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Shanahan on the WRs: Guys are very evenly matched and I want someone to step it up

Shanahan also provided an update on the Niners recent injuries

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan had a brief conference call with the media where he announced linebacker Elijah Lee would miss two weeks with a broken thumb. The most noteworthy takeaway was Shanahan voicing his unhappiness once again with the wide receiver group. He’s been critical of Dante Pettis during the past week or so. Shanahan said that the wideouts are evenly matched at this point and wants somebody to step it up. He even mentioned how Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd—despite having good games—made mistakes, and can improve.

Here’s the rest of the call:

Were there any other updates on injuries from yesterday’s game?

“Yeah, one new one we didn’t have last night was [LB] Elijah Lee, something with his thumb. So, he had surgery on his thumb and he’ll be out about two weeks.”

Is T Shon Coleman going to go on IR?

“He should go on IR. He’s going to go on IR tomorrow. He had surgery this morning, and he’s going to go on IR tomorrow.”

Are you guys working out guys today or tomorrow?

“I believe we’re working out some guys tomorrow, and we’ll end up handling that roster spot, but we have not yet.

Any other injury updates?

“I’ll run them off quick so I don’t make you guys ask them. Elijah had his thumb surgery, he’ll be out two weeks. [DL] D.J. Jones, knee sprain. He’s week-to-week. [RB] Raheem [Mostert] is in the concussion protocol. Told you guys about [WR] Trent Taylor last night with the Jones fracture. Shon had his surgery. [S] Marcell [Harris] came out with a stinger, but he’s fine. [OL] Najee [Toran] had some x-rays on his hand, but he’s fine. [DB] Jimmie Ward will end up getting some x-rays this week to see if he has a chance to return (to practice).”

When you were evaluating the game film, can you kind of break it down? What you saw out of QB Nick Mullens and QB C.J. Beathard that you liked and didn’t like.

“I thought both of them played a pretty good game. I told you guys last night, I didn’t like the turnovers at all. Nick’s, I thought, was a little bit worse just after watching the tape. A backside linebacker was out of position, really busted his coverage and Nick didn’t account for him and didn’t see him. C.J. saw his and let an aggressive throw go on third and 7. When you watch the tape, that’s something we expect our receiver to step in front of and cross face, and [WR] Jalen [Hurd] hesitated a little bit on that and he could’ve helped him out. Definitely wasn’t good, but not quite as bad as I thought the pick was originally. Besides that, I thought they both did a decent job when they were under duress and did a pretty good job handling the entire offense under some tough circumstances.”

Was that first snap that C.J. took when he got sacked, was that on- I know the offensive line seemed to get overpowered right from the get-go, but does he have to kind of look out quicker for it? That’s been an issue for him.

“Yeah, not on that one. That’s a very hard play action pass that we do where you have your entire back to the defense. It’s kind of a one man show, and when you come around to throw it, the receiver on the play could’ve run a little bit of a better route. It wasn’t a great play call, though. No one was going to be real open and it split our backside B gap, and I thought he actually did a hell of a job. I think only losing two yards on it when most people would’ve lost about six.”

You’ve spoken in the last week about the receiving core and wanting guys to step forward and seize those starting opportunities. What exactly are you looking for from some of those guys? Is it consistency, more aggressive play? What are you after?

“A little bit of everything. Each guy is a little bit different, but we’ve got a bunch of guys who can play and I want someone to make the decision easy for us. I want someone to take the job and make it to where it’s extremely obvious. We haven’t had that yet. We have a bunch of young guys who are extremely hungry, and they are going for it. We’ve got some other guys who have been here who have also been that way, but I think guys are very even matched right now and I want someone to step it up. The rookies, they made some good plays last night, but they also weren’t very consistent either. There’s lots of parts about their game that they have to clean up, and I thought it was very similar in the veterans, too. You expect the veterans to be out there making some plays like they did a few times, but they also made mistakes. I thought the whole group played decent, but we need to be a lot sharper all around.”

I know you still have to look at the tape a little bit more but the offensive line had quite a few penalties. Can you detail what exactly happened? Was it just lack of concentration? Was it anything in particular?

“No, you’ve got to play better. Sometimes guys hold when they get beat and when you get beat you can’t hold, you got to let it go so you don’t lose 10 yards. Sometimes you have to get in better position to where you aren’t beat so you don’t have to hold. I thought there were a few times that they were a little picky with the calls but that’s part of it and we got way too many of it. There were a bunch of reoccurring guys who had it and they got to make sure they do better because it wasn’t good enough When you don’t move your feet well they’re going to beat you and holding the guy is not an option.”

DL Damontre Moore had a pretty big game last night and it seemed like he played a lot as well. Can you talk about how you thought he performed as well as how important it is to kind of find that third or fourth pass rusher on the edge?

“It’s very important. We rested a number of guys yesterday, some just to rest and some because they were hurt. That D-Line, they all got to play a lot and Damontre had a good camp and he had a good game last night. Being able to come up with that fumble recovery, put some pressure on the quarterback and he took advantage of the opportunity and he should get more as it goes too.”

Your back up swing tackle for the last two years was OT Gary Gilliam, he’s still a free agent, is that a guy on your radar as a possibility to bring in?

“I was happy with Gary and how he was here. He didn’t get to play much for us but there’s a number of guys out there. I know John and his crew upstairs are putting together a list and that stuff we’ve been discussing today. We’ll look at it throughout the night and I think we’ll make a decision on that tomorrow.”

Do you plan to give WR Deebo Samuel and WR Jalen Hurd more playing time with Jimmy and the starters this week in Denver?

“I don’t know yet. I haven’t thought about it. I’ll think about that probably a couple of days after we (practice) in Denver. Depending on how Denver’s practice goes I don’t know much I’ll play the starters. That’s something that you take day by day but we get those guys a lot of playing time with Jimmy at practice. So, I don’t plan on the game being any different.”

RB Austin Walter and RB Brandon Wilds had obviously a lot of play yesterday. Can you talk about what those two, I mean a guy coming off the street and jumping into play is pretty different?

“Going through the whole week and watching how the running backs were playing out, it was really important to us to rest [RB Matt] Breida in that game. In order to do that we had to get another guy to go into that game. For Wilds to be available for us just the day before the game and to come in. We didn’t get to practice with him but him and [running backs coach] Bobby [Turner] have been meeting a ton, especially when [RB] Raheem [Mostert] went out pretty early. Walter wasn’t going to be able to just go the entire go so Wilds stepped in and had some really good runs for us, had a good screen and did good on his blitz pick-ups. Really, he did a hell of a job and a credit to him just coming in and being able to go in any situation. It wasn’t like they told me hey you can only call these two plays. When Walter was out and Wilds went in, we were able not to miss a beat and it really helped us at least get through the game and save some other players too.”