Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 17, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center


Opening comments:

“Injuries for today, [OL] Aaron Banks will be out. The IR guys are still questionable. [DL Robert] Beal [Jr.], [CB Samuel] Womack [III] and [CB Darrell] Luter [Jr.]. Go ahead.”

Does Banks have a chance to play next week?

“Yes, he has a chance.”

Do you have a sense of like a good chance?

“Just a chance, yep.”

How are the three IR guys coming along?

“They’re coming along well. They’ve had two good weeks. It’s nice to have them practice. It’s been nice having them this week. They got another week left. Fortunately, that week isn’t the best week being a Thursday Night game, so yesterday was their main full speed practice, but still got another week with them.”

With them are you looking for something that says, hey, they’re ready to play again or is it just going to have to be a situation where something’s going to have to open up for them?

“It’s more of that. They’re all showing that they’re healthy enough to play and stuff. It’s getting back into it and having to figure out the roster with those guys.”

How’s WR Danny Gray progressing in his recovery?

“Danny’s good to go. He is getting right there. He’s in that same situation. We’ll see how it goes with these numbers, but I think he’s right around now able to come back and help us. So we’ll see when we need him with the numbers.”

Did you guys have CB Jason Verrett in yesterday to give him a look?

“Yeah, try out. We don’t have him signed yet. We’ll work through that over this weekend and see how it ends up for next week.”

Would you sign him to the active roster or the practice squad?

“Most likely practice squad. That’s what he was on at Houston. So that’s what we’re looking into him right now, but nothing official yet.”


Did you get a chance to watch him?

“I didn’t, no.”


Are you encouraging that?

“Yeah, I heard they were good in Houston, and they’ve been when we worked him out everyone said it was good. I think you guys know how I feel about J.V., so it’s amazing that he is even back and able to do that stuff. So, if we got a chance, we’d love to get him in here.”

Did you see like just over the years with him on the DBs, even when he wasn’t playing, just how he kind of was a coach in the room?

“J.V. has been one of the most respected guys we’ve had in our building. Just the way he carries himself, how talented he is and just look at his footwork and how he played with us, like guys always looked up to him in that way. I think he was a mentor to a lot of guys, but it was just the perseverance and how he carried himself that guys loved. I’ve never seen, when he did work out here, the first time about a month ago or whatever it was, we had about seven players just go out and watch it, which I’ve never seen that before. So, it just shows how our team felt about him.”

So to confirm it possible the plan is to try to sign him?

“Yes. We would like to, yeah. We’re trying to, we’ll see how it works out.”

RB Jordan Mason hasn’t had to carry in three weeks, he’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry. What does he need to do to get back in the mix and earn your trust?

“Why would that be an issue?”


I don’t know, I guess it’s confusing for running back who’s been so efficient to fall out of the mix. I was wondering what he would need to do to get back in?

“Two guys in front of him would have to get hurt to get more there. There’s three of them. You’re implying that I don’t trust him or something, that’s what I heard in the question, so I’m trying to figure out exactly what your question is.”


Why would you give RB Elijah Mitchell the carries over him when Mitchell’s averaging two something yards per carry?

“We look at more than stats. Mitchell’s our number two back. He’s done some pretty good things here and JP’s our three, he’s been our two at times. But it’s how most cases are in the NFL.”

You didn’t have lot of issues on defense against Jacksonville, but they did catch you on a few screens. I saw that Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield threw a pretty nice one to Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Raachad White. Is that a good part of their game and something you have to watch out for?

“Yeah, I mean everyone does screens and it’s about catching you at the right time, some things we do on defense, gives more opportunities to do that. Guys have got us, but we’re always expecting it. We expect it every week and the success people have had we know it’s going to only come more and it’s going to keep coming more and more until we do better at it.”

Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks said yesterday that he did a few things with coverages to be a little more sticky and just disguise things a little more on the back end. Is that just an example of him getting more familiar with what he inherited and the personnel and the best way to use it?

“I think yes, but I think he does that every week too. Sometimes more than others, depends on what quarterback you’re playing, how you tie in the whole scheme together. I think we all get a ton of questions like that in our Bye Week, exactly what we’ve done and stuff. So I think they answer those, but I think we make a little too much out of it, just  trying to answer those questions. But I also think he does that every night after every practice. You’re always looking how to tie that stuff together to give quarterbacks more problem and it’s something that evolves week in and week out and goes throughout the year.”

You settled on a plan for OL Nick Zakelj’s roster spot yet?

“I can’t remember. No, I think we’re sticking with 52 right now.”

You mentioned the other day that you respect Baker Mayfield and the way he plays quarterback. What specifically about him do you like?

“Just watching how he plays. You watched him last week, I mean, how decisive he was, how he gets rid of the ball. Every time they had the right look on that. He had zero hesitation when he had the wrong look on. He didn’t hesitate. He progressed and didn’t sit there and wait on some bad things. He’s been getting rid of the ball as fast as anyone in this league, not taking sacks. I think he only has four turnovers. When he also is not scared to let it go at all. He can throw that ball, he can take three hitches and throw it late 60-yards down the field. He also has a knack for making plays with his legs.”


You talk about decisiveness a lot. How important is that for a football player regardless of position?

“Extremely, yeah, all positions. The game moves too fast for anyone to sit there and think about stuff. You got to be able to react whether it’s preparation, whether it’s just instinct but not many people are successful in this league if they’re not decisive.”