Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – October 5, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening comments:

“Alright guys, all the following guys won’t practice today. Same things I told you guys a couple days ago. [OL] Colton McKivitz, [DL] Arik Armstead, [RB] Ty Davis-Price, [TE] Tyler Kroft, [T] Trent Williams, [DL] Javon Kinlaw, [DB] Tarvarius Moore. And then [DL] Nick Bosa won’t practice today, but that’s just resting the player. [WR] Jauan Jennings will be limited with an ankle. [TE] Ross Dwelley, limited, ribs. And that’s it.”

You mentioned Arik was kind of still being evaluated Tuesday. Any further word on his status?

“No, no change. He’s still day-to-day.”

What’s the plan for DB Jimmie Ward?

“We’re going to put him in practice today. We’re not going to do much full speed. Only two days removed, but he’ll be out there all week and we’ll see if he’s ready to go for Sunday.”

So there is a chance that he can go?

“Yeah, there is a chance. Yeah, him and [CB] Jason [Verrett] are the same deal.”

Do you hesitate at all to integrate new people into the lineup, regardless of how good they are, just because of how well things are going in the defensive backfield?

“No, I don’t hesitate at all. We’ll see how practice goes in these three days we have, one real day and then kind of two half-speed days, but we’ll see where we can fit him, how much he can handle and we’ll figure it out for Sunday.”

What has S Tashaun Gipson Sr. shown you since he’s been here?

“I’ve seen Gip a bunch in his whole career. Starting it out when I was with him in Cleveland, he was a lot younger then, but he was one of the best players on our team then. Then I think he was a free agent to Jacksonville, who I played against a couple times. Played him in Chicago and I’ve always thought he was such a good player and since he’s been here, he has been exactly where he has been everywhere else, a real good safety and he’s fit into our scheme great and he is playing like he’s always played.”

Has he surprised you? He is now 32 and he was unemployed.

“Yeah, when you’re around someone eight years ago or whatever it was and gone against him, seen him at a high level and then they’re available and everyone talks about age and stuff, numbers, so you always expect a decline, which I’m sure there is if we tested him out on like a Combine. But when it comes to watching him play football, it’s been really good. He was a big acquisition for us.”

S Talanoa Hufanga is having such an eye-catching season. Is part of that due to Gipson just enabling Hufanga to play close to the line and make plays? Gipson is so reliable back there that they kind of work well together?

“I’m sure that that stuff helps, but when he’s making plays in single safety, it’s because there’s a guy deep and when it’s two-shell, they’re not really tied together. It’s about the corners to his side, so I know they talk a lot of ball. I’m sure that stuff helps, which you could ask Huf on but no, that’s stuff Huf was doing last year also. He just didn’t have as many opportunities.”

When it comes to your offense, is there a common thread why you guys aren’t scoring a lot of points after halftime? Or are there a lot of multiple layers tied together?

“I don’t think there’s a common thread just because I think it’s been different each game. I don’t think we scored after half. We always can chalk stuff up in Chicago to the monsoon that came down. Last week we got seven points taken off the board and then we missed a field goal and didn’t have the ball that much in the second half, but no, I think it’s been different. Each game’s different.”

Bosa’s sacks and pressures are so eye catching. He’s playing like 73-78% of the snaps and is his run defense an underrated part of his game?

“Yeah, I think he’s just as good in that as he is in the pass game. Nick’s an all-around player and he really never takes a down off.”

The offense in general is having a bit of a slow start, 16 points per game, but it’s early and there’s still a lot of talent on that side of the ball. So is your thought process that it’ll work itself out and the points will come or do you feel like you need to change something, fix something?

“No, we change every week’s a different game plan and we mix in a lot of players, but no, just same as usual. Just keep coaching, try to get better.”

It’s the start of another long stay for you guys and you guys have had success doing that in the past. Going back to when you first did that in 2019, what was kind of the thought process of we want to start making this a regular thing?

“The first year, I didn’t realize the time difference. Friday was such an important day I thought because that’s like the only day you get to see your family, so I thought that would wear on guys more. Halfway through that year I realized how big of a difference it is West Coast to East Coast. It’s not like East Coast to West. We started going early, always, I think in our second year. It wasn’t until ‘19 that we did a two-week trip. And that was just trying to eliminate the travel to where trying to work with the league that hopefully if we were going to get a number of East Coast games, we could at least get two back-to-back. And once they did that, then that kind of made our decision easy and our first time was doing that I believe was yeah, Cincinnati after Tampa we went to Youngstown and then played Cincinnati and we liked it. I always talk about homefield advantage, which is the biggest thing in football because the noise. But there is something when you go on the road, just the distractions are a little less there. The people aren’t there, even in your own house, you’re just kind of locked into a room and I think it just helps guys focus a little bit more and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but the numbers have definitely been a lot better.”

