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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Wilhoite: “Until we get better together, we’re not going to win any games”

Oct 5, 2016 at 10:21 AM--

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LB Michael Wilhoite joined the Damon Bruce Show on 95.7 The Game on Tuesday. Below is what he said while on the show.

On "next man up" in place of ILB NaVorro Bowman, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

"To have the first injury, I felt like – I was telling a couple of teammates the other day, a couple of young guys that have not been here real long – I was like, 'It was crazy.' Because when he got hurt the other day, he got up to walk off the field. I didn't even think twice. In my head, I thought, 'Alright, he'll be back.' And it's just because he's never been hurt. He doesn't get hurt. He got hurt the one time with the knee and now with this. But other than that, he never misses a game. He might go out a few snaps with something but he always comes back. It's just a comfortability thing. You know what I'm saying? He's just been there so long. We're all accustomed to hearing his voice, doing what he's thinking, what he's feeling. You know, of course it hurts the team but it's the next man up and you saw how Nick [Bellore] played all preseason. He was making plays all over the field. You saw what he did when he came in the game a little bit against Seattle. So, the proof is in the pudding and I think he's proved himself so I'm excited to play with him and see and get out there and roam the field for 60 minutes with him."

On how the team is holding together after another tough loss.

"I think the best thing about it is we have a short week right now. So the focus isn't even on that. I don't think we've changed our attitude. I don't think anybody is saying anything negative. I don't think we've been uptight or anything like that. I think everything's been the same. That's how I feel. I feel like we're ready to play football. I think we have no choice but to be ready to play football. I think we're excited about going out there and putting on a show on Thursday Night Football and show that we're a better team than we've shown early in the season. But that is the best thing about it. It's early in the season and we can rectify those things and get better each and every day and start racking up some wins."

Is the team still fully invested in Blaine Gabbert?

"Yeah. I haven't heard any rumblings or anybody saying anything negative about the quarterback. I think everybody has to understand that everybody has to get better at their own job. Obviously we're not winning these games we're not winning them – some of them are close, some of them don't look good for anybody at any position on the field. I think everybody's worried about themselves. I know in my head, I don't know anything that Blaine has done or anybody on offense has done. I haven't done my job perfect whether it be on special teams or defense. So, until I do my job, and I think everybody has that mentality, we all have to get better together. Until we get better together, we're not going to win any games. I think that's what everybody's focused on and that's the end goal. Everybody get better together and everybody going out, doing their job, and making plays when the opportunities come, and we win these games."

Does Colin Kaepernick look terrible in practice?

"See, that's what's so funny is that you start off that question by saying 'I'm sure you see the offense.' But see, I don't because we practice against Christian Ponder and when Colin and Blaine are getting reps, the defense is walking through stuff with coaches or talking to each other about the next rack of plays that we have to do. So I don't see either of those guys at practice. Like I said from the beginning, I don't know what either of them are doing. I don't know how good either of them are right now. I know that I haven't done my job to the best of my abilities. I know nobody on that field has and that reflects the 1-3 record. So everybody has to get better and it's not saying we can't be better this week and we can't be better Thursday, we can't be better going into next Sunday. You know, we get some time off. We just got to keep focusing on our own jobs each and every day and get better together like I said."

How are you going to prevent Arizona from being the next team that gets right against the 49ers?

"I think that the main concern with Arizona is the same concern that we've always had with them. They have an explosive skill set. They have a lot of great receivers, starting with Larry [Fitzgerald] all the way down to John Brown and with [Michael] Floyd and J. J. Nelson. They got the running back 31 (Davis Johnson). They got the running back 38 (Andre Ellington). Tight end [Jermaine] Gresham 84. All these guys can play ball and have proven themselves, I think the past two years when they were in the playoffs, deep in the playoffs, and were one win away from going to the show. I think up and down the board, they're just a good team and we got to be prepared to come in here and handle whatever they come with. Like I said, it's a short week so we got to stick to our guns and our rules and play ball and be focused and communicate and go out there and play good football."

How is preparing for a game this year, under Chip Kelly, different than last year?

"I think each player's daily activities are similar. I think you have practice, you have meetings, you go home, you get treatment, you get massages, see chiropractors. Your daily activity should be the same. Your work ethic has got to always be the same. I think that's it really. I don't think it's any different. I think maybe the schedule might be different or the length of practice might be different or the length of a meeting might be different, but for the most part, it's the same type of feel. Football is football. You got to go out there and do the same thing regardless of who's the coach. That's make plays, get off blocks, make tackles, read your underkeys, play smart, know the down and distance, know the formation, know the personnel. That's football."

You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.

The team prepares to host the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday with kickoff at 5:25 PM.

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