To pounce on or pick up – that is the question.
Tarell Brown, the 49ers starting cornerback, responded quickly on Sunday in San Francisco's season-opening win over visiting Green Bay.
"I just saw it and jumped on it," Brown said Tuesday of the first regular-season fumble recovery in his seven-year career. "I was thinking about picking it up, but I felt like we were so close to our end zone that I'd just jump on it. Anytime you give the ball back to our offense, with so many explosive guys making plays, it's always a positive."
Brown found himself in the right place at the right time.
Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman had poked the pigskin free from Packers running back Eddie Lacy. With Green Bay wideout Jordy Nelson on his back, Brown's decision was made for him.
He fell on the ball at the 14-yard line. Five players later, including the now infamous Joe Staley-Clay Matthews scrum, the 49ers took a 14-7 lead on Colin Kaepernick's 10-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin.
But it's not the decision Brown would make in all cases, though he's now made it twice in a row in two games. Jogging your memory: Brown covered up a fumble with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter of last year's Super Bowl, when he tackled and stole the ball from Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice in one fell swoop.
"If it's close enough to where you can scoop it clean and get into the end zone, then cool, do that," Brown said. "I don't think I had enough time (against the Packers). I felt a guy behind me, so I just made the decision I could."
The play represented one of the team's two turnovers on Sunday. Fellow defensive back Eric Reid, the rookie safety, picked off Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. So it reasons to ask: How does an interception compare with a fumble recovery in Brown's eyes?
"It doesn't compare at all," Brown said, preferring to catch a mid-flight ball from an opposing signal-caller. "But at the end of the day, it's a turnover."
Brown has 11 picks to his name. He'd surely like to make it a dozen this coming Sunday.
Tuesday was too early in the week for Brown too get specific on his game plan for his next opponent, Seattle, or which Seahawks receiver he might be covering. He and the 49ers players had the day off Monday and will be back to work Wednesday.
Of his mindset entering Week 2, Brown is sure of one thing.
"Make plays that come to me," he said. "That's all I can do."