Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel Press Conference

Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel

Press Conference – January 13, 2022

San Francisco 49ers

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Has the word reached you about the potential job interview? Has anything been set up and just what’s your approach juggling, at this time of year, being an offensive coordinator for a playoff team and in the back of your mind also knowing that you could have a head coaching opportunity down the road?

“Yeah, it has. But as far as juggling, there is no juggling. It’s about the Dallas Cowboys and the 49ers offense going down there and performing and the 49ers team, doing whatever it takes to try and get a W against a very good football team. And that’s it.”

QB Jimmy Garoppolo in 2019 had game-winning drives and such, but it seems like maybe he’s taking that to another level this year, just his play in the clutch. And sometimes it hasn’t worked out, like Seattle or Tennessee, but he still has had some pretty memorable moments. What is it about him that seems to get even better when the stakes are the highest?

“I think he’s exhibiting even more ownership of the offense. And I think he’s really flexing his mental ability to have his vision forward and take any obstacle as a challenge and really we’re seeing the best football Jimmy has played. His teammates can feel it. I think you guys feel it. I think the fans feel it and that to his credit, just reps in the system and cutting it loose and his teammates playing well around him.”

As far as WR Jauan Jennings, obviously we’ve talked about him being in that New England Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne role. Is that something where those guys, because there’s so much attention on third down on your other guys who are probably more notable, that those guys get favorable matchups more of the time and is there an intangible quality to guys on third down to be able to show up in those spots?

“Yeah, it’s interesting. They both have similar boisterous, same guy day-in and day-out type personalities. But as far as the play, it’s when a lot of reps come on third down, third down’s where the most man is. So you better be able to separate and have some route running skills. As far as who they go against, they go against the same people that everyone else does. We motion and formation things in multiple ways and we don’t really have one-trick ponies in the sense that you have to be able to operate in the slot and you have to be able to operate outside. So he’s been doing an outstanding job as he’s gained opportunities and much in the way that we relied on Kendrick Bourne, we’ve become accustomed to relying on him as well.”

What strikes you about Dallas Cowboys OLB Micah Parsons when you’re watching him?

“What doesn’t strike me? Micah Parsons, it’s the first time I’ve gotten to study him. I’m alive, so I’ve heard about him. And he’s been noisy this year and is very impressive. I think it’s a great match. Working with [Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn and they’re getting a ton out of him. He is a multi-tooled defender that can win on the line of scrimmage and can track from the linebacker position. He gives people problems and I can see why I knew his name before I had studied him and seen him play.”

You guys always talk about, everybody talks about, the league being a copycat league, especially when it comes to schematic things, but from a personnel standpoint when a guy like WR Deebo Samuel has a season that he did and does things the way he did them do you think that’s going to become something that other teams are looking for or is that just so hard to replicate finding a guy who is as versatile as he is?

“No, I think any time people kind of approach some uncharted territory, it kind of opens people’s minds. But if you’ve watched any of the draft coverage the last couple years, people have been trying to find the next Deebo. The problem is there’s one Deebo and maybe that opportunity will open it up for other guys with his skill sets. But he’s a rare player that for him to be able to contribute in the way he does, shoot it’s taken time for us to adjust just because you’re going step-by-step with a player learning your offense. You want him to master stuff before you move on and we’ve learned this year that, ‘Hey, this guy can handle more things within our system.’ And we can find different ways to get him the ball because he’s truly special at doing so.”

From the Cowboys defensive personnel, they have at least three pretty accomplished, capable pass rushers and they have what looks like an elite cornerback. Are they in some ways reminiscent of the Rams, just from who they put on the field?

“Yeah, they’ve got really good players and they play hard. It’s a testament to their coaching staff and those individuals on the field. Their defensive structures are much different, but it’s similar in that if you’re not on your Ps and Qs, they can embarrass you. And that’s a fact that they’ve had tremendous success and really given offenses this season fits because you cannot take a down off. You can’t be off on your sets. They are screaming off the ball. You have to be prepared for them down-in and down-out. Otherwise, you don’t give yourself a chance to win the game. So in terms of being very skilled, having a very good pass rush, it is similar schematically. It is the juxtaposition. It’s a little different.”

I just want to circle back to something you just mentioned about Deebo, that it’s kind of an ongoing process for you guys in figuring out how to use him. How much does that kind of open up your imagination and challenge you having a guy like that in terms of, we can look at it and say, well, you’ve thrown it with him, you’ve thrown it to him, you hand it to him, you’ve done all these things, but how much are you still kind of in the lab always trying to cook up new things with him?

“It’s a competitive challenge. It’s a wonderful opportunity. It’s something that you really dream of as a coach in terms of being able to utilize people in different ways to try to find advantageous looks for the offense in general. I would say that we challenge ourselves to open our mind and really see how we can do our best to stress a defense out, but don’t get it twisted, it’s a good stress. Something that you’re challenging yourself with because all he does is alleviate stress on gamedays for his teammates and coaches alike. It’s a lot easier to figure stuff out on Monday and Tuesday when the problem that you’re trying to solve is how do I get this guy the ball? And on gameday, ‘Hey, Deebo, here’s the ball.’ That’s the best thing for a coach that you could possibly imagine.”

Just to kind of continue that Deebo talk, obviously we’ve seen him pitch the ball, run the ball, even throw the ball now. Year-by-year, how has he impressed you the most? And have you ever been around an all-around football player quite like Deebo?

“He impresses me because he’s a guy that has an unbelievable will to get better. He’s such a cool personality that he never seems stressed and it’s kind of a misrepresentation of how diligent he is in terms of progressing his craft. I think he’ll be done worrying about getting better when he starts getting some 50 to 55-yard punts off, because then his game is complete. But otherwise, he is working day-in, day-out to put his best foot forward and take advantage of the opportunity. He’s a wise 25, soon to be 26-year-old on Saturday, and he’s getting better and better as we progress. And as a result, the 49ers are getting better as well.”