Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – December 12, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
“With the injuries, I don’t have much new for you guys. I can’t confirm anything because no one is back from their MRIs yet. So it’s the same thing from last night. [WR] Deebo [Samuel] with his ankle. [QB] Brock [Purdy] with his oblique. [DL] Kevin Givens, knee. [DL] Kerry Hyder [Jr.], ankle. [CB] Ambry Thomas, ankle. [CB Samuel] Womack [III] is in the concussion protocol, so we won’t have him Thursday. And [CB] Dontae Johnson is getting his knee checked out. We should get them back here hopefully by noon, but we’re still waiting on each one, so go ahead.”
Have you seen any of the guys this morning and get an anecdotal read on how they might be feeling?
“No, I think they’re all over at the hospital, wherever they go. Stanford, I think, to get their deals, so I’ll see them when they get in, but that won’t be for a couple hours.”
Did you get any indication yesterday from Brock that the oblique or the side strain wasn’t too hard to play through?
“I think it was a challenge for him. Just talking to him and seeing him after the game. I think he really toughed it out, did some real good things with it and I know he is sore today, so hopefully the MRI will be good and give him a chance to play Thursday.”
What is the plan for this week just in terms of getting guys rested and their body’s back on a short week?
“Yeah, I feel like with Thursday night games, the biggest thing for us is sleep. We won’t do anything full speed. It’ll be all about recovery, so we’ll let the guys, we don’t see them today, the injured guys will come in and do rehab. Tomorrow we’ll let them sleep in. We’ll start a little later. I think we start at 10:30, so we do some things in the stadium where we have some lights just walking through. Then we’ll start a little bit later Wednesday, but we also have to travel that day, so cut a couple things out in meeting times. A lot of things with reps and it’s just about resting them up, getting them the gameplan and we’ll go full speed on Thursday.”
Do you guys as a coaching staff jump into gameplanning like last night? What kind of hours are you putting in after a game like that?
“No, I personally don’t. A number of coaches come over and they do some things on Saturday and they do it Sunday morning. Most of the guys, we put that game to bed and we correct all this game last night, so when we come in today, we can get going on Seattle right away.”
You were in the locker room with Brock after the game having a chat with him, what were you discussing and sharing with him?
“I was just talking about the game went, how the week went, how he was feeling, how the next few days were going to go and about getting ready for the Thursday game.”
During your conversation with Brock, what did he have to say about the game?
“He said how much fun he had. He said he brought up a couple plays he missed in practice during the week that were killing him. He was like, Hey, I knew I would get it by gameday, so I’m sorry about some of the things during the week, which was unbelievable because he had a great week of practice and we weren’t concerned about that aspect at all, but it just shows you the kid is a perfectionist and everything he does, he wants to see what he can do better.”
Can you say if Brock’s injury to his oblique is on his throwing side and then also what’s the level of concern as far as your defensive line depth at the moment?
“I believe Brock’s is on his left side, but your oblique is a big muscle that goes across everything. When you throw it’s your whole core, so I feel like it’s not good either way, but the D-line, it was a tough game. Losing [DL Hassan] Ridgeway last week and then Kevin going down there early, I feel optimistic about Kerry, just talking to him after the game and everything. I believe if the score was different, he would’ve been able to go back in, so I do think that’s a good sign. But no, I expect Kevin to be a little bit. Hoping it’s just an MCL, but obviously we have to wait and see.”
Do you know how Purdy’s injury happened and how ready would QB Josh Johnson be if he had to start on Thursday?
“I believe it happened on the second drive on the third down that he dove for the chains. I think we ended up having a holding call on it and had to run it again, I think we ran a screen, the next play. I believe that’s where he felt it. Then it just got worse on him throughout the game. And that’s one of the reasons we brought him here, just because Josh is really good at picking things up. Just putting him in the game for that whole quarter where he had to handle all the jet sweep timing of motions and things like that. Those weren’t very normal formations and runs, so he can go in, has a real good command of the offense. It’s Thursday so no one is getting full speed reps, so that’s always a challenge when you get in there, but that was a situation for the quarterback last week too.”
It would’ve been easy for Brock to be rattled after that first play where he got rocked and then even for him to be a little gun shy after that interception was called back, but it seemed like it was the opposite. It seemed like he was more aggressive after that. When you see that, when that is his demeanor, does it make it easier as a playcaller for you? And I guess along the same line, it seems like the players are head over heels about him too, how simple as believing in your quarterback does it make it better for the locker room?
“I think that affects everything and it’s hard to fake that stuff. And Brock is always himself and how he carries himself, how he talks. He is the same dude every day and he’s the same guy on the field, whether he is making a good play or bad play, he’s believes in himself and he’s going to keep slinging it and ripping what he sees and I think our guys feel that and when you’re like that, it gives a lot of people confidence because you know it’s a matter of time.”
After some hiccups early in the season, it seems like your special teams has really kind of come together over the last four-to-six weeks, what have you seen from that group in that time period?
“I totally agree with you. I think just the style of what we want. I think getting some guys back healthy, some guys really taking over in some of their roles and establishing themselves, some of the younger guys who were slow to start at the beginning, not playing a ton of special teams in college and not understanding the urgency and how hard you have to work at it to get good at this level and I think those guys just doing it over and over and being consistent, they’ve gotten better as the year’s gone on. And when you do get better and you can get you can get healthier instead of losing some guys, I think that’s usually what happens.”
