SAN FRANCISCO – Here are Greg Roman’s postgame quotes, courtesy of the 49ers.
Did you guys come in knowing that you were going to throw as much as you did?
“Yes. We really feel like the table was set. I mentioned to [head coach] Jim [Harbaugh] earlier in the week it reminded me of two years ago when we were getting ready to play Oregon, we had kind of went with ground-and-pound there for a while and the table was set to throw the ball. As the defenses continue to load the box more and more, you just kind of keep baiting it and keep baiting it. We wanted to come out throwing this game a lot and the guys did a great job executing it.”
Is that something that’s really going to pay dividends as the year goes on? Showing teams that, ‘Okay, we can put the ball in the air too if you stack the box.’
“Yeah, we were kind of hoping to keep that a secret as long as we could but I guess it’s out of the bag now. The players did a great job executing the plan and we stuck with that plan from pillar to post, from the first play to the last. [QB] Alex [Smith] performed exactly pretty much like we thought he would, at a high level.”
Did they tip their hand with comments about how you guys never put it in Alex’s hands to win the game? Did they tip their hand that they were going to load up the box?
“Maybe a little bit but we really felt that they’d be concerned about stopping the run and put extra emphasis on stopping the run. Maybe a little bit.”
They definitely challenged you guys to do that. How do you think Alex responded to that challenge?
“Exactly like we thought he would. He executed the plan and didn’t blink from the first play of the game to the last. He did a great job and I know a lot of the guys were really excited about this plan this week and they had a great week of practice and just went out executed the plan. Alex is a cool customer, he’s a cool customer. Detroit, Philly, this game, the guy’s really got some poise about him and it’s every day. He did a good job.”
They’re obviously comfortable in their nickel. Was that part of it as well? They brought in a linebacker that’s not exactly their best.
“We felt that they’d play that personnel against our two-tight end, one-back group, we call that Tiger, and it kind of unfolded as we had foreseen it.”
Was that a designed Alex run to get into field goal position when you stuck the three verticals on the left side?
“No. He did a great job of just recognizing the rush lanes and running. He did a great job all day with his feet as well as his arm. He made some really tough yards for us when they were up the field trying to sack the quarterback and he was very decisive.”
Was there a run option on that play, given he went so quickly?
“Well, for some reason the rush lanes got all messed up pretty quick and there was nobody there so he just instinctively pulled it down and ran. Great job by him, great job by the players.”