49ers Coach Shanahan Postgame: "It’s going to be a few tough decisions."

Kyle Shanahan recaps the final game of the preseason: Chargers vs 49ers

It seemed like QB C.J. Beathard took a big hit early and then got a quick pull. Were those two related?

We wanted him to go one series. I wish it would have been longer. It was a hard debate that it was only three quick plays, but its just not worth it. Youve got to make that decision.

Why did you play LB Reuben Foster and DL Solomon Thomas?

Reuben, because hes not going to play in these first two games, so its going to be a while for him to get that chance. So, once he got out of the protocol and felt good, thats what we planned on doing all along as long as he was healthy. Solomon, it was really between both of us. Him and [DL Arik] Armstead havent played a ton. Then Solomon missed the week at Houston and he got to go back last week, but he wanted to play a little more and I thought itd be good for him. It was one long drive. He was able to make a couple plays and we got him out of there. He stayed healthy, so it was a risk but felt that was something that could help him for week one.

Is OL Garry Gilliam still in the protocol?


When did Foster get out of it?

Foster got out yesterday.

And why did you choose not to play Armstead?

I just didnt think he needed it, just talking with him. He got a lot of playing time last week. Felt good in practice, didnt want to risk it.

What is your initial assessment of WR Richie James Jr.s game tonight and overall how his preseason has gone so far?

I think hes had a good preseason. I think a lot of our receivers have. Its going to be tough with the group that we have. I know I cant keep all of them. Hes been consistent throughout it all and got some opportunities tonight and came down with them.

Generally, what was your approach to this game and how many questions in terms of building the 53-man roster did you still have going in?

Theres still a number of questions. It wasnt necessarily just position battles, but just where were going to go with the roster. Where were going to go heavy. Where were going to go light. Its going to be a few tough decisions on that that were going to have to really talk through tomorrow.

What was your initial assessment of the offensive line? That first quarter was a little rough.

Yeah. The first few series it was. I think we went three-and-out twice and got one zone read in, I think [QB] Nick [Mullens] pulled it. That kind of got us going a little bit. Until then we couldnt get a first down, except on a personal foul. They got after us early. Just a couple plays. It was disappointing, but once we settled down a little bit I thought we finished a little better.

How do you think G Joshua Garnett played? I know you said earl in the week that he had a chance to overtake OL Mike Person. You havent seen the film yet, but what are your early impressions?

Im not sure. From what I saw out there, his name didnt come up much, which is a good thing for an O-Lineman. He had two good days of practice. One real good day, because we were able to have pads on. Yesterday there wasnt as much, the day before the game. But, it was a good week for Josh again. Well make that decision as the week goes. I dont know if thats something well probably know or the world probably wont know until a week from Sunday.

Is LB Fred Warner not playing a good indication that hell start weeks one and two?

I think theres a real good chance, but we wanted to see the other guys tonight. [LB] Brock [Coyle] is still in the mix and well see how Malcom ends up playing out because [LB] Malcom [Smith] has been battling through some stuff, but he stayed healthy last week. Its going to be one of those guys.

Were you playing G Jonathon Cooper that long just to see how his knee was going to respond?

Yes, just giving him a chance because he hasnt been able to go as long as everyone else and we wanted to make sure he could stay out there longer tonight and see how he reacted and make sure we have a lot of tape to watch of him when we get back in.

Generally, what did you think of Beathards play throughout this preseason?

I didnt think he got a lot of great opportunities. I wasnt down on him at all, but I didnt think he played his best. I wasnt disappointed in him or anything, sometimes thats how the preseason goes. Sometimes its tough to stay out on the field when you get a few penalties, you get behind the chains and stuff. Right when you want to get in a groove, youre out and the next group is up. I wish he could have had some more success, but just how hes played throughout training camp, throughout the entire offseason and battling a little bit of his foot injury as it went, I was very happy with C.J.

Kyle, taking everything into account between the preseason and training camp, did you get everything accomplished that you wanted to? Is there anything that surprised you in either a negative or a positive way?

No. The days youre allowed to practice and how many padded (practices) you get in, you go and try to get as good as you can. I think everyone would always like more to practice. But, also, the more you go its harder to keep people healthy. Its just a very fine line in football, on how to prepare for it and get ready for this grueling season that will be long. Also, how important every player is that you dont want to get them hurt. Im glad the preseason is over. Glad we got through it. Im excited to get going now.

Was it important to get QB Jack Heneghan in as a reward for all the time hes spent in here?

Yes, definitely. He deserved it. We havent given him a rep in a game yet, and he hasnt gotten very much in practice. He knows everything inside and out. Hes worked as hard as anyone learning the offense. I think the guys really respect him, just how he worked this offseason throughout OTAs. How hard he worked out in the weight room with the guys and when we were away. Hes a talented guy who deserved the opportunity based off his ability, but also, especially because of the way he handled himself. I think the guys were really pumped for him watching that. I think it was like a 16-play drive, and he did a heck of a job. He turned one play into a quarterback draw that wasnt a quarterback draw, but he kept us on the field. I was real happy for him.

Was your plan to give RB Raheem Mostert a long look tonight?

Yeah, he didnt get much last week at running back. We gave the majority of that to Alf [RB Alfred Morris]. I think we gave the first series to Alf, so it was a quick three plays. We wanted to get him to get a few more carries. Its a tough position in terms of the decisions weve got to make tomorrow. I wanted Raheem to have a few more.

Is OL Mike Person still the frontrunner to be the starting right guard Week 1?

Yeah. Hes still the frontrunner. I mean, anybody who has been at that position for the majority of camp and got all those reps. Were happy with Mike. Hes done a real good job, and thats why we didnt dress him tonight. Were real excited about [G] Josh [Garnett], too. He got a late start, which puts him behind the eight ball with the group. Theres a lot of continuity that goes into an O-Line playing together. We major in double-team blocks and you get used to who is blocking next to you a lot between the center and the right tackle. So, thats the advantage someone has from just being here. But, Josh is a talented guy that we believe in. Hes going the right direction. Its a good problem to have.

You mentioned that at the start of camp, you felt like youd have more guys that youd cut this year that will play in the league this year. Do you still feel that way? If so, do you feel like theres even more tough decisions than you thought you would have initially?

Yeah, I do. Definitely. Theres definitely more than 53 guys that Id like to keep on our team, and theres definitely more than 10 guys Id like to have on our practice squad. Theres definitely going to be someone here that we still want to be here. But, thats the issues of the numbers that youre allowed to keep, the numbers of guys youre allowed to practice with. That wasnt as much of a problem last year. I hope thats a problem that we have every year.

With these four games behind you, whats the biggest thing you are curious to see from your team going forward in terms of questions you want to see answered?

Im just ready to see how we show up versus Minnesota. Im not going to overthink anything and look too much into how each preseason game has gone. Were going to have our 53 here over the next couple days. As I say to our team, everyone talks about the final 53, but never in the history of football has the final 53 stayed the final 53. Thats always moving and youre always trying to see how it goes with injuries and whats out there. Im excited to narrow our group down so we can really start focusing on what were doing this week. Im just excited for the season to start like I think everyone else is.

When will you be making the cuts?

I dont want guys lingering around. Were not going to make guys wait if we already know. The stuff thats for sure, well get done right away. But obviously, theres going to be some stuff that comes down to the wire.