Kyle Shanahan: “We thought if we got 30 runs in that game, we’d win.”

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reads on the sidelines against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Here is the transcript of Kyle Shanahan’s Monday conference call with Bay Area reporters, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.


Do you have an update on RB Tevin Coleman and what the MRI showed?

“Yeah, it’s a high ankle sprain so I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be around this week and we’ll take it week-to-week after that.”

Is IR a possibility or do you think you can write that out?

“No, I don’t think IR is a possibility right now so I think we’ll ride it out.”

Will you add a running back from the practice squad or somewhere else to increase the numbers this week?

“Most likely. We’ve got to see how the week goes, how many of them we are going to need on Sunday. There’s plenty of times, in Atlanta, I think we played every game but two or three with only two running backs so sometimes that’s a risk you take in a game, it all just depends how the rest of our roster is and what we feel gives us the best chance by Saturday.”

How is everybody else? Did any other injuries crop up? How did DL Nick Bosa’s ankle come out of it?

“I think he came out successful, didn’t hurt it worse. But, there’s always some wear and tear in the game. I think most guys dealt with dehydration. [DB] Tarvarius Moore, [RB Matt] Breida, [K] Robbie Gould, even [CB Richard Sherman] Sherm a little bit, but there were no serious injuries after that except for Tevin.”

Is WR Dante Pettis’ groin injury the reason he’s not starting or is this something that this is WR Deebo Samuel’s job?

“It’s definitely not Deebo’s job. It’s not anyone’s right now. That’s something that I kind of talked about all preseason. No one’s really taken that role. Dante got a setback with his groin injury where he just missed some time to practice so that gave him a little bit of a setback leading into Week 1, which made it easier for Deebo to start over him. We went in knowing Deebo was going to get more playing time. I definitely didn’t plan on Dante getting only two reps. He should have been in more than that. That starts with me. I’ll make sure not to let that happen again.”

After watching the tape, what did you see from Bosa yesterday? How did you think he played?

“He definitely had an effect on the game which is what we were hoping for. He got in the backfield a lot. I know he got that one sack which started with [DL] Dee Ford running into him. He had a number of times where he got free, which I thought were impressive. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB] Jameis [Winston] made some very impressive escapes from the pocket on a number of those too. I thought it was a good first game. Still a lot of areas to improve, but considering what he’s been going through here the last few weeks, I thought it was a success.”

He said after the game that he was kind of pretty quickly introspective, just thinking about his own game and the kind of the mindset he has to have compared to college. Are you surprised or is there anything that stands out to you about his mental approach to the game that maybe you didn’t expect when you drafted him?

“I think, just being around him, I think you can see why that’s such a huge part of why he is so good. We all know he’s talented and stuff, you have to be to be the second pick in the draft. Being around him, you can see why he’s such a good football player. The guy is extremely smart and knows a lot about football, looks at it the right way. He’s not just always trying to win on ability, he’s trying to win on technique and discipline, plus his ability. That’s why I think he always plays to his best and can always get better too.”

After all this talk all training camp about takeaways and interceptions, was it important psychologically for you guys to come away with the four takeaways, three interceptions? Do you think they needed that?

“I think so. As long as we went last year with that, I can tell you that the longer we went without interceptions and stuff last year, the harder it got. It became just a burden on everyone non-stop. To open up this year and to beat our interceptions from last year in one game, we’re not proud of last year at all, but we’re proud that we were able to beat that right away so we can move on from that and hopefully have a better record or a good record this year. But no, the guys ran around hard and when [LB] Fred [Warner] had his, when we really had almost three turnovers in a row. Fred had the one fumble to start and then it kind of becomes contagious after that. The next time they got up, I believe the next play [LB Mark] Nzeocha got his pick. I want to say the next play they downed it to go into halftime and then they came out and I think they fumbled the first snap and then they threw it on the next down and that was the pick-six. So, we really got three turnovers in the next four plays. Just like not getting them can be contagious, so can getting them.”

How would you evaluate your pass protection in general and then specially what happened on the play when QB Jimmy Garoppolo got sacked?

“That was just a bad play call. I thought they were going to go two-shell in that two-minute situation and we had a bad front with a guy blitzing. We had a guard pulling around who needs to get one of them and the halfback needs to get another, but they had a little too much penetration and our guard got picked off. That leaves [RB] Raheem [Mostert] to block two people. I didn’t like the play call though. They would have had to been real good to not get that sack. They had a good blitz on. They kind of got me on it and we couldn’t overcome it.”

How about the pass protection in general? How would you evaluate that?

“Overall, I thought the pass protection was good enough to win with. They got us on a blitz there, but pass protection wasn’t the issue.”

How impressed were you with defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s game plan and play calling yesterday?

“I thought he did a good job. He mixed it up, kept them off-beat. Guys didn’t know where we were always lined up. He mixed the coverages up, moved the D-Linemen, stunted them some, rushed some straight some, mixed in some pressure. I thought he did a real good job. Anytime you can keep the quarterback and the play caller off-base, it helps the players have a chance to get turnovers.”

What did you make of CB Ahkello Witherspoon’s performance after reviewing the tape and also Richard Sherman talked a lot about Ahkello’s renewed mindset and how he’s sort of bouncing back from adversity differently this year? I’m wondering if you’ve noticed that as well?

“Yeah, I definitely have. We’ve been noticing it here over the last couple weeks even in the last couple months. But, you don’t get to play a lot in the preseason so you really want to hold your judgement to the regular season and I felt really good after the game. Just watching him during the game and when I got on the plane and watched it and when I watched it this morning again I only felt stronger. I thought he had a hell of a game, got a change to break up some balls. Even the third-and-four that they moved the chains on him and he drove on that ball and Jameis made a perfect throw and if it wasn’t perfect he would have stopped them there. I really liked how Ahkello played. I also thought he was more physical in the run game and just played out there with a lot more confidence and it helped us win.”

