Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – July 30, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
“Good morning guys. Alright guys, yesterday [DL Maurice] Mo Hurst tore his bicep, so he’ll need surgery. [DL Hassan] Ridgeway had a mild quad strain, so he’ll be out a couple weeks. Go ahead.”
Is that a season-ender for Hurst?
“We’ll see after surgery, but usually that’s how biceps work out, but don’t know for sure.”
Horrible luck for that guy.
“Yeah, it was a little jet sweep. He just put his hand out and grabbed the guy and it just went out.”
Is there anything new on WR Deebo Samuel that you can share in terms of progress there?
“I know they’re grinding through it. That’s all I can share, but nothing’s been done yet, but I know they’re working hard on it.”
Anything in particular you can glean from the last couple practices, the first week?
“I’ve been real happy with it. Three practices in, I thought the first day was not as much as I wanted, we start off just a little slower. We do less reps. The second day was my favorite day because we got a ton of reps. I felt like we got a real football practice in. Yesterday we backed it off a little, just the way we do reps and today will be much harder. And I’m really excited to get these four days out of the way because we’re past putting pads on. We need to get that going.”
We can all see with our eyes with what’s going on when QB Trey Lance is out there. What’s it been like behind the scenes? Have you been happy with his decision making, where the ball’s going, his rhythm and timing, all that stuff?
“Yeah, like I think I said the last time I thought he had a really good day the second day and yesterday, I think he had two picks and both of them, I was very happy with the throws. There’s something we have to get on the same page with wide outs on and that’s what camp’s for letting it rip. And when the guy doesn’t do what you’re expecting, that’s what happens, but when you don’t let it rip and you say, because I wasn’t sure what he was going do. That’s when the guy running the route doesn’t learn either, so I loved those two decisions.”
What have you thought of the secondary so far and how has the addition of CB Charvarius Ward maybe changed the attitude back there?
“Just having him back there is definitely different, the way he moves, the way he plays. It’s been really good to have. He’s challenging our receivers. The way [CB Emmanuel Moseley] E-man’s been has been great. The way he put in the work this offseason, finally had a healthy offseason. He always does it, but this year when you’re healthy, you get to really improve and he’s come ready to go and been real excited with those guys, which like I said, I think the last time, we had some guys play last year that got some experience and then that really helps for depth them coming into camp now.”
Going back to what you said yesterday about playing three games in 13 days or whatever it is, do you have to start now? Knowing that that’s sort of looming next month and kind of gauging how much these guys can practice or trying to shove a lot of practice into these first two weeks to accommodate that?
“No, we got everything. No, we will never just shove practice in because then you risk too many setbacks with injuries, so that’s what takes a long time to do training camp schedules. And we don’t just go out there and practice and we know every single person’s rep before the practice, how many reps they are getting in a day, how many they’re getting in a week and how many they’re getting in an entire camp before game one, so that’s stuff that we put a lot of work into. It was a challenge. It took more work than usual because of that, but you end up figuring it out to where, if everything goes according to plan, you’ll get the same work as always. It’s just a little different way to get to it as far as numbers and reps. The problem isn’t everything, nothing ever goes to plan because you’re going to lose a couple guys here, a couple guys there. Now do you cancel practice because you don’t have enough guys? No, you have to give one guy four more reps than you planned on. How many days does he have to do that? If it’s too much, then you’ve have to bring in another person, which means you have to cut somebody, so everything’s balanced out with numbers and their output of all their GPS stuff, so it’s complicated.”
Is your plan still to get DT Javon Kinlaw into team drills today and then once you guys get pads on on Monday, what do you want to see out of him? Just in terms of his conditioning and also the mean streak he brings out onto the field?
“I just want to see him get through practice and play some football. Javon’s got everything in his body and in his mindset that he’s going to be a hell of a player. He was able to get a good surgery and go through the whole right steps for a long offseason, that’s finally put him in a position that he’s going to be healthy enough to practice and he is right now. We’re just trying to be smart with that because if Javon can practice consistently, we can build him up to that. Everything will take care of itself. We just have to be smart with his history and what he went through with that knee injury in Dallas a couple years ago and we feel like we’re in a very good spot right now. We just don’t want to get too excited and throw him out there so much and have a setback, so Javon’s just about taking it one day at a time. And after every practice taking care of himself and trying to avoid any setbacks.”
Is T Mike McGlinchey going to practice in team drills today?
What have your early impressions been of DL Kemoko Turay?
“Same as OTAs. He’s a very talented guy. Just studying him coming out of college, we knew that. Seeing him on his NFL tape and since he’s been here, we’ve been extremely impressed. Excited for all the D-lineman, especially to get the pads on and stuff, but he’s a candidate. Almost every one of our 16 D-linemen is a candidate though.”
Is there a possibility that CB Jason Verrett could place slot? He did it a while back with the Los Angeles Chargers, but is that a possibility for him to come back to it?
“He could play anything. So Jason’s again just about getting healthy too and just seeing how we want to balance it out, whether it’s matchups, where E-man’s at, where Mooney’s at, but Jason is as good of a corner as there is. So you guys know his history. So we’re just pulling for Jason to get healthy and he’s on the right path. And if he does get there, we’ll figure out how to balance those guys out, but that’s something I really hope that we need to figure out.”
