Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – December 5, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening Comments:

“Alright guys, injuries. [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] with his broken foot, still doing a lot of testing. He has to talk to some foot specialists, so I don’t really have any new information on that, but the same as what I told you guys yesterday. [DL] Hassan Ridgeway, he has a pec strain. Surgery’s not needed, but he’ll be out for a while and most likely six-to-eight weeks. [DB] Tarvarius Moore had a knee sprain, he’ll be out a few weeks. And [DL] Nick Bosa has some hamstring irritation, we’ll manage him throughout the week. Go ahead.”

Did you have a chance to catch up with Jimmy and kind of see how he’s doing and kind of plot out his future?

“Yeah, we all checked on him last night and then he was in here for the team meeting today, so he was in good spirits today. He came to the team meeting, so he got to see everybody and we all got to talk to him a little bit here.”

How would you assess the emotions of the team after everything that’s happened over the last 12 hours?

“The team’s in a good spot. I think everyone is very emotional for Jimmy. Our guys, it hits home with all of them, not just at the quarterback position, but all the positions. That’s always all those guys’ biggest fears, but a lot of that stuff we hit up last night, we were able to see them today, but the guys were pretty positive today and upbeat and we’ll be ready to go for next week.”

You had spoken about the idea that QB Brock Purdy is gutsy for a lack of a better word. When did you kind of first notice his willingness to kind of take chances and put himself out there when you were evaluating him?

“Really in the reps that he got when he was here in OTAs, he got so few reps. [Detroit Lions QB] Nate [Sudfeld] and [QB] Trey [Lance] got the majority of them, and Brock would get about two-to-four a day, whatever that was at the time. And when he went in, he was just so aggressive in all his decisions. He didn’t know a lot at first, but whatever he knew, he applied it and did it aggressively and never hesitated. And whenever you can see that clear, aggressive type of play in a quarterback, early on it was impressive and the more he has learned, I still feel like it hasn’t taken away from him.”

With QB Josh Johnson, what was it about him that made you think about and bringing him in?

“Just having him here in 2020 for that last month of the year, we got to see a lot of him just as a player, which we like the player, but more importantly, we really like the guy. I think that’s why he has been around for so long and so many places continue to bring him back because he is a natural leader. Guys like playing with him, guys like playing around him, he has a skillset that can go in and give you a chance to win and a person we really believe in and we feel fortunate to get him back here.”

Do you guys have any interest in pursuing former Carolina Panthers QB Baker Mayfield on the waiver wire?

“We look into everything, but that’d surprise me right now. We have to discuss more this afternoon, but I’ve always been a fan of his, but I feel real good about our players and we’ll look into everything, but I feel pretty good with where we’re at right now.”

When you put Brock into the game yesterday, how much of what the offense was stuff that was game plan specific versus maybe some of the vanilla stuff that maybe goes back to training camp and the preseason?

“Nothing changes when he goes in. It was exact same stuff that, you don’t go back to the vanilla stuff, you go to exactly our gameplan. He prepares for that all week. He did a good job being prepared for that. I tip my hat to [assistant quarterbacks coach] Klay [Kubiak] and to [quarterbacks coach] Brian Griese just because they work with him throughout the week. You don’t always get to see him do the reps, but that’s why they stay after with him and go over all that stuff and a credit to him to be ready to come in. Anything that had to adjust throughout the game, that was adjustments that we had to make on gameday for schematic situations, not because of our quarterback.”

I know you guys spend every day working on the kicking game and obviously did a lot to improve your special teams this offseason. It seems like with K Robbie Gould, he gets taken for granted. He hit all seven of his kicks and it seemed like all of those were right down the middle. Obviously, you guys lost momentum on that third down, he comes in late in the game, hits a field goal to give you guys two-possession lead. Does he feel like he’s kind of a luxury at this point with how accurate he’s been?

“Yeah, I’ve coached a long time in this league and my gut on field goals was never good and that’s changed since I’ve been in San Francisco and that’s because we’ve had Robbie the whole time and he’s as consistent as anyone I’ve been around and every time we send him out there for a kick, sometimes I don’t even watch it. I just always assume that we have three.”

You mentioned that Josh Johnson has spent at least a month with you before, I know all cases are different, but would it be tough to consider bringing in a quarterback who had not ever really spent time under you and with this team?

“Yeah, it makes a lot harder, but sometimes you don’t have that luxury. We would definitely do that if we felt there was a viable guy out there, but that’s really tough in this situation, so you always want to go for the guy who gives you the best chance to win and you take in a lot of factors into the deciding that, but having familiarity with what we do allows the guy to pick up on it pretty fast because it’s not like whoever you bring in you’re going to give a ton of reps to. [QB] Trey [Lance] got all of our reps when he was up and then when he went down Jimmy got them all and Brock hasn’t got any first team reps here. I don’t know if he has this year yet or at least since training camp, so it’ll be the same for Josh when he comes in. He’ll run the scout team and do all that, but he has to sit there and prepare the same way that Brock has been doing it. I know that we got a guy who is familiar with it and capable of doing that.”

