Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – July 27, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
Will you give us a pre-practice injury report?
“That’s kind of why I stated that, because I don’t have it quite yet. I really don’t get that until about a half an hour before we go out there for sure. And then sometimes it changes by the time I get out there. That’s why I like doing it after, so, nope, sorry.”
It was stated yesterday, I think General Manager John Lynch said that once you get past the physical aspect with QB Jimmy Garoppolo then we’ll kind of see where it goes, so now that he’s passed the physical here, where does it go?
“He was in this morning, doing his throwing program. I don’t think he’s still here, so he came in and did that and he got out, so I’ll stay in communication with Jimmy. We’ll keep doing that and take it one day at a time.”
So did he ask to leave or are you guys saying go ahead and you don’t have to be here?
“We’re saying, go ahead you don’t have to be here. Anything he wants to be at he can. I think Jimmy, like I said yesterday, Jimmy, John and I talked for a while. We understand every part of this situation and I think both sides know each side is doing as good as we can.”
Is there a scenario where he could be on the roster week one if a trade doesn’t materialize before then?
“I don’t give an absolute anything, so yeah, I’m sure I could come up with the scenario, but I think I said earlier that would surprise me and I still feel that way.”
What was the background of your lunch with QB Trey Lance and WR Brandon Aiyuk in San Diego? And are you impressed that Aiyuk has seemed to kind of hang around Trey for a lot of the offseason?
“I’m impressed how Aiyuk has carried himself. I thought Aiyuk, I think everyone knows how it started off last year. He was a little bit behind where I wanted him and he accepted the challenge and handled it like a man and got so much better and just went to work. And I think that showed everyone as the year went through, showed to his team especially, the quarterbacks, the way he came back for the offseason, it was awesome. He was so prepared and one of the leaders of our team and it continued into the offseason. Some guys just hang around the quarterback, so people write articles about it and they can get brownie points, but that’s not Aiyuk’s style. I liked where he was before he left and the fact that he was with Trey for so long makes a lot of sense, because he seems pretty determined. And for lunch, they were just down by us working out, they went to go run some suicide hill or something they call it. Lynch did it with them. Lynch didn’t win. And then when they were done, they came over because it was right by my house. We were just going to go out to lunch and they went in the ocean for the first time that was fun to watch.”
How has that bond between Aiyuk and Lance grown that you’ve seen over the last year and how can that help on the field?
“The tighter people are at any position, the tighter your team is. It’s always an advantage, but especially at receiver. Every position depends on everyone else, but when those guys can react to stuff the same and it’s nice to be tight, but you also have to get those reps on the field together too.”
I’m sure the offense changes a little bit every year, but knowing that Trey is the starter, how much generally has this changed? Is there a Trey specific kind of lean to what you’re doing now?
“Not really, there’s a foundation that you have to teach everyone that I think that we believe in that you have to develop, it’s not plays, it’s how a tight end and a tackle can double team a D-end up to an outside linebacker, how good they are at that. How good a guard and a center are at cutting off a shade up to the middle linebacker, how good a receiver is at beating someone. All those plays you have to do well at and you try to play to all your players skill sets, but there’s certain plays you have to get good at just to succeed in this league and to move the ball. And then what can Trey do differently than we’ve had? I do believe Trey is a threat to run at any time, so knowing that he is a threat to run at any time, that definitely changes things. That gives another element that defenses have to worry about. Does it change your offense? I don’t think so. If you look at outside zone runs and then the boot legs that we do off of them, there’s no difference than that with the threat of a quarterback running. You don’t block the D-end and if he chases the back and we’re doing a keeper or a boot leg, just like a lot of teams do, it’s the same element of handing it off right away and a back taking it and the quarterback running. It’s just about making 11-on-11 and when you have a threat of a runner and they’re not doing that, sometimes you can get free yardage.”
John told the story about when you guys were on that charter or the plane after watching Trey’s pro day workout or his personal workout, and you started drawing plays. What became of those plays? Did you use them last year? Did you install them or are you going to do it this year or did they disappear?
