"A really, really great day today for us. I was really fired up about this game. For a lot of reasons; they're a really good opponent and all that, division opponent, all that stuff. The way we entered this game, if you take a look at our inactive list today, you see all the guys that couldn't play, and guys that had to step up and fill and play first class football, and guys did it, and came through in such a big way. I was inspired by it. I was inspired by their toughness and by their guts and really, just the way they handled it, through the whole week. They just stepped up, and never even batted an eye about it. DeeJay Dallas, scored twice today, that's so sweet. We had one running back, really. Homer just sucked it out and got out there in case we needed him in an emergency and was there for us for a few plays, did a great job. That's a lot of burden for one kid, and he did great today. The thing I liked probably best about the game was the defensive play. Up until like the fourth quarter, they had 112 yards or something like that. Run, pass, the whole thing, we really played really good ball today. Kenny called a great game. Guys played great. Bobby Wagner was just everywhere on the field, as well as a bunch of other guys that played well. It was really important that we did our whole fourth quarter thing again and gave them a couple hundred yards in the fourth quarter or whatever. We're getting there, and we're going to keep getting better. I know I keep saying that to you, but it's because it's going to happen. This week will be cool to see a couple new guys step back in and it will be fun to see that. Russell played terrific today. He knew how this game was going to go; we had to throw the ball quick, and a lot of short stuff and all that. You have to work it. He did a great job throughout the day. Again, who is the receiver that gets all the stuff? This week it was DK. What a fantastic game he played. Just so tough and so physical. Just a dominant player out there today, with a couple touchdowns, and just big plays, one right after another. Third down was really good for us today on offense. 9 for 14. Red zone was great. Running the clock out at the end of the game. Those are just such good things to be able to do. It gives us a chance to be a really good club. Really fired up to be 6 and 1. Coming back after a loss, coming back and finding good football. We're this much from having them all right now, so we know that, and we just have to keep getting better. Really excited about the day."
On the play of the defense, particularly Bobby Wagner:
"Really playing to the nature of our guys. I thought Kenny did a really nice job of adjusting, to let them have more opportunities to see if they could create problems, like sending them and doing the things that we did. Bobby was phenomenal today. He had a couple sacks, but he had 3-4 other rushes, too, where he was a factor and bothered the quarterback. I think Bobby, he's a great leader. He never said anything to this team that he wouldn't ask of himself, and he came through in a great way, and kind of solidified what a stud leader that he is."
On the play of D.J. Reed:
"I've been real excited about him. I really liked the film in evaluating him when we first acquired him, and been hoping for him to be able to do some stuff, because he is a really active football player, great quickness, really good instincts and all that. He had a chance for a sack and a couple other things, too. He had some nice other plays as well. I'm really not surprised that he played well. I'm thrilled that we got him. John figured out a while back that he would be a good guy to add on, and that we might need him down the stretch, or wherever, as he turned up now. The timing was perfect, with Ugo being hurt. He did a good job. The competition at that spot is going to be just like we like it.
On what jumps out about the play of DK Metcalf today:
"A lot. He's just so frickin' tough. Whether he is blocking guys, or whether he's catching the ball, or they smack him when the ball arrives, and he stands over those guys when they fall off of him. When he caught the ball on the crossing route, I started screaming that they weren't going to get him, right when he was way over there, because he's just too fast. He just circled the whole defense and put it in the end zone, and I don't even think they touched him. It was a great play. We're so lucky to have him, and to have him growing and emerging into such a dominant football player. He's really something."
On why the adjustment to blitz more today:
"The game plan. Really just the game plan. I thought it added to everything. I thought that the pressure we threw at them helped everybody. We just decided to take a little turn. Obviously, we're trying to figure some things out to get better, and we just put it on the fellows. We have a great attitude group, and they want to play tough and physical and go after it. We just look for opportunities to make sure and show those guys. With Jamal coming back next week, it's going to happen some more. You'll see that happen as we enter him back in."