You put some of the onus on yourself last night, needing to be more consistent. What would you say is it you need to do differently or what would you have done differently in your play calling?

“When our offense isn’t consistent, I mean I look at it when our team isn’t consistent, I look at it as a reflection of myself. As an offensive play caller, when the offense isn’t, then I’m even stronger on myself. As far as play calling and stuff, I wasn’t really looking at it that way. Our goal was to go in and try to get 30 runs. We thought if we got 30 runs in that game, we’d win. You count our two kneel downs I think we got 32. That was the goal of it. Wish we could have ran better, but I think that has to do with helping us not turn it over and things like that. When we don’t execute some things that I believe we should, that we are good enough to do, that’s all of us. If a player doesn’t make the play, I’m the one who coaches him, so are the other coaches on our staff. Anytime a player misses something we think that they should make, the onus is on me, it’s on the position coach and it’s on the player. That’s kind of how we look at everything.”

How did you feel like Mostert performed? He had 40 yards. Do you feel like he can be an every down back if Tevin Coleman is to miss time?

“Yeah, I do. I mean, he’s going to have to step it up for us if that is the case and really just like he did last night. I know Raheem wants to get on the field as an offensive player and he’s had his opportunities here and there. It’s been a little harder for him this year with Tevin coming in and it’s always hard when you’re mixing guys like Tevin and [RB Matt] Breida, but when Tevin went down, Raheem stepped right in, didn’t hesitate, broke a couple tackles for us and there were a couple plays especially there at the end where I thought we blocked it for five and he got about 25 plus the 15 yards at the end of it. So, Raheem stepped in and was really a pivotal part of us winning that game.”

Do you feel comfortable with Raheem as a receiver?

“Yeah, I feel comfortable with Raheem as a receiver. He can catch the ball, he’s very fast. All of our guys are pretty fast, all of them have good hands. We’re a little selective on who runs certain routes better than others, but anytime you have all our backs are in that 4.4 to below area and they have good hands, they’re always threats as receivers.”

Were you happy with DB Tarvarius Moore’s play? I know outside the obvious PBU on the fourth down, I’m wondering how you evaluated him yesterday.

“Was the obvious PBU a good play or a bad play for you?”

It seemed like a good play. What was it like for you?

“I’m just joking. It was a good play, but it could be a better play, too. We wanted him to get a pick-six right there and end the game. It was a hell of a job, a big time stopping that and I just enjoyed watching Tarvarius play yesterday. I enjoyed it live and I enjoyed it on tape. By no means was it perfect, he can get a lot better in those areas, but he’s a football player. We know he can cover, we know he can run and you can see it on the tape, he does not mind hitting at all. He’s got a knack for the ball out there. It comes pretty natural to him. If he can stay healthy and the more he plays, I think the better he’ll get.”

How do you diagnose the inconsistencies you guys had yesterday with the running game?

“I mean, I think when, I thought they had a pretty good game plan for us. One thing is they’ve got some pretty good run players in there, especially on the inside with the big nose and obvious [Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL Ndamukong] Suh, but all their guys play hard and they play the run well. They had a pretty good game plan running a bunch of blitzes into our runs, dare enough to pass at times, and at times we did. We needed to hit a couple of those to get them out of that and we didn’t. When you don’t make them pay for some of the stuff they’re doing in their run blitzes, they’re not going to get out of it. You can choose to keep throwing, but the way our defense was playing and getting the turnovers we did, having the lead, we stuck with the run a lot more. Our goal as a team, not just as an offense, our goal as a team was to get 30 runs and I always say, when you say that to a team, everyone’s like, “Why don’t you just run it the first 30 plays of the game?” Because that’s not how it works. You’ve got to play good defense, you’ve got to do decent on third down. We didn’t do decent on third down, so we were able to do good enough on defense to keep a few drives going to where we could get those 30 runs. When you do that, that’s a huge team effort and I was happy with the result because of it.”

Do you know when Coleman got hurt?

“I know he got hurt on the first play. He got hurt on the first play of the game, I think they landed on his ankle and then it just got worse as the game went. He tried to battle through it throughout the second quarter and I think he was done at halftime if I remember correctly.”

How did QB Jimmy Garoppolo look on film? Were there things that you saw where he was more efficient or he didn’t look as comfortable? This is the first chance you’ve gotten to see him in about a year for a full game.

“Yeah, he made some good plays yesterday for sure. I thought the best play that he made was a huge scramble when we were backed up. The pocket opened up and he just hit it and ran and moved the chain for us, which was a big one. Unfortunately, we got the holding call on that play, so it got taken back so it didn’t count, but he had a number of good things. Just like the rest of the offense, I didn’t think we were very consistent. I thought we missed too many opportunities and I think we’ll be better going forward next week.”

After his pick-six, does that change, as a play caller, does that change the way, I don’t know, just how you look at the game or call the game? I guess what I’m asking is did you get more conservative after you see something like that?

“No. I mean, every play affects everything. I don’t think me personally as a play caller I changed after that. I think our idea of how we went into the game, we planned on running the ball a lot. We had a few checks and stuff like that that got us out of a few run calls to go into passes and things like that. But no, we stuck with it the same way. I don’t think anything really changed.”

As far as the wide receivers, I realize it’s one game and I realize most of those guys are pretty young and still kind of learning. But as you said, no one kind of emerged throughout the summer and no one really emerged yesterday. What level of concern do you have with that group?

