Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – November 25, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening Comments:

“Alright, the injuries. [DL Arik] Armstead is doubtful. [WR] Deebo [Samuel], questionable. That’s all we got.”

What has Armstead been doing to be able to elevate him from out the previous weeks to doubtful?

“He just keeps passing every test and today was his first day to get into practice, so it was a big step for him.”

Is Deebo’s hamstring a continuation of his earlier issue?

“No, it was something different. We got back at like seven in the morning, I’m sure he went home and slept for a while. It was a little weird day. He didn’t feel it much on Tuesday. Got the information on Wednesday and then we were safe about it.”

I’m sure the Pro Football Focus stats are hardly the gospel as far as coaches go, but there was one the other day that had DL Charles Omenihu over the last two games with the same amount of pressures as DL Nick Bosa and Buffalo Bills LB Von Miller league-wide, I guess they all have 14. Just curious as your thoughts on what he’s done for you and meant for you this year, he was an in-season acquisition last year and seems to have ascended from there?

“Yeah, I think Charles has done a real good job. I think he helped us out last year when we got him. I know he did that right at the trade deadline and I think especially towards the end of the year he started making some plays for us, going back to the Dallas game and everything. He’s even better this year, more used to what we do. He’s put in a lot of work and he’s been huge as this year’s gone. Especially missing some guys and not having [DL] Samson [Ebukam] last week. And the depth of our D-line is very important to us to keep all those guys fresh and when you have some talented dudes you can roll in there, you can keep making plays.”

One more Pro Football Focus question, they gave T Trent Williams the highest grade of his career in the Cardinals game. You obviously have seen quite a bit of Trent Williams, where would you kind of rank that outing?

“Not the highest of his career.”

Is there a game that stands out?

“It’s so hard with me with O-lineman because the memorable plays are… I mean he had some cool ones in the Arizona game, getting him out there on [S] Budda [Baker] on the trailer we ran. He’s got some neat highlight plays, but the best games are usually the ones that I don’t even remember with the O-line because they just didn’t do one mistake the entire game, but Trent always does something neat every game that is fun for anybody to watch.”

With the offense coming together at this point, is it not that surprising that it’s taken some time and the whole offseason was with one quarterback and then it’s adjusting to a completely different one?

“Yeah, usually it takes care of itself unless you have a bunch of drastic injuries and I think we had a few at some key positions early in the year. Starting with the quarterback, you know the most important part. Also, with the running back losing [RB] Elijah [Mitchell], so you do have to do some adjusting, but I also think in all those games it wasn’t that we weren’t capable. I thought we weren’t very consistent. When you’re not very consistent you don’t get as many opportunities. I didn’t think we had many games where we just laid an egg in terms of not being able to move the ball and stuff, but we didn’t score enough points and to me, that’s just everyone working together and trying to get consistent and I thought we have been doing that more in the last month or so, but it was nice to finally fully put together a game together last week. But yeah, I feel like we are getting better. The more we play together, the better we do, but we’re still not there yet at all and we have to keep making sure we’re getting better because if not, you’re going to end up getting worse.”

Kind of big picture thing, you guys always talk about yards after catch, yards after contact. When and how did physicality always become such a primary tenant of what you want to do offensively?

“I think it’s adjusting to your players and what you do best. I always truly believe in that. I think, especially when you run the ball, you have to have that mentality. I always played receiver growing up and really enjoyed receiver the most and got into the league starting to coach receivers and so I’ve always challenged those guys a lot and I think when you put that into a coordinator’s perspective or a head coach’s perspective, I always feel it can really make your team a lot more aggressive and then when you get guys like Deebo, who plays a certain way and then everyone sees him play that way and then you show it a lot, you tie it in how it into helps the team, I think it kind of feeds off each other and I think that’s been the most important thing with our physicality, that we got the guys to do it, we emphasize it and we know it helps us win.”

When you see it work the way it does, does it become more of an emphasis for you in the draft and free agency and things like that?

“There’s so many different ways to do it. Sometimes when you go a certain direction with stuff and you make a mistake or it doesn’t pan out the same way you want, you kind of overdo the opposite. A lot of times in my life, you always look for a receiver who has the skillset to separate the most and beat people and then you sometimes see a guy who maybe isn’t quite the same, but he affects the game so much more because the physicality of it. Either way, but sometimes, we really wanted to go that way with Deebo, we felt we were lacking some physicality like in our first few years with receivers. I loved that with [WR] Pierre [Garcon]. That’s why we brought Pierre here and then Pierre after he got his neck he ended up retiring and I feel like we hadn’t had that since and I thought that’s what we were missing just from a toughness team and that’s why we like Deebo so much and Deebo came in, we knew we were getting that. And then he brought so much more to it. And once you see that you don’t ever want to draft another guy who’s not like that, at least has that physicality. It might not be the same, but you want to draft people who are similar and I think that’s just the way we’ve ended up becoming.”

Coming off the holiday and like you said, a weird week. Where would you say the team’s energy is headed into Saturday’s walkthrough and after Tuesday?

“I just love the practice that we had. The main thing we’ve had to adjust was just getting back so late and being on the short week. Today was the first day that we took a full speed rep. We usually don’t do that after Monday night games, we always do so on Wednesday, but we always do full speed on Thursday. This was the first time that we’ve waited all the way until Friday. We felt that we needed to, but because we did that we had more full speed stuff today than usual, so I was curious how they were going to be after not doing that all week and having Thanksgiving yesterday and those guys came out and they were going. You could tell they’re feeling good and you could tell that they’re excited and ready to go for Sunday.”

On Deebo’s touchdown run, TE Tyler Kroft’s block where he starts right and then does a 180, I assume that wasn’t invented it’s been done before, but when did you first start implementing that?

“I think the first time we did it was 2019. We did a few times that year. Had a lot of success with it and after that year you see it on every single team at least almost once a game, but it ties well to what we do because you pull the guard, which is what you do on a lot of plays, but then when the tight end’s going it looks like what you do on counter, so the linebacker has got to go and run over, so you just get them to go, then you get the lead blocker, but it ties to a lot of runs. It’s stuff a lot of people do now though.”

Who was the tight end when you when you first used it?

“We’ve done it with all the guys. It’s been a tight end or fullback though, so.”

And where did that inspiration come from?

“I think just watching how people played our gap schemes, just watching them run and we started running a lot more rounds because people were defending our run very well and we got some really good guys to do it, so once you did the normal ones you had to come up with some more creative ones. And the best way to come up with a creative one is to watch how they’re stopping your runs and see where the overplay is and try to plan something off of that.”