Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – October 16, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio Media Center


Opening comments:

“All right guys. Injuries from the game: [RB] Christian McCaffrey, oblique-rib, he’s actually in MRIs right now, so we’re still waiting on the imaging, [S] George Odum quad contusion, he’ll be day-to-day, [WR] Deebo Samuel’s shoulder, he’ll be day-to-day, [T] Trent Williams, ankle, he’ll be day-to-day. From last week, [LB Dre] Greenlaw with his hamstring, we expect to get him back for practice this week. Go ahead.”


Is Trent Williams a high ankle sprain?

“No, it’s not a high ankle sprain.”


With Christian McCaffrey, obviously QB Brock Purdy had a oblique-rib last year and you guys were able to protect him in various ways. Can you do the same thing with running back, flak jacket, that sort of thing?

“Yeah, I mean it’s obviously a tougher position just because you get hit a lot more. But we’ve just got to see how it reacts. We’ve got to see exactly what’s wrong with it too because we haven’t got that back yet. So, we say oblique/rib, hopefully it’s not both, but we’ve got to wait to see for sure.”


Were you able to get a handle on when exactly both Christian and Deebo got hurt and what happened on the plays that got them hurt?

“Yeah, Deebo was the first play of the game on the jet sweep. He just took a shot on the shoulder. It didn’t look overly big or anything, it just connected right. And so it got him after that. If you watch him like the next eight plays and stuff, you could just tell his feeling was starting to go because he couldn’t use his left arm. He tried to come back and stuff, but just couldn’t get feeling back in it. So we had to shut him down. Christian we’re not sure about. He mentioned about four possible plays he thought he could’ve done it on, but we’re not sure which one he did.”


After watching the film, what did Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz do to limit Brock Purdy’s effectiveness?

“I mean, they played aggressive man coverage. We knew that going into it. They had a couple of pressures that got us, we had a couple mistakes that got us in really negative situations. We had two drives in that game that didn’t have a negative play. That was the first drive that we scored a touchdown and it was the last drive where we ended up missing that field goal. We got in some negative situations where we had second-and-long and third-and-long. And then with that pass rush and the tight coverages, that makes it really tough on a quarterback. So I think just as a team wholly, just getting into some of those bad situations made Brock’s job a lot tougher. But he mixed it up throughout the game, did a good job. It was tough on film going in and it was tough during the game too.”


Going back to Deebo, he already had imaging and X-rays, what’s the extent of that shoulder? Is it a bruise or an AC joint?

“Yeah, that’s what we’re saying day-to-day. We’ve got to see how it recovers this week. It’s just how his body’s going to handle it. You never know how those react. So we’ll wait and see.”


You talked about yesterday that the adjustment you guys had to make with both of those guys out to not just lose potentially Christian, but he and Deebo for whatever length of time. How much of a challenge is that given their prominence in your offense?

“I mean, anytime you lose real good players like that, it’s a challenge. But that’s stuff you’ve got to go through. That’s part of football. I just thought we made too many mistakes, missed assignments and stuff once that happened. When that does happen, you’ve got to put some guys in some different positions, stuff that you don’t always put them through, but they’re responsible for studying and that’s on everybody. But also when it got to that situation, I thought we should have made it easier for those guys because I think it would’ve been alright if we didn’t lose those guys. But with the amount of mistakes we made in the game, obviously we had too much on them.”


Following up on my question from yesterday about the run defense after the game, now that you’ve had the chance to watch the film, what was your appraisal of the run defense and maybe some ideas on what they can do to improve?

“Yeah, I was disappointed in it. I’m not sure the exact stat compared to the others, but if I had to guess it was our most missed tackles on the year. I thought they got our edges way too much, just blocking down on our D-Ends and getting around. We played a lot more two-shell defense and when you play two-shell defense you’re a little bit behind in the run game. But we’ve been able to stop guys pretty good in that way. When they got our ends and we didn’t get our safeties downhill, they bled us out too much. And when you add on a couple of those missed tackles and everything, it was way too much. Especially when you’ve got a quarterback coming in who hasn’t started yet the best way to make that guy uncomfortable is to take away the run game and with 160 yards in that, we obviously didn’t. That was disappointing, especially on those last two drives.”


When you guys took over still leading 17-16 with 3:21 left, what did you see in the way the Browns were playing that prompted you to throw the ball three times there and as a result only running off 25 seconds?

“Well, you don’t plan on throwing it three times in a row. You don’t plan on getting intentional grounding on the first one. So, second-and-20 you run. I’m not really worried about time when you have a one point lead and three-something left. If you get a first down and everything, then time can become a factor. But regardless of the timeouts in the game you know you’re going to throw it one of those downs so you’re not thinking totally about the clock. Yeah, you’d love to stay in bounds and love to do all that, but the clock’s not going to matter until you get a first down. So everything’s about trying to get a first down and they were blitzing us and stuff and we thought we’d have a really quick pass to [WR Brandon] Aiyuk on the first-and-10, which is exactly what we got. We just made a mistake in where we sent our back, which made Aiyuk covered on a hot, unblocked throw, which put Brock in a bad position where he had to just get rid of it. So we made a mistake on that play and then that’s why we got intentional grounding. And when you’re in second-and-20 and there’s three minutes left, I’m not thinking of running out the clock. I’m thinking about trying to get a first down. We thought that the best way was with a quick pass to Aiyuk, which we did. It got us back in a competitive, at least down where we had a chance on third down, but we didn’t get it. That’s why we punted to them, thought we could stop them. They went down and got a field goal and then I was very thankful that there was more time on the clock.”


Did you get any feedback from the league in terms of S Tashaun Gipson’s hit or the almost fumble recovery by DL Nick Bosa on those two calls?