“Well, what I’m excited about is I know we’ve got the answers in our building and it’s taken a while to do that. We do have guys that are young. We have guys that are very young. We have guys that are also injured. So, we’re working through that right now, which is always concerning. Whenever you have a young group, you’ve got to play young guys, you don’t want to have to put the pressure on guys who aren’t quite ready. I felt like we’ve dealt with that in the two years previously also. Dante had some setbacks throughout camp, which has made him a little bit behind the eight-ball, but I’m very confident in the ability of Dante and I know he’ll get there. I’m just trying to be patient. I also feel that way about our rookies that we’ve added, but they are rookies also. If we can get some of these guys back healthy, that’ll help. What I like is the answer is in our building. I don’t see that we have to go outside or anything like that. We’ve got to continue coaching these guys real hard, putting the pressure on them and we need them to respond. I get to deal with these guys every day, I get to talk to them all the time and I truly believe we’ve got the right men in our room. We’ve got guys who can handle coaching, that work hard, it is important to them and they know that I’m going to be tough on them, but it’s because I believe in them. We need them to come through and I know they will.”

LB Dre Greenlaw had a bigger role after LB Kwon Alexander was ejected from the game. How did he look on film when you watched him?

“I think Greenlaw did some good things. He’s definitely a good tackler, he’s not afraid to hit you. It was good for him to get that experience and to come away with a win, which is similar to even Tarvarius who was like that. Tarvarius planned on being out there that long, so Greenlaw was a little surprise. That’s the NFL. You only have five guys up, especially with [LB Mark] Nzeocha focusing mainly on special teams. Once we lost Kwon, it was a chain reaction to everybody, so he had to step it up. He had to play a lot. Had a few rookie mistakes like they all do, but he played good enough for us to win and I was happy with him. Now, we need to get better going forward.”

Why did DL Solomon Thomas only play 12 snaps? Was that just part of the game plan or did anything happen?

“No, I expected him to play a little bit more than that. We’ve also got a pretty deep D-Line group. [Defensive line coach Kris] Kocurek rotates them throughout the game, how he feels accordingly to what personnel they’re doing, what the down and distance is. Solly isn’t starting on the outside or the inside, but he’s one of our key guys right behind all four of those positions. There’s games that will play out where he plays more and there’s some where he’ll play less. I knew he wasn’t going to get more reps than the starting guys did, but I thought he would’ve gotten more than 12, but it worked out that way.”

Do you guys have any plans here in town outside of the community events you’re doing tomorrow? Are you guys doing any team bonding stuff?

“No, it’s a normal week. I think there might be a dinner for the guys tomorrow night, but none of the coaches are going to that. I’m not quite sure about that. Players will know though. I think the York’s are having everyone in an area for dinner, but the coaches won’t be at that one.”

This article has 142 Comments

    1. I can answer both of your points with one question Sponge Bob: Do they have a choice?

      They need to play better, particularly on offense, if they want to have a good season. No choice.

      As for Wilson – I have a hard time envisioning them going into Cincinnati with only 2 tailbacks, so they don’t have much of a choice. And if it’s not Wilson, then who?

  1. well…..just 1 game….but this is exactly how I saw it playing out…..and posted here for all you “the sky is falling” ppl!!!
    the pass rush went from a weakness….TO THE STRENGTH of this team!!!!! Every DB got a whole lot better via the pass rush getting better…….and that they deserved a fair shot to see what they could do this year!!!!!! and that out of the 3 spots in question ( 1cb, 2S)……..0nly 1….maybe 2 would still be A WEAKNESS NEXT YEAR……and that we would solve it just like we solved the pass rush and wr issues this offseason!!!
    AW looks good, not to mention we still have JV……..Moore might be than man at FS………leaving the easiest spot, SS, to be filled next year! and with only 1 hole to fill on D…….we can finally focus on the O-line!!

  2. I hate to say it, but I feel like Shanahan is blowing hot air when it comes to the snap count for Pettis and Thomas. Either play them or inactivate them. There’s no reason why either player had that paltry of a snap count, especially with the claim of wanting to keep the players fresh.

      1. I am not sure about that. Armstead is a looming free agent, and the free agent WR market does not look good for 2020.

  3. Stats can lie.

    JG missed Kittle on that sideline pass; Bourne wide open over the middle; and there was the pass behind Goodwin on that roll out in the 3rd….Others as well as the illegal offensive formation on Kittle, etc, or the score would have been more lopsided.

  4. Geez, Seb, maybe I should be like you and give myself the game ball for predicting that Richie James would impact offensively and be the Niners ‘secret weapon’:

    TomD says:
    September 5, 2019 at 10:19 am
    49ers ‘Secret Weapon’ will be a factor vs. Tampa:

    Prediction: WR Richie James will run a kickoff back for a TD and be a factor offensively….Some stats below

    PFF SF 49ers
    Richie James and Mike McGlinchey both had outstanding preseasons.

    James was the highest-graded receiver with at least 14 targets. McGlinchey did not allow a pressure. Does that carry over to the regular season?

    Receiving: 86.3

    1. No, TrollD, your head is big enough.
      Interesting, you predicted James would run back a KO for a TD. I must have missed that, or you were way wrong.
      However, I did mention that the play of the DBs may be the difference between winning and losing. Those 2 pick sixes were the margin of victory.

