The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Denver Broncos in primetime for "Sunday Night Football." Here's what both teams had to say ahead of the Week 3 matchup:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on the growth of offensive lineman Aaron Banks:
"I've been real happy with him in these first two weeks. I think he took a step up in Week 1 from the preseason and I think he even took a greater step up in Week 2 compared to Week 1, so I thought he had one of our better games on offense and did a hell of a job."
Shanahan on facing a Russell Wilson-led offense:
"They've had two games, but he still looks like Russ, he can make a lot of plays at any time. They had a lot of opportunities and they just came up short. The times they did score were always with big plays that Russ made. He made a go-route that got him to the 2 yard line, a PI that got him to the two, they made a big go on third down. He made the fade throw to the tight end from like the 22 yard line. Russ makes plays and you can't fall asleep on him, no matter how much you hold him down or you hold their offense down, whether it's Seattle or whether it's Denver, Russ can change that game at any time."
Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on Nick Bosa's first season as a captain:
"Nick does a great job... Nick is one of our captains, one of our team leaders, not only by his play on the field, but also just by the person that he is and the respect that he has in the locker room. So just a great guy to have as a captain who truly leads by example."
Ryans on facing Wilson in Week 3:
"Russell is Russell. One thing about Russell is continuing to watch him, he still is great at - probably the best at - being able to extend plays. Guys are able to find that soft spot in the zone and he's able to hit defenses who are not quite on it and create explosive plays. So for us, that's one thing we've been harping on is just Russell is still Russell. He can make you pay if you're not on it. So we have great amount of respect for Russell and the player that he's been, the playmaking ability that he's been able to do throughout his entire career. He's still that guy. So we have to be on top of our game defensively or he'll make you pay."
Ryans on Talanoa Hufanga's gameday performances:
"Huf, he doesn't hesitate because of his preparation throughout the week. That's what allows him to light up on gameday. And that's the guy you see, that's just a culmination of all the prep that he's done in the background when no one's watching. You see that show up on gameday, just a guy who plays with his hair on fire. He's everywhere, all over the field. Making plays, probably everybody's favorite player, just because of the plays that he's making. And he's definitely a spark of energy for our entire team, just because of the way he's played these past two weeks."
Ryans on the elevation playing any kind of factor in the game:
"We try to rotate our guys already to keep them as fresh as possible and with the elevation that definitely plays a factor. So we will be rotating our guys just as normal and making sure everybody is fresh when they hit the field."
Ryans on preparing his defense for Wilson's hard count:
"You have to be aware of it and you have to understand that he is going to hard count you so you can't trigger on sound. That's how you prepare for it. You have to key the ball and when the ball is snapped, that's when you go. You can't trigger on sound. You can't relax at all with Russell because he's so great at the hard count and him being at home, he can use that to his advantage. So we are aware of that."
Ryans on Broncos nose tackle D.J. Jones:
"D.J. is a tremendous player. I loved working with D.J. for the past four or five years. Just working with him, he's a great guy off the field, really great guy and a really great player. The thing I think for our guys to prepare for him, they have to work together. Just understand nobody's out there by themselves. D.J., he may make a few plays, but we just have to make a few more plays than him. Try to keep him out of our backfield."
Ryans on defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw's progress:
"Kinlaw's been improving every week. What I see from Kinlaw is growth, it's steady growth, each and every week. He's doing a great job in the run game, playing with good pad level. He's doing a great job of affecting the quarterback when he does get there. He's doing a really good job of affecting throws by getting his hands up at the proper time to force an errant throw. So I'm happy where Kinlaw is going and it's exciting because I see him continuing to get better. That's the cool part about him. He's getting better and better. So, who knows what it'll be mid-season, end of the season, how good he'll be playing, but I think it's going to be really great for us."
Offensive line and run game coordinator Chris Foerster on the 49ers running backs unit:
"It's been rough at that position. Unfortunately, they've suffered some injuries to some guys, they'll all be back, but it's been tough. Those guys all work really, really hard. They come out there every week. They work to understand and they know with Kyle's system, the yards are there for guys, if you're willing to learn and to listen and to do what we're supposed to do and all the guys are doing it. Tevin Coleman is back and he has familiarity with Kyle, both from Atlanta and here. Marlon Mack has been here and he's obviously learning right now and going through that process."
Foerster on running back Jeff Wilson Jr.:
"Jeff's awesome. Jeff's one of my favorite guys on the football team... Jeff's just a wonderful guy. I remember at the end of 2020 and we played Arizona and they had everything to play for and we were really out of it. And Jeff Wilson just took that ball and pounded them. I love the way Jeff does it."
Foerster on Jordan Mason being RB2 for Sunday's contest:
"You don't know until they're playing. Mason showed some promise, that's why he made the football team. That's why he is here. Shows good things in practice, saw some nice runs in the preseason, so now we'll have to see when he gets in with live bullets. If it's "Sunday Night Football," bright lights, the whole nation watching, the whole league watching, let's see what happens."
Foerster on the O-line's Matchup on Sunday:
"Obviously, D.J.'s a great player. We have great respect for him as well as the other players on the interior of their defensive line, the challenges going on the road, the crowd noise, like I said, the bright lights all the attention, the focal point... It's going to be a challenge for them. It's always a challenge. It'll be a challenge all year long."
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the 49ers Faithful:
"Faithful, they've always been there. They're a fun fanbase to have behind you. They were loud on Sunday and we just love those guys."
