Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 14, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening Comments:

“Same thing as last night. The injuries from the game, [WR] Danny Gray with his ankle, he’ll be day-to-day. Go ahead.

What’s the practice schedule for this week and how did you arrive at the idea to go to Colorado? Because it seems like there’s two schools of thought, some teams go in late, some teams go in early.

“Yeah, just talking to a few other teams who’ve done it before. Then having all our guys here, starting with [head of player health & performance] Ben [Peterson], just research the science of it and give us the recommendation of what they thought helped the most. And they thought getting there earlier, getting acclimated to it earlier would help us on Monday night, so that’s why we made that decision. And we’re taking off tomorrow, so we got eight days. With the extra day, we treated today like a true Monday. We just finished reviewing all the game, just finished up with all the players. Tomorrow will be basically an off day, we’ll travel there and then that Wednesday will be a Tuesday and then we’ll be in a normal week there that Thursday, then I think we’ll head to Mexico City on Sunday.”

Will those practices be normal tempo and pace and things like that or do you have to do it a little different because of the altitude?

“No, they’ll be normal. It’s just like we went to Denver and scrimmaged against them for a week back in ‘19. If guys are struggling, it’s practice so you stop and take a break or you take that guy out and have him not go, but you want to practice in that altitude because the more days you spend in it, the more your body gets used to it, so hopefully it’ll make it easier for us Monday night.”

How do you feel about these games in other countries? I know you’re only going to be in Mexico for about 24 hours, but do you enjoy them and do you expect there to be a lot of 49ers fans there?

“This is my first one. I never like flying too far that’s always tough, but with this being my first one, the fact that we’re going to Mexico I think is awesome. Not too far away. I feel like Mexico is as close of a second home for us. I think our fan base here in California and in Mexico is unbelievable. I go down to Cabo a lot and there’s a great group of Mexican fans down there, so I’m hoping it’s the same there in Mexico City, so I’m actually excited to do it and go there, be a part of it. But for us, it’s just like going to any other place. You get to the hotel that night, the next day you take a bus over to the stadium, as soon as it’s over, you head to the airport, but it will be cool to see a different fan base.”

Does DL Arik Armstead have a chance to play this week?

“He does have a chance.”

Do you expect him to return to practice?

“I’m not sure. He’s going to continue rehabbing, it says foot/ankle and we’ll see on Thursday when we have a chance to practice.”

Now that you got a second look at the LB Dre Greenlaw play, what are your thoughts about the ejection?

“It’s similar to how I felt yesterday. I haven’t got a chance to talk to anybody. I know [general manager] John [Lynch] did, but he definitely hit helmets with him, so I fully understood the penalty. John got to speak with them, so I’ll probably speak with John later in here, but we’ll get the information from them and whatever it is, we’ll try to help our players and see how they can avoid it. I do feel the same as far as I know Dre’s intent on the play and what he was trying to do and he’s trying to stop him from getting a first and nothing more. So hopefully with John talking to them, we’ll be able to understand it and hopefully we’ll be able to tell him something to try to help him prevent it.”

Are you under the impression that he will not be suspended?

“I haven’t talked to anyone, but, yeah, I’m not expecting him to, but I don’t know, I just finished with the players and really came right into here, so but yeah, I’d be very surprised if he was. Dre, I don’t know, I feel like he’s almost a first-time offender. It is not something he’s done much and I think he’s been pretty good at that stuff, so that’s why it’d surprise me.”

A couple of defensive players, LB Fred Warner and DL Nick Bosa, both thought that as well as you guys are playing on defense, the thing that can really separate you is if you get more takeaways. And I don’t know how you exactly practice that or plan for that and they come when that come, what are your thoughts on that?

“Oh yeah, I totally agree. Takeaways are huge and the best defenses usually get a lot of takeaways. I thought we were getting, I want to say a number of them earlier on. We almost went two full games without one right here, but we got one on the last play, which was huge. I think we’ve had a couple opportunities to get our hands on the ball that we’ve come short on, but I think usually turnovers come down to how much you get after the quarterback and I think we can do that a little bit more.”

How important on the WR Brandon Aiyuk 24-yarder was what OL Daniel Brunskill delivered. It looked like they brought that zero blitz up the middle and he might’ve gotten a piece of two guys.

“Yeah, it’s huge. They brought more than we had in protection, so there’s always one guy who ends up having two guys. We called it a double bump, so you have to bump each guy so you can slow him down just enough to allow the quarterback to get the ball off and hopefully to allow him not to get hit. He did both. It was a huge play for us.”

