Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – January 6, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening Comments:

“Alright, injuries for today. [QB Jimmy] Garoppolo, out. [DL] Kevin Givens, out. [OL] Aaron Banks, out. [LB] Dre Greenlaw, out. [CB] Ambry Thomas, out. [DL] Arik Armstead, questionable. [DT Javon] Kinlaw, questionable. And that’s it.”

Will you promote RB Elijah Mitchell?


Today or tomorrow?

“I’m not sure. I think it has to be tomorrow, because I think it’s by 1:00pm today.”

In terms of personnel, with [RB Christian] McCaffrey and [WR] Deebo [Samuel] and Elijah, is that going to be fluid between now kickoff, halftime, during the game?

“I mean, they’ll be up. They’ll be playing.”

If this were a playoff game could Greenlaw have played?

“Possibly, we would’ve had to push it a little harder earlier in the week, so I think possibly.”

Javon is questionable because of the illness or the knee?

“Illness. Yeah, he and Armstead both, so they should be alright, but they were sick.”

We saw DT Kalia Davis out there as the scout teamer of the week, that suggests that he’s looking pretty good out there. What are the chances that he could be activated from NFI?

“I think that we’d have to have some injuries, it wasn’t something we were thinking about. We just wanted to get his practice window back and he’s definitely looked good enough and good enough to go to where if there were some injuries, it was definitely an option for us, but it’s been good to see him these few weeks. He’s gotten better each week and this week he had the role of playing [Arizona Cardinals DL] J.J. [Watt], so he had to do a bunch of stuff like J.J. and he did a hell of a job doing it.”

When you made the McCaffrey trade, is this about as good as you could have envisioned it being?

“Yeah, that’s what we were hoping for and we knew we had an opportunity to get such a good player and you always have to weigh the risk of it because of what you have to give up to do it, but we felt good about it and our biggest thing was that we knew it wasn’t just a one-year rental and we knew he was going to be a part of our team past this year. That’s what we were excited about. We weren’t just doing it to help us get to where we’re at right now, but the fact that it’s been a big part of that and that we have him for years to come, it’s been really cool.”

He’s assisted so many big plays by just being present with the defense reacting to him. Did you envision him having that type of influence on the offense or upon opposing defenses?

“Yeah, we did. I think it’s similar to what Deebo does too. It’s similar to what [TE George] Kittle does and we saw him in that way also, so it was something we were excited to kind of get all them out there doing the same stuff.”

Any desire to get QB Josh Johnson into a game just to get him some game reps in case he has to play in the playoffs?

“I think that’s a good bonus. I wouldn’t say a desire. I feel fine with Josh. He’s been this league for a long time. He’s been in that role to where he hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time and he’s had to come in and do that at a spur of the moment, so I’m okay with Josh in that situation, but it always does help.”

Have you ever after the game stumbled into the locker room across DL Nick Bosa and T Trent Williams meeting at Trent’s locker breaking down the game?

“No, I haven’t. They do it right after?”

You’ve seen both of these guys together now for three plus years, maybe the best player on both sides of the line scrimmage in the league. For a team that prides itself and centers itself on both lines of scrimmage, how much of a benefit has it been to have both of those guys kind of as a brain trust for the team?

“It’s huge. One, they’re two of the most talented guys, two of the best players, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that they do that. They’re both very similar in how they carry themselves, how they look at the game. They’re both extremely smart. They see the game very well. They really study their opponent and themselves very well. Trent is a technician and he knows every rusher in this league and he knows the tackles and how people do it. If I want to ask more about rushers around this league and we haven’t played against him, I usually ask Nick, because he watches a lot of rushers too for moves. He watches tackles how they place their hands and everything, so you have these two guys who look at it so closely to how it pertains to them. And for those two who go back and forth to me, they’re both top of their profession and they both go against each other all the time, so it doesn’t surprise me at all. They’re great guys, great players and extremely smart and that’s what makes them two of the best guys in our league.”

How has QB Trey Lance handled this season and particularly in light of how he was dealing with the irritation, recently and then having to having surgery?

“Trey’s been great. I haven’t had to go through it, but I’ve seen players do it and I can’t tell you how hard it is for guys when they get hurt at the beginning of the year because of their expectations going in, how big of a part of the team they are, especially when it’s the quarterback and then just like that their season’s over and Trey’s had to do the rehab hard. Once he started getting to travel with us and be a part of everything, I think it got a little bit easier, but it’s always still a challenge for a guy. They want to be out there so bad. Trey’s handled it great. As good as any injured player I’ve ever been around, he stays positive, he comes off the right way, but I know it’s a challenge for him. Having to get the new surgery, that hasn’t been a surprise for us. We’ve known that for a little bit and we also knew there was a high chance of that happening anyways. When he went into it, he broke a bone and the first thing was they had to fix that break and once they fixed the break, there was always worry that when you fix the break, will that rub the wrong way or something like that and they fixed the break great and then they knew they had to go in and fix that, which he’s known for a while and they went and cleaned it up and I think that even made him feel better, so he could move on from that. And he’s feeling great now with his rehab and I know he can’t wait to get to this offseason.”

I know you have a medical degree, so I’ll ask you.

“Only from answering your questions.”

Why did they wait until now to do the second surgery?

“Because you have to wait a while to see how the bone heals and then the break healed and it healed really well. I know everyone says all surgeries are successful and then why do you have to go back in. And this was an understanding on that. I’m not a medical guy so I think there’s something we had to tie together to make sure the bone healed back together, but every time you do that, there’s a high chance that it can rub on some tendons and just cause the irritation. They warned us about that before it happened and Trey told us about it right away and that was a good thing when they had to go back in there, you could see that the bone 100% healed and they just had to fix that band so it didn’t irritate it anymore. And now he’s right back to where he was.”

Is there any sort of status update on Garoppolo and an NFC Championship Game, Super Bowl type timeline, would he be ready?

“You just answered your own question, that’s still the goal.”

He’s not able to put weight on that foot yet, is he?

“I think he can put a little weight on it, but he’s not out there running and stuff like that, so it’s a little bit away.”