Garoppolo on the Broncos defense:
"Very physical, they're physical up front, we know a couple guys over there, D.J. (Jones), K'Waun (Williams), great players and it goes across the board. They chase the ball. It's a well-coached defense, you can tell. And so it'll be tough for us, but it'll be a good test."
Garoppolo on playing against Wilson:
"He's a tremendous player, just a freak athlete. He makes plays that shouldn't be made, but he does it. He has that unique ability to extend the plays. I haven't really had much time to meet him off the field, but on the field, the dude is as competitive as it gets and it's fun to go against him, as weird as that sounds, it is."
Garoppolo on building chemistry with the newer pass catchers:
"It's been awesome. There's some good players out there, man. I'm not trying to pump anyone up too much, but some of those guys could fly. Ray-Ray McCloud III, not being a young guy, but just a new guy. He can move. Danny Gray can move, there's a lot of speed out there, so the chemistry's coming and it'll only get better."
Tight end George Kittle on getting back into practices:
"It's a breath of fresh air, honestly. It feels great to be back on the football field with the boys. I love our performance staff, they do a fantastic job getting us back together, but I'd be okay with not really seeing them for the rest of the season. To be back out there catching the football and actually putting pads on to hit people, it's fun."
Kittle on Garopplo coming back under center:
"Jimmy's ready to roll and you can feel that in the huddle. I appreciate that he's ready to go to work and you can feel it every day."
Head coach Nathaniel Hackett on how beneficial it is for him to have watched the 49ers play several times:
"I've seen the Niners quite a bit. They are a very, very good football team. They're unbelievably physical. They have some unbelievable playmakers on both sides of the ball. They are simple on defense, but they are almost perfect in their execution. They've been in the system for I think it's five or six years now with Shanahan. When you get that consistency, it allows players not to have to think and go play at a high level... I just see an all-around good football team and now Jimmy's (Garoppolo) there. He's played a lot of big games. He's been very successful. All the way back to 2017, when I was at Jacksonville, I remember going when he was there. I think that was his first year when he came in and won those games at the end. He's a real good football player, gets the ball out quick and they are a good football team."
Hackett on what makes the 49ers run game so special:
"First and foremost, they are unbelievably well coached. They know how to run off the ball and be able to be aggressive down the field at the same time with their run blocking. They are trying to get across the line of scrimmage, both in their inside zone and their outside zone. Then you add in all the different groupings, formations, shifts, motions, Deebo Samuel is in the backfield, all kinds of different people are in the backfield. I think they cause that consternation, as we like to say, along with that they execute at a high level and they are very well coached."
Hackett on what challenges they will face with the 49ers linebackers:
"All three backers are unbelievable. They are very good football players. Fred Warner, we all know how amazing he is. He is a physical player that plays downhill, understands his system and when those guys have been in the same system this long—any time you can have a group of players be within that, they get to play more, their athleticism, their ability starts showing even more. You see that with that group. Then you add in that they have played Russell a lot, so they know that there are a lot of things that he does. That's definitely an advantage for them, but it's something that we know they have that advantage, so we have to try and reverse it back on them. They are a very good group."
Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero on how the 49ers are able to run the ball so well consistently:
"They have good players, they have good coaches, they have a scheme with the outside zone and the complements off of it, which is really challenging. I think over the years, when you have familiarity with the same scheme and the same players are doing the same thing, they just really get to know it, and they get to master it. They've done a good job."
Evero on how unique of a challenge Samuel is:
"Oh yeah, he's tough. When he gets the ball in his hands, he's obviously a handful and they do a great job of moving him around to receiver, running back and motioning him. They try to make it tough to get a bead on him. But yeah, he's a very good football player."
Offensive coordinator Justin Outten on what kind of challenge Nick Bosa presents:
"Yeah, I'm hoping a shoelace breaks a couple of times in that game or he has to come out a few times, but he's a game wrecker. You have to account for him and you have to know where he is. They do a great job of flipping him around, especially in situational football. You have to be mindful of where he is."
Quarterback Russell Wilson on what challenge San Francisco's defense presents:
"Yeah, this football team that we're about to play in the 49ers, they play great football. They're championship pedigree. I think, obviously, Shanahan coaches them up really well. I've gotten to know him over the years, too. He's a brilliant mind. I think also when we talk about their leadership, you have a guy like Warner in the middle of the defense that's just flying around, making so many plays. I think he's one of the best in the business... He understands everything, he processes the defense, and he gets guys in the right spot. Obviously, you have Bosa coming off of the edge. He's a monster off of the edge. You get to play against these guys, and you just cherish these moments. You cherish the moments of playing against some all-time greats, and they definitely have those guys."
Linebacker Bradley Chubb on the challenge San Francisco's offense and 49ers tackle Trent Williams:
"We just look at it as an opportunity to get better. He's one of the best tackles to play the game. I look at it as a challenge when it comes down to those one-on-one matchups. I understand that this is where big boy football comes to play. They like to run the ball. As the front seven, we have to make sure we're stopping the run so that we can get to those pass opportunities and stuff like that. But for the most part, we just have to do our thing. We know what they present, what they bring. We just have to be able to match that intensity."
Chubb on what makes Williams so good:
"Just the savviness that he has. You see him on film, doing pass rush moves on guys—knocking hands off, knocking them on ground and stuff in the run game. He's just very athletic in pads. He has great feet. Like I said, one of the best tackles in the league so it's going to be a great challenge for us."
Chubb on if defensive tackle D.J. Jones is a resource for the team this week:
"Yeah, for sure. He lets us know what to look out for, what to see, tendencies that he picked up on while he was there. So, he's a big resource for us, for sure."