Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – January 2, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening Comments:

“Alright guys, [LB] Dre Greenlaw, still with his back, I haven’t gotten all the information yet, so we’ll determine his status later in the week. [OL] Aaron Banks ankle, knee sprain, he’ll likely be out this week, we’ll see how he is next week. And [RB] Christian McCaffrey had a mild ankle sprain, he’ll be day-to-day. [WR] Deebo [Samuel] we expect to continue practicing this week and same with [RB] Elijah Mitchell, go ahead guys.”

Do you kind of get the sense with Aaron and with Dre that you dodged a bullet, that they’ll be available sooner than later?

“I guess in a sense, yes. We’re definitely going to miss Aaron for at least one game and hopefully not Dre. I guess it’s a holiday, we don’t have all the machines available until tomorrow, so we’ll find that out then, but yeah, as bad as both of them looked, we didn’t know if it could be the whole season or not, so I do feel like we got some good news so far on it.”

Ideally if they’re good to go, would you like to get Elijah and Deebo in the game this week?

“I know they definitely could help us win, that’s for sure, but if they’re 100% and completely healthy and going and they look great in practice, I’d like to talk to both of them about it too, see where they are and how confident they are. I’ll definitely talk to the doctors, but usually once they let them come out to practice, it’s pretty good and we just have to see how they’re moving and how they feel through it all. I know it’s supposed to rain a bunch this week, so we’ll see how much full speed stuff we can get in, but yeah, I’d love to get those guys out there. I just want to make sure that’s going to only help us and them and not hurt us.”

After reviewing the game, what was your assessment of the defense and some of the breakdowns that occurred?

“I think we had it in a number of places, so everybody had their fair share, whether it was secondary, linebackers or the defensive line. On that first drive, we just got beat on a play action in a cover-two look that resulted in an easy explosive there on that third-and-one. I thought there was a number of times that we lost our rush lanes that I believe gave him two scrambling first downs on third down. One before that, got right down inside-the-five on a big one on a third-and-long, which hurt us bad. We didn’t make a couple of the plays down the field that they threw up, one of those I chalk up to one of the best catches I’ve seen. Wish we had more camera angles of it, but I don’t want to take it away from him, because it looked like a hell of a catch. And they have a good running back and we let him get to the edge a couple times and we have to set that edge a little bit better and when we do get the edge, our corners have to replace a little bit better, so there’s not so much space between them and the runner because when you give that much space versus a guy talented like that, he’s going to make you look silly most of the time. A number of things just here and there that kind of added up and they made us pay for them.”

How exceptional was WR Brandon Aiyuk’s game considering all the first downs he had and the big plays he made at the end?

“I thought Aiyuk really rebounded well. I thought he was struggling a lot in that game, but he ended up making some big plays at the end that really helped us win, so I thought it was a hell of a job by him just overcoming how some things started and he ended up finishing real strong.”

What was he struggling with early in the game?

“Just a number of things. Just certain things that happen on every single play, I know wideouts only really get noticed when they get catches, but they are either blocking or running a route on every single other play too. Just whether they get the ball or not isn’t really what you always judge off of. There’re responsibilities on each play, so that’s why you can’t always judge how great of a game it was based off of stats. I know it was great that he got over 100 yards, which I was happy for him. He deserved it. He was one of the reasons why we won there at the end. I’m just saying that he’s had some better games throughout the year.”

And just his development overall this season, how has he been doing?

“I just think Aiyuk’s been one of our leaders this year. He comes to practice every day. He shows up for the game every Sunday, good or bad, you can always count on him to give all that he’s got. He’s going to show up on Monday, take the critique and come out and practice pretty much every Wednesday. He’s found a way to stay healthy throughout this year and I think he’s one of the guys that everyone knows is going to be there week in and week out.”

With Christian’s ankle sprain, do you have any idea where that happened in the game?

“I don’t. I don’t think he really felt it or complained about until after the game and I never saw it on any of the tape.”

Did you learn anything new about QB Brock Purdy’s performance after watching the film?

