Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – December 26, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center


Opening comments:

“All right guys, no updates from yesterday with just injuries. It’s just still too early. We’ll have more information for you guys later today. Updates on players who missed the game, [DL] Arik Armstead with his foot and knee, still in the same situation. We’ll see how the rehab goes this week. [TE] Ross Dwelley still coming back from his high ankle. Hope to get him back in practice this week, but we’ve still got a big day for him tomorrow. [RB] Elijah Mitchell, he should be full-go this week. [LB] Oren Burks, expecting to get him back at practice. And [WR] Jauan’s [Jennings] still in the protocol. Go ahead guys.”


What’s your approach this week this late in the season with a short week going cross country? Is this even a more light week than usual?

“Yeah, pretty much every Wednesday right now is walk-through, regardless. We started that two weeks ago. But yeah, with it being a late game last night and such a short week going across the country, I’m going to start a little bit later tomorrow, let the guys sleep in just a little bit longer. Let us tidy up the game plan a little bit more before they get in so we can have that extra morning. We definitely won’t do anything full speed and take that off the guys. So, definitely have to do it this time of year.”


After sleeping on it and watching the film, what was most concerning or alarming to you about how you guys lost?

“I don’t know. I don’t think anything was that dramatic the way that was asked. I think when you turn the ball over five times, that’s usually what happens. So, can’t have five turnovers and get none. You can’t have over a hundred yards in penalties.”


Last night after the game, QB Brock Purdy talked about how it’s difficult for him to take a punt instead of trying to make a play. How do you find the balance when you’re talking to him about trying to make a big play, but also then saying, ‘Okay, it’s okay for me to throw the ball away and then take a punt?’

“That’s something you talk about with quarterbacks all the time. Brock’s been one of the better ones that I’ve ever been around it, when to take the big play and when to check it down. I thought he made one real bad decision on that last night.”


You said last night about the nature of stingers that it’s not automatic, obviously. I think former 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt had some bad ones in 2018. Is there any way to gauge that with Brock and his reaction to it since you said he never had one before Arizona?

“Yeah, just watching him how he was that week and then just being able to hear how he was today and talk to him last night after the game. I think he’s going to be fine. I don’t think it’s going to bother him. I don’t want to take away, I’m sure it’s a pain for him, but in overall things I think he’s going to be fine for us this week.”


Your arrangement at nickel corner with DB Deommodore Lenoir coming inside and then CB Ambry Thomas playing outside, is there some level of dissatisfaction with how that’s been going?

“No, we like how it’s been going.”


I guess I am indirectly asking about CB Jason Verrett playing slot. Is that just because you think he could provide an upgrade?

“There’s a lot of different schematic things. How you use receivers in different situations. Some guys run different routes better than others. Some guys have certain attributes that we like. We get to see a lot of it here in practice and we want to know what options we can have for certain packages and things like that. So, the plan going into that game, we always dress five DBs and we ended up dressing J.V. over [CB Samuel Womack III] Sammy. We wanted to get him in there, start experimenting with a couple things. We planned on it being real short. I know our goal in the game was four-to-eight plays. I think he ended up getting five. So, just a part of some schematic things to know our options for the future.”


If Ambry Thomas does have to miss some time, who would be the third cornerback in that rotation?

“Well, that’s something that we will decide here throughout the week, see how practice goes and everything. But I thought [CB Darrell] Luter [Jr.] stepped in and did a good job last night. It was good to see J.V. back out on the field for the first time in two years, to get his feet wet a little bit. We also have Sammy, who’s played in that role also. So, we’ve got a number of options.”


Jason was at least from the press box looked like he was clearly upset with giving up that touchdown and took a seat on the water cooler and then he wasn’t in there the next time you guys went into nickel. What was going on with him and what’s his status?

“That was the plan, just to get him four-to-eight plays going in. I didn’t see his body language or anything after that. I never saw him or talked to him, so I wouldn’t look too much into that. I didn’t hear anything about that. But, that was really the plan with it. We’ll see what it is going forward.”


When you looked at the film of Brock Purdy’s first interception, do you kind of see where he was thinking he could go with the ball and understand what he saw?

“Yeah, I get what he saw. There was some space that flashed, and he just reacted and let it rip. He was probably feeling pretty good after the first few plays and thought he could squeeze it in there, but he can’t versus that coverage. So that was the wrong decision. Just looking into all the others, the others were real unfortunate plays. We were in a run play that they got us on a corner blitz and he had a way to get out of it, but he had to throw it over that guy and the guy made a hell of a play jumping and tipping it, and the other corner on the backside ended up getting the tip and picking it. The next one was a scramble on third-and-seven where really threw a 50/50 ball to [TE] George [Kittle] and [Baltimore Ravens S Kyle Hamilton] 14 did a hell of a job getting his hand in there and tipping it up in the air. He got another tip. The one in the third quarter, he made the right read. The MIKE linebacker got under a route by [WR Brandon] Aiyuk, so he went to his checkdown, which was the right decision, but he was getting hit as he threw right on his right arm and the ball bounced up in the air and got a pick. So, it was less more about Brock’s interceptions, it was after that. Then we were just in a tough situation after that, being down. The play wasn’t great as a whole for an offense after that.”


What do you think missing Jauan Jennings impacts your offense? Especially against a team like the Ravens, it seems like he can provide that kind of physicality, especially some of the underneath routes. What does Jennings provide for your offense?

“Yeah, that was a big one for Jauan to be out in, just the matchup stuff. He is always such a big factor for us, whether he gets the ball or not. He’s great when he does get the ball and when he doesn’t he’s such a good blocker. Also the style of the team we were playing against just from the physical matchup it would’ve been great to have him. Obviously, that’s not an option with him being in the protocol and everything. So, hopefully it’ll go better for him this week. But, you always want Jauan out there. He is hell of a player.”


Will you look at Brandon Aiyuk more as a punt return option after WR Ronnie Bell seems to have had trouble these last three games?

“Yeah, we’ve got a few guys who can do it. Juice [FB Kyle Juszczyk] is very good at catching them. He is a very reliable guy, so we could always put him back there. Always can make the decision with [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] if we wanted to. B.A.’s got some experience with it. That was a bad miss that Ronnie had. I thought it was just a lack of concentration. The other ones he got under, I think two and did a good job. But yeah, we can’t have him do that, so he’s got to be better in that area.”


DL Nick Bosa said after the game that they saw different play from Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson than they had seen previously on the film. That he wasn’t going through his reads as much. He was kind of taking the quick out. Did you see that from him as well?

“Yeah, he picks and chooses when to do it and when not to. He is very effective in the pocket and he is obviously extremely scary when he gets out of the pocket. He’s probably stayed in there a little bit more this year compared to some in the last years. But, he definitely has his times in every game where he decides to do what he does. It seemed like he did do that a little bit more last night which is one of the toughest things about stopping him.”


Was this loss a reality check for your team or was it just one of those things?

“It was just a loss. You play a good team and you have five turnovers and you have all those penalties, it makes it tough to win. I liked how our guys fought at the end. Wish we could have scored on that last drive and getting that sack there. I thought it would’ve been great to attempt an onside kick with three timeouts and have a chance to go in and try to tie it up. But, when you play a little sloppy with those turnovers and penalties and you’re going against a good team, it makes it tough to win.”