LB Fred Warner
LB Fred Warner
Press Conference – January 16, 2020
San Francisco 49ers
What strikes out about going up against Packers RB Aaron Jones again and what kind of runner he is?
“Yeah, Aaron has been fantastic all season, very explosive runner. I feel like he’s very dynamic. They use him a lot of ways, so I think they’re for sure going to want to get the ball in his hands come Sunday.”
Jones has been racking up a lot of touchdowns. Is there something you see in Jones as he gets close to the goal line?
“Yeah, I mean, he’s just determined, honestly. The dude is extremely fast. He’s elusive. So yeah, he’s going to take more than just one guy to bring him down.”
Thinking back on that game against Jones, what did you think you guys did especially well?
“I think we were just assignment sound. In the run game I felt like everybody was assignment sound in their gaps. For me it was just a matter of going into an open A-gap. They were doubling our big guys up front, especially guys like [DT] DJ Jones, he didn’t get talked about a lot that game, but he was a huge factor. And so, I just had to run up and make tackles in the inside gaps.”
What do you think of Panthers LB Luke Kuechly retiring?
“Yeah, sure. Luke is one of the best to ever do it. It was a pretty big shock to me, but I mean, I understand. I know there’s- probably a lot of reasons why he made the decision he made. That’s a guy that I’ve studied closely, just the way he’s studied the game and played at such a high level with the amount of passion that he’s played with. My hat’s off to him.”
Can you describe what it’s been like this week because I see players dancing, singing, you’re still enjoying it as if it was the very first game of the season and there doesn’t seem to be much pressure.
“Yeah, I think the pressure comes from if you make the situation bigger than it is. You know, it’s funny, we were all talking about it just the other day, how last game it kind of just felt like another week even though there was- the stakes are high and there’s a lot on the line. We don’t treat it as such. We treat it like it’s another week. The routine doesn’t change. Our preparation doesn’t change. I think the same could be said this week. We’re just going about our business, but we’re having fun doing it.”
What areas of your game do you think you’ve improved the most over the course of the season so far?
“I mean, I feel like kind of just with experience, just feeling more confident in my role in the system. I feel like I don’t want to talk about what I’ve improved upon, but I always think about what I can do better. I’m pretty hard on myself. But as I continue to get more experience, I feel like that’s when I make more plays and I play a lot faster.”
The last Green Bay game, when you look back at that game, what did you learn from it?
“That we did well or- I mean, yeah, we stopped the run, obviously, which we try to do every week. It’s easier said than done. But I think they kind of went away from the run early on, so it turned into a matter of our guys up front trying to get home and them trying to complete passes down the field. And so I think it was a full team win, though. Our offense did an outstanding job throughout the game. Special teams made plays, too. We’re looking to have a complete game this time around.”
Back to Kuechly real quick, he and former 49ers LB Patrick Willis both retired after eight seasons. You’re two years into an ascending career. How do you see your career playing out? What do you want to get out of it?
“Yeah, I think when you’re young, you think you’re going to play forever, right. That’s the dream is to play in the NFL and you think you’re going to play 20 years. But when you’re in it, you know, it’s a violent game at the end of the day, and so you take a lot of- your body takes a lot of toll on it. But I always try and just play one day at a time, take it one day at a time. I don’t try and think too far ahead because your career could be over in a matter of seconds. Yeah, I just take it one day at a time.”