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Brock Purdy, Steve Wilks, Chris Foerster preview 49ers-Eagles Week 13 matchup

Nov 30, 2023 at 3:15 PM--


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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, and offensive line coach and run game coordinator Chris Foerster spoke with reporters before Thursday's practice, as the team prepares for its Week 13 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcripts provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

QB Brock Purdy


Going back to Philadelphia, the place where you got injured last year, is there anything in your mind about just going back to that location?

"I mean, yeah I got hurt there and everything, but for me it's Week 13, we're going on the road in a hostile environment. We're late in the season, so every game is obviously big for us. So that's where I'm at with my mindset. Am I going to go back and feel a certain way? None of that. It's a new year, two new teams, slightly different in ways. So that's how I'm looking at it."

Can you take us back to that game and just kind of how you felt about the game plan and your plan of attack going up against that defense?

"We felt good about our game plan and stuff. Things obviously just didn't go our way in terms of keeping the quarterback healthy, so it's hard to say exactly what we were going to do and all that kind of stuff. But once [Baltimore Ravens QB] Josh [Johnson] went down, things sort of changed and I had to get thrown back in there. But in terms of our plan of attack, it's like, yeah, you go into a game feeling like what you're going to do is going to be good. So we never really got to that, I feel like. So, yeah, I'll just leave it at that."

A couple different 49ers players who have gone through significant injuries, like Las Vegas Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo in Kansas City, former LB NaVorro Bowman in Seattle, went to the stadium, gave themselves a moment to just kind of take it in about the past in that stadium. Will you give yourself a moment or will you just game plan as usual?

"I mean, usually every single game whenever I go in the stadium, yeah, I take a little moment just to be thankful for where I'm at and the game that I'm about to play in. So none of that changes. Am I going to go in there and get all sentimental about, 'man, I've come a long way since' it's not really like that. We have a goal in mind and I'm trying to be the best version of myself every week. So, am I going to go into the game saying I want revenge and all this kind of stuff? It's not like that, so I'm just going to try to go do my job and be the best Brock that I can be for this team."

How much better of a quarterback do you think you are now than the guy who started that game?

"I think I've grown just mentally with this playbook, with the system, with just the guys that I'm playing with in terms of them knowing what they're going to get from me. I feel like at the time, I was still trying to find my way in the NFL and play consistent and prove to the guys that I can play. Now it's all about how can I be consistent, every single drive, every game and sort of being able to handle all the factors that come with playing quarterback, the noises, keeping guys calm, cool, collected, like that kind of stuff. So, I feel like in that game, or at that time, I don't know if I was that guy yet. I feel like that's a difference."

You have played in a lot of big games already, but this has been circled for 11 months. Does it feel like a bigger stage, more talk, like bigger than some of the other games you've played in?

"I guess people can make it like that. Really for us like I said, we're later in the year so every single game is huge in terms of going in the playoffs and setting yourself up for where you're going to be in the playoffs. So for us, that's how we're looking at it. That's how I'm looking at it. Yeah, it's going to be a tough place to play. They're a really good team. They've found ways to win this year and they're really good. So for us it's another great challenge. But to say, have I had this game circled for the last year? Honestly it hasn't been like that for me. It's been how can I be the best from the beginning of the season to where we are now. I've taken one day, one week at a time, and this is our next challenge, Week 13 in Philadelphia."

There's a chance for some rain on Sunday. You had a little bit of that in Cleveland. Was there anything from that experience that you took away that maybe you are adding to your preparation this week or things that you might want to do different if it does rain on Sunday?

"Yeah, I think sort of just going into it, like just being ready for obviously the rain. In Cleveland it sort of came out of nowhere in a sense, like mid-drive it started raining, so it was a little tough to deal with that one drive. But to maybe have a plan of if I need a glove, if I don't, if it's down pouring, if it's a slight rain, that'll just probably be one of those decisions once we get there and you see the weather and how it is right before the game starts, but those are things that I'll definitely be thinking about"

Have you worn a glove before?

"I have, yeah, in college."

Your My Cause My Cleats foundation this year is Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. How'd you get involved with them and what made that speak to you?

