Here is the transcript of Kyle Shanahan’s Tuesday conference call with Bay Area reporters.
Q: Now that you’ve watched the film, do you have any concerns about what you saw from the first-team offense?
KS: “You always want to be play better, but to get concerned over 10 plays, that’s pretty irresponsible. You try to evaluate those 10 plays. The one thing that I saw differently once I watched the tape was the interception. It wasn’t a T-E stunt. We had a miscommunication in protection, so (Bradley) Chubb got in there earlier than expected. I thought Jimmy (Garoppolo) got hit as he was throwing it. He didn’t. He got rid of it too early to avoid the hit and the route hadn’t developed yet, so it didn’t go far enough down the field. We need to do a better job of protection by getting everyone on the same page. We need to do better at throwing that ball away or, if you can’t, you have to take that sack.”
ME: You kept Garoppolo in the shotgun for all six of his pass attempts. Was there a reason for that?
KS: “No. It probably had to do with some of the down and distances. We wanted to motion to empty (backfield). When you go to empty, there’s not much point in being under center, unless you’re going to do a quarterback sneak. So, if you go to empty, you might as well be in gun because there’s not threat of run. I think two of his passes were empty (actually, three). The others were on third down. And we only got 10 plays.”
Q: Do you have an update on Jerick McKinnon? Will he practice this week?
KS: “I was hoping he could. With it being a short, I don’t think he will tomorrow. Maybe the day after we’ll start putting him into individual (drills). But, I don’t think he’ll be able to do team drills this week.”
Q: Impressions of Solomon Thomas’ performance?
KS: “I was real happy for Solomon. He has been that was in practice every day for us. He has been moving around a lot. We like to get him inside more than outside, but he still had to be outside with all the injuries we’ve had, and he is moving different. He’s playing a lot more aggressive. I think his mind is a lot clearer. And it’s showing. I thought he had a good game yesterday, and we expected him to because he has looked that way in practice.”
Q: Why did Jalen Hurd play only eight snaps?
KS: “Hurd was going to play more, but he had some back tightness all week in practice, and then he had it a little bit in the game. He definitely could have gone. That was just a decision I made to get him out of there. Don’t want that to be worse, with the fact that we have three games in 10 days.”
ME: Has Deebo Samuel earned more playing time with the starters, or do you still want to see more from him?
KS: “I want to see more from all of them. We have a very good group, and they’re all tight. I’m trying to get those guys to take those spots from people and make it an easy decision. I think we have a lot of candidates to start on our team, guys who have been here and the new guys. There are two positions if we start in 12 or 21 (personnel), and there are three positions if we start in 11. And especially with Trent (Taylor) being down right now, there are a lot of opportunities for these guys. Deebo had a good play on the around. That’s what we expect him to do. The D-end closed, (Samuel) is fast and we expect him to outrun people. All these guys can keep getting better. We want them to be good at blocking, to be good at running the ball when it’s in their hands and to be able to get open. Deebo has the ability to do everything, but he’s still continuing to develop.”
Q: Is Jordan Matthews the starting slot receiver while Taylor is out?
KS: “That’s what we’ll go over this afternoon. We have two practices to prepare for Kansas City. We think all this stuff out. We give guys different opportunities different weeks. But, by no means is anything set for Week 1. We have an idea of what some guys can do. Some guys we need to see more from. So we mix it all around. I wouldn’t look into anything until you guys see our final 53.”
Q: Speaking of Jordan Matthews, does special teams ability factor in for him? Is that something he will have to do to be on the 53-man roster?
KS: “It factors in for everybody. Usually you like to keep six receivers. You usually only have five up on game day. So, sometimes that sixth one isn’t necessarily your best special teams guy because he doesn’t even get up. The sixth one has to be able to come in and play if you lose a starter. So, yes, it matters, but it’s not as clear cut as that. It depends on who makes the 53 and who’s up on the 46 on game day. Usually your fifth guy is going to be your best special teams player, and your sixth guy is usually a better receiver.”
Q: Considering Jimmy Garoppolo threw five picks during Wednesday’s practice, and posted a 0.0 quarterback rating on Monday, and both performances became national news, do you have to check in on him, or do you already know what he’s made of and where his head’s at?
