This is the transcript of Kyle Shanahan’s Week 8 Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.
“Let me get the injuries. Questionable is [RB Matt] Breida, [CB Richard] Sherman and [C/G Weston] Richburg. Doubtful is [WR] Pierre [Garçon].”
Earlier in the week, you were weighing the logic of sitting Breida for an extended time, just to make sure that he heals up. Where are you guys on that right now?
“Still feeling the same. We’re looking into him and how he feels. He’s questionable right now, had a good practice today. That’s all going into account.”
With Sherman and Breida returning to practice, is that generally a good sign that they’ll be available?
“Generally, a better sign. Sherm didn’t practice last week. Breida did. But, it’s generally a good sign.”
Is QB Jimmy Garoppolo reaching a stage where he’s able to be on the sideline for games and things like that?
“No, not yet, or out on the practice field. Just being on the crutches and stuff, if something bad happened he couldn’t protect himself. So, we’ve got to keep him off of football areas. But, he’s going around on his crutches in the building. So, he’s at the meetings and things like that. But, nothing on the field.”
Will that happen at all this season?
“I believe so. I think about three more weeks, I think he has to be on those crutches.”
Is he able to put on a headset, if he were on the sideline?
“I haven’t thought that out. I’m sure. We’ll get to that in three weeks.”
Just being around and going to meetings, can he contribute? Can he help QB C.J. Beathard with anything?
“Sure, he can. There’s only one quarterback on the field, so wherever you are, those guys rely on a lot of people. They usually rely on their coaches when they come to the sideline. The number two quarterback they talk to a lot. When Jimmy can get back there on the field, I know he is during the week, but on game day when he can get back on the field, I know someone who will also have dialogue with.”
Has a long-term prognosis been made clear yet? Do you have any idea when exactly what the steps could be in his comeback during the coming offseason?
“I’m not sure. It is a big deal and something I will definitely worry about. But, I don’t have those dates down right now. I’m thinking about Arizona right now. I know you guys are meeting with Jimmy. I’m sure you’ll have him down here and help you guys out.”
How has Matt Breida looked in practice?
“He had a good day today. He didn’t practice the other two days and he had a good day today.”
You took a captain vote and TE George Kittle, still a young guy, is one of them. What does that say about him?
“It says the guys respect him. I think it starts with what he’s done on the field. He is out there every week, run game and pass game, he’s playing at a high level. Probably one of his best games this year was versus the Packers. I think he only had three catches that game, but had one of the best games blocking that I’ve seen a tight end have. The players see all those things. What he does throughout the week, how he takes care of his body, how reckless he plays in a good way, to how banged up he is on Monday and what he does to get his body healthy for practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to get ready for the game. He’s all about ball 24-7. So, I think guys respect that a lot.”
Are they going to be wearing the ‘C’ on their uniform?
“I’m not sure that they will this week. But, the guys that were voted on it, those four guys will. I don’t stitch them in. I would think they’re stitched in this week. I think they’re stitched in this week. If not, we’ve got to get moving on that.”
You don’t personally do that?
“I don’t. I don’t know how to. I would, if I’d been trained. But, I haven’t. I’m sure it’s on YouTube.”
“An iron, yeah. Smarter.”
Where was Jimmy in Week 3 as far as the process of learning the whole offense? Was it where a quarterback who is learning it for the first time should have been?
“It’s about playing. Jimmy has learned it. It’s about going versus different coverages, going against plays versus different fronts, different looks. You practice everything in practice and you try to card looks you’re going to get, but it’s about the experience of going through a season. He got to go through half of one last year and he got to go through three games this year and went against three different defenses. He did some good things in those three games, and he did some bad things. It was definitely helping, what he went through.”
Memory does this, but it seemed like last year’s games, everything was good with him and this year it was up and down. Is that accurate? If it is, does that have to do with starting with the full system and kind of learning through that?
“No, I think it has to do with each situation individually. I mean, there’s 22 guys out on the field, not just the quarterback. When Jimmy came in last year, the first game we won I think it was 15-12. We had five field goals and some things went good. It was our second win, so we were excited about it. Not everything was perfect. The next week versus Houston, we started out a little slow and then we got hot and got a big lead really fast. We were able to pull away. Then, I think we got a lot better the next week, I want to say versus Tennessee and then Jacksonville and finished with the Rams. Our team was really clicking at that time. It wasn’t just Jimmy. Jimmy played well and he got better each game, especially towards I’d say that Houston game and Tennessee game were probably his two best games. But, everyone around him got better, too. Just this year because he started out 1-2 doesn’t mean he was worse than he was last year. I don’t think we as a whole played as well as we were at the end of last year. We showed times at it, but we were still getting there. We weren’t there yet, and lost Jimmy a little too soon to find out. Now, we’re going through that with the rest of our team.”
Were you starting to feel the real flow in the second half of that Kansas City game or was that just the product of them being ahead by a lot? Did you feel the offense was doing well there?
“Yeah, I felt a flow. I think we had three drives on it in the second half. There was three touchdowns, except for the one that they took away with the penalty. So, guys were clicking. They were moving it pretty good. Had some opportunities there in the first half, just came up short and stayed out on the field. That’s just what happens. We missed a couple plays. You don’t convert a third down and you get off. There, in the second half, we were and it started to click and you get in a rhythm and gain some confidence and get going. But, then he got hurt on his last play there at the fourth.”
Do you think that it’s equally beneficial for him to be around the facility and the team, and for the team to be around him during this period?
“Yeah, no doubt. Jimmy is definitely one of our leaders. I know if he was out there, he would’ve been voted one of the captains, if he was still healthy. Jimmy has to go through this process of getting his surgery. He’s got to recover enough, which he’s been doing. It’s going to take him a few more weeks to get off the crutches. But, obviously he can’t go through the season and get the experience. But, there’s still a lot of experience he can get. He needs to go through the game plan each week, prepare like he is playing at least mentally, get something out of the games, know what you’re expecting to go into the game expecting, see what happens differently in the game, see what he can learn at that time when he comes into a Monday meeting and we talk about what went different than what we were expecting, how you can adjust to those things. Those are things he has to go through fully, mentally. You would love for him to do it both physically and mentally. One was taken away from him. He’s still got to get something out of this and you can get a lot on the other half of it.”
You mentioned last year you wanted to see Jimmy go through adversity. Obviously, this isn’t the type of adversity you envisioned. But, how do you think he is handling his situation given all that?
“I think he’s handling it as good as you can. Jimmy was extremely down, like anybody would be. Jimmy was very excited about this season. He was very excited to play. He was very excited to go through his first year, really having his team. We got out to a 1-2 start with him. We went through some ups and downs in those three games. That was some of the stuff that he hadn’t had to go through yet. So, he was starting to go through that stuff. I liked how he would respond. There was more pressure on him because he lost his first game. He hadn’t done that before. He did that after Week 1, so that was something new for him. Week 2, we beat Detroit. We beat Detroit, but we almost lost it at the end. So, there was some stuff that we weren’t happy about. That was I think his first time having to go through that stuff, so that was good. Would’ve loved to have seen him go through it the rest of the year and watched the ups and downs because you get better from those in every aspect. I think he did learn a lot in those three games. I think that helps him going into the offseason. How to prepare, what to expect. Last year, Jimmy is a humble guy and he does work very hard, but he hadn’t faced much adversity. He had never lost a game. He had played very well. He’s lost some games now. He’s had some big adversity with this injury. I know he’ll be excited to overcome it and I know he’s already trying to get started.”