Kyle Shanahan was in a good mood today. He met with the media and discussed some of the team’s injuries, how a few players performed, and the Ohio conditions. Check it out.
Is it just a precaution thing for DL Nick Bosa?
“No, he would’ve practiced if he wasn’t still hurt from the game. He didn’t practice because of the ankle, [RB] Tevin [Coleman] didn’t practice, ankle, [WR Trent] Taylor, foot, [WR Jalen] Hurd, back, [T Joe] Staley had his vet day. [DB Jimmie] Ward was limited with no contact and then [LB Mark] Nzeocha was limited because he left with an illness throughout practice.”
Did Nick aggravate something?
“It was just still hurting from the game, sore after the game and still was today.”
Is it expected soreness?
“Yeah, anytime you have something like that, usually those injuries, high ankle sprains can linger for a long time. When you get in the game, usually you do stuff again and hopefully he can recover by Sunday.”
That was a bit of an issue for RB Matt Breida last year, he would make a lot of progress and then go two steps backward. Is that something that you’re worried about for Nick?
“I’m worried about that for anybody who’s ever has a high ankle sprain. High ankle sprains usually linger throughout the year. Breida’s was a little bit different than that, but yeah, always.”
How’s this week been for you kind of being out of your elements here in Ohio?
“It’s been good. The Holiday Inn’s been nice. Today was the first time I’ve been outside since we landed Sunday, so I haven’t seen much of Youngstown. The Holiday Inn’s been great. They’ve treated us very well. The setup’s been good and then coming here today, practice was great.”
Is it different at all for you at all?
“Not really. It’s nice because we’re always there, you don’t have to leave to go home or anything. It’s pretty tight, it reminds me of old school training camp. But, I think it’s always good when you get the team in a hotel. Everyone gets to hang around each other a little bit more. I don’t know what the players did on their day off, I think they all went out to dinner together or something. Us coaches, it’s been the same. We’ve been in a room doing our same Monday and Tuesday. We’re pretty much creatures of habit.”
Staying in the Eastern Time Zone, how much can that help come Sunday?
“I think it’s huge. I’ve learned that the hard way over these last couple of years. Not just the time change, which is very tough going back and forth, especially when you have an early game, but also just the flying, how long it is, and when you play a long game and how much you can swell up on that plane after and having to come back, so I think it’s a huge advantage.”
Without having to deal with Bay Area traffic, do you find yourself working more and are there kind of diminishing returns if you work too much in the course of a week?
“Yeah, I think it’s alright for one week. If I didn’t go home for the entire season, my family would definitely kill me, but I’d also end up probably killing myself, I’d be exhausted. You can’t do it too long, but it’s nice for just one week. We usually end late at night, but you don’t have to have a drive home so you kind of hang out there and I think I had to stay up until one to finish the Monday night game. Back to east coast times, I forgot how late those start out here. That was kind of nice to be able to do that.”
So, when you study a team like the Bengals with head coach Zac Taylor, not a whole lot of film, regular season film from him, what do you see?
“In the game they played, very similar to what they did in L.A., but it’s only one game. They attacked Seattle, so you always watch that, but they have a lot more stuff. Zac’s got a good system, he’s a very good coach and whatever you see on tape, you know he’s got adjustments. You always try to practice everything, but you know you’re going to see more stuff you haven’t seen.”
Do you know him very well? How far do you go back with him?
“No, I don’t know him very well. We met each other, I think, last year. We’ve never worked together, but we have mutual friends and stuff, so I’ve gotten to know him that way. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, a real good dude.
From a facility standpoint, everything you need here at Youngstown State?
“Yeah, everything was perfect. We just need a football field, even though we were on a soccer field, it was lined with football lines, so that makes it a football field and it was great. Good turf out there which was nice and the players are in there lifting right now. I haven’t been in the weight room, obviously, but I hear it’s good. I know our guys are happy with it.”
Why go to the soccer field when you have a stadium here, is it just preference?
“I was just told because a lot of scheduling stuff, stuff they had with the school and everything with people going there and the fields aren’t much of a difference to us, so it didn’t matter as long as we’ve got numbers out there, which we did this morning.”
You had a lot of security around the field. Do you have any concern when you’re out in the open like that?
“I’ve done it long enough to realize that you should have some paranoia, not everyone’s like that, but some people are. You can never be too safe.”
What do you mean like that? Have you seen teams send people to kind of spy?
“I mean, we think so. We didn’t arrest them and interrogate them, but no, there’s lots of rumors that I’ve heard over the years. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying, so you’ve got to be careful with that, especially in their home state.”
I know you’ve been here once before with the York group earlier this year, but--?
“No, I wasn’t. I wasn’t. This is my first time here. The only time I think I’ve been in Ohio was when I was in Cleveland for a year. I don’t think we’re that close to it right now.”
We’re about an hour away.
“An hour away? Okay. I love Ohio. I had a good year there.”
I know you guys are busy, but will you have any time for yourself?
“I won’t. It’s kind of hard to believe, but we really do work that long. I will Friday. Friday is kind of my weekend, Friday afternoon, but we’re leaving Friday, so I’ll get a little time Friday afternoon in Cincinnati, but not much here.”
What’s your sense with how much Jimmie Ward can do with that wrap on his hand and is the infection no longer a concern?
