Alex Smith: “The focus is on details.”

SAN FRANCISCO — Here’s the transcript of Alex Smith’s postgame press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.

Would you say this is the most complete team victory this season?

“Probably this season. I think the best two halves of football we’ve put together for sure. I think the four games prior to this we’ve had good halves here, good halves there, and never really put a full game together. I think that was the best example of that, putting two halves of football together.”

Were you surprised that you were able to do as much as you wanted to, and all that you wanted to throughout the game, and score as many points as you did? After all the games that you’ve played have been really close and this was a blowout.

“Well, we jumped up the first two games, we jumped up on teams, and like I said, I think we played really good first halves. And then the second half didn’t close it out. And then all of a sudden, the Seattle game’s close there for a while. Then Dallas comes back and ends up beating us in overtime. I think in the second half, the offensive line really just came out and dominated the second half. Defense continued to play great all day. But, really on the offensive line there, to come out in the second half and run the ball the way we did. They’re loading up the box just begging you to throw it, and still running it the way we did says a lot.”

Alex, it seems to me that the big change in the team this year is the new coaching staff, it’s a lot of the same players. So, what I’m asking you is what did they do that is so extraordinary to get you to a 4-1 record, and improving all the time, what is the nature of this coaching staff?

“Better question for them. Don’t give away the secrets, right. No, to be honest with you, I don’t think there are. I think, and I’ve said this before, when I talk about Coach Harbaugh and the staff, and I talk about it being all ball, and I mean that in a great way. But, that’s what it is. It’s all football. The focus is on details. The focus is on football. The focus is on teaching. Players executing and us getting better every day. There’s no secret. I don’t know if there’s anything. It’s just continue to take steps every single day, and I think we’ve done that.”

Does that mean they’re very detail oriented?

“For sure. Yeah absolutely. I think these coaches do a great job of teaching. Explaining things to us, putting us in situations to succeed, and I think the team’s done a great job of taking that on and really executing. The offensive line taking a lot of criticism the first three weeks of the season, and just continued to work hard and get better. And to do that today versus a 3-1 football team, just absolutely dominated up front. Running the ball, protection was great all day. Says a lot.”

You said last week, you’re trying not to think too much, not overdoing anything or over-thinking anything, is that something you remind yourself every series, or how do you actually do that?

“I think really just kind of staying in the moment. Just taking in one play at a time, not getting too far ahead of myself. Really felt like I did a great job today on the first half. Second half there, a couple plays obviously I’d like to have back. But, that’s every game. But, continue to get better, and make strides.”

Have you ever felt the confidence you do now as a pro quarterback?

“I’m not thinking about that right now to be honest with you. I’m just focused on playing football. New challenges every week that present new challenges every week with the defenses we play. And, I’m trying to make steps. I feel good about where I’m at. But, as far as—and I’ve said this in years past and I know you guys, but as far as seeing things and what’s happening as far as defenses and what they’re trying to do to me and us on offense, but at this point just really trying to take the steps within the offense. Play within the system, be myself, make the plays when they’re there to be made.”

Carrying off from week to week, you’re in quite a rhythm.

“I think as an offense it’s a tribute to all of us. Like I said, it takes all eleven of us to do it. And I think the guys who really deserve the credit are the offensive line. Today, they just played great, lights out. But, I think yeah a race to get better. You’ve got to continue to get better.”

Alex, how did it feel standing on the sideline of the winning end of a blow out? It hasn’t happened too often.
“Feels great. I don’t know what else to say. It’s hard to put into words. Feels great. You worked so hard, you put in so much time, you sacrifice. And to be sitting there as the clock’s ticking down to all zero’s, and you’re up like that. It feels good.”

As a team you have four turnovers in five games, is Coach Harbaugh somehow responsible for that?

“Oh yeah. It doesn’t happen by accident yeah. Turnovers are something that’s emphasized. Being smart with the football, not being careless, making good decisions. All that stuff, yeah no question, emphasized from the top down every day. And I think the guys on offense have done a great job with it.”

Are there other things you can do besides talking about it and emphasizing it? Because obviously a lot of coaches do.

“Yeah, like I said, I think yeah there’s coaches that talk about it especially after the fact. But, it’s something that’s harped on every single day. Details of what we do every single day. Ball carriers, making smart decisions at the quarterback position. Those are things that don’t periodically get emphasized all the time.”

With each progressive week, you guys seem to get more yards after the catch than you did previously, to what can you attribute that to?

“Just more time with each other. Getting better within the system. I think just growing together. I don’t know if it’s any magic thing. I just think us continuing to learn and improve.”

Is there any celebratory chant from your Coach after this one, or who’s got it better than us, or any new one today?

“Not that I know of.”

Nothing? Come on.

“No, no. I’ve got nothing for you. I’ve got nothing for you. Lips sealed.”

Alex, can you talk about [TE] Delanie Walker giving you the game ball after that touchdown?

“Oh after that touchdown pass?”

He chased you down to go give it to you.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what he was doing with it to be honest with you. Yeah it’s kind of up to you. I actually just threw it back into the mix. I think we maybe threw another one with it. Threw it back into the game balls, and Coach will give the game balls out when he decides who deserves it.”

He felt that was significant for you though.

“I appreciate him getting open and catching it. But, yeah I’m not a game ball guy, so.”

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