SAN FRANCISCO –
The star of the night was Kendall Hunter, and he spoke to a group of reporters after the game in the locker room. Hunter was the most talkative I’ve ever seen him, and for good reason.
Here’s the transcript of that interview.
Q: What has been your biggest adjustment from college to the NFL?
HUNTER: My biggest adjustment is everything. There’s new terminology and a new team and new coaches. You’ve just got to adjust and learn everybody and get used to everybody.
Q: What did it feel like on the 53-yard touchdown run?
HUNTER: It felt good, but none of that would have been possible if it weren’t for my O-line. I’ve got to thank the O-line for holding everybody up and letting get a seam to run through.
Q: When you upended that safety, did that feel good too?
HUNTER: Oh yeah. You can’t play unless you can make the blitz pickup and be able to block.
Q: Is that something that’s big with the coaches?
HUNTER: That’s the biggest thing. Ever since I started playing college football, the biggest thing is biggest up blitzes, and the blitzes up here you’ve got to study and keep studying until I get better.
Q: What does running backs coach Tom Rathman like better, a blitz pickup like that or a 53-yard run?
HUNTER: The blitz pickup – that’s his biggest thing. If you can’t block and you don’t know your assignments, hey, tough luck.
Q: Your ability to see a hole and hit it, how much quicker do you have to be in the NFL than in college?
HUNTER: You can’t tap your feet too much. In the NFL, if there’s a hole right there and you don’t hit it, you’re not going to get through there.
Q: When you picked up that blitz and you came off the field did anyone talk to you about that?
HUNTER: Yeah they told me they liked it, me flipping somebody.
Q: Do you feel you have to battle the perception that you’d struggle against the blitz because of your size?
HUNTER: Yeah, in a way, but in another way I’ve got an advantage because I’m low to the ground, I’m short. As soon as I get on him I’ll be alright.
Q: What do you think of the running back group you’re a part of. Gore, Dixon, Omon – that’s a pretty talented group.
HUNTER: It’s a blessing that I got drafted here, and be able to learn from guys like [Gore], he’s one of the greatest in the game, one of the best. It’s good to learn from him. He’s showing me the ropes.
Q: Do you feel like you’re starting to adjust to the NFL?
HUNTER: You’ve got to work hard every day – night and day. During practice, anytime. You can’t take a day off up here. You’ve got to keep working hard and show the coaches you can help out in any kind of way that you can.
Q: A 100-yard rushing game in your second preseason game. What does that do for your confidence?
HUNTER: It’s good to get that, but the game is over with. We’ve got to go to work Monday.
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