Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – May 21, 2024

San Francisco 49ers

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How long after seeing the schedule release did you learn about your rest differential disadvantage for this coming season?

“You mean with the bye weeks? Before I came in here. I promise I didn’t really think about it. And he gave me some questions before, he said we have four of them coming off a bye. I was like, ‘isn’t that what we had last year?’ So maybe we had less, I don’t know what we had last year, but I feel like we had a lot last year too. So I try not to think much of it.”


Not a big deal in your mind?

“I know what our preference would be. But you never know whether that affects you or not until you get there. And there’s lots of things that go into the year, lots of things that can hurt you on the schedule. I’d rather it be a different way, but there’s a lot of things that could be worse too.”


We’re not always used to seeing DL Nick Bosa here at this time of year. Any particular reason that he’s here? And how happy are you to have him around?

“I love Nick being around, love him getting a chance to do football with the guys and stuff. I think Nick’s first year here after the Super Bowl, his first offseason, we had Covid. The next year after the offseason, he had a torn ACL and the year after that he was in contract stuff. I believe that’s right. And then this is the first year that it has kind of just been a totally normal year. And I think the one year that it was like that he came to a few OTAs, didn’t come to all of them, but if he didn’t just come to minicamp. So I’m glad he is here the first week and hopefully it’ll continue.”


RB Christian Mccaffrey is not here. Is there any particular reason? Any injury or just not here?

“No, just like everyone else. It is voluntary. I’m not too concerned about Christian. But no, he hasn’t been here.”


You added a number of corners through free agency and in the Draft. Who has been the early standout?

“It’s just two days of practice, so I’m not going to crown anyone yet. But I’ve been impressed with everyone, really. Everyone in these first two phases, one and two. Just the attention to detail, the technique, reviewing cut ups from last year and then trying to carry it over into these two practices. We did a lot more three-deep yesterday, mixed in more two shells today. Watching the guys who are new pick it up and get right in with the standard of how we do things, and also the guys who have been here taking a step forward and what they try to work on the offseason.”


Do you have a first impression on the defensive line with DL Leonard Floyd joining it? And then DL Malik Collins and DL Drake Jackson, status on those guys?

“Drake isn’t healthy so he can’t go. Malik is waiting until his kids graduate to be here, which I believe is next week. But it was cool watching them all run out there together. We’re doing some half speed stuff with the defensive line and everything, and offensive line. So we’ve only had one period a day where we’re going really as a team. But it was cool watching them go out there as a group and really just to begin the process of them all kind of being together.”


Leonard Floyd, he’s got a lot of length as a pass rusher and experience. What do you see out of him?

“Just really that he would fit into whatever you asked him to do. We’ve gone against him so much in different schemes on different teams and whatever the team has asked him to do, wherever he is been, he’s kind of always the same player to us. And he gets here and he is going to do a couple new things and stuff, but he’s got so much experience standing up, putting his hand down. He has done a little bit of everything. And the techniques we’ve asked him to do in Phase 1 and Phase 2, he has really shown those in Phase 3.”


Sorensen told us that he hadn’t talked to you that much before he got this new promotion. Did you know him very well? Did you have to get to know him before you elevated him? What did you know about him even through the years, even when he was on staff?

“I mean I think I got to know him real well in these two years together, before this year. Before that, it was more from people I know real well who had worked with him. Guys that had worked with him in Seattle, guys in Jacksonville, guys that  knew him as a player and stuff. So guys who could explain to me the type of guy he was, things like that, know the type of guys that we like. Then his first year here, he was a candidate. I mean I talked to him a lot about possibly being a coordinator, he’d just been here one year and everything and I didn’t think that he was quite ready for that. Then I could quickly see in year two, just dealing with him more and watching him take the second year in our defense, just how ready he was. It’s been better than even expected so far.”


Bringing in Brandon Staley, do you kind of arrange how that relationship is going to work? Or are Nick and Brandon kind of figuring it out?

“I’d have to arrange it if there’s a problem, but there’s not. Nick knows who the defensive coordinator is, and Brandon does. I have to talk to both of them. I think Brandon is in a real good spot, just leaving from being a head coach and how he can help us in a number of roles. I think Nick feels very excited to have a guy on the staff who has called plays, who has done it at a number of different places and things. I think he’s helped him a lot in those ways. But no, there’s no really gray area of it. Brandon is helping him on a lot of things just like all the other coaches do on the defensive staff. With Brandon’s expertise just in other areas than just defense, with his expertise as a head coach and things, I thought he was a real benefit in the draft and helps me in a number of areas also.”


Is there a benefit for WR Ricky Pearsall with WR Brandon Aiyuk and WR Jauan Jennings not being here, that he is just closer to the front of the line and maybe more reps with QB Brock Purdy?

“Yeah, I always think the more reps you get, the more experience you get, the more different situations you can be put in. I mean, if you’re talented enough and made of the right stuff, you only get better. But sometimes it’s hard to generate those things, especially in a practice when it’s not full speed all the time and things like that. So the more reps you can get of it, always helps the right type of player.”


What’s the status with Jauan? I know he hasn’t signed his restricted contract.

“Similar to what I said about all the guys who aren’t here, it’s voluntary so there is no status yet.”


With Brock, obviously this year he’s been healthy all season. Have you seen any differences in him either physically, mentally or both?

“He is definitely ahead of where he was last year this time, but I mean it was just real cool being able to go through a whole year of cutups just like we did last year and just starting in Phase 1. The command he had of going out there with the drills and everything and really trying to apply the stuff we had just been watching in the meeting rooms, that really happened all off our 2023 tape. Last year he had to do it and then it would just be frustrating for him because he couldn’t really go work on it. He had to just visualize and think about it and had to wait for that opportunity in training camp. This year right away it’s been awesome for him to lead us through the whole offseason, just drill wise and everything. It’s he’s been great to have for a first full offseason.”


