Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 21, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center


Opening comments:

“All right, injuries. We’ve got [OL Spencer] Burford, knee, won’t practice. [OL] Aaron Banks, toe, limited. [CB] Shemar Jean-Charles, shoulder, limited. [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud III], rib, limited. [DL Javon] Hargrave, thumb, limited. That’s it, go ahead.”


Aaron Banks, does he have any chance to potentially play?

“Yes, he does.”


What’s the next man up situation for Burford at right guard if he can’t go in there?

“We’ve got some guys on practice squad and we just brought a guy in.”


Is the Burford thing a long-term thing?

“No, I think he would be all right if he played Sunday, but it’s a question here on Thursday and can’t go today. So, it’s worrisome.”


Is OL Ben Bartch in the building yet?

“I am not sure.”


How do you go about getting him up to speed and any chance that he could suit up on Thursday?

“There’s an outside chance. Being a short week, we’ll most likely go a different direction, but we’ve got a lot of moving parts with that.”


Will OL Jon Feliciano practice at right guard today and Banks at left guard?



You mentioned on Friday that the plan was to sign former CB Jason Verrett to the practice squad. Is that still the plan?

“No, it has not happened.”


You anticipate it happening?

“We’d like it to, but not sure yet.”


Did you and the coaches stay over here after the game the other night or in preparation of Seattle, or did you guys get to go home?

“No, we enjoy Sunday night knowing how miserable the next few days are going to be. We’ve been here since we came in Monday morning. But no, we enjoyed Sunday for a little bit, got to bed early and aren’t going to look back until after the game on Thursday.”


LB Fred Warner said that sometimes the game plan a Thursday after Sunday sometimes is a little bit more condensed. Is that accurate on both sides of the football?

“You’d like it to be. I think it’s different on both sides. You’d love to make it condensed. Sometimes you don’t have the time to make the decisions. You’ve got a bunch of plays you like and you like to go through plays for a long time to make sure they’re all detailed and which ones to go with and sometimes you don’t have time for that. So sometimes you put in the extra ones and you decide over the next 48 hours which ones to take out and keep in. So, we’ve done them both ways, but it’s always stuff guys are familiar with is the main thing.”


The numbers show you guys are using the deep ball a little bit more than you have in the past. Is that a product of you’re dialing those up a little bit more and your belief in QB Brock Purdy or is Brock taking those shots more? Is it maybe a combination of those things?

“I think when the looks are there he takes them. So, I think the looks have been there at times. When they have been there, he really doesn’t miss them and has done a good job of coming down with them.”


Are you feeling any difference in the way teams are defending you since you’ve kind of started to establish that?

“The more areas of the fields you hit, the more areas they’ve got to defend. So, you try to balance all those out, you try to throw where they’re not. Brock’s done a real good job of that.”


What are the hallmarks of a Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll coached team?

“Just the style they play with. They’re so competitive, doesn’t matter what the record is, where you play, offense, defense, special teams, they all go extremely hard. They practice hard. I think just the style of their play and when you watch the silent tape, it’s as close to ours as anyone else. I think we’re very similar in the style our teams play with.”


What’s the biggest challenge of Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf and Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett?

“I mean, DK is just how explosive he is and the size of him to be that explosive with that size and be able to drop your hips and run all the routes. I’ve had two guys I’ve ever been around like that, one was [Philadelphia Eagles WR] Julio Jones, another was [former NFL WR] Andre Johnson. This guy I think is a couple inches taller and about 28 pounds bigger. So, it shows you how talented he is. Then Lockett, I think he’s been one of the more underrated receivers over the last 10 years. He’s so consistent in what he does. He’s got such a savviness on how to find the zones, when to lean away from certain man looks and stuff. Very consistent receiver.”


What have you seen from Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith?

“Geno’s done some good things. He’s earned this role to get to where he has been these last two years. Geno is really good at kind of attacking the defense, take what they give him. The goal is to hopefully make him one dimensional and try to get them to have to make some bigger plays and not just stay within the scheme.”


With Seattle Seahawks CB Devon Witherspoon, how has he sort of impacted their defense?

“I mean, it would’ve been fun to watch him these last 24 hours if we weren’t having to go against him, but he was as advertised. He’s a good player. He is all around the ball. When you study the run game, you see him a lot. When you study first and second down, you see him a lot. When you get to third down and watch coverages, you see him a lot. So, it’s every aspect of the game that he has an impact on. A really good football player who is also extremely talented.”


