Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – January 12, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening Comments:

“Injuries for the game. [QB] Jimmy Garoppolo, out. [CB] Ambry Thomas, out. That’s all we got. Go ahead.”

Are you feeling pretty good about the state of the team going into this with that injury report?

“Definitely. Yeah, we know who’s playing and we’ve got a number of guys back that we haven’t had, so I’m excited about it.”

How did LB Dre Greenlaw and OL Aaron Banks get through the week and will there be any limitations on either of those guys?

“Nope. Full go. We had good practice yesterday. The other two have been walkthroughs, but they looked good yesterday.”

When you look at the forecast for Saturday, heavy rain, high winds, do you have like a contingency plan, a plan B game plan? If it’s really bad, we go to this? How do you handle that?

“You have everything in the gameplan for it to go anyway, not just because of weather, but whether you’re struggling in any aspect too, so you always got that planned and you we know it’s a big possibility. We’ll see how it affects both sides and we’ll adjust accordingly.”

I know that you guys are obviously significant favorites, there is a school of thought that bad weather can be an equalizer, do you get that? Do you think there’s any credence to that?

“Yeah, I always think bad weather slows the game down and equalizes stuff, but when it’s one game, three and a half hours in the playoffs. I look at all games as equal. I know we’re favored, I know what people say, but this is the NFL and this is the playoffs and last time we played them, it came down to last possession, I expect it to be the same.”

You always worry about the quarterback in a wet situation, obviously you had a very rainy practice yesterday. How does Purdy look like he operates in the rain?

“He did a good job. I did group install with the defense before and he definitely did a lot better than me. I couldn’t function at all, so it was definitely cool to watch him after, which it should be that way, but no I think he’s got some familiarity with it just being where he played college football and he had a good practice yesterday.”

Does the fact that you’ve have been in games in some pretty severe weather this season kind of help a little bit because everybody kind of knows what to expect?

“Yeah, I think it’s good for guys to know what to expect because some guys who aren’t in it and they get surprised by it. If you’re not ready for something mentally no one likes sitting in rain or like sitting up at Air Force when it was like 10 degrees. If you’re not mentally prepared for that, it’ll really mess you up, so going through it and seeing how it can mess you up guys will be prepared for it and they’ll make sure it doesn’t affect them going into it.”

As far as defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and his head coaching prospects have you noticed him either, asking you questions about being a head coach or asking your opinions on things that are suggesting that he’s thinking about that as a as a possibility?

“Yes, but not more than usual. Lots of coaches are like that and especially someone like DeMeco, but we talk every day about football, usually about lots of stuff, but we’re always asking each other stuff and going back and forth with things and not just him to me, but me to him too, so DeMeco’s the same as he’s always been.”

This is a broad question and obviously you’ve had a lot of experience watching your dad, but was there anything that surprised you or was difficult about going from coordinator to head coach?

“There is stuff that you always get told, so you think you know, but then you actually feel it and it is different. It’s lonelier. I don’t mean it like that way, I’m not soft like that, but you’re more of a loner. Usually when you’re a position coach, it’s much easier to be tight with your players that you see every day in your little room. When you’re a coordinator, it gets harder, but you’re always with the offense and you’re around coaches a lot more, but once you get the head coach and someone’s being real cool to you, then everyone’s telling you they’re kissing up and so you end up just sitting there a lot and no one wants to sit by you. Things like that kind of get a little bit different, but everyone tells you that you won’t have as much time as a head coach to do your same routine. You don’t believe it you’re like, no, it’ll be alright and you get into it and you realize everyone’s right. There is other stuff that comes up that you didn’t think about. Just a lot more people that you have to talk to and that does take time so you have to rearrange how you do things and how you delegate, but that’s all part of the process and the main thing is before you get that job, you really understand football, X’s and O’s, you understand players and you understand the importance of how everyone works together.”

You were in the middle of that long Falcons’ run before you got this job. Was it pretty easy for you at that time to kind of wall off the job versus hearing about other teams or interviewing with other teams?