On how much his defense changed when the 49ers changed quarterbacks:
"We made a real clear statement that let's not let it change us. Let's just keep going, let's stay aggressive. We threw a lot of stuff at them down the stretch there. We didn't execute as well as we needed to. When you pressure, you have to do things right, and we missed a couple things, and missed some contain, and some opportunities that we'll get better at. You have to give him--Mullens did a good job. He came in there, and was hot. He threw a couple great balls. For instance, the ball that he hits 85 on up the sidelines, I thought it was an extraordinarily good throw and catch. He got smacked as well, he hung on to the ball really tough. The ball that he threw down the middle was a big time play as well. I could see why they put him in. He's a good player."
On making Stephen Sullivan active today:
"I was really fired up that he got a chance to go. Benson couldn't quite get that ankle going today. We thought that might happen, so we had Sully working all week long in the spot so that he could be ready to go. I don't know how he did, I can't wait to see his film. He's such a good athlete, and he was willing to change from playing tight end to go to rush the passer in the middle of his rookie season. It's just a great team move that he made, because we needed his help, and today he got to play. I don't know what he did, I can't tell you, I didn't catch him, he made a tackle on the first play. Just to do that is a cool thing. Just for him to be out there. But, we needed him. We ran out of guys. That's why this game was very inspirational game in our locker room, because a lot of guys had to step up so that we could go. And then we went out and played well, too. That's a lot to ask guys, but they came through. Sully was one of those guys."
"I didn't say anything, but I should mention this: I thought that the offensive line against those guys did a great job today. Pass protection wise, giving Russ a chance to do the stuff that he needed to do. The run game, it wasn't asked to do a lot today, but in the pass protection game, and they knew they had to pass pro, I thought it was a really, really good job executing by those big guys, and really fired up about that. Our offensive line is better than we've been. This is better than we've been in recent years. This is a chance for us to continue to get better. We're not even halfway through the season yet with these guys. It is very encouraging."
On the balancing act on how much to blitz, and why they blitz more in some games than others:
"It depends. It depends on matchups, it depends on game matchups, the style of team and all that kind of stuff. There are a lot of things that go into it. However, if you remember where we started this season. Remember, I think, and I don't know this is right, maybe one of you guys told me, that Jamal had pressured like 10 times in the first two games, each. Well, that's where we started. So, he got closer this week. He was getting ready to come on back out, but we just wanted to make sure that we're giving our guys a chance to play the way the way they want to play, and play aggressive and all. We've been reeling a little bit, with the guys coming in and out. We've been waiting. Now, I think we can really push to get better and really push down the stretch here. Again, the halfway point is just coming up. I have all the expectations in the world that we're going to really be able to compliment what this offense is doing and make us tough to beat."
On having two top-flight wide receivers, in Lockett and Metcalf:
"We're so fortunate, and those guys are awesome about it. What did Tyler get today? I don't even know what his numbers were. But, imagine, he got 20 targets last week. Then we come back this week, and it goes the other way, and everybody's fine about it, and everybody just takes what comes their way. He had 4 catches. We're very fortunate, and they're both so unique. I wish so much that Russ would have hooked up on the one with Tyler, the bomb in the corner of the end zone. That was so close. As hard as that catch looked like, that could have happened. It was just a hair out of bounds, and we didn't convert it. But that would have been really something to tack that on to this game for all those guys."
On whether Chris Carson was almost able to play today:
"He didn't make it back for this one. He couldn't get going. I don't know what that means for next week, I can't tell you. We just have to take it one day at a time. Had Jamal not gotten sick this week, he got something happening, I don't know what it was, but he got the flu or something like that. He missed Wednesday and Thursday, because of it. We were hoping he could make it back this week, but he didn't get a chance to practice enough. He's ready to go. He's ready to go, and we have to make it through; we'll take it one day at a time next week. But, I got to tell you, he's really excited and pumped up about it, as well as the rest of us, and we just want to get him back out there. He's such an extraordinary individual. The competitiveness that he brings is going to be really fun to see on the field again."
On what was crucial to stopping San Francisco's rushing game:
"I thought the guys played them well. They played their schemes and their principles. The only times they got any runs on us at all, we were pressuring, and we got into difficult situations for us. Sometimes it makes it hard for you, when you're coming, depending on how it works. They popped a couple on us there, but boy our guys played great against all the running game. This is a high-powered; you know they didn't have all their guys, too. I know that. Tevin went out. Schematically and technically, we played the game really well. It was really good."
