Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – October 26, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening Comments:

“Injuries for today. [DL Arik] Armstead, foot and ankle, won’t practice. [WR] Deebo [Samuel], hamstring, won’t practice. [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice, finger, won’t practice. [DL] Samson [Ebukam], achilles, won’t practice. [LB Dre] Greenlaw, calf, no practice. [T] Trent [Williams] just a vet day for him. [WR] Jauan Jennings, hamstring, won’t practice. [CB Jason] Verrett, knee, limited. Go ahead.”

What’s the plan for Verrett is it just a chance to kind of ramp him up and see if he can contribute on the road?

“We’ll keep doing the same things we’ve been doing with him in practice and we’ll see how it goes.”

How has Deebo’s hamstring been the last couple of days? Is he making progress?

“He’s making progress.”

What’s realistic for Verrett? Post Bye? Is that what the team is generally looking at for his return?

“I’m not ruling out this week. I’m really just waiting to see how he practices and then go from there.”

With you making a game plan with RB Christian McCaffrey now in the fold, was there a little bit extra excitement for you early in the week when you were formulating it and what is it when you play the Rams, you seem to get the creative juices flowing a lot to outwit Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and the Rams?

“When you have someone like Christian, it’s always a lot more fun. I don’t see it much as creative juices versus the Rams, we don’t change much. They don’t change much. We do the same thing each time. They do too. Their scheme hasn’t changed in a number of years and neither has ours. You try your hardest to get good players the ball in space and you see what they do with it. It’s a pretty simple game with both of us, because we know each other well and it usually turns into a physicality game. Who turns the ball over the least and who makes one more play than the other?”

How much do you look back at that game two weeks ago when the Rams played the Panthers to kind of see how they accounted for Christian?

“There’s only been two games, so we watched those two games hard that they’ve played since us, but it’s the same way they account for everybody. They have a scheme that hasn’t changed, so you know what you’re going to do. It’s a very sound scheme with some good players and they do a good job of mixing their coverages up and it really never changes.”

The defense is a pretty prideful group and I’m sure they never expected to have things handed to them the way they did the other day. What did you see on Monday and what do you expect to see today from them?

“Yeah, they’re a prideful group. They’re real disappointed. Monday’s always emotional because you’re not far removed from the game, but you have to review it. You have to go through all that hard stuff and you can’t sugarcoat it, which you don’t have to. They kind of knew that before you get together and then they come back today and they’re ready to go.”

You guys have had some inconsistencies on offense, you also have a lot of new coaches on offense. Do you feel that’s part of it, just a lot of new people working together for the first time?

“Going through a year when you have every single person on our offense is in a new position except for our o-line coach, I think you start out that way some. Especially when you spend the whole offseason getting everyone ready for a plan with what we were going to do with [QB] Trey [Lance] and things like that, then you go a different direction by the first quarter of the second game, so everyone’s up to date on stuff, but you realize it’s your first time going through stuff with people. Our first time playing the Rams, I felt like it was our millionth, but last time we put a game plan together I realized a lot of these guys haven’t gone through this with us, so you have some of that stuff, but that stuff you go throughout the year with and you have that with players too.”

Former 49ers T Joe Staley was saying this week that to correct things, it has to come on the practice field. How important just generally is practice and is it tough when you have a lot of guys that are consistently out of practice with injuries?

“Yeah, I think that’s the only place to correct things is the practice field. That’s where you get better. That’s where you do your work and then you just let it unfold in the three and a half hours when you’re competing. Yeah, that’s a fine line. Everyone has that challenge in this league. You don’t get much in the offseason and you want to be able to improve throughout the year, but it’s tough when guys go down. Yeah, we haven’t had a full week of practice in a number of weeks. Not by choice, just by some guys being down and it’ll be a little bit tough today, but that’s why we just try to keep pushing guys to get back, so you can practice more.”

Production in the second half has been an issue particularly in the losses. Is there anything that you’re identifying that is kind of a through-line on all that and what’s your level of concern with that?

“No, I think it’s different each week. You look last week, we scored on our first two drives coming out. We scored I think a field goal on the first drive, a touchdown on the second drive, I think the third play was a safety when we were backed up. The fourth series, I think we went 50 yards and had a fumble on second down. And then the last series we were in mop up time, we did two-minute, I think we got down in the red zone and threw a pick. It’s different, you have to execute stuff no matter what time of the game. I think we punted once in the first half, none in the second. I think it was a number of days ago, but I don’t look at it as to half. I look at it as some of the same issues in the first too.”

Coach, the fans travel well especially to SoFi, it’s called Levi’s South. How big is that to have the faithful there and how can it kind of affect the game or kind of feel like a home game for you guys with all the red in the stands?

