Here is the transcript of Kyle Shanahan’s Week 3 Monday conference call, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.
S Eric Reid said that he was going in for an MRI today. What was the result of that?
“He’s got something with his knee. He definitely won’t play this week. You know, the good news is, he’s not going to need surgery, so it will heal on its own. But, he’s definitely not going to play this week. I’d be surprised, it’s probably going to be a little bit longer than that, also.”
Can you explain why it was that he went back into the game three times?
“Because he didn’t, they kept looking at his knee. They didn’t feel that there was anything torn, so he felt it was alright. I haven’t gotten to talk to him personally yet, so I’m not exactly sure. But, when he checked out, it seemed alright. The X-ray they had looked good, and he said he could go so he kept trying to go and then he had his final straw and said he couldn’t go anymore. I guess that’s what happened. Probably could ask him, though, and get a better answer.”
Is it more of a kneecap issue?
“No, it’s a PCL issue.”
You’ve been able to run the ball against some really good defensive fronts. What’s been working there?
“You know, our guys played hard. Our running backs ran well. I thought we had a pretty good plan going against their fronts and our guys blocked well. Our guys ran hard and they did a good job. I was real pleased with the run game yesterday, especially.”
When you look at OL Laken Tomlinson and the game he had, particularly in the run game, were you surprised he was able to catch on to things so quickly?
“Yeah, he did do a good job. I was definitely pleased with him. He needs to keep getting better and I hope that he does the more that he’s here. But, in his first game with the limited time he had, he didn’t have many mistakes from an assignment standpoint. He still needs to continue to get better with his techniques and things that we’re asking him to do. But, especially in his first game and not being here throughout the offseason, I thought he did a good job.”
Just one more thing on the run game. With the history you’ve had, and the first two games, I know it’s a small sample size, but could you run the ball even more than you have in the first two?
“Yeah, you can, if you get more plays. In order to run the ball more, you don’t just call more runs. You have to get first downs and stay on the field. When you go two-of-12 on third down, and you only have 40, whatever, plays that we had, it’s going to be pretty hard to get those numbers, unless you just run it every single play, and then it’s kind of hard to deep a defense off balance when you do that. But, of course we’d love to run the ball more. We’ve got to do a better job all around and able to get that done.”
You mentioned the lack of first downs. Is that something attributed to FB Kyle Juszczyk not getting as many opportunities maybe the first couple of weeks?
“What do you mean by “opportunities?”
Either carries or even in the passing game, he hasn’t really gotten the ball much in either one.
“I mean, I don’t expect a fullback to get too many carries. Never really has before in the history of how I’ve used fullbacks, so that’s not something I ever truly expect. And in the pass game, that just depends on the week, what the game plan is, how they play their coverages. If they play a lot of zone and they are deep, we’ll check it down to Juice who has got the hands and the ability to get up field and make plays. But, it all depends on how guys play us. But, we use him as a fullback and I thought he played a very good game yesterday.”
Has he ever missed a lead block?
It seemed like he hit every single lead block he was asked to execute yesterday. Was that what you saw as well?
“Yes, and the reason we brought Juice here, you can see that in the game last night. He played a very good game.”
ME: QB Brian Hoyer didn’t throw any passes longer than 20 yards and he threw only two passes longer than 10 yards. Why so few long throws? Was that the game plan?
“No, we had a couple shots early and the protection didn’t hold up. Then it was basically what they were giving to you. If you sit back and try to make a living in Seattle versus that pass rush of dropping back deep and just trying to throw deep balls, they are going to lead to a lot more sacks and turnovers than you are deep plays. Our goal is to win the game. We tried to call a game and put a game plan together that gave us a chance to win the game at the end. We didn’t think going deep all the time was the best way to do that. Depending on how they play is when you go deep. You just don’t call plays that say go deep or go short. It depends on what you’re going against.”
With the Rams coming up this week, obviously Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, a guy who spent some time with you. What did you see in him maybe when you worked with him that led you to believe that maybe he could be a head coach and were you surprised at all that he became one this early?
“No, I wasn’t surprised. Sean’s a real good guy. He works hard. He’s been around football his whole life. I loved coaching with Sean. You know, we started out, he was my quality control for a year and then we made him my tight end coach. He was my tight end coach for three years. Sean and I are good friends. We’ve always had a good relationship. He deserves everything he’s gotten, and he’s doing a good job there in L.A. right now.”
Could you imagine, I know it wasn’t that long ago for you, but being 31 years old and being a head coach, do you feel like you would have been ready for such a task at that point in your career?
“Yes, I think when you get that opportunity, if you deserve it, I think you’re always ready. And then you’ve got to adjust to the challenge. You never know until you get put in that spot, but usually when you get hired, you’re capable of doing it. You don’t know until you get on the job. And regardless of what your age is, you know, Sean’s been a coordinator, he’s been through it, he’s been around football a lot. Whether he got this opportunity now, which he did, or eight years from now, Sean is going to adjust to the situation and rise to the challenge and I think he’ll do a great job there.”