"I was just talking to my agent and sort of what I wanted to do and what avenues I wanted to help out. I feel like I've had a heart for orphans and orphanages and so we looked at some around the area and since I'm here in the Bay Area playing, I was like, let's do one here in the Silicon Valley. So chose them and want to help them out with what I can. So, after the game, do what I can to help raise awareness for their organization. It's a great nonprofit, so very thankful to be partnering up with them."

The media people I've talked to this week describing the dialogue around this game say that the Philly people feel like specifically you are the weak link. I know you say you play with a chip on your shoulder. Does that motivate you in any way that the perception is that you're the weak link?

"That's the first time I've heard that, so I don't really know exactly how I feel about that. They could think that, that's fine. Yeah, I don't really know. I'm playing quarterback for the 49ers and we have a good team. I'm just trying to do my job to help them win."

What are the benefits of wearing a glove? What do you like about it? What do you not like about?

"Yeah, I think if it's a down pouring rain, putting on a glove, I think for me at least, sort of just helps, obviously a little bit more tack on the ball and whatnot. If it's a light rain, I don't know if that's necessarily a necessity. I feel like I can grip the ball just as fine with or without a glove with a light rain. So, if it's down pouring, I feel like having something to help the hand sort of grip the ball, that's really the only difference."

A couple of your teammates do get involved with the back and forth with the Philadelphia Eagles. Do you kind of just sit back and kind of watch it go on or do you enjoy kind of the spice that your teammates have with that?

"I hear stuff around the facility just in terms of like [WR] Deebo [Samuel] said this, or whoever said this, and I get a laugh out of it and stuff. It's funny, but for myself it's like I said, it's another game for me. I have to be prepared to play football, make the right decisions consistently, handle the operation of the offense. So, that's where my mind has to be, not all the other stuff. I obviously don't get caught up in it. But, I think for Deebo or guys that have played the game for a while to have fun with it, like they can do them and I laugh about it when I hear it. But, I have a job that I have to do and that's just how I handle it."

What are your impressions of their defensive line and did you hear at all from Philadelphia Eagles LB Hassan Reddick after your injury by chance?

"No, I didn't hear it from him. I mean, it's just the game, how it goes, you get hurt and that's about it. But, in terms of their D-Line this year, they're still very good. Obviously we respect the heck out of them and what they do. I feel like it's the heart and soul of their defense, it starts with them and I feel like they can control the outcome of the pass game, the run game. They do it all. They're very explosive. They get off the ball really well. So, it's going to be a great challenge for us. I think probably the biggest challenge of the year."

What's Deebo been like in practice this week? What's the energy level been like from him in particular?

"I mean, Deebo has been Deebo. He's been at practice running routes, being explosive. He goes hard at practice and it's not like he picks and chooses games that he goes hard at practice. He's been himself and so he's not trying to turn on a switch and act like someone that he's not. He's Deebo. He's gone hard and so that's really been about it."

With Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and the tush push, do you say, 'I would really enjoy the opportunity to do that often' or do you like say, 'that looks horrendous?'

"I don't care if it looks horrendous. If you're that good at it, I mean, why not? But, they've done it. I don't know, they have that chemistry, with the O-Line, obviously Jalen, how strong he is as a quarterback, to be able to get one or two yards, they're consistent with it. I feel like it's something that they have down as a team. They do it really well. But for us, we have our ways with short yardage and we're slightly different in that, but we know that. We are who we are, so we're sticking to that."

Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks


Opening comments:

"It's been a while. It seems like it's been forever since we played on Thanksgiving. In regards to that, it was a great performance, but I must say that's not going to do anything to help us this week. We got a great opponent, NFC Champs, a good football team, well-coached, a lot of talent across the board. Probably the best offensive line that we've faced all year, and it starts up front with [Philadelphia Eagles OL Jason] Kelce. I consider him to be First Ballot Hall of Famer, outstanding player, and he really makes that show go upfront. Tremendous run game. Does a great job in protection as well. [Philadelphia Eagles RB D'Andre] Swift, their run game, as I just mentioned, is phenomenal, along with [Philadelphia QB Jalen] Hurts it's hard to stop. Then once you start talking about their outside threats with [Philadelphia Eagles WR A.J.] Brown and [Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta] Smith, tremendous threats down the field. They're great after the catch, making guys miss. So there's no question we're going to have our hands full this week. And with that, I'll take your questions."

