Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – August 30, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
Were you encouraged by K Jake Moody’s status, with no kicker on the practice squad or is there still space?
“Still fluid. Most likely we’ll have one by the end of this weekend. But yeah, I am encouraged how he’s been this week.”
Have you agreed to bring someone in?
“We haven’t agreed yet. But we’re still looking into some practice squad guys.”
Practice squad sort of suggests that it’s a short-term issue with Moody?
Are you planning to start anyone on IR on the 53?
“Yeah, we still got to move two more guys to IR, which we haven’t told them yet. So, I can’t really say right now.”
TE George Kittle didn’t practice the other day. Is that just a rest day?
“No, we’re just taking care of him right now. It’s still stuff lingering a little bit from when he has missed him some time. And we’re not going to practice him today either and hopefully we can get him going on Monday.”
Heard about QB Brock Purdy didn’t throw as much or at all early in the practice pitch count. Is that a new thing or was that scheduled?
“No, that goes back to our same numbers that we decided on like two months ago. I think I’m going to mess up the numbers, but it was like 700 throws a week or something. We plan on deloading this week and trying to cut that in half. So, it’ll be the same thing today before practice and tomorrow.”
So, he’s fine?
“Yeah, he’s fine. It’s just his numbers are cut in half for the whole week.”
A little while ago you said the DL Nick Bosa thing was going as you expected. Would you have expected him to sign by right now?
“I thought it would come probably at this time just looking at the history of those things. I’m really hoping it gets done. I know they’re working tirelessly at it. [General Manager] John [Lynch] [VP of Football Administrations Brian] Hamp [Hampton] [President] Paraag [Marathe]. I know their team is. But hopefully we can get him in here sooner than later.”
Is there any way you can imagine this team not having him on the team say if this thing goes on into the season?
“Yeah, I can imagine anything. Doesn’t mean I like that picture. Of course not. You guys know how we feel about Nick, and we all know how good of a player he is. So hopefully we can come to terms soon and get him here as fast as possible.”
Have you seen enough from other edge rushers for now to be confident that you could be held over just in case the worst does come to fruition for Week One?
“We got to feel that way always. Nick missed one game last year. He had that ACL that one year. So, you got to always be prepared to play without not just Nick or anybody. But hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
There’s no way that you guys would consider trading Nick?
“No. I haven’t talked to many people about that. But I know how I feel pretty strongly and I think everyone would agree with that.”
I’m sure you’re going to say all roster decisions were difficult, but were there any particular positions where there was maybe more spirited discussion than others?
“There was only a couple of positions where there wasn’t much. It’s a real stressful time because you guys saw we lost three guys that the other teams took. That’s kind of the decision on everything. It’s how to keep guys on your roster for the whole year, for Week One. There’s certain ways to do that. It’s a gamble with everything. There’s a number of guys that you want. There’s guys that you feel the other league will want, to where if you expose them to waivers they’ll get taken. There’s some guys you might want less that you don’t think will get exposed. So, you got to play that gamble with every position. Lost a couple today, but I also felt good with the number of ones we retained.”
I’m sure you’re always weighing the kind of short-term versus long-term, like who’s ready to help us now versus what they could be later. Is that even more true with a team like this and a roster like this where maybe you do lean a little more to, ‘We need guys who can help us right now?’
“Yeah, but you can’t just think one way or the other in any of those situations. I think after our first two years here, we’ve thought a lot more the other way. You always want to think of who can help now, but you can’t do that at the expense of just killing yourself for the future. When we first got here, that was a lot easier to give guys more opportunities to bring guys in and take more shots on people. But we’ve developed a lot of guys here. There’s guys who have been backups for a long time and when you get to work with backups for a long time, it’s really hard to bring in some guys to do better than those guys right away. So that’s why there’s so much pressure on the offseason and hopefully trying to get OTAs, trying to keep guys healthy for camp. So, you give guys who have the ability to beat people out, you give them a chance. But it’s tough in this league.”
