. He scored, I think he might have had a receiving touchdown. I didn't realize all this was going on. I was actually the offensive coordinator. I would've handed him a run to get him in, but his shoes ended up going the Hall of Fame on Monday. We lost. But you realize this was a pretty special moment. They took his shoes, and they sent them to Canton because nobody had ever done all those things in one game. I think it's a really special thing. And it was something worthwhile."

What did McDaniel say to you when you reached out?

"I texted him and Mike doesn't respond to texts during the season, so I got to a couple other people in the organization. I said, dude, I would've gone for it. They were like, we didn't think so, no way. I said, it's 70 to whatever it was. Like, dude, come on. I mean, another seven points, it's over. So go for it. But I get it. I get both sides of that story."

McDaniel big timed you?

"He did not big time me [laughs]. Mike does not respond to people during the season, he's very hard to reach. He's been that way forever. It's kind of a bone of contention with everybody. He doesn't. Then Bye Week, he did send one text, which is nice."

This Tampa D-line, what do you see? They got a lot of different kinds of players.

"As always, the defensive line is a very talented group. [Tampa Bay DL Vita] Vea is talent, man. He's a beast and does a great job for them. 94 [Tampa Bay DL Calijah Kancey], the young kid from Pitt, does a really good job. The edge rushers are good. I mean, this is a talented rush group and you have to be on point and we've had to be every week. I mean, these guys are, it's nice to have them at home. When we played Cincinnati, not a great game for us, but protection wise, we held up okay against those guys. And it was because I think you get them on the grass, you have the cadence, you're not going silent count. All those things add up to help us at home. Now that doesn't mean they don't come in and just run us over too. They're a good rush group and [Tampa Bay head coach] Todd Bowles is not afraid to pressure and make it really hard on everybody. So I think they're a talented group and another group we have to be very well prepared for."

Looking at what they've done this year, have they blitzed as much as they normally do?

"I don't count those things because I think it's all statistical. One, it's what are they going to do against you? You know what I'm saying? It's like it's a one-game. We could say it's a trend, but why were they blitzing Philly? Or why were they not blitzing Philly? And then why were they blitzing this team and that team? So to me, I don't really look at it that much. Todd Bowles has been coaching forever. He's got every blitz in the book known to man. And kind of like when the guy from the Giants [defensive coordinator Don Martindale] came in here, it's all there and it's just what are you going to see? And why he would decide to do it, to stop you. And even though you look back, you say, okay, well he did this to Kyle here, he did this to us at this other spot. And then you're like, there's a whole other bag of tricks. And then he looks at the season this year and sees maybe we have something that needs fixing that they could pick on. So who knows?"

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