You mentioned Jason Kelce, what is it that makes him so different and special at that position?

"Just his knowledge of the game. I don't know him personally, but I know that he spends a lot of time watching a lot of tape, really studying his opponent, listening to the TV copy, trying to get any opponents he can get for us, calls, adjustments and whatnot. He's just phenomenal in really putting them in the best position to be successful up front."

Is he the key to the brotherly shove play that they do?

"I don't know if he's the key. I know right now he's definitely a major component of it. Definitely hard to defend, based off what they do. I was talking to the coaches, the only way to defend it is to not allow those guys to get in that position."

Is there a way if you drew it up on paper, a tactic for stopping it? Would it be quickness from your interior linemen?

"I think that's a complete study with physics and dynamics and everything, to be quite honest, because it's about leverage, power and whatnot. They have leverage. They push and they're shoving. So I think it's real tough right here to limit that for as one yard. I know it's funny, but you can't allow them to get in that situation. We've got to try to find a way to win on first and second down. I mean, they operate off, I think he said, first-and-eight for them because it's automatically going forward on fourth down. If it's fourth-and- one, you approach fourth-and-two."

Because of that, knowing that if you get them in fourth-and-one or fourth-and-two they might still be going before. Do you have to approach third down?

"Well, I feel like anytime we can get them into fourth down, it's still encouraging. We still have an opportunity, regardless that we know that they're going for it. So it's something that we've talked about as a staff. It's something that we definitely have worked on. So I'm not going to concede that we can't stop it. We're going to be prepared and ready for it."

How has DB Deommodore Lenoir kind of grasp the challenge of going back and forth between the slot and outside and what's made him so successful at doing it?

"Well, I just think his ability, number one, going back in the spring is just number one showing us that he wants to do it. He has put the time and the effort in, a lot of things that I know you guys don't see. He spends a lot of time with [Defensive Backs] Coach Daniel Bullocks, extra meetings coming in and just really wanting to understand all the nuances of that inside nickel position. He's done a tremendous job with his run fits. That was one of the things that we wanted to make sure that he improved on from the spring. His ability to cover and play out in space. I mean, he's one of the best guys that we have that could do that. But in the run game, he's a linebacker and that's what he's improved."

You've got five really talented young defensive backs. How do you prepare them for this stage and this environment? Can you talk more about it this week?

"You know it's a cliche and it's funny, I just finished talking to the guys about it. We can't allow it to get in the way, whatever that it may be. I know it was snowing early this week. It could be snowing or raining this weekend. You can't make any excuses. The environment there is hostile, the crowd they've got great fans. That can't be an excuse. I feel like our players have rose to the occasion each and every time, particularly [CB Charvarius Ward] Mooney, those guys. [CB Ambry Thomas] stepped up. Seattle's a very tough place to play as well. I thought those guys handled that environment well. So it's not really about them. It's about keeping the focus on us and going to do what we need to do to win this football game."

What's unique about Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and what's the key to defending him?

"I think number one, just as a person, I don't know him personally, so don't take this the wrong way. I think he just shows a lot of poise, very confident. You can see that over the years and what he's been able to accomplish. He has a great command of that offense. As we've seen the last couple of weeks, he has the ability to never be out of it. He can bring those guys back. I think they do a great job in really putting him in a position to be successful. No slight to this offense because it's phenomenal, but it's a RPO, college type deal. So there's certain reads that they tell him to look for. That's why we've got to do a great job on the backend and not tipping those reads off."

How can you assess S Ji'Ayir Brown's first start?

"I thought Ji'Ayir did a great job. It was nothing glaring that I felt like he was out of place. Again, I felt confident with [S Tashaun] Gipson [Sr.] back there, along with [LB] Fred [Warner] and the guys that we surrounded him with, that he was going to do well. He's doing a great job with his communication. We saw that yesterday in practice, just being assertive in certain things on the backend. I feel very confident when I can hear and see that."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned that he thought DL Arik Armstead and DL Javon Hargrave have really started to work together much better. What have you seen from them since the Bye?

