Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – June 7, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
The fact that WR Deebo Samuel, you expected him to be here, the fact that he is here observing practice, is that a sign that the relationship has been mended a little bit?
“Yeah, I think it’s always been alright. I know we go through the business part of this league, but I don’t think the relationship was ever too far away to not get it back to normal and I think we’re working on that. Anytime you’re away from each other for a while, that’s always harder, but it’s good to get him back in here and start getting him around the guys again.”
Has he rescinded his trade request? Are the two sides trading numbers? Are negotiations active right now?
“They always talk. I’m not going to get into that and you guys can ask Deebo to speak for himself on that, but I love our relationship with Deebo and hopefully that’ll help us be able to solve this contractually before we get to the season.”
Have you personally had an opportunity to sit down with him one-on-one in the last couple days?
“Not in the last couple days, but yeah, I have.”
You’ve said and Deebo has said that you guys always have had a good relationship. What’s it like for you? Is it a delicate situation for you knowing that management and Deebo have business to talk about and you have a personal relationship with him that you want to keep intact?
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t think my personal relationships ever get in line with what I do for a living. You have to have personal relationships to coach people and to get the most out of people. And not just players, but everyone in the building. So I think everyone does that, but you’re also not just trying to collect friends. You have a job to do and no one’s ever worried about that aspect with me. That’s why, to me, it’s easy for me to be myself with the guys and have a relationship because I also never steer away from what my job is.”
I know you can’t get deep into the specifics, but when you say you didn’t think the relationship was ever all that bad, some of his actions, most notably requesting a trade to leave the team, would indicate they weren’t great. Why do you say they weren’t?
“When I think of a relationship with someone, that has to do with him and me, not statements, not Instagram, not people repeating stuff. It has to do with the words that come out of my mouth to a man and him back to me and nothing else. And that’s never been a problem with me and him.”
DL Nick Bosa was here looking like Nick Bosa. Did you get a chance to look at him and is he involved in contract talks as well?
“We haven’t been doing that yet with Nick, just that’s how both sides are going at it now, and I’m not too concerned with it. I fully expect Nick Bosa being here for a very long time, but seeing him for the first time in a while, Nick always takes care of himself as good as any athlete I’ve ever been around. He had a good Florida tan seeing him yesterday. His quads are still huge and he’s ready to play football whenever it’s time to go.”
The negotiations haven’t started with him. Is that accurate?
“Yeah, they haven’t. I’m sure that’s a big tweet. I don’t know if that’s a big tweet or something, but no.”
What do you like about OL Jake Brendel and has he always been sort of a factor in your planning for the center position even before you knew for sure what was happening with former 49ers C Alex Mack?
“Jake made our team last year as our backup center and if you do that, you better believe that all backup guys have the ability to start. And then when they get that opportunity, how long can they do it for? But we had a lot of confidence in Jake last year to make the team. And if Mack would have ever missed a game or something, we wouldn’t have hesitated and we would have gone into that game very confident with him. We knew Mack retiring was a chance, was hoping he wouldn’t. And it went all the way up into free agency and we don’t want to make a big thing and go chase stuff, especially with a player that we’ve had in here who has done a good job and he’s shown us in here that he can do it. We also have guys like [OL Daniel] Brunskill who’s done it before and I think we have some young guys who can do it. So we’re in this situation, we knew Mack had a chance to leave, but you don’t want to take that risk. Just stockpiling other players when you can do that at other positions, especially when you guys have some guys in house we believe can do it. And we have to work them hard throughout OTAs, throughout training camp and we’ll come up with the best guy and then you’ll see how long he can do it over the year.”
How much can you learn at this point in the process during OTAs and mini-camp about offensive linemen, particularly interior guys, without pads coming on? What are you looking for at this time of year?
“Personally, I don’t think the pads change anything, in terms of run blocking. It would on pulling guards and powers and stuff like that, but when you’re doing the outside zone and reaching people and how you play with your hands, it’s about protecting your face and shoulders. But you can’t see much of it because we don’t do as much work at that as we used to. So you get an idea with all the individual drills and we’ve seen him in the past, so we know what he can do. You’re really just preparing guys as much as you can in OTAs to have a chance to get as good as they can in training camp.”
Jake, does signing him go back to his relationship with offensive line coach/run game coordinator Chris Foerster in Miami?
“Chris is the one brought him to our attention. Just him having him in Miami. He was a big fan of his there. We got him in, I believe during the COVID year, he had some things that he opted out, went right down to that last minute. We were able to get him back and last year was our first year with him and yeah, Chris talked highly of him and he’s been better than advertised.”
One thing that stood out to me in ‘16 when he came out of college, he had some amazing athleticism metrics. So I’m guessing, is he a guy that you see able to execute the more difficult blocks in your run scheme?
