Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – September 6, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center


Opening comments:

“All right, injuries. [WR] Ray-Ray McCloud [III] he got cleared so he is limited, at least by the doctors to practice and everything. [LB] Oren Burks limited, [S Tashaun] Gipson [Sr.] limited, [LB Talanoa Hufanga] Huff limited, [TE George] Kittle limited. [RB Jordan] Mason limited. [K] Jake Moody limited. That’s it.”


Can you confirm that DL Nick Bosa has signed?

“Yes, I can”


Is he here now?

“No, he’s going to try to get here today though, so hopefully.”


Will he be out on the practice field?

“Maybe. I actually was preparing to talk to you guys about how I have nothing to tell you guys and I was three minutes late because I just got told of the news. So, obviously pumped up about it and try to hit him up after this and figure it out. But, I know he is trying to get here as fast as possible.”


What kind of relief is this for you? What were your thoughts as we were getting closer to game one here?

“Not good thoughts. But, you try not to think about it much because it’s not really in my control and you’ve just got to let the process play itself out. Once it kind of went through the weekend, I just kind of got in my mind that we weren’t playing with him. Because if I would’ve gone back and forth, I would’ve been miserable. So, I just decided we weren’t. I think our team was ready to not and that was our mindset this way and it was a hell of a bonus to just get told that coming in here. So, we’re obviously real excited about it.”


What’s a realistic amount of snaps for Sunday?

“How many snaps are in the game? I’m just joking. We’ve got to see when he gets here. I know Nick will come in shape. I know he’ll be good. It’d be great if he could get into something today. I don’t know when he is going to get here or where he is flying from, but we’ll be smart with it. And that’ll be based over these next two and a half practices.”


You’ve got plenty of stuff that you’ve got to take care of, but how much did you get involved generally in this specifically? Did you ever just say, ‘Hey guys, let’s just get this done?’ What was your involvement?

“Yeah, I always want to get it done and that’s how we feel too. But, I didn’t get involved in this one at all. I try not to at all. We kind of had an idea it was going to be like this. I thought it would come to fruition sometime last week and it didn’t, which made me nervous, made me kind of move on with it just because I thought I had to. But, we all knew Nick was going to get rewarded like he did. I don’t know the exact details of it, but I knew it would be like that eventually. Our organization did and I think Nick did and I’m just glad we got it worked out on everyone’s side because we love Nick. I think he loves being here and he’s definitely earned this and he’s going to earn it going forward too.”


You literally just learned or did you get the indication that things are getting closer and closer and it could pop at any second?

“No, literally just learned.”


What was the first thing you thought of when you heard that news?

“Since it was right before I came in here it was [Vice President of Football Communications] ‘Corry [Rush] why are you wasting my time with these questions because they’re not going to ask me these questions anymore.’ So that was it. And now I’m really excited to go out there and have some other thoughts, start talking to the coaches and things like that. But once this weekend ended, we kind of had to stop thinking that way. If you start half in half out when you don’t know, I mean that can really mess up a lot of the plans and things like that, get people in the wrong positions. So, we’ve kind of been just one track, just hoping it would work out, but ready for it not to. And the fact it did, obviously everyone knows how pumped we are.”


Did you, defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks did you guys work on like a plan for what he was going to be doing in Florida these weeks that he wasn’t been playing with the team? Is he doing D-Line drills? What kinds of things was he doing, do you know?

“Probably the same stuff he does every other days down there, which is stuff that he knows how to do for D-Line. Nick is a smart player in our scheme. It’s not the most complicated thing for the D-Line, but he’s very good at it. So, Nick’s been on his own completely and that’s why I don’t want to answer too much. I’ve got to see when he gets here. But we’ve got to know Nick pretty well and kind of expect when he gets here to look and act and be in the same spot he’s been since the day we met him.”


Is there a corresponding move yet or does that happen when he puts pen to paper?

“No, we haven’t. I can’t believe you guys know. I thought we were the only ones that knew.”


Is there any question at this point whether he’s going to be in uniform on Sunday?

“I mean, there is question because we haven’t seen him, but I think you guys know how I’m talking. Like he’d have to have a beer belly and be out of shape or something which that’s not in Bosa’s DNA.”


I know you just heard, but do you tell players? What do you do when you hear this?

“I’d love to tell guys, they’d be excited. By the time I tell everyone, they’ll probably think it’s old news and ask why I don’t get that everyone gets stuff a lot faster than that. So, they all know I’m sure by now and I know they’ll be excited.”


Big picture, you have a group of guys, a veteran nucleus that’s been around for a while, a little older, and then you have some young guys kind of emerging. Bosa is like right in the middle of that at 25 years old. How important is it to have somebody like him who can set the standard for maybe kind of that next nucleus so to speak?

“I think it’s huge. I feel like that’s what we’ve been trying to do since we’ve gotten here. We’ve had some free agents that we’ve gone and paid for. I know we did [DL Javon] Hargrave this year and you go back to [CB Charvarius Ward] Mooney a couple years ago. But, for the most part, we got [T] Trent [Williams] in a trade who’ll ended up getting that after being here a year. But that’s the goal of how you want to do it. You want your players to see that. You hope you get the guys who play the right way and at a certain level and you can reward them. And I think it started with, I want to go back to [LB] Fred [Warner] and [WR] Deebo [Samuel] and Kittle and all those guys. And Nick was either the year after them, right? I think the year after. So, I’d like to have one each year.”


