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Kyle Shanahan talks Packers loss, Sean McVay, C.J. Beathard

The 49ers head coach met with the media on Tuesday to wrap up the heartbreaking loss on Monday Night Football.

How did you guys come out of yesterday’s game from the injury standpoint?

“The ones that I mentioned to you already, all of the guys that returned, the same deal. They’ll be likely to practice here Wednesday. The guys who will be day-to-day right now, we’ve got [CB] K’Waun [Williams] with his shoulder so we’re not sure about him. He’ll be day-to-day this week. [CB Ahkello] Witherspoon, he’s in the protocol with a concussion. [DB] Jimmie Ward with a hamstring, he will be day-to-day also.”

Did you guys sign a quarterback today?

“No, we haven’t.”

Okay. I think Adam reported that you had.

“I know we’re in the process of working on it. I know we haven’t officially yet. I’m not trying to keep anything from you guys. I know our day is a little bit hectic right now. I’m just finishing up this game. I know [general manager] John [Lynch] is working on some of that stuff. But no, it’s not official. But, I know there’s a chance of that happening later.”

On that topic of working through and getting things pulled together quickly, what has the last 10-15 hours been like for you when you have a short week like this?

“Usually when you have a short week, we get a lot done, especially the coaching staff with our game planning and stuff. You try to get ahead, spend all that Monday doing some of that stuff. Usually play callers like myself, I don’t do much of that on Mondays because I only want to think of one defense for the game. So, we got a head start on the game plan with stuff yesterday. We get in at four in the morning. We all sleep here so we could get up and get started. Most of us started, because we slept on the plane, right when we got here. So, we’ve just been cleaning up all of this stuff. When I finish with you guys here, I’ll be officially done with the Packers and 100-percent onto the Rams.”

Does it help you at all, having the familiarity that you have with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and the Rams, in this particular instance?

“It’s both sides. Sean, I definitely have familiarity with him, and [defensive coordinator Robert] Saleh does too because our offenses do some similar things. But, mine’s more with [Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator] Wade [Phillips] and I have more familiarity with Wade also and what he’s done over the years. So, there’s not many secrets to either side of us. We have to line up and we have to play well. Sorry, it did just go through. We did sign [QB] Tom Savage. It’s official.”

Savage is obviously somebody you know pretty well. What are the things you like about him? What do you think it is that he adds to your quarterback depth right now?

“Just looking at the guys out there, there’s one thing I always liked about Savage, from coming out of college. He’s got a strong arm. He’s a very tough player. He hangs in that pocket and plays the potion well. I was a fan of his coming out of college. He’s gotten to play in a number of NFL games so he’s been battle tested. He was in a tough situation in Houston that didn’t work out for him, but I got to study him this preseason when he was in New Orleans and they have some similarities in their offense as ours. He had some high praises from [New Orleans Saints head coach] Sean Payton on him and I was excited that he was available.”

Is this a product of the workout you had a little while ago? Was that almost like a tryout?

“No, not at all. Those workouts are just guys throwing on air. You do that more just to make sure that they look that they’re the same guy that you’ve seen on tape. It has to do with the people who have worked with him, things I have heard about him, the stuff I’ve studied on him from college and the type of skill sets he has.”

Just to clarify, he’s the third guy to be used in an emergency situation?


I think you’re close to or right at the window where LB Dekoda Watson would be eligible to start practicing again. Do you have a plan for him in place yet?

“Yes. Right now, I believe he’s able to practice the day after the Rams game, I believe. I think his first availably to play will be the Thursday night game versus the Raiders.”

Do you have a move to open up a spot for Savage?

“Yes, we cut [TE] Cole Wick.”

What are the drawbacks in a short week after an emotional loss like that? How do you see the team coming back against such a good team?

“Short weeks are always tough, but sometimes it can be a good thing. Last night was a heartbreaking loss. Our guys came out and I thought played extremely aggressive, very confident and gave it their all. Whenever you do that, it gave us a chance to win that game and we came up short. That’s tough. The guys put a lot into it and that’s hard. You get back here and it hurts a little bit today, but the good thing is, you’ve got to move on faster. There’s no time to sit here and sulk. We’ve got a good team coming here on Sunday and yeah we’ve got to put this team to bed, which is tough because we know we let one get away that I feel we played good enough to win. We didn’t get it done at the end. That’s definitely tough to deal with. But, the sooner that we can move on, the better because that’s in the past and we’re not going to be able to change that. The only thing that can change how we feel is trying to find a way to win on Sunday. The only way we can do that is by getting back to work.”

After watching the film, what was your assessment of QB C.J. Beathard?

“I thought C.J. did some real good things. C.J., he was one of the reasons that I thought we had a chance to win that game. He made some big plays throughout the game, kept the chains moving a number of times for us. There’s a couple of plays at the end that I know he’d like to have back where he had a couple of opportunities that he missed. But, he also had a few opportunities early in the game that he made which was one of the reasons we were in the position that we were. By no means was it perfect, but I was happy with how he played. I was proud of how he played. But, there’s definitely things he can learn from and I think he will. It’s just that’s what goes with playing in this league. You’ve got to take all of the lessons you learn, whether good or bad, and you’ve got to make sure you turn them into positives and hopefully they can make you a better player.”

You called three passes in a row at the end when the Packers had no timeouts. In retrospect, did you do anything wrong or was it just an issue of execution there?

“I don’t think it’s just as simple as that. You’re trying to win a game. Yeah, in hindsight when it’s over, anytime something doesn’t work, whether I like my play call or not, if it doesn’t work, you always wish you did something different. So, those three plays at the end, I knew it was the first time we had thrown it on first down in three consecutive series. I think we got a seven-yard gain to [TE George] Kittle over the middle. Then, the next second-and-three, I felt pretty strongly that they were going to come after us and bring more than we could handle in the run game, which usually leaves open a very good slant window. That’s what I thought was the best thing at the time. But, they tipped the ball. They tipped it and we didn’t get a chance to complete it, which was unfortunate. If I were to have it back, yeah, I’d love to call something that worked. But, then when you get into third-and-three versus an all-out blitz, there’s not many runs for that. That was the play that we didn’t make right there and that’s what happened. But, you’re always concerned about giving it back to [Green Bay Packers QB] Aaron [Rodgers]. But, I thought we had a chance to win the game right there. I was pretty happy with, I know our defense struggled in the first half definitely. I was happy with how they rebounded in the second half and they gave us a chance on offense to put them away. I thought that was our biggest opportunity right there and we came up short.”