“Yes, he’s wired to do it and it’s about staying healthy and being able to adjust each week to some of the guys you have to go against. And that comes with some experience, but I think he’s ready for his opportunity and he’s getting a chance to compete with some guys and hopefully by getting that and getting those reps, he will only get better.”
Has there been conversations about going out and getting a veteran center or are you guys happy with the group you have?
“We take in everything. We have a conversation about every position, so you know all the veterans out there, you know the guys who have a chance you pay to come in, you know the guys who have a chance to come in and be at the back of your roster. And so, you looking at it at every spot. I know Mack announcing his retirement was big news to everyone. We’ve had an idea about it for a while, so we’ve been looking at all situations and right now we feel like we’re doing the best one for us.”
We’re going to talk to special teams coordinator Brian Schneider tomorrow. What was it about him that led to him being hired? You’ve got a bit of a background with him at UCLA, right?
“I had GA’d at UCLA for six months and he was there. And I would’ve stayed there longer, if they didn’t kick me out of school, no don’t write that (laughing). Schneider was awesome there. He was one of the first coaches I was around and just the energy and the person. I didn’t know a ton about football then, but I just knew that I liked that type of guy. And then going against him over the years in Seattle and I think he was there 10 years and I just always thought they were the best team that we went to in that area, the most prepared in that area and played very physical. And so, when you know a person and you know from watching the tape and from experience that he’s good at what he does, I thought it was a perfect fit and it’s been great so far.”
Is there a plan for DL Dee Ford?
“I think he’s going to come in, he’s been excused for mini-camp, I think he’s coming in to get his physical later in this week. But no, he’s not doing anything with us.”
WR Danny Gray was using a Theragun on his hamstring. Is he having trouble with his hamstring?
“Yeah, he tweaked his hamstring last week in OTAs. That’s why he was out this week and will most likely be out next week.”
Have you gotten updates on where QB Jimmy Garoppolo is in his rehab and how close is he to throwing and what was the thought process of just telling him to stay away this week?
“All his rehab is down in LA, so for him to stop it to come up here for a three day mini-camp doesn’t make much sense for him or for us, so we want him to stay with his rehab. It wasn’t a real risky surgery or anything, I think it just takes time. I think the plan has always been July, but I know there’s no concerns with it. And he’ll be throwing sooner than later.”
His thumb, did that fully heal? Did he ever require any procedure on that?
“Yeah, nothing with the thumb.”
If you guys don’t trade Jimmy before training camp, do you expect him to be here practicing?
“Yes, I do.”
You wouldn’t excuse him, like that’s not the plan?
“I’ll think about that when that day comes, but Jimmy is under contract with us and if he was healthy, right now I would see him coming to practice. Unless we traded him.”
Is Dee Ford coming in for the physical a precursor to you guys releasing him or is he going to retire?
“I’m not sure. I know that we’ve gotten a good bill of health from his doctor saying how good he is in this spot. We’re going to check him out with our physical. I do not expect him to be on our team, but those are the three options that could happen.”
What’s important from the quarterback when you’re repping red zone and what did you see from QB Trey Lance there today?
“They had a good day today. It’s always tough down there, especially when we just did seven-on-seven. When you don’t have the threat of a run, it’s very tight in that area, so you want very aggressive precision passing without ever turning it over. Because you already got three points and from the whole group, I thought today was our best day offensively down there.”
With Trey, I know there’s been much made of his motion, but how much work was done on keeping his head stable? Was that a focus for you guys this offseason, just eliminating head movement?
“I guess, I look where their eyes are going, moving coverages. When you’re just throwing a football on air, there’s lots of things to get out of that, which guys work on. Mainly quarterbacks work on that stuff away from their coach. That’s little things, but when they’re with us, it’s about playing the game. It’s about how to get the ball out on time, how to not take a sack, how to move coverages, where to look with your eyes, things like that. But those are things real detailed quarterbacks never stop doing. You watch guys like [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB] Tom Brady and I feel like he tweaks his throwing motion for the last 20 years every year. And that’s why he finds a way to get it stronger at 40 than he had at 30. The good ones are obsessed with that and that’s something that really never stops.”
With Trey over the last month, just in terms of confidence and command of the huddle, how have you seen him grow and what changes have you seen from him?
“I think just having these OTA practices has been really good, because it’s about getting reps and going out there. And I feel like for the first couple days, Trey, along with everybody else, they were just trying to win the day, which to me, doesn’t help you that much. You really have to hone in on getting better. The defense you’re going against, they know the offense and you can’t try to just go for the big plays. You have to play with your fundamentals and prove with every rep you have, because you don’t get many reps of play in this game and you get them fully in the preseason and that’s about it, before it really counts. And I think Trey’s been deliberate in everything he’s done. I think especially last week heading into today you can see really see him stacking days and getting better each practice.”
