Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel Press Conference

Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel

Press Conference – August 26, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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How has it been going shuffling QB Jimmy Garoppolo and QB Trey Lance out every other play?

“Well that’s just something that we’ve been doing lately, just for guys to get used to it, just to keep our options open for the season with defenses and opponents and plays and whatever. So, it’s great work getting the quarterbacks working with various centers. That’s very important in terms of ball handling. So, it’s been fun. I think the guys have enjoyed it as well.”

It was noted that T Shon Coleman hasn’t played a regular season game in a long time. What, three or four years? Have you seen a progression from him since camp started?

“Absolutely. Absolutely. You don’t know where guys are at when you’re away from them for very long. And really, that’s kind of like an issue that all coaches have, you get very stressed out about how they’re going to be and he’s done a great job really working into football shape. He’s doing great things and continuing to progress, which is all we ask for really all of our players.”

What do you see out of RB Trey Sermon and how has he done the last couple of weeks?

“Well, he was hurt. So, that was unfortunate, the timing of it. But this week specifically, I’ve been very encouraged with some of the coaching points that we’ve been giving him. It’s an adjustment for a running back, any ball carrier in the NFL. The speed is just so different and the holes are different and you can’t stop and start as much. So, we’ve been coaching him up and [running backs] coach [Robert] Turner [Jr.] has done an outstanding job at pushing him like he does with all the young guys. And this week specifically, I think his teammates have really noticed. He’s been very deliberate and forceful. And it’s been very encouraging this week.”

You guys have talked about one of the big adjustments here is learning all of the pre-snap stuff. For you as a coach, what are the keys to kind of helping them through that process? Just knowing that’s an additional thing that a lot of them, maybe haven’t done in the NFL.

“Reps and you don’t hold back early. One of the things we’ve been fortunate with is we’ve been there. Even though it’s not always great to get fired in coaching and having different jobs, the opportunity it presents is you learn ‘Okay, how do you best install your system so that it’s ready for the regular season?’ So, specifically with us, we start motioning and doing all pre-snap stuff from day one. So, we try and attempt to make it become who we are. So, it is an afterthought, guys get used to lengthy play calls, various motions, etc.”

 How often do you see maybe, especially from rookies, mistakes coming from that?

“Oh yeah. A lot. A lot. And so, you really have to be disciplined and again, we’ve been fortunate to have trial and error in various organizations. The key is that you don’t quit and that’s the one thing that we’ve really learned in the process is that just because they’re messing up a motion doesn’t mean you stop motioning. So, we continue to try that. It’s just like cadence. We were having cadence issues at the beginning of the camp. We kept using it because we needed to and we’re working through it and we are much better than we were the last time we talked. And so, you just don’t really take the foot off the gas in that regard.”

In 2012 with Former NFL QB Robert Griffin III did you guys learn a lot from that experience, just in terms of getting a rookie quarterback up to speed and sort of creating a specialized version of an offense?

“Oh, for sure. It really shaped a lot of our careers in that regard because we did learn so much. What was unique is [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and [former NFL] Coach [Mike] Shanahan, we didn’t have anybody really on our staff that had experienced with any of that stuff. So, we really, as a staff had to kind of piece it together and learn for ourselves, which is the most powerful way to learn. And it really changed the way you look at defensive schemes in general. It’s not just manifesting itself this year. That’s been our whole career. It kind of opens your mind to how 11 men have to play defense and gap soundness and all sorts of things.”

Do you feel a lot more prepared or I guess in a better spot to work with somebody like Trey when you’ve already implemented that kind of stuff?

“Realistically, we wouldn’t be the same coaches we are now at all. And with a lot of different schemes that we do, and again, not just this year, but in years previous. So, it’s been very beneficial. I don’t think whatever product we put out last year, this year, the next year moving forward, it wouldn’t be the same without those years in Washington.”

 Kyle has said both quarterbacks will play this year. We’ve seen that in practice, most teams play one quarterback. What are the benefits of playing two?

“Most teams don’t have two good quarterbacks. And so, the benefit is you can really do with players, things that they’re really good at. And as long as you have the right unit, that’s willing to work together, which we do, the right organization, the right people, where it’s all about the 49ers winning football games, you just really try to problem solve what’s the best way. And it’s literally that simple. And so, the benefits to us is really that we can utilize skillsets from everyone and do it in a manner that everyone can cohesively play together.”

 Have you ever been in a situation like this and do you worry about splitting a locker room? Talk about that.

“Well, that’s interesting because I could see how that would potentially be a situation at other places. Again, this is from top to bottom, really that’s not really a concern at all in the 49ers organization because of the leadership and because of the players that we have in the locker room. Everyone really is, from our team meetings to our practice, so focused on just trying to do whatever it takes to win. Understanding that when you win, personal validations and successes happen to everyone. So, that common goal has really insulated us from anything. To be honest, I haven’t heard really anybody’s opinion on X, Y, or Z, in that regard, because no one really cares. Everyone trusts that their intentions are right and we’re just trying to do the best thing for the 49ers to win and working forward in that regard.”

How do you balance wanting to use Trey’s running ability and also protecting him long-term?

“You try to teach him how to play football well. It’s kind of that for every position, really. If you’re carrying the ball, you have to know how to protect yourself. And if he carries the ball, he’s going to have to know how to protect himself. That’s different from position to position. We tell linemen to if they have the ball in their hands to get low and dive, because people are going to cut them. That’s very different than a running back, very different than a receiver. So really, all of it is you’re just coaching situations and quarterbacks have the ball in their hands literally every play. So, you have to coach him when you’re running the football the same as when you’re passing the football how to protect yourself.”

Have you ever seen him slide?

“Yeah. I’ve seen him throw, slide, dive. I think we’ve had experience with quarterbacks and their various commitment to diving or sliding. Really, you’re just trying to take advantage of space while keeping yourself out of harm’s way. And so, each and every play is different. I’m sure there’ll be situations where he slides, situations that he dives, might happen this Sunday. Hopefully it will.”

You’ve basically gone the whole camp going up against the defense in team drills without DL Nick Bosa and DL Dee Ford. What’s it like when they drop Bosa and Ford in there?

“Yeah, it’s a very conflicting feeling because you’re excited and it’s also making your life miserable. So, you have to keep the common goal in mind where, ‘Hey, good defense is great for us,’ but as coaches you’re trying in the practice to do well. But really when you sit back in the meeting room and you’re watching the players play, if it’s a really good player beating you, at least you feel better about that. You definitely could feel it in the last couple of days and I’m very excited for our team because of that.”

Jimmy said that he talked to former NFL QB Drew Brees about what it was like to share snaps with another quarterback. Did you do any of the same thing in the offseason? Talk to other coaches who’ve dealt with it? What the pitfalls are, what the challenges are, that sort of thing?

“No, I didn’t specifically. The mantra of that we’ve always operated by is ‘Okay what makes the most sense for the team?’ I know Kyle takes that super serious. He takes the responsibility of making the proper decisions for the team paramount. So, I wouldn’t say that you’re reaching out. You watch it and you think through it and then you try to apply your best foot forward in that avenue.”