Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – September 26, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening comments:

“Alright, guys. Injuries from the game, [T] Trent Williams ended up having a high-ankle sprain. He’ll be out some time. [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair] had an MCL sprain, it’s very similar to what [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] did, so most likely won’t require surgery, but probably the same time. We’ll see, but I know we gave Elijah, our guess was around eight weeks. [TE] Ross Dwelley has ribs, he’ll be day-to-day with those. Go ahead guys.”

Any prognosis for Trent Williams? Just as far as how many weeks he might miss?

“No, the swelling’s pretty bad, so high-ankles are usually, just for everyone, they say four-to-six, but sometimes it can be sooner and sometimes it can be longer. So that’s why I didn’t give an exact date, too early to tell.”

What was WR Deebo Samuel’s issue yesterday?

“Just took some shots. Was hurting in some areas, had some bruises.”

After the game, QB Jimmy Garoppolo said that he’s not quite in game shape yet and implied that he had a tired arm. Is that an issue in your mind and how do you address that while at the same time trying to get him and the offense back into a rhythm?

“I think that’s the same for any player that didn’t do preseason. It takes guys some time to get into game shape. You don’t really simulate exactly games on a practice field, that happens in the games. And I think that’ll come sooner than later. If he said that, I’m sure he was tired as the game went, but we just have to get him practicing more and get him playing in games more, the game shape will come.”

It’s often said that, coaches will say that after you watch the film, it’s never as good as you think it is and never as bad as you think it is. Does the saying hold true for last night, or did it look on film as bad as it looked in person?

“No, it felt and looked exactly what I thought. The first half was similar to what I thought. I thought we missed some ops. I thought we should have had a lot more points than what our production showed, but the second half was exactly how it felt out there. There wasn’t one position, there wasn’t one thing in particular, everyone had their part. Could not convert a third down, which was the biggest reason for our troubles. But a lot of that, most of our day was, I felt like our average was around third-and-nine. We had a couple third-and-fours, but both of those we got false starts on. We got a sack on second-and-10 in I think on our fifth series in the second half, which led to a third-and-18. So that was more about second down than third down, but no, it was across the board.”

Are you considering IR for Trent Williams?

“Not right now. We’ll wait and see as this week goes, but we’re hoping we don’t have to, you only get so many of those. And we want to make sure we save those, same thing we’re kind of doing with [RB] Ty Davis-Price, but we’ll see how it goes. If it ends up being we’re leaning towards longer, then we might have to make that decision.”

Do you have any status updates for DB Jimmie Ward and CB Jason Verrett? And do you guys plan on getting OL Daniel Brunskill back anytime soon?

“Yeah, hopeful to get Brunskill back this week in practice. After this week [Ward and Verrett] can come back and start practicing and it’s looking like they’ll have a chance to come back and start practicing. We don’t have to play them that week when they do and we got three weeks to make that decision, but hopefully they’ll be able to practice next week.”

With Brunskill potentially back this week, would he be an option for replacing Trent and how do you kind of evaluate the other options you have there with OL Jaylon Moore and OL Colton McKivitz right now?

“No, I’d expect McKivitz to go. That’s probably what would have happened last week in the beginning if he didn’t get dinged up in practice and missed all those reps, but most likely it’ll be that. And hopefully we can get Dan back to possibly help us out inside.”

Last night you took responsibility for not putting the guys in the best place for them. Looking at the film now, I know obviously any unsuccessful play you’d like to recall, but is there any general principle that you would’ve gone forward with more than others?

“Are you asking which plays I felt that way about?”

Were there general concepts that you thought you should do more as opposed to others?

“No, not really. It’s just more about hitting it at the right time. I thought the safety when we were backed up, we tried to take a big shot on that and if it wasn’t there, which it wasn’t, we had some spots to ditch it, but we put him in a tough spot there where we didn’t pick it up inside the way that we planned on. And it put him in a very tough situation with the nose not being blocked on that play to where we couldn’t really ditch it. I thought the interception was a tough one, because nobody was open on that play. They ended up blitzing our back and his two options weren’t open. And when he doesn’t have a good play like that, we just can’t make it worse, but those are two tough situations that I didn’t think they were very good play calls.”

If you look at Deebo’s rushing yards this season, it’s still pretty good, 6.5 yards per carry, but do you feel like teams are starting to kind of catch on to what you’re trying to do there and have taken measures to make sure that he doesn’t beat them on the ground when he lines up in the backfield like that?

“Yeah, we’re not surprising anybody, that’s for sure. Everyone knows how committed all 11 guys have to be when Deebo’s back there, because they know what he can do. So that always makes it harder when you can’t surprise the league, because everyone knows how good he is. But I do think there’s a few opportunities. He’s still got his numbers to a degree, didn’t get them last night. But I still believe if on a number of those plays if we can execute the blocks just a little bit better, I think Deebo’s got a good chance to get a big one and that’s why you get those opportunities because he’s the best guy on our team that has the chance to get the big one and we just have to get him back there when we have a better look for him.”

Why did DB Deommodore Lenoir get the nod at nickel over CB Samuel Womack III?

“We just liked how he’s been looking. We’re always going to try to put the best people out there that we think gives us the best chance to win. And just from the last few weeks and watching him in practice and everything, we felt that was D-Mo and I was real happy with how he played too. I thought he was one of the better guys out there last night.”

