Kyle Shanahan: ‘We had a number of deep balls called yesterday.’

Quarterback Brian Hoyer throws a short pass during the 49ers preseason game against the Broncos

Kyle Shanahan just gave his Sunday conference call, and I will post the full transcript shortly. In the meantime, here’s the question I asked, followed by his response. What’s your take on what he said?

ME: “Kyle, we’ve seen Brian Hoyer throw a lot of deep passes in training camp. Why haven’t we seen him throw one in either preseason game? Don’t you want to develop a relationship between the quarterback and a wide receiver for the deep ball at game speed before the regular season starts?”

SHANAHAN: “Uh, yeah. Practice speed is, I mean, our guys, they run full speed every time they run a route, so whether they do that in a game or on air or in practice, they’re always running as fast as they can unless it’s walk through. So I don’t really look at it that way. You have certain ways to attack coverages. We had a number of deep balls called yesterday — it just depends what coverages they’re playing. When we had a couple deep balls called to attack versus quarters, they played single safety. That’s why Louis Murphy had a big explosive (play) underneath it. But, we’re not trying to show everything possible either in a preseason game.”

Here’s my take on the first part of Shanahan’s answer, when he said practice speed and game speed are the same. That simply isn’t true. Practice speed is just that – practice speed. The juice flows at a higher rate in a game than during any practice regardless of whom the player is. Jerry Rice practiced at full speed, and then on game day he kicked it into another gear.

This article has 45 Comments

  1. To be honest it is what I expected. The deep pass plays don’t always eventuate even when called. So not surprised to hear he has called some. And as he alludes to, he is keeping things somewhat vanilla atm, keeping some things back. As you have suggested they are doing with Juice.

  2. Bolding smartly calls it a career rather then expose his body to further damage playing for a losing cause. Was hoping he’d sign on with the Patriots this off season, that would have been a fitting end to a fantastic career.

  3. That’s what I suspected (and mentioned in this morning’s Periscope session). Sometimes deep passes are called, but the quarterback winds up throwing shorter passes… checking down or receivers breaking off their routes.

  4. Pretty much exactly what I thought he’d say. Now we wait, and see if Grant can take credit for a few deep balls thrown in the next game…;>)

  5. Yawn, he isn’t doing what you want because the defense isn’t showing what is beneficial for the deep pass? It’s called coaching for a reason…

  6. Did Thomas play? Didn’t see him on your list of inactives but don’t see any stats for him either.

    1. Thomas only played 16 snaps Saturday, which makes sense due to the fact he’s looked extremely good. Probably a signal the 49ers are satisfied with where he is in his development at this juncture….

      1. You would think he needs all the reps he could manage considering how much time he missed and being a rookie.
        Id maybe hold off on he has already arrived type player.

  7. The more preseason games you watch over the years, the more you realize there is NOT a lot of correlation between what you see during these games, and what you expect to see during the regular season, with the possible exception of the first 1/2-3/4 of game #3. If I had a dollar for every season I was fired up because the 49ers looked outstanding during the preseason, only to watch them fall flat, and struggle early in the regular season, I’d be a wealthier man. And this is especially true for the teams that sport superior coaching, and coordinators, because game planning, and play calling is so very important in the NFL. It’s simply not possible to draw conclusions, and make assumptions, based on the first 2 games of the preseason.

    That said, I do have some concerns at this point and time. I’ve got concerns about the OL in particular. I think Hoyer is a serviceable veteran QB who has a firm grip of Kyle’s offense, and I think the 49ers current crop of RB’s and WR’s are a clear upgrade over the last couple seasons. I can say with certainty that this team will be better against the run, and they have also improved their pass rushing. They have an incredible young talent in Reuben Foster, and Bowman’s return should lend some stability to this group, but their are certainly some questions in the defensive backfield. The jury is still out on this group of Special Teamers. And I have no doubt that the 49ers have a great young HC and offensive coordinator. Of course, they have to get the penalties fixed and stop turning the ball over, but I suspect they will as guys settle into their roles.

