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Kevin Gilbride, 10.22.09

Q. There have been comparisons made between Anquan Boldin and Hakeem Nicks. Do you see that?

A. I don’t know. I always have a hard time trying to compare players. We thought we had a guy who would be a solid receiver and we had seen some things on film where he could run the ball. That is something we thought that could help us. I am not sure I could honestly say that he looked as fast as he looks when he has the ball in his hands. He looks faster when he has the ball in his hands than when he is running routes. He has done a great job. We will keep feeding him the opportunities and hopefully he continues to make plays.

Q. There is always skepticism with rookie receivers. Is he beyond that?

A. There are still areas to be improved upon, trust me. That goes with all of us. Of course, being a young guy and just starting out, there are more areas than some of the guys who have been here for a little bit. But when he has had a chance to make a big play he has and that is the thing that has been impressive.

Q. Brandon thought it could have been a huge rushing day last week. Do you think you have to get more established at the run?

A. No, I think we have to do whatever has to be done on game day. That game, the reason the running game was good is because we were throwing it and had chances for big plays and they backed off and that is when the running game was good. On the first couple where he got stuffed, that is why we had the opportunities for the big plays throwing the ball. Problem was three of the first ten plays we had a chance to score a touchdown and we didn’t do it. Seven times over the course of the game we had a chance to score a touchdown and didn’t for one reason or another. But when we got them to back off we had a chance to run the ball.

Q. This week you face another high-powered offense. Will you use the pass to set up the run?

A. All we do is look to see what the defensive scheme or approach is going to be against us and then try to take advantage of the areas that are most vulnerable. When those areas are there and you have those chances, and like I said, three of the first ten plays we had a chance for a touchdown and didn’t hit it for whatever reason. That would have backed them off tremendously. Then we could have run the ball and controlled the clock. We got behind and we had to continue to throw. We had chances. There were things that we saw and we knew they would be there and they were there and we didn’t take advantage as we would have hoped.

Q. Do you expect to see the same things this week?

No, it’s a completely different defense and different defensive approach. Again, what they do, they still bring an extra man up there to rush down the run or you go two high to shut down the pass. Whatever they do, it will give one area more of a chance to be successful. You still have to go execute, whether it is run or pass, and hopefully when we see those things we will be able to do that.

Q. The streak of 38 straight games played together as an offensive line. Do you ever take that for granted?

A. No, never. They are not always healthy and not always playing at their very best. But there is great pride and camaraderie amongst those guys and despite the fact they minimize the significance of the streak, I know it is important to them and a badge of honor and one they should wear very proudly.

Q. You think that will continue?

A. We’ll see.

Q. Will you have to scale things down with the rookie in there?

A. No, I think he will do well physically but you always fear that there will be one thing that he isn’t sure about and he will make a mistake. It’s just like those receivers, it’s a young guy. He could play great for 40-50 plays and all of a sudden something happens and you don’t get the reaction that you were hoping you would get and that is what makes you nervous more than anything. If it is a receiver, maybe it is an incomplete pass, but with a lineman, it could be a sack or an interception.

Q. Since you and Tom (Coughlin) have been here there have been a couple of bad losses. Then the next week you have came out and played well. What are the reasons you guys have been able to do that?

A. I think it is a combination of things. We have the right character of players and a bunch of strong-minded coaches who are very determined and don’t waver in the belief in the team, the system and approach. It was one of those aberrations that you didn’t play as well as you should have. It’s not like we didn’t have chances. Offensively we had tons of them and didn’t take advantage. We believe what we are doing is right and we believe in our players and each other. Hopefully we will continue to come back.

Q. Have you been around coaches in the past that have wavered?

A. I think it is easy to have doubt and not trust what you are doing or the players. You try to make adjustments and if you have the right people, it is the worst thing you can do.

Q. How is Dockett playing?

A. He is good, a good player. They have a bunch of good players on defense. Tenacious hard-nosed kind of guy

Q. Is he the reason they are leading the league against the run?

A. He is one of them but they have a couple of guys playing very, very well. They are playing hard-nosed, getting 24 (Adrian Wilson) involved a lot. He is a physical guy. He is up there a lot. They have a lot of guys who are good, but he is certainly a big part of it.