  5. Even though I already knew it, it’s hard to read Shanahan’s comment about Thomas “Solly isn’t starting inside or outside”.
    The guy you drafted 3rd overall in 2017 isn’t a starter!
    It just stings. Especially when you see the guys they could have taken instead (Adams, McCaffrey, Mahomes)

  6. I found KS’ response about the sack interesting. It gives me the feeling that Jimmy is just running the play called and hardly checking out if necessary. I mean didn’t JG see that the called play wasn’t going to work? KS’ response that the best play Jimmy made was a run that was called back by a penalty was also something I found odd. Seems to me his best play was that pass to Richie James. I don’t know; I am beginning to wonder if KS and JG just don’t mesh. Of course to early to have it be anything more than a slight suspicion. We’ll see how the season goes.

  7. Thanks for putting up the teleconference transcript.

    Quick Take: If the team makes mistakes but still emerges with an eastern time zone road win it’s a good sign. I was hoping for a split before the home opener. Good result.

  8. When I read that statement by Shanahan that they believed if they got 30 runs they would win, I was thinking baseball. lol. Thats a heck of a bad ER for the opposition.

  9. This is still a mysterious team.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a 6 win team because of injuries, especially the Offensive Line.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if depth at Defensive Line and Running Back made the 49ers a dangerous post season predator.
    Running and defense travel well, especially in the post season.

  10. Got a chance to rewatch the game today. Few thoughts.

    Up until that stupid play by Winston, the Bucs were still threatening. They did several times in the RZ (penalties) and killed their drives. Additionally, Howard had two crucial turnovers.

    Witherspoon looks like a different player. Kudos to him.

    Defense played really well. Made the pressures it needed to stepping up (something they did not do last year), especially late when the game was on the line.

    Sherman looks slow. That run back for a TD, he looked like he was in slow motion. Still intelligent player though. He put his hands in the face of TB player to stop them from catching the ball. Did just enough to avoid the PI while still making it very difficult to have a completion.
    Last year many made excuses for bad plays and it is my assumption that this may be going on in TB last few days. “Winston seemed like he got hit hard on that dirty play by Alexander, seemed rattled after that!” “If Howard doesn’t lose ball twice in scoring position, different ballgame!”

    This is what I meant about the “what if” game last year. The team that lost, lost because it couldn’t do the things necessary to win. TB hurt themselves plenty Sunday. One of the reasons for that was the play of the 49ers. Same last year. TB has a good solid defensive unit and that will help them down the road and are well coached. Still, I am glad we aren’t playing the “what if” game but rather we see lots of celebration. Long time coming.

    The 49er group I watch the game with were very ecstatic after the victory. I was very pleased too. Their enthusiasm belied the fact that we hadn’t had success for a while (opening day, on the road, etc.)

    And I agree that there is some coach speak from Shanahan on the players not featured. It is clear they have more confidence in Deebo despite his many mistakes Sunday. I agree with going with him, btw. Pettis lacks NFL desire.

    1. Yes, sure is nice to be on the winning side of the what if game. The what if game goes both ways though. Both teams made lots of errors. The Bucs could have won if they hadn’t made as many errors, but equally the 49ers could have won by a lot more if they had made less errors.

      The Bucs had 2 TDs chalked off due to penalties (though really only one as both of those occurred on the same drive). The 49ers had 3 (though really only 2 for the same reason).

      The Bucs gifted 14 points to the 49ers through pick-6s. The 49ers gifted 7 for the same reason. Both teams also took points off the board by fumbling in or near the RZ.

      End of the day, the 49ers made less errors than the Bucs and that is why they won. The 49ers will need to get more out of their offense moving forward to win consistently. But that was still a big step in the right direction and a good win on the road.

      1. That was kind of my point Scooter. The What If game is pointless. What matters is the outcome.

        And I agree with your assessment made in the last paragraph.

        One thing is clear, and this regime should get credit for it, when they stripped the 49ers down, they didn’t demoralize them like what is happening in Miami, and they could have. Their work in this area certainly merits acclaim.

    2. SY,
      Nice to see you finding some positives in the win. There are still areas on the team that need attention, but after just one game these areas should improve with more play.

      The offense lacked sharpness and the receiving game was average at best.
      We would have lost a game like this last season.

      This is the year of “the turn around” and the fact that we came away with a win after noting the areas that still need improvement is a good sign going forward.

      On the defense, the F7 is going to be the biggest improvement on the team and produce some rising stars along the way.

      Bosa could have had 3 sacks, but he whiffed on a couple when Winston crossed him up. Bosa is going to be a diffence maker. Dee Ford made some noise as well. Let’s not forget that these aren’t yet at 100% either. They will only get better in the next few weeks (oh, oh).

      Get your popcorn ready my friend, it’s going to be a fun and exciting year!

      1. AES,

        I think of myself as fair, though not always optimistic. That’s ok with me. The flak I get for it is in some parts merited, other times it is borne out of misguided loyalty and sometimes just plain wrong. Either way, it’s how I’m built and I’m comfortable with that.

        I am, like everyone who is a fan, extremely happy with the win. I have concerns like you and while hopeful, I still need to see consistency week-to-week to think of this as a cultural trend rather than an outlying anomaly.

        As you stated before the season and have reemphasized it should be a fun and exciting season.

        One thing that was interesting, is that I tend to buy player jerseys three years in so that I don’t have to regret my choice (hence I have a Willis and Cowboy jersey but not one for Kap). I was with a group of 49er fans who get together to watch our team and cheer. The vast majority had JG jerseys on. It was kind of funny. Clearly, he is seen by many fans as the future.

        1. SY,
          Ha! I hear you on the jersey thing. That puts your money were your mouth is. You are invested💲

          I’m looking for the 49ers to make believers out of everyone this season regardless of where they are on the positive/negative meter.
          Get your popcorn ready!

          1. “I’m looking for the 49ers to make believers out of everyone this season regardless of where they are on the positive/negative meter.
            Get your popcorn ready!”