On the play of Alton Robinson:
"I can't wait to see the film, because Alton was right in the face of a bunch of their wide running game. And, he's playing against the best tight end in football. I was wondering what was going to happen on this one. Between he and Juszczyk coming out there, and the combo blocking the edge, I can't wait to see what it looks like. I don't have a good feel for that right now. But they didn't run the ball on the edge, and they didn't get outside much. He did a good job in general, but I don't know about the specifics. This is as good a test as guy playing his position can play in the running game, because that's how good these guys are. It is a real tribute to them. He did okay. They got 50 yards rushing, it was pretty sweet."
On the character of the team, given the injury situation on both sides of the ball this week:
"It is a statement, and that's why I went into this week, that's why I was talking that this was a week of inspiration. Who's going to be able to pull through, come back and uphold their end of it? Step in and all that. I think it says a tremendous amount that it didn't matter who was playing. The guys just stepped up and did their job, and busted their tails to get it done. We love seeing that. We talked about that in the locker room in getting this game on our side. I was really excited about that, I think it says a lot. It was a good illustration."
Introducing DK Metcalf to the podium:
"Let yourself go! Baby, don't you wait! The hardest working man in show business…DK Metcalf!"
On how much it improves their offense by having both he and Tyler Lockett on the field:
"Tyler [Lockett] actually told me on the field, 'man, we have the best duo in the league.' We feed off of each other very well. It doesn't help (the opponents) when David [Moore] and Freddie Swain come in the game, they just bring that much more energy to the field. I just believe that we have the best and closest (position) room in the league."
On his TD reception in the first quarter:
"Shoutout to Jacob Hollister, he blocked his butt off on the sideline long enough for me to turn the corner. I saw a lot of open grass and I just took off running. I saw a linebacker and once I passed him, he couldn't stop me, then Jake [Hollister] had my back and led me to the promise land."
On his chase down tackle against Budda Baker last week and how his teammates responded to it:
"I'm more so worried about what my teammates thought of me after that play. The play really doesn't matter in my mind because we lost. My teammates really spoke highly of me and gave me a lot of congratulations. In my mind that is something that I was supposed to do, not just an epic play that the world just saw. I just hold myself, the receiver room, and this team to a high standard and we just try to play to that standard every week."
On what it's like to know that both he and Tyler Lockett could go off for a big game any given week:
"Me and Tyler feed off of each other very well. We don't care who gets the credit or who gets the shine one week because he has my back no matter what and I have his no matter what. Like I said, shout out to D-Mo and Freddie. They come up clutch every time they come into the game. It just speaks highly of our receiver room and the standard that we hold each other to."
On what was said in the conversation with he and Jimmy Ward:
"I don't know if I can disclose that information. Just two competitive guys talking smack to each other. I don't know who started it, I cannot remember. The game was chippy all day. Just two competitive teams going at it."
On what it says about the team when guys have to step into bigger roles and get the job done:
"Our defense stepped up big time, holding an explosive offense like that to only seven points in the first half and they were forced to throw it in the second half. Hats off to our defense, I believe in them every week. Every week they're going to shut teams out and disappoint teams. Back to our running backs room; DeeJay Dallas stepped up, Nick Bellore, and we had a couple more guys ready to step in there. We just don't quit. When the next guy is up, we just rise up to the opportunity when our number is called."
On what it means to get a shout out from Lebron James and other athletes in the sports world on social media during the game:
"I just thank God that he has blessed me with this team and the God given abilities that he has given me. Bobby [Wagner] actually told me to wear this suit today because he said that I was going to ball out. So I appreciate the prophet Bobby over there."
On DeeJay Dallas stepping up with guys out:
"Yeah, he was unbelievable tonight. I think it was the first or second or third practice when we had got back from the COVID-19 stuff and everything else and I really noticed him, Dee Jay, really noticed him during the whole spring Zoom calls and all that. He was such a leader. He was on his stuff. He was very detailed. He was always early for the meetings, the rookie meetings we would do early before everything started.
