Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – October 4, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
“Injuries from the game. [OL] Colton McKivitz ended up having an MCL sprain, he’s going to be out a while. Very similar to what [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] and [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair] have. [DL] Arik Armstead with his foot/ankle. He’s still being evaluated right now, so I don’t have any new information for you guys yet. [WR] Jauan Jennings had an ankle sprain in the game. He’ll be day-to-day this week and that’s it from the game. Go ahead.”
How close was DT Javon Kinlaw to playing and what’s his status this week?
“He put up a big fight to try to play on Monday, but he wasn’t that close to going. He wanted to work out before the game, so we gave him a chance and we decided it’d be a lot safer to wait this week and see how he reacts.”
Is OL Jaylon Moore next up at left tackle or is OL Daniel Brunskill now an option there?
“We’ll see how this week plays out. Really haven’t discussed it yet, but most likely it’ll be Jaylon Moore, but we know Dan’s always an option.”
Is there any clarity with T Trent Williams’ injury and how long he’ll be out?
“He does have a high-ankle sprain, we didn’t put him on IR, so hoping he can come back sooner, but I think, like I said last time, you never know with those. We’re checking in week-by-week.”
After watching this film and you see the kind of production that Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp had with 14 catches, 122 yards. How do you feel about the job you guys did in limiting him to under 10 yards per reception and I think about 6.4 yards for every time they targeted him?
“I thought we did a real good job, obviously, just keeping him out of the end zone. He’s such a good player. It’s really hard to take away things with him, especially with his quarterback and mixing up man and zone, so definitely got the numbers, but to not give up the big play and let him score, to me, is what it was about. And that’s what allowed us to stick with it.”
When you mentioned that ankle with Armstead, is that new or was that always part of the foot injury?
“It’s part of the foot injury.”
What’s the situation with DB Jimmie Ward and CB Jason Verrett and are they available this week?
“Yeah, they’re eligible to return this week. We expect to get them out there tomorrow.”
How would you evaluate the offensive line given the amount of injuries that they have had?
“I was real impressed with them, man. Just as a whole group. It was a huge challenge as always, going against that team with the personnel they have on the D-line and all the different fronts they do. I thought we made much fewer mistakes than the week before. And there was a lot more challenges with the mental part of the game with all the different options we had to do with protection, so I thought they were really great in picking things up and they also gave [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] a lot of time when we needed it.”
I don’t know if it’s more obvious now or if it’s always kind of been like this, but it does appear like DL Nick Bosa is not only getting held, but getting held pretty obviously on a lot of plays. Have you guys reached out to the league? Has there been communication with officials to try to keep an eye on that?
“Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s something I’ve seen a lot with him since he’s been here, going back to his first year in the Super Bowl, so it’s always been tough with that. But yeah, we turn everything in every week and sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t. But that’s kind of the standard quo with anything has to do with that and you just hope it improves.”
You had seven players go all 74 snaps on defense, including three defensive backs. Was that sort of the plan going in against the Rams or if they would’ve aligned up differently, would you have subbed differently?
“Yes, if they had a fullback and they did those type of personnels, I’m sure we would get our three linebackers on the field, but that’s something they don’t really do much. So we went in the game expecting it and we don’t really rotate our corners, especially the way they’ve been playing and [DB Deommodore Lenoir] D-Mo did a hell of a job in this game too. Strung two good games back-to-back.”
You mentioned last night you couldn’t wait to look at the film on your defense to see how they did, just to look at the details. As you went back over, did anything strike you just specifically about what happened last night on defense?
“It wasn’t just any like one area that we dominated in, but all areas had their opportunities. There were times that the D-line did it, which I think was obvious to everyone with the amount of sacks and the pressures, but what I thought was cool is they had a couple times in the game where they picked up a couple of our five man rushes and [Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew] Stafford had some time and just to watch our guys in man coverage, especially our two corners on the outside and D-Mo in the slot. I thought there was a few plays in particular that they held up for a while and then just the play of our safeties. [S Talanoa Hufanga] Huf making that play. [S Tashaun Gipson Sr.] Gip made a few big plays also. I know he would have loved to have that pick. And then our linebackers had their moments too, so just distributing it throughout the team where everyone had to kind of take their opportunity to help out the other side. It was pretty cool to watch.”
Not wanting to have you rank things, but I’ll ask you and Bosa mentioned the three levels of the defense, underlined that. Is this the best kind of back setting you’ve had and maybe specifically the best secondary you’ve had since you’ve been here?