Last year you guys were really good against the run, but the last two preseason games gave up about six and a half yards a carry. What did the film show? How concerned are you about the run D going into the opener?
“I’d be extremely concerned off the preseason games. I don’t want to look too much into that, but you also can’t ignore it either. I didn’t like how we were versus the Raiders either in the run. Last week I thought we had about over a hundred yards on about three plays that a guy got out of his gap and then we didn’t stop the bleeding with the middle third guy, so that added up. Then I didn’t think we were very prepared for the running quarterback there in the third and fourth quarter. We better be better this year. We’ve always done pretty good in the past with the run. I think we were number one last year. That’s something that’s important us on both offense and defense and I expect us to do better in the regular season.”
Do you expect to have a swing tackle this year? Do you think that OL Matt Pryor will be right side and OL Jaylon Moore will be left side?
“Right now it’s that way. We’re trying to mix them and match so we can be ready for both. They both prefer where they’re at, but you don’t always have that luxury. So now we know they’re both on our team. We got to keep preparing them to play both.”
With WR Ray-Ray McCloud III and WR Danny Gray. Is there a chance Ray-Ray can go Week One. Then with Danny, how’s his shoulder? Does he have to see a specialist or anything?
“No, we’ve already told Danny, so Danny will be one of the guys going on IR. He’ll be longer. Ray-Ray does have an outside chance, but still keeping our fingers crossed for it.”
You guys ran out IR return spots last year. Do you have to approach using those differently maybe earlier this season than you did a year ago?
“You got to take it into account. You plan on being there the whole year. But when you sit and make too many plans for being somewhere at the end of the year and you mortgage that stuff at the beginning, sometimes you aren’t there at the end of the year. So, you got to learn from that. I wish we had more last year. We ended up being about one short. I think that’s why we had to make that decision on [DT Hassan] Ridgeway towards the end of the year. So yeah, hopefully we have better luck to where we can use all of ours and it’s not an issue though.”
You’ve fostered an environment here where the practice squad guys realize for lack of a better word, that they’re part of the team. I think in some past years maybe sometimes there’s kind of like, ‘Oh, you’re a practice squad’ but it seems like here you use them and they’re aware.
“Oh yes. I think practice squads are one of the most important things in an NFL building. I thank God we have 16 now instead of 10 that used to make it so much harder. But that’s how you develop guys and that’s usually your third string. You got guys who either you’re one injury away and they’re not on your practice squad anymore. It’s really hard to just pull someone in off the street who’s not on someone else’s team to bring them in and get them ready on just a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practice to play on Sunday. So you need guys that you’re working with, guys you’re developing and especially once they’ve allowed us to put vets on the practice squad, that allows certain receivers, DBs, pass rushers, everyone to where they’re just one injury away and they’re going to be a big part of our team come Week One.”
Is LB Jalen Graham your backup MIKE right now?
“You’d have to see if he got in. I can’t tell Pittsburgh. You’d have to figure it out. But yeah, it’s a secret.”
How’d he looked like he was playing with the twos in the last game? How did he do in that role?
He did a good job, good enough to make the team.”
The way people talked about CB D’Shawn Jamison early in camp, it seemed like her could make the roster, but obviously he didn’t. Did he lose some momentum throughout the process?
“Yeah, he did a little bit. But definitely wish we could’ve kept him here, so I was bummed about that this morning.”
Was your thought with QB Brandon Allen whether to let him try to get him through or did you think that he might get picked up?
“Yeah, we wish we could have, but we had pretty good knowledge that we think he would’ve got claimed. If there was a third quarterback out there you could put on your practice squad you felt as good with, then it wouldn’t be an issue. But when he’s going to get claimed and how he feel about him, it was important to keep him.”
Were you surprised that OL Ilm Manning got claimed or you just didn’t have a spot for him?
“No, we didn’t have the numbers for him, but we thought we could get him on our practice squad. Arizona, I took a shot at a number of our guys. So we’ll see how that works out.”
