The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Seattle Seahawks for their home opener at Levi's® Stadium on Sunday. Here's what both teams had to say ahead of the Week 2 divisional matchup:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on the depth of the running backs unit:
"We've always been comfortable with Jeff Wilson Jr. just because of his experience and what he has done here. We know what we're going to get. The other two guys, they made our team for a reason. They're two talented players who we think can help us a lot running the ball, but they have to grow up fast. They're trying to compete and learn how to play better without the ball in their hand. With injuries, they're going to have more opportunities to get some carries, but they have to grow up and get this experience while on the run. So a lot more pressure will be on those guys and we're going to have to pick it up as a group to help them out."
Shanahan on tight end George Kittle's progress:
"He's made a lot of progress, so hopefully we'll have better luck this week."
"Yeah, I like their style of running, both of them. I think they're very similar. They don't mess around. They get downhill. Two types of styles that we need and that we like, but there's a lot more to playing football with us than just running with the ball."
Shanahan on Wilson Jr.:
"Jeff is such a good football player, anything that we ask him to he does, whether it's our third-down back, whether it's playing the fullback role when our wideouts have the ball, in the pass game, in the run game. He's been a starter for us and Jeff, he's just a very reliable guy. When Jeff's healthy and able to stay fresh, he can play at a high level and he's one of the guys that we trust as much as anyone around here."
Shanahan on watching Seattle's Week 1 game:
"They were ready to go. I think everyone felt that just through the TV, on both sides, that stadium was as energetic as I've felt anything. It was actually a fun game to watch for fans, but they looked like they always do. They're going to play really hard. They're going to run around. They're going to hit. They're coached very well. They've got a bunch of talent on their team and it didn't surprise me how they looked."
Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on how the defense is preparing for the Seahawks:
"(Seahawks quarterback) Geno (Smith) was was successful. Yeah, I think they set it up for him where he can make some quick reads. He gets the ball out on time. Does a good job of going through his progressions, he's a veteran quarterback, who's done it for a while. We have high respect for Geno and what he can do with that offense and the way they play. They play the game the right way. They run the ball well. They play good defense, good special teams. They surround Geno with good players, so we have to do our part on Sunday. We have to finish. That's one thing we didn't do this past Sunday, we didn't finish. We had opportunities to close that game out and defensively, we didn't get the job done. So, for us, the thing coming in is, 'How much better can we play? How can we help support our team and put us in position to win the game?'"
Ryans on defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw's progress:
"I notice a huge difference in just how he's moving around. His demeanor, he's in a really great space and he's playing well for us and he's moving around well. He's not worried about injuries. Anytime you can get some stuff off your plate, mentally, you're not worried about injuries. You're not worried about rehabbing. Now you have time to focus on really getting better as a player and that's where Kinlaw is. His focus is in the right place and you see his game improving each week."
Run game and offensive line coordinator Chris Foerster on the 49ers rookie running backs:
"Well, they've been working real hard out there the last couple days. Watching them run, they've been really working hard to get it and to pick everything up and to do things the right way. And like we've talked about with my guys, we've had a lot of conversations about the process of getting ready to play and then actually playing in the game and what happens when you play. So with them, there's always going to be a learning curve with every young player, but boy, they've worked really hard this week and they look good."
Foerster on the threat of having a running quarterback:
"It adds a layer for them to have to work on, that's really the best way to say it. Everybody's got an answer for it and everybody's seen it enough now, but you can tell the effects. It lets other plays occur because of the threat of a running quarterback, you play off of how they're going to play your running quarterback when that time comes."
Foerster on the Seahawks defensive line:
"They are good players. They're really hard to block. They do a good job at defending and defeating blocks. They've been coaching them really well up there for a long time. Even though the scheme has changed slightly, those big guys are still in there, man. And they do a heck of a job. It's always a challenge. When I turn on the film, I keep wishing that they'd be gone somewhere else, but they just take up the whole space on the film and my guys have to get out there and compete and do a good job against them. They're an impressive group and they're always a challenge."
Quarterback Trey Lance on Seattle's defense:
"They play fast, a little bit different schematically, but stout interior D-line, linebackers play fast and (Seahawks FS Quandre) Diggs is still one of the best safeties in the game."