            Let’s hope that is true!

            I take after my mom. She lived in concentration camps during the war and it tempers her enthusiasm and makes her very reserved. I have a lot of that.

  11. I am wondering why they keep injured players on the roster. Why not sit them down, and put them on the IR with a mid season designation to return. That would allow the injury to heal fully, and the player will be available during the tough stretch run.
    That way, players like Jeff Wilson could move up to the 53 and help the team right away.

  12. Here’s an opportunity in the 9ers from office. Grant would be a strong candidate, but then he’d have to compromise his principles…

    Matt Maiocco

    Kansas announced the hiring of Dan Beckler as Associate Athletic Director for Public Relations. Beckler leaves his post as #49ers Director of Football Communications on Friday. He worked closely through the years with the team’s QBs, including Jimmy Garoppolo.

    Beckler is responsible for facilitating interview requests for players, coaches and front office staff. He also oversees the production of all football publications, football publicity items, team-issued media materials and press credentials. Beckler has been a member of the 49ers PR staff that has twice been named finalists for the coveted Pro Football Writers of America Pete Rozelle Award, in 2011 and 2012.

    Of course, with Grant not in the picture, some of our posters would be excellent candidates…

    1. I think Grant, like most journalists/ bloggers, become journalists/bloggers because they like seeing their name on print/screen and feel their voice is important. This position sounds like the ultimate behind the scenes. Not sure how Grant would take to the anonymity, another cog in the corporate structure.

      1. But Grant could become like Paraag, starting from the PR office and slowly creeping up the play-calling (or scouting) totem pole….

  13. Very interested to see what ShanaLynch do about the RB position. IMO Shanahan wants every 49er RB to have the speed to break the 80 yard TD run so he doesn’t give enough consideration to having a RB that can bulldoze the 1 yard you need for a 1st down. I’d love to see the 49ers add a RB that has some size to complement the other RBs that are already on the roster.

    1. Yup. I totally concur. Did you see what Josh Jacobs did last night. We need a 220 RB who can carry the ball 20 times per game. Also we need some guards who won’t get pushed around. Sunday we had a 3rd and 1 and Coleman got stuffed behind the line of scrimmage by Suh.

      1. What Kyle needs to do is draft Georgia RB D’Andre Swift. He’s plenty powerful at 215 lbs, and runs like the wind. His running style would be a perfect fit for Kyle’s scheme, and he’s a terrific receiver as well. Draft him, make him you’re #1 tailback, and quit spending a bunch of money at the RB position for the next few years, and invest it instead at other positions of need.

        “In speaking to some team area scouts, their initial impression of Swift is that they like him more than Sony Michel and believe he is faster than Nick Chubb. They think Swift could be a better prospect than Josh Jacobs but not as good as Saquon Barkley or some of the high first-round running back prospects in recent years”.

        “Swift has a good build to him with a surprising burst to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. He has a lot of upside and should enter the NFL without much wear and tear due to the Georgia backfield platoon.”

          1. Agree. 9ers are going interior o-line early in the draft next year. Shanahan learned from his Dad and Mike routinely found RBs perfect for his system in rounds 4 and later.

            1. Like I was telling Hacksaw, Tomlinson didn’t give up a single pressure against Suh/Vita. He’s pretty good. We need better depth, and someone to push for the starting RG position….

              1. Tomlinson was good, but Person was even better!

                According to PFF: 49ERS RG – Mike Person, earned the highest overall grade of any NFL guard in Week 1 with a 83.6 grade. The seventh-year veteran did not allow a single quarterback pressure on the day.

                People will ask: “but the 49ers struggled to run the football on Sunday?”

                Yes they did, mostly because the Bucs’s gameplan was geared towards stopping the run, and they ran a higher-than-average number of effective run blitzes, which should have opened the door for a more effective passing attack. The real failure for the Niners on Sunday, was their inability to take advantage of the Buc’s defense through the air.

                I still have questions as to whether Richburg is ever going to return to form, but you can find quality centers and guards, well after the first round, especially smaller centers, which Kyle prefers. One of the benefits to this system is that you don’t need road graders, which a lot of team target. In fact, Kyle prefers smaller, more agile interior linemen, because they are usually able to better execute his outside zone-blocking scheme, by blocking out to the edge, or to the 2nd level of the opponents defense.

                If the Niners are picking anywhere after 14 or 15, they should just take Swift, and be done paying all of these RB’s more than any other team in the league. He’d be BPA at that range, IMO, and he’s big enough to be a featured back with a fairly heavy load, and his dynamic skill set is perfect for Kyle’s system. The Niners can then spend the money they are saving to obtain some proven quality OL if they need to do so. They can replace Staley via the 2021 draft, or free agency.

              2. Another point, and I cannot reiterate this point enough:

                Kyle does not put a premium on the Offensive Guard position.

                Write that down somewhere handy guys, and recite it ten times a day, if that’s what it takes to remember.

    1. Some odd rationale for ranking shifts there. The Bengals rise 6 spots because:

      This was a promising start for the Bengals, even in defeat. Cincinnati walked into a hostile environment and went punch for punch with the Seahawks for four quarters.

      Yet, the Texans fall 2. I thought their effort, in a prayer of a defeat, in just as “hostile environment”, against a much more complete team in NO, was more impressive than Cincies. Watson was amazing.

      1. I watched that game. The Bengals sacked Wilson 4 times, not an easy feat. The Niners will have to play better ball if the hope to beat the Bengals.

        1. I heard Dalton was throwing short, quick passes. If that’s their offense, then we need our cb’s up in press coverage and jumping routes in conjunction with our pass rush….

