Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – January 26, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
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“[QB Jimmy] Garoppolo, won’t practice. [RB] Christian McCaffrey won’t practice, calf. [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] won’t practice, groin. [T] Trent Williams will be full. [WR] Deebo [Samuel], limited, ankle. [DL] Charles [Omenihu], limited, oblique. [CB] Ambry [Thomas], limited, ankle.”
Is this a team that you look at in the Eagles in terms of the way that they were built? You mentioned that you know Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni a little, but not that much. I don’t know how close general manager John Lynch and Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman are, but I think you’ve got the same amount of draft picks that are on your team. You’ve both gone out and made key trades, are they built similar to you in terms of the things that you want to do?
“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t think we’re really similar. I think we look at things a little bit different, but I’d like to say most teams build it that way in the league.”
With Garoppolo, did he have a setback? Did the X-Ray reveal something where he’s not going to be on the field this week?
“No. Yeah, it’s just been an outside chance the whole time and that was still an outside chance.”
Any concern now about McCaffrey and Mitchell not being able to practice today?
“Same concern as I had yesterday.”
You’re not the most kind of rah-rah kind of guy, but you have developed a culture here that’s led to a lot of success. Aside from the talent that you guys have on the roster, kind of what else has been a key for that foundation of success here?
“Getting good players. I think holding everyone accountable. Just focusing on things as simple as putting people together that do as good as they can and know what they’re talking about and always try to just do what’s right. Not worry about outside perception, not try to worry about draft status, not try to worry about anything but just what makes sense from a football decision and I’m in as good of a building as I’ve ever been in that allows everyone to focus on that in all areas.”
With the Omenihu decision, is that an organizational decision? Does ownership get involved?
“Yes. Everything starts with them on decisions like that.”
Was that a difficult decision to arrive at?
“You can ask them that, but yeah, we have to talk about all that stuff hard.”
I know you like to obviously look at the opposing defense and kind of figure out where the areas to attack them are, but is it more difficult with a team like the Eagles that have good players at every level of that defense? What’s the challenge that you face and the coaching staff faces in putting together a gameplan to beat them?
“Anytime you play a team with good players in a good scheme, it is just sound defense and when you play sound defenses, there’s not a lot of holes schematically. You try to put guys in position to beat their players and they got pretty good players too. And on top of it, when you have a real good pass rush with a good backend, with all seven of those guys, it just combines for making everything more difficult and that’s usually what you see this time of year. I think that’s exactly how our defense is. And they’ll come after you, they’ll do what’s needed to keep you off, but anytime you have a team that doesn’t have to do that, because they can cover with good players, have seven guys verse four guys, to keep people to help with protection, then you have seven guys verse three guys. All that stuff becomes a factor and allows teams to be sounder, which makes it a lot harder to get big explosives.”
You say that you didn’t really have time to ease Brock into anything just because of the nature of how he first came into the starting role. Now that you’ve worked with him for a while now, how would you assess his ability to handle the multitude of your offense and everything that you’ve been able to throw at him so far?
“He’s been great. He just tries to soak it in throughout the week. It’s always harder on Wednesdays when you get so much and you’re not going to get it right then and he doesn’t seem to over panic about it. He takes each rep, walk through, the meetings, every clip we show, you can just tell he is locked in and just building up information all the time and that’s what you want players and coaches to do. It’s never a final product on Wednesday, but you work your butt off throughout the week and usually by Saturday night it is pretty clear and that’s what he has shown. He’s been able to handle the pressure throughout the week because sometimes you want to go out there and look great for all your teammates, but you don’t always know that on Wednesday and Thursday and you just keep reviewing the tape, keep going through the looks and you make sure you’re there Saturday night so you can sleep comfortably and wake up extremely confident.”
When you’re watching film of the regular season, how many games do you typically go back and do you watch more games when you for a postseason opponent?
“I do the same every week. Just game orders when you go from play one to the last play, you probably pick like six or seven games, but then whatever they have on the year are into all of our cutups, so we watch everything at some time and how it’s cut up, whether it’s just formation or personnel wise and if we don’t have many games, about halfway through the year we stop using the year before, so we try to get as much tape as we can.”
