The 49ers went into SoFi Stadium and left with another victory in the regular season over the Los Angeles Rams, 30-23. Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media today and discussed injuries to players, his evaluation of the team, and some insight into decisions made on Sunday.
“It’s too early to have all the answers for the injuries yet. So it’s the same as last night with [CB] Ambry Thomas with a knee, [WR Brandon Aiyuk] B.A. with his shoulder and [DB Deommodore Lenoir] Demo cleared his evaluation yesterday for a concussion. He still has to be evaluated today. Go ahead guys.”
What do you think about the offensive line and the strides that that unit made coming off of Week 1?
“I thought we did a much better job in pass protection for sure, took a step forward. Still got a lot to clean up though and hopefully we can keep taking a step forward each week and do better this Thursday.”
I noticed that obviously RB Elijah Mitchell didn’t get off the sideline, he did not play. What’s your feeling on your usage of RB Christian McCaffrey? Do you need to go more to not necessarily a rotation, but just make sure that you keep McCaffrey fresh through the course of the season?
“Yeah, we’ve definitely got to get Elijah in there more and do better with our rotation than we did yesterday. That wasn’t the plan going in. It just ended up that way and I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Is that the assistant coaches who are responsible for the substitutions or are you involved in that as well?
“No, usually calling plays, you can ask for guys specifically on certain plays, as a play caller. But no, you’re not keeping guys fresh and rotating and doing stuff like that. Position coaches do that. For him not to get in, I definitely should have noticed and asked for him.”
How did DL Nick Bosa look after you looked at the film? I know that Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford was getting the ball out quickly, but what did you see from him?
“I think he’s getting back into football shape, getting back into his groove. I thought he got better and stronger throughout the game, similar to last week in that aspect. I thought he finished the game real strong and took a step forward from Pittsburgh.”
Have you spoken to him about how he feels throughout two games now?
“No I haven’t. They’re off today. We won’t see them today just because of the short week, unless he stops by which hopefully they don’t today, we’re all backed up on stuff. So I’m sure I’ll talk to him tomorrow though.”
LB Dre Greenlaw got flagged for a personal foul there in the red zone in the first half. Did you see what happened? What kind of prompted the flag?
“Not really. You can see a very small part on tape. Their helmets are close to each other so obviously you can’t hear it on tape. They called it so he’s got to clean it up on that aspect. But it wasn’t real easy to see. I didn’t have much of a coaching point for it.”
Letting K Jake Moody go out there for a 57-yard attempt, was there any hesitation at all or were you just ready to let him go out there and try for it?
“No, there was a little bit of hesitation between that or trying to pin them deep. The way they had been going on offense, they had been scoring so I thought we needed points. But it makes it a hell of a lot easier for them if you missed that midfield. So there was some hesitation on it, but we ended up rolling the dice. He definitely gave us more confidence after that.”
What have you seen from him just his mental state after having kind of a tough preseason?
“It’s been real impressive just getting to know the guy, being around him just a short amount of time. He really handled himself extremely well as soon as he got here. And then hitting that rough patch in those preseason games, they kind of came out of nowhere because practice wasn’t like that. To watch him have to go through that, then to watch him have to go through the injury that he battled right after that, I thought it was real impressive of him to get himself ready for these two games and he’s done a hell of a job in both of them.”
Have you decided what to do with that extra roster spot?
“Our guys are still working on it. So no, we haven’t done it yet.”
Yesterday with the three deep balls that QB Brock Purdy missed, were there any revelations looking at the film on something that he could have done better aside from just obviously hitting the receivers?
“No, just missed them. Similar to what I said last night, they were pretty clear and I thought two of them were harder than the other. But, I do think Brock had a hell of a game. That’s really the only thing that I feel like we can say negative about his game is those three misses, which are always big ones, especially when they’re down the field because it’s usually points. But he played a pretty good game.”
What did you do for yourself to make yourself a better coach this offseason? What were some things that you were trying to work on? Then two games in, how do you feel like you’re doing?
“I don’t know. Usually in the offseason, we always try to review our tape. We review things from around the league to see what to add, see what fits in, spend a lot of the offseason trying to study personnel to add in the Draft or personnel to add in free agency. Those are the biggest parts as a coach that you try to do to make your team better is to try to help out and see who you can add to it to make it better. Sometimes those are real tough decisions that we all spend a lot of time working on. Then my biggest thing is trying to relax a little bit more in the offseason because I’ve learned how long of a grind the season is and how long it goes and how much you’ve got to get up for each week. I really try to get mentally stronger with books and some self-help type things so when you go into the season, you’re ready to go.”
The way the schedule sets up, a lot of people already have you 4-0. I’m sure as a coach you don’t welcome any of that talk. Do you have to guard against, ‘Hey, one game at a time, any given Sunday’ type of stuff?
“We would if all our guys talked to you (laughter), but hopefully they’re not. Hopefully they look at the tape and see how good teams are each and every week. We thought Pittsburgh was going to be a battle. I know that didn’t go the exact way we expected. We believed going into this game, the Rams was going to come down to the last possession and I see no different this Thursday night. So I don’t feel our team feels that way at all.”
The Brandon Aiyuk shoulder injury, did that happen his first catch or when he was blocking? Do you know when that injury occurred?
“Yeah, it happened on his first catch when he landed on his shoulder. I believe it was his first catch.”