Q: How did it feel to be out there again?

A: It felt great to be on the field again. I was very excited; it felt good to be out there and try to help my team win. Having that opportunity meant a lot.

Q: You guys offensively seemed to do a lot of good things in the first half, what happened in the second half? Why weren’t you able to sustain that?

A: We had little mistakes here and there. We didn’t finish our drives; a lot of those drives were finished with field goals. If we finished those with touch downs, the outlook of the game is different and it plays out differently. So that is something that we need to be able to do is get sevens instead of threes.

Q: The TD seemed to get caught up in the wind. What kind of factor was the wind today?

A: It was something we were conscious of but it wasn’t something that played a huge factor. For me, more importantly was that first drive. Being able to hit the one to Torrey [Smith]; that would have been big to come out that way and give us that lead and be able to play from there.

Q: Did you feel rusty at all? Or nervous? Did it feel different at all than a year ago?

A: No, just excited. I was excited to be out there with my teammates and have that opportunity to go out and compete.

Q: Was that first pass to Torrey [Smith], was that wind affected or just…?

A: I think that might have been a little juice, of being out there and having that opportunity. I saw the coverage and knew we had it but I just let it fly a little too long.

Q: Was it refreshing for you despite all of the other things that have been said, you were a football player first, to get to go out there and play football? Were you happy to do that?

A: Oh, most definitely! Once again, I was very excited, very happy to be out there and happy to have the support of my team as well.

Q: What kind of treatment did you receive from Bills fans? There was a report that somebody may have thrown a bottle at you.

A: If they did, they don’t have very good aim. [Laughter]

I had some Bills fans come up before the game to say they support me so I think it all depends on who the person is. But at the end of the day, I’m going to continue to fight for what I’m fighting for.

Q: Do you have a bigger platform now, because you’re back being the starter? Do you think that your message maybe carries even more weight now?

A: I think the message carries weight because people realize what’s happening and what’s going on and that it is something that needs to be addressed. There’s people’s lives being taken and people’s lives being affected by this on a daily basis. It is something that more and more conversations are happening that need to happen so ultimately we can address this issue and create change.

Q: What is the nastiest thing someone yelled to you today and what was the best thing?

A: To be honest, I was focused on football so I wasn’t really listening to what was going on in the stands.

Q: Why was it important for you to wear the [Muhammad] Ali shirt today?

A: To pay homage. He was someone that fought a very similar fight and was trying to do what is right for the people. And for me to have someone like that come before me, that is huge. He is someone that helped pave the way for this to happen. What he did and what he stood for, people remember him more for that than they do as a boxer. I can’t let him die in vain; I have to try to carry that on and try to fight that same fight until we accomplish our goal.

Q: Colin, there was a group of Bills fans, maybe 50 or so, before the game, they all kneeled outside the stadium during the national anthem to support you. What does that kind of support mean?

A: That’s huge. I think it’s something that, once again, people are realizing this is a real issue that affects many people. It is something that has to be addressed. Until us as people recognize and address that some of us have privilege, some of us don’t. Some of us are able to do certain things without consequences and others of us can’t. Those are all things that need to be addressed. Me, as a black man that plays football and is considered a celebrity is treated differently than a black man that is working a 9-5 in the hood. That’s just the reality of it and it shouldn’t be that I am treated any differently than that person. And it shouldn’t be that I’m treated differently than that person or that he is treated differently than me. We’re human beings and that needs to be something that everybody is treated that way.

Q: There were also t-shirts being sold outside with your face in a riffle scope, threatening you and some pretty nasty things. How do feel about that? Have you been continuing to get death threats?

A: No, those are rare occurrences now. I think for the most part, people are realizing the impact and what is going on. Like I said from the beginning, I knew the consequences of what could come from this and I was prepared for that.

Q: Just before kickoff, the fans were cheering U-S-A, U-S-A, the implication could be that you are somehow un-American or what you’re doing is un-American, how do you respond to that?

A: I don’t understand what is un-American about fighting for liberty and justice for everybody; for the equality that this country says it stands for. To me, I see it as very patriotic and American to uphold the United States to standards that it says it lives by. That is something that needs to be addressed.

Q: Inside that locker room, you guys have lost five games in a row now. What’s the state of this team and as the starting Quarterback how do you try to turn things around and uplift them?

A: We work. We have to go in, correct things, and make sure everyone is on the same page. We can’t make the mistakes that we’ve been making We can’t hurt ourselves in situations and when there are opportunities to make plays we have to be able to make those and up until this point we really haven’t.

