Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Postgame Press Conference

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – December 13, 2020

San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Football Team


Opening comments:

“All right guys, injuries: [WR] Deebo [Samuel], hamstring, didn’t return, [RB Raheem] Mostert, head and ankle, did return, [LB] Fred Warner had a stinger, did not return, [T] Trent Williams, knee, did return. Go ahead.”

With Deebo, do you have any idea on the extent of that, just given how much time he missed the last time he had a hamstring?

“Yeah, it happened the first play and you could tell, just talking to him. I know we’ll MRI him and look at it tomorrow, but it didn’t look good.”

QB Nick Mullens obviously rallied a little bit, but did you have any thoughts of pulling him after the pick six?

“Yeah, I did after the pick six. It wasn’t all Nick. We didn’t play good around him either, but I did after the pick six, but I wanted to give [QB] C.J. [Beathard] a chance to warm up. So, he was warming up during the next drive and during the next drive, Nick made some big third downs and we went down there and scored. So, after he took us on the scoring drive, I changed my mind.”

Obviously, the fumble return was concerning in the first half, but that third quarter interception to end it, how disappointing was that to see in that situation where you guys really could have seized momentum there?

“Extremely disappointing. The way our defense was playing versus that offense, you have a very good chance to win as long as you just don’t turn the ball over. For us to turn the ball over three times and them get 17 points off of it, too, without our defense even having to go on the field was borderline the backbreaker.”

On that last series in particular, Washington Football Team DE Montez Sweat seemed to overpower T Mike McGlinchey a couple of times. We talked to Mike about his weight, about his play strength that sort of stuff throughout the season. Do you see that as an issue, as something he may have to work on in the offseason? Get, I don’t know, bigger, over 300 pounds?

“I mean, his weight does fluctuate. I think he was lighter this year, but that’s stuff we’ll talk about at the end of the season and hopefully have an offseason to be able to figure out whatever’s best for him. I didn’t see exactly what happened on that. I’m looking down the field, but they’ve got a good D-Line and we got in situations where they could tee off a little bit, which puts a challenge on our whole O-Line, but obviously we’ve got to do better and find a way to avoid that penalty.”

Nick seems to do much better in the first series or so of the game where you’re scripted. Is there anything that changes with him? Is there something that he has trouble getting over in those later plays?

“I don’t know. I don’t think there’s any, I think it’s pretty random. I wouldn’t say it’s just because some are scripted and some aren’t. We had to adjust a number of things losing Deebo early. We missed a few opportunities, I thought, in the first half and when you miss those, it gets harder as it goes. You don’t keep getting those again. I thought Nick missed a few open throws today where he could do better, but I think the main thing was just the turnovers. That’s what we’ve got to eliminate and that’s what we haven’t done a good job of this year and especially on offense and without a doubt, that starts with me before anyone else.”

You just mentioned your plans changed a little bit, but can you say how much you had to deviate from your initial plan with Deebo getting out? I would imagine he was going to get a lot of touches in that game.

“Yeah, pretty big. We felt pretty big about Deebo from that first play on, and then we lost a pretty big element, but it’s not why we lost today. With the way our defense played, obviously Deebo’s a huge part of us and would have helped a ton, but no, that wasn’t why we lost.”

It really seemed like receivers had trouble holding onto the ball. Do you, obviously you haven’t evaluated the film, but how do you deal with that frustration during the game and move past it and why do you think that was such an issue today?

“We had a bad day with that. It wasn’t one person. Seemed like a number of them. That was the frustrating thing today. No matter what happened or what kept going, whether it was a bad call or when there was an open guy, whether it was a missed throw or when it wasn’t, I thought we had a number of more drops than we usually have. Then I thought we struggled with some big penalties, too. So, we were not clean today offensively and regardless, I think we would have found a way to win if we don’t turn the ball over. So, there was a number of things today, just from an execution standpoint that I’ve got to be very hard on this week and you can’t expect to win many games when you’re like that.”

Kind of a broad question, but has this been the most frustrating season in terms of just everything that’s happened that you’ve seen in your coaching career?

“Yeah, probably. It’s been different, but I think it’s been different for the whole league. So, I’m not sitting here trying to throw a pity party. It’s been different for everybody, but it’s a combination of things that have been a little bit unusual, but I also know when you have no chance and we can play a lot better than we did today. I’m not taking anything away from Washington. I really respect that football team right now, what [Washington Football Team head coach] Ron’s [Rivera] doing and how hard they’re playing, but I know we could have done better today.”

Did you go into this game with any kind of running game ideas? Run the ball 30 times, run the ball more than the other team? And also, RB Jerick McKinnon, why didn’t he get in the game very much or even at all that I saw?

“We’ve gotten all our backs back and we’ve been trying to go with [RB] Jeff Wilson [Jr.] and Raheem as our one, two. That’s why [RB] Tevin [Coleman] hasn’t gotten in much, either. Just Raheem and Jeff have kind of earned that and they’ve been our top guys here, especially with Tevin not fully back. Jet carried the load for us while those guys were all out, which took a toll on him, but he dresses every week because we’ll use him if need be. Still on third down he does some things for us and we won’t hesitate to put him in there, but we were going with those other guys today. And yeah, I’m always trying to run it that much. When you end up passing it a little bit, it makes it a lot more chance for bad things to happen. I thought we had to today. We did make some good plays. I also thought we did it with the run, too, but then the difference in the game is when you do get that balance, you’ve still got to come down with those explosives and I thought we missed too many of them. When we did go for them a couple of times, it led to a few turnovers, which we couldn’t overcome.”