Check out what San Francisco 49ers players and coaches are saying about the Seattle Seahawks before the two teams meet in Week 17 at Levi's Stadium.
Head Coach Chip Kelly
(On how the Seahawks look different now than last time they played them...)"Unfortunately Russell [Wilson] is a little healthier now than the first time we played them. I think facing a different type of quarterback, he took off and ran a lot more in the Arizona game than he has in the past, which kind of tells you he's back up. I think he was dealing with an ankle and then a knee when we played him the last time. I think especially on the offensive side of the ball it's a healthy Russell Wilson. That's going to be a very tough test for our defense."
(On the Seahawks' defense...)"Just a lot of really good players. [Michael] Bennett, [Cliff] Avril, [Frank] Clark, [K.J.] Wright, [Bobby] Wagner, [Richard] Sherman, [Kam] Chancellor. Obviously they lost Earl [Thomas] at free safety but [Steven] Terrell has done a good job back there and it's a talented defense at all three levels of the D-line, at the linebacker and at the secondary. That's going to be a challenge for us offensively."
(On if the Seahawks' defense has changed without Earl Thomas…)"Their defense is their defense. Obviously when you lose an All-Pro player like Earl in the middle of the field it's going to be slightly different just because is there a little drop off between one safety to the other safety, but the scheme itself is still the same, and actually, Terrell has played pretty well back there. Obviously when you lose a player of that caliber — he's one of the best in the game at free safety, but they haven't really lost much. I think maybe the other guys have actually picked it up since he's been away, but even though Earl's not there, Sherman's still there, Wagner's still there, Wright's still there, Bennett's still there, Avril's still there, so they're still doing the same exact things."
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick
(On if the Seahawks defense has maintained continuity through the years…)"Yeah. They've kept a lot of their core players. You see a lot of similar faces, familiar faces on defense and they run their defense, they run it very well. They know exactly what they're doing over there and they're very successful. They win a lot of one-on-one matchups, things like that. So, that's something that we have to be prepared for."
(On the NFC West Division this year...)"It's hard to say what it is, in particular. Teams change every year, there's a lot of things that can factor into that. For me I see this as a very talented division still. I just don't think we've won as many close games this year as we have in years past. Those few games where, it's a few games for each team make a whole lot of difference. It just seems like this year, this division as whole we haven't won some of those close games so our records look the way they do now."
RB Shaun Draughn
(On being the expected starter for Sunday's game against the Seahawks after the season-ending injury to Carlos Hyde…) "Any time you get to start in this League is big, man. I just thank God for the opportunity like always and hopefully we can go out and pretty much play the way we did in the fourth quarter of the Rams game and get a win."
(On this week's game against Seattle being a showcase game heading into free agency…) "I feel like every game is a showcase. Any time you can go out there and show what you can do I think it's a good thing. So this game is no bigger than the other ones."
DL DeForest Buckner
(On how he'll approach training this offseason…) "I'm going back to EXOS for a month in San Diego and working with those guys over there because they got my body right and everything, just working on little things. When I go back home I'm going to try to link up with [Seahawks defensive end] Michael Bennett again, me and Arik [Armstead] are going to go back out there in Hawaii and train with them, so I've got a pretty good plan going into the offseason."
LT Joe Staley
(On if it means more to potentially return to the lineup from injury against a team like Seattle…)"Yeah. It's a football game. It's against anybody. I'm ready to go against anybody, you get jacked up to play against anybody. Going against Seattle, we know what those guys bring up front, especially."
- Fore more, head to 49ers.com
Get to know the faces of the San Francisco 49ers offensive and defensive units heading into the team's Week 3 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.