I think every team member talks about the importance of turnovers that you guys are 15-0 when you either win or tie the turnover battle or 0-4 when you don’t. How have you been able to be so consistent in that regard?
“I think we’re a good team and turnovers is the number one thing that helps any team win, so I think when you’re a good team and we’ve been that way. As good as we have been with getting turnovers and not turning it over, I think you should expect that.”
With Brock have you ever in a game seen him frazzled about anything, anything you’ve ever needed to calm him down or is he as unflappable as he seems?
“He’s a human, so if he misses something he’s frustrated, but it’s always temporary. I’d like to think we all are, we can all have quick reactions, but if that clock’s ticking that reaction ends pretty fast, it’s by the next play. Sometimes if it’s the last play of a series it’ll lasts a little bit longer, but by the time you go out there it’s, I always feel the same guy.”
Was there anything behind the scenes that he did that gave you maybe more confidence that all his practice success would translate to the game environment if he ever got a shot, which obviously proved out to be?
“You watch how people carry themselves, so you have guesses on how they’re going be, but no, you never know until they get in those games.”
There was a lot of hand-wringing about OL Aaron Banks before this season just because of his rookie year. What level of confidence did you have and where is he as far as has he surpassed expectations with how he’s played? There were people like, well he’s a second-round pick, so how come he is not starting, something must be wrong with the guy?
“No, we had [New York Jets OL] Laken Tomlinson in the last year of his contract, ended up getting I think like a $14 million deal from the Jets and we had a starting right guard in [OL] Daniel Brunskill who we played with three years in a row and we thought he was doing pretty good and we thought we’d give Banks a little bit more time. I think that goes back to the beginning I answered a question of it’s really nice to be in a place that just worries about their best football decision and not, oh my god, they’re going to think we had a bad draft pick because you’re not playing him right away. Sometimes that ruins people. If someone would had got hurt we would’ve been pumped to play him right away. We had a thought we had a pretty good guard, but it’s really hard to come in as a first-round pick, second-round pick and just beat out solid NFL players who’ve been doing it for a while. And if you don’t have to do that and you have to watch some guys and not get thrown into the fire and struggle for a few games and not get your confidence killed, I think that can be a benefit to a lot of people, but not everyone has that luxury and I’m glad that we had the talent to do that and I’m very happy I’m in a building that allows us to think that way.”
Was he a good draft pick now to you?
“I think he’s doing a good job. You say over a course of a career, I’m not just week in and week out.”
Did he ascend faster than you thought he would though just to assimilate to the NFL game?
“We thought he had the right mentality and we know we had the size. O-line is so different because you can look and have the ability, but o-line is about consistency and almost how many times you don’t mess up. It’s cool to have all the highlight tapes and you know if you have a couple bad looks that might be all over social media and that might be embarrassing for you, but bad looks are bad looks, it’s about how you play over a course of 70 plays and you never really know that until a guy gets in there and sometimes they have to get their butts kicked before you even find out if they are a real player because you are going to get that in this league at every position, especially at O-line versus the D-lineman you go against and no one’s going to notice you really until you get your butt kicked. And then it’s how you respond and that’s why we felt like we really believed in the person and believed in the talent, but just like I said about Brock, you have to put them out there and watch how they do and I think it was cool to watch him even in the preseason. He had a couple games where it wasn’t great, but once Week One started I thought he was better and Week Two was better and I think it’s improved that way throughout the whole year.”
Recently on the radio, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr mentioned that you guys played some golf this summer and the other day before a game he said he has 49ers fever. I wonder about that golf session when you meet with another coach at a high level, do you guys talk about winning or different mentalities? Like what do you gain from a relationship with Steve as far as maybe professionally that you can apply to your football team?
“We weren’t in the same foursome, so I didn’t get that whole four hours, but we all hung out after for about an hour and a half and I think it’s just fun to hang out with cool people who are in similar situations as you are. You just know the stakes that he goes through and some of the players and stuff that he deals with and all those types of things and so just to have those conversations are fun, but there was a group of 15 of us. Each drink we had the more we realized that we’re going to get in trouble because our wives expected us back two hours ago, so I would love to have more opportunities like that.”