What have you observed or just seen from S Tashaun Gipson Sr. as far as working with young players like S Ji’Ayir Brown to help them whenever they get their chance to be able to step in seamlessly?

“Gip’s just got such a poise back there. It’s kind of Gip in the backend and Fred in the middle and their ages are a little different, but they’re both the dads of the group, I’d say, with Gip being a little more senior than Fred. But, they’re also the ones who aren’t as reckless. I’d say that in a bad way, but also could be a good thing. They control things a lot back there. He makes very few mistakes and guys got to watch him a lot by example too, just how he carries himself each week, how he takes care of his body. I think he’s a guy that not just the secondary looks up to, but everyone on our team.”


With S George Odum as a safety backup now and S Tayler Hawkins on the practice squad. Is that a little thin in terms of depth for safety or is that doable?

“No, most people in the NFL have four safeties, some might have five, some might have three, but a high percentage have four. So when you lose one, it’s always an issue. We’ve got a guy on practice squad who you just said, and we got other guys we can cross train. So a short week we’ll deal with it right now, but something that we might have to address as this year goes.”


Can your existing corners step in a pinch and play safety-type positions?

“I mean, someone’s got to go there. So, when you lose certain guys, you’ve got to always have that plan. Just like at O-Line when you lose a certain amount of guys, just like at quarterback when you lose a certain amount. There’s no third strings on a NFL field. It’s ones and some guys have twos, but those twos are also playing special teams. So that’s the whole challenge as this year goes.”


Seattle likes to use the UCLA RB Zachariah Charbonnet on the screen game. How’d you guys feel like you defended the screen last week against Tampa and what do you think of the UCLA rookie running back?

“He’s a good back, done good in the games this year. We really thought he was a good player coming out of college. He’s good at running the ball, good at screens. We got better last week I thought at screens, not to be confused with did very good. So, something I know we’ll keep seeing and we’ve got to keep challenging.”


You guys did pretty well against the Seahawks run defense last year. How has it changed at all and how is your rushing attack looking?

“I mean, they’re always a challenge to run the ball against. It usually takes until the fourth quarter and you’ve got to break a long one to ever make it look like you did good. They usually commit to that pretty well. Up there, it’s twice as hard as anywhere else. Cadence is a huge issue. They would use it to their advantage big time. It’s hard to get it going. So, you’ve got to get a big one to have that, which we have gotten a couple times, but it’s usually not until late. Then I usually look at getting the run game going to see kind of how we do when we’re not running the ball because that has to do with staying on the field, moving the chains and that’s what allows you eventually to get the run game going.”


I don’t think anyone doubts TE George Kittle’s desire to win or competitiveness. But, during a game you guys might be losing and he’s kind of laughing on the sideline or joking around. Initially when you first saw that were you like, what is up with this guy? Is he wired differently?

“He was more nervous his rookie year. He wasn’t as talkative. He didn’t have the ponytail yet then and he didn’t have as many tattoos. Kittle’s just always a positive guy. I mean, if he’s talking and he does a lot after his rookie year, that’s always positive. He’s always going to be upbeat and stuff. I love that because that’s him. Sometimes I don’t enjoy it the most when we’re at practice and I don’t think there’s much to be positive about. I can see him going around just being all positive like he is, but then you realize that’s who he is and he is always like that. So, guys count on him for that. I think it helps him, helps him stay at a certain level and makes him be a leader in his way to our guys.”


When you look at the Thursday Night Seattle game almost a year ago compared to this one with Brock, how valuable was that experience for him to go in and play in such a tough environment in such a big game?

“It’s real valuable. I mean, he’s been to some loud places too, but Seattle is always right there as the loudest, if not tied for it. You can always tell people how loud it is, but they don’t know until they go there and he went there so he knows what we’re talking about. I don’t have to stress the importance of it to him. He’s going to be doing it to our guys for these two days.”


You mentioned the other day allowing the guys to sleep in this morning and on Monday. Is there any science behind that? Is there an amount of sleep you want the guys to have on a short week like this one?

“Yeah, there is, but I don’t memorize those things or injury reports for you guys because I don’t want stuff to go out that actually I need to know. So, I try to let them get as much sleep as possible. That’s why we push back our schedules and everything. Stuff that we didn’t used to talk about back in the day, but they have been for about the last 10 years. It’s very evident. I know we feel it as coaches, you can see it on players and there’s just not enough time here. So, when you cram everything in, it might make you feel good, but then the guys are dead for that game and the best way to recover is sleep. We’re going to do that as much as we can.”