Have you seen guys following Nick’s lead already in terms of aspiring to that kind of work ethic and the discipline and all those types of things?

“I think everyone’s a product of their environment, so everyone thinks they are based off of people they’re around. Then when you get around different people or you think you’re one way or another and then you see them when someone like how Fred Warner comes in every day and works, you see how dedicated Bosa is to his craft, not just here but year-round. You see things like that from people you knew before you came. And I think that’s just what makes everyone change. I mean, everyone has a certain standard and then when you see other people at a higher standard who also play at a higher level, that kind of brings everybody up and shows you what it takes to be this good in this league, to make it in this league. And when you have that ability to be in a situation like this to be great.”


What are your guidelines for Moody to decide whether he plays? 

“Just as long as he doesn’t have a setback. He’s looking good now and I feel good about him and I’d be surprised if he’s not there. So, we’ll keep going at the pace we’re at. As long as he doesn’t have a setback, we should be all right.”


Do you have captains for the season? 

“Yes. We have [DL Arik] Armstead, [QB] Brock Purdy, George Kittle, Deebo, Fred Warner and Trent Williams.”


With Brock being a captain pretty early in his career, Dallas Cowboys QB Trey Lance wasn’t last season. Did you want to see that? Is it important for you that you’re starting quarterbacks a captain?

“It really isn’t to me. I thought about this when I became a head coach. I mean when you think really hard about the captains and stuff and it’d be cool if there was just one on each, which I kind of like and stuff, but then it becomes a little bit of a popularity contest with the players. I never want to have to get involved and tell them I disagree or anything. So I always just get their top guys. I have them all vote for four people. You get a first place, second place, third place and fourth place vote. I get the top eight and then you decide off of that and we went one through six and I think the most we’ve kept is seven before. But, there’s a lot more than six guys on our team who could do it and so that’s why it’s kind of a thing I try not to make too big a deal about because you’re going to offend someone on your team.”


Do you see Brock as a leader? 

“Yeah, I do. I definitely do. It’s when you go out and you play like he did last year, that’s what it is. I mean, it’s hard to be seen as a leader when you haven’t been out there before. Guys can think you’re a leader, you can act like a leader, but guys don’t follow many people who don’t produce on the field and I think that’s why he got so many votes this year because I think they believed in him and felt he was one of the leaders last year. Not because he’s being some vet and talking to guys a certain way, just because of how he prepares, that they can count on him and how he handled a number of situations when he got in there.”


What does this say about Deebo too, after he admitted he wasn’t what he should have been last year? 

“I think it says a ton. I was happy for Deebo, he got that. I think he was disappointed he didn’t last year. I know he was and for him to be one of those guys, especially how last year ended a little bit for him, I think it shows how dedicated he’s been. You guys have seen it out on the field and you guys have written about and stuff and the players feel it strongly also.”


What does Pittsburgh’s defense look like on film? What are the traits of a Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin defense? 

“They play as hard as anyone. Their D-Line, their linebackers, their secondary, they all get after it. They’re an extremely physical group. We haven’t played them for a number of years, but just watching, [DT Cameron] Heyward, watching [LB T.J.] Watt, [S] Minkah [Fitzpatrick], I mean those guys, not only are they as they as talented as it gets, but the mindset they play with, the effort they play with. When you don’t see a team for a while because you know not being in the AFC and it’s been like three-four years since we’ve gone against them. You don’t know where they’ve come and it’s very obvious why they won seven out of the last nine games. It’s just watching the defensive side of the ball and then get into their offense, seeing some of the players they have and the way that quarterback’s been playing and the way he played last year at the end of the year. It’s been real impressive.”


You’re more of a realist. General manager John Lynch seems like he’s a little bit more positive. Did that help you throughout process? 

“I love how you said that. I’m not a negative guy.”


Did that help you through this whole process with Nick Bosa that he’s kind of seems more eternally positive?

“I prepared myself from the beginning, so I never was expecting it right away, which helps me stay more positive. I’ve got a little different in these last couple days, but I haven’t been doing it for a while. John has the personality for this stuff. He does a good job with it and I know it’s been hard because I know how bad John believes in Nick and wanted him here for our team. So I know how stressed he was feeling that pressure to try to get it done. Not only him, but [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Paraag [Marathe] and [Vice President of Football Administration Brian Hampton] Hamp and I could tell when they walked in my door right before I came in here on their face and really just their energy that they had got it done because it was weighing on him a little bit. It was important to get him in here, just not for us to just have a better chance to win, but because of the person we know and how big of a part of a team he is for us.”


How long would they have been allowed to stay in the office if they hadn’t gotten it done? 

“It wouldn’t have been very long. They probably wouldn’t come down. It’s Wednesday. Things are a little tighter.”


Was there a mini celebration between the four of you?

“There was a couple bro hugs and congratulations and now I told them to go enjoy their day. Now we’ve got to get on to real football.”


Did you ever think you’d have to get involved at the last minute?

“Not really. I mean, if I do, it’s always just to talk to the player and I didn’t have to do that. So I’m glad.”