Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 8, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening comments:

“All right, injuries for this practice: [OL] Aaron Banks is out, [T] Trent Williams, ankle, won’t practice, [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud III] is sick, won’t practice, [DL] Drake Jackson, knee, will be limited. Everyone else is full-go.”


I know Trent normally does the vet day on Wednesday. Do you expect him at practice tomorrow?

“I hope so. I know he can’t today though.”


I think you initially said it was a low ankle sprain. Is there anything more going on with Trent’s ankle?

“Yeah, I think obviously there is. Just when he’s got a lot of history in there with stuff. It didn’t show up as a high or anything like that, but when you’ve had that over your career, there’s a number of things that with how it’s taking longer than expected to heal, it’s more than a low.”


You’ve talked in the past about looking at each week as a one-game season, especially in the years where you guys had started a little slower. How important is this week to really that in mind?

“I think it’s important every week, but especially when you’ve lost three in a row, you’ve got to get back to the part of that’s all that ever matters. It’s always a one-week season and it’s not about going on a run or anything like that. It’s about trying to beat a really good football team this week.”


What have your early impressions of DL Chase Young been and how do you see him fitting in here right away?

“I think he’s going to jump in right away. First time we saw him was Monday. We had a slight small practice, and we’ll see him out there today really for a real practice. Hopefully he’ll pick up the stuff throughout the week and going to be out there a good bit on Sunday.”


Your hope is to have a big role for him?

“Yes, hope so.”


I’m going to ask about CB Darrell Luter Jr. and DL Robert Beal who had their practice windows open. What’s the hope for them?  I know that neither of them practiced much in the summer.

“That they can show they can help us. The little that they did practice this summer, we saw two really good players we’re excited to have. They didn’t get to go through a lot. They got hurt pretty early, but what we saw with them in college and what we saw in them in their first practices we’re really excited to get them back. They’re healthy now. This will be their first time getting into football, but hopefully they can get a number of practices in just, so they can get used to the NFL and how we do it. But they’re guys that we’re looking forward to being here.”


Given that you thought they looked tired in the Bengals game, is there anything you can do to conserve energy with this team or things like that?

“Yeah, definitely. Having a Bye Week really helps. We conserved a lot of energy.”


Beyond that?

“Yeah, you always do. Once you get through the halfway point of the year, we always change the reps up as we go. We change up walk-throughs as we go. Eventually we change up our full-speed stuff, which is coming real soon. So, there’s always an adjustment throughout the year. Sometimes you change it week-to-week based off of how your team is, where they’re at, but it’s always evolving.”


Back to what you said about a one-game season, as much as this is a veteran team and guys understand that when things go so well as they did for five weeks, do you have to kind of remind everybody every week that you still have to show up every single week?

“Yeah, of course. I think you get reminded that almost every week in the league. I think we went a while without getting reminded that, which I think it’s good to get reminded. But I always tell our guys, getting a pat on the back or getting hated on is all the same because none of it matters and both affect you. So, you need to not let those help you or hurt you because they really have nothing to pertain with what we do on the field and things like that. So you’ve always got to focus whether you’ve won 15 in a row, whether you’ve lost three in a row, nothing changes. It’s about how you play and the intent you play with and how well prepared you are.”


You were doing some self-scouting last week during Bye Week. What jumped out at you offensively, either what you guys were doing or what defenses were doing to you?

“I mean, it’s everything. Defenses do everything and we do everything. Each quarter’s different, each week’s different. I think we’ve done a lot of good things when you just look at it numbers-wise and stuff. But I think we’ve got to really eliminate some of the times we kill ourselves. You don’t ever want to take stuff away from other teams because other teams always make it harder. But I do feel the times we’ve struggled, we’ve just made some key mistakes that I think we’re capable of not making. I think we’re the ones who have slowed ourselves down. When you look at how little we punted and things like that, you should have points to match with that. I don’t think we have the last few weeks. We’ve got to get more points.”


You mentioned how your team looked fatigued and slow after the Bengals game. Is there any area on either side of the ball you can inject some speed before the offseason?

