Q: Is it hard to not look past this game because of what is ahead?
A: Not really. It’s good to look ahead. It’s good to understand what we’re playing for. We have to understand the task at hand and what bridge we have to cross in order to make it to our ultimate goal. San Francisco is that bridge right now.
Q: What do you think your 99-yard touchdown did for this team’s confidence?
A: It’s tough to tell. I think it kind of boosted our confidence as far as just having momentum and understanding that whenever we needed those big plays. In certain games where we were kind of low and needed a big play and I was the person to do that and I was the person to create that opportunity for us, I think it boosted everybody’s momentum and got everybody’s spirits up and we understood that we were a good team. We’ve been flying high since then.
Q: Is there anything special you can do against a team that tackles very well?
A: No, we just have to continue to play our game. Due to this offense, we are able to hopefully catch the ball and catch it in space and be able to do the things we like to do with the ball in our hands. That’ll be a test for us. We understand their secondary is really good at coming downhill and making good tackles. It’ll be a challenge for us.
Q: How much of the receivers’ ability to get yards after the catch can be attributed to Manning’s ability to put the ball in the right spot?
A: I think it kind of goes hand in hand. I think it’s a little bit of both. I think the location of the football allows us to catch it in stride and be able to see the defender in front of us and be able to make a move by the time you catch the ball as opposed to it being a little behind us where we’d have to stop and it would take a second off of potentially getting that extra yard or two. A lot of it has to do with where the ball is placed and a lot of it has to do with our natural ability.
Q: When you see Manning leave practice with the flu, what is your first thought?
A: Nothing really, he just has the flu. We understand that he’s sick and it’s tough to practice under those circumstances, under those conditions. Hopefully he can get well soon and he’ll be back out here with us.
Q: Do you have any concerns your timing will be off at all?
A: No, not at all. As long as he’ll be out here tomorrow and Friday and be out here working with us. It’s tough to pull him away from this field. No matter how sick he was, he didn’t want to leave the field today, but it’s just one of those things where he had to. We understand that, but by no means do I think our timing will be off or anything like that.
Q: Does it become a concern if he misses tomorrow too?
A: I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.
Q: Is there something you think you didn’t take advantage of in the first game against the 49ers that you think you can the second time around?
A: Nothing that we feel like we didn’t take advantage of. Just more of understanding that we wanted to play this team again and we understood that to reach our ultimate goal, it was probably going to have to go through this team. We understood that and now we have the opportunity to do so. We are excited about it, we understand that we came close to beating them earlier this year and we get another shot.
Q: Was there something the 49ers secondary can take away from their first game against you?
A: I don’t know. It’ll be tough. They still have to defend, they still have to be aware of different routes we have and different talents that each receiver has and each receiver possesses. It’s still going to be a challenge, more or less, the way the secondary views us, so it should be a good matchup.
Q: How much do you pay attention to the weather?
A: I did like I did in Green Bay last week. I put it in my phone and I put the San Fran weather in my phone. I saw it was going to be a little rainy so far, but that was like eight days before the game. Clouds and stuff like to move around, so hopefully those rain clouds can move to the left a little bit.
Q: Some players have said that the field in Candlestick Park is difficult to get your footing.
A: It is. It’s grass so it naturally has that give to it and that stadium’s been around a long time so it’s a throwback stadium and the grass is pretty thick. You tend to slide and slip a little bit. If it rains, it will definitely be a challenge for us. It’s nothing that we haven’t faced before. Green Bay, it was cold and that [field] is slick. Due to how cold it was, the field was rather slick. Whatever challenges come our way we’ll have to just take them head on.
Q: Do you, Hakeem and Mario play off of each other during a game in terms of if you see someone make a nice play you want to match it?
A: Of course. It’s always a thing where us as receivers, we understand that we all make plays and when we see one make a play or the other make a play we want to come out and we want to make some plays too. I think that’s what makes us so good, because we understand each other’s strengths and we play to that. We come to the sideline and tell each other different coverages, how they’re playing us and you know we like to make plays all over the field.
Q: What’s something you learned about Carlos Rogers during the game that you didn’t know from film?
A: I don’t know. It’s just a matter of seeing him again and understanding that there were some positive things I did against him in the first game. I’m probably going to have to stick to those things. Watching film, he’s gotten a lot better since then. He’s been doing a lot of good things. It’s just a thing where as the game goes on see where he’s favoring, see which way he’s leaning towards and try to calculate and maneuver off of the way his body is shifting, things like that.
Q: Do you owe him because he copped your dance?
A: I guess you guys can answer that question better than I can.
Q: Can you talk about the momentum swing – the way you’ve been able to covert a lot of third-and-longs and the way your defense has been able to stop a lot of third and fourth-downs?
A: It’s been huge. Our third-down percentage has been great. It’s something we pride ourselves on. All through practice we understand that third downs are always huge, for any football team. But coming down the stretch, to convert these third downs is huge. The fact that we’re able to convert those in key situations has been tremendous for us. Our defense has been playing awesome this entire playoffs. If they continue to play like that for this week and God willing the next one, we’ll be okay.
Q: Could you have imagined this time last year that you would be holding your first-born and about to play in the NFC Championship game?
A: Definitely not. A year ago I was just trying to find my way on this team and was trying to get off of IR and making sure I was healthy, getting ready for next year, watching the end of the season last year and seeing how that turned out. This year has just been a tremendous ride for me. I don’t want it to end. We still have some goals in front of us and we want to complete those.