After Sunday’s win, the 49ers had a business-like mentality. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said he felt confident the players adhered to the no-party policy after games because “I feel like we’ve got kind of a nerdy group when it comes to after games.”
Kyle Juszczyk said Shanahan's message after the game was not to dwell on the victory or celebrate too much. So I asked Kyle Shanahan what his intent was:
“I mean, my intent there is just, we don’t have enough time. Today is Monday, but it’s really Monday and Tuesday. So we’re cramming in 48 hours in the 24. And when the players come in on Tuesday, that’s a combination of Wednesday and Thursday, all in a Tuesday.
So there’s just too much to do. And then Wednesday’s a combination of Friday and Saturday. You put in all your red zone, you do your Friday stuff, but then you travel. So it’s just, it’s a whirlwind. You don’t have enough time to catch up on anything. So you don’t have enough time to waste time as soon as your game is over on Sunday.”
Such is life when you play a game on Sunday and have to turn around and “cram,” as Shanahan said, for the next opponent you play four days later. Generally, the 49ers meet on Monday, have Tuesday off, and return to the practice field on Wednesday.
Shanahan said they wouldn’t have any full practices this week. So it’s safe to assume this will be a mental week for the Niners that includes endless meetings.
My follow-up to Kyle was how he felt about playing on Thursdays:
“I think Thursday’s are a challenge for everybody. There are some years when you have some bad luck on the Sunday before, and it just seems impossible to get your mind together that you can play that Thursday.
But you find a way to do it. The thing that I’ve enjoyed the most, that I think players and coaches do like, no matter all the negative parts about out having to prepare for a game, it’s hard to get a weekend off in the NFL this time of year. You get your bye-week, which ours was a ways ago. The reward for what you go through these next four days is having three days off, but it’s only fun if you win it.”
On the one hand, you’d love to play right away after a loss to get that taste out of your mouth. On the other hand, losing to a team like the Falcons then having to ignore your emotions and turn the page would be challenging.
It says a lot about the players and their conditioning to play on Sunday and turn around and do the same thing the following Thursday. It also speaks to how little the NFL cares about player safety and just the well-being of their employees' bodies. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could do without Thursday games. The quality of the product we receive isn’t worth the risk.