“Do you have anything I can inject (laughter)? That makes one person faster. But no, it’s overall team speed and it’s not just one play. It’s for an overall game. I think that happens to everyone through the season. I think it showed up more on our tape in Cincinnati than it had the other in a while, which was concerning. So I was glad for the break, but I also think the trip got to us a little bit. I mean, those are all reasons, slash excuses, which are the exact same thing to me. But yeah, our guys are a lot fresher right now. They look good to go and hopefully they’ll have a good week of practice, play the right way on Sunday and keep it that way. We’ve got three games in 12 days, which doesn’t help. So that’s a little bit different. But then you get three days off after that Thursday Night game to kind of recover and get ready for the run.”


How often do you get to practice two-minute drills and late game situations where you’re down a couple scores, like during the season? I know practice time is extremely limited?

“Never, no one does. Yeah, you don’t just say you’re down two scores and just scrimmage, but everybody runs a two-minute drill. We always run it on Wednesdays.”


Have you guys made a decision or has defensive coordinator Steve Wilks made a decision where he’s going to be game day?

“We’re going to put him on the field this week. Something we’ve talked about for a little bit. I think there’s pluses to it and minuses to it, but we’ll see what we like about this week.”


What is your personal feeling on it?

“I love being in the box. I think that’s the best spot. I feel like you guys would judge me too hard if I went up there. If it ever gets cold enough, I might be. I like a chair and a desk and a lot of stuff to write down and things like that. I had to do this for nine years before I got here. I was only in the box one year, my last year, so it was eight on the field before that. There’s pluses and minuses to both, so you usually go with your preference.”


What swung it? Why move Steve?

“Just because of the some of the stuff you do in the box, all the advantages to it, which are great, but I kind of want him to be down and be near our players a little bit. They’ve had that more just with the linebacker communication in the past. I want him to be down there so he can talk to guys a little bit more.”


Red zone scoring for you guys is up efficiency-wise, but for the league is down. Is there something happening league wide tendencies that you see?

“Global warming (laughter). I see all that stuff random in everything. The league always evolves. I think defenses, I think offenses have so many things that they do these days. Not just a couple teams or half the teams, all the teams. I think it makes defenses have to be a lot more sound, not take as many risks and stuff gets tighter down there. When you’re not taking as many risks and you’re extremely sound, there’s not as many freebies. If you try to make a living off throwing jump balls or just running into loaded boxes, that’s really tough too. Then when you sit back and you drop back when people are being sound, there’s seven to eight guys in a tight, tight area and there’s only three to five offensive guys in a tight area. So, I think defenses are getting better in that area and offenses they catch up and you’ve got to get creative or you’ve got to get guys who can run it in.”


After RB Christian McCaffrey got here WR Deebo Samuel’s production has been kind of off and on, a lot of it is injuries. What would it mean to get him back full strength and get them both going at the same time?

“I think it’d be huge. I don’t think we’ve really had that. Christian came in the middle of last year. Deebo was banged up throughout almost all last year and hasn’t really had his exact role or been healthy since the year prior to that. I thought Deebo started out great this year with how healthy he was, how good he was playing, and then he got some bad injuries which have kind of set him back. I think he’s about ready to get back out there full and hopefully we can keep him that way.”


How can Chase’s relationship with DL Nick Bosa maybe benefit him, easing him in a transition like getting here? We saw him at Monday at practice and they’re obviously friends, so how does that maybe help a player who’s traded in the middle of the season?

“I think anytime you go to a new place, that’s always a little weird for people, football players just like anybody else. You want to go in there and meet everyone and stuff, but I think it’s always nice to have someone you’ve known prior to kind of show you the ropes and understand who you are, let other guys know and it’s just an easier transition for people.”


How does Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence look compared to the guy you prepared for the last time you played him?

“I mean, very similar. I think Trevor is one of the more talented quarterbacks in this league. He’s a problem at any time. The height he has, the size he has in that pocket. He can make any throw and what he can do with his legs on any type of play, whether it’s a design run for him or just getting out of the pocket and doing off-schedule stuff. He’s always a problem.”


What do you see with Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell’s defense? They held Pittsburgh to 260 yards or whatever?

“I think it’s the best. Them and Cleveland are definitely the best two defenses we played this year. I think they’re playing at an extremely high level and they’re not giving up yards. They’re one of the hardest teams in the league to run the ball against. I think they’re number one in getting turnovers. I think they’re number three in giving up explosives. So, they’re a bend but don’t break defense because they’re not giving up explosives and it’s really tough to run the ball against them and they lead the league in turnovers. So, it’s not a surprise they’ve won five in a row.”