Speaking of that slot position last year in that Rams game at the end of the regular season last year, DB Darqueze Dennard came in, I think on like three or four days of being with the team, he played those 18 snaps. S Talanoa Hufanga said that he learned the playbook in one day. How impressive was what he did from your vantage point?
“That was so impressive. You’re talking about the last game of the year? Yeah, that was extremely impressive. I remember that whole week, we had a bunch of guys out. Guys were getting sick and some guys hurt, and I remember that Sunday morning we were hoping to get four guys back that we thought we would, we knew it was going to be 50/50, but we were thinking positively and we found out we didn’t get any of those four, so we had to bring guys in and play that hadn’t played before. We didn’t know, we gave Dennard as much as reps as we could, but you just hope he’s on it and planning on it and working away from us as much as he can. And he got out there for 18 reps and they all say they do, but you really know when you see him out there. And he showed us, he’s a guy we can count on a guy; a guy we can trust.”
Denver Broncos DB K’Waun Williams, he was only a nickel. Do you guys do spitballing of matchups and what you guys can possibly do when you have guys like Moseley and Verrett and DB Jimmie Ward who can all have all a little bit of experience in the slot?
“You’d love, just like O-linemen, you got how many corners you get up on game day and usually it’s five. And there’s three out there, the majority of the time and sometimes you can get four out there, and you need other guys to play special teams. So, when guys go down, that was tough with K’Waun because he was a nickel only. So, if other guys went down, you couldn’t move him around as much. So, you’d love to have guys to move around. But first and foremost, you want a guy who can play that position the right way. And that’s what was so great about K’Waun. But sometimes when people are just inside, when you’re outside the numbers, there’s a certain element of your 40 time. You have to be able to stop a go route. And if you don’t always do that, you can hide a little bit more inside with that because of the way you play with leverage, you can’t run a go route right away, it’s got to be a wide end go and things like that. You can play outside leverage so it allows guys who might not have that elite 40 speed to still be very good corners.”
We’re watching in the spring, OL Jason Poe was with the third team group and seemed a little bit overwhelmed at times early in that spring. Now he’s with the second. What did you see from him throughout the spring that kind of encouraged you that he could take on a bigger role this camp?
“We planned on this from the beginning of the spring, this spring was almost individual the whole time with the o-line, so I was just watching guys move and when we got together as a team, we were going half speed. So, we didn’t get a ton out, we didn’t learn a lot about our O-line going against defense. We got to learn a lot about them and how they move and what type of guys they are and just [offensive line coach] Chris [Foerster] working with them individually, but we’re learning a lot right now and that’s why we got to put all these guys in that spot.”
What about him in particular, what you see?
“He’s got the tools. He looks undersized so that’s probably why we were able to get him when we did, but he’s got the tools to do it. He’s got the length, he’s got the mindset and I really like the type of pro he acts like, that he’s not worrying about anything. He’s going out there every single play and trying to get after it and doesn’t seem intimidated by the process of it.”
You mentioned you’d had a conversation with WR Deebo Samuel about his role, was that conversation, do things need to be spelled out regarding how he’ll be used this year in order for contract negotiations to kind of enter their last stage?
“Nope. I was wondering about these press conferences. Now it just clicked. Welcome back. No, guys, Deebo and I talk a lot. We’re good. And we understand our role. I know there’s a lot of noise for five months and tweets and a lot of people are repeating what someone said and repeating and repeating and repeating. There’s a lot of negotiations going on. There’s a lot of money involved. It’s a big business deal, but besides everything else, we’re good.”
You mentioned that CB Ambry Thomas and DB Deommodore Lenoir got thrown out probably before they were ready last year. What have you seen from them these last three days that give you confidence in what they did in the offseason and going forward?
“I think they were better yesterday than they were the first day. So that was day three. There are up and downs through camp and we got a lot more competition, which I think they’re realizing now you know, similar to something like [WR Brandon] Aiyuk in his first year. Sometimes you get in a position and you get thrown in stuff and that that’s all you know of the NFL. You don’t realize what the group is quite at that time. And I think they’re seeing now that, alright, this is much more of a group. And now we got to really fight to get some playing time and I see them doing that each day.”
Would you say this is the most competition you’ve had in the secondary since you’ve been here?
“Yeah, I’d say so.”
With pads coming on, do you have anything with load management with Trey? Like in the run game with former NFL QBs Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel, that’s more outside stuff, anything in the inside stuff that like?
“No, because they’re not going to hit him. And if they do, I’m not going to change the load management. I’m going to get whoever hit him out of there. So, should be alright.”
What can you assess from running backs now without pads on versus when you put them on, on Monday?
“It says who’s a natural runner. It’s very easy to do that, because our practices aren’t that much different when we have helmets on, the way we come off the ball, the way you use your hands. You don’t bang shoulders that much. You use your helmets, you use your face, use your hands and so you can see when backs are going to go full speed, not get stuck, hit the right hole. But no matter how good they look, you don’t know for sure until they know they’re going to get hit. And that’s when you find out in the preseason, you can know who’s a talented guy and who hits the right holes, but you want to see their mindset when the running back knows people are coming for them and you want to see if he’s going for them.”
How healthy is RB Elijah Mitchell? How has he looked so far?
“He’s looked good. I mean he had a tough off season just coming back from his injuries, so he didn’t get to do much in OTAs. It was great to have him out there these first three days. So, he’s easing his way back into it, but I’m just glad he’s getting back to health.”