NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERSSUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOMESAN FRANCISCO 49ERS POSTGAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH
"I think when this is all said and done the players are the best ones to talk about this game because they are the ones that were out there and that was a real rough, tough, physical football game. I think both teams felt it and both teams have great respect for each other coming out of the game because it was a real physical football game. So I'll keep things short here because really the players are the best ones to describe this one. I am really proud of our guys for playing the way they did. It was a hard-fought, contested game and (I give) a lot of accolades to a lot of people."
(on Colin Kaepernick) "Colin played well and in a tough environment he acquitted himself very well."
(on Alex Smith being able to play today) "Yes, he was cleared yesterday."
(on getting Kaepernick prepared to play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and what adjustments were made for the noise level) "The biggest adjustment we made was just getting back into the huddle faster. As far as preparing for it, I thought he did a great job with managing the game, calling the game and moving the team in and out of the huddle. We were a little slow getting back to the huddle and I think that adjustment really helped us in speeding up the tempo."
(on if he was surprised the Saints ran the ball so much on first down knowing 49ers had such a strong rushing defense?) "I think they mixed it up pretty well and they had some success at times doing that. They have a very good running game, but big plays by the defense really swung the game for us, two interceptions for touchdowns. It was a great job by Ahmad (Brooks), it looked like he was shot out of a cannon after he intercepted that ball and Donte Whitner also did a great job getting that touchdown. We had good tackling again. I thought last week was our best tackling game and we'll see how this one shook out but it looked like we tackled well. They had some hard running backs and some elusive guys in space. Like I said, we have a lot of respect for the Saints."
(on the crowd's effect on third downs) "It was a big part of the game, third downs on both sides and I haven't looked at the statistics but I feel like we won those battles offensively on third down (offensively) and defensively. I thought we got the better of it on third down, and that is without seeing it statistically, just my intuition and watching it."
(on Kaepernick's ability to extend plays while being pressured) "I think he did a really nice job extending plays and we were kind of cut at the knees with penalties in the first half and they were resulting in some big plays. There were a couple throws that he made getting outside of the pocket, particularly one down the sideline to (Michael) Crabtree, Crabtree made a nice grab and run, big yardage we lost on that plus a penalty. And (there was) another conversion that stopped drives and we had converted on the play so you talk about stopping yourself. Colin and all the guys made some big plays that penalties hurt. Even the last touchdown that Frank (Gore) got was taken away by holding. We have some things to work on there."
(on Kaepernick's read option play) "He has a real knack for it. He has a special ability, honed it in college and has taken it to the pro level. He can cover ground real fast and he has an eye for making the read. He came with that ability. I take no credit for that one."
TE #85 VERNON DAVIS
"I think he (Colin Kaepernick) did a great job today. When I see him play, I see a playmaker. He has so much ability and he's always helping his team out. It's a difficult situation he's in, but he's doing great. I still think Alex (Smith) is the man. But it's the coaches' call and I am sure Coach Harbaugh will make the right decision.
QB #7 COLIN KAEPERNICK
(on the noise) "It was real loud at times and we had to work on communicating the plays early on to be effective. I had to audible a lot to communicate to the guys what we were doing. Other than that, the offense played the way it should."
"It's hard to play on a short week, but you have to grind it out like every other week. You've got to go out there and run your stuff. And no one is going to notice or care if you lost and it happened on a short week. It really doesn't matter."
(on his running touchdown) "It was a great read by the coaches and the guys made the blocks in front of me. All I had to do was run it in."
LB #55 AHMAD BROOKS
(on today's game) "We just wanted to have as much pressure as possible. We know Drew Brees is one of the top passers in the NFL and we just wanted to collapse the pocket as much as possible, and by doing that were able to get him off his mark a little bit. By closing the pocket and getting some hands in his face, we were able to get him off his game a little bit today."
"With us having those interceptions today for scores, that just shows you what kind of defense we have. With the guys we have you never really know which player is going to make the plays to make the difference in the games. This week it was me and Donte Whitner who make the big plays for our defense out there. An all 11 of us played great out there today.
LB #52 PATRICK WILLIS
"We knew coming into this game that they have a high-powered offense and we knew that we were going to be in for a fight out there. But we also knew that with their offense they throw a lot of balls in the air. But one thing we also knew is that they run the ball and they ran the ball well against us today."
"We know how good our defense is – especially coming off of last week's win against Chicago. It wouldn't have done us any good to come out here and not repeat the performance because we knew the Saints have a good offense. We know we gave up some yards, but when it counted, our defense held together and won the game for us
S #31 DONTE WHITNER
(on his interception return for a touchdown) "You have to give credit to Dashon (Goldson). He made a very physical play on (Marques) Colston. When you are physical on guys, they tend to not focus as much. So there it was – the ball tipped up and the only thing I told myself was to catch it and I just caught it and it was easy from then on.