Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – August 10, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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How do you think your quarterback’s awareness was in that drill with eight seconds left down in the red zone?

“Not great. It’s a tough position to be in because we had no time outs. So you’ve got to go to the end zone no matter what. And so very rarely things are open in rhythm. So sometimes you can try to buy time, which is part of it. But when we threw it short, not into the end zone, that wasn’t very good awareness because you’ve got to go to the end zone or out of bounds depending on what the situation is.”

In researching QB Trey Lance, did he have a lot of those types of situations? I mean, there was such limited college film on him. Has he been in a situation like that?

“Not a ton. Their team was pretty good. It felt like they were blowing people out usually by the fourth quarter. So he hadn’t been in too many. It was good to have it today though. You’re not always happy with everything and it wasn’t just his group, it was kind of all three of the groups. Wish it went perfect. But it’s good to have film when you go in. Glad it went good for the D.”

How are you going to use the quarterbacks for the exhibition opener? Is QB Jimmy Garoppolo going to start and then go to Lance?

“I haven’t told any of the players yet, so I’ll wait to tell them. And then I’ll tell you guys as soon as I do, which I probably won’t for a couple of days.”

Are you game planning for this game or when is the dress rehearsal?

“We never really game plan, but the dress rehearsal is the third game where we try to do the whole week normal, but it’s not a huge game plan really ever.”

Is LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles dealing with something injury-wise?

“Yes, he’s in the protocol after the scrimmage on Saturday. He got a little banged up, some friendly fire, ran into one of his own guys and he’s in the protocol right now.”

How’s the progress of S Jaquiski Tartt?

“I mean, not moving very fast right now. He hasn’t been out there. I know he missed the time with COVID and I don’t know how long he’s going to stay on PUP, but I don’t see him coming back soon right now.”

WR Jalen Hurd, any update on him? With him not on the field, how is this hurting his chances going forward?

“I mean, it hurts it. I know he’s battling back from a serious injury. And we know the potentially he has and the upside on how much we think he can help us. But, he’s got to show that. There’s not a lot of time left. We want to be smart with him. I know that some things were bothering him today. We were smart with him, but hopefully he can get into a groove where he has a chance to go out there and play some football and give himself a chance to make this team.”

What is the update for him?

“No new update. He just didn’t feel right this morning. So you guys can ask him after this.”

What do you see from the rookie backs when it comes to blitz pickup and pass protection?

“I see guys who are willing, but I see guys who need a lot more work at it. I mean, it’s a total different deal in the NFL. It’s kind of a nightmare situation. I believe if I was a running back, because in practice you can’t cut them. So those guys are going to tee off on you a lot. And so when you sit and hunker down so you can handle the bull rush, then they make you look stupid and you whiff. So, it’s a tough drill to put them in. Their running back coach requested it hard today so you can blame [running backs coach] Bobby [Turner Jr.] for that, but it’s a necessary evil. You’ve got to practice it. And you hope it gets easier for them the game, because when there’s a threat of the cut, that’s usually the equalizer in the NFL.”

How do you gauge those guys in practice when they can’t practice it against live human beings?

“You don’t much. I mean, you can go cut at a bag and say that’s good, but when a guy is running full speed at you out of control, it’s not very hard to cut. You just go down and they usually fall on their face and then that usually evens everything up. And that’s why people in NFL don’t play out of control a lot. So hopefully they never take that away.”

Tartt is the same toe injury that he hurt in November. You say he’s not really close. I know you don’t want to get into the details of it, but is that a thing where he may not be able to play this year?

“I don’t know. I mean, we think he should with the timeline and everything, but it is bothering him. He isn’t ready to go yet. We thought he would be with the time that’s been given. He isn’t. That is just a fact. So it is what it is. We didn’t get to get him in here for those 10 days with COVID and everything, but now we got them and we’re rehabbing him and putting him through some stuff. But, I don’t see it as day to day right now. I know he’s not where he wants to be or where we want him to be and it’s going to take some time. “

So that being said, how have S Tavon Wilson and S Tony Jefferson looked?

