The San Francisco 49ers are two sleeps away from their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2019 season and a rematch of that Super Bowl LIV matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hear from both teams ahead of Super Bowl Sunday:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on how the 2019 Super Bowl run shaped key playmakers:
"All those guys for the most part were young guys, and it was their first one. I think always when you go your first time, you experience a lot of stuff, but I think when you go your second time, all that stuff you experienced, it's about one thing. It's about what happens in those three hours. I think it's real cool for those guys who have gone to be able to talk to players who it's their first time kind of help them not get caught up in stuff. Especially guys who are rookies and guys like Deebo Samuel and things like that. Having experience always helps."
Shanahan on the intensity of Super Bowl practices and playing fast and free:
"Usually Super Bowl practices are great. Guys have a lot of natural energy. They're all excited for the moment on Sunday. Guys just want every opportunity to go through that, so they're prepared as well as they can be when they get to Sunday. Anytime you get into the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl, practices, meetings, everything, everyone is just a lot more alert. Once the game starts, it's all about cutting it loose. That's why you go through everything throughout the week, and you try to be uptight about every single detail and cover it all. But when that game starts, it's not about thinking, it's about reacting and playing. Usually if you've had the right preparation, then you can play that way."
Quarterback Brock Purdy on enjoying the Super Bowl experience and seizing the opportunity:
"There's a fine line of it for sure, obviously studying and being prepared for every little situation and circumstance and being able to answer those questions right. But also, being able to enjoy the game. We're in the Super Bowl. You dream of this as a kid growing up, every kid dreamed of playing in this game. George obviously gives us a great perspective every game. He's always having fun, joking around, but when the ball is snapped, he's doing his job and he's doing it well. It's a fine line, but man, at the end of the day this is something that we've all dreamed of growing up. You have to be grateful for it and have fun with it."
Purdy on the team's mission:
"I think it's simple. It's 11-on-11, we can't buy into all the emotion and everything that goes into it in terms of it being the Super Bowl. We've got to do our job. The offense has to put up points. The (Kansas City Chiefs) have a good offense, so we've got to be ready to play whatever kind of game it looks like. I know our defense is going to do their job, they've done that all year. So, if we can play good team football, offense, defense and special teams, for four quarters and do it longer, I think we'll win it."
Linebacker Fred Warner on playing to a higher standard on defense:
"It was bitter sweet for both of those (playoff) games because obviously, you're so happy and excited that you won the game, you're able to advance and doing the things necessary to advance but also knowing that is not our standard for defensive play ever since I've been here. That's something that has been a point of emphasis. We have to play our best game going into this game to have a chance to win it all. We're trying to sure things up and make sure we're preparing as hard as we can."
Head coach Andy Reid on Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie can help combat the 49ers arsenal of offensive weapons:
"The 49ers have an offense that has a lot of talent, a lot of guys that can do a lot of things, and so you need flexibility within your secondary and linebacker positions. Trent gives us that. He can play the inside slot position. He can really play anywhere in the secondary, whether it is safety or corner. He is one of our starting corners. He moves all over the place. He can match up with guys, so he's special that way."
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Purdy's quarterback play:
"The way he's able to dissect the defense and get the ball out of his hands, I watched a lot of his games, especially late with similar opponents that we've played, and he throws a great football. He's doing a great job of recognizing defenses, and it's hard. I don't think I would have been ready my first year to come in and play like that. He's been able to do a tremendous job, and I'm sure I will play him a lot as our careers go on."
Tight end Travis Kelce on expectations of the team:
"That expectation has become a demand at this point. I know that in the years that we haven't won (the Super Bowl) since (2019) have felt like the biggest losses of my life. It's about having that mentality year in and year out, and putting that expectation on yourself. Nobody has higher expectations for us, than us."
Kelce on the challenge the 49ers pose:
"I'm excited for the challenge. I know it's going to be our biggest challenge yet, but there's no doubt seeping in. We have a great football team, and we're going up against a great football team. It's going to be one for the ages. I'm just excited for it."