Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Postgame Press Conference

Opening statement:

“On the injuries from today: K’Waun (Williams) had knee/shin – returned; Trent Williams, elbow – returned; Jeff Wilson had a stinger – he returned; (Justin) Skule had a knee –  he returned, Jordan Willis, ankle – did not return.”

On the defensive performance with injured starters:

“They had an unbelievable game. They kept him (QB Kyler Murray) contained most of the game. That was our biggest challenge. We felt like that’s what got away from us in Week 1 the first time we played them. We kept him contained most of the game and he got away there in the fourth quarter. He definitely did it sometimes today which he always is going to. I thought our defense took away those fourth down conversions – which Kyler is extremely hard to stop on those – but take those away it was a hell of a game.”

On what the win meant for QB C.J. Beathard and his performance:

“I think C.J. played awesome. He made some plays in the pass game, he did a good job on the zone reads – I’m not sure how many we called but all of his decision making was perfect on it. When he did pull it he got a number of yards, just his leadership out there, the way the guys gravitated to him. You could feel it during the week at practice. He came in Wednesday when he first got his reps just so ready to go. I think you could tell how hard they played for him too. I was impressed with C.J. and very happy for him today.”

On how the team executed the game plan and the energy they played with after being eliminated from the playoffs:

“It’s kind of what I told you, I think we got a special group of guys. I felt that strongly last year after the Super Bowl, I felt that strongly this year in training camp. We’re not proud of our record, we’d love to be better but that doesn’t tell the story of who these guys are. Just what they’ve been through all year and that they give everything they have every gameday. There’s a number of guys today who are battling along here with stuff, who are worn down and got a lot of injuries they’re dealing with. You can see how many guys went out today but you can also see how many guys returned. This league is tough and if you’re a weak-minded person and not made of the right stuff plenty of guys would have tapped out today and we didn’t have one person. I love those guys, can’t say enough about them and that’s why we were able to pull off a special win today.”

On CB K’Waun Williams’ play and injury:

“K’Waun has been battling all year with his ankle. It took a while to get back for him. He played such a good game last week at Dallas. He’s been trying to get out there for just these last three. I think he got hit on the calf there in that one that he had. I saw it live – it was a draw –  you could tell how hard it was for him to get up. I’m not really sure but some type of contusion on his calf. Right when I saw that I thought for sure that we weren’t going to get him back but he worked so hard on the sidelines trying to get the tightness out able to go. He got out there and competed his ass off and I saw what you saw. K’Wuan’s a shark – that is what everyone calls him on our team. It would have been tough to win without him. I’m glad he’s on our team.”

On what the success on defense this season says about Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh:

“It says a lot about him. The injuries that we’ve had throughout the year, being able to adjust. Just where we’ve come here in these four years. Saleh was ready for this year big time. Been through almost every situation in our four years and for our defense to play at the level that they have throughout this all says a ton about him, a ton about his staff and a ton about all those players. Like I said earlier, we didn’t have many guys left in terms of who to dress and things like that and who you’re trying to play. We were really down to the final 47/48. You lose one other guy in these games and it’s tough. But our guys didn’t tap out. They played for us, they played for him, they played for each other. As I keep saying, I hope I don’t lose Saleh. But we’ve got a bunch of good coaches on this staff and we’ll decide that here – I guess we’ve got about eight days left. So we’ll see how it ends up.”

On TE George Kittle’s leadership on the sideline and in practice:

“Everyone sees on the field what he means to us. How good of a player he is in the run game and in the pass game. Just having Kittle at practice is different. We have guys like that that affect our team that way. When Deebo (Samuel) is out there our team is very similar …it’s different. Just having Jimmy (Garoppolo) out there at practice this week in his uniform, being a part of it. There’s a different buzz in the air. When you lose a lot of those guys it’s tough. Guys come in, they step up, they give all they can. But the inspiration of guys who’ve done it before and who are at the top of their game. Kittle we knew just getting him a part of us and dressing him out today would be able to help a ton. But just what he was able to do even statistically in the pass game and always in the run game. I can’t say enough about George.”

On K Robbie Gould’s missed field goals and if his performance will impact contract options this offseason:

“No, you’ve got to look at the body of work with Robbie (Gould). Robbie’s been unbelievable since he’s been here for us. He’s had an unbelievable year this year. Yeah, it was tough on those situations. Robbie will be harder on himself than anyone. He’s played too much football in his career. He’s played too much football for us to let one game decide on who he is.”

On CB Ahkello Witherspoon’s improvement this season:

“The ups and downs for Ahkello (Witherspoon) have been through this year. The way he’s been playing the last two weeks, the way he played today, says a lot about the guy. I was hard on him at the beginning of this year, I thought for good reasons. Ahkello didn’t really shy away from it. Lost his job, lost the back-up job, wasn’t able to dress, got him for some special teams issues. What was really cool about it, once stuff happens, is how he reacted. Didn’t pout. I know he went into (Richard) Hightower one day, went into (Robert) Saleh and said, ‘Hey, I know I’m struggling, but tell me what to focus on to get better.’ Over the second half of the season, the work he’s put in in the weight room with Dustin Perry our strength coach, going out there in practice and really bringing himself back when he was out. That’s what made us start believing again. Ahkello has done some real good things for us this year, and he started out a tough way. What he started doing in practice, whether it was scout team or working out, it got him to this moment. Then we had a few guys get hurt, and he got his opportunity again, and because of the way he handled himself when adversity struck that’s why he was ready for this opportunity. He helped us last week. He helped us big time win a game today, and that will help him win his career too.”

On CB Jason Verrett limiting WR DeAndre Hopkins’ receiving yardage:

“I love Jason (Verrett). The intensity he practices with, the way he plays, that’s why our whole team was pulling for him all last year. That’s why right when he started to get going and he would get injured again, how much it hurt the team watching him. Guys really believe in this guy and know how much it means to him. That’s why we wanted him back here so bad. He got his opportunities, and once he got healthy a couple guys went down and he hasn’t looked back. He’s played at a very high level throughout the year. Today in that play down in the end zone having one of the best receivers if not the best on him where he got his hands on it, and Jason just competing his ass off to get that ball out and save us some points. Jason’s been great and pumped he’s on our team.”

On if the conservative game plan was an attempt to limit turnovers:

“No, I don’t think so. I think we ran for seven yards per carry, so when you do that, you keep going. I wouldn’t say it was conservative. To me it was not much different than what I try to do every week. I try to stay balanced, and you see how the third down comes. But when you’re running the ball like that, we didn’t need as many big plays in the passing game, but we definitely needed some big plays to win. When we took shots, I know C.J. (Beathard) hung in there, took two big shots to (George) Kittle down the field that I think led to points with two explosives. I felt like I called it like I always try to.”