Have you been involved in a game before where there were 17 punts?

“I don’t know. It sure doesn’t feel like it, but that was different. I don’t know those stats, but it definitely seemed like a lot more than we’re used to.”

And do you feel like the special teams unit as a whole has improved greatly?

“Yeah, I thought they did a real good job, especially pinning them back there. We did a real good job of always keeping them inside the 20. I thought one of the biggest plays of the game was after the safety, being able to punt that ball and them start on the 19. That’s very rare after a safety. Usually they get real good field position, so that was real impressive, but I was real happy with our special teams.”

How do you evaluate TE George Kittle’s performance? Is he still working his way back into game shape, like Jimmy?

“Yeah, definitely. You can’t underestimate, when guys miss time, how hard it is to go out and play a game like that. So yeah, George he did some good things, but he’s not there yet, because he hasn’t been playing much. It was nice to get him back in practice more last week. It was nice to get him through the game healthy and if we can keep that trend, I know he’ll keep getting back to himself.”

Yesterday, you said the offense wasn’t good enough in the second half, yourself included. After watching the game, where do you think you personally could have done better as a playcaller? What really stuck out to you the day after?

“Anytime a player makes a mistake, you look at it as yourself too. Your position coach, the coordinator, me as the play caller, what we put them through in practice, I thought we made way too many mistakes across the board and that always, to me, starts with coaching. And it goes to the players, they’re the ones who have to execute it, but we’re the ones prepare them for that. So when you look at each play as a whole and you just go through our whole, mainly our second half, the first series with the fumbled snap, the second series with the safety, the third series on that second-and-10, just had a real bad sack that got us to third-and-18. On the fourth series, we had that second-and-10 after we had [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud]’s good punt return and we’re on the 40 and we have a second-and-10 where we throw it to [WR] Jauan [Jennings] down the sideline. Got a real big chance for a big play to get in the red zone and we ended up not coming down clean with it, had a bust on protection, got Jimmy hit way too hard on it. And on the fifth series, just messing up a little bit in the protection to where we missed Deebo, who’s got [Denver Broncos DB] K’Waun [Williams] beat on that end break and route, which I think Deebo’s going to go to the house on it and we’re just not quite right in our protections and we’re a little off on the throw and that’s what gave them another opportunity for that big drive where they finally got the touchdown. So you look at it through the whole course of a game where there’s too much stuff going on like that. We have to make sure our guys are more consistent and give better chances in that way. And that always starts with me.”

The fumbled snap last night, what was your view of that? What broke down there and also, you’ve had a couple of those over the last couple weeks. Is there something to be said for Jimmy and OL Jake Brendel not getting that work together in the offseason?

“No, everyone went on one and Jake snapped it on two, so he was just a little late with the snap. I don’t know if that was the cadence out there. I haven’t gotten to talk to them yet, but just watching on tape, everybody went the other four o-linemen and the quarterback and Jake was just late to snap it, so that’s why they missed it.”

Without DL Arik Armstead out there, how did the interior of the defensive line look to you?

“We obviously played good enough to win last night on defense. You hold a team to, we gave up nine points on defense, regardless of what happens, we should get that done and win. But not having Arik in there is a big deal. I thought we gave up a few too many clean runs which allowed them to stick with a couple drives, especially there at the end, it was tough like we’re used to. You can contain [Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson] Russ all day, but we didn’t there in the fourth quarter and he kept two drives going by us letting him get up the middle, which was disappointing. But as a whole, without a doubt, they played good enough for us to win, but it would be real nice to get Arik back this week.”

When you talk about the problems that you guys experienced in the second half, do you craft your practice week differently because of it without addressing the stuff? And I realize it wasn’t just one area, a lot of stuff across the board, but do you consciously try to address as much of that stuff during the week of practice as possible?

“Of course, that’s what our weeks are consistent of every single day. And that’s why you don’t just sit there and try to have a theme like, hey, we went 0-10 on third down, let’s practice third downs this week. Or oh, we didn’t throw it deep, let’s practice throwing deep this week. Or we didn’t connect deep, let’s practice doing it. You don’t look at it that way, it’s how do you get 11 guys to do their job right? And that’s why when you look at over the course of the game, there’s never just one absolute answer. There’s a breakdown on all of those third downs. There’s a breakdown on a couple of those second downs, which led to bad third downs and that’s why you hear us say a lot, do right longer. And doing right longer is about executing in every aspect of the game, so you can’t just focus exactly on one thing. You have to focus on everything and that’s what we do each week, first down, second down, third down, cadence, motions, getting lined up, executing the plays, beating man coverage, all those types of things go into it. That’s why there’s so much more to it than what the eye might see, but we have to get a lot of stuff cleaned up. It didn’t come down to just one thing. We didn’t play good enough across the board with all 11 guys. That’s why I can’t just sit here and say it was the run game, it was the pass game, it was only third down. Everybody had their part and that’s why we have to come in here, we have to take our medicine. Players are getting today off because we got an extra day. But when we come in here tomorrow we’re going to get right back to work and attack this hard and not soft in any way and be hard on each other and can’t wait to get to Monday night so we can get the feeling out of our taste.”