Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel Press Conference

Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel

Press Conference – January 6, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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Can you give us a little rundown on what the plan was or what the execution was at practice today, as far as the splitting of reps with the quarterbacks and how each person looked?

“Well, you don’t know what’s going to happen on Sunday. My crystal ball, as I’ve told you guys, isn’t as clean and glossy as it used to be or should be, maybe. So the biggest thing for us is to make sure we’re prepared for everything. So you try to do what people can do without doing too much, so you set people back. We have to be prepared so that we can operate at our highest level with whoever’s out there. And that’s our main objective and that’s kind of really all we really think about when we’re making our decisions.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned yesterday that the Wednesday practice is pretty much a half-speed practice. Thursdays are traditionally the most game-like. I’m just wondering from Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday, did QB Jimmy Garoppolo do a little bit more each day? Have you seen progression in just the sheer number of throws that he’s been able to make from day to day? 

“Yeah, I’m not sure, necessarily the number of throws. It’s more you’re just seeing how it progresses and you’re trying to forecast how it will hold up in the course of a game. That’s the biggest thing, so you’re trying to make sure there’s no setbacks. You are evaluating that and then again, making sure that everyone can operate and execute the gameplan as their teammates are counting on them.”

I don’t how much you knew about evulsion fractures before Jimmy’s. But has he surprised you at all with what he’s been able to do this week, as far as just his ability to throw?

“No, I’m actually I’m one of the foremost experts. I wrote my thesis on that very topic, so nothing has surprised me. No, he’s a tough guy and it is cool to see a guy try to work through pain. But he’s also trying to be smart and he knows he has to be responsible to the football team because we’ve all worked, all of his teammates have worked in blood, sweat, and tears to get to this point. We’re in Game 17 with an opportunity to extend our season and so he doesn’t take that lightly. So that’s been cool. And we trust that if he’s able to give it a go it’s because he knows he can hold up his end of the bargain for his teammates and all of the Niners nation.”

Looking back at the film from the last game, how did QB Trey Lance surprise you in a positive way? And what are some things that you thought he really should work on that he probably shouldn’t have made as mistakes?

“Well, I think so often a lot of us are guilty of kind of disassociating from professional athletes and really a thing that really impressed me was, wow, this guy hadn’t been on the field in a while. And I was just reminded today that he has started three games in two years. So the most impressive thing was that all of that build up to get his opportunity, how he handled the pressure and how he showed all the fans and really the world, what we’ve been seeing on a day-in, day-out basis. And that’s a progression and improvement, a guy that is continuing to get better day-in, day-out. And his expectations are high just like ours are for him. And it was really cool to see him play his best football as the game progressed. So often you learn about people and how they handle trials and tribulations, and when you don’t score touchdowns early, you don’t really know how someone’s going to respond. And that was an awesome thing to view. It didn’t surprise us in the least. But it was really cool that he was able to take the opportunity and play some good football.”

I believe the last time you played the Rams, Los Angeles Rams OLB Von Miller had just signed or just been traded. I’m curious as to what you’re seeing now, how much they’re using him and how comfortable he looks with them. And I imagine he’ll be a lot more of an impact player this time around.

“Yeah, it’s a nightmare. The other scenario, last time we played them, it was like a literal nightmare because we kind of had to like envision it in their system. Hadn’t seen him out there. And it’s just another really good player. The Rams are loaded with them that in a heartbeat, can change the course of the game. So you have to be very smart with how you approach the game. You can tell that he’s really gotten comfortable doing what they ask him to do and starting to find his niche within the system. And it’s just another headache that the Rams present.”

Why do you match up so well with the Rams?

“Well I think our success can be attributed to anytime we’ve had success it’s because our players have made plays. Whether it’s correlation or causation, that’s neither here nor there. At the end of the day, when we’ve played the Rams our best players have made plays and we’ve found ways to score, not only on offense, but on defense and special teams. We’ve been smart with the ball. It just so happens that our players have stepped up to the plate and challenged them well but every game’s independent. So all the last three, four, five games, whatever, matter nothing on Sunday which the Rams know and we know as well.”

We watched the first half hour or so of practices and there’s very little of the quarterbacks taking snaps from center. Has Jimmy done that this week? And is that process, accepting the ball with this injury, is that a concern with the thumb? 

“No, that’s a great point. A lot of people just think about throwing, but quarterbacks have to handle the ball every play. So that is something that we’ve had to be mindful of, that we’ve tried to not overdo. One of the biggest motivating factors in deciding on Sunday, is whether or not he can handle the ball. So, just like throws, we’ve had to put him through it for sure, but you’re trying to do it in moderation so you don’t set anything back and you give the player the best chance to succeed on Sunday. If he’s able to go, but, we’re not really concerned about that. We’re concerned about executing our offense and making sure both quarterbacks are ready, so we can handle whatever comes our way.”