March 2, 2021

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49ers, Packers Break Down NFC Championship Matchup

7 min read
49ers, Packers Break Down NFC Championship Matchup

DL Nick Bosa on Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga:

“Just another really good tackle. Whenever you’re a veteran, I feel like being a veteran at tackle is probably the most advantageous because of all the savvy little tricks they have. I mean, he’s faced tons of good rushers over the years, just like their left tackle. It’s going to be even more difficult with him on the field.”

Bosa on if preparing for the Packers run game is similar to preparing for the Vikings:

“It’s definitely similar, but they have a lot of little wrinkles that they add in to try to get the edge. Their running back likes to bounce it outside. But the principles are the same. Play the same technique, same everything. Just have to be more physical.”

WR Emmanuel Sanders on the importance of team chemistry:

“It’s very important. Last week Kyle, he pretty much gave a speech to the team and sometimes in this league, you come to work and you clock in, you clock out, and truthfully, I enjoy being around these guys. The speech that Kyle gave was that there’s so much love between this team and how much we care about each other and I looked around, I looked at Deebo Samuel, I looked at Kendrick Bourne, I looked at the receiver corps; I said, ‘Man, I genuinely do love these guys.’ It’s a great group of guys to go to work with every day; a fun group of guys to go to work with. I feel like when you have that kind of chemistry, and it’s all throughout this team and all throughout this organization, I feel like when you have that, the sky is the limit. We’re not in this position- it’s not a coincidence, you know. We worked our butts off on the field and off the field and I feel like we are deserving of this moment and we’ve got to take advantage of it.”

T Joe Staley on the 49ers culture under Shanahan and John Lynch:

“I think we’ve talk about a lot of times, kind of as a cliché in the NFL, is it’s a family. This is a really, really close locker room. It really is special. I’ve been a part of my 13th NFL team, and every year is different and this one is really special as far as the camaraderie in the locker room. Guys are showing up to play every single week, coming to work every single day and looking to get better. It’s a special bunch.”

Staley on what he tells the younger members of the team going into the NFC Championship:

“It’s the same exact statement and stuff I said last week. You know, the playoffs might seem like it’s a bigger deal and there are more eyes on you and a lot of this stuff creates maybe some anxiety in the younger players that haven’t been there but, it’s the same exact game. It’s the same exact thing. We’re a special team and we just go out there and execute the game plan and have a great week of practice and all that other stuff we’ll handle.”

Staley on the history between the 49ers and Packers:

“We’ve had a lot of games and had some big games in the playoffs and whatnot. Seem to find each other all the time during the regular season, as well. A team that we are familiar with and we’ve had a lot of great battles with throughout the years during my playing career here. But you know, this is a completely new game and it’s one game at a time. We are expecting their best and we are expecting to have a good, physical game on Sunday.”

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on what makes Adams so tough to cover:

“He’s very strong. He’s a very good route runner. He’s got great hands. He’s got a saltiness to him where he’s really good in double moves. He just kind of lulls you to sleep. But, he’s savvy, and him and (Green Bay Packers QB) Aaron (Rodgers) have a really good relationship. They’ve got a good rapport with one another, so they’re very comfortable. They know where each other is going to be. Just the whole combination of the routes they have for him and all the different things they ask him to do, it’s a good match, and he’s very talented.”

Saleh on the importance of Jimmie Ward‘s play in limiting the opposition’s explosive plays:

“Jimmie’s versatility, I don’t know if there’s, I don’t want to blur it, but there’s not a lot of free safeties like him who are an exceptional cover guy along with the range he has in the middle of the field and his ability to do different things and the instinctiveness that he plays with, the physicality that he plays with. Knock on wood for him, we’ve always said that if he could stay healthy, people would recognize how special he is, and he’s just got to continue staying the course, keep taking care of his body, keep doing the things he’s doing. But, having his versatility is always an asset.”

CB Richard Sherman on how tough it is to prepare to play Rodgers:

“Well, he throws an incredible football. He has a quick release. He’s very accurate. He throws a great deep ball. He’s mobile. He’s great at diagnosing defense. He has all the tools that you look for in an elite quarterback, and he’s done it for a number of years.”

TE George Kittle on the key to getting open against zone coverage:

“Yeah, I mean, getting open, I think you get better at once you start playing a lot. But yeah, I mean, zones are just kind of a feel thing. I actually got better at zone, like finding spots in zones watching (WR) Trent Taylor because I think he’s absolutely incredible at it and definitely a guy that we’ve been missing. I would love to have him back. But yeah, it’s just something you get better at just watching tape. You see where guys drop, but mostly just a feel thing. You’ve just got to find a soft spot, and what’s awesome about Jimmy is he’s got such a quick release, he’s going to hit you, and you’ve just got to drop, set and get vertical.”

Kittle on taking pride in being a run blocker:

“I mean, I take pride in my run game. That’s how I grade myself in games. Passing yards and receiving yards take care of themselves. So yeah, I mean, I take pride in it. I mean, if we do better with me on the field or not, it’s whatever, I’m just going to go out there every single play and try my best. We did a pretty good job of that last week.”

LB Fred Warner on going up against Packers running back Aaron Jones:

“Yeah, Aaron has been fantastic all season, very explosive runner. I feel like he’s very dynamic. They use him a lot of ways, so I think they’re for sure going to want to get the ball in his hands come Sunday.”

Warner on what he learned from the matchup against the Packers in Week 12:

“That we did well, we stopped the run, obviously, which we try to do every week. It’s easier said than done. But I think they kind of went away from the run early on, so it turned into a matter of our guys up front trying to get home and them trying to complete passes down the field. And so I think it was a full team win, though. Our offense did an outstanding job throughout the game. Special teams made plays, too. We’re looking to have a complete game this time around.”

DL DeForest Buckner on what makes Rodgers so difficult to defend:

“Yeah, he still can extend plays. Obviously getting outside the pocket. He’s really good in the pocket with knowing where the rush is at, and trying to — getting out of the way and everything. So, he can make guys miss and also get outside the pocket and make you pay, kind of like (Seattle Seahawks QB) Russell Wilson does. We just need to kind of really go, really take it one play at a time and go with the same mindset we had the last time we played them and also last week. I felt like the guys took it personal, telling themselves that they weren’t going to be blocked. We have to have that same mindset going into this game.”

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