“Yeah, that’s what we were testing today. Obviously, he had no contact today, so it was more of a pain tolerance. I know Jimmie can deal with as much pain as anyone, so if it’s too much, that means it’s way too much. We’ll see how that goes throughout the week. He’s not testing it right now. He can run and do everything, and it’s protected. He feels it’s protected. He can go. Obviously, it’s harder to catch footballs with one hand instead of two, but you rarely tackle with your fingers and stuff like that. Jimmie still would have a chance to play if the pain can go away.”
DB Tarvarius Moore had a couple missed tackles, he had the breakup and not the interception. Do you see him as a starter or how are you going to figure that out when Jimmie’s back?
“When Jimmie starts practicing better and shows that he can play better then you’re going to always put the best guys on the field. I know it’s going to be hard to do, because Tarvarius is playing at a high level and I think he’s getting better. But, I think Jimmie plays that way, too, when he’s healthy. It’s a good problem to have and the more Jimmie gets healthy, the more it can be a competition. We’ll embrace that every week.”
I know you gave LB Kwon Alexander the game ball because he was heading back to Tampa. Obviously, there was a big reaction when you gave him that game ball. Are you impressed at all with how quickly he’s been accepted and fit into that locker room in a short period of time?
“Yeah. It says a lot about Kwon. The guys, our team gets along well. I think our team likes everybody, but they really like Kwon. He hasn’t been here that long and I know he was right up there, we decided five captains and there were like three guys who were right there for the sixth spot. So, for the team, when I see those votes and for the team to put him in that light when he hasn’t played a game for us, it shows that they respect and also like him. They’re pulling for him. He’s a good dude, treats everyone good and everyone knows how important football is to him. I think that’s why everyone knew how important that game was for him, which it always is for someone going back home. I know it’s hard that he did get ejected, but I think everyone’s happy that we could at least give him a game ball at the end.”
How did he play? He seemed to be pretty--?
“I thought he played real well. We saw him a lot for the little he was in. He had a good tackle, an aggressive tackle, not the one on [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis] Winston, but the one on the running back. Dropped a pick, which we wanted him to catch it, but at least getting there was better than not getting there. No, I thought he made a bunch of splash plays for the little he was in.”
Talking with Youngstown State head coach Bo Pelini yesterday, he said he remembered coaching with your dad in San Francisco, remembered you as a ball boy. Do you ever interact with Bo or do you know Bo at all?
“I know him from that time. I know all the coach’s names because I had to pass their laundry out. It always had their name on their baggies, so I remember all those guys, all those players from those years. Bo is a good guy, but I haven’t seen him in a long time.”
How do you feel WR Deebo Samuel reacted to playing so many snaps in the first game?
“I think he learned what the NFL is like. I think it was our fault for playing him too much. That’s sort of what I was talking about earlier. We should’ve had [WR] Dante [Pettis] in for more and taken those reps down a little bit, but that’s the standard in this league and how hard you have to go and how every play matters. I think he learned that. There’s some good learning examples in that game. He did some good things for us, but he also played like a rookie at times, too. To be able to do that and still be able to get away with a win where we can be hard on him for certain things, I think it was a good learning moment for him.”
He said early in training camp that he was playing X, but was he playing Z yesterday and has he been learning multiple positions?
“No, he’s only been at X.”
So, WR Marquise Goodwin was--?
“Marquise was at X. Marquise got moved to Z. But, we move Quise around all the time.”
When it came to Deebo’s stuff that he needed to work on, the fumble and the false start, were those two of them? Did those hurt you more than the others?
“Yeah, those were two of the biggest. The false start was huge, just because it was going to him and had a very good chance to be an explosive play, just like the one we just missed to [WR Kendrick] Bourne the series before that. And then the fumble cost us three points. Just in the little plays, the ones that people wouldn’t notice, but just down in and down out. It happens with all receivers. In college, you conserve energy a lot on third down. In the NFL, you can’t. A blocking play on first down’s just as important as that slant on third down. No matter how much you tell these guys, and even if they are good guys and respect what you’re saying, they kind of have to learn that on their own and they see how many plays in a game are pivotal to whatever the final score is. I think he learned that.”
What kind of reaction did you get from him? What kind of accountability?
“He’s really as good as anyone I’ve been around right now. As a rookie, we’ll see how it goes, but you can be hard on him, he doesn’t make excuses, he works at it and he definitely takes accountability and doesn’t mind you calling him out in front of the team. It’s important to him and usually responds when you do it.”
General manager John Lynch talked about having four tight ends in part to lighten TE George Kittle’s load and that’s what happened Sunday. Is that going to be something that’s harder to execute over the course of a game like, “Hey, let’s get Kittle out for a few snaps?”
“Yeah, it’s always hard when you’ve got a player like Kittle who’s very good in the run game and the pass game. So, it’s always tough. But, you can never have too many tight ends. We use them a lot. We have one on the field at all times, sometimes we have two and sometimes we even have three. We think we’ve got four good ones on our roster, we’ve got a fullback, too, who can mix in with that. The more we can take off Kittle’s plate the better, but the more Kittle can do is better also for us. We’re always trying to balance that.”
Will it be a decision on Saturday what you’re going to do at running back?