Brock talked about that he missed that first play of the game, can you kind of take us through on what he saw or what he failed to do or did incorrectly on that very first play?
“Yeah, we had a man zone read on it and it was not man-to-man and he changed it to the man play and just a little excited at the beginning. And 22 was up, [Tampa Bay Buccaneers S] Keanu [Neal] just a little different number, we were thinking 31 [Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Antoine Winfield Jr.] was going to be there for a little bit and he just saw 22 travel and got it mixed up with a couple other coverages and checked to the man play, which doesn’t have a blocker for 22 if he comes and so he regretted that pretty quick, but he came back from it fast. Sometimes those plays wake you up very fast.”
Some of the guys talked about the play to WR Brandon Aiyuk the touchdown that wasn’t even in the gameplan. Is that accurate that you didn’t have that play in your gameplan and what made you dial that one up when you did?
“The play was in the gameplan, but the double move wasn’t, but we were watching some stuff Saturday and I remember I brought it up to Brock on Saturday night just because we hadn’t given him the rep of the double move, but we had given him the rep of the play. The play was a curl, but we hadn’t done the curl and go yet. Situationally and thinking of some things, I told Brock it might come tomorrow on Saturday night and I asked him if he was comfortable with it and he was and I decided receivers are always okay with double moves, so I just felt like it was the right time, the right situation and it was a hell of a route by Aiyuk, the guy was way off and he had to really get his depth to sell it. It was an awesome job by Brock, pumping him and especially with the guy in his space and taking that hit and it was a huge play for us at the end of half.”
In recovering quickly from that hit and the negated interception not phasing him, is that unusual for someone at this point in Brock’s career? Is that something that you noticed from him in college that he seemed pretty unflappable?
“It’s hard to just train that stuff. It’s not like guys go in the league and make some mistakes and start to realize that you can’t come back from mistakes. It’s hard for guys to make mistakes and just to get better from realizing how stressful that is and how much it can hurt a team, so that stuff doesn’t totally change. Guys sometimes just have it or not and there’s different levels of that and it seems like Brock was like that throughout college. You hear people talk about him, his coaches, his teammates from college and I think they all speak that way. When we’ve had him here and it’s been a very short amount of time, that’s what we’ve seen, coaches and players. I think you have to have that to be successful in this league as a quarterback, but what he has shown throughout his life so far, it seems like he has that more than others.”
We spoke with RB Christian McCaffrey last night on the postgame show, he was so complimentary of the o-line and the blocking schemes all over. Was last night the best o-line performance of the season overall?
“I think it was up there definitely. They created some real good lanes, especially versus a real good run defense. We knew they were a challenge going into that game, so we exceeded expectations and what we thought actually and the way they cleaned up some of those holes, the way they handled some of those pressures. I don’t know if it was their best game, but it was right up there with it.”
How would you assess the level of play for LB Dre Greenlaw right now? The number of tackles he’s been getting, a couple of series it seemed like almost every play.
“He’s had some good ones. I thought that might’ve been his best game. The way he finished the Miami game was huge. He got off to a little bit slow start in Miami, but he finished it strong and he picked up this game right where he left off. They had to throw the ball there at the end, we were soft in our coverage because we were trying to make sure we didn’t give up the big play and for him to come up and make those tackles so consistently with very few yards after the catch, I think it was as impressive of a game as he has had and I thought that pick was pretty unbelievable.”
I’m sure you’re evaluating it based on how he feels, but given the defensive line issues right now health-wise, where’s DT Javon Kinlaw and is there a possibility for him to be back soon?
“Yeah, our goal was after the Seattle game, so we’re hopeful to get him back in practice, so that was our goal with it. We’ll finish this game up and we’ll see how it is when we come out on Monday, whether we start opening up his window or not.”
After the Deebo injury we saw you walking up to the cart and walking up to and back to the sidelines. You very energetically speaking with one of the refs. What were you discussing and did it have anything to do with the way Deebo was tackled? It looked like he was grabbed by the waist and then the defensive lineman just jumped and landed on his legs. Any comment on that sort of tackle?
“No, I was upset because I called a timeout before the play. So, I was upset that the play got ran, but I wasn’t close enough to the ref, so he heard me yell it, but he couldn’t confirm that it was me and so I get his position, I have to talk to him about it, but I was just upset with it because I tried to stop the play. I thought I did enough to do it and then obviously what happened on the play made me a lot more sensitive about it, but I was too far away from him and he couldn’t confirm that it was me and it was a last second thing, so I’m not holding the grudge to it or anything, but it was just unfortunate.”
Were you aware that Greenlaw presented Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady with a Sharpie and asked him to autograph the ball he intercepted?
“I saw it when I got home. I saw it on the highlights and I thought it was pretty funny. It was real cool of Tom to do that for him. I think a lot of guys could mean that in not the coolest way, but I know Dre too well and he was a giddy fan at that time. He watched Tom all week and really got to see why Tom is as good as everyone says he is and that was the ultimate respect and I know he was really excited to get that ball from him.”