RE: No Win Monday?**
RE: Why is that?
"I feel that the day after the game, I'd like to see the players and I think that you have something to share with one another. You win a game, you want to come in. You just won the game the day before, you come in talk about it a little bit more, but other than that, bring them in, let them work out. Let them get the lactic acid out and kind of bond a bit. You have Tuesday off, so you can take all of that and we can talk little bit about the next opponent as well, so that's all."
RE: Sometimes on NFL Films, you see a victorious locker room after the game. The coach is giving a speech to the players after a win and they are waiting for him to say, "I'll see you on Wednesday," the whole locker room erupts because guys have Monday and Tuesday off. Do you ever think about that? Did Coach Ditka give you guys Monday and Tuesday off?
"You know, he may have, but I don't remember it. He may have and it's not to say that I wouldn't. It's just that I didn't think so right now."
RE: You guys had a big win two months ago against Detroit that preceded a six game losing streak. Is that something that you are thinking about?
"Not at all. [That] Has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's just a matter of, I feel I'd like to see the players the next day. I'd like the players to come in and talk about it. Who else are you going to talk to the win about? You can call mom, you can call dad, 'Hey we won the game,'…'Congratulations.' Your teammates the next day, you can come in, you can talk about it and laugh about it, watch it together, grow from it and put it behind you. So that's all."
RE: Do you think after a few weeks here you are able to finally, really put your stamp on this team and get it the way you want it to be done, rather than have it just carry over from what it was like for the first half of the season?
"I think more so than anything else, we want to have a team that is focused, we want to have a team that can enjoy one another, but at the same time, a day like Monday, you really don't have to go practice. You really don't have to…that's some down time, bonding time as well as looking at the film and kind of enjoying those moments and whatever you are going to do afterwards, knowing that the next day you don't have anything. But as far as me putting my stamp on the team, it's just, I just feel like they won. They want to win and they want to feel good about playing for the 49ers. So I'm just trying to do the things that I feel brings that to pass."
RE: You sort of touched on this a little bit yesterday, but can you talk about your philosophy on putting together an offense and defense that fit together that are on the same page during the course of the game and the course of the week and game planning? Is that important for you?
"It's very important. Anytime you try to build a team that team has to complement each other, just as in anything else. If you have an offense that really wants to score a lot of points, and you have a defense that really can't stop anybody a lot of times when you're trying to do a lot of things that also means you've got to give up the ball some. That puts your defense behind the eight ball. You're not looking at field position. If you have an offense that doesn't score a lot of points, then you have to have a defense that complements that. So I just think as you look around the league, the teams that have been successful they have to have offensive and defensive teams that really are built and are structured intentionally that way so that they can continue to complement each other. One strong, one weak. And then you have teams that I feel that you plan against them. I remember when I was playing, when we were going to play against a very different offensive team and the quarterback was really hot and everything else, I would talk to Jim McMahon and say, 'Hey, what are you guys thinking this week.' 'Well, Mike, we're thinking about throwing the ball. I think we can score some points.' Or, 'Hey, you know what? Help us out a bit over here.' And that's the way we talk. And it got back to the coordinators and we would talk to Coach Ditka and those things would happen, because we were thinking about winning and we weren't just thinking about stats. We were just thinking about just how good the defense could be. And it goes back and forth, but that's really when you begin to win. And that's what makes you begin to think as a family and a team. That's what it's all about."
RE: How much of this early part of your job is just figuring out exactly what the identity of the offense and the defense is on this team?
"Right now, as we go forward, we'll just continue to really look at what our formula might be. And that is protecting the football, and making sure that we're executing, making sure that we're dominant on both lines of scrimmage, offense and defense, and just continuing to move forward. Those are some of the things that we have to have in order to be successful. So it's identifying who we are and setting a game plan for that."
RE: Do think the offense and the defense complemented each other early on in the season?
"When I look back early on, there were some things that…my focus was different at that time. So I really don't want to go back and talk about what it was then. I just know what I'm trying to do now, and I think going forward is what's more important."
RE: Do you want the offensive and defensive players and coaches to talk more than they have been in the past?
"They've been doing a pretty good job with that. I think the offensive and defensive players do talk, and I think the coaches talk. It's just what you talk about. I think for me, I'm just trying to be more intentional about making sure that we're taking care of each other. Making sure that when we go in the game we're not thinking about, 'I've just got to do my job.' This is about the team. We have to go forward like that."
RE: You seem to have a little creative friction going with Mike Martz. Will that ultimately be productive and healthy for the team?
