Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – August 16, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
Do you have a plan for your quarterbacks for Saturday yet?
“Not set in stone. What I said last week, we wanted [QB] Trey [Lance] to get the majority of the first half so [QB] Sam [Darnold] could get the next week. So that’s what we’re planning on, but we’ll see how the next two practices go before we decide for sure.”
So probably no QB Brock Purdy?
“I haven’t decided yet with all the starters.”
Where do things stand with the number two quarterback role at this point?
“They’re competing for it.”
QB Brandon Allen, what’s his status?
“He had a baby yesterday morning. He might be back now. He gets in sometime today and should be good to go tomorrow, I believe.”
What did you say, yesterday morning?
“All these days are blending together. I think it was yesterday morning. Yeah, might’ve been the day before that night.”
As long as he remembers.
“As long as he remembers. It’s important. If I remember, I’ll forget something that is important to us.”
You said earlier, you kind of hoped to get RB Elijah Mitchell back. Is he close?
“Yeah, he is close.”
There’s been a lot of negativity around Trey Lance in the national media recently. Yesterday there was somebody coming out saying that Trey doesn’t have the quarterback instinct. What do you have to say about that kind of comment?
“It just goes with the territory. It goes with it for quarterbacks, it goes with it for anybody who’s a high draft pick, but especially a quarterback. That’s one of the tough things I think for that position, but also for high draft picks. You watch receivers come in the league and they have a few drops early in camp and there becomes a lot of pressure on them. People want to see those people take off and do it right away and have no flaws and that’s just part of it.”
Is there anything you’ve had to address with him or is he pretty good as far as the mindset knowing what comes with the territory?
“Trey is extremely smart, very socially aware. He knows how the world works. And so, he does his best, which I think he does a damn good job of trying to block all that out and just focus on getting better. And I think that’s what he has done so far.”
How do you see the backend of the wide receiver corps competition coming along?
“I think it’s tight. Sometimes we keep five, usually we have, sometimes we keep six. Especially [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud III] being hurt kind of opens some things up. So, it’s going to be a tight race.”
Do you anticipate that Ray-Ray would not go on IR to open the season?
“It all depends on how long his recovery will be. I wouldn’t think so with how they’ve said. So, I expect we won’t be able to put him on IR, which is a good thing because we hope he can play, hopefully Week 1, but we’ll see how fast it is. But, we won’t know that for a little bit.”
With Brock, he made some good throws out there today, but the defense is getting their hands on a lot of footballs and there have been more interceptions than anybody in this building would want. Why do you think those interceptions are happening? Is it anything that you’re concerned with?
“You never want interceptions in any situation. There’s never one answer. Each one’s different. But, I definitely like having interceptions a lot more in practice than in games. And one thing Brock does is he lets it rip. He’s not worried about anything else. Especially not worried about people counting his interceptions at practice and stuff. And that doesn’t mean they’re all right, but I do like him letting it rip and I like him learning from things that he can’t get away with, things he can’t get away with. And I think our defense got their hands on a lot of balls, not just Brock’s. But I definitely want our quarterbacks to cut down on them, but I also want them to make real throws and when they make mistakes to learn from them.”
Do you coach them to be more aggressive on the practice field than they might be in a game?
“I try to coach them the same. But, you also are always responsible for that ball. And so, there’s sometimes in games that you see something you hesitate a little bit because of some scar you might have had in practice or something from letting it go and you don’t let it rip because you did that in practice. And then we watch the tape after and we try to learn if that was real or not or if that was just a scar from practice. Those things happen. You try to coach it the exact same, but where you learn is practice and then you get to the games and you never tell someone to change. You want to be aggressive in everything you do. But now, if we get those three picks, it’s going to be extremely hard for us to win.”
He made a throw down the left sideline in a pretty tight window to WR Brandon Aiyuk with S Talanoa Hufanga ranging over. Did that throw show you anything as far as the arm strength and what he’s capable of doing now?
“Yeah, but I didn’t think much of that. I know what he is capable of doing. He showed us that last year and he has already shown us that this year. So, I just see us working with the same guy right now. He’s healthy to me, there’s not much difference. I think there’s still a pitch count. But, nothing looks different to our eyes at all. He’s healthy.”
How do you evaluate those plays where you’re trying to sort of guess if it’s a real sack and trying to guess how they would actually make that decision in the game? Is that tricky when you’re watching tape and you’re trying to decide how real that scenario is?
“No. No, just seeing it a lot. And we understand it all. We know a lot of those are sacks. But we still like to get the rep and things like that. So it’s how they move, how they avoid it, whether they just sit there and take it, whether they react, all that stuff counts. And that’s stuff that we got a very good feel about. And it’s something that you can’t always get a feel on the field about, just watching with your eye. That’s why we have so many different angles and that’s what we do the rest of the day.”
At what point in the preseason do you guys kind of take a peek at Pittsburgh and start putting together that game plan?
“Always work on it. And that’s stuff you do when you’re bored in the summer and we jump ahead to teams ahead. There’s nothing that I ever really put on paper and give to guys that is set in stone because I’ve had people make us do that in the past and you do it all and you get to set on stone and you work on stuff and you feel totally different the week you get there and you watch them on Tuesday. You don’t know your team that week. You don’t know their team that week. So, you get an idea of fronts and coverages and things like that so you can mix it into your practices, things you’ll run versus it so you don’t just get too obsessed with going against the 49ers defense. That’s why we like it about scrimmaging other teams if we can. So, we always sprinkle it in, but it’s never that big of a deal. But, it’s in the back of our mind as coaches.”
Would you like to get both kickers into the game on Saturday?
“Yeah, I would. Yeah. [K] Zane’s [Gonzalez] looked too good to not give him a chance. That was the plan last week too when we were going to have [K Jake] Moody go one and then Zane come in the next. But when he missed that, I wanted to give him another chance.”