“No, they’re always there. Some of those plays you do with quarterbacks who can’t run, it’s stuff that you could do off of what you always do. And just when you add in different guys with different skill sets, you just add another element and I feel we have a tough offense to defend. You add a different receiver with a different element. We got lots of good receivers. You add one with just a different skillset. We still have a good offense, but now we have something else that someone has to worry about. You have a different running back, you have a different quarterback with a different skillset. There’s lots of stuff you have to defend and I think we put a lot of pressure on defenses schematically. We also put a lot of pressure on defenses with our speed and how aggressive we are and how tough our players are. And then when you have to worry all about that and alright, then we might have to tell the D-end to change or the safeties to play different, because they might run the quarterback. It kind of balances it all out a little.”
Do you remember specifically what you were drawing up and showing John?
“All my notes are on an iPad, so they never go away, so I go back to them all the time. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it’s just plays that you do. And ‘hey look, you can do this play in pistol,’ and then look at the run you could do with it if they did this. And now if they stopped the run here, look at the play action we could do with it. And it’s not like, ‘hey, we’re just saving that play for day one.’ It’s we’re saving that play when they stop that play. What are they not accounting for? And that’s just different elements that you can look into.”
Aiyuk spoke to us during OTAs saying how important it was that he shared his experience and growth to the other members of the team, the younger players. How important is that to you?
“I think it’s extremely important. You have to go through experiences to learn stuff. People can tell you everything they want, but you don’t really know until you go through it. And I think that was the cool thing hearing from Brandon because his rookie season was COVID year. And so he didn’t have anything in the offseason. He just showed up here and we didn’t even know until about two weeks before he showed up whether we were having a season or not, so he was a little behind and then training camp was kind of a joke for the whole league. And so the season was kind of weird and then we had so many people get hurt and he had to play a ton, but that’s all he knew with NFL. So his experience is man, I just kind of showed up and I started all year and people say I’m going be one of the best guys next year. And he does have that ability, but he thought that was NFL. And the next offseason COVID still, we didn’t have the right rules. And he didn’t know he had to do anything until camp, so he just came a little behind. And he was like, ‘oh man, this camp’s tougher than last year.’ It’s like yeah, last year wasn’t camp. And then you get into the season and it’s man, this is different. And I think Brandon, instead of blaming other people and making excuses, he worked, didn’t say a lot, just kept going to work. And he’s a smart dude and he is perceptive and he learned, wow, this is right. This is totally different. Man, I’m going to be ready for year three, because year two was really my rookie year and that’s why he is so much further ahead right now. And sometimes guys have to get cut to learn that. And that’s what you hope guys don’t have to do, but guys have to learn it somewhere.”
We’ve had a lot to write about, to talk about, from our perspective. For you, did it feel like a uniquely crazy off season or is it kind of par for the course in the NFL?
“Not really. I thought it was kind of quiet personally. I mean, I think you guys were talking about the same things over and over that, that I, I mean, we were, there was going to be a trade and then there was a surgery, so my brain shut off on it until they’re healthy, until he’s healthy. I know everyone keep, but that that’s, that was the reality of it. And then you just, so there wasn’t, it wasn’t that stressful. I mean, some of that was frustrating, but that was, that’s just what you got to deal with. And I know people talk about the whole [WR] Deebo [Samuel] stuff it’s all over, but like that’s just repeated noise to me. Like that’s, that’s not really the reality. I mean, when I, when I talk to somebody that kind of counts for me, but not all of that’s real and you try to just, I think that’s a lot in life, but if you sit and you just read and read, which I get it, I can’t tell you, I mean, my number one thing I did in life growing up was listen to sports talk. I mean, that’s all I did when I got in the car and wanted to fight everyone who talked bad about my dad and then stuff like that. And, but now you get a job to do and you ignore that stuff and you know, what’s real, like you don’t know that when you’re not in it and that’s the stuff you got to focus on. And if you do do that, like, I don’t think a lot did go on this off season, totally. We’ve been waiting for it to get to a point where something can go on, but in the meantime, people just, they have to do their jobs and stuff. But my job’s not to listen to it.”
Going back to Trey, working with Aiyuk, and he’s super supportive of his teammates on social, I know you’re not social media, but he’s super supportive of his teammates. What are those parts of his personality help with the transition for him really taking over this team and endearing himself?
