San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media on Thursday for the final time before facing the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Shanahan provided updates on the status of Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, dealing with the cold weather and much more.
“Alright guys, injuries. [DL] Jordan Willis, will be questionable. [DL] Nick Bosa, questionable and [CB] Ambry Thomas, questionable. Go ahead.”
How did QB Jimmy Garoppolo look throwing the ball this week? And is he going to be able to wear a glove over the thumb if he wants to or is the tape going to get in the way?
“I think he can, if he wants to. I don’t think he likes to, but I’m not sure. I haven’t asked him that. Interesting question. He’ll figure it out though. He’ll be all right. And he’s thrown the ball great. He’s looked as good as he did the week before.”
I’m assuming because Nick is questionable, does he have a chance to clear a protocol like P Mitch Wishnowsky did last week?
“Yes. Yeah, we have to put him on there because of the steps of the protocol, but it’s looking good.”
When there is some injury question with Jimmy, like last few weeks, does QB Trey Lance get some practice time with the first team or is it still Jimmy getting all the practice reps?
“Same as it always is. Jimmy gets all the reps with the ones, Trey runs the scout team and he’ll get a little in walkthrough, but nothing’s different. Jimmy’s been playing through some things, but that’s why he is full go, because he’s good enough to play and we don’t treat it any differently.”
I know it’s hard to simulate Green Bay temperatures when it’s 65 degrees for your practice. What’s your plan tomorrow when you get into– you’re getting into Green Bay today, but what are you going to do tomorrow with the team to try to get used to that weather?
“I’ll talk to some of the guys about it. I think each person’s different. Me personally, it’s not about getting used to it. It’s about going out and doing it for three and a half hours. And getting your mind set that I can do this for three and a half hours and focus on the game. I don’t think you go out and freeze the day before and think that your body’s going to be more used to it the next day. That’s me personally. But I’ll talk to our players here a little bit on the plane. We got a couple options on what we can do. We can go outside. We have plenty room in the hotel with the ballroom to walk through. We just have our last Saturday, which will be a Friday walkthrough, but not too big of a deal to me. I’ll let the players decide on it.”
How does how does Ambry look and if he can’t go, is it CB Dontae Johnson or CB Josh Norman?
“It’ll be one of those two guys. I’m hoping he’ll go. That’s why we got him as questionable. I think it’ll be alright, but that’ll come down to seeing how he is on gameday.”
You invited us to ask Jimmy how his shoulder affected him and he said it affected him on every throw after he got injured. Obviously, that was six days ago, do you feel like the rest will have helped him heal a little so he’s not as affected by that shoulder?
“Yeah, I think he threw pretty good in the game. He had two throws off and he threw good all week and I thought he threw good the week before. Everyone’s affected by things right now. I think the thumb bothers him more than the shoulder, which he’s gotten used to here the last few weeks, but it’s a challenge, just like a lot of guys are. I know it’s harder at the quarterback position, but a number of guys are in that boat and when Jimmy gets out to gameday, he’s going to be alright.”
I think it was TE George Kittle who was talking about that in Week 3 you guys didn’t really know your identity yet and were still sort of searching for it. When do you feel like you sort of figured out what that identity was? Was it the Rams game or when do you think that happened?
“I think we always had an idea of what you want your identity to be identity, but you have to play the game a certain way to get that. You don’t just say which one of these 20 choices is it and it took us until Week 8 to guess the right one. Your identity is to play physical, to run the ball well, so you can create explosives in the pass game and work on every single play and that’s stuff that we were trying to do from the first game on. But we weren’t playing our best ball early on. The more you play, the more you practice, the more you get guys back, hopefully the better you get. And that’s what the point of the year was. I think our guys persevered through a lot of stuff. We weren’t as good as I would of liked earlier on, but our identity, I think we’ve always known what we wanted it to be. But it takes time to do that. It’s not an easy thing to do and our guys just got better through adversity and I think it’s pretty easy to see how we want to win games when you watch our tape.”
We spoke to defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans yesterday and he said from looking from Week 3 to now the defense looks completely different. Would you agree with him that it looks completely different from that Week 3 game where you guys played the Packers before?
“Yeah, I think we’ve gotten hardened as the year goes and sometimes that can be a good thing, sometimes it can be a bad thing. And I feel like with our guys, it’s been a real good thing. We came out and we were 2-0 at the time, but we weren’t playing our best ball. And when you go back and watch that tape, it’s not a lack of effort or anything. It’s just not the level that we’re moving with as a group, you can see some flashes here and there from individuals, but it’s how a team plays together and it’s how you move together. And I think we’re doing that. I think it’s apparent on the tape and we watch a lot of tape here together and when you’re watching last week’s game versus Dallas throughout the week or at the beginning of the week and then when we go to relive our Green Bay game from earlier in the year, you can see a drastic difference in how we’re moving as a team. And that’s why we’ve been able to turn this around a bit.”