Do you think with Brian Hoyer, would you like to see him try to extend plays more, or is that just not what you want him doing?
“Well, I mean, you never tell a guy that you don’t want him to do that. Look at the quarterbacks throughout the league and what type of quarterback you are. If you make a living of trying to run away from that defensive line and extend plays and make them off-schedule, a lot more bad is going to come from it than good. It depends what type of player you are. Brian is more of a pocket passer. You never tell a guy not to do that, but when you have a pocket passer, you can watch all of them throughout the league, you’re not going to see them running around making a lot of off-schedule plays versus Seattle.”
When you look at the Rams run defense, they got gashed pretty good yesterday. As you look to run the ball as much as possible, what did you see from them?
“Yeah, you know, they got out of a couple gaps a few times. They’ve got some pretty good players. They’ve got a very sound scheme with what [Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator] Wade [Phillips] does. They got him on a couple of long ones. They came out, pounded it early, and went in their heavy personnel getting a few three tight ends on the field, sometimes an extra tackle, and they did just a good job. They moved the chains and at least stayed out there on third down. They were able to get the run calls in. They kept the score pretty low, so they were able to do it and they played with the lead most of the game also, too. They ran hard, had a good plan and by no means is that an easy team to run the ball against, but in the running game, the Redskins got the best of them yesterday.”
Your defense was out there a lot of plays yesterday. What’s the challenge going to be for them with the short week, and is there anything that you have to do to alter your approach this week to help them out?
“Yeah, regardless of how many plays, I mean, you have to alter your approach every Thursday. I mean, they were out there definitely more than we would like without a doubt. But, even if they were out there a normal amount of plays, if they were out there 60, nothing would have changed. We’ve got to do everything we can to get the players fresh for Thursday, and that’s on all three sides of the ball. That’s the exact same thing L.A. is trying to do. I’ve played a number of Thursday games. It’s always a challenge for the players because your body is never quite ready by that time. But, the good thing about it is you get more time off after it. So, there’s about three days, you know, starting here in about half an hour, we’re exactly three days away from kickoff, and we’ve got to take advantage of every moment. We can’t go too hard in practice. It’s got to be a lot more assignment-based to try to get this all in. Players got to get their sleep. They’ve got to start hydrating right now and we’ve got to take advantage of every extra thing we allow them to do with massages and things like that. This game will be here before you know it, and there’s no time to do anything but prepare for Thursday.”
How about for you and the coaching staff? What kind of expedited process did you have just getting back last night? Did you have to pull an all-nighter or anything like that?
“No. Last night was more about trying to go to bed knowing how big these next three days are going to be for us. So, trying to go to sleep so we can have enough energy to get through this. Came in early in the morning. You know, I’m a guy who doesn’t sleep at the office, but I definitely do during this week. There’s a lot to do. We’ve got to catch up on it. Tomorrow we’ll put pretty much our entire game plan in, which normally you do that over a three-day period. We’ve got to find the hours somehow. That’s why just, that’s why we adjust. We’ll definitely live up here probably the next few days, which makes those few days harder. But, just like what I said for the players, the good thing about Thursday Night Football is no matter how hard and miserable it is to prepare for it because it’s so soon, it’s also nice to get those three extra days to relax after it, which is very hard to come by in the NFL. The only other time you get those off-days is your one bye week.”
The injury report shows that S Jaquiski Tartt would not have practiced today with a neck injury. What’s his status?
“Right now he’s questionable. I know he was hurting today. We’ll see how he is when he comes in tomorrow.”
Does your familiarity with Sean help on a short week in terms of preparing?
“I don’t think so. You know, I mean, we run very similar offenses. So, they know what we do and we know what they do. So, their offense is very similar to what I’ve done since we worked together in Washington. You know, their coordinator there, he was the quarterback coach for me, basically the past eight years. So, there’s some very similar things in our schemes that I think both defenses at least probably have seen a lot of in training camp. But, usually these Thursday night games, doesn’t come down to scheme very much. It comes down to how fresh the players are, who recovers more from the Sunday before that, and who feels less sorry for themselves for how they are feeling and really goes out there and competes the hardest.”
RB Carlos Hyde has obviously done very well, but can he even do more? Can he break some more tackles and make some more guys miss in the open field?
“I was very pleased with Carlos. I’ve been pleased with Carlos in both games. I think Carlos runs as hard as he can, breaks every tackle that he can. I think he’s done a great job in these two games. I think there was really one that I mentioned versus Carolina that I thought he missed an opportunity on, which I believe he would be the first one to tell you also. But, I’ve been very pleased with Carlos. He came to compete last night, and it showed. So, I was very happy with him.”