He was just such a great leader and just how he showed his leadership. He's a ball player. I think that maybe that's a quarterback in him or whatever, but fast forward to the second practice we really saw him, I really thought he was going to be really special for us. Obviously today got to talk to him before the game. I said, Great players always have to start somewhere. They always have to start somewhere; doesn't matter who you are.
So greatness starts somewhere. It's going to be today. And sure enough, he played an unbelievable game. I thought he was lights out. He was very calm in the huddle. He was on top of his protections. He was very efficient in the run game, caught the ball well.
Just a special player, and I'm glad he's on our team and stepped up. A lot guys stepped up in a big way."
On being 32-8 following losses and his approach following losses:
"You know, I think for me, I've always tried to remain neutral, like I always tell you guys. The reality is you figure out, okay, what's going really well, what was great about the game, and then what could we have done better. Those two simple questions.
From there you get to figure out, three plays, that's it. If I can eliminate those three plays how much better can we be. I think we have been unbelievable all year. We've been able to make a lot of special plays. I just keep swinging, just keep swinging. Don't change your mind, don't doubt now.
We've been fortunate to win a lot of football games in the past nine years and it's been special. Just got to keep going. I think that to be able to remain neutral and process the good times and also process the tough times and understand that the next opportunity, next play, this one right here, and just remaining neutral in the midst of it all is the part that I think allows me internally to be successful, but also us as a team. You don't change anything for that."
On what changed on the third drive:
"Yeah, I thought we stayed on schedule. No penalties, just stayed on schedule. We capitalized on opportunities. We caught and ran the ball well when we did. You know, I thought it was an unbelievable game by the offensive line. The offensive line gave me great time to make some plays and throws. DK had a special, special game. I think he had 12 catches and just did some really, really good things in the passing game.
So I think we were on it. I'm not sure how many drives we had, but I know we scored quite a bit throughout the game. We capitalized on our opportunities."
On having receivers like Lockett and Metcalf who can take over a game at a moment's notice:
"Yeah, I think having great ball players, we have so many guys that can step up and step in, so many great players. But those two guys, arguably two of the best receivers in the game, in my opinion, just how they play. So much talent, so much ability, and they're so -- Tyler is older, but both of them are still very young and continue to grow.
I'm glad that they're on our team. It's a blessing to be able to throw the football to them."
On not having to deal with egos:
"You know, I think that you just want to win. I think everybody wants to win. We're focused on winning. That's the only thing we're focused on."
On Stephen Sullivan coming in and making a tackle in his first game:
"Yeah, I think that Sully did a great job. He's such a great athlete. Obviously a champion from LSU. He knows how to play the game and he's a great tight end, too. He can play that position. I'm looking forward to seeing his growth as an overall player, what he can do.
Obviously him stepping up and learning the defensive end position and just being a great athlete and being so intelligent on his stuff, it was great to see him make a play or two today."
On if he takes note of the score or if he treats every drive almost like 0-0:
"That's a great question. I think that I always notice the score. You know, if we're up I'm processing what it's going to take for us to win this game. When we are down, I'm always processing what's it going to take for us to win this game.
That's what I keep very simple, simple mind in that sense. For me, what I've really understood just playing multiple sports and all that and the idea around the neutral mindset is just that you understand what you have to do to get to game one and what you have to do there, but not letting the emotions of the game affect you.
Just being able to still be passionate about the game. I think you're definitely passionate, but the balance of passion and understanding and process and clarity all coming together as one, and understanding that there is a mission to come back or to finish the game and close the game out, I think that's something that we do better than, in my opinion, anybody else in the world.
That is just because of the mindset that we have, and I think the neutral mindset that I try to bring to the table as a collective group."
Feelings on the defense:
"I think our defense played amazing tonight. They did a great job. Bobby was all over the field, one of the best players in the game. He's the best linebacker in the game and just nothing he can't do. I just love being his teammate. K.J. has had an incredible year. What a special player he is. He's been special for ten years now. So consistent.
You know, with all the things that have happened with some of our guys, too, injuries, I know Bruce going down, that was tough for us, other guys going down and guys have stepped up and just what we're focused on, like I said earlier, is just winning and the process of it all and just understanding that there will be tough games, battles.
We're in the toughest division in football hands down. So there is always a match up every week. So we look forward to those matchups. I have all the confidence in the world in our defense because how many times they've shown up to be able to stop certain moments in crucial situations and all that.
