Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – January 16, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening Comments:

“Alright guys, injuries from the game. [WR] Jauan Jennings had his ankle, he’ll be day-to-day. Same with [DL] Samson [Ebukam], ankle, day-to-day and that was it.”

Any challenges as you approach this week, not knowing who you play until tonight?

“Not really. We got the extra day. Last week was a short week with the six days and I gave the guys off yesterday, not knowing whether we were playing Minnesota or the winner of this game. And since Minnesota lost, now we know we have a normal seven days, so we’re just spending this Monday catching up with the film as coaches. Coaches are going to catch up with it individually with their players, and tomorrow will be a Tuesday and we’ll just get going on Wednesday.”

Do you watch the game tonight? Just the TV copy? What kind of perspective does that give you or do you just wait until the coach’s film comes in?

“No, we’ll get ahead today. We’ll be watching a lot of film on both Dallas and Tampa and by the time it gets to them, we probably have watched enough on both teams to where now we’re just waiting for the end of that game, so I’ll probably just sit back and relax tonight when that starts and just watch the TV copy like a normal person and after it probably get to work a little bit before we start on Tuesday.”

Obviously, the way QB Brock Purdy played in the regular season. It was a really high bar, so keeping that in mind, his first half against the Seahawks may have been his worst. And I know there’s never any one thing that you could point to, but was there a theme or some things that were going on with some of his misses in the first two quarters?

“Yeah, there were a couple of open guys that he just missed and so I know when that happens, it sticks out as not playing well because there were plays that he shouldn’t have made, but all the other plays, he did play well, so when you just have a couple misses you really don’t want to panic. Brock’s an accurate thrower, he has been doing that all year and playing well. He missed a few and I don’t think there was really much of an explanation for it. We had to settle down a little bit and give him a few more opportunities and he got those in the second half and was pretty lethal with them.”

It was reported that defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has four meetings with teams this week. I know you’ve been through a similar process in the past, but how much is going to be on its plate and how do you kind of advise your staff members to allot their time in such a busy week with job opportunities as well?

“I think my advice is you just have to set that aside to specific times that you are going to deal with it. It was very easy for me because at that time when we had the two seed, we had a BYE Week, so I was able to set aside time. We got three days off and I was able to set aside two days only for those interviews, so I knocked them all out then and there wasn’t anything after that. I completely shut it off and went right back to the playoffs. And the difference for DeMeco is it’ll be similar to what [Miami Dolphins head coach Mike] McDaniel had to go through last year. We don’t have that BYE Week, but I think he has a couple times set aside for Thursday and Friday, which he’ll do two interviews, I believe those two days, with Denver and Houston and then I think I’ll plan on the other ones after. On Friday afternoons we typically get some time off, so that shouldn’t cut into anything and usually on Thursdays, we finish a little bit earlier than we do on the other nights in the week, so he has a chance to do that Thursday night. When you just set the time aside for that, it’s a lot for DeMeco to kind of prepare for it, but I think he is prepared for it and when you’re done with those, you go right back to the most important thing at hand then and that’s us finding a way to win this Sunday.”

To your knowledge, is it all five teams that have openings right now this week?

“I think four have, I think four have put in requests. I think he’s got two interviews set up and I’m sure he’ll get those other two set up at some other time in the near future.”

Brock mentioned after the game that at halftime you said, the opportunities are there, you just have to hit them. Was that the most pointed you’ve been with him, whether it’s during the game or at halftime?

“I think I’m pretty consistent with him. Brock has an idea, when Brock sees the tape, he is always so honest with himself and I think we see it very similar and I think he trusts that we see stuff when he isn’t seeing it. And I think he also knew that. I think when you go in in the first half and you’re averaging eight and a half yards of play and you’ve scored on all your three possessions, you just came up short in the red zone on two. I don’t think there is much of a panic. I think everyone’s like, holy cow, we’re getting after these guys we just have to start scoring touchdowns because we’ve missed two opportunities. We’ve only had the ball three times. Let’s figure out how to finish these and so I don’t think it was that big of a deal at halftime. The first half almost went as good as it could, but if we don’t finish some of these big plays and we just keep getting field goals then when you’re going to have to be dependent on them not scoring the rest of the game to try to win. And we don’t want to have to be dependent on that, so I think coming out in the first drive of the third quarter, throwing things down a little bit and just going on a good drive that ended with seven, I think that was a huge deal for us and then it kind of took off from there.”

How did CB Charvarius Ward respond after that first half and how is that going to fuel him this week?

“I think it’ll fuel him a lot. He played as good as he could verse [Seattle Seahawks WR] DK [Metcalf] in that first game and it’s hard to do that again. DK is as good of a receiver as there is in this league. He is a problem to stop and I like that Mooney didn’t stop, he didn’t shy away from him once he got beat on that deep ball. He was playing the back shoulder pretty well and DK did a hell of a job slowing down and looking back and he got him. Mooney thought it was going to be a back shoulder and he took his eyes off it to stop that and then DK slipped down the sidelines on the go-route, but that’s going to happen with a good player like that. You hope it doesn’t happen too often and Mooney’s done a hell of a job with that all year and I know he will come back and continue to do that this week.”

