Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – August 9, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
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Have you set the schedule for what you’re going to do in the preseason game? Is the first team offense going to get any snaps?
“Yeah, some of them, we have a pretty good idea. I definitely want to see how these practices go these first two days. I’d like to get guys to play in this game. Mainly because I don’t want them to play in the second game, going to scrimmage a team, I’m more into the scrimmage than the game. And then it’s them having a chance to get to play in a game four days after that versus Houston, when we get back Sunday morning will be tough. So that’s why I don’t want them to play much in that game, so hopefully a little in one, a little in three and then we will have 17 days to get ready for Week One.”
You’ll play QB Trey Lance for sure then?
“In my mind right now, I’d like Trey to get in in games one and three.”
How about the o-line?
“Yeah, I want some of them in there at least. Yeah.”
Last year you had QB Jimmy Garoppolo just go one series in all three games. Do you want to see Trey do more than that?
“I don’t know. I haven’t totally thought about it yet. I didn’t know that we did that last year. Right now, my gut is exactly what I said. That could change after these two practices and what we see out there, but I’d like definitely would like to get him out there this week.”
You find those two joint practices far more beneficial than the game?
“I’d prefer that’s all we did, all three weeks and never play in a game.”
You guys announced your depth chart. How much time do you spend on that depth chart?
I was going to ask you why OL Jake Brendel is the number one center instead of Daniel Brunskill?
“We just had to put one there.”
Another one on that QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s the fourth quarterback listed. Has he even been issued an iPad? Does he watch film? Does he have the playbook?
“No, I’m sure he does at home. We haven’t given new playbooks out this year yet, but he’s not in meetings, he’s not doing all that stuff, so he’s just doing what I said he’s been doing. I think he’s on the depth chart because you have to be, I think all 90 on our guys do. We have 91 actually.”
Is there interest? Is there trade, I know you’re the coach of the team here, but is there trade discussions happening right now with Jimmy?
“I believe that goes on with his agents, but none that I hear of.”
No offer, that’s been brought to you and say, what do you think of this?
“Not that I’ve heard of, yeah.”
Through the first 10 days of camp, how has Trey Lance met or exceeded your expectations for coming into this year?
“I think it’s gone kind of how you expect it. How you do with every quarterback, I think he’s had some real good days. He’s had a couple rough days. I thought he had a rough day his last practice, which it’s going to be good to see how he bounces back today, but I’ve been real pleased with Trey and real pleased with all three of them.”
When you say that last practice, it looked like there were some accuracy issues, but when you’re reviewing that practice, what stuck out as far as, okay, there’s some room for growth here?
“The turnover that he made to [LB] Fred [Warner] and the turnover that [QB] Nate [Sudfeld] made backed up, those were the two ones that bothered me the most. You’re going to be off on some throws, but you can still win games when you’re off on throws. You can’t win games when you turn the ball over and it was mainly the turnovers.”
What kind of camp has Nate had in your estimation?
“I think Nate’s had a good camp too. He’s gotten better each day. I think these last three days have probably been his best days that he’s put together, so hopefully he’ll keep improving and the trajectory keeps going up.”
You said the other day that if you ask that the cornerbacks they’ll tell you that WR Jauan Jennings is the toughest guy to cover, do you seek their input on those types of things or is it just stuff that you kind of hear or how does that go?
“I guess how I think they feel and then sometimes you ask them and some guys keep it more real than others. Some will say no one’s hard to guard. And some you can have cool conversations with, so yeah, I don’t put too much stock into it, but I also think that’s always changing. That was early in camp. I think Jauan had the best OTAs. I think [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A.’s pushing right now too though. He’s been real tough to cover out there.”
As far as center and right guard, obviously Brunskill’s not taking snaps at right guard, but you saw him all last year there. How do you sort of balance what you see from OL Spencer Burford given that there’s not like a direct competition with Brunskill?
“Because we know exactly what Dan can do. And I think Dan can actually be better with getting less reps. Not getting as much wear and tear on his body. Dan knows how to play. He’s figured out every position we’ve asked him to play since he’s been here. And now he’s trying to figure out center to see what the options are there. And also Burford can’t get enough reps, [OL Aaron] Banks can’t get enough reps. When you have guys who haven’t played a lot, they need to be out there a ton and that allows us to do that. I’m very glad that if it doesn’t work out for one of those guys, it’s not like, oh man, Dan hasn’t practiced there. Dan can hop in there right away.”
With Jauan, from where he started to where he is today, what have you seen from him and how impressive has it been?
“I think Jauan has always had the ability. If you watched him in college and everything, but I think Jauan this year really clicked on how to prepare his body. I think he always came to camp a little bit, not as prepared as he could be, which always made him a little bit of a late starter, which gave guys like [Miami Dolphins WR Mohamed Sanu Sr.] Mo last year, every opportunity to be ahead of him. But Jauan by like Week Four, Week Five, you could see it in him; how in shape he was and just how good of a football player he is. But when he got in such good shape and was coming off the ball every play, he strung together a bunch of weeks where he became one of our best receivers. That’s why he was so crucial in the last few games on third down and things like that. And this offseason, just like with B.A., they went into it and attacked it. Jauan was here more than anybody. And it led him to a great OTAs and he’s having a great camp too.”
