HC Freddie Kitchens (10.7.19)
“Definitely wasn’t the result we wanted. You’ve got to give all the credit in the world to San Francisco. They beat us in every facet of the game. With that, I’ll take any questions.”
You said you were pulling out all the stops on offense and at the start of the game it was working, but then you kind of ended up stopping yourself, why was that?
“Well, you know, you can’t have mistakes. You can’t have turnovers, you can’t have drops, you can’t have penalties. Offensively, that kind of summed us up. We just shot ourselves in the foot too many times, whether it be mental errors, drops, penalties, you know? It’s very clear that, you know, we’ve got to do a better job mentally. We’ve got to do a better job coaching these guys. We’ve got to continue to work every day like it’s the first day and coaching-wise, we’ve got to do a better job and keep putting these guys in position to make plays.”
They seemed like they really controlled both lines of scrimmages and everything else–?
“I think San Francisco beat us in every facet of the game. They did a great job. They coached better than us. They played better than us in all areas.”
Are you concerned about being able to protect your quarterback?
“I’m always concerned about protecting our quarterback. You know, I’m always concerned about it and it starts with protection. It starts with me doing a better job of protecting him.”
How do you count for all the miscues, the penalties, the turnovers?
“I’ll chalk that up to we had too many, too much stuff, you know? Too many plays, you know? We will, well I’ve got to go back and evaluate it and see where we were number-wise. We’ve just got to do a better job coaching it and do a better job executing it and do a better job lining up and doing a better job of our assignments, and I’ve got to make sure that we’re not asking these guys to do too much.”
You talked about their front a lot coming in. What makes it such a tough matchup when you have to face it?
“Well, I mean, you saw the game. So, they were physical. They were fast. They’re long. They’re athletic and they played with tremendous effort.”
Cleveland Browns WR Antonio Callaway looked like he had trouble getting lined up a couple times. He had the false start obviously, the play at the goal line. It’s hindsight, but do you think he was prepared, coming off the suspension, do you think he was prepared to play today?
“I think I probably put him in a bad situation. I thought he was ready to go, but I put him in a bad situation.”
Why was, just curious with the score 28-whatever and Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. was back there for the punt thing, why was that?
“Just, I mean, Odell catches punts every day. So, you know, just gave it a whirl, and just need better ball security.”
Is it too simple to say Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield’s game was a result of bad protection or did he have an awful night too?
“You know, I think so much of the quarterback has to do with the things around him, just like every week. I mean, you know, last week he played good, because the guys around him played good. Quarterback can’t do it himself, so he doesn’t. This is the reason football is the ultimate team game. It takes 11 guys, and if one guy doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do, then you have a not successful play, and that goes for all positions.”
When you said put Callaway in a bad position, you just mean he had too much of a role tonight?
“Too much of a role, I don’t know if I would say that. It’s just, you know, I like to put our guys out there to be successful, and when they’re not successful it’s my fault because I didn’t diminish the role or increase the role enough, whatever it may be. I’ll have to go back and look at it. He wasn’t successful tonight. So, ultimately, that falls on me.”
How much have the San Francisco 49ers improved? You said that they really dominated on both sides of the ball, but I guess are they a legit 4-0 team?
“I mean, they are what their record is.”
How demoralizing was that touchdown run right at the beginning?
“Well, I mean, we didn’t get beat in the first quarter now. I mean, we had our opportunities, even when it was 14-3 or whatever, we’re back down there. I mean, we had our opportunities. We didn’t lose off of that run. Demoralizing, I hope it wasn’t demoralizing. They’re a good football team. They’re going to make plays.”
You mentioned about maybe giving too much or too many plays. Did you have a lot more in than last week? That’s why I want a clarification to what you’re trying to say. Did you have more than last week or something?
“I’d have to count the numbers.”
Okay, I just want, I guess I just want to give you a chance to clarify.
“Well, when we’re unsuccessful clearly something has to change. So, it’s either we’re doing too much, we’re not doing enough, it’s something. So, I’ll go back and look at it and see. We’ll make improvements. We’ll move forward. We’ve got to coach better in all areas and we’ve got to play better in all areas, and that’s how you win football games. You coach better, you play better.”
You mentioned having your opportunities. How big a play was that interception at the goal line that went the other direction?
“Well, I mean, all turnovers are big plays. Of course, turnovers inside the five yard line are not good.”
The first couple plays seemed to feature Odell, and then a couple tosses to him. Have you found it harder to get him involved in the offense than you thought it would be?
His red zone, I think he’s really had a hard time getting open in the red zone, why do you think that is?
“I don’t know. I mean, we’ve got other guys that we’re targeting in the red zone too. Callaway’s wide open tonight in the red zone. So, our quarterback’s going to go through a progression, alright? Sometimes Odell’s the first read in that progression, sometimes he’s the second, sometimes he’s the third, sometimes he’s the fourth. Our quarterback’s going to continue to get better with his progressions. Our receivers are going to continue to get better lining up and doing what they’re supposed to do and then ultimately, everybody needs to a better job coaching and playing.”
The 49ers offense, they ran the ball a lot, they threw to San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle. How do you account for the way the defense played?
“Well, I think they would like to have several plays back, especially in the run game. You know, I think when you play a team like San Francisco, if you’re wrong with your eyes it could cost you big, and I think we were probably wrong with our eyes a couple of times and got out of our gaps. It’s the same thing I said going in and you know, offensively we didn’t do anything to help early on to keep them off the field. So, they were out there a long time.”
How did Baker come out physically?
“I haven’t even got that. I’m assuming he’s fine.”
Did you, so, you put Cleveland Browns QB Garrett Gilbert in just because the game was out of reach?
“Yeah, I thought he was taking too many hits unnecessarily.”
How do you account for the wide variance in performance with your guys? I mean, last week completely opposite, you played so well and then this week, you know, played so poorly.
“Well, we’ll look at it. It’s one of those things where you get down into the red zone you’ve got to capitalize. You know, we were in position to do something and we didn’t do it. Once that happens then you’ve got to maintain your composure and kind of stop the bleeding, per se, and we never did that. And you know, give you a chance to run meaningful plays that count later on, then you end up playing better, you know? So, it’s kind of a snowball effect whenever you don’t make one play, you have to stop the bleeding so you can get an opportunity to make those corrections, and we just never gave ourselves enough time in the game to stay in the game to make those corrections.”