Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan
Press Conference – September 21, 2022
San Francisco 49ers
“[OL Daniel] Brunskill, hamstring, won’t practice. [DL] Arik Armstead, foot, will not practice. [RB] Ty Davis-Price, knee, not practicing. [TE] Tyler Kroft, same thing. [T] Trent Williams, just resting, day off. [TE] George Kittle, groin, will be limited. Go ahead.”
Did Arik hurt the foot in the game?
“Yeah, it was bothering him.”
With Arik, is that a concern for this week or just a rest situation for him?
“I think he’ll be alright.”
You guys put QB Trey Lance on IR officially today, so can you just clarify whether you’re expecting him back possibly for the playoffs or have you ruled him out until next season?
“No, he’ll be out until next season.”
Have you had a chance to visit with him and how’s his spirits?
“He’s doing as good as you can. Trey’s been great. A number of guys, we’ve all talked to him a bunch, and he’s trying to come to the game this week. I don’t think he’ll be able to, until the swelling goes down, but he’ll be back and a part of us sooner than later.”
You went to the quarterback store this week, why QB Kurt Benkert? What caught your eye with him?
“He just had a good workout. Also, I think you only can have six veterans on your practice squads, so just thinking how to balance that out. And we liked what we saw.”
He obviously, is familiar with the offense, was that a benefit for you?
“Somewhat, but it’s not that familiar. It’s still different stuff and different words. I think maybe some familiarity with the style, but it’s not as familiar as you would think.”
Last year when the going got tough, you guys really relied on WR Deebo Samuel offensively to move the ball. Are we at that point yet with now QB Jimmy Garoppolo being back at quarterback, more involvement with Deebo in the offense or is it going to try to be more of the same from what we saw in the first two weeks?
“I think Deebo’s been involved a ton in the first two weeks. I don’t know how many carries or passes it’s been, but he’s been involved a lot. We don’t see the way it ended last year. We don’t see that quite soon, but you never know, have to always balance it out and see how to best attack the defense to win on Sunday.”
Has he added some elusiveness to his game, I’m talking about that 51-yarder, we know him was a physical runner, he’s got that explosion, but it seemed some of those cuts were really bouncing?
“Yeah, he did make some good moves. There was three guys there, it seemed unblocked in the backfield seemed like it was going to be a big loss and somehow he got through there, it was almost like a punt return and then he hit it, so I think he’s always been a pretty good runner, but that was a real impressive one.”
You guys spent all training camp putting in a lot of new stuff for Trey and his skillsets. Obviously you’re not going to give it away, but how much of that do you keep or do you just go straight back to last year’s playbook with Jimmy?
“We put all the same stuff in last year too, so it is not as big of a difference as people think. You’re running really the exact same runs. Just do you want to get in pistol and read someone or do you want to hand it off and not read them, so it doesn’t change it as much as people think.”
How is Jimmy approached this week now that he’s back in a starter’s role? Has he done anything noticeably different, whether it’s coming earlier, saying later, watching more film, going over data?
“No, he was the same as he has been the last two weeks. And the same as he’s been since he’s been here, so he just got back in to getting all the reps. We’ve done walkthrough so far, so that was really the only thing that’s changed.”
It seems like OL Aaron Banks has been pretty impressive, how much growth have you seen from him from when he came into the building?
“I’ve been real happy with him in these first two weeks. I think he took a step up in Week One from the preseason and I think he even took a greater step up in Week Two compared to Week One, so I thought he had one of our better games on offense and did a hell of a job.”
Jimmy’s obviously familiar with a lot of his past catchers, but there’s some new guys, WR Danny Gray, I would imagine is hard to adjust to right away. Does he have to spend extra time with WR Ray-Ray McCloud and Gray this week?
“Not as much as you would think. I do think that stuff’s a little overrated. If they’re open, he’s usually going to hit them. Those guys, when people come, people have to get used to things because people don’t always run routes the way that we have all of our guys do it. So sometimes that takes time. But you mainly train the guys in the offense and then they get very similar and Jimmy’s been used to all the other wideouts and those guys are fitting in just fine.”
This has pretty well been discussed, but the dynamic of Jimmy, all the speculation last year, what he went through through camp and then to go out there when called on and do it with a smile on his face, there’s not that many professional athletes that would be willing to do that kind of thing, what is it about him that allowed him to?