What’s your advice or maybe even your demands as far as DeMeco Ryans and offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel on how to handle their duties here with you while also preparing for a job interview with other teams?
“I always expect it to be similar to how I was. Nothing you’re going to do is going to affect anything of what you’re doing right now, like for your organization. It’s so hard and you put so much work in to get to these games and then it comes down to three and a half hours. Like I always say, it’s not a seven-game series, so there’s nothing that you can do that jeopardizes any of the work that you’re going to do for the 49ers. Which those guys have been like that completely. I think it’s tough for them and because they get to do a zoom meeting, which isn’t quite the same as people flying down or you flying out there for the interview, which hopefully they’ll get when they have that day. With me, it was different. We had a first-round bye and we got three days off as a whole coaching staff and I got to spread my interviews out over those three days, so there wasn’t anything that messed with me and then I stopped until after the Super Bowl. So these guys have been great. I haven’t noticed it at all. I don’t have a right answer for it either, because it’s tough. But it is a little unfair to them just in terms of that is stuff guys wait for their whole life, so they’d love to be on it for an interview and be totally ready, but to ask guys to do that in a zoom meeting at the end of the week when we’re on a pretty short week and you’re a little sleep deprived and that’s not the number one thing on your mind right now, I just think it’s a little bit unfair for them. But I don’t have all the right answers. I wish we would just kind of wait until February, put it on hold and just let everyone go about it then. I think that might be harder to do than I actually– I don’t know how realistic that is, but it’s just a tough situation that I don’t have the right answers for, but they’ve handled it right. And I know they’ve gotten us ready to play for Saturday.”
This is going to be your guys’ sixth road game in eight weekends. And obviously you want to do a couple more, but what would you guess the level is in terms of how gassed is everybody? Jet lagged, travel weary at this point, did you see any sluggishness this week?
“I think guys were a little tired at the beginning of the week, but I think we’re ready to go. I don’t mind the traveling, you get a sit in a hotel room a lot more, you get a long plane ride. I mean you rest when you’re at home too, but people have families, it’s harder to just sit there and zone out when you’re around your whole family instead of just sitting in a hotel room, so I think our guys get to sleep, we catch up. There’s nothing we like more than being at home and being in our own stadium with our fans and the noise, but besides that. We don’t mind going on the road either.”
Since WR Davante Adams is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, he kind of does everything well, but is there a specific quality to him that you’re like, ‘wow, that is really special?
“Yeah. I just think of how balanced he is and how his lower half is with his feet. He is a big guy who can always create an edge on a defender. And if you can create an edge on a defender wherever they’re at, then you can always separate to explode away. And when you have the hands that he has, the size he has, the feet, the toughness, being one of the best receivers in the league and then pairing him with a quarterback who doesn’t need much separation, who gets you the ball wherever he wants it. That’s a very lethal combination that has made them win a lot of games here since they’ve been together.”
As far as Jordan Willis, is that in fact a high-ankle sprain and if it is, is it impressive that he’s out there practicing on it?
“Yes, it is. That’s why we’re kind of– when you hurt your ankle and you get an MRI, he’s had high ankle sprains before, so the fact that he has a chance to go this week means it can be a little bit more of an old injury mixed with some new. So the fact that he has a chance, makes me hope that it’s a little bit more of the old, we’ll see how he reacts on this plane ride. And when we get out there, because that usually doesn’t help. So we’ll get him on his feet tomorrow in our walkthrough, but if he ends up playing, then I would think that kind of tells you it was a little bit more of old injury.”
You mentioned after game, that Deebo said, ‘Hey, give me the ball.’ He was mic’d up. The NFL showed the video of it and the audio where he’s yelling it and then after the touchdown, you’re yelling back at him. ‘Thanks for telling me.’ I’m not saying he’s ordering you to get the ball and you just followed him, but did that affect you? Do those kind of interactions affect the way you call a game?
“It did there. Someone telling me to get them the ball doesn’t at all mean that I’m going to get them the ball. Sometimes it’s just interesting to hear him, but when he says get me the ball, you guys watch how he runs and you know how much he means it. Deebo is as real of a guy as I’ve been around and he has a passion for this game that is making him one of the best players in this league. And the passion he has when he says that, those words carry a little differently to me than other people’s. And I want him to get him the ball on almost every play. I wasn’t quite thinking about it there. We had a quick turnaround, got a turnover and I was sitting there thinking about what direction to go and and I probably would’ve ended up going that direction. But when Deebo looks at you and says that, it wasn’t hard to think about it. It was just find a run to Deebo.”