Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – December 7, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening Comments:

“Alright guys, injuries. [DB Tarvarius] T Moore, knee, will not practice. [DL Nick] Bosa, hamstring, will not practice. [QB Jimmy] Garoppolo, foot, no practice. [DL Hassan] Ridgeway, peck, same thing. [WR] Deebo [Samuel], quad, will be limited. [RB Christian] McCaffrey, knee, limited. [DL Arik] Armstead, foot and ankle, limited. [OL Spencer] Burford, ankle, limited. Go ahead.”

What’s the update on Jimmy Garoppolo and what have you found out about his diagnosis?

“It’s not a Lisfranc, they don’t have to do surgery on it. It’s still going to be a big recovery, but much less than what we anticipated, which is awesome news for him in the offseason, he’ll be good to go right away, so it won’t be like last year. There’s that way outside chance, late in the playoffs or something like that, but it’s just an outside chance. I’m not really optimistic about that, but they didn’t rule it out.”

Will you put him on IR?

“We have to play that by ear, kind of with our whole roster. Our goal is to get to the playoffs, so we have to make sure we do the best thing possible for that and that is the issue with IR and most likely, even if that did happen, he wouldn’t be able to come back for that, so we’ll see how these IR decisions play out over the next couple weeks.”

Armstead’s sitting out today, but is that just precaution? Did he come through the game okay?

“Yeah, he got through the game well. We have to be smart with him so it doesn’t act up like it did earlier in the year, but he had a successful game.”

Christian’s knee, is it similar to last week?


With Jimmy, can you confirm that there’s no ligament damage?

“Yeah, no ligament damage. That was the good thing.”

Are you familiar with any bone regenerative treatment that’s available for pro athletes and do you think that would be a potential use here to speed up that process of recovery?

“They do a lot of that stuff. I’m not familiar with any of it, but he’s going to do whatever helps.”

I don’t know if you heard yesterday I think ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported seven-to-eight weeks potentially, is that what you’re hearing as well?

“At best case scenario, not to play football, seven-to-eight weeks, but to heal.”

Is it multiple bones that are fractured or just one?

“I believe just one, but I don’t dive into it as hard as you guys ask me. I know it’s a serious injury that’s most likely going to keep him out for the year and I know it’s really good news that there was no ligament damage or anything, so he’ll be fine once the broken foot heals.”

Did they tell you how many weeks to play football, best case?

“No, they don’t do stuff like that. They just say how long it takes to heal and then usually it takes a little bit more after that.”

Shortly after QB Trey Lance got injured, you did an interview with 49ers radio broadcaster Greg Papa and he asked you what the plan was for him and you said it’s the same plan meetings, he just wouldn’t be on the field, but come December you might get creative with things. What does that mean and is that still the plan?

“We don’t have to get creative because he’s in all of our meetings, so I don’t know why I said that, but we’re creatively bringing him into everything though.”

What’s the biggest change for you guys now with QB Brock Purdy as your starter?

“We’re trying not to make it a drastic change. They have a similar skillset, we have a lot of confidence in Brock. We’ve seen him in practice. Our players have, we have and that’s why we were confident in him, but he hasn’t played a ton of football, so there is some unknown out there, but we know he has the ability to do it, we know he has the mentality to do it and I don’t like how we got to this point, but we’re definitely excited about the option that we have.”

On Monday, you said you’d be surprised if you put a bid in for Los Angeles Rams QB Baker Mayfield. It was reported that you didn’t, did you definitely not put a claim in?

“Yeah, we did not.”

I know things could change, but are you pretty well set with the two quarterbacks you’ve got right now?

“Yes. Yeah, we feel good about it.”

What have you seen from Brock Purdy since he got here?

“He’s just been ready at every opportunity he’s gotten. He didn’t get much in OTAs. Most of that went to Trey and [Detroit Lions QB] Nate [Sudfeld] and whenever he did you could see what he showed you guys on Sunday and each time we picked it up, he just showed more of that. He’s very aggressive in what he does. Sometimes that can keep both teams in the game, so that’s stuff that you have to work on as you play more, but that’s where you want to start with it. When a guy can make some plays like he does, he gives you a chance to win, but we have to figure out what’s the best way to win with him.”

Is that what you liked in the preseason, that aggressive way that he operates, runs the offense?

“Yeah, I like when a play is there that guys aren’t scared to make it, they don’t hesitate, they don’t take a second look at it. They let it rip and they worry about it after. A lot of guys who just guess do that too, so you have to find out whether they’re being aggressive or just if they’re deciding then to do it or if they’re deciding on Wednesday and then that’s a big difference, but Brock has been very good with it. He can explain what he sees and that’s why we got a lot of confidence in him.”

