Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – August 15, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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Can we get an update on OL Aaron Banks?

“Sorry guys. Updates from all. Banks, he’s going to miss a couple of weeks, possibly three, with his shoulder injury. [WR Austin] Watkins [Jr.] he has a broken foot. He’s gonna be out 6-8 weeks. Guys that we plan on returning for practice tomorrow, hoping to get [LB] Azeez Al-Shaair back, [LB Demetrius] Flannigan-Fowles, [DL] Samson [Ebukam], [TE MyCole] Pruitt and [CB] K’Waun [Williams].”

Was there any play in that game other than the touchdown pass that you’re really curious to go back to look on film and either see it for teaching moments or something that jumped out you?

“Yeah, I mean, almost all the plays, there’s a bunch of stuff that I’m really excited to watch with [QB] Trey [Lance]. Just coaching things that, you get into game, stuff speeds up and you see some things that he missed. Some things that he made, but really just go over the whys. Sometimes the technique changes when you get into the game and trying to bring him back to some of the stuff he’s worked on, but it was good to have him out there. I can’t wait to watch it with him so we can get his eyes on the right spot and coach him up on everything.”

I’m sorry, who did you say had a broken foot? Did you say Austin Watkins?

“Yes.”

Do you know when he did that? 

“We think he did it early in the game because that’s what he ended up telling us after. So I’ve got a lot of respect for him for trying to play through that and stuff. I wish he would’ve told us a little bit earlier. I don’t know if he knew it was broken or not, but you could see him on tape limping a little bit through that two-minute drive. And then he went and got it checked after the game and ended up having a broken bone. So it’ll be some time for him.”

We asked you last night about the four sacks that Trey took. After watching the tape, how do you sort of divvy out the responsibility between the quarterback and maybe protection issues with the offensive line? 

“Yeah, I think the worst one was the one down in the red zone. They did an all-out blitz and we were in an empty formation and he’s got to get rid of that to his hot throws. So that was the main one that was on him. On the other ones, you can always get rid of it when someone doesn’t hold up in protection too long, but I think it would have been tough to, especially some of the down and distance we were in. But there was one that he definitely needed to get rid of just because of the blitz that they brought.”

What happened on the Kansas City Chiefs DT Chris Jones sack? Did OL Daniel Brunskill get tangled up with the running back there?

“Yeah, he did, but I mean, Chris Jones is a pretty good rusher in an obvious pass situation and he got him off the ball a little bit. And when they’re blitzing a guy in the a gap and you’ve been knocked off the ball by Chris, it’s hard to recover. When he did try to recover, then I thought he got tripped up on the back. I think we were in trouble to begin with though on that.”

How would you say OL Jaylon Moore has done so far? And also, I know when you drafted him you said that you were going to look at him at guard, but he’s been mostly at tackle. What’s been kind of the plan there with him?

“I think he’s been mostly at tackle just because of the injuries we’ve had and that started out with [OL Justin] Skule in OTAs. I think we’ve got a number of inside guys, and we’re trying to figure out who can play those outside spots. Mainly because of numbers, we’re getting the chance to focus him there the most. If the opposite had happened and we had a little more depth at tackle we would have tried to get him to focus at guard. I’ve been pleased with him. He’s shown that he’s got the ability to play in this league. We’ve seen it in practice. I think you can see it in the game. But like any other rookie, he’s got to show that he can do it consistently. I thought he got a good learning experience last night, some good, some bad, and hopefully he’ll keep improving from it.”

You mentioned wanting to give WR Jauan Jennings a long look. He played 38 snaps. What did you see from him reviewing the film and one other receiver, WR Nsimba Webster, how did you think he did? And does he have a shot at grabbing one of those last two receiver spots? 

“Yeah, I mean, first of all, on Jauan. I was excited with how Jauan played. I mean, he’s a physical guy who loves to play football and I wanted to see it transfer over to the game and make sure he could still stay under enough control and do his assignments also. And if you watched him in the running game, he really got after it trying to bring the maximum effort every play. How he dug out those safeties on blocks, how he’s blocking on the backside, on the corners. And then when he got his opportunities when the ball was thrown to him, he came through. We hit him on that seam and on a couple of screens that he hit hard and got us, I think, two first downs on them. I was happy with Jauan and then Nsimba. He did a hell of a job. I mean, he gave us a spark there at the end to take that lead. And that drive was pretty much him and [RB JaMycal] Hasty. He started it off with that kick return, then followed up by a reverse, I was just happy how well he ran the ball. Game didn’t look too big for him. He looked like he enjoyed the physicality of the game and definitely got himself a chance to be in the mix.”