Offensive lineman Jake Brendel on the Seahawks defensive line:
"They're a fast and physical group so we're definitely gonna have to bring it on Sunday, and I feel like we have a good plan and we're just going to execute."
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead on playing at Levi's® Stadium:
"I have a lot of excitement to get in front of our fans and get it going… It's gonna be a lot of fun."
Armstead on the team having a sense of urgency in Week 2:
"Playing against a division rival and definitely don't want to go 0-2, there will be an even more increased sense of urgency."
Wide receiver Jauan Jennings on what a win would mean for the team:
"It'll mean a lot to have them come in our house and have us take care of business."
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on playing the 49ers on the road:
"It's a big opportunity for us to get on the road, and I know division games are crucially important throughout the season and all that but this is that next shot that we have and it wouldn't really matter who it was, but it happens to be the Niners. It's a team that we're obviously very familiar with. We have tremendous respect for these guys. They've had some great teams and we've battled with these guys for years, the coaching staff and all of them. We take this with the highest of regard."
Carroll on Lance:
"He's a very versatile athlete. They know what they got, he ran them all 13 times in the game so they're using him. It's a major concern, he's really effective getting the ball down the field. He's had some big plays all throughout his time playing. He had a couple big ones in this last week, so we understand this guy and respect him at this point and we know that he's very dangerous and he makes a lot of guys effective in the game because he's such a threat. So, we have to deal with that."
Carroll on the 49ers run game:
"Their commitment to it and what Kyle does with the running game and what they've done over the years, it has been really impressive because they've always been able to run the football well. That commitment I love to see, that's part of their makeup – the big variety of runs. They have a bunch of style to them with Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk, they just give you so much freedom to do so many things that it's really challenging and they're hard to defend in the running game. I don't know what's going to happen with Kittle, I don't know if he's going or not, but we're going to anticipate that he is and that just poses a lot of issues for us."
Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt on the threat of a running quarterback:
"With all the read option and things of that nature, it forces you to be really disciplined. But the one thing about San Francisco is that they're a physical football team. Not only do you have to match the schematic part of it and be responsible for your job in the run game, but also you need to match the physicality. So, that's why I've always loved playing the Niners for that reason, it's a physical matchup."
Hurtt on what he expects from Sunday's matchup:
"It's going to be a slugfest. Both teams that love to run the football, teams that play hard, fly around and want to hit you. It's going to be like that for 60 minutes and it's always a super competitive game. I enjoy these ones, I have a lot of respect for the organization and what they do."
Hurtt on what what makes 49ers left tackle Trent Williams unique:
"Trent's unique because of his athleticism, quickness and agility. As a big offensive lineman, they can do some stuff like that (putting Williams in motion)."
Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith on the 49ers defense:
"They have a great front seven, they have a great defense overall. The test for us on offense is going to be our offensive line. They're going to test our running backs and protections. For us it's doing what we we do best, controlling what we can control and playing our game but also being mindful that they do have a lot of great guys on that side."
Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu on defending the 49ers run game:
"It's the number one task. You don't win in this league unless you stop the run and the way that San Francisco runs the ball and how they've got all these different motions and different looks and different shifts, you've got to be on top of your game. That's what we preach going into this week and that's one thing that we've been practicing really hard."
Nwosu on defending Lance:
"The key factor that goes into that is just discipline. They've got a lot of shifts and motions and Lance is a big dude with a big arm that can run. Having good discipline and making sure you're on your assignments and keys and making sure you do your job, that's gonna be the big point."
Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf on the 49ers urgency to win:
"The 49ers and their defense, I know they're coming off a loss against the Chicago Bears, which a lot of people are surprised about, but they're going to come in hungry and ready to get a win under their belt. It's our job to not let that happen and to keep our momentum moving forward."
Metcalf on the 49ers defense:
"They mix it up a little bit. I know they have two vet corners, Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward and one young guy in the secondary. But their D-line is hungry. They're going to shoot up the field fast and hard. Nick Bosa is one of the best defensive linemen in the league right now, so taking care of him is going to be crucial to start every play."
Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks on wide receiver Deebo Samuel:
"He's just an athlete. He's a great athlete, he could play any position. I respect him as a player and it's fun to play against guys that do a lot of different things. I'm ready for the matchup."