          1. Bengals lined up 5 to stop the run. Glad the Niners have the depth to do that.
            This next game will not be a pushover. The Bengals barely lost to the Seahawks, and could have won if they reduced their turnovers.

            1. Seb,
              Your right, the Bengals made Seattle sweat it out.
              But looking back at the 49ers win, they could have pinned another 14 points if not for the mistakes.

              They could have walked out of Tampa Bay with 40+ points.
              Once they clean up the mistakes the offense will be scary good.

              On the opposite side the defense has shown a big improvement.
              I said a month ago that the defense would surpass last years Int total in 3 games – looks like I was off by 2 games, but I’ll take it! The defense is going to be dominant.
              If we clean up the mistakes on offense the Bengals will get mauled.
              All arrows up.

              1. Yup, if the Niners clean up their mistakes, and are more opportunistic, they may make winning look easy. They dropped 2 picks, so the Niners could have had FIVE picks. Manna from heaven!

      1. As a NC State fan, I know the futility in those rankings and what they mean regarding the team I support, even as I glorify being there.

  14. I hope the 49ers don’t think they will win more games with just Brieda who will probably get hurt again due to his size, Mozart who should be ok but not a game changing back and Wilson from the PS. They will probably sign Alfred Morris then wait a few weeks since the bye is week 4. Having jerrick would of been great but he can’t recover, but JG was out their running in the game and looked ok. They need to just see what the chargers want for Gordon and if the price is too high then don’t trade.

    Watching the game and even columns about the games report that WR/RB were the weakest links in the game. We need to upgrade those spots. people will say wait until Trent/Hurd come back, ok that a good answer but what about RB. We got lucky with our defense but we need playmakers not just hope and wish that Shanny offense can get a few plays and score a TD like they did with James. Also the red zone offense is still not good even though penalties hurt a few TDs

    1. I’d rather devote our remaining cap into signing Buckner and Kittle instead of devoting half of it to Gordon. Too much money invested in the position already, plus we got the coaches and system that allows cheap rb’s to be productive. Next man up is Wilson, and he’s good but he’s got to instill faith in the organization that he can hold onto the football. After the McKinnon debacle, I hope the 49ers learned their lesson….

      1. Agree. I know it was only the first week, but as I watched other games, WR is definitely the weak spot on this team compared to a lot of other teams. I see WRs on other teams making contested catches and catching balls that are not perfectly thrown. This doesn’t excuse inaccurate throws from Jimmy, but it really seems that he has little confidence in anyone not named Kittle (and hopefully Taylor).

        Also, watching the KC-Jax game just reinforced for me how important good WRs are. Mahomes is very good, but he threw several poorly thrown balls (the worst was a non-look pass to an open guy in the endzone that went way over his head). He had huge stats because his WRs/RBs consistently took 12 to 15 yard throws in for TDs or very long runs after juking DBs/LBs. Actually the same thing happened in our preseason game against them. I don’t know how they do it. Certainly speed is part of the answer, but doesn’t seem like all of it. Maybe it’s Reid’s schemes which get DBs so out of position that they have little chance of making a play.

          1. That’s why Walsh harped on it incessantly. I thought besides his quick release, his accuracy was his best attribute. I hope it’s just timing and chemistry with the receivers….

            1. This is true. But often times fans confuse accuracy with simply making it so a receiver can catch it in stride.
              This can be true… but isn’t always. Sometimes the ball is behind the receiver to fit it into a window or the receiver away from an oncoming defender, sometimes it’s down to protect the receiver. Years ago I remember reading an article in which Peyton Manning was explaining this.
              All that said, Jimmy is not the most consistently accurate qb out their as his footwork is not always consistent. That’s why his balls sometimes sail on him.

              1. “Sometimes the ball is behind the receiver to fit it into a window or the receiver away from an oncoming defender, sometimes it’s down to protect the receiver.”

                Of course. And in those cases you don’t get YAC, which was what we were responding about.

                If Garoppolo hits Goodwin in stride on the bootleg there’s YAC. If Garoppolo hits Bourne in stride there’s YAC. Instead you end up with wide open receivers not getting the ball.

              2. Yeah, YAC is important. But watch that catch that Sammy Watkins made. It wasn’t that Mahomes hit him in stride, it was Watkins ability to make defenders miss. My point is that a lot of the yards chalked up to Mahomes in that game were due to his receivers/rbs. Whereas KC has multiple guys that can do that, we only have one (Kittle).

              3. All of these guys can.

                On Goodwin’s catch he’s running away from the defender but has to slow down to catch a ball that’s thrown behind him a bit and gets tackled.

                Bourne has no one around him but the ball never arrives.

                Goodwin has a step on the boot and the ball is thrown behind him and he can’t hang on.

                In week 1 Garoppolo didn’t give his guys a chance. We’ll see how week 2 looks.

              4. Jimmy’s got to be more accurate if the offense wants to reach its potential. 34-17 49ers over the Bengals.

      1. Yeah, but Beethoven’s cone time was abysmal. I’ll take Tchaikovsky any day–along with his 46″ vertical and 41 reps.

  15. The Bucs game was the opening volley, it established where the team is. I think the defensive line only scratched the surface of its potential. Its going to be a fun unit to watch all year.

    The offense looks shaky, but not worried about it – yet. They need couple more games, See how it goes after the break. I kind of felt Shanny was being cautious in his play calling due to JG’s recovery and inexperience. I see this changing shortly. Also it was good to see JG run, defenses will have to account for that. I have no desire to see him run, but sometimes…(covering my @ss CFC) :)

    We really don’t know the team as of yet so when having fun projecting what might be, we have to use the word IF. If the offense takes off this will be a very scary team to play. It is a mighty fine iffy year.