Kyle, what’s the general feeling around the facility? Is it kind of like first week of school in terms of energy and excitement level?

“Not really because most of our guys were here. There’s a few new guys like [WR] Deebo Samuel and Nick and [DL Javon] Hargrave, [FB Kyle Juszczyk] Juice, that we just saw in these last couple days. But most of these guys have been here for a while and it almost feels like we just finished playing too. So you take that into account. I mean some guys feel like they just finished playing. It’s always different with the rookies and free agents who have come in, where some guys didn’t go to the playoffs last year, so they’ve been done since early January. So it’s a little bit different for most guys. But that’s why it’s kind of nice to ease into this. We’ve had two good practices, but I’m not goinh say they were too tough and we’ll just turn it up a little bit each week.”


Deebo Samuel has a new number, a new slimming number. How does he look with it?

“You think it’s slimming?”


How did you think he looked?

“I think it was good. I think one can be a risky number if you’re not slimming. But I think he came back and he looks really good in number one. So I’m excited for that and hope to keep it that way. But I thought it was risky and he said it was going to look good and I think he’s right so far.”


What do you see in RB Isaac Guerendo? You drafted a different player. Is he a receiver? Is he a blocker? Halfback? Fullback? Tight end?

“He is a running back which starts out that way, but a running back. You’re not going to be a running back in the league if you can’t run with the football. And then it’s hard to stay in the league if that’s all you can do. So you need to be able to do a little bit of everything. He doesn’t have a ton of experience doing it all, but he’s got the makeup, he’s wired to do it all and it’s been fun working with him just for a couple weeks here. Once the rookies got here, he’s fit in here in these two practices and he’ll get better at developing and all the things that aren’t running the ball. Hopefully he’ll get as much as we can give him in these seven-on-seven practices but get used to our style and how we do it.”


With QB Joshua Dobbs, not suggesting the way he played here against you guys, you were like ‘oh let’s sign him’ but that was an example he had really hadn’t played up until much until last year. Were you surprised at all by some of the games and performances he had just given his such a journey before?

“Not necessarily because of the journey that he’s had, but I was just surprised when the guy gets traded when the preseason is over and I forget what week we saw him, Week Four and just see a guy have that much command of the offense that fast to miss an offseason and stuff, an offense you didn’t play on is real tough. Going against him and studying him going into those games and after because he was on Minnesota too, it was cool how he gave his team a chance to win and being new to it and just being able to have totally command of whatever scheme he was doing. When we got to see him in a number of different ones last year and you could see that when given the opportunity, he figured it out, gave his team a chance to win. From a backup guy, that’s the first thing that you want is just a chance for a guy to come in and give your team a chance to win. I also think he’s got the ability to do a little bit more than that.”


I know these practices are optional, but how are you feeling about Brandon Aiyuk’s situation?

“Same as I do about all these guys that aren’t here. I wish they were here but it’s something that’s part of the business and anytime it’s part of the business part you try to respect it. Stay out of it as much as possible. Look forward to the days when we can just focus on football.”


Do you have a sense of how Dobbs is picking up this system?

“Yeah, he memorizes everything very fast. He’s extremely smart. He’s got all that down. Now, it’s about just reps and doing it. You can learn it on paper and stuff fairly fast, especially a guy like him. But now it’s about the reps and doing that and getting the timing and rhythm of it.”


You invested in a lot of pretty talented special teams players over the summer. What’s your level of interest in the new kickoff rules and how big of an impact do you think that will have?

“I got a lot of interest because it’s all new to all of us and the more you look into it, the more we practice it and stuff and try to simulate the techniques and everything, you realize how different it is. Not just from a technique standpoint but the space and time and how you stagger the guys and all the different strategies of it. There’s going to be a lot of scheme that pops up throughout the year that it’ll be an experiment because the scheme is about adjusting to what you see and trying to come up with new things. It’s all going to be new for everybody. Do you coach the kicks like you used to with hang time? Do you want to squib them? There’s so many things that we can all talk about and discuss but you’re not going to really know until you try it and stack it up versus teams. And I promise three preseason games won’t be enough. So it’ll be exciting for everybody. But it’s something I think everyone’s going to be equally interested in and we’ll see how it goes.”


With some guys not being here being business related is Christian McCaffrey in that group?

“I’m not sure if that is the case on any of those guys. I’m not throwing them all in who’s here for that reason, who’s not. But it is all voluntary, so we’ll see when it becomes mandatory.”


Is OL Jake Brendel dealing with something?

“Yeah. I know you will question me, but he has some knee tendonitis, so we don’t expect to see him in OTAs. He could tough through it but we’re going to be smart with him on it.”


Brandon Staley took your role in the throwing the ball in the defensive skeleton. You took it back. How did that happen? I know you love doing that. What was it like to see him doing it?

“He wanted to show me that he could do it better and we had a big debate on it. No, I’m just joking. I can’t do it all the time. My arm hurt that day also, I think. Sometimes I don’t like the plays that they’re giving the defense. Then they showed me my stats one day and they were terrible. And so it’s getting kind of weird. Do we want it to be competitive or do we want to actually just do it to help the players? And we should do it to help the players. So we’re going back and forth on that. Yeah, he’ll do it sometimes, not all the time though.”


Is there somebody actually you tracking your stats on those? 

They did that last week and they surprised me with them [laughs]. I thought they should’ve been a lot better. I can’t tell you that [laughs], but I’ve been working with my kids on the weekend so we’ll see if it gets better.”