Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – November 15, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
“Injuries for today, [OL] Aaron Banks, toe, won’t practice. [OL Nick] Zakelj ended up having surgery on a bicep. It was sore. We sent him for an MRI later on Monday, it ended up being torn, so he needs surgery. He’ll be done for the year. [T] Trent Williams has a vet day, won’t practice. We’ll say slash ankle for you because it’s still sore. Something I’ll get a couple weeks from now. [LB Demetrius] Flannigan-Fowles, ankle, limited. [OL] Colton [McKivitz], ankle slash knee, limited. Go ahead.”
Do you need to bring somebody up from the offensive line to the active roster to replace Nick?
Do you know who that’s going to be?
Like a tryout this week?
Obviously, the injury happened in practice?
“No, it was in the game. It was a little thing just bicep soreness. It wasn’t like your normal tear. It was a little one that was high. Complained about it all day, we sent him in and it had a slight tear and got a couple opinions. They said it’s only going to get worse, so we had to do the surgery.”
When you have a player and he’s got multiple kind of coaches here and both away from the building, how do you kind of sort out the way that he hears instruction from either you or what he’s heard from other people to make sure it’s all kind of straight in his head?
“I don’t know anybody I’ve coached who’s got other coaches from outside the building.”
QB Brock Purdy’s got a throwing coach in Jacksonville. He’s got a guy who he grew up with.
“Yeah, those are like strength and conditioning coaches, but in terms of throwing, they just work on the mechanics of throwing.”
I mean they’re quarterback coaches. Dan Manucci is a guy that trains quarterbacks.
“I understand. I don’t think you understand. Coaches in this building, we don’t sit and you don’t talk mechanics all week. You’re preparing for a game plan. That’s what you do in the season. You get them ready for the offense that we’re running, the defenses we’re going on. When you work to improve your footwork and arm strength, just like a wideout in the offseason, they go to improve how they drop their hips, how they do quickness off the line. They do cone drills, stuff like that. But, when you’re here and you get it by position coaches, it’s about football and preparing for the game. That doesn’t happen during the year.”
Not that defensive coordinator Steve Wilks didn’t do some of this stuff in the first eight games, but it did seem with the defensive line and some of the looks maybe were a little more unique or creative notably on some of the bigger plays for sacks. Is that a fair assessment or would you say no it’s kind of the same thing?
“I mean, I thought our two inside in the A-gaps was a new thing. But, that was the only one I saw.”
How much were you involved in sort of helping Steve self-scout the defense over the Bye?
“No more than what I usually do. I just help when I can, and those guys would always work out the majority of the week. Nothing more than usual.”
What were your impressions of DL Javon Hargrave in that game? To this point, how do you think he’s produced for you this year?
“I’ve been real happy with Javon. I thought he did a real good job in that game. He got the quarterback off his spot a lot, which I think he’s one of the better ones at winning fast, him and [DL] Nick [Bosa]. But I thought just our group as a whole, whether he was getting the quarterback to move or other people were getting the quarterback to move to come to him, I thought collectively they did it their best.”
Did you notice a difference with DL Chase Young in there in terms of setting up some of the other stuff?
“Yeah, I did. Especially when he broke to the right, just Chase’s speed to, [Jacksonville Jaguars QB] Trevor [Lawrence] got out of there one time and his speed to get to him, making it a three-yard run. Just some of the push on the tackle, just getting a quarterback off his spot that makes him move into other places, but it definitely helped.”
Do you think Chase’s addition kind of gave Bosa a little extra pep in his step too?
“I don’t know. You can ask him. I think Bosa was pretty excited for that game as it was. But, I know Bosa likes him and likes having people he likes around him.”
Was there less chipping on Bosa in that game?
“It seemed like it. I didn’t get the whole tally or anything, but just thinking back to it, it seemed like a little bit.”
What do you respect about the Buccaneers?
“I respect that I think they have a chance to win every game they play in. That’s why they had a good record to start. I know they lost a couple tight ones, coming back with a big one last week. I think they make it very tough to run the ball against. I think [Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Antoine] Winfield [Jr.] and [Tampa Bay Buccaneers NT] Vita Vea are two of the best players in what they do. I think they have an offense with, you can never fall asleep on [Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR] Mike Evans. He’s as scary now as he was 10 years ago. I’ve got a lot of respect for [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB] Baker [Mayfield] and how he plays the position and stuff. So, I think they’re a good team.”
The Bucs got 13 hits on the quarterback last week. What does their defensive front look like and what do you expect to see from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles?
“I mean, it’s similar to last week. They can run every blitz. He can do that at any time. He’ll pick and choose when to do them, but you’ve got to be ready at any time in the game. You don’t know where Vita’s going to be on third down, but when he is pushing the center inside is a problem, whoever he’s pushing is a problem. They’ve had some pretty good successful edge rushers too that get to the quarterback.”