You’ve mentioned a number of times with Brock that you like the experience and the amount of games that he played in college. How can that experience help? Do you go back and watch college games because you’ve seen this or that or that type of thing?

“No, I just think when you’re a four-year starter in a pretty big conference, you’ve just been in some pressure and you’ve done it a lot when you have to come in there as a freshman when you’re the youngest on the team. And to be able to do that four years in a row, you can tell when guys have done that, they’ve just been under center a bunch. They understand just how to play the game. They’ve been in it a lot and they’ve been in a lot of situations. Now he has to see there’s a huge difference in the league, you can talk about a lot of things, but you can tell he has been in it and I think that’s how he knows how to play fast.”

How big of a challenge do you have this week going against an experienced defensive coordinator like Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles who can show so much?

“He’s got a huge challenge. Todd alone, but also the talent they have over there. They stop the run as good as anybody in this league. They’ve been doing that for a number of years. They’re extremely good in their coverages because they can do anything that they want. They’re good in man, they have all the blitzes, so Todd’s probably going to throw everything at us and what works, he’ll keep doing it until we figure out how to do it better back.”

We all see the videos of T Trent Williams, the highlights of his blocks. It seems like every week you got something spectacular. Do you do that with the game when you’re showing it to the team like stop and look at what Trent’s done?

“Yeah, we show highlights to get guys pumped up and we also show lowlights to keep people humble and to keep people getting better. Yeah, definitely. He had a bunch of [lowlights] last Friday, which was really cool, he had four of them last Friday, so I got him a little bit in our run meeting, which Trent is awesome with, but it was so cool because it was kind of the same points on some of his highlight ones, where we missed that block, not because he missed it, just choosing the wrong technique the week before and he chose the right technique about four times in a row and a few cutbacks and it was really cool seeing that back-to-back.”

From practice film?

“No, it was from the New Orleans game, but we review that as the week goes and tie it to our practice film and keep studying it.”

How does he respond in the meetings?

Trent always responds good. Trent loves football, he loves to be coached. He’s one of the smartest o-linemen I’ve been around and so if you’re sitting there and talking about something and showing something and not just yelling a coaching point, he’s locked in and really appreciates it.”

What happened on the Miami Dolphins LB Jerome Baker play that Jimmy got hurt on? What should have happened?

“They brought an all-out blitz. What you want to do is ditch it to Deebo or Christian right away underneath, but they popped two guys out and those guys had them outside and inside, so they took away our hot routes on that play, so you take a sack is what you usually do. You’d love to throw it away and not do it, but they did it too fast and they were on him too quick, so you take a sack, protect the ball and Jimmy did an unbelievable job. That play shows kind of how Jimmy is. That he was getting sacked about to go past the 35-yard line and how much easier it is for us to be in front of that 35-yard line. He kept his legs going, got Robbie the field goal and that’s how his foot got caught up.”

One more Trent question, how much do you find yourself calling a play thinking I’ve got the best left tackle in football, so I can call this play? Does that happen in your head sometimes?

“Not really, sometimes like we’re going to get this guy out on the edge but [Arizona Cardinals S] Budda [Baker]’s out there and Budda will make everyone look silly. Our guy has a chance for him not to make him look silly, doesn’t mean he won’t, so maybe like that every once in a while, but you don’t usually know where the ball’s going. Especially, when there’s five of them there. There’s lots of plays that we like to run at Trent because he is pretty good, but half the plays we want to run away from him because we think it’s cutting back, but you don’t really know that to how the fronts are, how they play the techniques, so it’s really hard to just run exactly at someone in our offense.”

What have your conversations been like with Brock since Sunday, since the game ended? How has he carried himself?

“He carries himself the same way. Brock’s got a good edge to him. He’s quiet, but I think he’s more respectful just being the younger guy in the room. You can tell how the rookies gravitate to him. He’s got good command over them. Our scout team from [LB] Fred [Warner] and all those guys, they love him. He’s aggressive over there. He is not shy in anything he does, but he’s fit in with our team well and he’s understood his role and now it’s gotten a lot bigger, but I don’t think he changed that. He just keeps being him and we’ll see how it plays out.”

What’s he been doing like the past two and a half days in terms of preparation? You said preparation had him ready for last Sunday, so how has he dove in this week?

