The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they look for their sixth-straight win. Here's what both teams had to say ahead of the Week 14 matchup:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on the challenge rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has going against Tampa Bay's defense:
"He's got a huge challenge. (Buccaneers head coach) Todd Bowles alone, but also the talent they have over there. They stop the run as good as anybody in this league. They've been doing that for a number of years. They're extremely good in their coverages because they can do anything that they want. They're good in man, they have all the blitzes, so Todd's probably going to throw everything at us and what works, he'll keep doing it until we figure out how to do it better back."
Shanahan on Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady:
"Tom, he plays the position better than anyone ever and he's definitely the G.O.A.T. from what I've seen, but I don't say that just because he has won Super Bowls. I say it because of how he plays the position. The ball always goes to the right spot and that answer is based off of a thousand different things that could be matchups, it could be the coverage, it could be based off of down and distance, the time in the game, how the defense is playing. If you just watch him throughout his whole life and you see him make a decision and you see him make a different decision in the second quarter, he just has command of the game and knows how to win it and what it takes, whatever that is. He's kind of flawless in his technique, how he gets everyone the ball and he's done that his whole career, but his throwing mechanics, they only get better each year, so I feel like his arm's stronger now than it was 10 years ago and his legs moved just as good as they did 10 years ago. They weren't great then, but he's extremely efficient and quick in the pocket and knows where to look and knows where to get the ball to and he's still the best to play."
Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on preparing the 49ers defense to play against Brady:
"It's a really tough challenge. Preparing for the best quarterback to ever play the game and it's a challenge that our guys are really looking forward to. It's one that guys won't get much in their careers to go against the best and to kind of see where you are against the best to do it. It's a really cool challenge for our guys and we're all excited about it."
Ryans on preparing for Tampa Bay's urgency on offense:
"We're anticipating that the hurry up will come sooner in the game than just the final minutes of the game. That's where you see their offense thrive the most, when Brady is able to control it and he's able to run it from the line of scrimmage, that's where they look the most efficient. For us, seeing that on tape, we have to anticipate that. Man, they can jump into no huddle right in the first quarter and our guys, we've been preparing for that and our guys understand that. We talked about it and we'll be ready for it."
Offensive line and run game coordinator Chris Foerster on Buccaneers defensive lineman Vita Vea:
"He's a really good player. He is talented, he's a big man. He can really push the pocket. He plays the run very well. I've respected him for a long time. He's got a good game and I say my job is to try to help those guys inside Jake Brendel, Daniel Brunskill, Spencer Burford, Aaron Banks. They all have to do a good job, be ready to go, understand the challenges and what we have to do to help our guys be successful against him. If you spend the whole day one-on-one with Vita Vea, he's a big, talented guy. He's bigger than almost everybody else that plays the game and he's going to make a difference in the outcome if you let him."
Quarterback Brock Purdy on playing against a Brady-led Buccaneers team:
"It's awesome in terms of Tom Brady coming and playing and playing his team, but at the same time, I'm playing the defense. I'm going up against those guys rather than Tom himself, but definitely still awesome to have Tom Brady come and play on the same field and compete against our team. I think it's awesome, so really excited about it."
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles on Purdy:
"I don't know a lot about him – I had seen part of a game at Iowa State once before. Just watching film on him, he's got a lot of moxie and knows where to go with the football. He's a dangerous guy because he can run and he can throw the ball. It looks like he plays a lot better when you speed him up – he plays even smarter and even faster. He does a good job and he's got a lot of weapons around him. He practices against a great defense every day so I'm sure he'll be ready."
Bowles on the 49ers defense:
"They play hard, number one. I think DeMeco does a great job getting them ready to play hard. Kris Kocurek does a great job with the D-line. Very fundamentally sound in the secondary and at linebacker – they can see things, they zone off well, they do a good job punching at the football. They can get pressure with four or five guys – I think if you can get pressure with four guys, that helps out your coverage immensely. They do a good job at all of that."
Bowles on 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey:
"He's been a great receiver out of the backfield – he was like that in Carolina. He can do both (receiving and rushing) equally well. That's the thing about him – he can do a lot of things. Him, Deebo Samuel, Alvin Kamara – all those guys can do a lot of things equally well. They can run routes like wideouts, they have great hands, and they can run the football."
Buccaneers safety Logan Ryan on McCaffery's versatility:
"He's always been one of the best running backs with his versatility and ability to catch the ball. They use Deebo Samuel the same way – he runs routes, but he goes in the backfield, so they're really interchangeable players. You've got Brandon Aiyuk, who's a great route runner, you've got Kyle Juszczyk, who's the best fullback in the game, you've got George Kittle who's a blocker and a pass catcher. So, I think what you see is that they have a lot of good football players on their team, they're all versatile and they use them interchangeably and we've got to be good, our skilled players on defense need to be good tacklers, need to be good football players as well – our secondary and our backers. So, that's really where the matchup is – the D-line and O-line have to have their matchup as well."
Buccaneers running back Rachaad White on facing San Francisco's formidable defense:
"I mean just watching film, just seeing the things, going over the plays we've got, we feel like we've got a good chance of doing our job – that's the big focus. But, just going up against their defense, we know what they come with. We know what they are – the No. 1 defense in the league and they're going to challenge us, come up on us, and we're just ready to accept the challenge. We've got no choice, just sitting where we are – what's in front of us and what we're trying to accomplish as a team. We know what they bring, and they've got a lot of good, great guys up front. They have four pass rushers plus more, they come off the bench, substitute, I mean, the backers are in the box and then back in. You know what they can do, they compete, high-effort team and they're going to keep coming, so we've got to keep pressure."
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady on visiting 49ers games at Candlestick Park in his childhood:
"We'd sit up there in the nosebleeds. We had four tickets – my mom and dad would go, I would usually go and then one of my sisters would go. I was lucky to grow up in the Bay Area at that time. It was just a great time. There were so many great players, it was a great era of football and I loved the 49ers."
Brady on the last time he played at Levi's® Stadium:
"We had a really good football team and I had a lot of friends and family in the crowd. I ran out for pregame warmup and I remember Chip Kelly coming over, and he was like, 'Damn, it's a home game for you,' and it really was."