Last December TE George Kittle had that monster three-game stretch and since then he’s played eight games and has 21 catches and 220 yards, just very non-Kittle-like numbers. Can you explain kind of why his production as a pass catcher hasn’t been then?

“Yeah, the more Kittle is out there and healthy, the more he practices, the more he can get back in the routine. I think that stuff will take care of itself. The plays that went to him, I thought he did a good job on in the game. Kittle affects the game in so many ways, the run and the pass. We definitely want to get him the ball more, but it’s something we’re not that concerned about. We think it’ll take care of itself as we get going.”

Is there any connection to you don’t have T Trent Williams, you’re playing Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald, he was in, particularly on wide receiver screens, which maybe is a little different, but he was used as a blocker a fair amount. I don’t know much more than usual, but is there something to that, like it’s game plan dictated?

“Yeah that’s always the case with the Rams. You usually get less opportunities just with our protection game plan and our run game plan, things like that, but I know it’s been the case in some other games too, but yeah, usually with the Rams it’s harder.”

On paper, obviously the Panthers aren’t where they want to be, but what’s your focus as you prepare for them?

“I see a team that could very easily be 4-0. There’s only one game that they’ve won the turnover battle in and they pretty much dominated that game. Last week versus Arizona you see the end score and it doesn’t look close, but they had every chance to win that and it was, I want to say 10-10 in the fourth quarter, 13-10. You look Week 1 versus Cleveland, they had one turnover. Cleveland had none. They still what you thought was the game-winning field goal with like 30 seconds on the clock, but Cleveland ended up hitting a 58-yarder to beat them with no time. You look at the Giants game, they turned the ball over on the opening kickoff, then the first third down. They lost that 19-16, a game I thought they should’ve won, so you see a team that I think is playing really good defense. I think they have some talent on their offense. They’ve gotten in trouble just turning it over a little bit, which has hurt them and I think that’s similar to us. So I don’t look at their record and think any differently.”

Trent is so useful to the young offensive lineman as far as scouting opponents and advice. Do you take him on this trip even if he’s not going to be able to practice or play?

“I try to take everybody, unless they tell me it would help them more to stay here and rehab. So that goes into how they feel about flights and inflammation and what he can do there compared to here, but I always try to take people.”

When did you have a sense, CB Emmanuel Moseley was undrafted and pretty tiny and on practice squad, when did you have a sense like you he could be who he is right now?

“Watching him on scout team that first year. Yeah, he was the same guy every day. Real similar to how he is now. Just a football player who thinks about it, who’s into it, who doesn’t hesitate. And those guys always get better if they can have luck with injuries and when he has, he’s played at a pretty high-level.”

You had talked about bringing QB Trey Lance around once he’s kind of up to speed physically. Where are we at with Trey in meetings and how is he doing in that process if he’s already back in the room?

“Yeah, he’s been in everything so far. He was with us at the hotel on Sunday night. I’m not sure if he’s allowed to go on this trip yet. As soon as the medical clears him to fly, he’ll be going everywhere with us, so he hasn’t missed a meeting yet. Just missing the practice stuff.”

How quickly can you tell if a young player is a football player if he thinks about it because it seems like at the Combine they’re all saying the right thing and it’s the job. How quickly does it take?

“You’ve got a good idea from watching on film and then you’ve got to be around the person, but it sometimes it takes to see him in a few different situations. Just how they react to things. Sometimes you can tell through camp how they do and then you get them on cards and watch how they are with cards, but sometimes you can make a decision too fast and say this guy’s something and then you see him in a different situation, you realize you jumped the gun a little bit, so the more experience guys have, the more situations you can put them in, the more you can validate it, but usually got a pretty good gut pretty fast.”

Does it work the other way too, where you don’t think the guy has it and then he proves you wrong?

“Yeah, it does usually. There’re different things that you look at. Sometimes, you don’t think guys have quite enough talent. If they’re here, then they’re close, but just this level’s different. So sometimes you’ll think that no matter what, but they keep doing well and you’re like, man, might as well give them a chance and then they prove you’re wrong that they do have enough talent because it’s not just the physical skill, it’s everything. And then some guys you believe in so much in their talent, but no matter what happens, it’s different when they line up against someone and that that one takes you longer to learn because of how bad you want it to work out, because you see the ability. But that’s why there’s so much more to football than just with the eye sees. Probably with all sports.”