You’ve had a lot of success in the red zone defensively. Is there anything you can put your finger on there that is helping them in?
“Not in particular. I’ll get a little bit more into that later in the week, but not in particular. I I know when you’re a good run defense it’s one of the easiest ways to be successful in the red zone is to run the ball on offense. So, when you’re a good run defense, I know it gets a lot harder down there for offenses.”
Brock’s played 17 games now. It’s like the equivalent of one season. He’s accomplished a lot. What do you still want to see from him as far as going forward, as far as being an ascending player?
“I just feel you’re always getting better or worse. So I’d like him to just continue to get better. I thought what he showed last year in the time he played, he showed he was capable of being our starting quarterback and I don’t think anything’s been different this year so far.”
Did you have any different opinion of the first touchdown after watching it on film?
“No. I was happy he did it and now I love the result.”
His first start was against these guys, against Todd Bowles and this defense. What did you learn from him in that first start?
“It was similar to what he did in the Miami game. I mean, just to be thrown in there, some stuff not go perfect and just to watch him not get rattled throughout it. He had a big mess up on that first play of the game and took a pretty big shot for it and got the personal foul. So it was a very strategic explosive by him. But, the way he bounced back from that. I think it was the next drive or maybe a couple plays later, that he broke his rib and no one had any idea until the next morning. Not that he was hiding it, he just didn’t think it was broke. So just the guy to be under duress like that and his first time really with us in a full game and the way he played and I think it was pretty good foreshadowing on how he’s handled everything for the next 16 games.”
When you watched the film with Brock of his first touchdown pass, does he agree with you that it was a bad decision or does he feel like that’s a play he can make?
“No, he agrees with me by the time he gets to the sideline. Yeah. Brock sees football pretty well. No one’s going to be perfect. People, it’s really easy when you’re watching it from afar. You’ve got to react and play football in the pocket or outside the pocket. He knows when he makes a bad decision and that’s why he’s fun to talk to about it, fun to coach.”
I have an injury report question for you. Is Banks out?
He’s out for the game?
On the second touchdown pass, the one to TE George Kittle, you were standing pretty much right there where the ball was coming. Was that intentional placement by you to get that kind of know where that that play’s unfolding?
“I usually always stand as far away as I can so I can try to see 22 players. But, I also know when there’s a chance the ball’s going deep. I like to always tell the ref how they’re about to grab them and not let them go deep. But they didn’t, they let him go. So it was nice.”
Did you have in real time of how muddy that pocket was for Brock and what kind of throw that was?
“No, I don’t totally know. I just look at the coverages, then I have an idea where the ball should go based off that. I see Kittle’s release and I look back to the pocket and I can’t see anybody. It looks like someone’s throwing a grenade out of a bunker and I’m just watching it and hoping it lands in Kittle’s hands and once it does, felt pretty good about it.”
What did you think of your guys’ pass coverage and how’d you evaluate the job that CB Ambry Thomas did back there?
“I thought Ambry did a good job. A couple penalties we want to eliminate, but I thought he stepped in. They challenged him a couple times. He didn’t back away from any of it, stopped a couple go-routes, especially there in the end zone. Thought he contested a comeback real well and I thought he was good with the physicality and the run game.”
Your reaction on Kittle’s touchdown was pretty, I don’t know, looked to blow sunshine here, but it looked pretty cool. You gave the fist bump and then just walked away triumphantly not even looking at Kittle.
“That’s because I was the last one so I knew I didn’t have to look what was behind me. So I mean, he was all that was left. I’m not trying to look cool. It’s a stressed out, tight reaction of exhale. But, I wasn’t trying to be cool. It was that I knew no one was behind him. I was the deepest guy, so I didn’t have to look and make sure he didn’t trip over the goal line. I was counting on him not to.”
So when the offense is on the field and you’re watching, you’re watching the secondary trying to figure out where the ball should go as the play’s happening?
“Watch secondary, watch fronts, you watch coverage. It’s not just where it should go, it’s where you know it’s going to go, based off of how long we block and look. It’s also so you can have an idea of what to call next and pick up stuff throughout the game.”
So you don’t watch like the ball?
“If anybody’s watching the ball, that means they have no clue what’s going on, except what the ball does.”
You guys added a couple of offensive linemen to the practice squad recently, OL Jesse Davis and OL Henry Byrd. Are either of those guys guard/center options like Zakelj?
“Yep, they are.”
Most of them are?
So it would be among those two guys, OL Ilm Manning and OL Corey Luciano?
“Yeah. Anybody who plays O-Line that’s in our building are our options. We’ll see if any other are added this week, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Are you going to prepare both OL Matt Pryor and OL Jaylon Moore for McKivitz’s spot?
“Yeah, we’ll prepare both of them.”