Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 11, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

 Opening Comments:

“Alright, we got [DL Arik] Armstead will be out. [CB Jason] Verrett is out, he should be on IR later today and [DL] Samson [Ebukam]’s doubtful and that’s it.”

LB Dre Greenlaw made it through the week of practice pretty well?

“Yep. Yeah, had a good week.”

With WR Deebo Samuel, he’s all cleared to go too? How did you kind of monitor him during the week and how strong his hamstring was?

“You do that with all GPS times, things like that. Make sure he is getting his full speed back. He was good by Wednesday’s practice, which is our first real practice, so we didn’t have to change reps or anything. We we’re good.”

The guys that you opened the window for are you planning to activate all four of those guys?  A couple of them? RB Elijah Mitchell, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, OL Colton McKivitz and DL Jordan Willis.


What was it like on that practice field? Some of the players said you gathered the team around after Jason went down and did you offer to stop practice right there?

“Yeah, I did offer it. That happens, it seems like once a year, when a cart has to come out there and it’s always rough. And it’s always hard to kind of go on practicing when it’s towards the end, especially in training camp, it makes it a little bit easier, but it was different with J.V. because just everyone knows, I know people have talked about it, but everyone knows his history and how much he’s done and how focused he’s been to get back and how he’s done everything the right way and everyone at the same kind of time was thinking exactly what he was thinking. They knew how long of a journey it was, how fast it ended and everyone stopped right away. That’s tough when a guy gets carted off just to sit there and say, you’re as sad as everyone else. Now it’s time to go practice, but that is what you need to do. You need to go practice after that, but it was cool that the players recognized that. Everyone was so emotional I just asked them what they wanted to do and it was quiet for about three seconds and then everyone said, let’s finish.”

Do you worry at all that that could linger until Sunday? What were the practices like?

“I thought they were great. I thought it was really good that we finished. I thought that was important. No, we got some pretty mature guys, even Azeez at the end kind of broke it down for the team and it’s hard for everyone to watch that but that’s because we’re sad for the journey that’s ahead for J.V., but it’s his journey and he has to go through it and he’s been there a lot and we’re going to all be there to help him any time he needs, but that’s stuff that happens to anybody and I think it reminds everyone that you just can’t take stuff for granted and it’s not just on the football field, but it’s anywhere.”

Azeez, what did he speak up about or how did he–?

“He basically sounds like a preacher, he speaks much better than I do. He’s wise. He’s like the nicest guy on our team and the least nice on the football field, so he balances it out.”

You get eight guys back either from IR or injury previously. What can that do for the team and how much does it help to actually get guys back instead of having those long-term things where other guys had a chance to kind of develop in the meantime?

“It helps a lot because when you lose guys it puts you in a bind. The only benefit to losing guys, it gives other people an opportunity to develop because they have to go through stuff and sometimes the only time you get better is by going out there and getting your butt kicked sometimes and realizing what you have to do in this league because you can’t always simulate that, so they get to go through it and if you can kind of still not set your team back, it can make your team a little bit stronger because you feel like you’ve given those guys more time. They kind of know what it’s like out there and either they’ve taken somebody’s job or they just helped it out while someone can come back and be the starter again, but then we just know that we have a little bit more developed depth and there’s not as much of a question mark as it goes. We’re not even halfway, we’re eight games through and it’s not halfway.”

DT Javon Kinlaw is eligible to return for the Mexico City game, is that something he can do?

“It’s stuff we’re discussing, just me thinking of it right now. All the flying and stuff and the altitude up there, I think things would have to go really well for us to make that decision.”

You’re clearly expecting him to be able to return this season?

“Yeah, I’m expecting him to. Yeah.”

What exactly happened with Ebukam on Monday?

“Just it was on air. He took a step forward and right when he did, I believe his quad just felt something in there, and he’s still got a chance for Sunday. Samson’s never missed a game, that’s why I’m not ruling him out because he’s been like this before where you think he’s not going to do it, but he does. It’s bothered him too much and that’s why he is doubtful.”

The trend that we saw in training camp that’s continued with Samson and Verrett getting hurt day after an off-day. Is there any studies or anything that you guys can do further about this?

“Yeah, not practice. Then the problem is the next day will be the off-day and then eventually we get to a game. We did lose some guys after an off-day, which I made a big deal about and then I very quickly got 18 pages of graphs and stats that proved me that I was wrong. It was just three main guys that kind of stuck out and it was actually kind of our best overall after off-days in a while, but I know why you’re saying that because I felt the same way. This was on air. We we’re going half speed, so we could not have practiced. Verrett’s was Wednesday. His was on air too. It was after a play, but he was behind a guy just jogging after him and it’s an Achilles. It actually was eerie because it reminded me exactly of what happened to [DB] Tarvarius Moore in OTAs, he was just backpedaling on a part of the field by himself and took a step forward and the Achilles went, so I think that’s kind of what happens usually with Achilles. You never know when, but just it goes, Verrett knew it right away.”

With Samson maybe not playing, it would seem like more snaps for DL Drake Jackson. How do you assess where he is in the middle of his rookie year?

“I think he’s contributing to us. I think he’s a very talented player who does help us out and I see much more room to grow. I think the more powerful he gets, the more physical he can get, grow into his body. There’s a lot more there, but I’ve been happy with him. He’s coming along nice and again, we’re not halfway there yet, so there’s plenty of room to get a lot better and the challenge is also to not get worse. These guys hit this wall at this time. Their season’s close to getting there to where they don’t have many more games and we still haven’t hit the halfway mark, so he’s a guy who’s got a chance to get a lot better and he has been playing well, but I see that with a lot of guys on our team.”