With Brian Griese, Brock said yesterday that Brian said to him, let’s roll, like here we go. How helpful is it for him to have someone like that who’s been through it, especially in this kind of situation?

“I think it’s real good. Everyone tries to give him advice, but anytime the guy that you’re with day in and day out that you’re in the foxhole with, who’s actually gone through it, I think it’s huge. Brian has had a lot of success in this league as a player and he had to go through a lot of adversity as a player. He’s had to come in. I mean he’s the one who had to come in and fill in for [HOF QB] John Elway, so you talk about some pressure there. It’s good to have him where he can calm him down a little bit in games and just bounce stuff off of him, but I think Brian’s done a real good job with those guys.”

You said Jimmy was in good spirits. We kind of know how Jimmy is, but did that kind of surprise you considering how serious of an injury it was and what kind of interactions did you have?

“No, when a guy gets hurt in the middle of the game, I’m sure he had a real rough night last night and I’m sure he spent most of the night with his family. He’s got his brothers and his parents here, who are a great family, who he’s very close with and I’m sure it was rough, but Jimmy came in today and was upbeat. It’s not like he’s positive about all that stuff. It’s a big deal, he’s hurting, but it was good to see him today just being positive and be able to give him a hug and all the guys see him because his journey starts coming back from this, which won’t be a problem, he’ll come back no problem. Football’s tough. A lot of these guys have gotten big injuries before. When they do, it’s crushing. I can go back to myself and remember my big injuries, whether it was college or high school, and you would’ve thought the world ended, but then you learn that’s part of the sport and you start to get a rehab plan and you go attack it and you get ready for the next opportunity.”

With how little WR Deebo Samuel practiced this week, were you a bit surprised with how well he played and how hard he was able to run through that injury?

“I wasn’t. By the way he got set, we have experience with a deep thigh bruise, so once he got to a certain point on Thursday, we had a feeling that he’d be fine running with the ball and just how tough he would be, we didn’t think that would limit him Missing practice all week, you get concerned about the stamina and just the injury about some of the route running, but once Deebo said he was good to go, Deebo is not messing around. He knows what that means and he knows what’s expected of him and he wouldn’t have said he was good to go if he wasn’t. He made some huge plays in that game. I thought there came a time in the fourth quarter where he was moving the chains for us or at least getting into us into two of those big third-and-ones that were big points in the game. Deebo’s special on how hard he is to take down, it almost takes a whole team to take him down and I’m just really glad that he put the work in to get himself available so we could have him yesterday because we did need him.”

Have you been informed on how many bones Jimmy broke in that foot and has it been described to you as a Lisfranc injury?

“That’s why they’re still trying to work through it. They were talking about that a lot last night, but it seems like that they’re starting to believe that it isn’t, so that is good news, but it’s not all for sure done yet. Some specialists have to finalize it, so we don’t want to give you guys any false information. They’re discussing all those things, but we’re feeling like it’s starting to get better than that, so we’ll see when we get the official information.”

Brock Purdy describes himself as a perfectionist. He was on the sidelines kind of talking about how he could do things better to people like TE George Kittle. At what point do you find that he’s at a good point in that type of thing? I know being too much of a perfectionist can be detrimental.

“I think he’s got the perfect demeanor in that he’s hard on himself and it’s not phony. He believes that he can make any play and he believes he should make the right play and if he doesn’t make it the right way, he is disappointed at himself because he believes he’s capable of doing that. And then so do we, so I love someone like that because they’re not going to take the easy way out. They’re always going to put the pressure on themselves and that’s what gives him an opportunity to reach his max potential and I think he’s done that his whole life and that’s what’s got him to this moment. And that’s what’s going to keep him going in the right direction going forward.”

A team has never won a Super Bowl with its third-string quarterback. Obviously, you don’t want to have your first two quarterbacks get injured. Is there an element of, not excitement, but this is a unique challenge. Is there something to it as a head coach and an offensive play caller that’s exciting?

“I wouldn’t say exciting. Our goal is that every year and I just think we got a really good team who’s worked our butts off to get in this position where we’re at now and we got a lot more football left and I know it’s a real big loss starting with Trey then the huge loss losing Jimmy last night and it is a big deal, but I do also believe our team’s built for this and we’re going to go out there and play football the best we can every week. That’s what we’ve done so far and that’s what we’re going to continue to do moving forward. And when I look at Brock  in that position, I think anyone who’s seen Brock in this building looks at Brock in that position. No one thinks any differently than we have all along.”

Because your team is built that way, a lot of people are wondering whether it might entice a retired quarterback to unretire and join you guys. Has any veteran, retired quarterback reached out to you or have you looked into that?

“No, we haven’t. Still waiting on [HOF QB] Joe [Montana] to call.”

HOF QB Steve Young is going to be offended. 

“Steve, I’m definitely ready for Steve. I think he could still run it, so let’s do it.”