Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel Press Conference
Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel
Press Conference – November 12, 2021
San Francisco 49ers
When people ask you, like I’m doing right now, like how do you feel about the team’s offense where it is, what you see, where it’s going? How do you answer?
“Well, especially when you’re not winning football games, you’re never content at all. And I really think as a coach, you try not to be content in general because here’s the facts of NFL football. It’s the best of the best. The parody is unbelievable. It’s game of inches, all those clichés, which are true. But last week doesn’t matter at all. You base your feelings on what has been going on. If you do that too much, you’re going be heartbroken at some point because you have to look forward. So I can tell you this week, I’m very happy with across the board with the coaches, with the players. I feel like they own the game plan. I feel like they are approaching the game with the right mindset they need to need to have to win it. And that’s really all you look at because you evaluate the tape, you coach it, but then you have to move on. And if you don’t, you’re going to learn the hard way, whether you’re doing good or bad. Let down games, you’re in the whole like we are, we’ve lost a lot of close games and we’ve lost games that we could have been a lot more competitive in. So it’s important to think solely in that manner. Otherwise you’ll be humbled real quick.”
Is this unique when you face the Rams? It would seem to me that maybe one of the first things you guys talk about is, ‘How do we prevent Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald from ruining the day?’ Is he a unique talent in that that isn’t maybe a conversation you have every week about a particular player on every team?
“He’s one of the best, if not the best player that I’ve ever coached against in my 15 years or so in the NFL. So in that regard, he’s unbelievably disruptive. The biggest thing about an interior defensive lineman is that if you only block him, there’s a lot of other players that are going to make tackles. It would do an injustice to the Rams defense, which is a very good defense at all three levels, to just say you’re only focused on one guy. That being said, you know that he can change the game in a heartbeat. I think the game we won last year in L.A., we had a double team on him. I can’t remember what quarter it was, but he was on the backside of a run split it, had a strip fumble that was returned for a touchdown. So it happens like that. So, he’s a very, very good player, might be the best player that we’ve ever gone against offensively. From a defensive standpoint, especially interior players. There’s not many like him. But you can’t just get into a rabbit hole about one player when there’s a lot of good players surrounding him.”
How much of Los Angeles Rams OLB Von Miller are you expecting to see on Monday?
“I’m expecting to see a ton of him, they got him for a reason. I’m sure if he’s healthy, they are going to unleash him in full force. It is odd when you’re preparing for a defensive player that isn’t on tape at all, in the middle of a season, but it’s not uncharted. And it happens every single year game one, especially when players don’t play in the pre-season, so it’s a hair different. All the offensive line coaches, Chris Foester, Butch Barry, Zach Yenser, do a great job of giving our players visuals. Going back and doing the research and creating pass rush cut ups and, and run fit cut ups. Then I know the tight end coach, John Embree, has done the same thing. So, we do our due diligence trying to piece him, part to whole into that system.”
They have Von Miller, Aaron Donald, they also have Los Angeles Rams DL Leonard Floyd. You guys don’t have T Mike McGlinchey, is this on paper, the biggest challenge your offensive line has had from a pass protection standpoint this year?
“Well, they’re really good at getting sacks. They’re a good defense, you put it up there in terms of the entire NFL what type of challenge it is. There’s challenges every single week. So, you try to be smart with how you approach things and you try to prepare your players so that they have a good chance to perform on Sunday, which is Monday this week. So I wouldn’t say it’s as big of a challenge as you do get in the NFL. And we get it twice a year, but it’s like everything else. There’s a bigger reward when you’re able to do well. That was one of the proudest moments we had in 2020 was they were leading the league in sacks again. And we didn’t have any sacks that week, the first game we played them. They got us the second time. So you just line up, put your best stuff forward and let the game of football take its course really.”
Why does OL Daniel Brunskill do so well against Aaron Donald in the past?
“Dan Brunskill did do a really good job blocking, but there’s like 60 to 70 plays a game. It’s a group effort, so on plays that he needed to hold up, he did a very good job. You’re never going to block Aaron Donald every time, it won’t happen. I’ve never seen it on tape. He’s always finding a way to get pressure on the quarterback, but he doesn’t always get sacks that’s because it’s a group effort. It’s the quarterback getting the ball out. It’s the receivers separating the time of the timing of the play. It’s everybody. So, I would say Dan Brunskill did a really good job because Dan Brunskill played well in those games. It’s not because he’s the Aaron Donald whisperer by any stretch. His teammates played well around him and he plays all over the place. So every single offensive lineman has to block him. And if one player doesn’t block him and he gets a sack, it doesn’t mean they’re not blocking them well either. He’s going to get pressure on the quarterback. I think if you ask any team in the league, that’s ever played him, no one has been perfect. He always gets through, it’s just a matter if other people make plays when he does.”
I was going to ask about that game that you’ve mentioned was one of your proudest moments as a staff last year. I believe if you counted the pitches to WR Deebo Samuel as runs, it was 40 runs in that game. How different was that run game plan with Deebo? I think you guys hit the edges a lot to make sure that you kept the Rams pass rush off balance.
“They had seen it on tape before. We hadn’t reinvented the wheel, but at the same time in that particular game, a lot has to do with in terms of how many runs you get called, with the flow of the game. And whether you’re converting on third downs, whether the defense is getting stops, all of those things. So, it wasn’t necessarily the plays that game. That was cool. What was cool was the mentality of our offense and the group effort. When you watched the all-22 tape, you see a lot of passion out there, you see a lot of people working for a common goal and executing. And that’s why it was a good moment, that’s what it’s going to take to have a chance against these guys this week. And that’s what we’re trying to prepare our guys to do.”
Was that the Mike McGlinchey head-butt game at the end where –?
“Yes, it was. I think [Las Vegas Raiders C] Hroniss Grasu still feels the remnants of that excitement that was classic McGlinchey.”
How has OL Jaylon Moore done with getting some snaps on the right side of things as opposed to his usual spot?
“No, it has been good to see him progress. He had a good day of practice today. A lot of guys did, it was a pretty good day practice today. It’s like anything else, it’s hard enough to be a rookie in the league, let alone flip sides. But that’s what he’s been preparing to do all season with being the swing tackle or sixth guy, or rotating with [OL] Tom [Compton]. We’re very happy just like we always are with Jaylon because he doesn’t get worse, he gets better. So today was better in the reps than yesterday. And you hope for tomorrow to be and the game to be a lot easier for him than it would have been had it happened last week.”