“Yeah, I believe it has the opportunity to be. I think, at this time, with just how well we’re covering on the outside. How nice our safeties have played together, having the depth of getting Jimmie back, hopefully getting Jason Verrett in there and D-Mo here these last couple weeks has really stepped it up too, so I’m not going to say we’re there yet, but I do believe that we have that opportunity to be in. I expect us to be before it’s said and done.”
You’ve you felt like defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans did a good job of mixing it up. I’m just curious how you’ve seen him grow in terms of when he presses the right buttons and all those types of things over the last year and a half or so.
“Yeah, DeMeco is so naturally talented and he’s good at everything he’s ever done and he really understands football. He did as a player, he did as a quality control in his first year. He did as a linebacker coach and he has as a coordinator and he was good right away. But anytime you have someone who does have those type abilities, the more reps they get, like everybody, they get better. You go through experiences and you learn from the good and the bad and that’s what’s pretty neat about DeMeco because he was going to be good regardless, but just watching him throughout last year, each game, each quarter he learned something. And he’s always trying to think and always trying to challenge his players, but always trying to keep it simple too. And it’s where it at least seems simple and that’s why he gets better every game that he goes.”
Talanoa’s production sort of speaks for itself, but as someone who’s around him every day, what stands out to you about just the preparation and the way he practices and those types of things?
“I just think he’s so deliberate in everything he does. His intent in every step he takes on the field, everything he does in training. It’s always exactly to his play. I talk about Bosa a lot in that way, but guys that everything they do in their life is always to think of how it relates to the football field. And he’s a talented guy, but when you can add that part, that aspect to it, someone who really is living and dying it all the time, it really carries over to their game. And they’re not just practicing, they’re not just taking reps. They’re getting better with each rep and the more deliberate and intent you can have and focus you can have in anything, to me is what allows people to be great. And he’s one of those guys who I think is kind of elite in that type of area.”
When you have a defense that looks like it could be, so dominant like this, how does it change how you do things as an offensive play caller or how does it influence it?
“Every play as an offensive play caller, especially as the head coach, you’re thinking of how this play call helps us win the game. And that involves special teams and defense. It involves what’s going on throughout everything and sometimes you have to do things that on one week or a different year that you would never do in another year or in another game, because it’s just about how it’s going and what you think you have to do to win. And that’s kind of what we try to go over each week on Wednesday, we try to tell the team in all three phases what we need to do. So we don’t just tell it to the offense, defense or special teams. We try to tell it to everyone together because I think those three phases do feed off each other and when one’s playing at such a high level, especially like our defense our, I think our offense’s style plays accordingly to it, which when we do get that going, I do feel like that’s one we’re the hardest to beat.”
You have an eastern road swing coming up on a short week and not having played particularly well in two road games, this group is obviously experienced enough and mature enough to realize what’s ahead?
“Ah, yeah, I think definitely. I see each game as its own week and we got a short week, which sometimes can be good. We had a lot of fun yesterday and last night. That was a big win for us, but how quickly you have to move on because we’re already behind schedule. We came in this morning really, I’ve already moved on. Finishing everything up last night and it’s been Carolina all day just having to sidetrack it for this press conference for a little bit.”
Jimmy had a little rough patch in the middle of the second quarter where he threw three straight incompletions. What did he see? What did you see from those plays? And then also just an update on Director of Team Security Mike Anderson and his hamstring?
“Yeah, Jimmy came out on fire, we had a couple mistakes, especially I think on that second play of the game with the protection issue. And then kept us on the field with some big third down throws. Then those ones, the three in a row, we took a shot to [TE] Charlie [Woerner] down the sideline. Just missed him. Charlie could have made a tough catch. Jimmy could have made it a little bit easier, but they just missed each other. The next play had a real good look to [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud III] on the screen, but [Los Angeles Rams CB] Jalen Ramsey’s a pretty talented long player and he got in the passing lane and tipped it. And then on third down, Jimmy just shot a rifle to [WR] Jauan [Jennings] and it just sailed a little bit over his head. Those were probably the few that he missed in the game, but overall he played pretty good.”
And how’s Mike Anderson?
“I have not seen him today. I have not gotten his injury report, but I hung out with him a little bit last night and he was walking with me, so that was a good sign. I think it was just a hamstring, which is very good. We thought watching him out there, it was a little bit more than that, but I think he got away pretty fortunate with just a hamstring pull.”