DB Julian Love
September 25, 2020
Q: I’m curious now that you’ve had a few games in this system, how much of what you’re doing this year is different from the role you had last season?
A: It’s a little different for the first two games for me. Last year, I was in the box a lot, filling in for Jabrill (Peppers) which is a slightly different role. This year, I’m back deep. Just trying to adjust and just trying to gain that cohesiveness with everybody.
Q: Do you view yourself as solely a safety now, or if they needed you to play outside, do you think you could go back out there to your old home?
A: If they needed me, yeah. I like to say I’m a football player. Wherever they ask me to play, that’s where I’m ready to go.
Q: With you and Jabrill and Logan (Ryan) in that mix, I know there was always talk last year about how you guys were going to be flexible on the backend. But it seems like that versatility has kind of shown itself the last two weeks in the new system. Just curious how do you feel about that? Is it almost fun again to kind of go into games not really knowing what you’re going to see in front of you, but also knowing you can maybe take advantage of some matchups because of the guys you have on the field?
A: Yeah, I think that last point is kind of what’s key. We have a lot of different skillsets on the backend which is great, especially with the addition of Logan. We’re trying to utilize that and we’re trying to learn as we go to keep utilizing what we have in front of us. I think that’s the main battle. We’re all ready to kind of accept any role, and to go into each week ready to dominate whatever game plan we have going in. I think gaining that cohesiveness with time, sped up time, is allowing us to play in different roles.
Q: Just as a quick follow up along those lines, this coaching staff talked a lot about how you guys were going to be game plan specific and how you were going to be flexible week to week and who knows what roles you were going to have. Are you surprised that you’ve been able to back up kind of what they said through the first two weeks? How is that every Monday or Tuesday kind of adjusting to essentially a completely different game plan going into a new opponent?
A: Yeah, I think it can be daunting depending on how you view things. But I know each week, it’s a clean slate ready to kind of take advantage of each game plan and each matchup. For me, you go in Wednesday or whenever we start game planning, with a clean slate, clear mind and just ready to absorb whatever is given to you. I think we’re all embracing that. I think we’re all excited to really get to know each other still in this process and really get some things clicking the right way and obviously, keep getting better. At the end of the day, that’s our goal, just to really be dominant in what we do.
Q: What’s been your scouting take on Nick Mullens? The 49ers announced it’s him, not Garoppolo, against you guys. What have you seen from him on the limited film that’s out there on him?
A: This is the National Football League. Backups aren’t bad players. Mullens is a talented quarterback who has some really nice traits about him. We have to really dial in because this is a guy with limited tape this past season. You know he has it. You might not have been able to see it that much, but he’s a guy who can really throw the ball. We’re locked in just like we’re playing number 10 out there. That’s kind of our mindset with it. He’s a quarterback in the National Football League, so he has talent. That’s how we’re prepping.
Q: Kittle is out, too, and this is a team that throws to their running backs and tight ends quite a bit. Do you expect them to change the game plan a little bit to go more to their wide receivers?
A: Yeah, I think with anything, they really define their matchups well with the quick release of the quarterback, especially Mullens, getting it to whoever they have. They have depth and they have some skill players, you saw that last week. They’re going to game plan. They’re going to game plan who they have and really take advantage of their talent that they have on offense.
Q: I’ve never seen a four-safety package that you guys had last week when Ebner was on the field, too, with you, Logan and Jabrill. What do you like about having him on the field? Is he a veteran or is he not back there because so much of it has been special teams in his career? Do you actually have to show him some things?
A: No, Nate (Ebner) is definitely a veteran in all aspects of football. He’s a football player. Anytime I get a chance, I’m asking him questions, trying to build on my knowledge. That’s what’s great about having him and Logan back there, as well as Jabrill and James (Bradberry). We have some guys who have some game experience. When you see that package out there or whatever you see out there, just know we’re feeding off those guys for those tidbits and those traits. Yeah, he’s definitely ready to ball wherever he’s put at. That’s what it is.
Q: I know you’re 0-2 and it’s a long season, but how much pressure does it put on you to get that win and get it sooner rather than later before it spirals into something bigger?
A: In what we’re doing, we have to focus on the traits and the opportunities how to win. That’s what we’re going to do each week. We can’t dwell on anything. We have to keep building. That’s our goal, for each day, each week, each game, just build. We’re excited for this opportunity with San Francisco coming up, and we’re going to try to take full advantage.
Q: Is there a danger though? You’re talking about the process of winning. In the big picture of, last year you guys didn’t win. I know you haven’t been here longer, but some of the guys that have, the mentality of ‘oh, we’re in that mode again.’
A: Personally, I think it’s a weak-minded thing to be able to spiral and to dwell on the unfortunate things that have happened in the past or whatever. I know everyone here is resilient. We’re going to attack each week, and that’s our goal. We’re trying to win, we’re trying to win for each other. We have some strong-willed people in this building, and so we’re excited to take it out and take advantage in our game coming up.
Q: George Kittle was also declared out by the 49ers. What do they lose by not having Kittle in the offense?
A: I think everybody knows what a talent he is. Obviously, we want to see everybody’s best shot, so it’s unfortunate he’s not playing. But he’s a guy who’s one of the best in the league at what he does. He’s a guy that gives full effort, does well in each phase of the game for offense, and that’s a guy who they count on. That’s definitely a loss. I hope everything is well with him. But yeah, he’s a star in this league for a reason.
Q: Just a follow up. When a team has that many injuries on the offensive side of the ball, how much more difficult is it to plan for that team? Or do you just kind of look at the scheme and work with that? Despite what coaches say, not everybody is the same. I know they say ‘next man up,’ but how difficult does that make it to prepare for them?
A: I think it’s a mixture of things. You want to game plan for the people, but you also want to game plan for the scheme. Part of that people aspect is the coaching staff. They are in their positions for a reason. They’re going to try to use each matchup and whoever they have available to the best of their abilities. For us, we just have to go in, be able to adapt and just really be cohesive in our game plan with what we’re doing. At the end of the day, we try to focus on executing the best way we can do and doing our jobs. That’s the main step into being successful.