I know you touched on this a little bit last night about how you want to blow teams out, you want to score a lot and all that. With all the offensive playmakers you have at the skill positions, you guys are averaging 22 points per game, 18th in the league. Is there anything you can put your finger on why things haven’t clicked, including last night, on a more regular basis and do you see that things are improving and moving in the direction where the offense can start to carry more of the load here in the second half of the season?

“Yeah, I see it every week. I saw we had the opportunity to do that yesterday. Not clicking, we got inside the 10-yard line five times and scored touchdowns on two of them, so I believe if we did on those other three, I feel we would’ve been clicking huge. We would’ve had over 30 points and things are going pretty good, so if you go to that game, I think we need to be better inside the 10, but there’s lots of things. I thought we were moving it great. I thought guys did a good job. We added one new running back and we lost our leading rusher, so I don’t feel like we’ve added all these new guys. We brought in [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] and we lost [Miami Dolphins RB] Jeff [Wilson Jr.] and I’m real excited about having Christian here, but it’s not changing up a ton of stuff. We do what we do and I thought our guys did it a pretty high-level last night, but when you end up scoring only two times and you’re inside the ten five times, it’s tough to get more than 30 points.”

And so to just follow up on that, then why do you think there was a problem specifically last night inside the red zone or even inside just the 10-yard line?

“One, we had a dropped touchdown. Another, we had second-and-goal from the eight I thought we should have scored on a run. One, we through a bubble and I think we shouldn’t have, which got us in the third-and-goal from the eight, that was the one that we dropped. And at the very end of the game, I wanted to make sure they used that timeout. Probably would’ve a better chance of scoring if we threw it from the two there on third-and-goal from the two. I didn’t think that was worth the risk. I wanted to make sure regardless of what happened that they had no timeout, so that was the decision there, but I would say those three things.”

Basically, you’re saying a different reason for all of those misfires.

“Yeah, there’ll always be a reason. There’s three times in there that we didn’t score, so it’d be a lot easier with film and the tape and to show you exactly, but when you ask like what’s going on with an offense, why we’re not clicking, that was the answer. I think it comes to points, I think when you’re over whatever we were on third down, which is 50% or something, I think that leads the league by a ton. I think we ran for 150 yards, I think we threw for 250. I’d love to have that turnover back that we had, but I do think there were a lot of things clicking, but you’re not going to get points if you move it and can’t score inside the 10, you’re not going to get enough points, that’s for sure, but if you want to go to a different game, I can answer those too, but usually, it’s hard to just put it in a sentence because it does come down to football plays. It comes down to how you execute them, how you do things, how you play, it’s everything.”

QB Jimmy Garoppolo in the last couple of games, the one to McCaffrey and then the play last night to WR Ray-Ray McCloud, he’s done a couple some really good things with off-schedule plays and is he doing that better now than he’s done it previously?

“Those were two big ones. The one to Ray-Ray and then the touchdown to Christian last week down in the red zone, so those were two big ones I think that stuck out. I think Jimmy does a few of those a game, but those were some big ones there. If we don’t make those versus the Rams, I think we hit all of those in all those situations. I think our three drives, when we got down there, we scored on all of them, but that’s what it comes down to. You miss just a couple of those and it’s a whole different story. You make all those and you go from a top red zone team to a middle of the pack team and that’s what every team in this league’s trying to do. I think we have opportunities there. I think we’re never really just stagnant and struggling to move it or anything, but we definitely want to reach our potential and we’ve had a number of games where we left a lot of points on the board.”

There’ve been reports that Free Agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. has the Niners on his list of teams he’d be interested in signing with. Is that interest reciprocated by the team? Is that a consideration?

“We consider everything.”

You would consider or have you have considered Odell Beckham?

“You can throw that into everything.”

OL Aaron Banks has had a pretty solid year this season, what do you give credit to why he is playing at such a pretty high-level?

“He is a good player. He’s worked real hard. I’d say he put in as much work as anyone on our team this offseason. Just from when the season ended to when the season started, it seemed like there was no difference from him, I’d see him out my window every day. His weaknesses, he doesn’t try to avoid, he really tries to work at and get those better and he has got a lot of strengths and when he has got into these games, I think he hasn’t gotten overwhelmed and because of that, because of the work he’s put in, he’s been able to stay healthy too in these games. That’s allowed him to get better, I feel like just with each experience, with each situation he goes in. And the guy had a baby this week, so now he’s a lot more mature, so he has a lot of good things going for him, but I’ve been real happy with Aaron.”

There was a report you put in a claim for Las Vegas Raiders DL Jerry Tillery, formerly of the Chargers. Is that a reflection of any concern about Armstead or DT Javon Kinlaw?

“No, I don’t think so. He’s just a good player that became available and we wanted to take our shot at it.”