So beyond the physical aspect of there’s a defensive back that doesn’t want you to reach the landmark, how much with him has been the discipline of not freelancing and just saying this is my job and I’m required to do this and I’m not going to mess around with it?
“It’s not necessarily the discipline, it’s not easy. People don’t just not do that because they don’t want to. Sometimes it’s hard to move people that are in your way and you’re not allowed to just go push them out of the way. So, there’s certain things you have to get where sometimes you’re vulnerable and you go past your landmark, which is a problem, but sometimes that makes people move so you can get back to your landmark. It’s just different styles of how people play and I think someone must have told you that because I don’t think you came up with landmarks on your own, but it is true. I mean, it’s very important when you disperse an offense and you disperse five eligibles guys don’t stack each other. It’s pretty easy versus zone. It’s imperative versus zone, but then you get man-to-man and people are jamming and stuff and different looks and you get pushed into certain areas and even if you beat your man, it’s really irrelevant because you’re running into other guys and the quarterback can’t get you the ball. Also, our quarterbacks, we try not to get them to stare down routes. So, they have to be in a certain spot at a certain time kind of in the timing of when the quarterback is there. That’s something that you’re constantly talking with all eligibles on and even the O-line. There’s a timing and rhythm to everything to get 11 guys to play together.”
With WR Brandon Aiyuk, was it physically learning how to run routes?
“Yeah, just the experience of it being in different spots. I mean, when you’ve ran most of your routes from four yards outside the numbers, now you’re running the exact same routes from four yards inside the numbers. Sometimes you’re doing it with motion, sometimes you’re snapping it by the tackle. Sometimes we move guys in the backfield to do it. There are just different angles to everything. Just like a corner who guards people outside the numbers all day and now he has to come in and guard people inside the numbers. You’re moving differently. There’s different ways to attack people. There’s also other traffic spots. So how do you beat the guy in front of you but get over the extra linebacker inside. That’s all just experience. Some guys are really natural at it. But it’s one of the harder things in football.”
You’ve had a ton going on at quarterback the last few years. I know you’re not intentionally trying to have a lot of things going on, but you got Las Vegas Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo now commenting on it or Dallas Cowboys QB Trey Lance showing up in Dallas. Do you pay attention to any of that and do you think all that’s over and are you relieved if you have this kind of rotating thing over with right now?
“I mean I try not to pay attention to outside of here. I try to deal with the people in here that I have to deal with. I have felt very good about that. I did see Trey. I was happy watching him actually while I was eating lunch with his press conference in Dallas and Trey is as real as it gets and that’s how he talks in here. That’s how he is every day. So, it’s cool to see him handle that the right way and he did seem genuinely kind of happy and I feel he’s in a good position to move on and do better there. Jimmy, the comments are the comments, I’m really not concerned about his comments.”
Do you feel any relief? Do you sense that this kind of era of lots of changing is over?
“The era of changing is, when we got here, we waited 10 weeks and made a trade for a quarterback, played five games and then we made him the highest paid quarterback of all time at the time. Then he played two of the next five years and did really good in those two years. His injuries for three of those five years were legit. It was rough on him, rough on us. Then we made a move to go to a younger quarterback and that’s what we did. We thought he’d be ready in two years and he wasn’t. And now we have a different younger quarterback. So that’s the situation.”
Jimmy did say it’s been a weird situation over here, obviously it’s not the way you drew it up, but can you acknowledge it?
“I think anytime you trade up to the third pick in the draft and it doesn’t work out, that’s a weird situation, but that is the situation. So that’s what happened. I don’t think it’s that weird. It’s unusual that it doesn’t work out, but I wouldn’t think that’s weird. I think that’s unusual. What do you think?”
You look back at Jimmy at the fact that he said goodbye the day after that one season’s over and all the things that happened with him physically, he comes back, he’s on the side field and ends up re-signing and starting and it just seems like it’s been unique.
“Do you remember why that happened?”
I remember why everything happened, but I’m just saying it’s been a unique situation.
“I agree it’s been unique.”