"Well, I see that they've got their legs back, they're fresh. They have completely, in my opinion, controlled the line of scrimmage the last couple of weeks. It's going to be a challenge this week, but that's the one thing that we talked about. We've got to do a great job inside with our tackles. I know you guys probably have talked to Hargrave, if you haven't already. I know he's excited about this game. But in the same token, it's just another game, you know? So we've got to go and do the things we've got to do upfront to be successful to help us win this game."

You had CB Charvarius Ward traveling with Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf last week. Haven't done that to my knowledge this season. How hard of a decision is that to make? How complicated is it? We did hear that general manager John Lynch and Kyle kind of had some input on that. How did it all work?

"Well, to be quite honest with you we talked about this back in the spring because we knew at some point in time that he was going to have to match up, and we started going left and right. Mooney came to my office probably about a month ago, talking about can he eventually get to that point? We looked at it against [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike] Evans against Tampa. We had the mindset of doing it. We talked a lot of part of the week, and they felt more comfortable staying left and right. That was our mindset going into it. When I first got here, watching cutups, that was one of the things that jumped out to me, was his complete domination of DK when they matched up. So that was something that we wanted to do all week. I think it was just a conversation, a miscue of what we wanted. He went out and got it done. So, I think he's fine and we'll see exactly where he is this week for us matching up."

What's your philosophy on having a spy against a running quarterback? Is that anything that you've done in the past?

"Yeah. I tried to advocate for 12 this week, but I didn't get that rule passed. But yeah, I think, anytime that, [Arizona Cardinals QB] Kyler Murray, [Baltimore Ravens QB] Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, you better have someone that's allocated for him because at any point in time he can win with his feet and make things happen. The great thing about him, he's not looking to run. He can escape, but his eyes will stay down the field and he's still trying to put the ball in the air."

Can you elaborate on Mooney, just getting to the point? What did you want to see from him to get to the point where he's following a receiver?

"It's not really anything I wanted to see. I just feel like he's one of our better cover guys. That's the reason why we paid him. That's the reason why he came here. He's stepped up to that responsibility. For him, like I said before a month ago, to come and ask me for that, it just shows me where he is and what he wants to do. So, I'm looking forward to once again, as we progress and move forward to see exactly what teams, is it this week or moving forward that he would match up again."

What makes A.J. Brown such a handful?

"Size, strength, his ability after the catch, he's just so strong. You put him in the class of the guys the last two weeks, DK and Evans, and very deceptive speed. As he gets down the field, he's a go-ball kind of guy, can create separation, and then at the point of attack, he's strong going up and trying to push you off to go get the ball. So again, great challenge for us this week."

Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Chris Foerster


What kind of challenge is it knowing you're going up against one of, if not the best defensive line in all of football?

"It's a great challenge. I mean, it's a great rush group, you're on the road with a silent count. Just a lot of things that go into it. We always have individual matchups every week. There's always a good rusher or two in every group. Every single guy across their front and even when they start rolling in second team guys, they can rush the passer really, really well. It's a real challenge. It's exciting to have that challenge. It's a great challenge. It's a challenge though. You really have to dig in and be ready to go."

What makes Philadelphia Eagles LB Haason Reddick a unique challenge?

"Speed. Yeah, Haason has a very, very great get off, great speed. He's got a real good ability to finish at the top of the pocket. A lot of guys can get the top of the pocket with speed, but it's really hard to turn and make that last turn to the quarterback and make the play and he can just keep running with great speed and make that turn at the top of the pocket, which is really, really good. And when you think, okay, I'm going to get out there and make sure he can't run around the corner, he can beat you inside. He's got a little bit of everything. He's really developed his game. It's really cool to watch a player that you really didn't give much mind to when he was in Arizona. And then all of a sudden as time's gone on, he just keeps working at his craft, working at his craft, and becomes this really elite pass rusher, which is really cool to see, for me anyway, to watch a guy develop. [OL] Colton [McKivitz] probably wishes he didn't develop quite as fast."

I know they have a three-four defense, but do they ever do any of the wide nine stuff that they've done in the past?

"Yeah, definitely. When they go to their nickel four down package. Really at the end of the day, those two guys, the outside linebackers really play like wide nines anyway. But when they get to the four down, it looks much more like our defense with a two-high and a three technique inside then the two guys that are the outside linebackers playing those end positions. So, it's very similar to what they've always done."