“Oh, I talked about it last year, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in sports. And home-field advantage is a big deal in the NFL because of crowd noise and when you don’t have to worry about that as much on the road, it’s huge. And when you actually can get the crowd noise, it doesn’t happen very much, but it’s a big deal.”

This may be oversimplified but, the defense was so dominant, with the exception of the last two games. Can you put your finger on what it was that that allowed both Atlanta and Kansas City to have such successful runs in the second half?

“I think we went into the Atlanta game pretty banged up, but I don’t think that’s why it happened. I think they got a few first downs when we shouldn’t have kept them on the field. Let them go a little bit longer. They made some points. They also returned a touchdown off one of our fumbles. In the second half they controlled the ball well, but we gave up that first drive and then we stopped them on their next four drives. Yeah, I get how dominant it was in the first three games or whatever that was, but I know we can play better than we have these last two weeks and yeah, we’re missing some guys, which makes it tougher to be that dominant. But we also went against a pretty good team last week too, so I think we can play a lot better. We can’t hurt ourselves when we’re down, which we have done and we have to be able to weather that storm until we get some guys back.”

The Rams, much like your offense has struggled to score points as well. What did you see in the Carolina game pre-Bye from them?

“Kind of the same issues. Anytime you’re missing most of your o-line, I think it’s tough for them. So it’s hard to get a running game going in that situation, so it just puts more pressure on everyone else.”

The interception the other day, is the expectation that QB Jimmy Garoppolo would be able to avoid those types of plays at this point and then what’s the level of frustration that he’s not?

“That’s the expectation for any quarterback in this league. That’s why this league’s very tough to play in as a quarterback. That’s why there’s not 32 of them, but always, good quarterbacks you want them to make plays, you want them to be able to let it rip. But sometimes when you have blitz issues and they’re not there the worst-case scenarios has to be a sack and not a pick and that’s one I know he’d love to have back.”

With Armstead, it sounds like he’s had three different injuries both feet and an ankle, is that right?

“Yeah, something like that. I don’t ask as hard as you do. I know it’s foot, ankle, they blend together too, so yeah.”

You talked about flare ups, is what he’s mainly dealing with plantar faciitis?

“I think it’s a few things. Yeah, that’s why I don’t think it’s an easy, just give you a word or a timeline. I’m not hiding anything. You can ask him about it, but there’s a lot of things into it.”

On the interception, is it reasonable to expect Jimmy to see RB Jeff Wilson Jr. or is that too far down in his progressions? Is the best case there a sack given what happened?

“Yeah, I don’t want to go into all the schematics of it, but there’s two play options on a play. Like to get to the better one, if you run out of time and you can’t, it’d be great to fall into Jeff but he was looking the other way and it wasn’t there and there was an unblocked guy in his face, so your choice is to throw it out of bounds if you can or just sit there and take a sack.”

Has part of the issue on defense the past couple weeks been that players are playing that haven’t been practicing throughout the week at their full capability? “Yeah, it’s very hard to play in a game when you don’t practice. It’s also very hard when a number of guys aren’t practicing and the practice that you have is a walkthrough, so I don’t really consider that practice either. That’s what people deal with all around the league, so those are the decisions you have to make when you go into a game. If they didn’t practice all week, can they get through the game healthy and if they can get through the game healthy, is that a better option than what you have behind them?”

Do you think this week, the whole gameplan will be open to Christian since he’s here the whole week playing?


Is there a challenge still in converting the language from Carolina to what your gameplan lines out for him this week?

“Yeah, it’s a real challenge for anybody, but you have to work at it. And he did that a lot in the 48 hours he was here to be a part of it last week and I’m not worried about him doing it this week too.”

I think he was playing 85-86% of their offensive snaps, do you guys have a number? Do you want it to be that high or is that something that you’re concerned about?

“No, it’s something that you feel out once you get to know people. You get to know your team, you get to know a player, you get to know his backups, you just get familiar with people, but I never go in with anybody I don’t know and say given amount of numbers or a stat or anything. I try to get to know the athlete and how they play throughout a game and how we use them and how you balance people out and that’s usually how we do it.”

You’re probably aware you guys rank in the top five in in turnovers and penalties. As a coach I’m sure you don’t say, ‘Hey stop committing penalties and turnovers,’ but how do you attack those areas, which can be pretty key?

“I think when it comes to turnovers, that’s one thing that I always try to stay balanced. I think when you get throwing too much, I think that tends to happen. I think that’s what happened our last two turnovers, you get one dimensional when we’re in those two-minute drives those last two and one ends up with a strip on the sack and one a ball sails over on the last play for the pick in the end zone, so those are ones that you try to control. The one that we had earlier just can’t happen, so you try to eliminate those that way like the ones that you can’t help. And the ones that you can help and then the penalties, some, you just have to deal with, but what we don’t have to deal with is lining up offsides, false starts. Those are the big ones that bother me.”