Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 27, 2020

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening comments:

“Alright guys, for the injury report for today, we’ve got [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair] is questionable. [RB] Tevin Coleman will be out. [OL] Tom Compton, out. [LB Demetrius] Flannigan-Fowles, out. [LB Dre] Greenlaw, questionable. [DT Javon] Kinlaw, questionable. [TE] Jordan Reed, questionable. [CB] K’Waun Williams, out. Go ahead.”

How did how did RB Raheem Mostert and RB Jeff Wilson Jr. look in practice this week as well as CB Richard Sherman and do you think those guys will be able to do extensive play on Sunday?

“We’ll get them on the roster tomorrow by one. They got better each day. Yesterday we had to do a bunch of walkthrough stuff because some of the circumstances, the guys we lost. So we didn’t get to go totally full speed and same thing today, but they got better each day and we’ll put them on the active roster and they’ll be questionable going into the game.”

Is there a scenario in which T Trent Williams and WR Brandon Aiyuk could be taken off the COVID list and play on Sunday?

“Yeah, I believe there’s a chance for Trent, outside chance. I haven’t heard that on Aiyuk.”

How did WR Deebo Samuel get through the week? What are your expectations for him for Sunday?

“He was able to practice throughout the week. It was just different circumstances with us having the building closed all last week. We got a good practice on Wednesday, which was nice, but yesterday, just because of the new guys, the three guys we lost with practice and what was already going on with our D-Line, we had to do a bunch of walkthroughs these two days. So, it’s been good to get them out there and stuff, but no one’s been able to go that much. So, if he’s able to go in the game, just going to have to be smart with him.”

Just as far as, you know, I think six guys on the COVID list, can you say how many guys might have a chance to get out and play Sunday?

“I can’t say because I don’t really know. I know I got asked that and I said, I think Trent has a chance, just because they haven’t told me a hundred percent no, but that’s the only one I could say that was told that had a chance. But, it’s not a great chance, whatever that means.”

Have you heard anything as far as the status of this game with the Rams? Apparently having a couple of positives and they retested negative. Have you been kept in the loop at all about if there could be any change to the Sunday 1:00 PM kickoff?

“Yeah. No, I mean, I haven’t heard about that. I just heard about the Rams a little bit ago. Sounds like fortunately they came back negative, but I just heard about that and we’ll wait and see.”

Did Tom Compton suffer an injury in practice?

“Yeah, it was unfortunate because it was walkthrough and ended up getting a concussion. We didn’t notice it out at practice or anything because we were going at half speed, but he reported it after. That’s why we didn’t get it to you guys yesterday, but found that out yesterday after.” 

How difficult has this week been, just in terms of trying to get through practice and managing all of the meetings and all of the protocols that you’re in right now?

“It’s been a challenge. The meetings have been the easier part. I think everyone in the league is getting used to Zooming. We got to do it a lot in the off season, so that just added some travel time and a few more minutes in the day, but that wasn’t bad at all. Just the challenges of being off a week, which everyone has on a bye week. That’s why you usually do a few things, but we weren’t able to because of the COVID stuff. The biggest challenge was coming back, having a week off and knowing how much work we had to get to get crisp and really only getting in on Wednesday. So yesterday finding out, losing those three players, about 15 minutes before practice started kind of made us scramble a little bit. So, guys wanted to get work in, but we had to be smart. We were just too low on guys and if we would have gone full speed, it would have really hurt a certain group of players. So, we had a walkthrough for everyone, just to get us through it. We were able to have one full speed period a day of seven on seven. So, that’s been the challenge. I think you can look at it as we needed some rest, so it makes you a little bit fresher and stuff, but you never want to get too much rest either. So, it’s a fine line. We’re just trying to balance out, back and forth with it.”

As far as QB Nick Mullens, obviously he’s had some good moments and not so good moments this year it seems like. What is your overall assessment of him been?

“I heard some of what you said, that he’s had some good spots and some rough spots, but I would agree with that too. I think at some games he’s played at a very high level, especially that first game, the Giants game. You can’t play much better than he did that game. I thought he did some real good things in the New Orleans game, too, but there’s a lot of games, you go into the Green Bay game and stuff like that and a number of others and this week is going to be tough too. Anytime you put a quarterback in there who’s hasn’t had two weeks in a row with the same group of receivers, whether, it was [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] at first, it was us in training camp and now it’s been Nick every week and the same thing with the running backs and the O-Line. So, I think that’s been a huge challenge for Nick and it would be for [QB] C.J. [Beathard] if he gets in and it was for Jimmy. So, I think it’s a little unfair to judge the quarterbacks a hundred percent on how they’ve been each game in terms of stats and the score and things like that. I try to just watch the situations they’re in, what I think they’re capable of doing and I think Nick has played like Nick. I think he’s been a really solid guy for us. He gives us a chance to win, but we’ve got to play better around him in order for him to play to his full ability. We’ve got to have a chance to play better around him with getting a little bit more continuity here in the last six games.”