“I think when you have a kind of a veteran team who is expecting to have success this year and you got a rookie who’s playing, who’s coming in playing almost as a rookie quarterback cause his first time starting, um, it really helps that he’s a likable guy. I mean, if he wasn’t, you know, that’s, it makes things a lot tougher, just like it does in every aspect of life. And Trey’s a very genuine, good person who he, he works hard, he treats people with a lot of respect, and I think the team really does appreciate that about him, which gives him a good start, but we get out to that practice and um, it’s about how you play, it’s how you hold people accountable, it’s how you hold yourself accountable, and people are going to follow the guys that they believe in, who think gives them a chance to win, but his personality really helps him with the team.”
Coach, can you tell us what the moment was like when you told Trey it was his team, both for Trey and for you too? It’s kind of a cool moment to tell him you were handing him the keys to the franchise.
“I haven’t really had that moment. I just thought it was always obvious. Maybe someone tweeted him my press conference yesterday. Yeah, I hope it was a good moment for him, but, but I, but I think he’s known that he knows how I talked to him. He’s known that for a while. And so I don’t, you know, I don’t think there has been any crazy off season for him waiting to find out what’s going to happen. Like it’s, and I don’t, we’ve just been waiting, we’re all finding out to wait, to see how it settles, but we’ve all known for a while that this is Trey’s team.”
Now that he’s number one, is it pick up from last year or do you kind of reinforce the, the foundation, the fundamentals of what you guys do offensively?
“We reinforce the foundation of what we do offensively. I mean, that’s what we did in OTA’s, that’s what we’ll start today, with day one, we’ll keep that going and you watch guys, you study guys, you see what they can do. You push them as much as you can, then you pull back and then you try to study what we’re going against and see what they need to do for week one through 17, and hopefully more.”
You said that, uh, TE Charlie Woerner, hopeful to have him some at some point in camp. What about CB Jason Verrett? What’s, what’s the projected timeline for him?
“We’re hoping to have him some time in camp. Hoping to, yes. Yep.”
Deebo, is he participating in ball drills?
“He won’t today. Um, I just had a good talk with Deebo. I know there’s, we all know there’s a lot going on with Deebo right now, his representation and [Agent] Tory [Dandy], um, with [executive vice president of football operations] Paraag [Marathe], and [general manager] John, and [vice president of football administration] Hamp [Brian Hampton]. I mean, they’re talking nonstop right now, so we’ll see what happens, but it’s going to the clock and I, I just had a great conversation with Deebo. So regardless of what happens now, yeah, today I just talked to Deebo actually, before I came in, um, he was going to go out there, condition on the side, make sure, we’ll see where he’s at. Um, hopefully we can figure something out soon, but we’re in a good place for today.
Apparently certain quarterbacks study more film than other quarterbacks. Where does Trey stand on that?
“Trey does everything we ask him to and more, there’s a fine line with that stuff. Um, I mean, you don’t want to ever just study just to study you want to know why you’re studying, what you’re getting out of it, and stuff like that. And sometimes that takes guys a while. I remember, I remember growing up and being in college and trying to play football, and my dad always told me to study film and I was ready to, and I’d be falling asleep about 20 minutes into it cause I was just watching the corner and how to beat him or watching how cool the receiver’s gloves were or try, like what are you watching that’s going to help you? And sometimes that takes playing, sometimes that takes seeing the league to really learn that. Some quarterbacks that helps more than others and some can over study stuff to where they can’t play with a clear mind in that pocket. So there’s, it’s different for everybody, but you got to, um, you always got to work, especially that position.”
What were you and Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek’s thoughts on DL Drake Jackson coming out of that mini-camp and what, what, uh, kind of challenges does he have to kind of overcome to be a factor on the line?
“The movement we hoped for and that we saw in college, we were very excited about and saw, we didn’t do much team stuff and we didn’t do anything physical. So now we want to see him play football and see how he can get through a training camp, and if you can keep that athletic ability while continuing to get better and um, find a way to stay healthy while he does it.”
When, when did it become, I guess, easy for you to block out the noise with, was that natural or is it something you learned over your career?
“I’d say you don’t learn it until you have to. And so, I think I learned that probably in the first like, three months in Washington.”