“He was there the whole time and I think that’s what guys do. They’re like, I’ve been preparing to start and now I’m starting, so what else more do I have to do? And I try to tell him just to calm down. Let us do that part. You just keep reacting in there and playing and playing fast and having a clear mind and being ready to be aggressive and I thought that’s what he did great on Sunday. He’s in a different role, so he doesn’t know exactly what to expect, but he doesn’t have to change much. He had to prepare a ton. It’s real hard to do that week in and week out because that takes so much effort. I couldn’t imagine studying all week for a test and then not being allowed to take the test. Do it a few weeks in a row and some guys eventually roll the dice and they’re like, alright, it’s not happening and then the first quarter it happens and then they can’t handle it. Brock was ready for it. He handled it and that’s what he has to do this week too.”

Have he and Jimmy spent extra time together this week to just to prepare and Jimmy to get him even more ready?

“No. Jimmy I think will come around be in some of the meetings, but he saw how Jimmy did it and what we all gravitated to help Jimmy get ready for Sunday and now it’s his role, which he’ll do it his own way. He’ll do it a little bit differently, he gets to see how Jimmy does his process though and now we have to start adjusting and figuring out what’s the best stuff that helps Brock throughout the week.”

Can you compare the difference, the process, you and the coaching staff going from Trey to Jimmy and now from Jimmy to Brock?

“I think it was a little bit bigger from Trey to Jimmy just in terms of the running element that Trey had. Just how we looked at a gameplan, how we positioned all the formations to kind of keep him always as a threat as a runner. Jimmy and Brock aren’t necessarily running threats, so you don’t sit there and design stuff like that, but they’re definitely both mobile enough to make plays with their legs.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady’s playing right now, what do you see from him and how is he able to do it at age 45 and still be able to play at this level?

“Tom, he plays the position better than anyone ever and he’s definitely the G.O.A.T. from what I’ve seen, but I don’t say that just because he has won Super Bowls. I say it because of how he plays the position. The ball always goes to the right spot and that answer is based off of a thousand different things that could be matchups, it could be the coverage that could be based off of down and distance, the time in the game, how the defense is playing. If you just watch him throughout his whole life and you see him make a decision and you see him make a different decision in the second quarter, he just has command of the game and knows how to win it and what it takes, whatever that is. He’s kind of flawless in his technique how he gets everyone the ball and he’s done that his whole career, but his throwing mechanics, they only get better each year, so I feel like his arm’s stronger now than it was 10 years ago and his legs moved just as good as they did 10 years ago. They weren’t great then, but he’s extremely efficient and quick in the pocket and knows where to look and knows where to get the ball to and he’s still the best to play.”

There were a few plays where it looked like Christian had some choice routes that Brock read really well and had a feel for where he was going to go. What was your impression of his feel for those types of things and his anticipation?

“It was good, especially because he was trying to hit someone deeper and the hole was there, but we just got re-routed a little bit, so we couldn’t quite get to the hole and a lot of times when the hole is there, guys will just throw it and he’ll sail over and go to a cover-two safety and he was able to wait on it as long as he could and then he moved the backer and got it right to Christian. Just to play like that is huge. It’s a second-and-eight check down, but because of the way you look with your eyes, the timing, how you get there, it’s a nine-yard gain instead of a four-yard gain. And plays like that you never have to see third down and those, to me, are usually the biggest plays in the game that no one really accounts for.”

Brady had another one of those fourth quarter comebacks on Monday night. How do you, can you prepare for him and what he’s able to do?

You just have to realize that that’s possible. I think eight of their 12 games have been decided on the last drive of the game. I don’t care what happens. Brady never stops playing quarterback, he’s efficient every single time. If they’re down that much, he’s going to start being more aggressive, but it’s never stupid. And they also have a defense that is built to make you struggle. You’re going to have times hopefully where you can go on that defense, but you’re going to hit lulls, just like New Orleans did and New Orleans had a couple chances to finish it. They came up just a little bit short and when that happens versus Tom, that’s why he has done it more than anyone.”

You reportedly examined every one of Brady’s throws from 2019, it probably wasn’t the best season of his career with the Patriots. Are you surprised based on what you saw then what he’s done since then and that he is still playing?

“I’d like to say of course not, but I think everyone’s since then you’re wondering when is the number too high, but now like when you watch him that first week in Tampa, you’re like, what the hell was anyone ever thinking? The dude looks the exact same, he did that year. He does when he comes off injuries and I think he’s playing as good now and throwing the ball as well now as I’ve seen anybody ever do it.”