Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 13, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening comments:

“Hey guys, alright the injuries from the game, we had [OL] Colton McKivitz, he got his ankle rolled up on and some knee soreness, he’ll be day-to-day this week. Players who missed the game, [OL] Aaron Banks still remains out with his toe and [LB Demetrius] Flannigan-Fowles, ankle, would be day-to-day also. Go ahead.”


How did T Trent Williams come through the game and how’s DL Arik Armstead after missing that little snap or two after getting tripped?

“Yeah, Arik was a little sore, but he made it through good, ended up being fine. Trent, like I said last night, checked out today the same way. No setbacks. Hopefully he’ll continue to get better this week.”


You said the other day that OL Jon Feliciano might get worked in a little bit more, even if Banks hadn’t gotten injured. Did you mean that he might start doing what you did last year as far as rotating in at right guard with OL Spencer Burford?

“It had been discussed. Nothing against Spencer, but I wanted to make sure that Jon knew that we were aware of how well we thought he had been doing. So that was something I just had mentioned to him and was planning on doing it. Hadn’t thought how we would do it yet. I just thought he had earned to be out there a little bit and unfortunately Aaron got hurt, but we never looked into anymore after that because we knew he was going to be up this week and this week going forward.”


How did those two guards do yesterday, Burford and Feliciano?

“I thought they played real well, did some real good things in the run game and the pass game. So, I was very happy with them.”


What’s the long-term prognosis for DL Drake Jackson?

“Drake, he has had knee tendonitis that was bothering him. Hopefully the injection he got should help it go away. He’s got to rest for at least a month here and he’ll have a chance if it recovers the right way and stuff to hopefully come back this year.”


You were able to score a touchdown for the sixth time in nine games on your opening drive. How do you look at that position and how important it is? Three of the teams you beat with winning records, you scored right away and then you had a defensive stop right away. How big is that in the course of a game?

“I mean, I think it’s big. We always want to score on our opening drive, same thing with our opening drive in the third quarter, but I don’t put much more emphasis on it than every other drive. I kind of feel the same on all the drives. Anytime we don’t score on a drive, whatever that reason is, you’re always feeling real frustrated. You want to start out great and do it on the first as much as possible, but I’ve never sat there and made a big emphasis to our team about that being more important than any other one.”


In the event that Colton is unable to go, I know OL Matt Pryor had been your specialist at right tackle, but OL Jaylon Moore, he played well in place of Trent. Does he have that flexibility to move over to right tackle in case you need him there?

“He does have that flexibility. We would discuss both once we the season starts and stuff. [Run game coordinator/offensive line coach] Chris [Foerster] reps those guys at all the spots, not as much at their off spots, but he covers us for all those situations because you never know where a year can go. So, it’s always a possibility to swing all those guys. There’s spots we prefer him at, but we always have contingency plans that he’s constantly trying when he can to get him reps at that during the week.”


As you prepared for yesterday and then watching the video of how it unfolded, how big of an impact was it to have Trent and WR Deebo Samuel back? How much did that sort of change the equation and beyond their health, how did they both play in your mind?

“I think getting them back is just a boost for our offense mentally just because they’re two leaders of our team, they’re both two captains, what they bring to the game. I think guys just love having them out there. I don’t think the game unfolded much that way. Trent, by no means, wasn’t close to 100-percent. I thought it was pretty courageous just to be able to battle throughout that game. Deebo didn’t get involved that much. I know he got that reverse and stuff, but he didn’t get too much more. So I don’t think it had a huge impact on the game, but just the way it unfolded. Our players, I think, just knew knowing they were going to be out there always gives them more confidence.”


You mention the mental effect. What was sort of the mental effect of the way you guys played yesterday? Given all the concern after three straight losses to not only win but win the way you did and play that win that decisively, what was sort of the mood of the team? How has that changed I guess in the last 24 hours?

“I think we were excited. I mean, you go three weeks, losing those three games in a row and then have to take a week off to sit and just let it fester. I mean, we were sick of that feeling. I think guys came back from Bye Week pretty pissed. We were really looking forward to this game. I think the biggest thing that we emphasized all week was we weren’t going into that game trying to blow anybody out. We weren’t going into that game trying to score over 30 points. We weren’t going into that game trying to set anything. We were just going into that game trying to play as good as we could and not worry about anything else. That’s kind of what we emphasized all week. We feel if we do do that, we always have a chance for that game to end up like it did. But I think that was just more just what we focused on and we wanted to not think about anything else. I think that game was similar to a lot of our games, even some of our losses. But when it’s said and done, because I thought we made a number of mistakes on offense, I thought there’s a couple of things on defense, especially the screens and stuff, some of the penalties that got through there. We made a couple mistakes on special teams. There was a number of things, but when you just keep fighting and you keep going and eventually at the end you have zero turnovers and they have four, some of those things just end up taking care of themselves as long as you’re playing the right way. I thought our guys did that and they tried just to not look up and think about any of it and before you knew it the game got pretty lopsided.”


How did you think the lineup change worked out with DB Deommodore Lenoir  inside and CB Ambry Thomas on the outside? How did you think they played?

“I thought they did good. I thought Demo flew around and made a number of plays in the nickel spot. I thought Ambry had some real good plays too, especially the turnover causing that fumble. He would’ve had a touchdown if it wasn’t for a couple people, not including myself, coming on the field. But I was real happy with those guys and hopefully they’ll continue to get better.”


Is that going to be the plan long-term at those positions?

“I mean, we don’t think anything long-term. It’s always week-to-week. So, I liked how it went last week. We’ll see when we watch film here for these next 48 hours what we think the best is on Wednesday. I know there was at least one play in that game, maybe two, Demo had to come out. [CB] Isaiah [Oliver] went right in, didn’t miss a beat. I think Isaiah played some real good ball for us this year too, so we’ve got some options. It all depends on who we’re playing and we’ll see how this settles. But, we’re looking into it each week.”


Was DL Nick Bosa’s snap count a part of the score of the game or is it now that DL Chase Young is here, will you try and get him maybe a lower percentage of snaps to be more effective?

“No, that’s been our goal here for a number of weeks and we’ve struggled to do that. I think getting Chase in here made it a lot easier. I think the way the game went made it a lot easier. But that’s something that we’re trying to. It’s hard to take Nick off the field because of how good he is obviously. But, that’s something we’re always trying to do because we want Nick playing at the same level for all those plays, not just rushing the quarterback but also playing the run, how he chases the ball too on screens and things like that. In order to get all our guys to do that, you’ve got to rotate them. So, I was glad we were able to do that a little bit more.”


You mentioned the screens earlier. Is there a thread as far as what goes wrong when the screens are effective against you guys?

“Yeah, just when there’s a big space between the guys getting out in our coverage. That is one weakness sometimes when you play some zone coverages. Sometimes that can be a weakness, when you rush as hard as we do. So those are the vulnerabilities of some of that stuff, which has always been an issue, not just for us, but any teams that are in passing situations or play the style that we play. People have gotten on us so they’re not going to go away. They’re going to keep coming more and more. I thought there was a couple times we put that bleeding out, especially more in the fourth quarter, the second half. But, we’ve definitely got to get better at that because there’s a little too much space when they’ve hit us on them.”