SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of Ndamukong Suh’s Thursday conference call with Bay Area reporters.
What’s the atmosphere like in Detroit with you being 5-0?
Solitude. We’re continuing to work for a good team we’re going to see. We enjoyed our Monday night win and a little on Tuesday. But we’re focused on San Francisco, knowing we have a tough road ahead of us.
Is it tough to come back from an emotional high?
No, I don’t think there is. Been lucky enough to play at a great university in Nebraska. Playing Texas and Texas Tech back to back…Texas followed by Arizona in bowl game. Definitely we have the maturity and enough guys went to big schools in the sec and big 12. I don’t think it will be a big issue at all.
What problems do 49ers pose?
They have great tandem of running backs in obviously Gore and Hunter. They’re work horses and get the job done. They play their game and limit mistakes. We’re a team that capitalizes on mistakes. We need not to let them have breakout runs. They pride their offense on running the ball. We need to put points on the board …
Have you noticed their OLine?
I haven’t watched their line like that. Know they had trouble at RG and made a switch in the last two weeks with Snyder. That’ll be interesting. Watching both and interesting to see which one I faced. I know Mike from the draft. Saw him this summer and ran into each other at airport. He’s having a good season.
Never seen Hunter before, it’ll be my first time as far as I know. Hides behind OL and makes big plays.
Do you ever stand up and play linebacker?
I did quite a bit last year. Starting to pick it up more this year. Depends on who we’re playing and if I’m comfortable in the matchups. It’s fun to do. It gets me out of being out of 3-technique on the left side. Good for our defense that we can be interchangeable and not allowing offenses to know where we’re at every single moment.
Surprised at yourself?
I wouldn’t say surprised by any means. Done a good job staying humble and working. That’s something my parents instilled in me and want to stay on that path. To be among the best, there’s some great guys everyone knows, Reggie and Bruce, it’d be an honor to be named in a same sentence as those guys and be anywhere near where they were in the past.
On game-day transformation to mean streak?
For me I’ve always looked at this way: Last week was a great example of that: I know lot of people on that team and close friends I have in Chicago. One in Zach Bowman had dinner with, Okoye we live close to each other in Houston. For me to have dinner with him before the game and with families, next day not going to speak to him, high five him, because it’s all about business.. When I step in between lines, we aren’t friends.
On ending last season with 4-game win streak and carry over?
End of last year had a good part of our success right now. We learned how to win. … Seeing it all pay off at end and continue that momentum through the offseason with workouts Kyle did a great job with … we picked up where we left off. That’s what we emphasized doing. It’s exciting to see that happen and build off that.
Game planning different?
Yes, I definitely have. My teammates, I can’t thank them enough, in Kyle (Vanden Bosch), Cliff (Avril), Corey (Williams), Sammie (Hill), Flu (Andre Fluellen), Nick (Fairley) just coming in now, Willie (Young) and especially Lawrence Jackson … just being able to be around those guys and them producing, that’s ultimately the best thing to see them have success and make plays. I can sit back anytime and continue to play the run and continue to do my job and not make sacks, as long as they’re making sacks. At some point, they’re going to have to pay attention to those guys because they’re hurting them so much, and it will free me up to make plays as well. I have two sacks this season but it’s not ultimately where I want to be.
On numerous DL and competition:
There’s definitely a competition for us to meet at the quarterback. The key words is we’ll meet each other at the quarterback. It’s really great to have a great group of guys that work together. There could be lot of selfishness in that locker room. But everybody’s unselfish and plays together.
On where he lines up:
I line up everywhere. May see over TE, a T, a LT, standing up, you never know. It’s the flexibility of our defense that throws off offenses because they don’t know where we’ll be. Primarily I’m over the right guard, the left side for them. You never know. That’s the great thing about our DL is we’re all interchangeable.
No, haven’t seen (other). To see way approaches practice every day, it’s impeccable to see him grow and get better. From last year to this year, had big growth and not sure where it’s come from. He’s produced a ton for us and it’s exciting to watch him from the sideline.
For me it was a great fit and something I believe in. I loved the story they brought to me: Never forget your roots. To have that transition and come back from a great city in Detroit..i have tough mean persona in Detroit and baddest dude on team, and when I go see my mother I am who I am, Suh, the child she brought up.
On Saints embraced by NO. Same sense about Detroit community?
I definitely love being part of this community. I’ve been embraced by them before I was drafted. Especially when had name chanted at event for season ticket holders before drafted. Being around the chief of police and all the different people in this city is very exciting.
Great relationship. Helped me. Got close this summer when held camps this summer in the city of Detroit…it was primarily him helping me set up and working with my sister in the camp and anything he needs from me all he has to do is ask. Best thing to know is the police are on your side, they’re there to help you.
On hits and fines; intimidation fear factor:
I don’t think any part of my game is intimidation or fear factor. It’s you either need to guard me or I’m going to hit your quarterback. If you’re not going to block me I’m going to continue hitting your quarterback, I’m going to continue to hit him. It’s not necessarily me putting fear like, “I want you to be scared of me.” It’s the fear of if you don’t come up with a great plan, I’m going to hit him or the other eight or nine guys will hit him as well.
On quickness from father?
No question my dad instilled soccer into me at an early age, I was 3. My feet definitely come from that and it was engrained in me at an early age.