View images of the key players on the NFC West Rival, Seattle Seahawks prior to the Week 3 matchup.
Following a 46-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers, Curtis Modkins and Jim O'Neil reviewed their respective sides of the ball on Wednesday and looked ahead to Sunday's NFC West clash against the Seattle Seahawks.
Here's what the San Francisco 49ers offensive and defensive coordinators had to say about the Week 3 matchup in Seattle.
49ers offensive coordinator Curtis ModkinsOpening comments:
"Obviously, coming off of the game Sunday, we were able to kind of get in, digest and learn and kind of figure out what went wrong, what we did well, what we can do better. Our guys have been receptive of that. Now we're looking forward to moving on to this one. This will be another challenge and that's the thing about this league is you don't have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself. You've got to move on to the next one. Our guys have done a good job of that and we're having a good meeting and we'll go out and have a good training session today. So, you guys have any questions? We'll go ahead."
What can you do better? What do you expect to do better?**
"Well, it's hard to beat anybody when you don't take care of the football. Obviously, you know, we had some turnovers. We gave them points. I thought our offense responded well off of their turnovers, but we have to handle that part of it. We had some mistakes that we've got to correct and our guys have, we're working at that. But, I think if we cannot have the things that we do to ourselves, those self-inflicted wounds that [head] coach [Chip] Kelly talks about, if we can eliminate those then we'll have a much better chance of winning on Sunday. So, that's the major thing is the things that we can control we have to control them."
So much was made of Chip Kelly's pace and how quickly the offense gets the snap off between plays. It seemed like Sunday you guys were working at a little bit slower pace. Was that a product of maybe the heat or was that something where you thought you maybe needed to get your defense a little bit more of a breather? Was that a conscious decision you guys made?
"No, I wouldn't say it's heat. You know, the thing about how we operate is, whatever the pace is, we control it. So, if we decide to go really fast, it's on us. If we decide to slow it down, it's on us. So, the tempo in this offense, whatever it is, we control it. Now, there's factors from week to week that we have to decide on. Whether we're going to really, really go fast or slow it down and those are week-to-week decisions based on our personnel, based on who we're playing. It has nothing to do with the heat, nothing to do with our defense."
Along the lines of that question, QB Blaine Gabbert was looking to the sideline a lot too. When you guys plan for that during the week, are you planning on him lining everyone up quickly and looking over there or is that an in-game adjustment you guys make?
"We have a couple deals where we will do that, but it's week-to-week. It's not something that it's, 'Hey, let's just decide to do it in the middle of the game.' We kind of plan those things out. It depends on who we're playing, what we got going that week. So, that's all that was."
How do you prepare for the noise in Seattle and did Carolina help you at all, did being in Carolina help you at all prepare?
"I think our preparation helps us. We practice with music going. So, we're used to practicing in an environment where it's not silent. Our guys handled it well. The noise is not an issue for us wherever we play."
49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil
"Obviously, not the outcome we wanted going down to Carolina, but I do think that there's a lot of very teachable moments that came out of that game and I think it's a great opportunity for us as a defense, us as a unit to grow and learn from those mistakes and make sure that they don't happen again. The one thing that I'm positive about is that the mistakes we made are very correctable, and I love how our players came to work today. They came to the meeting room notebooks opened. They were very willing to learn, to be coached and very determined to make sure that whatever mistakes happened in that game weren't going to happen to us again as a defense. Huge challenge this week going against Seattle. It's obviously the team that's had a lot of success in this league over the past few years. It's going to be a great challenge for us defensively again. Division opponent, so it'll be exciting."
Obviously, huge disparity from Week 1 to Week 2. Obviously there's a difference in opponent, but just statistically, opposite ends of the spectrum. At this point, do you have any sense of kind of what defense you have and is that still--?
"Yeah, I think that Week 1 a lot of things went our way. I thought we played good team defense. Our guys made a bunch of plays. Week 2, some things got away from us. We made some mistakes, but they made some plays too. You've got to tip your hat to them. [Carolina Panthers QB] Cam Newton threw some great balls. Their wide receivers went and made some plays. They had some good schematics in the run game. A lot of it we like to say was us, but some of it was them too. I don't think that, I'd like to hope that we're the defense that's more towards Week 1 than we were Week 2. That's what we all want to be. But, the thing that's great about this league is we've got a chance to go out this week and do it again."
How did you feel about your pass rush? Obviously Cam Newton stepped out of a couple situations where another quarterback might have been sacked. Do you feel pretty good about your pressure?**
"Yeah, I thought we had a couple opportunities to sack him. We had a couple free runners on third down where we generated some rush. I thought our guys at times did a good job pushing the pocket. Part of our game plan was we wanted to keep him in the pocket and if he was going to execute and beat us on plays, we wanted to have him do that inside the pocket versus getting out on us and making those background plays that he's done such a good job of. And again, I've got to give Cam credit, he threw some great balls from inside the pocket and the wideouts made some plays for him."
How do you take that though and apply it to a quarterback like Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson who's known just from scrambling more than anything? Does he have scramble tendencies that you can see on film?
"Well, I think it's a very similar situation. I think that Russell's not just a scrambling quarterback. I think he proved that last year in the second half of the year with his ability to stay in the pocket and throw the football on the executed drop back pass game. But, he still has the unbelievable ability to extend plays and make you pay downfield. So, every game plan is going to be different. We're not going to attack Russell the same way we attacked Cam, but there are definitely some similarities. It's a great question."
Going back to last season, this defense has given up 32 points per a game on the road and only 15 points per a game at home. How do you get the guys to play as well on the road as they have been playing at home?
"I don't know anything about last year. I know for us, it starts with our week in practice. We've got to have a great week of practice. Guys have to prepare themselves to win and then we've just got to go out and play good team defense. The thing I was proud of is, I don't want to say not as bad as that game went, we gave some stuff up but seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, our guys showed a lot of resiliency as far as fighting back into that game and it was a seven-point game. We caused a turnover, the offense kicks a field goal, then we get the touchdown on special teams or the fumble recovery. It's a seven-point game with seven minutes to go in that game. And then it was on us to go three-and-out when they got the ball on our side of the field. They made a play on third down and then they ended up getting a field goal, which made it a 10-point game, but we were right there with a pretty good football team with seven minutes to go. That's not what you want. You don't want moral victories. You want to win football games, but I was proud of how the guys fought all game and to me that showed a lot."* *
Seattle's offensive line, is that a unit you are looking to attack? They've had some struggles kind of out of the gate here.
"Well, I think they're going to get their right guard back and you know, they're a physical group. I'm still kind of evaluating the tape. It's been a pretty quick turnaround from Sunday to Tuesday. But, I wouldn't say that they're struggling as an offensive line group. I know that they haven't scored a lot of points, but they're moved the ball on people. So, again, I've got to watch it a little bit more before I can answer that question."