Following back-to-back road victories, the San Francisco 49ers return home to host the Tennessee Titans in Week 15. Instead of returning to Nashville after a 12-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Titans remained on the West Coast on the campus of Arizona State University to prepare for San Francisco.
Here's what the Titans are saying ahead of Sunday.
Head Coach Mike Mularkey on practicing in Arizona compared to Nashville:
"I think it's good. Obviously, the weather is helpful. Being on the grass, I think there was a chance we were going to have to go in and be on turf possibly in Nashville. I was just worried about that, if we don't have to. Obviously, saving that travel time this weekend will be a bonus. I think it's been good. We've gotten a lot of work done. Our guys can spend some more time studying up on the opponent, they can spend some more time in the spa and using the hot tubs and everything available to them to recover. It's been a good experience."Mularkey on how the 49ers have looked in the second half of the season:
"Well they look better because I think they're gaining more confidence with the quarterback change. For sure in the last two games, you look at the effectiveness of their offense is trickling to the other phases. The defense is playing off of their offense possessing the football. Especially with the quarterback change, it's affected their team pretty well."Mularkey on the effectiveness of Pierre Garçon:
"He's a one-man wrecking crew if you let him be. I think they're very good at how they go about trying to get him the football. He's a really good football player. Obviously, we know they're going to get the ball to him, we've got to do our best to stop him, whichever way that is."Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau game planning for Jimmy Garoppolo:
"We do have enough video on him. We've got four games of him playing. He started two games for New England. We've seen him. We know he's accurate and quick. He hasn't lost yet. And that's one of our objectives, to put that first loss on is record.
"He gets rid of the ball quick. He's very athletic in the pocket and can buy enough time to get the guy coming open in quick-type routes. His deep balls, they go 50-55 yards. So, he's got plenty of arm strength. But mostly it's his accuracy on the quick throw."LeBeau on Shanahan's coaching style:
"He's going to run his offense. Over the years I've had a lot of meetings with his dad. I see a lot of his dad in what he's doing. They're excellent offense coaches. You're going to have to stop them. They're not going to stop themselves."LeBeau on what Hyde brings to the 49ers offense:
"He's a really good all-around back. And he's perfect for what they want to do. They want to run the ball and take a play action bootleg off of it and they have a good quarterback to do all of that. I can't imagine too many backs that would fit what they want to do any better than him. He's also leading their team in catching the ball. So, he's a dual threat, and is really, really a fine football player."QB Marcus Mariota on the 49ers recent success:
"They're definitely playing at a high level. They've won, I think, three of their last four. On both sides of the ball and even on special teams, they're finding ways to win the game. And I think we've got our work cut out for us. But we've just got to find ways to execute and be better."Mariota on the Titans back-to-back road games against NFC West opponents:
"It doesn't matter who we're playing, it's a faceless opponent. What we can do is learn from what happened the previous week and get better and from there hopefully improve and get a win on the next Sunday."RB DeMarco Murray on bouncing back from the Titans Week 14 loss:
"That's all you've got to think about is the 49ers. It's one game. You can't look past this team. You can't look past any game. I think we've done a great job all year focusing and honing in on the job. We know what's at stake. We're not looking past this team, and we're not worried about any other teams. We can control our own destiny just by taking care of this one game."TE Delanie Walker on returning to the Bay area:
"It always feels good to go back to the Bay. It's where I started my career at. It means a lot to me. Especially knowing they gave me an opportunity by drafting me. I'm always excited to play in the Bay."Walker on facing defenses similar to the 49ers:
"It's similar to Jacksonville and Seattle. Their D-coordinator comes from that type of style of defense. Being we played against Seattle and we played against Jacksonville, we know they have some similar traits. But again, these coaches are new, we don't know too much about them. So, we're going to have to see what they give us when we get into the game."Walker on the 49ers late-season turnaround:
"They're actually playing very well. Jimmy is a good quarterback and you can see it. He manages the game well. And I think that was the best thing for the organization to play him and he's doing a great job. The defense is playing fast and you can see them being explosive and really trying to help their offense by getting other offenses off of the field. It's going to be a big key for our offense this week in being able to sustain drives move the ball and put points on the board. That's going to be the biggest key for us to be explosive against the 49ers."
Walker on rookie linebacker Reuben Foster:
"He's all over the field. The guy's explosive, very powerful. He has an eye for the ball, always around it. We're going to have to make sure we keep an eye on him. But I'm not sure how much he's going to cover me. I really think that's a mismatch if he's trying to cover me. I'm thinking that they may have a DB or an extra nickel or someone come in and try cover me. That's just me being honest with you."Walker on preparing for the 49ers:
"They've been explosive. They want to win. You can see it in their style of play and how they're finishing games. They want to win and I think they feel like they need to win for Jimmy to give him that confidence to say that this team can win games. And that's what they've been doing so far. He's coming in and you can see him being true leader even though he came in in the middle of the season. But I see him as a leader on that team the way they've been performing. I think they're on the rise. If we take them lightly, they will beat us. So, we've got to go out there not looking at their record but looking at their style of play."LB Wesley Woodyard on the impact of Garoppolo:
"I think with the addition of Garoppolo coming there and making a huge change in their franchise, they're doing some good things. Hyde is making some plays. So, we've just got to make sure we nut up and play a sound game."CB Logan Ryan on facing a former teammate in Garoppolo:
"Jimmy is a cool dude. He is poised beyond his years, and he played like that in his two starts so far. He's undefeated, and he's not afraid of the moment.
"What stands out is the way he handles pressure, and he has a quick release. He usually knows where he is going to go with the ball. It is hard to get him flustered."