    1. Good take. I don’t mind him running, but for God’s sake, don’t slide when you’re by the sideline. Just go out of bounds, Jesus! Don’t wait until the last minute to slide in the open field either. Get down early!

    1. Ugh, Tomlinson went up against Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea, and didn’t give up a single pressure. I’d say he was an excellent get!

  16. Update on TWO Bay Area sports media guys in Younsgstown. Sadly, Grant ain’t one of ’em…

    Cam Inman

    Again in awe of @ProFootballHOF treasures on a fantastic tour today. Lot of #49ers past and present glory represented, including @gkittle46 jersey & gloves from last season’s record-setting effort (and interviewing Steve Young with @MaioccoNBCS) – at Pro Football Hall of Fame

  17. yes I hope they learned their lesson in getting expensive 2nd, 3rd tier RBs at a high cost but Gordon is Tier 1. If they did make a trade it would have to be understood on Gordon’s side that a new deal will get done next year. Due to by next year they can release Jerrick and Tevin then have that salary moved to Gordon. If they need a new contract this year they would need to get creative on the salary. But if the asking price is too high then move on. Bunker/Kittle will get extension’s but both still need to play at an high level. The team still needs to surround them with talent. DL is set now just need WR/RB.

    Yes they have a system thats suited for the RB but its also suited for a RB who can catch passes and make plays after the catch. The preseason is different than the regular season. No team is going to respect the 49ers WR/RB’s. If Hurd can play and use him in the red zone then that could make up for some issues if we can score TD’s. They should of kept Jordan and got rid of Bourne, he would of cleared waivers and could of went to the PS.

    1. Offense scored lots of TD’s, they just didn’t count, correct the mistakes they count. Agree with you’re take on Bourne.

  18. What is it about Gordon that makes him tier 1? I know stats aren’t everything, but we’re talking about a guy that has only eclipsed 4ypc once in four seasons. Gordon, like most RBs, is highly reliant on the OL being good. Which makes him a guy that isn’t worth investing a lot of capital in.

      1. Even last year, when he averaged over 5ypc, so did his backup. And his backup looked good again week 1. He’s a replacable player at a largely replacable position.

    1. He wants to be traded. That is all that matters to those who want the 49ers to trade for him. We saw this with Bell and Brown.

      1. Gordon regardless of the stats is a game changer. He’s a guy who can break open a game and take over.
        He also provides a crutch to Jimmy G and the fact we have no legit WR.
        He can carry the ball 20-25 times a game and is still young at 26 and durable.
        No current RB on our roster can do what Gordon does so if he’s available we should inquire because it’s an upgrade.

        1. “He can carry the ball 20-25 times a game and is still young at 26 and durable.”

          He’s never done that. His best season in yards per attempt was last year when he was limited to just under 15 carries per game.

          1. He was hurt last year but like I said, he’s 26, he’s a work horse and is a game changer.
            Forget the stats for a minute. He’s a top 10, maybe top 5 back in the league and he’s better than anything we have at the RB position.

            1. “He can carry the ball 20-25 times a game”

              He’s averaged just over 16 carries per game for his career.

              “still young at 26 and durable”

              Didn’t you just say he was hurt last year?

              Gordon had 175 carries last year and had 9 runs of 20+ yards while averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

              Matt Breida had 153 carries last year and had 11 runs of 20+ yards while averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

              1. Gordon played 12 games last year and had 885 yards rushing and 490 receiving.

                Breida played in 14 games and had 814 yards and 261 receiving.

                Yeah I’d say he’s an upgrade.

              2. Gordon had 4 more carries and 2 more targets per game.

                Their yards per touch were nearly identical.

                6.1 for Gordon
                6.0 for Breida

              3. Are you trying to tell me Breida is a better option than Melvin Gordon based on yards per attempt? Touches?

                Better yet are you trying to tell me Breida is better than Gordon?

              4. LMAO. Differing opinions make the world go round my man.

                What are you willing to give to get him?

                Are you willing to pay him an average of 13.7 mill over the next 3 years with guys like Buckner and Kittle coming due for big pay days? He’s not signing for less than Elliot.

              5. With the way the 49ers have handled their cap situation he can easily fit. Praage has done a masterful job and the 49ers next year will have 26 million and the year after 86 million.
                Creatively, more than enough to fit Buckner, Kittle and Gordon.

                Fact is, Gordon makes the 49ers better. He’s better than any back on the team and with McKinnon likely never to play again, his money gets passed on to Gordon.

                But you trying to tell me “Breida is
                is a better option based on productivity and cost” than Gordon just convinced me you have zero clue.

              6. If you don’t understand that the productivity to cost ratio between Breida vs Gordon is well in Breida’s favour, you are the one that has zero clue.

                Gordon’s backup was more productive than Gordon last year on a per touch (6.61ypt vs 6.11) and per snap (2.75yps vs 2.62) basis.

              7. You guys with these stats think it’s some scientific formula that you plug in and get the answer.
                The fact that both of you look at those and determine that Breida is a better option than Gordon makes me laugh.
                Gordon in his career has been one of the NFL’s most prolific RB’s.
                He’s made Phillips a better QB. He’s made Allen a better WR. He makes everyone around him better.
                There is no stat for that and guys like that are invaluable.
                But you go ahead and go off stats to determine if he can or cannot make the 49ers better. Just let me laugh my arse off while hearing it!

              8. That’s alright, the fact you can’t understand the difference between us saying Breida is better than Gordon vs Breida is better value than Gordon makes me laugh. At least we find each other humorous.