How are Burford and Banks both progressing?
“Really well, I’ve been excited with them. They’ve been playing real well in practice and I’m excited to see them in games.”
Has WR Ray-Ray McCloud been about what you expected when you got him and could he might have even more of an impact on the offense than people on the outside figure?
“The coolest thing about Ray-Ray is I’ve watched him as receiver and I wanted him just for receiver. And then when we watched him as a punt returner and then we wanted him just as a punt returner. So we expect him to help us out on offense a lot. And the fact that we feel we have a good starting punt returner, a good starting kick returner is a huge bonus.”
How has DT Javon Kinlaw progressing now that you’ve been increasing his workload?
“He’s been great. To be able to keep pushing the reps up and up and for him to have no setbacks, it’s been awesome. And hopefully we’ll be able to get him in this game too, depending on how these next two practices go.”
You talked about his kind of happiness that he finally is without pain. It seems like it’s added to what he’s been able to do.
“Definitely. You just realize it when a guy’s playing through stuff. And he had to depend on so much more, because he was just trying to be always so aggressive and trying to get himself going. And now you watch him out there and he is a lot more at peace doing it. He’s improving on his techniques. He seems like he enjoys practice more and you realize it’s not, because he’s totally changed. It’s because he’s finally not in pain. And to watch that you just are very happy for the guy and not just for his career, but in his life.”
What are the biggest things you’re hoping to see from rookies in general in the preseason games?
“Just that the game’s not too big for them. That is the one thing that I do like about preseason games. It’s just that there’s some people that– some people get better when the lights are on and some get worse. And obviously you hope they get better, but you at least want them to be what they’ve shown in practice. And sometimes you get some guys who you think is a really good player and you get out there and for some reason whoever’s in the crowd or whatever it is, they kind of just melt and you’re like, alright, he’s not quite as ready as I thought.”
Watching practices, it always kind of seems like the defense is ahead of the offense, but is that a true representation? Just how the practices are structured and what you’re trying to get accomplished. Is it a true representation of where the offense is and where the defense is?
“I don’t think I’ve ever in my career felt, except maybe in Houston for two years, but I’ve never in my career felt like the offense beats the defense in training camp. When we were in Cleveland, they had whoever won the day got to wear the orange jersey the next day and the defense won all 18 of them. And then one day we let the coaches compete and catching punts and the offensive coaches won that, so the offensive players got to wear orange jerseys one day in all of training camp and it was because the coaches won the punts. But then we came out and we were a pretty good offense that year coming out. It’s just different. You’re trying to teach stuff and you’re not game planning stuff and defenses are defending and I always think it’s a little bit harder.”
When you go back to the interceptions you talked about, what did Trey miss on that? The one in particular to Fred?
“Just threw it right to him, trying to force the ball and he just obviously has to check it down. He was extremely covered, so if you throw a pick and you can understand why someone’s doing it then it’s kind of neat for it to happen in practice because you can talk about it and be like, I saw what you saw, great job ripping it, the throw was off or yeah, I see what you saw, but this is what deceived you. But when you can’t see what they saw, then you’re going to lose the game. You have to check that down. There’s no discussion on that.”
Did he not have the right answer for you?
“No, he had that exact right answer. It was just a dumb play. Nate did the same thing in a backed-up period on the minus four-yard line. So those are the ones you just can’t do or you can’t overcome anything.”
Aiyuk said that even when he has bad plays, he has the same sort of demeanor that when he has a great play or something. Do you see that from him that he sort of stays even keeled?
“Yeah, he’s been good at that. I’m sure. He’s a competitive guy, so you never know how they are on the inside, but he handles himself very well.”
Last year with DL Samson Ebukam, I know it’s not just about sacks, but I think he had like one sack in the first nine or 10 games. Did you wonder about did we make a mistake here with this guy or did you see things that gave you hope that the second half would be what it was?
“No, we got him because of playing against him and the Rams. We wanted him to come here and do that for us and I thought he did exactly what he did against us. And I think he did at a higher level this year. So, I’m very excited and happy with Samson and he’s done exactly what we brought him here to do.”
Now that you’ve had them for the last couple of years at least, the guardian helmets. Have you formed any kind of opinion at all, whether those are worthwhile, do you think it’s something that’s good going forward?
“I love them. I don’t have to worry about the quarterback breaking his finger. Everyone’s got pillows on the top of their helmet and I spend every single meeting, telling guys to rush really hard and be the strongest part of our team, but don’t get close to the quarterback because people break fingers and it’s exhausting and I still coach it, but it’s so nice that we’ve hit their helmets a couple times. And it’s nice when they have a pillow on top because you don’t break your hands.”
Will you be using them against the Vikings or or are they not used in those?
“I don’t know what the rules are. Once the rules aren’t there, I can’t force people to use them, so that’d be up to those guys.”