Haason Reddick is 240 pounds, but does he play like a bigger, stronger defensive lineman?

"He plays with great leverage. Both those guys do a really nice job of setting the edge with leverage, use their arm length, use their anchor. They can bend and sit down. They do a good job. Both those guys are good edge setters."

Is OL Jon Feliciano a upgrade from OL Spencer Burford? And if so, how is he the superior player?

"Right now, I'd say that everybody's graded about the same this season. There's a very fine line between all of them. So to say that one's an upgrade over another – they all bring something different to the table. All the guys that are in there. [T] Trent's [Williams] the only guy that kind is an outlier, cut above everybody else, as far as ability and the things he does. But when you look at the rest of the guys, you look at any given game and you can say, oh, this week Colton's better, this week Spencer's better, this week Jon's better, this week Trent, [C] Jake [Brendel]. We're all about the same. They all play well together. They work well together, and it's just what they bring to the table on a given week."

What does Feliciano do well?

"Jon's thing is, in pass protection, he's pretty reliable. His experience level is, I guess the thing that would be the most. He's been there, done that, played in the games, has experienced all the things, has played against these players that we're playing against this week, being in the division against them the last couple years. So, like I say, every week it's a different thing. So, Jon brings that experience level and I'd say his pass protection probably the thing he's probably doing the best job of right now."

Where is your offensive line, both individually and working together compared to what you hoped or expected they would be at this point in the season to where they actually are right now? Are you pleased with the way the offensive line is coming along?

"Yeah, I mean, I just say we're still trying to get better. We've been okay, we're productive. Offense has been productive in running the ball protection wise, but there's just so many things we can do better. We're just not there yet. We're a working progress. Each individual's getting a little bit better every week. That's the thing I did notice over the Bye Week and it's continued these last three weeks since the Bye that I did notice. It was incremental, it was small, but Spencer, Colton, Jake, [OL Aaron] Banks to a degree then he got hurt, you saw him getting better, even Trent. Trent has to get himself back into playing shape from early in the season as we go through the year, he gets better and better as the year goes on, as long as he stays healthy. So I think we're progressing and working to get better, but there's a lot to do. What I like seeing as group, is I do think they're beginning to work better as a group, as each week goes on. That's the thing that I hope continues. There's so many things that go into playing well together as a group, and it's not just line up next to the same guy. It's just understanding the concept of a play and understanding how the defense, how we apply our techniques and fundamentals to that play against this particular defense. And then having the guys being on the same page with it. That's the thing that's really exciting to watch as it goes on and as I've stated here before, you play football every day and we play six days a week or whatever it is, we get to practice and do all that we get to do and guys can get better. Our guys because of [Head Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and how we do things here, they're always working. We're always making sure that they have to work and when they work at it, they tend to get better if they have the ability to do it. So, it's been incremental – not there yet, not at all. I'm glad we have six regular season games left to see how we do, and this will be a great test to see where we are."

Along those lines, are you happy that this game's coming first week in December and not the middle of September?

"I'm good either way. [Laughs]. It's a tough opponent. They'd have been tough in September. They'd be tough in December. They're a really good opponent, good team."

What makes it tough to run on the Eagles defense?

"When we played Jacksonville, the thing that we commented on was that it wasn't like it was confusing. It wasn't like they had a bunch of crazy things to pick up and block. They just defeat blocks. They just are good players. The big guys inside get off blocks and make tackles, the edge setters set edges and get rid of the guys that are trying to block them on the edge and make tackles, the inside linebackers, although they've lost one of them, the more you study them, man, they're hard to get blocked on a second level. They do a good job of either running around or running over the top of, and making linemen miss them on the second level. They get to make tackles and they do a good job of not getting blocked. I guess that's what makes you pretty good on defense."

Philadelphia Eagles DT Jalen Carter does some amazing things. What do you see when you watch him?

"Well, the thing is, the run defense, and we just talked about it, how strong and physical the guys are up front. They do a good job of dealing with blockers and getting off blocks and making plays, but the explosiveness with which he can rush the passer. He's just got this tremendous explosion, this side-to-side movement, the way he gets into a guy and all of a sudden, bam, a quick movement. He's off the guy and in the quarterback's face, just tremendously explosive for a big man."



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