I think to be able to play situational football is key. I think we can all get better across the board, offense, defense, special teams, and that's the magic. Continue to search, continue to study, continue to learn, continue to process. The younger guys continue to grow and build and continue to have a strategy every single day, that focus every day, that obsession with winning, with the process more than anything else.
If we do that as a team there is nothing we can't do and that's what I'm looking forward to."
On being wowed by DK Metcalf's ability to do things on the field:
"You know, I think I'm amazed every day by him, just by his consistency, by his mentality, by his want to -- he's a special player, a special person, special teammate as well.
He really cares, and when you see guys make amazing plays like the ones he's made, I don't think there is anybody better. He's only in his second year, he's only 22, so I'm look forward to playing a lot of years with him. He's really special, and I feel like we're just getting started.
It's a good thing. Just got to stay the course. There is no magic pill. Just the work ethic and the attitude and the mentality every day. If we can keep that and do that together, the rest of the guys as well, it's been a lot of fun. That play he made where he caught the ball today and ran it across the field and ran into the end zone, there is nobody faster in the world than him on the field. He's just pretty special in that sense."
On what it took for the defense to turn around and dominate for most of the game:
"I just felt like we needed to stop talking and do the work, and let our play show. I feel like we were a lot more aggressive and we were able to get in the backfield and get their quarterback off his spot. Obviously, we still have things to work on, but I think it was a step in the right direction."
On how big of a step it is to have a performance like this as a defensive unit despite missing many key players:
"It was a really big step, especially for those guys. We had other guys out, we had guys playing in other positions that they have never played before. But they went out, executed and did great. I'm definitely excited about the step in the right direction but, it's just one game. It has to be consistent and I look forward to doing that."
On if he needed to say anything to the defense to show up and have a big game:
"Definitely. I feel like as the leader of the defense you have to address the team, you have to bring the issues to light and get everyone on the same page and talk about discipline and consistency. That's kind of what we did. Everybody locked in this week. We had a great practice, a great week and it showed in the game."
On if the blitzing more was a game plan strategy or if he wanted to do it more to make a bigger impact on the game:
"I always talk to them about blitzing more. Whenever they call my number, or whenever they choose to put that in the game plan, I get excited and try to do the best that I can."
On if made it a point to lead by example in tonight's game:
"Definitely. I feel like it started with myself. I think you have to sometimes show the guys what focus looks like. A lot of guys are young and so I was really locked in and prepared this week. I just wanted to come out and have a lot of energy."
On how good it felt to get to the quarterback on his pass rush attempts:
"It felt really good. I was practicing moves all week and I got an opportunity to use some them. I was able to get in the quarterback's face and he got sacked a couple of times and it felt good."
On if his offseason and training camp work with coach Clint Hurtt paid off tonight when rushing the passer:
"Yes definitely. Working with the D-line, talking with the the D-line, seeing what they see, definitely helped me figure out what I was going to run on particular guys."
On if it was an increased volume in blitzes or if they changed things up to make the pass rush more successful:
"I think it was a combination of both. We were a lot more aggressive and blitzed a lot more. There were opportunities where I was one on one with the center, or one on one with the guard and just tried to give my best move and see if I could get to the quarterback. As well as the other guys. Alton [Robinson] had a sack, we had a lot of pressures. I think it was important for us to get the quarterback off his spot and not let him sit back there and pick us apart."
On what he saw from D.J. Reed:
"He did a great job. He was someone I was looking forward to see play. When he got hurt, I was watching him prepare, work out, and get right. He was reading books and things of that nature, he was super locked in. When he came back, it was that same focus. When he came back it wasn't like he needed to be brought up to speed. He knew the defense, he knew the calls, he knew the communication. It was cool to watch a guy go from being hurt and watching the process of learning the defense and staying locked in during a difficult time because being injured is not fun. Him coming out there and getting a pick as well as the blitzes he did, it was great."
On getting his first two NFL touchdowns today:
"I credit that to the [offensive] line and [Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] dialing up the plays and us just executing. It felt good and I feel like I belong here."
