SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of today’s Q&A with Ray McDonald from the 49ers locker room.
Q: How did you spend the Bye week?
McDONALD: I got a chance to sit around and kick my feet up and get my legs and my body back. So any nick or bruise I had before the bye week, I was able to heal up.
Q: Coach Harbaugh cited that teams are 3-9 coming off their bye weeks. Is that something he’s communicated to you?
McDONALD: He hasn’t mentioned it to us yet. I’m pretty sure he will. We’ve got to approach every week like we did before the bye week and that’s prepare for every game like it’s our last.
Q: Everyone now seems to consider the Niners a top-five team. Is it weird to be suddenly getting all this respect?
McDONALD: No, it’s not weird for us because we worked hard this offseason. And we trained hard in training camp. We were expecting this. We just have to keep building from it. We’ve got to get better every week.
Q: You stuck around all week? Were you here every day?
McDONALD: Every day.
Q: Why did you stay here and not get away?
McDONALD: Man, I hate flying. I really do. I just like to be out here. When I’m in season, I’m in season. I like to keep my mind on football. I trained about three days out of the week and I ran a little bit. Watched some film. So I can just always stay on top of the game.
GC: Did you work out by yourself?
McDONALD: Justin was here. He was working out with me.
Q: What did you?
McDONALD: I did a couple of gassers. Did a little bit of boxing.
Q: How often does coach bring up Frederick P. Soft to you guys?
McDONALD: Every day. He’s like, ‘You’ve got to watch out for Freddy P. Soft. He’s lurking. He’s on the corner.’ That’s his little things to where he tries to keep guys motivated to not be mentally soft.
Q: Was Freddie P. Soft mentioned going into the bye week?
McDONALD: Of course. You don’t want to get too lazy and get behind the eight-ball as far as playing goes. Everyone just has to stay on top of their game, training wherever they were at, I was. I know when I came back I was ready to go on Tuesday.
Q: How has Vic Fangio been able to get so much out of the defense?
McDONALD: He knows what kind of players he has. He knows how to get matchups he needs, with d-linemen, with linebackers, with cornerbacks. That’s what he’s real good at. He a genius over there in the (coach’s) box.
Q: But he also allows you guys to make decisions on the field?
McDONALD: He does. He knows he has smart players. When you have smart players and they know what’s coming as far as offensive scheme-wise, you can do a whole lot of things as a defensive coordinator.
GC: You said you were afraid of flying. Does it bother you when you fly on road trips? Can you sleep the night before?
McDONALD: I can sleep, it’s just taking off. I hate it. I put my headphones on, listen to music and I close my eyes. I just try to get through it, however many hours it is.
GC: But you can handle landing? That’s OK?
McDONALD: All of it sucks to me.