              9. “Breida is better than Gordon vs Breida is better value than Gordon“

                What the flying Aussie are you trying to say?
                You think with millions of dollars to spend NFL personnel think about cost? It’s about talent.
                Gordon is the better talent and what wins in the NFL? Talent.
                Not cost per BS and stats you guys are babbling about.

              10. The benefits of trading for and signing Gordon aren’t worth what the cost to do so would be.

                The true difference makes in this league are QB’s and the guys who chase them.

              11. “You think with millions of dollars to spend NFL personnel think about cost?”

                Yep. The terms you are looking for are “salary cap” and “draft capital”. Glad I could help you out.

                The marginal improvement Gordon would provide to the cost it would take to get him (and ramifications that would mean for future retention and attraction of players) is not worth it. Yes, that is just my opinion. Argue all you like against it.

                As for the stats we are quoting as being BS, at some level stats can be misleading, no argument from me. But there is a reason that generational talents at RB also tend to have significantly better stats than other RBs. Gordon’s stats put him at average to below average for a starting RB over his four years in the league. As I have said before, Gordon’s backup actually performed better than Gordon last year. And as for Gordon being this amazing player that takes the pressure off the players around him – the Chargers won all 4 games he missed last season. Oops. But hey, you just go keep on flapping on about what a transcendent talent he is.

              12. So basically Gordon can’t help the Niners because he would cost too much to acquire,too much to pay and his past production doesn’t meet what other RB’s could ultimately do better and for cheaper?
                Well, I completely disagree and the way to prove that will be to see how far the Chargers go without him, or if he is traded, see what he does for that team. TBD.

              13. “see how far the Chargers go without him, or if he is traded, see what he does for that team.”

                Gordon has missed 5 games between last year and week 1 of this year. In those 5 games the Chargers are 5-0.

      2. The problem is, the Chargers want a first round pick for him. Do not think JL will do that, and the Niners do not have a second round pick. Sure, if they would let him go for a third round pick, go for it.
        Still think the best option is to put an injured player on IR with a mid season designation to return. Maybe Verrett or Taylor. Then, promote Wilson. He could make those tough runs up the middle.

  19. Nick Bosa – 2 sacks, 2 hits, 2 hurries and 1 additional pass-rush “win,” exiting the game with a pass rush win rate of 28%. Good enough for the third-best mark among all defensive players who rushed the passer at least 25 times in Week 1.

    Josh Allen – 1 tackle

    Quinnen Williams – Zip/Nada

          1. I don’t mind celebrations but that one is just ridiculous, especially when you factor in the players pecking order in the league. I’m more of a business approach guy like Jerry, and just hand the ball to the ref. I expect Bosa will celebrate at the appropriate time and place at some point. Not sure if his brother has a celebration….

            1. Yeah, I agree with the business approach and can do without the celebrations. Do you remember Aldon’s first year how after a sack he would just run back to the sideline and take a seat. At the time I thought that was refreshing to see and figured he was just a humble guy doing his job. Needless to say, I couldn’t have been more wrong about how I thought he would eventually be remembered as a player.

              1. Yea, my take on Aldon running off after a sack was totally different. I thought it was his way of expressing a smart alecky response to the authority(Fangio) frowning upon celebratory acts, and the expectation he would refrain from them….

              2. Nope, it went like this:
                Aldon made a TFL as the OT blocking him got his hand in Aldon’s grill so as to lift the helmet up and almost off. No flag.
                As Aldon popped up exuberantly and adjusted his hat the ref threw a bogus Unsportsmanship flag on him for removing his helmet in the celebration. Clear on the replay.
                After that AS liked to jump up after a sack and sprint to the bench to sarcastically avoid a flag.
                Your welcome

        1. I think Solomon Thomas got that sack, although it does not show in the box score. It was a fumbled snap, so maybe the recovery was not deemed a sack.

      1. I think that is the PFF “official” stat line. PFF doesn’t award half sacks, just full sacks. If two people are in on a sack they both get a full sack.

        1. Yep. On Nick Bosa PFF states:

          “2019 overall grade: 80.5

          No practice? No problem. After missing a large part of the team’s offseason program, Bosa suited up and made an instant impact in Week 1. Working mostly from the right side of the defensive line — 92.0% of his pass-rush snaps to be exact — the No. 2 pick racked up two sacks, two hits, two hurries and one additional pass-rush “win,” leaving the game the with a pass-rush win rate of 28.0% — the third-best mark among all defensive players who rushed the passer at least 25 times in Week 1.”

 has Bosa listed as having 1.0 sacks.

      1. Yep, you didn’t see their performance in week 3? That’s all everyone was talking about. I think they just released one of them as well.

        In our cool chat yesterday, we were discussing how the Bengals OT’s are even worse. I’m expecting an effort commensurate with your expectations….

          1. Didn’t realize that Tampa and KC had such similarities on the OL and at QB.

            Something tells me a stat line is about to drop.

  20. The defense looked way better in their 1st gm this year then they did all of last year.. I am happy about that it’s a start.. I am sure the offense will get it going. Its the Bengals the Niners got next I’m sure they will get it done and be 2 and 0.. The way the Steelers looked the Niners have a solid chance to be 3 and 0.. Away better of a season is on it’s way. I don’t blame anything on accidents like alot of you do. Because accidents happen 24/7 and they are caused by not paying attention.. The Bucs screwed themselves and the Niners took advantage of it that’s what it is all about.. Niners are back i sure know Garrap will relax and get alot better plus Boss will probably be defense rookie of the year.. Solid pass rush from a defense brings turnovers.. Kittle is a beast on offense and it will get better. Niners are back.. Get ready the 6 pack will be here soon.. Go Niners

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