Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Postgame Press Conference
49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – October 11, 2020
San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins
Why did CB Brian Allen get the start and more to the point is why did it take so long to pull him from the game after four series?
“Just because of how down we were going into the game. We got him off of practice squad this week because of the injuries we had. [CB Ken] Webster was his backup. [CB] Ahkello [Witherspoon], he tried to go this week, but he was too tight to go throughout practice all week, but because of our low numbers, we still dressed him for emergency. So, we were trying to hold out, see how long we could go through with that and when Ahkello came up to us on the sidelines and said he wanted to go and wanted a shot, it gave us a little more confidence with his hamstring and he went in, was able to pull it off and get out of the game without tearing it. So, that was the decision on it.”
What went into the decision to take QB Jimmy Garoppolo out at halftime?
“I mean, just the way the whole game was going, just kind of watching how we were playing as a whole, how he was playing. You could tell he was affected by his ankle. You can ask him more when he gets in, but I know he doesn’t normally throw the ball that way. I think he was struggling a little bit because of it and the way the game was going I wasn’t going to keep putting him in those positions and knowing we were going to have to throw it a lot to come back.”
Did you have any questions about Garoppolo’s ankle? Obviously, he was hurt, but were you thinking, okay, I’ve got to watch him carefully in this game or were you surprised that it did develop like this?
“No, I was surprised. I think it’s that and the combination of how the whole game was going. I knew going into it anytime you have a high ankle sprain that it can seem 100-percent better and you get out there and you do a couple things and it comes right back. That’s something that is going to linger. By no means did it keep him from playing today, but I think it hurt him from being at his best and the way the rest of the offense was, the way the whole team was going today, I didn’t think it was good to keep him out there in the second half with that score and everything and that he wasn’t at his best. That’s why I made that decision.”
You mentioned on Friday how happy you were with the offensive line during the week of practice. How do you diagnose the issues that you guys are dealing with up front?
“I was happy with the week that they had and I thought they came out and I thought we run blocked well, and I thought we got way too one dimensional in some of the situations we got in the pass game, which puts them in a very tough situation, one we weren’t in very many times last year at all. We were definitely in it for most of the game today, pretty much the entire second half. I definitely expect those guys to do better. I know we can help them with staying in some better situations, which doesn’t make it easy, but just as an offense as a whole, not just the O-Line, from the receivers to the quarterback to tight ends to running backs to every single coach. I’m just very disappointed today.”
I got in just a minute or two late here, so sorry if I missed some context. I heard what you said about Ahkello. Just to be clear, he said he could be active, but didn’t feel like he could be used unless it was an emergency? Is that right?
“Yes, that’s exactly how it went. We wanted him to go this week. We were hoping he could and he came out on Wednesday and mainly Thursday, just with the way the practice went Thursday, it was too tight to really push it. So, he wasn’t able to do much in practice, looking like he was ready. Did tell us that he could dress in case of emergency since we had two guys coming in who haven’t been on the team very long and just taken off practice squad. So, we were hoping it wouldn’t get to it. We thought it would take two injuries to do it. Obviously, with Allen struggling a little bit, we were going to go with Webster. That was the plan going in, but Ahkello went up to the defensive staff, I want to say sometime in the second quarter and told them that he felt good, he was ready to go and he wanted to go in for the challenge. So, at that time I was very happy to hear that. So, we threw him out there. I know he didn’t feel great battling through that, but definitely helped us him going out there.”
What was your message to the team and how do you go about pulling them out of this as you enter a really tough stretch of schedule here?
“There’s no magical thing that you can say when you play like that. I just try to hold us all accountable. Know it starts with me. I know we went into a tough situation defensively, with just some of the guys that we were missing. So, I knew that’d be a challenge going into the game. But regardless, when you go in with that situation, you play the way we did on offense, you turn the ball over three times, you get stopped on two fourth downs, so it’s basically five turnovers to me and you don’t play clean football, I don’t care who you play, whether you’re healthy or hurt, it really doesn’t matter. When you do a play like that, that’s usually going to be the result and there’s only one way to fix that. There’s nothing to talk about. That’s called getting better. I think there’s a lot of aspects of our game that obviously we can get better at and I’ve got to make sure I put our guys through that and find a way to do it.”
After such a tough outing, how do you move forward? What’s the first step in moving forward after this game?
“Watch the film, see exactly what happened, which I’ve got a pretty good idea about it, but you detail it up. You show the guys specifically where we can get better. You try to get guys who are missing healthy, and then you challenge all your best players. We need our best players to play at their best. I think we need to get some guys back who have been starting to come back, but haven’t really gotten enough practices in to where I could see it today just conditioning and stuff. We’ve got to get healthier so we can get out there and practice more, because I saw some guys get tired that made it really tough to throw the ball there for the second half. I’ve just got to keep my thumb on everyone. There was nothing to sit here and feel sorry about yourself. You’ve got to be ready for what you’re going to get and it’s well deserved, but we’ve got to close the doors, go out to the field and go to work. You either get better or worse and if we don’t get better, it’s going to be a long season.”
You haven’t gone through a game like this in a long time. What was your emotions? Is this kind of piling on and what do you think your players reacted? What did you want them to react like?
“I want us to react and play better. I want us to react and coach better. I don’t think that’s a lack of effort. I think we were pretty embarrassed in the first half. Felt pretty good at halftime, talking to everyone. Feel you’ve got a chance to go out there and come back and do your job and there was plenty of time to do it. I want to say we stopped them on the opening series. I think we went down and scored, from what I remember correctly, on offense. Then we gave up a couple of freebies, I think, with a few penalties. Missed it on offense, and then it quickly got away from us. When you play like that and you’re off and you turn the ball over and they were on and my hat goes off to them because they played a hell of a game in all three phases and we played the opposite in all three phases. No one likes getting embarrassed, and that’s kind of what I said at halftime. When you’re getting embarrassed, you go out there and fight and I thought we started to, but made too many mistakes to where it obviously didn’t look like much of a fight.”
I appreciate that Ken Webster doesn’t exactly have tons of experience either, but why not go to him maybe a little earlier the way Allen was struggling?
“Because I feel we were in a similar situation. We weren’t going to do it in the middle of the drive and we were going to go to it the next drive after we got the PI in the red zone, which I thought was pretty good coverage by him. They ended up calling it, so you’ve got to live with that. Then we were on third-and-two, which thought that would end. I think we got them to third-and-22. They had a motion. He ended up staying in bump when it was not what we were supposed to do and he missed that coverage. Then we were switching the next series. Webster’s kind of in a similar boat with where he’s at with us, which we were going to next series, but I was glad Ahkello was up for the challenge and came in when he was able to.”
Where do things stand with CB Emmanuel Moseley? Obviously, this concussion has lasted longer than probably you expected. Is he going to see a specialist or where do things go from here?
“Yeah, he did see a specialist. I think we had some pretty good news on that. So, we’re still waiting. I don’t have anything confirmed yet, but I’m really hoping we can get him back this week. I know if E-Man’s able to at all, he will. So, hopefully we’ll hear some good news in the next couple of days and get him back in practice.”