Q: What stood out when you're looking at the 49ers?
A: "Defensively they're a very good football team. I think that they're physical in their front seven and their linebackers are some of the best that we've seen in Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis. In the secondary, I think their safeties are physical in run support and their corners do a good job of playing bump and run. They're physical and I've really been impressed with their discipline. I think Coach Singletary has them playing disciplined, physical football out there, so it's going to be a tough challenge for us."
Q: They play a 3-4 defense, so that's not the defense you want to face to try to bump up the run game is it?
A: " Well, it's going to be a good challenge for us but we're confident in what we can do, the players we have here and the scheme that we have here. We're going to game plan and get prepared as best we can this week to try and do what we can do."
Q: Do you think that fans were spoiled last year by big plays in the running and passing game? Do you think people expect too much after seeing that or not?
A: "I don't think any of us are really concerned with what people are expecting from us. I think that the biggest thing is what we expect from ourselves. You know, it's early. Explosive plays are going to come, that's the way that this offense is built. You don't know when and you don't know where. It's going to take time. I think that we do a good job of moving the ball. Obviously, any offense loves to have those explosive plays and that's what we try and create throughout the game. This is going to be a tough defense to do it against. They're physical, they're disciplined, they are where they're supposed to be. When defenses do that it makes it difficult on an offense, but we are going to go out there and do the best we can."
Q: What did New England do to take Tony Gonzalez out of the offense?
A: "It is different defenses and New England did a good job, no question about it. They did some things in terms of coverage and being physical on the line of scrimmage, but that's kind of historically what they've done. They're a good football team. That one's done, we are getting prepared to try to get him open and get him some catches against San Francisco."
Q: Is it safe to say he needs more that one catch for this team to win?A: "No, I don't think so. I don't think any one person is going to decide whether this team wins or loses. Obviously Tony is an important part of what we do, but some weeks it's going to be different people. When you've got a bunch of guys on this football team offensively, defensively and on special teams who can make plays, it's going to be different players who step up week in and week out. Obviously, you know we would love to get Tony the ball as much as we can, because we know he's a great player. But, with that said, we're not focused on one particular person. We are focused on scoring points as an offense."
Q: What do you see in their secondary?
A: "I think that their secondary is physical. I think their safeties do a great job in the run game coming down and playing support, but they also do a great job in pass coverage in being disciplined and being in the spots they're supposed to be. I think that their corners do a great job in man-to-man coverage being physical at the line of scrimmage, at the point of attack and rerouting wide receivers. We're going to have our work cut out for us. This is a physical football team, but we're a physical offense.
Q: How do you feel about that? You guys have been moving the ball against very good defenses all year.
A: "No question we have played some good football teams early this season, good defenses specifically. That's what you want if you feel like you're a good offense. You want to go out there and play against some of the best defenses in the league and see how you measure up and win some ball games against those kinds of teams. This is another one of those tests. This is a good football team and a good defense. Again, we are going to have to prepare as best we can this week so we can go out there and put a good performance on the field on Sunday."
Tight End Tony Gonzalez
Q: What did you do on the bye week?
A: "I think I used it pretty wisely. I went down to Miami to relax and clear my mind for a little bit and now I'm ready to go."
Q: What can we expect from this 49ers game?
A: "Physical, a real physical team from what I've seen on film. They're dramatically different then what they've been in the past couple of years and I think that's because of Coach Singletary and Jimmy Ray, the offensive coordinator. Their styles are definitely physical and it's going to be a good matchup for us."
Q: Ovie (Mughelli) was telling us that when you look at the tape they're playing as a team. They kind of take after their coach with that physical, kind of 'bring it on' approach.
A: " Yeah, and we kind of take that same approach. That's why I am saying that I think it's going to be a really good matchup."
Q: When you were in college did you watch or want to play for the 49ers?
A: "I watched them a lot. In fact, that was one of the teams that I wanted to play for. I remember because Coach (Steve) Mariucci was with us for six months at Cal and then when he left he went to the 49ers. I was thinking, man I would love to go there. I think that Jerry Rice was there; Steve Young was still there and it was still a pretty good football team. But, you know, times have changed."
Q: When you were getting into the league or in the league, they were one of the organizations that you model.
