Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – October 21, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
“For the game: [T] Trent Williams will be doubtful, [LB Dre] Greenlaw, questionable, [RB Christian] McCaffrey, questionable, and [WR] Deebo [Samuel] will be out. Deebo has changed, took x-rays and MRIs earlier in the week, didn’t have anything. Pain was still there, so we got a CT the other day and found a hairline fracture. So he’ll be out this game, next game and we’ll see after the BYE week.”
No thought of IR with him at this point?
Does that change anything that you do offensively without having that versatile weapon at your disposal?
“Yeah, it’s always different. That’s what we did last week. We weren’t sure of him throughout the week, so we’ve had contingency plans as it goes. And he’s been banged up a few weeks before that too, so give him a chance to hopefully settle down and come back 100-percent.”
Are you encouraged with McCaffrey getting out there and running around a little bit and seeing him on the field?
“Yeah, it was good to have him out there today. We don’t do anything really full-speed except for seven on, but the fact he was able to go out there today and feel good, just gives him a chance. We’ve just got to make sure he can go into that game on Monday and feel real good.”
What’s one thing about the Vikings that keeps you up?
“I never can answer one thing, but from an offense perspective, any team who does blitzes as much as them, you just can’t always relax. There’s never a safe time to call a play. You’ve got to make sure it’s got answers versus everything. They’ve got a real good kick returner who’s coming back and they’ve got a real good quarterback and a real good tight end. So, I’d say those are the first things that come to mind.”
I’ve heard you talk about just the consistency of Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, and I think I heard you use the term automatic. What does that mean exactly?
“It means when there’s something prepared for, something you’ve talked about. ‘Hey, they run this coverage, we’re doing this play for that coverage.’ When it’s something like that and he gets the look that something he’s prepared for, he’s going to see it every time and he’s going to make the throw. It’s those type of guys who are like that are guys you can’t let them get comfortable. They know where to go with the ball, it’s very hard. They can recognize all the coverages that you do and then they’re extremely accurate and stuff if they have room in that pocket to get the ball wherever it needs to go. That’s why those are the guys that you’ve got to make sure you make them uncomfortable in a lot of different ways.”
So basically a guy who, as you prepare him during the week, he’s able to carry over the coaching through the games. Is that basically what he does?
“Yeah, I mean everyone works in that through the week. Everyone knows coverages and where it’s supposed to go, but sometimes when you get in the heat of battle and in that pocket it’s not always that way. Sometimes it looks like there’s a hundred guys out there. Sometimes you can’t see it as clean. Most of the time you can is when you’re sitting in your chair with a remote. So lots of times in those games people can’t see those looks and you hope they can go make a play with their legs or do something else or they miss a few but they make a bigger one later. When I say someone’s consistent and automatic, it’s usually they don’t miss those very much. I mean, no one’s perfect, but he’s up there with some of the best of being pretty automatic when you can tell they’ve got the right look on.”
For a guy who hasn’t been a starter for a full season in the NFL, how’s QB Brock Purdy in that area?
“Extremely similar, yeah.”
I assume OL Jaylon Moore is the next man up if Trent can’t go?
How do you feel about his progress? I don’t think he’s started since last year when Trent was hurt.
“The good thing with Jaylon is he gets a lot of work with us. Trent with his age and stuff, he never really goes on Wednesdays, so Jaylon’s always going with all the reps on Wednesdays. He got a ton of reps in preseason, all the games and everything. So he’s ready for this moment. He’s been with us for a while and if he’s got to step up, which it’s looking that way right now, he’ll be ready. He’s had a good week.”
Knowing Deebo is out for the next couple of games, is there one player you slot in that position? Does it change how you kind of offensively game plan and kind of have a couple of different people to kind of do his role?
“Yeah, all running backs can do that role and then we use the receivers to do his role that he does as receiver. Deebo is a pretty unique player and not many people are like him in the league, so it does change things up, but we’ve got a bunch of good receivers and a bunch of good running backs.”
When you guys deal with these type of blitz packages which you don’t see every week, do you have to like scale down a typical game plan just so you’re making sure you address all the different looks you might see?
“Yeah, a little bit. There’s risk-reward on everything. There’s certain plays you don’t like to call versus some looks and some teams run those two snaps out of the 70 plays in the game and so you like those percentages more and these guys are higher than that. It doesn’t mean those plays aren’t good, but you’ve just got to. It’s the risk-reward of how much you wanna do that because it is a threat every time. That’s why some things you don’t carry quite as much in because there’s some things that don’t have answers versus that stuff. But, just like in any other game it can come at any time. So you like to build in answers to everything. You’ve just got to review those and make sure we’re on them.”