SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
Can you take us through LB NaVorro Bowman’s interception one more time and just how that play was designed and how it unfolded?
“Well, everybody on that play did their job exactly correct, all 11 guys. And luckily it worked out. But, it just goes to show when you execute, all 11 guys doing the right thing at the right time with the right amount of energy, good things can happen. And everybody was right on point on that play. And it’s something that we don’t call very often, don’t practice very often, but it’s always on the plan every week and that was the time to use it.”
In 49ers lore, we know Montana and the sprint right option, what’s the name of the play call for that one?
“I don’t know if I want to give that.”
“Yeah, yeah it’s Max Zero.”
How often have you called it this season?
“I don’t know the exact number. But, maybe three.”
What did you see from, why was that called?
“Just felt like it was the time based upon the situation and the way things were going.”
On replays it looked like S Eric Reid played a pretty big part of it coming up the middle and getting right in—
“He did. Like I said, he was one of the 11 that were doing their jobs exactly correct and we got the desired result. Now, obviously to get a pick six is far-fetched, but we had a good down.”
What did CB Tramaine do on that play? Was there a little bit more pressure on him?
“Yeah, he has a hard job on that play. He basically has the receiver by himself. And he might pick up some help from NaVorro, he might not. He doesn’t know that. NaVorro did his job and came back out and was there.”
Has Tramaine surprised you with his physicality the way he’s tackling and getting after receivers?
“No, he’s always been a fairly physical player and done well here on special teams when he wasn’t playing defense. And like I said before, we always felt he had the ability. He just needed an opportunity one, and he needed to show it when he got his opportunity. And he’s done that.”
Have you ever heard his voice?
Is he a talker?
“Enough. Enough. We converse in the meeting rooms.”
And what’s he like in the meeting rooms? Is he still learning the game? Does he have a pretty good handle on what he’s doing, what’s his?
“I think it’s both. I think he’s continually learning. He’s still a very young player, young from both an age standpoint and playing standpoint. But yet, he’s much more comfortable in his job and the minute details of it now than he was last year than he was two months ago. He’s grown leaps and bounds.”
He’s a very aggressive player it seems like, makes breaks on the ball obviously the other night. How do you as a defensive coordinator sort of weigh that? He potentially could give up plays as well with that aggression? Do you try to curb it? Do you encourage it? What’s your take?
“We encourage guys to play aggressive within the rules. Don’t want guys playing passive. Now they’ve got to play smart, always keep in mind of the game situation, the down and distance and where we’re at within each and every game. But, you always want your guys playing aggressive. And he has been playing aggressive. And I think that comes with confidence from playing.”
S Donte Whitner got that flag first against Falcons RB Steven Jackson. We heard a lot of noise in the coaching box. Were you one of those people who thought maybe that shouldn’t be a flag?
“Well, you saw more replays of it than I did at the time, what did you think?”
He was not fined by the NFL.
“Right. So, there’s your answer.”
How do you come away from that game? Big play at the end, but also gave up a lot of yards, a couple of 10-point leads, that advantage in the second half. Where are you on that?
“Well, we gave up the two long passes, and any time you do that you’re not going to have a good day from a yardage standpoint. But I thought that we were pretty resilient in the first half. We played well other than that one big play. We did a good job at the end of the half not allowing them to get more than three when they had the punt return to about our 45 with a good amount of time left. Played well in the third quarter that kind of backed up our offense when they got going there. We had a couple really good series that got them the ball back quick. And then we gave up the scores in the second half there in the fourth quarter. But, found a way to get the job done thereafter they recovered the onside kick. They’re a very good offensive team. They have been all year. They scored in the mid 20’s or more on most of the teams they’ve played against. And their record is not indicative of their quality of offensive play. That’s for sure.”
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer throws four interceptions and they still win in Seattle. How did they do that?
“Because their defense played so well. And offensively, they were able to overcome those interceptions because all but one of them kind of came deep in the end there where they didn’t give Seattle field position. Now, the one didn’t. One gave Seattle the ball on the three and the guy missed the field goal. And they were able to run the ball a bunch. They ran the ball around 40 times in that game, which again is indicative of the quality of defense Arizona played against Seattle. So, they were able to maintain the balance throughout the game.”
How much of the offense of the Cardinals has changed with the emergence of WR Michael Floyd since the Week 6 meeting?
“They were improving the last time we played them. They had a couple rough early games. But, you could see them improving the week or two before we played them. And they’ve improved a tremendous amount since then, obviously winning seven of eight games. And Floyd’s developed, [RB Andre] Ellington’s developed. They’ve done a great job with him, using him in a way that highlights his strengths. And he’s really been a big boost for their offense. He’s very similar to [Saints RB] Darren Sproles. And they’ve done a good job of using him. It’s hard to believe that guy lasted to the sixth round, which is one of the reasons why the draft is so intriguing to everybody once it comes around. There are gems like that to be found late in the rounds and they got one.”