"When I look at Mike Martz, I'm really pleased with everything that he's doing. There's nothing that's an issue for me about him. We don't ever have an issue where I disagree and have a little argument over here. We don't have that. It's, 'Mike, I'm thinking about this.' Or 'What do you think about that?' Mainly, we're on the same page. There has been not even a creative glitch. Right now, it just works."
RE: A cynic might say, 'Well you didn't really beat the Rams, the Rams are pretty awful and your three wins are against opponents that have a 4-26 record, why should that give your team a reason for optimism, when you face a pretty tough stretch to finish off the season in the last six games?
"We won the game. It's hard to win a game in the NFL. I don't know about cynics. I really don't try to spend too much time around cynics. For me, we won the game. It's a game you should enjoy, but at the same time be focused and be ready for the next one, because one game is one game. We are trying to build something here and that's all I'm really thinking about. I'm not thinking about what a cynic might say or what anybody else – I really don't care. The most important thing for me is to stay focused on the team and where we are trying to go and what we are trying to do and build."
RE: Now that you've had a chance to sleep on this a little bit. I'm just curious, when you woke up this morning did you feel lighter? Did this imaginary weight of the team on your shoulders, was it a little bit lighter when you came in today?
"I never have the weight of the team on my shoulders. If I didn't have the coordinators that I have, if I didn't have the players with the great attitudes like they have and the work ethic, then maybe. But I just think that this morning when I got up, I was very thankful for the win, but I'm thinking about Dallas. I'm thinking about what we have to do today to begin to plan for that game and be prepared to go to Dallas and compete at the highest level and try to get a win."
RE: Mike, the first half of the season you guys gave up a lot of sacks at a record pace for awhile. Then the last two games it's slowed down. How much of that is the offensive line playing better and how much of it is just Shaun Hill getting the ball out quicker?
"I think it's a combination, I really do. I think it's a combination of things. I think it's a combination of the offensive line playing longer together. I think the continuity is better, the communication is better, because they've played longer together. They've played a few weeks together, a few games together and when that happens, you get in sync, which is extremely important. Then you get a quarterback and then you begin to understand where he's going to be, where is he going to step, is he more likely to step to the right or to the left? And that gives you a little better idea of where protection needs to be set. So I just think that it's a lot of little things that continues to get better week-in and week-out that brings sacks down."
RE: Does Mike Martz also play a role in that in the plays that he's calling for Shaun Hill?
"That helps as well, Yes. When you look at Shaun Hill versus J.T. [O'Sullivan] it's just a matter that there are certain things you would call, certain plays you would call for this quarterback that maybe a little different than the other, so that makes a difference as well."
RE: The 49ers scored 28 points in a quarter yesterday, that's the first time they've done that since 1991 against the [Chicago] Bears team that you played for. Do you remember that game? "I don't want to. Really I don't remember that game too well unless it was a Monday night [game] if that was a Monday night game than I'd remember it very well."
RE: Does that bring back some memories?
"Unfortunately, but it's kind of tough to remember. There were a couple of time that it happened out here, one too many."
RE: Any updates on the players who were injured yesterday?
"No, you had Michael Robinson had a little banged-up shoulder, I think he'll be fine. The other kid, the corner…"
RE: Tarrell Brown?
"Yes, Tarrell Brown went out. Yeah he went out for awhile. But just his neck is a little tight, but he should be okay. Let's see who else…"
RE: Michael Lewis?
"Michael Lewis went back in the game, if I'm not mistaken, and played. So I think that he'll be fine."
RE: What do you think of the hit that put him out for a little bit?
"I really didn't see it when it happened, but he just said that he got kicked inside of that knee and it bothered him a bit but when he came out. It scared us initially, but when he went back in he knew was doing okay."
RE: It seemed like a late hit, a dirty hit, by the Rams' tight end. Did you see that in the tape?
"Sometimes if the referee calls it, it's late. If he doesn't, then we don't worry about it."
RE: How's Josh Morgan?
"He's coming along. He's a little banged up still in the groin, but he's coming along."
RE: I've noticed that Mark Roman is back to wearing the [communication] receiver. I know you guys tried it with Patrick [Willis]:
"We had Patrick doing it. I think that Patrick was relieved of when we did that because there were so many things that the coaches were still trying to convey and the ball is about to be snapped. Mark Roman is trying to get the calls out, Patrick [Willis] was trying to relay it to Mark Roman and Mark was trying to get it out to the corners. It just wasn't getting there fast and on the back-end you can get beat just like that. We just thought that it would be better with all the communication going on in the back-end that Mark Roman would get it back and have the speaker in his helmet. And Patrick [Willis] would just control the front seven and that would be easier on [Joe Staley] who's not trying to turn around and relay messages when the ball is snapped and he's not ready."