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Shanahan talks Deebo, Super Bowl hangover, and Jimmy G’s 40

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The 49ers head coach spoke at the combine on Tuesday

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Kyle Shanahan met with the media on Tuesday as well. The San Francisco 49ers head coach talked about how he has been away for the past few weeks and hasn’t really talked to anyone. Shanahan was in Cabo playing golf, where he admitted it took him and his group five hours to play nine holes. I feel like that’s something you keep to yourself. He did say there were a few players from the team there. George Kittle was one, and he told Shanahan’s wife how much he loves playing with the 49ers. Shanahan wouldn’t name any names, but he admitted that the team interviewed several receivers on Monday night. “It’s a good group of guys. I think we’ve got a couple more today, and then when we get back to the office next week, we can start grinding out and watching them.”

Shanahan was in a playful mood on Tuesday. When asked how the 49ers can improve their running game, he said, “we have to catch Baltimore. We need to get Jimmy’s 40 up. Shanahan was also quite complimentary of Deebo Samuel. When asked why Samuel was able to make an impact and skip the whole development stage, Shanahan said:

“Because of how good a football player he is. When I say that, I don’t in the receiver position. I mean, he’s a good receiver and can only get better, but Deebo is as fearless of a rookie as I’ve ever been around. He’s extremely tough, wants the ball in his hands, will fight for everything, he’ll play injured. The game was never too big for him. The moment was never too big for him and that’s why he helped us huge this year. He can get a lot better developing in his routes and things like that, and while he continues to do that, it’s nice that you don’t have to wait on all that. You can still use him because of how tough he is in every other aspect.”

Shanahan was asked whether the learning curve is easier at receiver in today’s NFL:

I don’t know about that. I think coaches and our coaches are extremely talented at it. We saw a skill in Deebo, not only being a traditional receiver, but also just a guy who you want the ball in his hands. I think perhaps some of the trickle up that has come from the colleges and such has opened a lot of people’s minds up to being creative. [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and his group do a tremendous job. I thought they did a tremendous job with Deebo. You’ve got to give Deebo a ton of credit. That’s a tough transition and he made it as well as a lot of the guys that I’ve seen. We love everything about Deebo. You know, the other side, he’s got a spirit about him that I think is kind of infectious. He lifts a team with his youthful exuberance and enthusiasm, and he’s a really good football player. When you put those two things together, you’ve got an opportunity to be special.”

Shanahan loves players that love the game. That seems to be the type of player the front office brought in last year, and looking at the past couple of years, that remains true.

Shanahan also talked about what he can learn from the Super Bowl, and the team suffering from a Super Bowl hangover:

“You’ve got to watch it. You don’t want to watch it right away because it just doesn’t put you in the best mood. You want to get away for a little bit, but definitely have to watch it before I answer questions for you guys so it’s fresh in my head. I did that a number of times right after. I did a little bit a week ago. I’ll do it gradually as the year goes. I always mix it in. You can always get something out of it, but it’s not always fun to revisit.”

I still haven’t watched the game again and have zero intentions of doing so.

“I mean, just deal with it. Anytime you have a tough loss I think there’s a grieving process you’ve got to go through. I think everyone goes through that individually. I mean, it is disappointing, especially how much you put on the line for that, but that’s life. You can deal with it, no one died. It is disappointing, we do have to grieve, but I’m doing a lot better now than I was three weeks ago and I plan on doing better three weeks from now than I am right now. I think our team is made of the right stuff. I think it’s very important to our team, individually to not just have a career in this league, but we’ve got guys who want to win and it’s very important to and those are the guys that we are going to continue to bring in our building.”

Shanahan did a good job of explaining that the team needs to grieve the loss, but also how they can take away positive parts from the game and eventually move on and come back even more hungry. Let’s hope so. I was talking about this to another fan the other day. My thought is the team is so young and ignorant of this specific situation that they’re not going to know any better than coming back better in 2020.