On having to take on a lot of the running back load today while still getting into the end zone a few times:
"It felt good. I felt comfortable in there. I just trust in my coach and this is probably the most prepared I've been, mentally and physically, this whole season. Not saying that I don't prepare because I do, but this is the most I've felt."
On the play before his first touchdown where it looked like he missed an assignment:
"Just a missed check, that's all that was. Just a slight miscommunication on my behalf."
On what should've been his first touchdown being called back after he stepped out of bounds:
"I was sick. I was sick about the first one. But I had guys like DK [Metcalf] and [Russell Wilson] telling me it'll come back, it's going to come back. And then it came back twofold."
On what impresses him the most about DK Metcalf and defenders trying to tackle him:
"I trained with DK in the offseason. It was pre-draft training and then post-combine training but I trained with DK in the offseason and I just knew that DK was special just from watching him the prior year and then training with him. I'm not surprised that people look crazy trying to tackle DK because he's a beast. He's a beast."
On how this week of practice went knowing that he could be starting and when did he find out that he would be starting:
"It was the same week, it was business as usual. Just prepared the same way, went into meetings the same way. I really don't even remember when they said it, I guess it was before game time. But it was business as usual. Everything was the same. I prepared the same way, I practiced the same way."
On what his biggest worry was when he found out he would be starting:
"Not worried at all. Like I said, I prepared the same way. This is like week seven or week eight and I've been preparing for this since training camp."
On if there's one touchdown that meant more than the other out of the two that he scored today:
"I just want to be productive, honestly. That's me being productive and that's me helping the team, that's the [offensive] line executing, that's [Russell Wilson] delivering how he always does. It's not just a one man show, it's an 11-man effort or a 22-man effort. I still feel like I belong here."
On the most challenging part of the transition between switching from tight end to defensive end and what it was like to play with the team:
"I would say the hardest thing was me working my hands. Playing tight end, I was already in a three-point position quite a bit, but just working my hands, working the strike. Mainly moves, because I had the speed, I had the get off, it just came down to me working my hands and getting my technique down with some stuff."
On his reaction if someone told him that he would be playing defensive end in November at the beginning of the season:
"I didn't see this in a million years. My last time playing defensive end was in high school. I played all positions in high school, but when I got to college, at LSU, I just played receiver. My senior year I played tight end. I couldn't tell you that right here, right now I would be playing defensive end in the NFL. I didn't see this coming at all to be honest with you. Just being out there is a dream come true, even if I didn't touch the field. Just being on that sideline would be a dream come true for me. Coming up where I come from a lot of guys don't make it this far. I'm definitely special and I'm blessed to be in this position for sure."
On what was going through his mind when he was on the field today and what it meant to be playing in the game:
"It means a lot. How I grew up is how I grew up. Every kid has their story. I don't try to go around telling people for them to feel sorry for me. I keep it in my pocket. If you know, then you know. I just use it as motivation honestly. How I grew up is how I grew up. I can't do anything about it. It got me here, so who's to say it didn't help me get to this point you know?"
On how the Seahawks brought up that they wanted him to switch to defensive end:
"One day at practice, I think we were doing scout team or punt return and I think Coach Pete [Carroll] saw me get off the ball. After that rep, he asked me if I had ever played defensive end. I told him I had in high school and he asked me if I would ever give it a shot. I was like yeah, why not. I went over there and like I said, I didn't know any moves, technique, how to use your hands or anything. I was just running up the field trying to get past the tackle and it didn't work. So I started to get better and I started working my hands. And then next thing you know, I'm here today."
On when the transition to defensive end began:
"I want to say around two or three weeks ago or for some weeks now on practice squad. After practice, me and a few guys do one-on-ones just working the get off, working technique to try and get better."
On if it was weird to tell friends and family that he suddenly made the transition to defensive end:
"It was crazy because at first I was doing scout team defense and I was doing scout team offense. So I would go to defensive end and then right back to tight end catching the ball. Honestly, I didn't know which position I was going to play. I was so happy that the defense worked for me so I'm here. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to win, honestly. I'm a team player so if Coach Pete wants me to kick the ball, then I'll kick the ball."
The best photos from Week 8's Seahawks-49ers game at CenturyLink Field. Fueled by Nesquik.