Postgame Q&A -- Alex Smith

January 23, 2012, 4:34 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- A disappointed and somber Alex Smith reviewed the NFC Championship and a dramatic 2011 season shortly after the 49ers' 20-17 defeat in overtime. The following is a transcript of a portion of the postgame conversation between San Francisco's QB and the media:

On his mood:
"Crappy. Overtime in the NFC championship game, it's a lot of work it's a tough road to even get here. And you get here and you're so close -- so it's not good, not a good feeling."

On San Francisco's third-down problems:
"We were awful on third down. We got ourselves in a lot of third-and-longs and even when we were third and manageable we didn't convert. It's just bad. I think it was the difference between us ... I mean, really, on offense that was what stands out to me, I think, from really controlling the game a little bit more. Didn't help out our defense enough, too many three-and-outs. Not enough plays. Convert those third downs and you give yourself more plays, more chances and so many of those not converting on third downs you're limiting all of our opportunities and it hurt us all night."

What were the Giants doing to keep you getting the ball to the wideouts?
"They were good. They mixed it up a lot today, I felt like, coverage-wise. They mixed it up a lot. It wasn't one thing that jumps out to me. They pressed us, they played coverage, they played Cover 2 -- mixed it up all throughout the game. We just weren't able to get into a rhythm, get any guys going outside. It limited us."

How does this game compare to the November game?
"I don't know without looking at the tape. I guess I felt like the first game was a lot of single-safety, a lot of playing the run -- left us a lot of 1-on-1s outside. There was that going on a times (but) they just mixed it up a lot more. There was a lot of two-high in this game on first and second down. A lot on third down, especially those third-and-longs that we couldn't convert. Two-deep, man-under and (we) couldn't. "

What can you say to Kyle Williams? Obviously you have to feel for him.
"Without question. For me, I'm looking at, what did we go -- 1-for-13 on third downs? I know it's tough for him, I'm sure he obviously is going to be thinking about those two punts -- two punt returns -- for quite a while. But we didn't lose the game there. We lost the game across the board and offensively, we just weren't good enough today. We didn't get it done. On third downs (is) the glaring one, we just weren't good enough."

Without Ted Ginn on offense, did it make it difficult to stretch the field?
"Yeah, it did but all teams have to deal with injuries. No question, he was the next guy in line and then he goes down -- the next guy stepped up, Kyle stepped up. (I) missed some opportunities outside, and I don't know if I -- it's hard to know without looking at the tape. ... We took a shot deep there in the second quarter and missed that. I would like to have another opportunity, but ..."

You made a lot of plays with your legs today -- did you think you would have to be doing that?
"I was aware of it. Last week (the Giants) played so much man, especially on third down -- Aaron (Rodgers) did the same thing, made a lot of plays with his feet. So I was aware of it if it was there. Had a couple of quarterback-designed stuff for me, and then a couple of scrambles, you know, just man-to-man. I felt like even when it was that, a couple of times I got out of the pocket and tried to make some plays on scrambles and we didn't -- three or four times I got out of the pocket with some time and we weren't able to do anything with it. Those are big-play potentials and we couldn't make anything happen there."

How do you feel -- anger, frustration, disappointment?
"Yeah, it's tough to put one word on it but all those things -- frustrated, disappointed."

How long will it take before you can step back and get over the moment look at the entirety of the season?
"I have no idea, sorry. It is a first for me. I don't know. I don't know. I'm sure it will be pretty crappy for a little while."

Have you talked to Kyle at all, did you say anything to him?
"Yeah, I mean there's not much you can say. I'd like to say I came up with something really great, but what do you say? What do you say to all of us? We all had a hand in it, but we all know him, how committed he is, how much he wants to win, what a part of the team he is -- so it's not on him. Those were two plays, two plays of a lot that went on tonight, and you can't put it on those."

Regarding his contract status. How soon will he address it?
"I got no idea as far as any of the contract stuff. I'll head in tomorrow and we'll just go from there."

On the weather
"It was kind of off and on all night. I would actually say the wind was more of a factor than the rain."