Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – September 1, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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Could you give us a rundown of guys who were missing from practice today? DL Arik Armstead or DL Kevin Givens?

“Yeah, [WR Brandon] Aiyuk still with his hamstring, Armstead it was just a maintenance day. [WR] Travis [Benjamin] is still in concussion protocol. Kevin Givens had just a tight groin, it’s been a little tight, so we just kept him out for maintenance. [LB] Dre Greenlaw the same thing. [CB] Dontae Johnson, same thing as last week, his abductor, he should be good next week. That’s it.”

Do expect all those guys back next week, including Aiyuk?

“Yeah, we do expect them back. I can’t guarantee it, but that’s the expectation.”

 What was QB Trey Lance able to do today?

“Mainly listen. He can do everything physically, but we’re not going to put him in there taking snaps or doing handoffs or anything that would have someone hit his finger. So, he couldn’t do anything with anyone out there, but he’s on the side and doing footwork stuff, things like that, but nothing with a ball or with other people yet.”

 Are you going to have to ease WR Jalen Hurd in? Are you hoping for him to be full go Week 1?

“I’m hoping for him to be full go. I thought last week he got his most reps in practice. He definitely got his most reps in that game too. He ended up getting like 27 reps, which would have been his most in practice too. So, having three days of that was good. We limited him today. He didn’t do as much today. Hopefully we can get more with him tomorrow and have three big practices next week that hopefully shows he’s one of the five guys you get up.”

 All of those guys are over 200 pounds, some of them are well over 200 pounds. Do you like the capabilities that you have with a big group like that?

“Yeah, you try to put the best six together that you can. And by no means do I ever say, ‘Hey, we need six guys who are all over this weight’ or six guys who are this or that. You just try to get the best six possible. It’s probably one of the bigger groups that I have ever had, just as far as everyone being that size and there are some advantages to that.”

 Is the expectation that Lance’s finger will be fully recovered next week or is that something that could linger?

“Anytime you’ve got a small chip, it could linger. I hope it doesn’t. I’m hoping he’s back there next Monday. That’s the goal. He seems positive about it. And we have to be smart with it too. Sometimes when it’s a real little thing like that, it’s hard to believe it’s still hurt, but we have to make sure that he doesn’t go out there and have a setback right away on it too.”

Has it changed how you prepare for Detroit or is it too early to start game planning with the uncertainty of his status?

“It’s too early. I haven’t done anything with our players yet. We’ll probably put in some things on Monday just to give them a head start. In the past, we’ve done some things on Monday that we ended up scrapping by Wednesday. It gets real on Wednesday for the game plan because you always feel you need three days to teach it, to rep it and stuff. So, it won’t get that real until then.”

Have you seen enough from S Jaquiski Tartt to feel comfortable starting him? Where do things stand with him?

“Yeah, just the way he practiced last week we were comfortable enough to put him out there and test him and he was up for the challenge and we had to pull him out. He wasn’t trying to go out or anything. So for him to be able to only have a few days of practice in, get about 30 plays in that game, to make it out healthy. He practiced full today too, so hopefully he’ll get the same thing tomorrow. Tartt’s definitely good enough and shown that to be our starter. But if he can make it through next week healthy, that’s what it looks like he’s on track for.”

What do you make of him changing his number to a single-digit like a lot of the other guys?

“Yeah, they’ve got something going on there. They don’t really involve me on it. But yeah, they’re 1, 2, 3, and 4 right now. So, I know they like it and as long as they like it and it makes them play better I’m a fan of it.”

Is OL Jake Brendel strictly a center or can he help you at guard on gameday?

“He can help us at guard on gameday too. That was something that we know his area of expertise is center and I feel very good about him there. But just trying him out through camp and what we’ve done with him in the preseason he showed he could help at guard too. And that’s why it was important to be one of our nine that we kept.”

As far as TE MyCole Pruitt, you guys guaranteed him a decent amount of money. You seemed to have high hopes just based on that. Maybe he could have had sort of a New York Giants TE Levine Toilolo role as a blocker. Was part of the decision what you’ve seen from TE Charlie Woerner or what sort of went on with that decision?

“No, it was more just the issues at other positions. MyCole, we really wanted him to be a part of this. I would love to keep four tight ends, especially when you have four NFL tight ends. And MyCole is definitely that, that’s why we brought him here and gave him that. He got off to a rough start, put him behind the eight-ball hurting his calf I think the first day of camp. So he was just a little bit behind, but he’s done enough in this league that we really wanted to keep him. But if we would have kept four, it would have cost us somewhere else at another position, so we had to go with three.”

Why not have a punt returner on the team right now? Like a true punt returner?

“I mean your punt returner. You mean just a punt returner?”

A guy who has experience and has done it and who has done it in the past.

“Because we didn’t feel that we had one who could beat out our receivers. You’ve got to cut a receiver to do that. So usually you want one of your receivers or corners to do it. That’s kind of how it’s been everywhere I’ve ever been. You need one of those guys to make it. If a guy’s on there just for return status, it ends up costing your team. And I do think we have other guys on our team who can do it.”

So is your punt returner right now on the 53-man?

“I believe so. Yeah.”

Who is that going to be?

“You’ll see.”

The same time you’re going to announce the quarterback?

“I don’t need to announce the quarterback. I don’t think I need to announce the starting punt returner either, but I bet you guys can figure it out.”

What went into the decision to carry OL Tom Compton instead of OL Colton McKivitz?

“Just the way he was in camp. It was a tough competition, all those guys, Brendel was in that also. But Compton, I thought he finished strong with us last year, started off slow. But he came in as good as we’ve seen him at the beginning of camp and he did it all the way to the end. So it was a tough competition, but he ended up just winning that job and being one of our nine and I feel very fortunate that we still got McKivitz too though.”

 I asked you a few weeks ago if OL Jaylon Moore was going to be working in at right guard. Is he going to be in that mix or is he going to stick at tackle for now?

“I mean, he’s sticking at tackle now, but we mix and match everyone. We only have so many people out here. So between him doing that with our carded periods for our offense or whether he’s doing it on scout team on the defense, there’s not many guys except for those five guys who are out there as the true five starters that aren’t mixing and matching at all those backups spots.”

There must be levels of concern every year with your final roster, but where are you as far as this entire roster? How confident are you with 1-53?

“I feel like this is the third year in a row that I feel like we have a chance in every game that we’re in. And that’s kind of all you ask for from your talent standpoint, from the situation your organization gives you. I don’t feel like everyone year in and year out always does have a chance and to be there three years in a row, just from what we’ve done in the offseason to how it is right now going through camp I feel real good about it.”

 RB Raheem Mostert has never had a full year because since he became the starter he dealt with injuries last year. He didn’t last all 16 games in a crazy season. I don’t think people view him as an elite running back just because he hasn’t played that many games. What are the possibilities for him if he plays a full 16 or 17-game season?

“That he will be viewed that way because when he goes, he is. And Raheem, to me, he gets better and better too. And just where his mindset is, how well he’s taken care of his body before he got here, how good he’s been throughout training camp. Raheem can’t control whether he gets hurt or not, but he can control what he does. And he’s prepared himself so hard for these situations. And if he stays healthy, then everyone will know that. And if not, hopefully he gets the credit for what he does when he’s out there because he’s been a big deal for us.”