Q: Do you think you did enough to show that you deserve to start again next week?

A: That’s not for me to say. I went out and played as hard as I could and gave this team everything I had. I will continue to do that every week they let me.

Q: Who did you trade jersey’s with at the end?

A: Marquise Goodwin.


Q: It seemed like you guys were doing some good things offensively in the first half. What do you think the issue was in the second half?

A: I don’t think we ran the ball very well in the second half. We have to give credit to Buffalo in terms of shutting down some of the things we did but we didn’t get the production out of the running backs that we needed to get to be successful. We have to build a little bit longer third downs and trying to convert those a little bit different than the first. In the first half, I thought we had a decent rhythm and did some nice things, but we have to be able to sustain that for the whole game.

Q: Can you evaluate Colin [Kaepernick]’s performance?

A: I thought he was okay. There are some positives that you can really build on with him that he did. I thought he extended some drives, keeping plays alive with his legs. He did a good job so it was a pretty good situation in terms of him running the football. But, overall offensively, I think we need to run the ball as a group better and we need to be better at our passing game.

Q: Why does the run defense, and the overall defense, breakdown week after week?

A: That’s a really good question. I don’t know. There were a lot of missed tackles today just from my vantage point on the sideline, but you have to look at the film and see where the fits were and see where we were spilling the ball where it’s supposed to be spilled. We have guys that can make plays but from the sidelines there were still some instances where, you knew you were playing against a good back and you have to swarm tackle him, get around him and get a lot of guys to the ball—that’s what we talked about during the week—and you have to wrap up when you get there and we didn’t do a good job. The plays with [Tyrod] Taylor were specific and looked a lot like our Seattle game against Russell Wilson where he kept plays alive with his feet. When it looks like we have a chance for a sack, but now we’re running him off the field, but we don’t get him off the field and he gets to extend the play. They made some real big plays on scramble so trying to contain Tyrod was difficult for us today.

Q: Can you talk through your choice of going for it on fourth and one?

A: I thought on fourth and one we were going to get it and that’s why we called it. And then Carlos [Hyde] got a shoulder and was out. I don’t know exactly what long-term prognosis he has. It’s a bread-and-butter play that we run but we just didn’t execute it.

Q: Was Carlos available for that play?

A: No. I don’t know exactly what he went out for but I don’t think he was available at that point in time. I’m going to check, I’m not sure on that one.

Q: How did Kaepernick look from a physical standpoint between pre- and post-surgery?

A: I thought physically he looked good. I thought he did some good things out there. Again, for his first time back, I thought he did an okay job. We have to be better overall on offense, not just the quarterback. It’s everyone on the offensive side of the ball. But I thought he really made some plays with his legs today. We have to do a better job with everyone on the offensive side.

Q: A couple of passes seemed to be short—I couldn’t tell if that was wind?

A: I think there were some wind issues there and a couple that were maybe a bit too hard too, but I don’t think there were any issues with his arm strength in the game at all.

Q: He did better in the first half than in the second half. That’s not a stamina thing?

A: I think we all did [laughs]. But no, that wasn’t an issue at all.

Q: Is he your starting quarterback next week?

A: Yeah, we’ll see.

Q: Can you talk about the play with Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea?

A: Again, from where I’m standing, it was on the far sideline away from us. I don’t know exactly where they were coming from. We didn’t fit up on them the right way, but until I still the film I can’t comment specifically but I know we didn’t tackle them.

Q: There’s been so much noise around Kaepernick prior to this game. Did you get any sense of nerves?

A: He was the same he’s been since he’s been here. He’s focused on the task at hand and did a real good job of that so there’s nothing from that standpoint.

Q: You’ve given up over 100 yards to five straight rushers…Is it a scheme issue or a personnel issue?

A: I think it’s an every person issue. I think we have to do a better job as coaches of putting our backs in position.

Q: Why is Gerald Hodges playing as linebacker?

A: It’s just the rotation based on what we do during the week during practice…whether we’re going to play Mike [Willhoite] or we’re going to play Gerald. I know Mike has done a really good job for us when we’ve given him the opportunity. So it’s just based on how we practice and how we train. That’s why we’ve made those decisions.

Q: Is that the sort of performance you’re familiar with from [LeSean] McCoy?

A: LeSean is a real talented player and we knew coming in that we had to gang tackle, and we just didn’t do a good enough job hitting him down.

Q: If Colin hadn’t restructured his contract would he have been your starter today?

A: Yeah, his contract had nothing to do with this. He played in the first game and he didn’t have a restructured contract.

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