KS: “No, that’s something we deal with with all our players every day. We’re around these guys a lot, so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that stuff is hard on people. I don’t ever sense it from Jimmy. Jimmy comes in, he’s the same guy every day. He’s great in the meetings. He works. He listens. Doesn’t change much. But, I know anytime you get all that publicity for things you’re not happy with, that’s going to affect a lot of people. You have to go out there and play. You get your confidence back by playing. There’s not a magical motivational speech. Jimmy has ability to do it. We know he will do it. What stinks is when you go out there and you get just a few opportunities and it doesn’t go right and you’re not in a position to play yourself out of it. Hopefully, he’ll get to be in there longer versus Kansas City. I hope it’s all good things, but most likely there will be some good, some bad. And then, we’ll see how long he can stay in and grow from it.”
Q: Updates on Mike Person and Weston Richburg?
KS: “Yeah. Richburg, we’re hoping the Chargers week, where he could maybe get out and practice a little bit. And if he can, then we’ll decide whether to play him in that game and get him ready for Week 1. That’s what we’re hoping for. We’ll see. Mike Person, he’s still day to day. Knowing Person, I’m sure he’s going to try to practice tomorrow, but we just have to see where he’s at. We still have to decide what type of practice we’re going to have. We have to do the reps, because we only will have two practices before our game, but I don’t see us having a full-speed practice tomorrow anyways, so hopefully he’ll be out there two days from now.”
Q: Are you concerned with the depth on the offensive line?
KS: “It concerns me. You need to be able to block and you need to be able to do it without holding, and we’ve gotten way too many of those (penalties) the past two weeks. It’s something we definitely have to improve. Depth on your O-line is something every team is trying to work at. We need some guys to step up. We lost the two guys who were competing at guard, with Person and (Joshua) Garnett, and that has opened up some opportunities for these guys, and that’s why they’ve been in there a ton in these two games. They have had some really good plays that show they can play in this league, but just like you guys have noticed, we’ve had too many penalties and they’ve had some bad plays. The good thing about this stuff is we do have two more games. It’s something where we haven’t seen enough yet to figure it out. We need more game tape. Hopefully, one of these guys will step it up.”
Q: What did you think of Beathard and Mullens?
KS: “C.J. played the most. Every time C.J. is in there, you have a chance for a big play. He loves the big play. He missed one to Richie (James) that was a little him, a little Richie. And then he had a really good throw to Bourne that would have been a real big one that Bourne didn’t get. I thought C.J. missed a couple plays early, but nothing too bad. And then Nick came in and didn’t have many opportunities. He made the best – I think the throw he had was the fade for the touchdown. But, he didn’t really get a chance to play too much.”
Q: Will Dee Ford practice this week?
KS: “Right now if you had to ask me, I don’t think we would throw him in tomorrow, just the fact that we won’t be full speed. We’ll look at it again the next day. I know (this week) was the goal. We thought there was the possibility. I still think there is, but I think we’re going to be leaning a little bit more toward next week.”
Q: Where are you in deciding who is going to be your backup QB?
KS: “I’m in a pretty good spot. Where are you?”
Q: I think pretty good as well.
KS: “Alright. You want me to tell you?”
KS: “I believe in both of those guys. I believe they can play. We’ll see who we decide to go with the second group this week. Haven’t decided that yet. Whoever do, we plan on the next guy getting a lot in Week 4. I’ll never make a decision before the fourth preseason game comes, but usually the backups are the guys who play really the entire game. So, there’s a lot more playing time for both of them to get here. I feel very good with both the guys. We’ve had both the guys here in a lot of game situations. It has been a fun battle to watch. I think both are playing better than they have the past two years.”
Q: Are you saying whichever QB goes in second in Game 3 will be the backup?
KS: “No. Didn’t say that. Nope. There are so many things that play into this. I know we have two backup quarterbacks who are both capable of starting. I would be happy with either one of them as our backup. One of those guys is going to win the job. We will make that decision. I do not see myself making that decision until I absolutely have to, and that probably won’t be until the final 53. But, if we make it before that and there’s no advantage in hiding it, I promise we’ll let you guys know.”