“It was really easy for me. You never know until you get to it. We were very fortunate because we got a BYE Week, so just to have a whole week off where you practice for a couple days., but the whole building gets about three days off just to get away for a little bit, so I was able to schedule the interviews I had for the two days that we were off, so I could totally just focus on interviews for two days and the only thing that I was frustrated with is that I really wanted to just relax and sleep and catch up during that time of the year, but it was a huge moment to go do those interviews and once those two days were over, that was a Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning we were start starting our preparation for Seattle that week. We played them in the divisional round and it was over and then everything else was phone calls, which would happen here and there, not very much and towards the end, you have an idea of a staff if you know you’re taking a job, but when it gets to the end, it’s different because the end is a Super Bowl and it’s really easy to only think about that and not what’s after that, so we’ll see.”

How do you feel about RB Christian McCaffrey winning the NFC Offensive Player of the Month and Brock Purdy the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month?

“I thought it was really cool for both of them. I think definitely well-deserved. It’s blown my mind all year that Christian wasn’t a first selection Pro Bowler, so at least he got recognized for Player of the Month, but he’s been unbelievable for us and I think he’s been a lot more than just player of the month.”

It seems like those two are very similar in how serious they take their job and their preparation, they’re kind of two peas in a pod?

“Yeah, they are similar in that way. We have a lot of guys who fall into that category, but yes, they’re both obsessed with the details of everything. If they’re not with us doing it, they’re doing something else, but they’re guys who think about football all the time and it’s not what have I done? It’s what can I do going forward and how can I do better?”

TE George Kittle said yesterday that Christian may have had a bit of a chip on his shoulder from not making the Pro Bowl and he thinks it’s made him play even better, have you seen that from him?

“I think he’s gotten better and better each week for us. I thought his best week was last week and not just by stats and results or anything, but just watching some of the things he’s done, things he’s improved at and he came here doing pretty good also, so he’s done that throughout. I think that was going to be regardless, but I’m sure that helps with some motivation for him too.”

Brock took time out when Christian first got here to help him with the playbook, did you see that happening? It sounded like Brock just did it on his own.

“Yeah, I didn’t see it. That’s the stuff they do away from us and that doesn’t surprise me at all though.”

How do you think helped it Christian to come through a culture like you guys already have established, to be traded into this. Do you think it was a style of motivation for player accountability or just kind of changing environments and being as successful as he’s been?

“Watching him on tape, I know his family, but I never really knew Christian. I saw him when he was a young kid, so I knew his mom and dad and so you think you have an idea, but you don’t totally know. And we watched him on tape a lot and I remember watching him on tape versus the Rams the week before he played us and I’m like, this guy’s style fits right in with us. I remember when we played the Rams a couple weeks after we got him, I remember showing the team some highlights from that game and I showed them Christian, and I’m like see how he fits in and the whole team could see it and once he got here, just his work ethic, his personality, how important football is to him, his style of play, the players had a lot of respect for him before he got here because of what he’s done, but the way he’s handled himself just as a person and what he does in practice every day and what he’s done on the field on Sunday, he’s fit in great with everybody.”

There was a third-and-six play there in the red zone and he ran like a short double move route. He looked like a wide receiver, does that the fact that teams have to like probably put a cornerback when he splits out, where sometimes they probably get away with a safety, is that an advantage he brings?

“Yeah, it’s huge. That’s what the advantage is for [WR] Deebo [Samuel] when he is in the backfield too, because it’s hard to put corners in there and play man coverage, so it’s usually linebackers and safeties that go against running backs and tight ends and it’s hard to get enough corners on the field to guard three receivers and a tight end and a running back and then still defend the run. That was planned for a linebacker, which he got the first time we played them, they moved to safety out on him that time, which makes it a little bit harder, but he ran a hell of a route and then stepped back to the ball like a wideout would and it was a huge third down for us.”