Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – September 22, 2023
San Francisco 49ers
“[LB] Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles had an ankle. He’s day-to-day. [LB Dre] Greenlaw ankle, day-to-day. Both of them are low. [WR] Deebo Samuel, his ribs checked out, no break. Pretty sore today, so it’ll be day-to-day. And that’s it from the game.”
With the amount of blitzing that the New York Giants did, have you seen that before or was it expected? What was your game plan going in facing that?
“We knew it was a possibility. They’ve definitely been like that before. That is a little bit of their system. Some games they do more than others, but we knew that was a possibility going into it, similar, to how Miami was last year. They had a similar philosophy. So no, it didn’t surprise us.”
What was the philosophy with going with WR Ray-Ray McCloud III as the starter at wide receiver? I think he got the most snaps out of everybody aside from Deebo.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Ray-Ray. He was having a hell of a camp before he got hurt. He’s come back, he’s had two good weeks since he’s gotten back and we planned on rotating him. I haven’t checked the numbers yet, but we were going into the game expecting it to be around 50-50. I don’t know what it ended up, but we had a lot of confidence in both Ray-Ray and [WR] Ronnie [Bell] to step up and split those duties at x.”
After looking at the film, how did QB Brock Purdy handle the blitzes and just reacting and adjusting to them?
“After watching the film, I was even more impressed than I felt last night after the game. And we missed a number of blitz pickups where he had some free hitters in his face. I think that always makes it harder with accuracy and stuff because you’re going to get the balls tipped and stuff if you throw it right. So you got to kind of avoid those things and I thought he hung in there, made few mistakes and had a hell of a game.”
How much potential do you think the five-man front your defense ran a few times yesterday has to grow given how well DT Javon Kinlaw is currently playing?
“Anytime you could get five pass rushers in there who are all effective, it’s great. You get one-on-one blockings and you have to do it with four D-lineman when we have [LB] Fred [Warner] hug the center too which gives some different looks. So it’s always an option. It’s always a problem for offenses anytime, but sometimes you got to get one of those guys to play coverage too, which they don’t like.”
Is this the best you’ve seen Kinlaw play?
“Yes, because it’s the healthiest. I go all the way back to his rookie year, right when he started getting going. I felt probably since then the best he was his rookie year right before that Dallas game and when he got his knee in the turf in that Dallas game is when he really never felt right since. This was the first offseason, we’ve saw him feel right to where he was able to get himself in complete football shape and be ready to go for practices before they even started, which was the first time that allowed him to get through practices. So, he got better at football this offseason with training camp and everything. Really happy for him because he is put the work in and it’s showing up on the film.”
With Greenlaw drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty in back-to-back games and he got a few last year. Are these heat of the battle issues or is this something that you have to address with him?
“I love how Greenlaw plays and I think he plays as aggressive as you can usually without breaking any rules. And I think both of these, these last two weeks were as close as they could get. From what I’ve seen on this one, I thought it could have gone either way. I’m going to be curious to see their answer on that. When we get that back from the league this week. I didn’t think either of them were too bad, so it’s nothing. Yeah, when guys cross the line and we’re making real stupid penalties that’s something that’s always addressed. I feel we haven’t had an issue with that. We’ve gone very few throughout these years. But those were two that I thought could have gone either way.”
How did you feel about your running back rotation, getting RB Christian McCaffrey out of there a little bit more?
“Yeah, I thought the week before just never getting [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] in was kind of an anomaly for us. But this I think was a little more what we expect, but each game’s going to be different. But I was happy how yesterday went and I thought both of them played well. I thought JP [RB Jordan Mason] did an awesome job when he came in and finished it there, allowing us to stay on the field.”
We talk about your core players quite a bit and I don’t think people appreciate how consistent your role players are. I wanted to ask you about S Tashaun Gipson Sr. You guys were pretty fortunate to get him at the beginning of last season. He’s listed as a safety, but it seems like especially this year under Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks on obvious passing downs, he’s basically a corner. How valuable is he to your defense and just what does he mean to your locker room?
“Oh, he has been great. So fortunate to get him. We got him at the end of preseason last year and what he did for us last year coming in and playing safety, what you’re talking about in third downs and stuff and our man coverages. He goes up and guards the tight end and challenges those guys and tries to guard them like corners do. So, he’s been great and he has been a sure tackler also. So, I feel very fortunate to have Gip. You see how he is on the field, but even off the field, we call him the dad back there because he’s the most mature one. He’s so consistent every single day and he really is one of the leaders for us too.”
What’s your plan with the coaching staff? Does this give you a time to kind of take a deep breath and kind of self-scout over the first three games or what do you have kind of outlined for your guys?
“I let them get away on these Thursday games. That’s really one of the only times that you do. So, we all meet over Zoom today and review this game and stuff like that. But besides that, I don’t make anyone come in until Monday. It’s actually kind of nice too for guys, the one time in the year this and the Bye Week where you can kind of sit on a Sunday and get to watch football all around the league like a normal fan and stuff. And I think that’s always good for the guys too. You guys get a little work. Guys have their computers and everything where they study their positions and where they’re at so we can have some things prepared for the players on Monday right when we come in because they get a bonus day just to get back in the groove of things. So it’s a really good rest and that’s the good thing about Thursday Night games, especially when you win, because you’ve got three days to kind of relax and enjoy it, but it’s never fun when you lose.”
Does this feel like you guys are in the same groove that you were in at the end of last season when you kept winning week after week?
“I feel like we’re close. We finished last season on a roll during the season. Got in a groove. I don’t think we’re totally there yet. I think we can clean a number of things up. I thought we hurt ourselves in a number of situations last night and kind of have all three of these weeks, but hasn’t been perfect. But I still think we’re getting there, but I still think we can continue to improve a lot.”
As far as running back you’ve coached, where does Christian McCaffrey’s stiff-arm rank?
“It’s pretty good man, can’t think of anyone with a better one. So, Christian’s kind of is at the top of almost every category. So, he does everything pretty good.”