Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – October 13, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening comments:

“All right guys, injuries: [RB] Elijah Mitchell will be questionable, [LB Dre] Greenlaw, questionable, and that’s it.”


Greenlaw was originally listed with a rest day and then after that it was a hamstring. Was that something that just popped up afterwards?

“Yeah, it was during our walk-through. Just did something, didn’t feel comfortable with it, and now we’re being safe and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”


Is he one of the players that could play without really practicing in a week, just with his knowledge?

“Definitely. Yeah, definitely.”


How’s Elijah looked?

“Good. He had a full speed practice yesterday and was full-go today. So, he’s had a good week.”


Can you talk about Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett against T Trent Williams? How many times in your coaching career have you kind of seen a one-on-one matchup between two titans like that?

“I’ve seen it in practice a lot with our guys, but it’s rare. I mean, Trent is as good as it gets. You play, there’s a number of good guys in this league, especially over the years. But who he’s got this week is right up there with anybody. So, huge challenge for him. Same on the other side and for Garrett. It’s real fun for football fans to watch.”


How did LB/DL Randy Gregory’s week of practice go in terms of getting him ready to potentially play on Sunday?

“It was good. He fit in well, was able to get through three full practices, learning, picking up our scheme. I think some styles he’s used in the past are very similar, so I think he’ll pick it up fast and excited to see him here on Sunday.”


When you hired defensive line Coach Kris Kocurek in 2019, you noted that you had trouble going against that defensive front earlier in your career. Going against that defense in practices the last four years, have you figured out ways, what its weaknesses are and ways to get around a good wide-nine?

“I think that’s why we wanted to get it. I think you always kind of know the weaknesses of it and how to do it. It’s really hard to do. That’s why I’ve always liked it so much. Just going against [Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator] Jim [Schwartz] in Tennessee, when I first started out in Houston was the first time experiencing it. It was just different than everyone else. A couple teams have done it over the years, but that’s why our goal always was to get someone who knew how to coach that upfront and Jim always being as good as anyone at it. It’s always tough to go against, but when you have great players like he does, it’s even a lot tougher.”


Is it you guys, the Browns and the Eagles that use it the most?

“Yeah, I haven’t watched the Eagles yet this year, but they’ve always been a part of that, with Schwartz being there for so long and their style. The Jets try to do it too.”


Back when you traded for RB Christian McCaffrey on that Thursday night, Friday before the Kansas City game last year. Did you realistically expect him to be ready to play on that Sunday? What are your memories of that whole process of cramming to get him ready to play for Sunday?

“It was, [general manager] John [Lynch] asked me on Thursday, if we get him in here, does he have a chance, if we get him in here Friday, halfway through practice, does he have a chance to play? And I said, absolutely not. I don’t wanna expect that out of anybody. And then I called him on the phone about like an hour later just to talk to him the first time. And when I hung up I said, we better get him a playbook because that dude’s coming in here ready to play and he’s adamant that he won’t struggle at all. And then we saw him out at practice that Friday. We got to talk to him all Saturday. And it wasn’t us cramming him, it was him doing it and he knew enough to be able to get in there and he said he would be fine. He made us feel that and about 20, really after a phone conversation, and then that Sunday he didn’t have one mistake.”


Over the past couple weeks, DL Nick Bosa has been sharing pass rushing techniques with LB Fred Warner and then did it with Randy Gregory, I think yesterday or the day before. Is that happening organically and are you aware of it? How does that speak to just the selflessness of this team?

“I’m not aware of it. It is happening organically, but it doesn’t surprise me. Bosa definitely understands his craft and thinks about it a lot and what he does and he’s pretty good at it. So, we’ve got a lot of smart guys. I’m sure guys ask himself a lot and as long as he is telling stuff to people on our team, we’re all good with it.”


The Browns are officially going with Cleveland Browns QB P.J. Walker with Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson ruled out. What does Walker present in terms of problems?

“I mean, I’ve always been a fan of his over the years. He’s got experience. He’s a vet, he can hurt you with his legs, he can hurt you with his arm. I think when he has gotten his opportunities in this league, he has done a good job. Having [defensive coordinator] Steve [Wilks] be familiar with him in Carolina helps a lot. I don’t have to look too much into it. I know Steve’s got a good feel and what his pluses and minuses are and we’ve been preparing it all week like it could be this too.”


You obviously crossed paths with S Tashaun Gipson Sr. in Cleveland in 2014, but what have you learned about him since he got here last year?

“I got to know him better since he’s been here. I think that was his rookie year and I was only there one year, so I didn’t know him that well personally. I just knew how good he was there. He was, I thought, one of the better safeties in the league there right away. He really helped us that year. I think he had gone on to do stuff and I was always familiar with him being on that team and he was tough when we went against him in Jacksonville. He was really tough in Chicago and now just getting to know him and I mean, we call him the dad of our team and he’s not because he’s that old, he’s just older than the guys around him. But he has a different type of maturity too that he brings wisdom to the game, the way he takes care of himself, how hard he goes and kind of the dad of the group. But when you watch him on Sunday, he seems like a kid out there too. And he’s into it. He runs, he hits, he’s got great ball skills, great instincts, and has a good demeanor and energy out there that we think fits with our team well too.”


You guys can break a franchise record for consecutive regular season wins with the ‘89/‘90 team. You have an appreciation of the history of this franchise. I realize you’ve got bigger goals than that, but would that be pretty cool to break a record held by that dynastic-era team?

“I mean, I’ve got so much respect for the history here and those teams, but  it’s a record over two seasons. It’s cool, but it’s not really though. It’s over two seasons and it’d be cool to do that all in one season. But I mean, it’s better than not doing it. We’re happy about it. It’d be a cool thing to do, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal personally.”