San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media after Saturday’s practice to discuss injuries, Dante Pettis, Jimmy Garoppolo, and much more. The ball was on the ground more than Shanahan would have liked. He was asked if that was due to an off day from the offense:
“No, I feel it’s about where it is and where you expect it to be in your eighth practice. There’s been some good things and some rusty things as far as execution wise and also from guys just getting into football shape. I’d say that in all three phases really. Usually it’s about where you are with eight practices and usually you’ve got about 12 in before the first preseason game. So, it’s about where you expect to be with eight. We know this is going to get turned up a lot and we’re going to have to play a lot sooner than we’re used to. So, that’s what we’re all pressing against. How to deal with some of that stuff that you’re used to each year and how to turn it up harder because we’ve got to gain some ground here with how quick we’re going through this. You don’t want to turn stuff up too much harder because then you always go overboard. You risk hurting guys. So, we’re trying to balance it out pretty hard right now.”
Shanahan followed up on Pettis a day later, after Dante opened up about their relationship:
“Dante and I had a pretty good talk when he came back. He wanted to talk and it was pretty cool hearing him tell me some of that stuff that I think he shared with you guys yesterday. Even when he said stuff like, ‘I thought I was accepting coaching,’ and stuff. But then, when I sit back and look at it, sometimes you realize you take things personally and you don’t totally hear it all. There’s a two-way street on that. Our goal in everything is to get a guy better and there’s thousands of ways we can do that. You better not do the same thing with each person. I knew Dante came in a little bit behind last year and I tried everything I could to try to get that fire and I didn’t get that done last year with him. I do see that as a two-way street. I love how Dante came back and accepted his part in it, but I also accept mine. I’ve got to find a better way to get it out of him. What’s cool is, I think he’s found a way to get it out of himself right now. I don’t like having to worry about whether I’m going too hard or how I’m saying it. I just want to say it as good as I can. Usually if guys trust you in that way, you can get that across to them. I think both of us are getting better at that right now.”
Finally, Shanahan broke down Garoppolo’s interceptions:
“Practices are great because you get to experience it from practice and you can coach it the exact same way you would in a game, but it’s a little bit easier because the emotions aren’t there of winning and losing the game and everyone in the world seeing it. So, that’s what’s fun about practice. It’s never fun when a guy makes a mistake, but it’s always fun to coach it because you can actually get better from that for when it does count. You talk about, I don’t think those are necessarily being aggressive. It’s Sherm playing with vision.
Both of those passes weren’t to the guy Sherm was covering, but if you sail anything over guys, or you look at one guy too long and you’re not knowing where he is, Sherm’s just going to follow your eyes and go and come out of nowhere. That’s happened to him twice in the last two days and that’s something that does happen in games if you’re not aware of those type of players. It’s great to remind him, hey, you’ve got to work on your eyes here. Just because you’re looking here, it doesn’t mean someone else isn’t looking at you and showing up at the end of the play. If no one reminds you of that, like Sherm, for an entire training camp or throughout the preseason and you get reminded in Week One, you’re like, how the hell did that just happen? It’s, well, no, that’s bound to happen, but one of our players showed you that, so you correct it. It always goes back to iron sharpening iron.
A DB, if he’s squatting on every single route and covering the heck out of us, I’m hoping that we can call a go route versus him to show him, hey, yeah, you’re doing good in these coverages, but we’re going to run by you in this coverage. I’m hoping we can generate that in practice so he learns from that and that’s a really good rep. Alright, we’ve got the go arounds to touchdown. Now, instead of learning that in Week One in a big moment, you learn in a practice and it helps keep everybody honest.
That’s the key because you practice against the same guys, the same coverage over and over. That’s why you do like scrimmages. That’s why you do like some preseason games, just so you can go against something different. It happens to me, too. Sometimes I call plays verse our defense for an entire training camp and I get used to all these plays being really good versus three-deep. Then I get into a game and I call the same play in a couple of same situations and it’s not the same and it’s because their three-deep is a little bit different than our three-deep. You’ve got to get reminded before you go there. All right, there are different things, there’s different players and that’s the stuff that you try to generate in different ways throughout camp.”