A: "A first class organization. I remember growing up, obviously seeing Joe Montana and the Super Bowls they were winning and all that good stuff. A lot of childhood heroes on that team with Roger Craig, Jerry Rice, Taylor, and Brent Jones was there, the tight end. I used to watch him a lot and actually went to one of his events when I was in college and I got to meet him, which was a highlight for me while I was in college. I grew up watching these guys for sure."
Q: Is Vernon Davis one of the up-and-coming tight ends in this league?A: "I think so and he is starting to come into his own; he is starting to get it and it's been a while. He's always had the talent, but for some reason now it's starting to click for him and I couldn't be happier for him. I'm pretty proud of him."
Q: You know the media members like to look at numbers. When will the running game get going and how close is it?
A: " We're this close to breaking a big one. I think that it seems like everybody is getting their block and then one person might not get to their guy and I've been one of those guys who hasn't been getting to my guy. I think we all have to take that and be accountable for that. I think Mike (Turner), he's going to get it going sooner or later and hopefully it will be this week."
Defensive End John Abraham
Q: Are you ready to play coming off the bye week?
A: " It is a good break, but it is time to come back to football and we're ready to play. San Francisco looks good on both sides of the ball and the defense is ranked high in a lot of categories right now."
Q: Do you see a little bit of Singletary personality translating into them?
A: "Definitely, you can see that in the defense coming out. They're real tough and they look tough all together as a team, but the defense looks hard-nosed and like they're ready to hit."
Q: Anything different teams are doing with the last couple of games? You guys got to the quarterback quite a bit, but not against New England?A: " I think that was more of us and not them. We didn't play as well as we could against New England. Not to take any credit away from them, but we definitely could've played a better game. So, I won't say it's what they did, but what we did."
Q: Mike Peterson talked about getting back to basics. Do you agree with that after watching film?
A: "Definitely, if you watched the film that we watched. It was just such a big margin from the beginning of the year to when we played that game. We just have to get back to where we were."
Q: You can't discount the fact that with different personnel in there and that messing with the defensive chemistry. Doesn't that take a little work?A: "Yeah, it definitely does. But, like I said if you watched the film that we watched it, it wasn't anything that they did or any of the schemes that we did. It was just basically man-to-man getting beat. It was like the guy in front of them was doing better than he was. It wasn't anything that they were doing, but it was more of us."
Q: Who stands out on their offensive side of the ball?
A: "Everybody. Definitely their tight end and their quarterback is playing well. He is playing consistent right now, he's not making a lot of mistakes and that's what they need. They're not asking him to go win games, they're asking him to go manage games and he is doing a good job. I think that they're going to be without Frank (Gore), but they're still going to have a good offensive line and still try to run the ball."
Defensive End Kroy Biermann
Q: On the bye week did you take that as an opportunity to re-learn things and go back to the basics?A: "Yeah, definitely you're going to focus on fundamentals on those extra practices that you get. You're going to work on things that you've seen from those few weeks you've been playing and get back to basics kind of."
Q: You guys started off great and then slipped on the road. What did you guys take from that lose?
A: "A lot of things, you know. The run game we didn't defend so well. Overall we weren't flying around like we normally were and we're a high-intensity defense, so we want to play that way every weekend. We just have to get back to our personality and the things that we're going to do during that bye week. We are excited to get back out there this week."
Q: What's the biggest factor in getting the run defense back on track? Is it tackling or being in the right positions?A: "Yeah, just those fundamental things. Tackling and gap sound, being that way is something you have to have when you want to stop the run."
Q: A running back is a running back. With Frank Gore out what do you think about Glen Coffee?A: " I think that the running back that's going to be out there is going to be good and give us a challenge. That's the way it is every weekend."
MORE FALCONS-49ERS COVERAGE:
NOTEBOOK:Reserve running back to play for 49ers * TRANSCRIPT:Thoughts from the Falcons locker room about the Niners * BEAT BLOG:Breaking down previous games and future opponents * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:J. Mike looks at TV listings and more on the game * VIDEO:Head Coach Mike Smith | Ryan | Gonzalez | Abraham | Biermann * EXPERT'S TAKE:Pete Prisco evaluates the Falcons for Week 5