What the 49ers Said after 17-16 Victory over the Atlanta Falcons

The quote sheet is here.

Take a look at what key members of the San Francisco 49ers said about Sunday's, 17-16, home victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

S JAQUISKI TARTT

What was the plan going into the game?

"We tried to keep our eye on [Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones]. The running back [Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman], obviously he's their leading rusher. They're a good team so we wanted to go out and play our defense that we always play." 

With each game are you getting a little more comfortable and knowing where everything is coming at you?

"Yeah I can say that, but I always keep making rookie mistakes. I've got to eliminate those and I'll be good."

Having the offense score some points and move the ball, do you guys as a defense feed off of that a little bit?

"Most definitely. If the offense can put points on the board it allows the defense to rest. It helped out a lot." 

I know you guys were obviously looking at Jones a lot but what about [49ers CB Marcus] Cromartie and the job he did? It seemed like he was matched up on him a lot.

"Yeah, he's a hell of a player. He did a great job. He did everything the coaches asked him to do and he was successful."

TE GARRETT CELEK

What about your chemistry with QB Blaine Gabbert? He put it on the money and you had some nice moves in the end zone.

"Yeah, Blaine is a good quarterback. I just happened to be open and he found me and I got the ball."

What do you think it says about Blaine Gabbert that people might not have known?

"I mean, with him not playing the whole year and then to step in like this and do what he did, I think he's a really good player and he's a tough guy." 

But, it wasn't just Blaine. It was also RB Shaun Draughn and RB Pierre Thomas, too.

"Yeah, that's a good point. 24, man, that guy, he's fast. To come in this week and do what he did, that's extremely, extremely impressive."

On your first touchdown you went with the two-handed spike.

"Yeah, I don't know what I was doing. I was trying to go with the worst celebration ever. No, I was just so excited I just didn't really know what to do. It doesn't happen much for me, so it was just exciting."
CB MARCUS CROMARTIE

You lined up quite a bit against Falcons WR Julio Jones the first couple plays of the game. People look at that and say a guy who just came up from the practice squad against Julio Jones, that's not going to be pretty. What was your mindset and did you have confidence going into that matchup?

"Most definitely. I have confidence going into any matchup because I practice hard. They say practice makes the games easy. The coaches knew what I could do just based off practice. So, I go out there and I practice my butt off and I just hope it carries over to the game, and it did today."

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S ERIC REIDYou guys didn't sit back and play a lot of zone reads today. You got after it. You had a lot of edge rush and blitzes and yourself and 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman really made an impact.

"That's huge, especially with a quarterback like that [Falcons QB Matt Ryan]. He's a smart guy. The disguise worked well for us. He had a hard time with the coverage, I think. We were able to mess with him a little bit and it worked out for us."

What about that fourth down decision at the 2-yard line to take the field goal rather than try to punch it in? Did that surprise you? Were you saying thank you?

"Yeah, I said thank you. I thought an onside kick was coming. I'm glad they did it."

What about the quarterback change and how it sparked the offense? How did it impact you and the defense?

"They were able to move the ball. I'm happy for [49ers QB] Blaine [Gabbert], happy for his opportunity, and he played well today. It doesn't mean anything if we don't stack another one. We have to enjoy the Bye Week, get our bodies healthy and come back fighting again."

Did you think the defense had a little extra hop in its step after seeing the offense move and score, putting up 17 points in the first half?

"Definitely. Any time the offense can sustain a drive and get the defense some rest, the defense plays better as a result. It think it showed today."

WR BRUCE ELLINGTON

What was it like in the huddle with San Francisco 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert?

"It was no different. He was just out there like 'let's do this, let's get this, let's keep moving the ball, let's keep pounding, let's keep going. Just out there being a leader which is what the quarterback is supposed to do.

What did the intensity mean to you, this offense and this team?

"It just shows he is ready to step in and be a leader and lead this team to win."

What was the sense for you guys out there? The offense started clicking early. You put up some points – 17 in the first half, I believe, is a season high. You started to get some mojo going.

"Oh yeah, you always need that. Once the offense gets going and the defense makes stops, you know, that's what we're trying to do – get the whole team going."

What about QB Colin Kaepernick's reaction and him sitting in this locker room. What do you make of that?

"Kap will still be him. He still comes around, still talks to us. I don't think it's going to change. He still works hard. The coaches made a change and he is playing his role."

How much did you guys need this win, you must be able to take a sigh of relief?

"I know, right? We needed this, man. It's fun when you win, so it was a great team win and we have this Bye Week and then it's getting ready for Seattle."

FB BRUCE MILLER

Were you surprised at the end there after going for the field goal and not the touchdown with only about 3 minutes left in the game?

"I think they just want to have faith in their guys and their defense. I'm not their coach, so, I probably would've went for it."

Was there a little bit of adrenaline on that last play knowing your number was getting called?

"Oh yeah. The nerves were going. I trusted the guys up front and had a good exchange from the quarterback and was able to pick it up."

It looked like you had a hole and then you got hit from behind. Did you know you got it [the first down] right away or did you think it was going to be close?

"No, I knew it was going to be close. The referee gave me a good spot so it was good to see."

There were two fourth downs for this team, one called early in the game. What do you think was the message the coaches were sending to this offense to go for it on fourth down so early?

"That we were going after it and that we wanted to win this football game. And that it was important to go into a Bye Week with a win. The guys are just out there fighting. You don't want to put it in their hands. To go for it on fourth and one – you saw the reaction on the sideline. Guys were excited about it and wanted to win the football game. It was good to see."

So many new players on this offense. You have RB Shaun Draughn out there, RB Pierre Thomas, as well as QB Blaine Gabbert starting. What was it about this offense that impressed you so much with so many new players starting?

"It was impressive that they were able to come in this week and take the information and translate it onto the field. He [RB Shaun Draughn] played an outstanding game. He was running the ball well. All three of them did a great job running the football. So just a great job  to them to be able to come in and get the information to be able to make it happen on Sunday."

What energy did QB Blaine Gabbert bring to this offense? I know that he was coming in to give QB Colin Kaepernick a breather as Head Coach Jim Tomsula explained it, but what kind of life did he bring to this offense in this game?

"I think a lot of the same things. Confidence, determination and then great leadership. You can feel it in the huddle with all of our guys."

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