SANTA CLARA – Alex Smith spoke in front of his locker Wednesday afternoon. He talked about turnovers, Randy Moss and the upcoming opponent – the Detroit. Lions. Here’s a transcript.
Q: You’ve gone 185 pass attempts without an interception? Who do you give the most credit to that?
ALEX SMITH: Throwing the football – the quarterback gets the attention, but it’s very much a team thing. A lot to do with protection up front, stepping into the pocket and throwing. A lot to do with the guys outside, running routes, making strong catches, even sometimes being defenders when it’s not what we’re looking for when the ball goes up. There’s a lot that goes into it. Definitely a team statistic.
Q: How much has your decision making improved this year?
ALEX SMITH: It’s always a work in progress. You’re always trying to get better and to make the right decisions. And then from there, throwing an accurate football. It always changes week to week. It’s something I try to take pride in.
Q: You guys talk a lot about turnovers.
ALEX SMITH: Yeah, we talk a lot about it. There’s a lot of different statistics, and they all have different correlations to winning, and the turnover battle is the No.1. In the history of the NFL, it’s the strongest correlation to winning and losing. We understand that. You can’t go out and play like that. You can’t just go out and be conservative, try not to turn the ball over and expect to win games. The goal is still to try to go out and execute well and win the turnover battle while doing that.
Q: When did you start to realize you had a pretty good streak going?
ALEX SMITH: I had no idea. Didn’t know until after the game when they told me. No clue that I was close to one.
Q: You broke Young’s record who broke Montana’s record. What does that mean to you?
ALEX SMITH: Very cool. Obviously it’s an elite group here that’s played this position for this organization. It’s an honor just to be mentioned with those guys.
Q: What’s the difference you’re seeing the Lions’ defense from the last time you played them.
ALEX SMITH: I think the defense as a whole has just continued to change. The D line is definitely a strength of theirs. I mean, just look at them. A lot of guys up front who can all play football. A strength of theirs’, for sure. They’ve added some things as far as the whole defensive scheme, they do a little bit more. In general, still similar to the team we played last year. Same system in place. But you never know. You play a team twice, pretty sure it’s not going to be the same way they played us last time. Got to get ready of some of that unknown, what they’re going to try to take away, what their focus will be.
Q: Do you think they’re still mad?
ALEX SMITH: For sure. Any time you play recently in a game like that – a hard fought battle, they were undefeated, we were 5-1 and that was a big, televised game coming down to the last play. No question, any time those games happen, for sure, they stick with you.
Q: What did winning that game mean for you guys?
ALEX SMITH: Big win for us. On the road, traveling three hours east, nationally televised game, playing indoors, hostile environment and finding a way to win in the fourth quarter. I think those are things that you build off of as the season goes on, those types of wins.
Q: How do you develop the poise to win on the road?
ALEX SMITH: As a team it comes from knowing the situations and not letting them get too big. Continue to play football. I think the ones that try to do too much or let those situations overwhelm them don’t do it. The teams that kind of go about their business and continue to execute put themselves in a position to make plays at the end.
Q: How comfortable are you with Randy Moss at this point?
ALEX SMITH: Feel good with all our guys, Randy included. It continues to build and evolve and change as the season goes on. It was our first week in season mode together.