“I think they’ve done a real good job. Unfortunately, Jefferson had a setback yesterday, tweaked his groin and hamstring, so I’m not sure how long he’s going to be out for. So definitely planning on getting some other guys in here because our numbers are low there.”

There were some scuffles early in practice. Is that to be expected at this point in camp?

“A little bit. I mean, my biggest thing is, I didn’t see them all, but I hope no one threw a punch or anything. That’s the big thing we go for. I expect guys to scuffle a little bit, especially when you’re doing some blitz pickups. I heard it over there with some of the linebackers and backs, and I think it happened a little bit with the one-on-one with the O-Line and D-Line. We’re sick of going against each other. Got about one more week of it. Pumped to go to the Chargers next week and get to go against some new looks.”

Quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello told us yesterday that Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan had a big jump in his production, just with a small tweak in his footwork. How does that footwork affect what you can do on the offense?

“I think footwork’s everything for quarterbacks. I mean, it’s what allows you to do things consistently. It helps you understand the timing of plays and helps you know when to wait on something and let something develop. And when to turn it into an off-schedule play and make a play happen and overcome the bad play call. But there’s lots of things that go into it. And if your footwork’s not right, it’s a lot of time it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. it’s just inconsistent and it’s hard to work off of it.”

Have you seen improvement in Lance and what he’s been able to do?

“Yeah. I have a lot. I mean, he takes coaching well. He doesn’t just do it just because you say it, he really listens. He takes it in. He tries to understand what you’re saying. He tries to see it and then he gets away and really works on it.”

Is that something similar to Jimmy where you increase his production quite a bit?

“Yeah, always. Jimmy, I think, would say the same thing, whatever quarterbacks usually when they’re struggling their rhythm and footwork gets off. And I think the more talented of a thrower you are, the more you can get away with it. Some big arm quarterbacks, they don’t let it go because they have the arm strength to recover and throw it a little bit late. Jimmy’s got as quick of a release as probably there is on the planet. So sometimes he doesn’t always have the perfect footwork and he can get away with it. But it’s a matter of time before that’ll catch up with you. I think he’s being as detailed in that area as he’s been.”

How challenging, looking back, there’s a lot of talk about mental health becoming a little bit more mainstream and accepted. Does going to Arizona, was that a focus to you to make sure the players were in a good mindset when it came to that? And what did that experience teach you in terms of approaching the mental health side of things moving forward?

“I mean, I get it, a lot of people have been talking about that lately with the Olympics and stuff. You just deal with what you think your players need. And I mean I think everyone, the whole world mental health changed a lot when you’re in quarantine. I think everyone enjoyed a vacation for about three weeks and then after three weeks you’re like, holy crap, I miss going to work and my old life. And I think everyone just was a little off last year. And then you throw in a season and how much goes into that being away from your families and everyone went into it not totally themselves. And it just gets worse and worse and worse. I mean, I think you start to watch how it affects your team and you need to deal with it. You go to a place like Arizona and with where we were at and kind of getting kicked out of the state at the time and guys when we were there, not just being able to see each other, it kind of added up and it wasn’t like a big epiphany it’s what we needed at the time. Everybody, not just me, but the players, coaches, the support staff, the cooks. I mean, I was around, we have a cook who has never had a bad day in his life. And when the third week I saw him in Arizona, the way he looked, I knew we were in trouble because the way he was down, it’s kind of just, that’s how everyone felt at the time.”

There’s a lot of yelling on the defensive line, especially on those hurry-up plays. What have you seen from LB Fred Warner and when he’s out there calling the plays?

“Fred does a great job getting them lined up. I love them yelling and talking, but I don’t think it’s the smartest thing when we’re running hurry up and they’re celebrating and they’re tired. I saw us do that in Houston one time and we were celebrating and [former NFL QB] Peyton Manning went right to the line of scrimmage and gashed us for a 30-yard play because we were high-fiving each other. So, I love the cheering and celebrating but when the team’s going, that’s the worst time you can be doing that.”