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49ers LB Patrick Willis: "We Have a Big Game This Week"

Posted Oct 16, 2013

49ERS LB PATRICK WILLIS

(on the 49ers’ success forcing turnovers)

It really is just one of those things we work on during training camp. We work on it during the season, during the individual time, and it’s something we put emphasis on the day before the game. It’s something we talk around a lot around here. It’s one thing to talk a lot, but it’s another to go out there and do it.

(on getting the team’s identity back the last few weeks)

Well, I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s one of those things where you might not start out at a race the way you want. If you hold to what you know and do things right, then you give yourself a great chance to win. I feel like for us, that’s what we’re doing each week. It’s always been (about) being better this week than you were last week. We won last week, and that was a big win for us. Obviously, we got a big game this week that is our focus that we want to go out and take care of.

(on his Tennessee roots)

It’ll be great playing at home. Honestly, I don’t think about it too much more than I do any other stadium I go play in or any home game I play in. Anytime I have an opportunity to go out there and play, I just want to play to the very best of my abilities whether it’s in Tennessee or New Orleans or here in San Francisco. I just want to go out and play great football.

(on whether family or friends are coming to the game)

I had to get a few (tickets) for some of my family.

(on whether he went to Titans games growing up)

No, I didn’t. When I was growing up, I couldn’t afford to go to any football games, and I’d only watch (them) at home.

(on whether he is a Titans fan)

I’m a 49ers fan, and that’s what I bleed. That’s who I’m a fan of.

(on Delanie Walker’s absence this season)

Delanie (Walker) was a great guy. He was certainly one of those guys for us that was a big player for us, a great guy on and off the field. He was a good friend of mine, actually my plane seat partner. Now when I fly, I don’t have him by my side to laugh with or cut up with. He’s a great guy, and they’re very fortunate to have him. We’ve got a big task this week playing against him.

(on his new flying partner)

C.J. Spillman

(on whether Delanie Walker snored)

No. He didn’t snore. He slept with his mouth wide open though. He wasn’t a snorer though.

(on what made Delanie Walker so important last year on offense)

I mean, he was just very versatile. He could block, he could catch. I mean, not only could he catch, but he could take the ball and turn it into a score. He was willing to sell out for his teammates, and I think that’s what made him the kind of player he is, that he’s just willing to go out and do whatever needs to be done to help the football team. Like I said, he’s certainly one of those guys that will forever, as long as I live, be a teammate of mine given that I was with him my first six years. We’ve been together through the good times and the bad times.

(on whether he and Delanie Walker have stayed in touch)

We do. We haven’t texted lately, and I’m not sure we’ll text before the game. I know I’ll talk to him right before the game, and I know that when it’s time to play, I’ll be on him in some way or what not. It’s always like we’re enemies at that point until the game is over.

(on whether he is surprised by Chris Johnson’s slow start)

You know, I’m not sure what’s going on, his situation over there. I just know as far as what I’ve seen on the film that he’s a guy that you might stop him nine times, but on that tenth run, he’s boom, he’s gone, and it’s a long one. So, it’s just one of those things you really have to hold him for as long as you have to on the field because any given moment, he can be in the end zone. For us, I don’t really care what he’s done up to this point, I just know we just got to make sure we don’t let him get off this game.

(on what he sees from Ryan Fitzpatrick)

He was a guy that we played against here when he was with Buffalo. We’ve done well against him. I never rest on what we’ve done to anybody in the past whether it’s good or bad because on any given Sunday, if you don’t come with the right mindset, anything is possible. For us, it’s not about whether it’s Jake Locker or Ryan Fitzpatrick; it’s just about going out there and playing good defense. That’s what we’re going to need especially on the road. The Tennessee Titans are a good football team, so we’re going to need every aspect of that game to be correct.

(on the team’s success since last year’s quarterback change)

It’s just one of those things regardless of who’s at the quarterback position or regardless of who’s at any position, whether it’s me being down with injuries like I was the previous two weeks or what not. When adversity hits, you can’t let it define your team; it defines your team by how you respond to it. I think we were just able to know the quarterback change was what it was at the time with the injury. We just had to keep moving forward, and we couldn’t let that set us back. After the decision was made, we couldn’t do anything about that. It’s just about going out there and winning games regardless of what position. The ultimate goal is to win.

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