OL Andrew Whitworth – Postgame Press Conference – January 9, 2021

(On changing QB’s with injuries and how that conversation goes in the offense…)
“I think it was just an excellent job by everybody, coaches and players included. You look at it, two good quarterbacks that we have and kind of different styles. I think with us having a chance to have John Wolford in there was probably a little bit different plan than Jared (Goff) playing obviously with him coming back from his thumb, unsure how that’s going to affect him. So, you’re feeling good, it kind of felt like we got some stuff going, feeling pretty confident and then something happens like that and you have to imagine for a play-caller it’s all of a sudden you’re switching from really one style to another. And you’re not entirely sure what we have there with the ability of Jared’s thumb to be heeled that fast. I think it was one of those things that we knew up front it was going to take a great rushing day, be able to move the football on the ground and find explosives when we could.”

(On how he felt playing today…)
“It’s one of those things, I knew today was going to be about being a warrior. Obviously, teared my MCL and my PCL only eight weeks ago. I knew this was going to be rare territory and going to take a heck of an effort to get through the game and that was really the problem that you can’t simulate. You go through the week and you can feel good doing things, but there’s no way to know can I make it through a three and a half hour game and how to simulate anything similar to that. I knew it was going to take some grit and some determination to do that.”

(On Cam Akers and how his play fueled himself and the offensive line today…)
“I think anytime you see in this league that you can run the football in playoffs, playoff football is about more than all of the fantasy things that you see in the regular season, it’s going to be about imposing your will on each other. You’ll see in playoff football all of a sudden one team will show up and it’s like, ‘man, they seem like a force out there.’ You’re going to need plays like that, where you see guys saying ‘hey, it doesn’t have to be perfectly blocked, I don’t have to be out in the clear, but I can go fight for tough yards and turn a two or three or four yard game into something that’s eight, ten, eleven, twelve.’ Those will make the difference in a football game, and the more you do that to a team, the more it demoralizes them. I think that is something he is definitely capable of and definitely up front something we can do more of, if we continue to play with that kind of attitude.”

(On if he sensed Goff building confidence and comfort in the second half…)
“I think it is important for him to build some confidence back there and get himself going again. When you’ve been out a little bit, it’s the same kind of thing. I know for me, getting out there and having a chance to run the football well and feel confident doing that, have a couple pass sets that for me and my standard could be better. Although they weren’t bad they could be better. Especially with my situation, I can imagine for him with his thumb, gripping a football and trying to spin it, it’s one of those things where you might feel good, but it’s like neurologically just get yourself to trust it and fire it and have the faith to pull the trigger, how fast that has to happen. I can imagine it’s one of those things that is almost like there’s nothing you can do about it, other than just keep going and as you warm up and as you feel better it will get better. For me it’s the same thing, just trying to trust my leg and put it back there in places that it’s hard to do. You can tell yourself you can do it, but you have to make yourself go through it a couple times to figure it out.”

(On what they need to do this week to improve in the red zone…)
“I think it’s been a number of different things. Whether it’s been penalties, whether it’s been conversions, converting some of those third and shorts, finding a way to just get it into the end zone when you get inside the ten. It’s hard to give the regular season answer of ‘we’re going to learn how to get better, we’re going to do these things…’ because it’s just not true. You watch playoff football, it’s about guys making football plays, and guys make special plays down there to win you a game or lose you a game. To me, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve been chirping to our guys and our players on offense, is the bottom line is it’s going to come down to who makes the plays. Are you going to make a tough catch? Are you going to make a tough run? Are you going to do something where it’s going to be covered, but we still come out on the positive end of it because you found a way to make the play? You watch playoff football, that’s what it comes down to. You’re not going to outsmart everybody, you’re not going to have trick plays that work. For the majority of the time, it’s going to come down to who wins those big opps, and we just have to keep focused on when it is time to be big and it’s time to make those plays, make them happen. We had a big run down there for a score and one of those kind of opps in this game. It’s one of those things that when you need it, you have to go get it.”