At what point or I guess what’s the threshold, how would you define the threshold of Trey Lance’s play to where you get to a point where he would be getting more reps with the first team? 

“I don’t know. I haven’t really defined that for myself either. Just when I think it feels right, when he seems ready, when I think the team seems ready. I mean, we’ll continue to mix him in there. But I don’t plan on just doing that completely. But Trey, what he showed in that game is, you know, I wish I could have left them there longer. I know he enjoys playing and he’s only been able to play one game in over a year, but I think it was good for him to get out. I think he started out good, got a little excited sometimes which he does. And you get a little excited, some of your technique and stuff you lose which will be fun to watch with him. Trey’s a guy who’s tough on himself and loves to correct things and since we’ve had him he’s been very good at correcting mistakes.”

How would you assess your running back play? You had a lot of young guys out there.

“I thought they did alright. And I mean, we’ve got pretty high standard for how our backs do when they go in. I thought it took us a little bit of time to get going. But I definitely think Hasty towards the end of the game gave us a spark.”

Did RB Trey Sermon do what you expected out there?

“I’d like to see a little bit more from him. I mean, putting the ball on the ground. You know, I’ve got a lot of confidence in Trey and I think when he watches the game tape he’ll see that he can do a little bit more. And I don’t know if he got as clean of looks as everyone else, but putting that ball on the ground in that situation can’t happen. And I expect him to do a little bit better as we get going forward.”

Are you encouraged by what you’ve seen by S Talanoa Hufanga so far? 

“Yes, I am. I mean, it was fun to watch him out there. I mean, another guy who plays with a lot of energy and he’s done a decent job in practice, but I wanted to see how he could carry that to the field. And I knew he’d be amped up and ready to go. And it was kind of neat because feeling him out there and watching him play live, I felt like there was a little more to him, even. A little more energy he played with. And sometimes when that happens, sometimes it can make people bust their assignments and do worse. But I thought it helped him play better and I thought it showed up on defense and special teams.”

When you say you want to watch film with Trey, do you want to do that one-on-one with him or with all the quarterbacks together?

“Either way, but I mean, we usually do it all together because the best thing for quarterbacks is watching anyone play the position. So anytime a guy gets to go in there, whether it’s good or bad, everyone learns from it. So, we rarely do that stuff one-on-one, we try to do it always with the group and we’ve got a good group in there. So they all learn from each other, whether it’s good or bad.”

On Trey, how eager are you to see how he does in these practices coming up against the Los Angeles Chargers and are you sort of ramping him up to get to that point to get a real good evaluation of where he might be at, if you do give him reps against the starting defense? 

“Yes, definitely. I mean, that’s why I try not to put too much and you look at everything and you evaluate everything, but you don’t try to put too much into one particular thing. It’s all about the process and how they react to these situations. And we all know Trey has the ability to play well and do some special things. Being in practice and you saw a little bit in the game, but that’s not playing quarterback in the NFL. I mean, you’ve got to have the ability to get into the club, but it’s how you respond to adversity, how you can play over the course of a game, when you do make a mistake, can you come back and make another big play? It’s not just about going out there and keeping both teams in the game. You’ve got to go out there and find a way to win it for one team. And I think with Trey, we try to put him in situations where he’s built on that and trying to get ready for games, but nothing’s more like that than actually playing in a game. For him to get his first NFL game, his second game here over the last year playing, I thought it was huge for him. And I know there’s a lot of things that he’s going to already know without seeing us that he’s going to be hard on himself for and that he can get better. And that’s why I’m just excited to get it going. I can’t wait for him to play in these next two.”

How would you assess QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s play? He was only out there for a short time, but were you pleased with how he reacted to being on the field again? “Yeah, definitely. I thought Jimmy seemed ready to go. It’s got to be really annoying for those guys to go out there and get lathered up, get into a game, get one drive and right when you’re probably feeling the flow of the game get taken out. But it’s one of the frustrations with the preseason. He handled it well, stayed into the game the whole time, but very pleased with his outing.”

As far as running back, you’ve got two guys who are going to be out for a little while. Do you have to bring somebody in at that position just to get through the rest of training camp?

“We possibly could look into it. It’s going to get a lot harder now with this new rule of having to go to 85 tomorrow. That sounds great and all if you’re playing with 85 people, but you’re not. But it depends on where we’re at with all the other positions. You know, we’ve still got four healthy guys who can go, which, you know, if we rotate them the right way and do that, you can still take care of them. But it gives you no room if one of those guys gets hurt or one of those guys is tight and you want to take care of them. Now you start to get an issue. So that’s what goes into all these roster decisions and we’ll see what five we choose to do this with, but it’s not a fun time when you have to do that stuff during training camp.”