Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – October 24, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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 Opening Comments:

“Injuries from the game. [WR] Deebo Samuel has a hamstring, he’ll be day-to-day. [LB Dre] Greenlaw has a calf, day-to-day. [FB Kyle] Juszczyk broke his finger, had surgery today, most likely won’t be available this week. Should get him after the Bye. And that’s it. Go ahead.”

How did CB Charvarius Ward come through the game and how close was he to not playing yesterday?

“He got out healthy, had no setback. He told us he was playing all week, he didn’t get to go full-speed really, except a little bit on Friday. But he was pretty adamant that we were playing him all week, so he was good to go.”

Was he at all limited by his groin injury because it seemed like he wasn’t playing as well as we’ve seen him play the last six games or so?

“Yeah, you’d have to ask him with his groin injury. I think he was more limited from just not being able to practice as much here in the last couple weeks. I think when you don’t practice, which he couldn’t have because of what he was coming back from, it does have an effect on these guys and that stuff adds up, especially when it started happening a little bit last week.”

Is that kind of the reoccurring theme across the guys that came back to play after missing practices this week?

“Yes, I think the less you practice, I think the worse you get.”

After taking a look at the film of RB Christian McCaffrey just how impressed were you with what he was able to pick up in a short time?

“I was impressed. It didn’t seem too big for him. Yeah, I was impressed with him just in the 48 hours leading up to it. Just him trying to cram a bunch of stuff in and just being able to talk with him. He didn’t seem too overwhelmed and he seemed the same on Sunday.”

Did Deebo finish the game and was the hamstring something he came in reporting today?

“Yeah, he finished the game, but it was bothering him. Yeah, he reported it today.”

Where is DL Arik Armstead at right now in his recovery and along those lines, how much is that interior defensive line missing him currently?

“Yeah, we’re missing him a lot. Arik’s our best player in there and it’s been tough without him. Especially the other guys that are missing too, it’s not just him, but he’s at the top of it. I hope to have him back this week, still continuing his rehab and we’ll see how it goes, but it’s not just a thing that we have a timeline on because it’s not an exact injury. We just have to wait until it’s not flaring up as much.”

When you have injuries like that and you’ve got guys who are used to playing 20-25 snaps a game and all of a sudden they’re playing 50 or more, what is the trickle-down effect of that in terms of injuries and how that affects the defense and really the team as a whole?

“Yeah it’s huge. You have a lot of depth on the D-line where you got some guys who come in and the depth is good because they’re brought here to be kind of your fifth, fourth defensive tackles, which are situational players and we’re down to that with those guys as starters now, so it’s nothing against those guys, it just makes it harder to perform at the level we need them to the more they’re out there, but that’s part of the NFL and it’s why you want depth and it’s why you hope guys can return and not have too bad of injuries.”

Have you guys made a decision on what you’re going to do with CB Jason Verrett?

“No, we haven’t.”

Do you have to have that done by tomorrow?

“No, by Wednesday.”

How’s he coming along? How’s he looking?

“He looked better last week. Got more reps last week and took a step in the right direction.”

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo throws a bunch at you defensively just from a blitz standpoint. How do you think you guys held up, up front and then how did T Trent Williams and T Mike McGlinchey come out injury-wise?

“They came out fine injury-wise. I think at the beginning we held up pretty good up front, especially the way we handled 95 [DT Chris Jones] on the inside. I think when the game got a little bit out of hand towards the end I thought we struggled when we became one dimensional and those guys tee’d off a little bit more on the edge.”

How significant will it be to be without Juszczyk and how do you compensate for that?

“Missing any of our guys is tough. We got a number of tight ends on our roster. We try to cross train at that position, so whether it’s [TE] Ross [Dwelley] or sometimes it’s [TE George] Kittle, we got [TE Tyler] Kroft, we got [TE] Charlie [Woerner] so we use all those guys pretty similarly.”

Is there any rhyme or reason behind your usage rate of screen passes to running backs? I was looking up some numbers in 2019, you ranked pretty high in the league the last three years you guys have ranked in the bottom 10 there. I’m wondering if that has correlation with your talent at running back and if Christian McCaffrey might cause some of those plays to be called more?

“Everything goes into it. Running backs change, some are better at it than others. I know Christian is good at that, so it definitely shouldn’t hurt that stat. I also know our receivers are pretty good at screens too, so sometimes if you know a screen is going to be good and you know it doesn’t matter who’s on it, you give it to the guy who you think is the best at it. And that’s been our receivers here for the last couple years, but I think our backs still are good at it too. I think they’ve ran a number of good ones here the last couple weeks and we’ll see if that picks up.”

That was obviously a step up in class with the Chiefs and their offense relative to other offenses you had faced this year, but how surprising or disappointing was it that the defense didn’t hold up better? 

“Yeah, in regards to who we’re going against, I think what I was disappointed in is I didn’t think we played as good as we could, and I think we played a little worse in a number of areas than we’ve done this year. Especially when you’re going against an offense like that and a quarterback like that, that’s not the time to take a step back. You have to play your best game and it’ll still be somewhat tough, so I’m not trying to take anything away from them at all. They are a tough team, but we made a couple things too easy on them and gave them a couple extra chances that we shouldn’t have.”

Will you look at or particularly rethink staying back East for two games?

“Not based off of these two games. I’ll do that based off of how our schedule plays out, what our team says, getting the feedback from our doctors and sports science people and getting the feedback from our players.”

After the game, WR Brandon Aiyuk spoke about how everybody on the team needs to take a look at themselves and make sure they’re accountable for their mistakes. Do you need to address the team at all, or do you think that they already know what they need to do?

“No, I think B.A.’s just echoing what we say every time in our own meetings. The stuff we say and show everyone, so I think B.A.’s being a pretty good leader there and just echoing what we’re all saying.”

The NFL is so week-to-week, when you have a game like that and you’re 3-4 and everything seems like it’s going south, do you talk about, hey guys, we’re right in the playoff mix? Or is Week 7 a bit too early to talk about where you are in relation to other teams and how everything’s kind of out in front of you?

“When you have a tough loss like that, we got guys who work extremely hard and guys who care a lot. Guys come in here, you hold everyone accountable, you point out the stuff. It’ll be a little easier tomorrow, I think. 24 hours removed, guys are a little bit more emotional, but I also know how big of a game we have coming forward and I know that everything that we do want is still in front of us. And so sometimes I don’t think it hurts to remind those guys. I don’t get into records or things like that, but I know that we always have one goal every year and that’ll never change, but our number one goal is always to be the last team standing. And in order for that to happen, you have to get in the tournament and the best way to get in the tournament is to win your division. So regardless of what our record is, I want our guys to always focus on trying to get into that tournament and the easiest way to do it is win our division. And I can see how we can do that. Now that doesn’t matter what the record is, it doesn’t matter who’s ahead of us. It matters with how good we play. And that’s what we have to focus on is getting as good as we possibly can and playing to our full potential. And if we do, then I think we have every opportunity still in front of us, but it’s not about just having those opportunities, it’s about us reaching our full potential.”