Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel Press Conference
Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel
Press Conference – July 29, 2021
San Francisco 49ers
How do you determine what a good practice is for you?
“A good practice is one that an entire offense, you feel like at every position, they have improved on things from the day before. There’s never a practice that’s perfect. So you’re, you’re always understanding that, but at the same time every time you make a mistake as a player or as a position group, you’re always looking for people to respond in a manner that after the fact on the next play like in a game. Because there’s going to be bad plays and you want to turn those into momentum swings and good plays.”
Without watching the film, do you have a sense of where you are day two compared to day one?
“Yeah, it was a good practice in that regard. We had some issues with cadence yesterday that I think that Kyle alluded to. That was corrected. Then more things came up today. We had some ball handling issues because of extra sweaters and center quarterback exchange. So that will be the next thing that we’ll have to do tomorrow. So you check one thing off the box and move to the next.”
You guys left OTAs, I think, eager to see what QB Trey Lance would do, how he would use that time. What’s the verdict on that? Can you tell that this guy put in a lot of work in?
“Definitely. Very pleased. There’s a lot of things that there’s only so much time in the day and there’s a lot of things we’re going over. You’re trying to talk footwork, fundamentals, but then you are trying to talk scheme. And 40 days away, you’re by yourself. So there’s a lot of techniques stuff that you can improve on. And he’s come back in a manner that we’re happy with. And I think his teammates can feel that he’s put in work too.”
WR Brandon Aiyuk was someone who seemed to be kind of ahead of the game last year, even without rookie camp and OTAs. What does this progress look like this year?
“Brandon’s a young player that I don’t think people really realize how much a true off season, what it does for a player in terms of trying to play in the National Football League and coming from the college game. This off season has been tremendous for him in terms of being able to develop his game. Just not trying to stay afloat, but there’s a lot in front of him. He has high expectations for himself. We have very high expectations for ourselves. So it’ll be a while before we’re completely pleased with any player because that’s our job, is to develop them. And so that’s what we’re doing with Brandon.”
Comes to WR Deebo Samuel and he has all this competitive drive that you like to see and it’s been showing two practices in. Do you worry that it gets a little too much early in camp or that’s just how Deebo is and just hope he doesn’t get too far?
“Well, [head] coach [Kyle] Shanahan does a great job in his team meetings of articulating through all of that. Teo understand that it’s important to have juice and bring juice to practice and raise the level of your teammate’s performance, but there’s a fine line because we’re all in this together. So with Deebo, we don’t worry about that. His intensity is infectious. And so we rely on that as a team and he’s come back in great shape and excited that he’s healthy.”
You mentioned in the spring that Mohamed Sanu Sr. looked like he was back to maybe where he was previously. How much further along, even just from then to now, do you see him? And then what kind of role do you envision for him?
“Well, it’s ownership of our terminology. It always changes. Every time you go to a new team, it evolves a little bit. So last year when he came here for a week and a half, he had to absorb all that in OTAs. He was working on it. And he’s come back with a little more ownership. As far as the player, it’s been very impressive. I think it’s important to the team for his play, how he’s performed, but as well as just how he carries himself as an example for the other for his teammates, the younger guys. That that’s something that we were relying upon him and he’s come through as it is day two of training camp.”
I know coaches don’t necessarily love to compare or think about things in the past, but just given you have a very highly drafted quarterback, a quarterback who would also wait in a Super Bowl pretty recently, is this a unique situation for you? Just in terms of like a depth chart and seeing two guys up there that are pretty high level just in your career that you’ve worked with?
“Yeah, I think it’s a unique situation for me for the whole room. I’ve been very impressed. The quarterback room we have has depth and it’s very competitive in terms of guys wanting to be their best selves. So that’s unique and we all know our history with injuries and whatnot. So it’s relieving to some degree from our standpoint, but it’s been fun. It’s been really fun to watch, much like the rest of our positions, the quarterback position it’s competitive, but it’s like constructive competitiveness. Where guys aren’t, they’re trying to help each, but they’re demanding and being accountable to themselves to try to organically raise their game. So everyone’s helping each other. It’s a cool culture. Really fun to be a part of.”
Kyle has made it clear, it’s not a competition right now, but in your mind, how do you define that threshold for Trey? Where, okay, he’s at this point, now it is a competition.
“You just try not to get ahead of yourself and do right by the players. Okay. You have to earn stuff in this league. And that’s one thing that in the 49ers organization, from the ownership to the head coach, to the GM, the synergy, there’s no agendas. So everyone is working towards the same goal. And in that the players trust that, okay, everything’s earned. You can feel that. They respect it. That’s one of the reasons they all buy in so hard. And so it doesn’t really come across your mind in that regard. You’re saying, ‘Hey, Jimmy’s playing awesome. That’s awesome.’ Our job is to get every player better. So we try to get them better. And when they are better, that’s when we cross that bridge.”
How important is it to get Trey Lance reps throwing to George Kittle? Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk?
“It’s important, but everything’s important. I would say that it’s not at the top of the scale of importance, because more than anything, you have to get down the timing of everything. You have to get your foot work. You have to know where everyone is. You have to know your responsibilities, and once you have completely mastered that, then it’s a game of inches. So it is important, but it’s kind of down the list in terms of a priority.”
Kyle was saying that you were working on some of the little technical stuff, just tightening some stuff up with Trey in OTAs, and that now that he’s back, he can focus a little bit more on the playbook and just sort of play. Do you sense he’s a little bit more ease not thinking about that stuff?
“Definitely a little more at ease. I will say that if the technique was that easy, everyone would be doing it. So you can’t really say that, oh yeah, we’re totally satisfied with anything because then our expectations and our goals wouldn’t be that high. But you can tell that he’s able to focus on more of the nuts and bolts of the position, because he’s getting familiar with this new foreign language that was just introduced to him a couple of months ago.”
When you say you can feel as teammates sense that he’s doing the work. Is that just the way guys are talking the way guys look at each other?
“Not explicit, it’s a vibe. You can tell. You can tell by the cadence with people positively reinforce a play. You know, how fast people tell a guy good throw. Just their energy. It’s not really explicit. It’s more something to kind of get a feel and a vibe for.”
OL Trent Williams was saying the other day that this year’s different for him just because he’s not coming off of a hiatus and doesn’t have some of the nerves that he had coming in last year. Is there another level that he could get to in his game? And what are your expectations?
“You’re careful to build, especially establish the veterans, up too much. But he proved it to us last year. That was the best version of Trent Williams that we had ever seen. And it’s not like we were going into it expecting that you don’t know what you’re going to get. You know he’s a really good player and he still looks great on tape. So we’ve kind of learned the opposite with Trent. You don’t put a ceiling on Trent. His game can always improve. And I think he would agree with that as well.”
What have you seen from WR Jalen Hurd so far? It seems like he’s moving pretty well for a guy who’s missed a couple of seasons now.
“Yeah. We’ve seen no setbacks. Every time he’s been on the field, we’ve been very pumped about that player at the wide receiver position. Really it’s been him needing to be available and so far so good.”