    So what does it mean? I think it means this team has a decent enough chance at reaching .500 this season, if they catch a few breaks and avoid a rash of injuries. I don’t think it’s realistic to turnover a roster to this extent, at the same time you are installing new schemes and new systems on both sides of the football, and expect to make the postseason. I seriously doubt this team will start fast this season, but I am holding out hope that they improve as the season wears on, and I like the way the schedule sets up for them late in the season, so I have hope that the team finishes this season strong and brings some momentum into ShanaLynch’s 2nd offseason. Fingers crossed!

    1. Good post. I remember Singletary won every preseason game, then went out and stunk up the joint.
      .
      I long for the Glory Years, when aging Pro Bowl FAs would sign for less just to get a ring. The Niner third string was better than many team’s first string.

  8. From beat reporter Biderman:

    “The decision on Brooks has financial ramifications. He’s slated to be the team’s fourth-largest cap hit in 2017 making more than $6 million. His release would clear some $5.3 million off the books, giving San Francisco even more ammunition for next season. It currently has a league-leading $66 million in space.”

    Would Pita T. be Harold’s backup if the team jettisons Brooks?

    1. Also from that article:

      “Beathard had another strong showing and has a 130.62 passer rating after two preseason games.”

      Sure it’s preseason, but this is what you want to see. As Grant says, let’s see how he does against stronger competition.

    2. I think Dekoda Watson would be Harold’s backup at SAM. Pita T seems to be getting more looked at as a DE in nickel.

    3. This is nothing new. Every year, somebody predicts the demise of Ahmad Brooks. If he starts this week, then we’ll know where he stands.

  9. TOP 5 GRADES:
    S Eric Reid, 87.2 overall grade

    S Lorenzo Jerome, 86.2 overall grade

    DE Tank Carradine, 85.5 overall grade

    LB NaVorro Bowman, 84.0 overall grade

    DE Pita Taumoepenu, 80.5 overall grade

    1. Jerome is making a pretty good case for being the starting FS. Lets see how Ward looks next game, but atm I am leaning towards just sticking with Jerome.

      I was really impressed with how Tank played. He got some penetration and made some nice plays.

        1. He struggled to get much penetration when rushing from out wide in base. But the run D has seemed pretty good with him playing wider in base. I didn’t see him make any particularly good or bad plays against the Broncos.

          1. Correct! I should have been more specific, but I had stated that in an earlier post. I was merely responding about Arik specifically as he had no penetration that I remember and only one tackle.

      1. Yup, Tank consistently got penetratration and Jerome played very strong. Was a bit surprised by Pita’s score but I wasn’t paying close attention to him.

    2. Reid had a very good game. The whole time I was thinking, fairly or unfairly, that he’ll never last the season if he has to make that many tackles in a game. But J. Lynch said they figured he would do pretty well at the SS position in this defense.

  10. Couple things.
    1. His answer makes sense, the qb’s have to read the play and if they see an opening throw the Deep Ball. This is not the Harbaugh offense with multiple shot/1 read plays to throw a deep ball. So even it its called, perhaps it wasn’t open of a better option was open.
    2. Game speed and Practice speed are the same for the most part. Adrenaline lasts for about 5 minutes give or take. So for the rest of the time your top speed, is your top speed. The real difference is that in a game you’re running it against better defenders. In practice normally the 1’s will practice against the 2’s so the level of competition is much lower and good looks will be seen by the qb much more often. However, it would be nice to see them take a shot or two… just to see how it looks against top level competition and the type of separation they will see against it.

    1. Agreed! This is the WCO…it’s on the QB now to choose but there should be 3 options every single time on every design… usually, deep, intermediate and check-down and sometimes, multiple options at each level.

  11. Well, there you go. Now Kyle’s grade is up to a solid ‘A’ and if he can cut down on his penalties, ‘A+’, according to you, right? Haha…you’ve been fair with him noting he IS going to grow and learn. Nothing wrong with questioning as many angles as possible. Just don’t exaggerate them. :)

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