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First Half Reflections: Ray McDonald

Posted Nov 4, 2010

Ray McDonald is having another productive season working in the 49ers rotation at defensive tackle. 49ers.com recently caught up with the fourth-year player to talk about his first-half highlights and second-half expectations.

Q: How many times have you watched your pick-six against the Carolina Panthers?
A: I saw it a couple times on film, but I haven’t watched it too much.

Q: Considering you’ve blocked two field goals, an extra point and even returned a fumble for a touchdown, was your first career interception your favorite play of your NFL career?
A: Yeah it was. I’m used to getting sacks and things like that, so to have an interception returned for a touchdown was big for me. It was a lot of fun.

Q: After the tough loss at Carolina the team stayed together and rallied for a win in London. What does that say about this group of guys?
A: It says a lot about our team. It shows that we stay focused on what we need to take care of no matter what happened the previous week. That was big for us to go into London, such an unfamiliar territory, and get that win against the Broncos.

Q: The 49ers are only two wins out of first place in the NFC West, can this team still win the division?
A: Anything can happen in the NFL, and it is a long season and we have a lot of games left to play. Five of those games will come against division opponents, so we’ll see how everything goes from here.

Q: What is the defense looking to improve upon in the second half of the year?
A: As a defense we want to get off the field more. That’s something we can control in the future, getting off the field on third down. If we can do that we can give our offense the ball and give them more opportunities to score.

Q: In your opinion, how well has fellow DT Justin Smith been playing this season?
A: Justin is ballin’ right now. He’s a great player, a Pro Bowl-player, and you know he is going to continue to play well in the second half of the season.

Q: Did you follow the San Francisco Giants this season and could you see the 49ers having a second-half surge the same way they did?
A: Of course, that’s what it is all about. It’s not how you started, but how you finish. They finished strong winning the World Series. As a team, we’re proud of them and we want to follow them. Hopefully we can get things going in the second half of the season and finish this thing the right way.

Q: What are your bye-week plans?
A: I’ll just be around here getting ready for the Rams.