With Tom Compton, does that mean you expect OL Colton McKivitz to slide in at right guard and keep OL Daniel Brunskill at center?


In terms of linebackers, if Greenlaw and Al-Shaair are out, I guess you’ve got LB Fred Warner playing alongside maybe S Marcell Harris and LB Jonas Griffith? Are those your choices right now?

“Yeah, those are the only ones in the building. So, those are our choices.”

What have you seen out of Marcell Harris and obviously getting him into that spot against the Saints probably helped him get ready for this?

“Yeah, thank God. It would’ve been hard to do anything today or yesterday. So, at least we did have a couple of guys who could play the linebacker position and get us through practice with Fred and Marcell who has played at it from a nickel standpoint the week before. Then we’ve got Jonas here a few weeks ago on our practice squad. So, it helped to get those three guys in just so we could function, really, for all the other positions and get Fred some of his reps. Marcel’s done a great job at that and hopefully we can get some more guys in, but if not, we’ve got to adjust and figure it out.”

You’re here at Friday now. A couple of days ago, you kind of said that you would have to have the guys knock of the cobwebs a little bit and show them where the hash marks are. How did you feel the crispness was this week now that you’re on Friday?

“I thought Wednesday was great. Wednesday, I thought we had a great practice, lots of energy, especially for all the time that we had off. I thought guys were eager to get going. It was a huge challenge on the D-Line just because our four scout team D-Lineman had to go both ways the entire practice, just because the guys we were missing. Everyone else, I thought it was a little more fair to. So, I really loved Wednesday, but Thursday when we lost those other guys, it just became walkthrough and stuff. The guys were into it, locked in, but wish we could’ve got more out of it, but those were the circumstances right now.”

Heading into day three of the draft, I seem to remember you saying that if that deal for Trent Williams had fallen through that Colton McKivitz was an option to select maybe even around earlier and have him potentially compete at left tackle. You can correct me if I’m wrong on that, but what is it about him right now that enables him to show that versatility and have the tackle background in him, but also play pretty well at guard?

“Just getting a few nights before the draft, really confirming we were going to lose [former 49ers T Joe] Staley. It put a little bit of pressure on us, because that’s a big replacement we have to find. So, you look into the guys you know were going to go early in the first round and where that’s at and then you have a group of other guys. Colton was in that, we thought, we knew he wouldn’t go early, but we thought he’d be around second, third. We didn’t think he’d get to the fourth and his tackle tape was good with where we thought he’d go in those rounds, but we weren’t sure if he’d be exactly a tackle or a guard. So, then the fact that we were able to get Trent here and stuff, it made us throw him at guard right away. We’ll see how it goes into next year and where he’s needed the most, but he’s gotten a lot of work at guard here since he got here. I thought he’s done a good job, that’s why we’ve been rotating him and Compton the last couple of weeks. With Compton getting this injury yesterday, now this will be his first opportunity to start. In his two games that he’s been playing, I think he’s gotten better each game and he’s got a big challenge going against a pretty good guy this week, but I know he’ll be up for the challenge.”

What gives you confidence heading into this game, given all the bad luck you’ve had with illness and injury, given that you’ve lost three in a row and the Rams are hot?

“It’s about going to work and believing in your guys. We don’t sit there and say, what can give us confidence? You just work and try to do the best you can. Then you live with the consequences. The work you put in the week, we know we’re going against a good team. We thought we were going against a good team the last time we played them. You’re always going against good teams to me in this league and the Rams happened to be one of the better ones. I thought we had a really good effort today. Really good walkthrough. I’m hoping we can get lucky with some of the guys we get back, but when you go and you play good ball, everyone’s in it together. If you don’t turn the ball over, then you’ve always got a chance to win. We never go into a game not thinking that we have one, but we try to earn that throughout the week. There’s been some more challenges with that this week, but I like where our team was at today. After Thanksgiving yesterday, they came in ready to go, locked in and our guys are excited to play Sunday.”

How have both Deebo Samuel and Richard Sherman looked through practice this week?

“I thought they did a good job. It was nice to get Sherman before the bye week, so we got him some reps in there at least on the practice teams and stuff versus New Orleans. Then getting Deebo back even more, I thought it was good. They were able to work because they were injured. They were able to do some stuff on the bye week when the place was shut down. Not with anyone, but at least their conditioning and everything. So, they were eager and fresh for practice on Wednesday. Wish we could have gotten more reps throughout the week, full speed, but I know that they could have done as good as I was hoping for.”