You’ve been using WR Jauan Jennings more as a deep threat these past couple of weeks, is that more of a tendency breaker as far as him being a receiver down the field, like what gives you confidence that he can make those plays? What makes him a good deep receiver?

“He got those deep opportunities because of what he does in the run game. The way Jauan goes after people, blocking, is the reason people react to try to not get hit by him and go up and stop runs. You saw what he did to them in the last game on those looks, that’s why he got the pass plays off of it. He was really open because he blocked so well and that’s what he did a good a job of. I thought that ball wouldn’t be quite as far down the field, where it got close to [Seattle Seahawks S Quandre] Diggs, but that’s where Brock put it and it ended up being a perfect spot because Jauan went and got it and Jauan will do anything you ask him to do and he’s a really good player.”

Knowing how hard Brock is on himself, when you go back and watch and you see the emotion that he had after that touchdown to RB Elijah Mitchell and some of the high-stepping, is it fun to just watch him also have fun out there?

“Yes, Brock knows the situation that he is in. He knows how big of a deal it is, but he also isn’t going to make it more than that. Brock loves playing football, he looks that way every time he is out on the field, whether it was watching him in college or in practice, he’s got a competitiveness to him, you can see it in his body language because he is extremely competitive and also has a true love for the game and that comes out when you’re successful out there. And some guys show it a little bit more than others, but I think our guys feed off of it too.”

What’s the process deciding when to squib kick? Are you involved and what did you think of the one on Saturday?

“Yes, I am involved. I didn’t like it. The process is when you squib kick it, it is to run out more time on the clock because when you get a touchback no time gets taken off, but there’s always a risk that they’re going to stop it better than you anticipated. And they did that, so it ended up being a real bad decision I thought. I’d much rather have kicked it off and just got a touchback and let them play with 13 seconds a little farther back, because when we did that, I think they end up getting at the 35 and they just need one mistake by us or one big play by them and they’re in field goal range and we made the mistake by getting that personal foul.”

Brock seems to just be completely levelheaded and mellow about everything. Does he ever admit that he is nervous or has jitters at all?

“Yeah, I think so. I think when people admit that it’s, it sometimes can come out the wrong way. Having nerves and jitters isn’t about being nervous or not confident or scared. It’s man, we are amped up for this stuff just like the fans, just like everybody is. It is a big deal. It is a violent game and you go out there and we’re all revved up and on one and sometimes when it’s like that you might miss a throw, you might make a bad play call. Some guys jump offsides. All that stuff happens, so that’s just part of the game and learning how to play stuff at a high level with such intensity, but still not make mistakes. And I do think that’s all part of the game, but yeah, Brock will say, yeah, I’m revved up right now and it’s not about being nervous or anxious, it’s just what the situation is. And that’s why it’s hard for a lot of people. That’s why a lot of people can be 80% on free throws, but then when they get into a real NBA game they can’t hit anything. That’s why some kickers are awesome in practice and then you get into those games and it’s just different. So that happens with everybody and the quarterback who has to take all these hits and sit in the pocket, keep his eyes down the field, man, you better be revved up and in a mindset for a physical battle, but also relaxed enough so that you don’t overdo anything. That’s the challenge of the position.”

As the season went on and DT Javon Kinlaw was doing his best to rehab and get back, are you pleasantly surprised to be getting out of him what you’re getting right now?

“Yeah, I am. Everyone knows the expectations that were on Kinlaw with how great of a player he was coming out of college, how good he was for us and then the huge setback he had with his injuries. And I really didn’t believe he was going to be able to come back at all this year just with what he’s gone through and so to be able to get him back and add some depth to our D-line and honestly watching him and watch him get better at it each week, I think he’s really helped us in the run game. He’s definitely having an effect in the pass game and we needed that depth coming back, especially with some of the guys we lost with [DL Hassan] Ridgeway and things like that.”

After the game, DL Nick Bosa talked about how improved DL Charles Omenihu is. What have you seen from him, especially through the last couple of games?

“Just his consistency in doing his job each and every play. Charles has such good length and even when he is blocked, he has a way of affecting the quarterback because of the length that he has, but what he has done, not only in just getting to the quarterback that you guys see with the stats and everything, but it’s also important when you don’t get to him to not let him out of that pocket and just rush up the field. And I think he’s done a real good job of that here in these last couple games of still being able to affect the quarterback and not just always trying to rush past the quarterback because he’s condensed that pocket. He’s affected him and he had a huge game for us on Saturday and I know he can keep getting better too, so I’m pumped to have him here on our team and I’m excited to see how this finishes up for him the rest of the year.”

I have another Brock Purdy emotion question. There was a deep pass he threw to WR Brandon Aiyuk in the second quarter. It looked there was maybe some miscommunication. WR Deebo Samuel was also open on that and he was like screaming I guess in anger and frustration afterwards. What did happen on that play? Guys have talked about how he will get after people, did that reveal itself like after he became the starter or was he doing this, kind of getting after guys even when he was a backup?

“He addresses guys when something goes wrong and he’s done that since the first time he’s gotten in there. He hasn’t always been in there with the ones, but whenever a receiver does something and they’re on a different page. He addresses things and gets it corrected, so that’s what happened there and he addressed B.A. accordingly on the play.”