“Not really, I think it was similar to what I said last night, he did some real good things, made some big plays. It was hell of a drive there at the end right before we went to overtime, just going down there and taking a seven-point lead. He made some huge plays on that drive. There was a couple he missed early in the game, but it didn’t faze him at all, he kept coming and battling back and played good enough for us to win.”

How much, if at all, is the possibility of the one-seed discussed or is it something that is mentioned and then you kind of move forward from as you prepare and gameplan for Arizona?

“I mentioned it after the game when I talked to the team in the locker room and I just told them that Minnesota lost and right now we control our own destiny with the two-seed and because Philly lost we have an opportunity for the one-seed and I say that because if you have neither of those, then I think there’s more of discussion on this week, but with both of those up, that’s why I said it first thing to the guys in the locker room, so they know what the deal is this week.”

And you thought that was important just to get the mindset ready to go to work on Monday?

“Definitely, just kind of laying the groundwork, we just had a big win that obviously it was hard fought, took all the way to overtime to get it done. You always want to know what is ahead of you. I want those guys to enjoy the win, enjoy the ride home on the plane and I also wanted to give them today off, give them their first victory Monday just so they could recover a little bit. We’ve had some victory Mondays, but it’s usually been when we’ve come back from staying away or it’s been because of a short week where we have no choice, but it was nice to talk about a bunch of the mistakes and say how big of a game was coming this week. And even though they’re getting the day off, a lot of the guys have come in and individually met with some of their coaches to do it and we’ll find a way to correct all this stuff before those guys get started with us on Wednesday.”

How did T Mike McGlinchey and the rest of your offensive line perform last night?

“I thought they were really good. I thought Mike might have had his best game of the year. I spoke real highly of [Las Vegas Raiders DL Maxx] Crosby and how good of a player we saw him as and he was lined up on McGlinchey most of the game and for him to keep him off the stat sheet is a hell of an accomplishment.”

How valuable is, and maybe he is valuable anyway, but when you lose someone like Banks and you have a guy like OL Daniel Brunskill who can fit anywhere to plug in, how did he do and what does he mean to your offensive line?

“Dan’s huge, he has played every spot for us. He’s won games for us at every single position, all five of them. For him to go in there in that type of game and Dan’s one of the smarter O-lineman I’ve ever been around. That’s why he can play all these positions even without being at those for a while. He can help make all the calls wherever he is at and just that last screen to Christian calling that verses an all-out blitz and how he was able to get out and get up on that guy who was coming up to guard Christian in man, it was a big-time play and Banks has done a hell of a job for this us this year and I’ve been so impressed with him in his first year playing for us and it really sucked to lose him, but it’s nice when you have a guy there who’s played a lot of football that you know you can count on.”

I’m not sure if I’m reading what you said correctly, but are you somewhat stingy with your victory Mondays?

“Yes and it has nothing to do with being stingy, it’s more that I think that nothing is more important than what happens in games and you have to review that stuff and get it fixed and when you don’t do it on Monday, you end up doing it on Wednesday kind of, and you just pass over it faster and then it ends up as everyone having to stay twice as long on Wednesday and by the time people come in on Wednesday, they just want to get the answers to the new test and what we’re trying to work on, so it kind of gets lost in the shuffle and I think when you do that too much, too many things get missed and that’s why I try not to just do it on victories. I try to do it when I think our team needs it and that’s why it usually comes after a long road trip. I think how long we’ve been going too and just what our guys have done, I thought they needed it this trip, but we’ll make sure to find a way to make it up here Wednesday morning or over the next two days individually.”

Were they particularly fired up to get a legit victory Monday?

“Yeah, these guys, whenever you give them something, they act like it’s the biggest thing in the world. I could take two plays off of practice and you’ll hear the biggest cheers ever and we could run eight more plays and they would have no idea. They love anything where you can change the routine, but our guys have earned it more than anything. I’ve been so impressed with them this last month. I haven’t had to get them going. I haven’t had to ask them to practice harder. I haven’t had to do anything. These guys have been doing it the right way, week in and week out. We can’t have that let up now. We have a huge game this week, I know these guys will come in Wednesday ready to go and we have to finish this season off the right way, this regular season and make sure that we’re playing our best football going into the playoffs.”