49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan
On playing the Panthers defense again: "We had a lot of success last year against them, but I still know how tough those games were to win. I know how much success we didn't have the year before that. They're a challenge and make every game pretty ugly for the offense. You need to realize, they're going to blow a bunch of stuff up, they have too good of players and are aggressive. You need to be able to weather the storm. They're going to have their plays and you need to stay on field, convert third downs and stay out of long third downs. If they get you in a one dimensional game, they're too smart, too talented and too good to hang with them. Unless you can keep them playing 50-50 on everything."
On Christian McCaffrey: "I haven't studied him throughout the preseason, but I know how good of a player he is. I studied him hard coming out of college and I've known him for a long time in my life. He's a hell of a person, very exceptional when it comes to studying the game and his talent is way above most people. I know he's an issue to deal with. Any time you got a guy who can be a running back or receiver on any given play causes issues for a defense. I know that will be a challenge for us schematically and athletically to handle him."
On game planning for Luke Kuechly: "He's a definitely an issue. He's as tough as any linebacker in the league to prepare for. I've always known that, but going against him two times a year, especially the last couple years, I have even more respect for him each time I play against him. Everyone knows how talented he is – athletic-wise and tackling – but it's how smart he is. He knows the plays your doing and can usually call them out before you run them. He knows all the O-line's calls and is very hard to beat in the run game. He is very hard to make pay in the play action game. He's as big as a challenge for a play caller as anyone because if you're doing stuff he's expecting, he not only makes the play, but usually turns it into an interception or fumble."
On preparing for Cam Newton and the unknown after two preseason passes: "You want to see how he plays; I think everyone has a pretty good idea of Cam. Everyone knows how good he is throwing the ball and running the ball. He can make every single throw in the world and can do it at any time. It doesn't matter if it's early or late, he can hold onto the ball for a while. He's always a threat to run the ball. He creates as many issues for a defensive coordinator and defense in general as any player on the planet. I think we know what Cam is capable of and we don't need to see him in preseason to know what he is. He's earned that respect for what he's done throughout his entire career."
49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas
On tackling McCaffrey: "That would be great! You know, I never really had the chance at practice because we wanted to protect him and make sure he's healthy. But if I get the chance, I need to take advantage of it. That will be a fun thing to talk about in the group chat."
On his expectations for Newton:"Just an amazing player. You really have to contain him and not let him get out of the pocket. You have to apply pressure, but it will be fun to go against Cam. He's an amazing player and great quarterback. I've been watching him since I was in the sixth or seventh grade. It's crazy that I'll be playing against him. It's pretty cool."
On playing different positions on the defensive line and which offensive lineman he's most looking forward to playing against this week:"We've been watching film on the Panthers and they have a great O-line. I'm really just excited to play against all of them. It's my first game. I'm just ready to go and am excited to play this game. It should be fun."
On his pre-draft meeting with Ron Rivera and the Panthers:"It's an awesome staff. I really like them. I thought it was a cool opportunity to sit down and talk with them. I really like how their staff worked. They all seemed like really close friends and they enjoy working with each other. It'll be an honor to play against them."