“No, not at all. We will eventually. We always send in stuff we disagree with and they’ll tell us whether they agree with our disagreement or not, but regardless of what happens, it really doesn’t matter. That’s what happened on Sunday and that’s what you’ve got to live with and that’s why you got to play better football so it doesn’t come down to those calls.”


Was there a common thread on the two K Jake Moody misses?

“I didn’t think so. I mean, he missed the first one, left and he missed the second one, right. You can ask him about that, but you can get into the technicalities of kicking and everything. But to me it just looked like he missed it a little bit.”


It wasn’t misreading the wind or anything like that in both cases?

“No, I mean, I talked to [special teams coordinator Brian Schneider] Schneids on the plane and he didn’t mention anything like that. The first one was a tough one. I mean we need to get him in a better situation and have a closer field goal than the first one. I’m glad that we’re able to attempt that from that far, but that’s not something that if you’re real mad at him for always missing that far of one, you’re going to be disappointed at times. But the last one was the toughest one, just missed it a little bit there to the right. It was a good experience for him. We’ll see how he bounces back from it.”


When the schedule came out, did you did you guys consider staying somewhere toward the middle of the country?

“Yeah, we did, but since we had the extra day, didn’t bother us as much. We’re coming back here, we have an eight-day week, which is really unusual in this week. So we didn’t feel we needed to do it. We also know how miserable next week’s going to be when we have a six-day week coming back from landing at five in the morning on that six-day week. So kind of wanted the guys to be in their own homes this week because we know what it’s going to be like here over the next 14 days or so.”


After the game, Trent was talking about the injury he had and how much pain he was in and how he just wanted to kind of just help the team out, keep OL Jaylon Moore out of a difficult situation. Obviously you trust Trent, but how do you kind of balance when this could be putting him at risk or it could be worse for the team to keep a guy like that in and when he is banged up?

“Oh, that’s always the toughest thing because you never want to do something to put someone at a huge jeopardy to make it worse. Well first of all, you’ve got to ask the trainers, but then you go to the player and you’ve got to have a history with the player. You’ve got to kind of know how he is and stuff like that. I truly believe that if Trent couldn’t go, Trent’s not going to go. He’s going to do everything he can to be out there. But Trent’s a very intelligent guy who is also very competitive and understands what those decisions are. He said he could come back, I wasn’t expecting him because of how bad the injury looked. The trainers thought that it wasn’t as serious as it looked. Trent was adamant to get back out there and then we keep our eyes on him all game, which [run game coordinator/offensive line coach] Chris Foerster does a real good job of. So does [assistant offensive line coach James] Cregg and [assistant offensive line coach] Joe [Graves], his assistants. Trent, we thought battled during the game, didn’t show any limps. It was a pretty courageous effort by him coming out and those circumstances, especially the player he was going against.”


Has there been any update on CB Darrell Luter Jr.’s status and how he’s progressing?

“I haven’t asked that in this last week. I know he is getting closer. I would guess without me asking, that’d be coming up here in the next few weeks.”


What did you think of LB/DL Randy Gregory on film? He was saying after the game he could have done better in run defense, but obviously he made an impact as a pass rusher. So what were your takeaways in his debut?

“I thought it was a positive one just getting out there. He has been in our scheme for two and a half practices up to that moment. To be able to get in there and make some plays, get in the sack and the TFL. I loved his length out there. I love what we saw. I think the more he gets with us, the more he practices, the more he understands our scheme, the better he’ll get.”


RB Jordan Mason obviously was part of that final drive. Where is your trust in him if Christian can’t play in Minnesota? Would you be okay with Jordan Mason being the top running back in that game?

“Yeah, we’ll see. [RB] Elijah’s [Mitchell] earned a ton with us over these years. I think Elijah, when he has been healthy, has been as good of a back as there is. He’s just had a hard time staying healthy, but I also can’t take away anything from JP. I mean every time JP’s got his opportunities, you guys see how he’s done. So both of those guys have done very well. Elijah came back and practiced late last week on Thursday. So he got really one true day of practice in and that’s why JP got the first nod once Christian came out. But we’ve got two really good players there. I know [RB Tyrion] TY Davis[-Price] is waiting for his opportunity also. So hopefully Christian will be good to go this week, but if not, we’ve got a group of backs that we can rely on.”


You said for Jake this was a good learning experience, you’ll see how he bounces back. Do you feel that really for the whole team that perhaps this was a important game to go through with your aspirations for the rest of the season?

“Yeah, definitely. I mean, you’ve got to play good football in this league, or you are going to get beat. It doesn’t matter who you play or what or when, but we didn’t play that good of football. We almost were still able to pull it out, which I would’ve been proud of them for doing that. I mean, you’re not always going to play great football and you still got to find ways to win. Rarely do the football gods reward you when you make as many mistakes as we did. Not just missed assignments, penalties, missed tackles, a couple missed opportunities that are the difference in winning and losing. When you miss those throughout the game, rarely does it work out in the end. So either way that happened. I think it was a good learning experience and really all that matters is when we come in, when they come in tomorrow and they watch this film with us, just like all that matters when they came in after Dallas and watched the film, is that you watch what you did good, you watch what you did bad, and you make sure that you get better the next week.”


What’d you think of how Aiyuk and WR Jauan Jennings did on that last drive making a couple of those catches to get you down there?

“It was the best drive of the day. I mean, the first drive of the day was the best one because we ran the ball every play, and then got in at a screen on the last play of that drive. Then the last drive of the game was our second best one on offense. Especially starting it out backed up a little bit, having to make some big plays to get down there. It was Brock’s best drive of the game. It was B.A’s best drive of the game and Jauan’s. I thought our O-Line did a good job in a true passing situation to allow them to have that time. I was happy how they finished that.”