“Oh, as for that new guy, Hargrave? Watch him against Pittsburgh center Mason Cole. If he can get isolated one-on-one, some good things will happen. Cole has shown some deficiencies in pass protection, especially handling stunts, so even if the 49ers don’t bring a blitz, there could be a beneficial matchup there.”
“For the most part, Kyle Shanahan offered positive news on Friday. There were seven players listed as limited in Thursday’s practice, and two who did not practice. By Friday, only two players were on the injury report, and both were listed as questionable.”
“When you look at it,” McCaffrey explained, “each play has a life of its own. So every play, you have a job to execute the play. And there are steps involved, zones involved that you have to sit in, reads that you have. If you’re focused on the lights and you kind of miss over them, then you really messed up. I just try to not ever get in that situation. It’s just always been about one day at a time doing everything you can to keep your body, mind, soul ready to play on Sunday. And that’s it.”
Chris Foerster, the 49ers’ run game coordinator and offensive line coach, explained it one way Thursday. The offense, by design, will have these gaping holes. As a running back who wasn’t well versed with the scheme, McCaffrey would want to just run through them. It’s the natural instinct of a tailback. But he had to be taught how those holes are but the first layer of the scheme. He needed to be patient to let the whole thing develop.
Now, McCaffrey understands the purpose of the hole and what comes after it, what it’s setting up and how to manipulate it. And because his mind is trained to harness the small things, the finer details, he has absorbed so much of the purpose and philosophy of the offense.
“He’s so on it,” Foerster said, “and still learning and still wanting to be better. He is just so hard on himself, in a positive way, that he’s always wanting to make sure he gets it exactly right. … And he has made huge strides. As much as a guy as talented as Christian can make, he’s made huge strides this year.”
“Kyle Shanahan said Thursday on KNBR that Ward’s injury wasn’t a concern and that he was expected to play. On Friday, John Lynch joined Murph and Mac and gave a similar assessment, describing it as “a minor deal” that the team isn’t too worried about.”
“San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after Friday’s practice, providing final updates ahead of the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is everything he had to say.”
“It was interesting,” Bosa said on Friday. “We would shoot texts back and forth. ‘You almost there?’ ‘You almost there?’
“A lot of it was not much update for weeks on end, and then finally he sent me the eyes emoji and I knew it was time for him.”
“For all the talk of Purdy and Bosa and the names you know by heart, the Steelers might look at 49ers right tackle Colton McKivitz as the matchup that provides them the chance of game-changing success.”
“I’d be lying if human nature doesn’t kick in,” Lynch said. “Nick’s well represented by a very talented agent. He’s tough, he’s aggressive. I would say one day we were in here, and this is off that line with his agent, but a little shoutout to Bob Myers my good friend. There was one point we were at an impasse. Bob called and Paraag Marathe happened to be in my office and just had really good counsel. Sometimes you need some outside perspective and I think it kind of kept us going.
“There were so many people and I don’t want to undervalue the internal [discussions], so many people were working on this ... but I’m very appreciative, you need friends when you’re struggling. I thought about that last night, at a time where we were pretty frustrated, Bob called and had some really nice perspective.”
““It is less specifically about Brock Purdy and is more about how Kyle Shanahan chooses to utilize his quarterback within the schematics of what it is that he does,” Tomlin said this week. “And so, whether it’s Purdy or (Sam) Darnold or (Jimmy) Garoppolo or anyone that you know, Matt Ryan, or his days in Cleveland — we just see very similar things in terms of their approach to football.
“It’s very quarterback-friendly. It doesn’t put them in a lot of adverse circumstances. It keeps them on schedule. And in doing so, it minimizes the potential for negativity. It’s a great platform particularly for a young guy to play and gain experience and I think it’s reflective of Purdy’s journey a year ago and their collective journey a year ago. But I imagine his growth and development in that experience has him and them ready to take another step, just like we are with our young quarterback.”
Therein lies the beauty of a season opener. It’s a first chance for both teams to showcase strides that they made in the offseason, and it just so happens this opportunity comes for two opponents who share so many key commonalities.”