It feels like WR Jauan Jennings is really kind of coming into his own. Where’s confidence from you as a play caller when you watch him play?
“I’m extremely confident in Jauan. I think if anyone watched our games at the end of last year, not many people covered him. He got open, he had aggressive hands, he got up the field, he blocked well. Jauan was a guy we had a lot of hope for coming into stuff. He had some setbacks with injuries, but once he got healthy and he got his opportunity when Mo [former WR Mohamed Sanu Sr.] went down last year he took off. And this offseason, him and [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A., the first day they got here they’ve had as good of an offseason as they’ve had since they got in the league. And they’re as good as they’ve been right now, both of them.”
Is something that benefits him that his body type if so much different from the other two guys?
“It’s all how you use it. He does have a bigger body, but he plays big. He’s fearless going over the middle, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t separate. And what’s cool about Jauan, he’s got some unique running styles, but just watch him, he separates more than probably all the other guys.”
Brandon Aiyuk spoke about being one of the leaders in that group just because he and Jauan are the only two guys that have been in your system before. Have you seen that from him, that leadership?
“I have. I’ve seen it by those two very strongly just and how they’ve been to each other here. I think them both being in the league for two years and going through that, it’s also different, I didn’t realize until you get with some of these guys, like none of these guys really had offseasons. Their first offseason was COVID. There was none. The second one was a half COVID offseason where we had like, I think we had four days before OTAs and then it was so much shorter. And so no one really knows who’ve been here for two or three years. And those guys to come in this year, to come in at the beginning this is by far the best I’ve seen them at this time. And I think that’s allowed them to be leaders. They knew what they were doing. They were in shape. They’re able to talk to other guys. I know how much they went into training camp or the season a little unprepared just from lacking experience. And you can see that experience that’s led them to prepare this offseason so much better. And that’s why their game’s a lot better. And it’s cool for other guys to see that.”
Are you having joint practices with the Vikings? What’s that typically, like two days?
“I don’t think much in advance, especially with schedules. It’s written down somewhere. We’ll probably take two days off before whenever we play and then we’ll practice two days before that.”
CB Charvarius Ward, we didn’t see him on the field or practice last week or today. What’s going on with him?
“We’re just being smart with him, he’s done some real good work. He’s been awesome. We’re just taking it easy with him right now.”
Last year you canceled the mini-camp. I think that came on the heels of a couple of serious injuries. This year you moved it up. What’s the difference? It seems to be a younger team, new coaches. Is it more imperative to have that mini-camp earlier?
“Mini-camp is no different than OTAs. So if you guys want to know the exact rules of mini-camp, the only thing with mini-camp is if you call it mini-camp, you have to allow a day to travel and for physicals, so that’s why we couldn’t do anything on Monday. And then we’re allowed to keep guys for a number of hours later, so we can have a walkthrough in the afternoon. So that’s the only thing that changes. I look at the offseason as you’re allowed to have 12 practices, nine of them are called OTAs and three are called mini-camp, but I just look at it as 12 practices and I don’t think you need 12 practices. I never have. And that’s why we’ve never done 12. I think 11 is the most we’ve done, but you don’t decide that before it starts, you decide that based off of 90 guys, you decide that based off where you think your team is and by the time you get close to 12, I’m always like, ‘alright, we’ve had too much let’s stop.’ And that’s why I usually end up canceling the last day or the last few days. I still don’t know where I’m at or our team’s at. I don’t think we’re going to need 12, so I thought it made more sense to move the mini-camp up, get everybody here. We’ll see how this week goes and see what we think we need at the end of the week.”
Do you think Deebo could go through drills tomorrow or will he stay just watching?
“I’ll talk to him about it. Us not being around each other much, I don’t think that’s smart for the team or for him. So it’s not something that I’m really counting on him doing and I’ll see where he’s at, but I think he’ll be alright with that too.”
How was it getting to the finals, being able to see that?
“That was awesome. That was real cool. It was my first finals game I’ve been able to go to and I got to sit close to the coaching bench which was really neat to see how they all do it and I’m hoping to see some more. It was pretty cool.”
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was down standing towards mid-court most of the time, rather than directly in front of you. Did you pick up any coaching techniques?
“You can’t hear that well, but it’s just cool to watch them all and to see how into it they all are. It’s the atmosphere that you want to watch, that I love watching. It’s a lot more fun sitting there and watching it, you can just enjoy your nachos and have a drink and just enjoy something that the guys right in front of me haven’t been sleeping and been thinking about it and waiting for that moment all day. So it’s kind of fun to go to that intense of a sporting event where you can just kind of check out and enjoy the moment.”
Do you know Steve Kerr?
“I don’t. We have some mutual friends, but I don’t know him personally.”