Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – October 31, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening Comments:

“Alright guys. Still the same from the game. No new injuries to report. We were good, so go ahead.”

When you break down this game, how much different is it as far as the mistakes made in this game compared to other weeks?

“We definitely still made some mistakes in this game, but when we did, we were able to survive it. I think in the past when we made these mistakes, we either turned the ball over or instead of giving up a first down, we gave up close to a touchdown, if not a touchdown. I thought the mistakes we made here didn’t kill us, which gave us a chance to overcome them and we did that.”

What’s your plan for the team for the BYE Week, this week?

“Yeah, we met today just reviewed all the stuff from yesterday. They’re going to come in tomorrow. We’re going to get a workout, have a quick meeting, and do a little bit of football stuff, nothing versus each other, just getting them moving, then we’re going let them go until Monday.”

Is it fair to assume you’re going to get a decent chunk of players back post-BYE, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Jauan Jennings, FB Kyle Juszczyk, RB Elijah Mitchell, some of those guys?

“Yeah, we’re pretty optimistic to get a number of guys back. It’s kind of tough because all those guys stay here this whole week and rehab, so that’s why I didn’t want to really give an update on each one. We are hoping that most of them will come back and we feel pretty good about that, but they have to have a good week here rehabbing and we’ll find out here when we get back on Monday.”

You had LB Oren Burks play I think every snap yesterday after not playing a single snap against Kansas City and being exclusively special teams. What went into that and how do you think he did?

“We let him and Flan [LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles] rotate the week in practice and we were going to give Oren the first go and he played good and we never ended up taking him out. I thought he had a good game. Had a couple in the pass game that he missed, but he came back and made a number of plays on the screens, in the run game and I thought he definitely took a step forward for us, defensively.”

I know you addressed this briefly after the game, but how do you sort of view the state of your team at the BYE, almost the halfway point, not just your record, but sort of the way you’ve been playing and in the context of the rest of the division and conference to be 4-4, but only one game out of the division lead, that sort of view?

“Yeah, I think everything you look at, whether it say beginning of the year, during the year, towards the end, you just want a chance to get into the tournament and with where we stand now, I still feel we have a very good chance of that, so we have to play good football here going forward. The thing that you want most with your team is that you’re getting better as the year goes and just all around in all three phases, probably had our best game as a team yesterday and I think that was real good timing for it. I think we need this BYE Week, we need to rest up a little bit and hopefully get some guys back. Right when we get it going a little bit, it is always tough to take some time off, but I do think we need it just for our health and we have to come back in here and have a good Monday, good Tuesday before we get going with the gameplan next Wednesday.”

WR Brandon Aiyuk has put up some consistent numbers here over the past few weeks. How is he doing with the stuff that we may not necessarily see from up in the press box? Some of the option routes and some of the finer details of the receiving position?

“I think B.A.’s been great. I think he’s been one of our more consistent players. Just the conditioning he’s brought to each play, the effort he’s brought to each play, the intent that he’s doing. I thought one of my favorite plays in the game versus Kansas City was the way he blocked on a linebacker on one of the plays and just how he kept going all the way through the whistle and he’s been letting the game come to him. And it eventually has these past few weeks. He’s gotten a number of opportunities and he’s made the most of each one.”

What does WR Danny Gray need to do to get more involved in the offense in the second half?

“He just has to continue to be more consistent, be able to do everything, down in and down out. You never know what plays you’re going to be in there on, so it can’t just be stuff that exactly fits your skillset. You have to be able to block, you have to be able to run the other routes, you have to know where to line up and just all the things that rookies go through that just has to make him more consistent to beat out some of the guys that are in front of him.”

Brandon Aiyuk was on the field for 98% of the snaps yesterday, was that just because Deebo was out and how has he handled that extra pressure being the number one out there?