“Really that he is just like that in every situation since we’ve met him. That’s how Jimmy is and he tries to simplify things and not get caught up in all that stuff. And just tries to communicate with us. We communicate with him and I think that’s why our guys love him. And that’s why we all do, he’s been that way since the beginning.”
You said the other day that when Trey got injured, obviously it was very upsetting, but you had to go coach the game. Were you able to take some time to process at all, just kind of what that meant for the season and what it means for you or just go, go, go?
“Oh yeah, it’s why it’s really depressing after a game when you come in there with mixed emotions, you have to go into a training room and talk to someone who’s heartbroken along with yourself. You have to talk to everyone on the team about it and you have to come in here and answer questions. All that stuff’s extremely emotional and we really hurt for people who have to go through that.”
How different is it to face a quarterback that you know so well, like Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson, but in a new system, new coach, new team?
“They’ve had two games, but he still looks like Russ, he can make a lot of plays at any time. They had a lot of opportunities and they just came up short. The times they did score were always with big plays that Russ made. He made a go-route that got him to the two-yard line, a PI that got him to the two, they made a big go on third down. He made the fade throw to the tight end from like the 22-yard line. Russ makes plays and you can’t fall asleep on him, no matter how much you hold him down or you hold their offense down, whether it’s Seattle or whether it’s Denver, Russ can change that game at any time.”
Nathaniel Hackett worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I think he might have taken the job that you left with Tampa Bay on former NFL Head Coach John Gruden’s staff. And I believe you worked with his dad for a year, but you’ve never worked with Nate. How well do you know him?
“I’ve always been a big fan of Nate, starting with his dad, [former NFL coach] Paul Hackett, my second year in Tampa Bay he was the quarterback coach. And really one of the most influential guys I had there, he was unbelievable to me and taught me so much stuff. And when I left, Nate came in, I believe. I think it was Nate, then I think [Los Angeles Rams Head Coach] Sean [McVay] was after Nate. But yeah, I’ve always kept in touch with him, known him through his dad, but never worked together. He was the guy that we were possibly going to bring here when [New York Jets offensive coordinator] Mike [Lafleur] was thinking about going with his brother. So we’ve gotten close a couple of times, but I got a lot of respect for him and we’ve been around a lot of similar coaches.”
The fact that he’s a football coach’s son, you’re a football coach’s son. He’s taken all kinds of flack this week for some of the things that happened the first couple games, you’ve had outside noise coming in regarding the quarterback running thing. As coaches’ sons, are you guys better equipped to deal with stuff like that? If you’ve seen that going on with your dads years ago?
“Maybe a little bit. My biggest worry growing up was when there was a tough Sunday how are those two articles going to be on Monday morning? And how much crap am I going to get from everyone at school? I can’t believe that it used to be that big back then, because there’s no such thing as just two articles on Monday morning. There’s updates every second. I think it is different, but you do get a little hard into that stuff, but everyone’s still humans, it’s not easy. It’s harder on your wives, people that are out in the world, you can’t just kind of bury in and focus on your team, but we all know that comes with the business and especially watching our dads go through it and no matter how good things are, you’re always going to go through tough times. The stuff you get trained at going through as a coordinator. I got that for a lot of years going as a coordinator and I think it helped prepare me as a head coach. And I think Nate is going through the same stuff like we all do.”
We were told you were talking to Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr before this, is he in the building or what’s the nature of that. And what’s the nature of your relationship with Steve? How often do you get to talk to him?
“Not much. I just got to meet him this summer. We have some close mutual friends and stuff, but no, he was in the area and asked if he could stop by, wish he came at a more exciting time, like a practice or the team meeting. He was only here during walk through, but it was cool that he got to get out there and just catch up with him for a little bit.”
Linebackers coach Johnny Holland’s known as very encouraging and positive and you’ve known him for a long time, do you ever recall any occasions where he’s kind of snapped or lost his cool or yelled?
“Yeah, but it’s all in a different, you have to change your standard of what snapping is when it’s Johnny. You can tell when he is bothered by something, but it’s not going to be like me snapping on something or something else like most people. Johnny is very even-keeled. It’s hard to get him out of that and he’s been that way ever since I met him in Houston, almost 20 years ago.”