Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference (Postgame 9-25)

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – September 25, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

Opening comments:

“Injuries from the game. [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair] had a knee, did not return. [T] Trent Williams had an ankle, did not return. Go ahead.”

Any early indication on the severity of either?

“Yeah, they said Azeez is most likely MCL and Trent most likely high-ankle.”

Is it a sprain or a tear for Azeez?

“I’m not sure.”

Obviously, a different kind of game, but what were you going for? Were you just trying to play it as safe as possible? What was the kind of the idea in your head as this game was going along?

“No, I wasn’t trying to play it as safe as possible. We were trying to get someone going, I felt like we had a lot of shots in the first half. Kind of went exactly how we wanted in terms of moving the ball and getting some big plays, but had a number of penalties that I thought hurt us in the first half and then we didn’t convert a third down. I believe we were 0-4, so I thought we should have a lot more points to show for what we did on the first half. In the second half, never got into a rhythm, when we did we had that fumbled snap, got backed up, went into the safety, had another turnover, didn’t get the run game quite going and just never could really get in the rhythm in the second half that we had in the first. And when you don’t convert a third down until, I think that last drive, that’s usually not a good recipe.”

Is there anything you can put your finger on, a common thread that you guys were 0-9 on third down up until that last one that you mentioned?

“Yeah, I thought we made too many mistakes today. I thought we made too many mistakes and I’m not taking anything from them. They did a real good job too.”

How bewildering was it that QB Jimmy Garoppolo stepped out of the back of the zone at that point?

“That was a tough situation I put him in. That unblocked guy coming, I wish we had time for the big play and could have ditched it, but it was a tough situation I put him in.”

After the RB Jeff Wilson Jr. fumble at the end of the game, I saw you approached the official, you were pretty upset. What were mad about?

“I just thought from where I was, which I’m not on the line, so I could be wrong. From where I was, I thought there three technique jumped a couple plays before that on the big sack that set us back, but that’s what we all saw from where I was at, but I don’t know how it was.”

How would you evaluate the way Jimmy played today?

“I thought he played really well in the first half. I thought he was made some plays, hit the ones that were there and then made some that weren’t there. In the second half, I don’t think anyone on offense did good, including myself. We didn’t really get into rhythm the whole time and our defense did a hell of a job keeping us in there, but we weren’t able to get it going.”

What do you put on your plate? You mentioned yourself putting Jimmy in a bad situation.

“Just all the mistakes. I thought the offense made, I put them in that tough spot there with the safety. Just not being able to get anything going.”

On their first field goal, you made the choice to decline the penalty, what went into that?

“I was told it was a 50/50 decision. We’re a little nervous of Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson making a big play on third-and-long, maybe throwing it up, getting a PI or getting a holding, getting an automatic first-down or something like that, so we went with the 55-yarder. Next time in the second half, I switched and went the other way.”

You mentioned Russell, big play. In the back of your mind, as this is going on, this is within Russell’s reach, is that sort of what happen?

“Oh, always. That’s what Russ does. He’s really good at that stuff and we held him for a while, but it’s tough to keep doing that all game.”

Why do you think the offense has struggled to maintain a rhythm early in the season?

“I was just talking about today.”

I was just asking in terms of like big picture, the first three games.

“First game, I thought it was a little bit of a monsoon. I thought second game, I thought we did pretty good. Today, I thought we struggled to get in a rhythm in the second half.”

Does this feel at all similar to some of the things that happened last year? Just the slow start, you’re looking at the Rams now, it was sort of similar to last year. Do you see that at all?

“Not really. I look at it as three games. Each game has its own story. You guys know these three games and today we had our opportunities, but we definitely need to do enough offensively in the second half.”

When Trent went out, you went with OL Jaylen Moore first and then OL Colton McKivitz later, was that because was Colton banged up?

“Yeah, he got banged up during the week and we just gave all the reps on the right side, left side and stuck with it.”

What was your message to the team?

“Really just what I told you guys. I thought we made way too many mistakes. We had our opportunities in the first half where I thought we should have been up a lot more than we were. We missed on those. Came back in the second half and I think that the defense kept it going. Offense had a chance early and started out with the fumbled snap and then we never got it going after that. Stay on the field, unless you’re getting huge plays, you have to convert a third down and we never did that.”

Do you feel that you guys really missed DL Arik Armstead’s presence on the inside and then how do you feel about the pass rush?

“I’ll see on the plane when I watch the tape. We held them to 11 points, you always want the pass rush to do as good as it can. And when you’re missing a player like Arik, that’s never a good thing, but I don’t think that was the issue today.”

How do you feel RB Jeff Wilson Jr. ran?

“He ran hard. Had some real good runs early, but just couldn’t get anything going in the second half. And I don’t look at that as the individual, I just look at that as the whole offense.”

Before K Robbie Gould’s field goal, I think it was fourth-and-two. Did you consider going for it there or was that an easy decision?

“No, it was a pretty quick, easy decision. I thought we were short right away and sent the field goal team out there.”