“Yeah, I think once we found out on Saturday that Jauan was not going to go also, we had to move [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud] back to a different position and spot play [WR] Willie [Snead IV] there and to bring in Danny also. So really the pressure was put on Aiyuk that we were going to rotate the other guys more, so we thought he was conditioned enough and was playing consistently enough that he could stay out there longer and he rose to the occasion. Sometimes when guys get too many reps, their play gets sloppy and they pick and choose when to go and when not to trying to conserve energy and that wasn’t the case with B.A. He’s conditioned to handle that and he handled it well.”

With the trade deadline tomorrow are you fielding any calls? Are you looking to do anything or are you pretty set at this point?

“I think we’re pretty set, but we listen to a call on anybody. We’re never not going to listen to people. I’d be surprised if anything goes down, but until the deadline, we’re always listening.”

You guys haven’t necessarily had a running back out of the backfield who can catch passes like RB Christian McCaffrey. Just curious what having him as an outlet, as a potential check down option sort of does for your offense and maybe makes life easier for QB Jimmy Garoppolo?

“It adds an element for other things for people to worry about. It adds an element on areas to go when you think it’s a weakness in the defense. Quarterbacks can always get to check downs as an outlet, but it gives it more percentage of that outlet being a bigger play too, so the more different things that a player can bring to the offense, the harder all the areas become to defend.”

I know you don’t want to go through all the injuries but we haven’t asked in a while about DL Jordan Willis. Do you expect to have him back at some point in the second half as well?

“I do believe his rehab’s going well and I believe we’ll be able to have an option to bring him back.”

How important was it for you guys to answer a Rams score with a score yesterday? I feel like that’s what really kept the game within striking distance for you guys.

“Yeah, I thought the timing of how the whole game kind of went was good. The Rams went three-and-out I believe, and it was great for the offense to take advantage of that, and we didn’t on our first drive. And then the Rams got it, and they scored on a 19-play drive, and it was great, after a 19-play drive, we got to third-and-seven and you go three-and-out right there and you never know what’s going to happen in the game, but yeah, I think Christian moved the chains on a third-and-seven and then we went down and scored answered at 7-7, then they went and answered, made it 14-7. And then we were able to go get that field goal at the end of the half, and I was excited to come out at halftime with the ball expecting we would score right away similar to how it was with Kansas City, but we didn’t. The difference was the defense held them right there, so they gave the offense another chance to get back some momentum and then the offense, they scored on their next three drives and the defense never gave anything up, so, that was what allowed us to get a two-score lead and to really take control of the game.”

After the game K Robbie Gould and LS Taybor Pepper talked about the little incident with Los Angeles Rams CB Jalen Ramsey. Have you seen that happen with the kicker before? And how did you think they both handled it?

“They handled it fine. Yeah, I saw it happen in the NFC Championship when we played them. I think he likes to say stuff to Robbie after those plays and I think it’s kind of funny to watch.”

To hold Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp to one catch for six yards in a half of football. Did you think you’d see that ever?

“No. I’ll take that. That was pretty impressive by those guys. I thought [DB] Jimmie Ward did a great job at nickel this week. I thought the plays that [DB Deommodore Lenoir] D-Mo had in there, there weren’t many, but I thought he did a good job too, but our defense in that second half, they really got it going.”

Where do things stand at right guard now, if you guys are still rotating there and what do you need to see from one of the guys to firmly entrench themselves as the guy who plays 100% of the snaps?

“Neither. We love how it’s going right now. D-linemen are rotated throughout entire games and get to play O-lineman fresh all the time, so I don’t think it’s a knock on either of those guys. I think they’re both doing good in their reps that they get and I think it helps both of them. It allows you to be fresher. I think it’s made both of them better and if we ever see a need to change it, we’ll do it, but I haven’t really thought about not doing it yet.”

Do you believe LB Dre Greenlaw will be available after the BYE Week for you guys?

“I’m optimistic about it. If this week of rehab goes real well, I think he’ll have a good chance, but he’s got to have a good week.”